20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson
Extras: Featurette, Theatrical trailers
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has just released the complete "Die Hard" trilogy on DVD as separate discs and as a nice boxed set containing all three parts of the series. The series that made Bruce Willis a Hollywood superstar and box office magnet carries a very unique signature throughout and all three installments are about equally strong quite a rare commodity in films. Since I believe everyone will review the series’ first part, I decided to take a closer look at the third one, titled "Die Hard With A Vengeance". Not only do I believe it is the raciest of all parts, it also teams up Bruce Willis with accomplished actor Samuel L. Jackson in an almost "Lethal Weapon"-like scenario.
After a devastating bombing in the heart of New York City, an anonymous caller who calls himself Simon (Jeremy Irons) confesses the bombing. A determined terrorist, he wants to play a game and police officer John McLane (Bruce Willis) is his toy of choice. When Simon says jump, McLane jumps because otherwise another bomb will explode, killing countless more innocent people. While his department is trying to find out Simon’s true identity, McLane is racing from one end of town to the other in order to disarm one bomb after another. In the maelstrom around him he unintentionally pulls Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) with him. Zeus is not exactly happy about the circumstances he finds himself in, but effortlessly, Simon integrates him into the game as well. Eventually it dawns on McLane however that there has to be more to this race than what meets the eye, and he tries to figure out the true plan behind Simon’s game. This however puts him and thousands of other people at risk of being blown to pieces.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment have done a good job transferring this film to DVD. Although not <$16x9,anamorphic>ally enhanced, the <$PS,widescreen> image contains plenty of detail and appears very crisp. It is free of any <$pixelation,pixelation> or other compression artifacts, and maintains all the shadow detail you wish for. No doubt the additional storage capacity the <$RSDL,RSDL> disc offers helped maintaining such a high video standard. The film’s colors are also absolutely stable, with strong and vibrant hues and naturally rendered fleshtones. No <$chroma,chroma noise> or color bleeding is evident on the disc, creating a very natural looking image. As good as the video transfer to this DVD is, the sound transfer sadly lacks a bit. The disc contains a very aggressive <$5.1,5.1 channel> <$DD,Dolby Digital> soundtrack that makes very good and excessive use of the split surrounds. Unfortunately serious clipping is evident in numerous scenes in the <$DS,Dolby Surround> version of the track. Especially in some of the most pounding sequences distortion is clearly noticeable and strangely even in some more subdued scenes, the audio signal exhibits signs of distortion. While these problems are not overly exaggerated, I still found them a bit distracting at times. To be fair, I have to admit that I had not noticed these problems in the Dolby Digital soundtrack however.
Apart from the feature presentation, the disc also contains trailers for all three "Die Hard" movies and a small behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of "Die Hard With A Vengeance".