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PHOTOGRAPHY

LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (unrated) Collector's Edition
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 129 minutes (unrated and PG-13 versions),two disc set, audio commentary, feature length documentary, original theatrical trailer, music video, three featurettes
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English 5.1, Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish

STUDIO: 20th Century Fox
RELEASE DATE: 11-20-2007

It has been a long time since DIE HARD had a sequel. Over 10 years since DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, Bruce Willis still cracks wise and kicks ass as John McClane. Director Len Wiseman is a wise fit for this film. Bruce wanted him for director of the latest DIE HARD after watching the UNDERWORLD films. Highlights of the film are many and include every action sequence and lot of the humor after mcClane survives yet another attempt to kill him. Maggie Q kicking Bruce around is fun to see (what can I say when it comes to woman who can kick butt). Plenty of cars, trucks, and a semi (McClane even uses a police car to take out a helicopter in one scene).

LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD follows MCClane having a simple night (about to go home aafter spying on his estranged grown up daughter because he wants to talk to her) and getting a simple job (take a computer hacker to the FBI CyberCrime unit in Washinton D.C.) that turns complicated (cyber terrorists trying to kill the hacker and McClane). The terrorists are led by a computer hacker who wants to bring down the whole USA by disabling government services, cause Wall Street and banks to panic, disable traffic lights and phone service, and cause power to go out everywhere. It is up to McClane and the young hacker to stop and the madman and his goons (including Maggie Q as the madman's girlfriend). They get help from Warlock (a geek part that fits Kevin Smith quite well).

LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD may be PG-13, but it rocks the house as a good entry in the DIE HARD series. It is also a timely sequel that looks at the big problem of cyberterrorism and how it would affect the USA (it would have been bad effects). The film is partly based on an article about that subject. If they make another DIE HARD, let's hope it doesn't take another 10 to 15 years because LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD has energized this franchise.

LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD went through a change on the way to the theater. 20th Century Fox decided to release it as PG-13. So all I can tell is that the unrated version features loads of swearing not present in the PG-13 cut.

SPECIAL FEATURES: You can choose to play the PG-13 theatrical version or the unarated version (which would have been rated R). The audio commentary is the sole extra on the disc. It plays over either version. Actor Bruce Willis, director Len Wiseman, and the film's editor talk about the editing, locations, and the scenes that len thought of that made it into the film (including the tunnel sequence the studio wasn't originally too keen on) in addition to the discussion of releasing the film as PG-13.

The second disc has a few behind-the-scenes extras. The two best extras are the original theatrical trailer and ANALOG HERO IN A DIGITAL WORLD (a multi-part documentary on the making of LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD). The doucmentary iis a good behind-the-scenes look at the production and post-production of the film. It is interesting to learn they had to bring in the sound and music people earlier due to a shorter post-production period. It is sad they don't mention anything about how Len changed the script or previous attempts at the fourth sequel.

A Guyz Nite music video called Die Hard and a behind the scenes featurette are also included. Skip those two extras. Bruce Willis and kevin Smith are toigether in an interview featurette known as YIPPEE kI YAY, MOTHERF*****.
Rounding out the second dic extras are a FOX MOVIE CHANNEL PRESENTS FOX LEGACY FEATURETTE and a way to download a digital copy of LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD to your computer hard drive (the only downside is you need Window Media Player 10 and it isn't compatitable with any other computer media software which is a shame). Then I can't forget the free movie cash for HITMAN included inside the DVD case.

FINAL ANALYSIS: IF you just want the film, buy the one disc version. If you want the other extras, hunt down the two disc special edition which I will review soon.

this DVD review is (c)11-14-2007 David Blackwell (updated on 12-4-2007 to include review of thE second disc extras) and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  
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