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In "Die Hard – With A Vengeance", we find McClaine, nearly an alcoholic. His wife has left him and the NYC police department doesn't hold him in high regard. However, McClaine is called upon by Simon (Jeremy Irons), a terrorist who wants McClaine to play a "game" with him. He joins up with Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson), a shop owner in Harlem who saves him from certain death after the first of many of Simon's games. The two men must play "Simon Says" with the terrorist or risk destroying the entire city of New York.

Die Hard With A Vengeance - Special Edition
Movie
John McTiernan, returns to direct the third film, which I think is much better than the second film, however not as good as the first. This film is filled with tense action sequences, some minor and some major. Willis has mastered the character of John McClaine, however, he seems a bit tired and bored. The story too is not without its flaws, there are several moments within the film where it moves slow and could have benefited by more editing to move the story along.
As usual, Jackson gives a strong performance as Zeus, the shop owner who is unexpectedly thrown into the game of "Simon Says". He is given some great one liners and hits them right on, adding to the chemistry of Willis and Jackson. Unlike the previous two films, this one turns quickly into a "buddy picture", however I don't think it takes away from the franchise.

I thoroughly enjoyed this third installment in the "Die Hard" series. It's filled with some exciting tense action moments and is not restricted to being set in one building or a small area of coverage, but rather the large canvas of New York City. Despite some moments in the film that seemed to drag on, this is a pretty good submission into the franchise. I recommend it!

Video
Fox has presented "Die Hard – With A Vengeance" in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture looks fantastic with well-defined colors, detail and depth. Once again Fox has succeeded in giving moviegoers a smooth and clean picture that looks as the one that was seen at the theater.

Many of the colors in the exterior scenes were vibrant and brought a very good look to New York City. The flesh colors were strong and natural, while the black colors were equally as strong.

There were moments where I did notice a few speckles, however, it did not detract from my viewing pleasure. In fact, aside from a few, and I really mean a few, the picture quality on this release is out of this world.

Die Hard With A Vengeance - Special Edition
Audio
Fox was on a mission when the studio chose to re-release this trilogy of films! Just like the rest of the series, this film is presented in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. The sound of this DVD is absolutely glorious! The surround sounds are utilized quite well and I love the rumblings that are heard after a major explosion in the film. At times, I thought my house was falling down around me! The sound of action on city streets gave me a feeling that I was actually on the sidewalk with the extras, it truly gave me a feeling as if I were there.

The dialogue was crisp and clear as well - without being drowned out by other sound effects, explosions or interference noise.

Extras
Of course Fox couldn't skimp out on the extras on the third "Die Hard" film, after all, they loaded them onto the previous two discs and they loaded them up here as well!

First, there is a commentary from director John McTiernan, screenwriter Jonathon Hensleigh and from Fox, the head of distribution Tom Sherak. McTiernan once again offers stories about the making of this film, while Hensleigh talks about how his screenplay was turned into "Die Hard 3". McTiernan and Hensleigh are the main speakers in this commentary. Sherak simply adds a few lines here and there about the release of this film.

There are three documentaries on the film's biggest action scenes, including the opening explosion, the subway derailment and the cab ride through Central Park. These documentaries are fantastic and explain the step-by-step process of how the scenes were carried out.

There is also a storyboard-to-film comparison on the flood in the tunnel scenes.

Fox has also added a six-minute alternate ending. It's the original ending in Hensleigh's script, however in my opinion it doesn't fit into the flow of the film - had it ended this way. However, I still enjoyed watching it and wondering how much this film would have changed with such an ending. Hensleigh also offers a commentary during the scene.

There is a section that discusses the visual effects of several of the action scenes in a split-screen format using the final version of the film. The scenes shown are "The Great Jump", "Shimmying Down Cable", "Jackson Plummets", "Grabbing Onto Crane", "Fall In Front of Taxi", "Water Gushing Through Tunnel", and "Willis Shot Out of Tunnel."

There are two promotional documentaries and one featurette. The two documentaries are a "Making Of" that was for HBO and "A Night To Die For", which was aired for Fox television. Both provide about the same type of information including interviews with the cast and some funny outtakes. Both are worth a look if for nothing else.

Die Hard With A Vengeance - Special Edition
Finally there are two trailers, 10 television spots, and a short interview with Willis, McTiernan and a villain profile.

Overall
I really enjoyed "Die Hard – With A Vengeance". I thought the action sequences were fantastic and they certainly rumbled my house as well. I would have to say that this film is a better film than the successor! Fox has succeeded in truly bringing a great action franchise to DVD with style and flair, without losing sight of the advantages that the DVD format has to offer. Which includes image and audio quality and a truckload of extras that will keep you busy for a long time.


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