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[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/photopost/data/500/DieHard.jpg[/img]
Starring: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Kevin Smith, Maggie Q
Director: Len Wiseman
Studio: Fox
Production Year: 2007
Media Year: 2007
Rating: PG-13
Length: 130

Movie :3stars:
Bruce Willis is back as John McClane, the everyman cop hero. In this film, which could be dubbed Die Hard Hackers, Det. McClane is given the simple task of bringing in a Mac-using hacker named Matthew Farrell (Justin Long from the Mac vs PC ads).

Of course Farrell uses a Mac, and of course in trying to execute the simple task of bringing him in, McClean stumbles upon a terrorist plot to overthrow the government.

Willis still has the charisma to carry a Die Hard movie, and this latest in the series was a pleasure to watch. It’s not quite like Die Hard films of the past, mainly because the in joke is that McClane is a relic of a cop.

“You’re a Timex watch in a digital age,”

He is told by lead hacker terrorist Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant, whom you may recognize from Deadwood). The theme of Willis’ age and his lack of understanding of modern digital culture recurs throughout the movie.

Through it all, McClane loses some of his original appeal as the everyman. In this new version of Die Hard (called Die Hard 4.0 in Europe), he performs stunts that movie superheroes wouldn’t even try - you’ll see him get beat up by a kung-fu chick, roll out of a speeding car and generally spend most of the movie looking like he belongs under the treads of an M1 Abrams. Die Hard fans will be pleased to know that, like the Timex watch, McClane takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

PG-13

It came as some disappointment to the Die Hard initiated that Live Free or Die Hard was going to be rated PG-13. Yes, a copout to our politically correct, modern box office paradigm that allows 15 year-old-boys to dictate mainstream cinema. Gone are the big budget action films that weren’t afraid to show a pair of boobs on screen before blowing the whole place to smithereens.


Low brow? Maybe so, but at least violent action films of the past were genuinely low brow and not preening about trying to fit into a rating system two sizes too small.

The DVD release of Live Free or Die Hard has much of the cut dialogue restored, so true to form, McClane is dropping F-words like a muther-… and the signature Yipy Ki yay … line is fully audible.
The Blu-ray version, however, has the PG-13 rating. Frankly, watching a tidied up version of the film wasn’t distracting at all. I still heard the signature Yipee-Ki-Yay… line and spilled beer on myself jumping up and screaming as popcorn spewed from my face. The line might have been slightly obscured by gunfire - but hey, it’s gunfire!

Video:3stars:

Mpeg-4 AVC, 1080P/24, 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The video is strong, though not exemplary of HD technology. It’s a bit cool in the color temperature scale, which might have muddied the darker scenes a bit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a crisp high definition picture. But clear, sun-drenched cityscapes just don’t look as bright and inviting as other movies I’ve seen in Blu-ray.

Audio :4stars:
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/photopost/data/500/die_hard4.jpg[/img]
DTS-HD and extreme bass! That’s really all you need to know about the audio. I love DTS whenever available, and the HD track just made it more detailed. There is so much sub-candy, it’s a must for bass fanatics. What I liked was how artfully the soundtrack incorporated deep pitches - it took my subwoofer places I didn’t know it could go.

The film also has some nice separation effects. Certain scenes actually manipulated front to surround speaker positional effects to make things move around the living-room.

In fitting with the film’s over-the-top theme, the soundtrack was far from realistic – guns erupt like cannons, and although I’ve never seen cars fly through the air before, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t produce a resonant frequency in the 30Hz range. But in Live Free or Die Hard they do, and when they crash it sounds like the end of the world. It’s glorious; I loved the soundtrack on this film.

Special Features :2stars:

Cast Commentary featuring Director/Writer/Producer: I didn’t take the time to listen, but it’s there for the true Die Hard faithful and it does feature Bruce Willis.

Black Hat Intercept! Game: I avoid on-disc games at all cost. I’d rather pull my toenails out than wait for the ridiculous things to load on the too-slow, current generation Blu-ray disc players out there today.

D-Box: I never knew about this. Apparently if you play this back in a computer with a D-Box compatible motion chair you get something that will probably need to be explained to me before I understand. It seems gimmicky, but I’m open minded.

Analog Hero in a Digital World: The Making of Live Free or Die Hard: Long, long documentary with many chapters. It’s mostly the usual self-congratulatory stuff you get in making of featurettes. A few decent scenes and insights are buried beneath way too much Hollywood politicking about how great and wonderful everyone is.

The one bright spot was a whole chapter devoted to co-star Justin Long. He brings a quirky sarcasm that I can certainly relate to. It was hard to tell if he was serious about the people who auditioned for his part before him. I take it to be him joking and making a mockery of the whole interview – classic!

Yippie-Ki-Yay Featurette: Bruce Willis sitting at the bottom of a staircase speaking frankly about the project on the day it was released. It’s a good feature - only several minutes and Willis is surprisingly honest about not really liking the second two movies so much despite their positives. It’s not a load of the usual **** which was very refreshing.

Die Hard by Guyz Night: A mock-band music video that plays on the campy humor aspect of the Die Hard franchise. It’s very Spinal Tap - funny to watch once.

Behind the Scenes with Guyz Night: Did I mention the video was kind of funny? This feature is provided in case you didn’t get the joke the first time.

Overall: :3stars:

If you’re a fan of the Die Hard franchise and own a Blu-ray player, this is probably the version you want. The PG-13 rating shouldn’t offend you, although I believe it’s just a ploy to release the Blu-ray director’s cut later.

I enjoyed the movie as a campy action film - 3 out of 5 overall is better than average. I almost want to give it a four because I had fun watching, but knowing there is another cut of the film out there disappoints me. This disc is not complete without the option of choosing between versions. This is the Blu-ray after all.

To summarize, Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray has an amazing audio track and solid but not overwhelming video. It’s a must have for the Die Hard and a definite rental for the casual Willis fan.
 

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Re: Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray

Watched this tonight and it was absolutely hands-down one of the best surround and sub-bass movies I've seen in quite some time. Transformers was good... LFDH was great! If you want a movie to show off the audio of your HT system, look no further... this is it! Awesome... :T
 

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Re: Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray

I watched it as well, Unfortunately only on SD DVD but I will agree that it has some serious bass even with only Dolby digital. The surround was impressive.

My pet peeve with the movie was the poor editing of some parts. lip-sync was off by a huge amount in places and that really bothers me. Particularly on fast moving scenes where Bruce was talking on the radio or muttering to himself. Obviously they added the vocals in later.

My 14 year old daughter watched this movie with us (the first time for Die hard) and loved it. Over all given I have always loved the Die Hard series. I will still give it a 4 out of 5.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray

The audio was amazing. I think I'll watch it again on my new TV.

I found it's a good movie, entertaining all the way through. It's definitely one to toss into the player if you're looking to demo for your friends.
 

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Re: Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray

The sad thing is that its not available on HD DVD so I cant see it in its true glory:crying: This format war is driving me nuts:joke:
I cant justify spending the money on a BluRay player but I wish I could.
 

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Re: Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray

Same here Tony... I want to see it in HD, but I have no Blu-ray player. I'm waiting on the Samsung dual format player... which looks like it will be about January.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray

Don't do it... combo players are coming. The newer ones that include HQV processors are declining in price. I really think it's a watershed price point for the technology.

I know we're never "there" in the technology, there'll always be something around the corner. But when we have combo players that upscale to the performance of the HQV processors selling for sub-$1K, that's a plateau. Considering it was only two-three years ago DVD players by Denon that had this processor were selling in excess of $3K, this is some powerful stuff that should be available in a month's time.

Sonnie is even going to sell it at the shack store.

The only alternative I could think of is to be such a big video game fan that you own both Xbox360 and it's very decent HD DVD player (which I hear current gen has HDMI/1080P) and a PS3 which is widely considered the best Blu-ray player out today.
 

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Re: Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray

yea this movie rocks, i only got a 2.1 though, but still, the bass is really crazy, all the rifles and guns sounded stunning.

Also, the blu-ray + hd-dvd player + blu-ray writer driver for computers are selling for 400 I think, the LG, it is tempting but still too expensive IMO
 

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Re: Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray

Watched this tonight and it was absolutely hands-down one of the best surround and sub-bass movies I've seen in quite some time. Transformers was good... LFDH was great! If you want a movie to show off the audio of your HT system, look no further... this is it! Awesome... :T
For sure this is one of the best movies for sound I've heard in a long time. I must have watched the scene on the bridge with the jet 20 times. Deep bass galore! I rented this but will probably end up buying it to show off my home theater. :T
 

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Re: Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray

I bought it on BD. I love the end and the collapsing bridge sound effects :bigsmile: That reminds me how strong my subs are :)

I am surprised other forums gave the video 5/5.
 

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Re: Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray

I'm in the camp where I was disappointed.

Basically the story was the same... misdirection in order to pull off a robbery. As much as I hated the second installment of this franchise, at least it had a different story line.

Where I had problems was with the outrageous situations McClane was not only getting into, but miraculously getting out of. By the time he jumps on the airplane I was already out of my quota for 'suspending reality' and just enjoying a movie for what it is.

The same thing happened with the Lethal Weapon franchise. It started out kicking behind as a pure action flick, and then descended into almost a parody of itself by the end.


But hey... if in Die Hard 2 McClane can have nine grenades lobbed into the cockpit of a military transport, and have enough time to strap himself into the pilot seat and hit the eject button before even one of the grenades go off... I guess he can jump on the wing of a fighter jet and wrestle it to the ground too!

The only real saving grace to me was Justin Long and Kevin Smith. Smith will forever be Silent Bob to me so I got a chuckle out of his 'command center'.

Wayde I agree... think McClane will wear a cape in the next one? ;)
 

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Re: Live Free or Die Hard -Blu-ray Review

Its been awhile since the last post in this particular forum, but I was late to the BR party. I have been watching this on SD DVD and it was very good but, nothing to add to this review.
Seeing it now, on BR with newer gear causes me to think a bit differently about this disc than many out there. Personally, I loved it. I would call it the second best in the series, I loved the character development between the leads, the cop and the hacker. Very well done. But again, that is me. The story was so over the top, it cannot be graded as to realism but then again neither can any of the action movies out there that stretch the laws of physics a bit.
Visually this is for me a solid 4.5 stars, there are aa few soft scenes but overall it is class B+ material. What does shine and accordingly causes me to go off the reviewer path a bit is the sound track. That my friends is a solid 5 star deal. There is nothing left to be desired when it comes to how full this disc is with details, from the incredible lows to through to the absolute high end and everything in between. It is brilliantly put together and rivals many of the newer movies out there with maybe the exception of Tron, that was blasts past 5 stars and goes to plaid. The surround track is always busy but not just with effects, but atmosphere as well. It follows on screen action to a "T".
I am a fool for these movies and I loved it. But then again I loved Battlefield Los Angeles so take my opinions in that vein. :sn:
 

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Re: Live Free or Die Hard -Blu-ray Review

I know that Die Hard is a classic but I liked Live Free or Die Hard for what it was. Perhaps it's just because I enjoy Justin Long's role and humor conflicting with McLane.
 
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