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DVD Review: Live Free Or Die Hard

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Yippie ki yay … we all know the rest of that famous line! Yes, folks. John McClane is back in the fourth installment of the Die Hard series, Live Free or Die Hard. The last time we saw Bruce Willis take on this role was well over ten years ago in 1995. The movie hit the big screen back in June, and it is now available in two versions on DVD. Both selections contain unrated versions of the film, but if you're a true fan you will want to pick up the two-disc edition of this film for a complete behind the scenes look at the movies that came before in the series and how this fourth installment was made.

Len Wiseman took on this project, being one of those young boys that made his own Die Hard movies in his backyard. This is something he even shared with Bruce Willis during the making of the film. Wiseman is probably best known for the Underworld series of films. Live Free or Die Hard stays true to the classic formula created by the first three films, but it still manages to bring the film and McClane into the 21st century. The man who wouldn't even know much about faxing in the last film is now dealing with a man who has taken over the nation's computers using the hackers who know their way around any computer system.

Once their job is done, those very hackers are then eliminated — all except for one played by Justin Long in this film, the one that Det. John McClane is asked to bring to D.C. for questioning. Just another small assignment that ends up throwing McClane right into the thick of the action as Thomas Gabriel, played by Timothy Olyphant, wreaks havoc on the computer world to show the country just what might happen if terrorists took them over. He had warned them of the possibility of such a plot, but they hadn't listened. Now he is showing them just what can happen in an event called a fire sale, where, yes, everything must go. Access to everything shut down in a matter of moments. Electricity, transportation, phones, financial, and television signals captured by a simple press of a few buttons.

For over two hours, we watch as McClane is dragged quickly into the twenty-first century as he learns about computers and just how much they control. His main focus is getting the bad guy to stop, and this becomes a personal mission for him, as it always does in these films, when his daughter is kidnapped by Gabriel. We have non-stop action, funny dialogue, and some great fight scenes that make this film worth seeing.

I was recently able to see the two-disc unrated edition, and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie from the first moment on. Mary Elizabeth Winstead comes in as McClane's daughter, and her performance is spot on. She is definitely her father's daughter. Justin Long is also one to watch. What I enjoyed most about this edition of the film, and what I think makes it the only edition of this film to buy, is the documentary on the second disc. We're taken step by step from concept to final product. This DVD topped the rental and sales charts the first week of its release, and there is no telling if it will do the same in its second. Yippie ki yay is right though. This DVD is a must own for any Die Hard fan.

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