DIGITAL BREAKDOWN: Everyone should ‘Live Free’

Some people complained about the fourth installment of the “Die Hard” series because it had a watered-down PG-13 rating, while the previous movies in the franchise were rated R for violence and language. This is where the DVD format is superior to films on the big screen; on this disc, we have “Live Free or Die Hard” in all its foul-mouthed, blood-filled and violence-laden glory.

The unrated edition puts the f-bombs back into the film; it also has much more blood and violence than the theatrically released version. The movie itself is a highly enjoyable, fun action flick, again starring Bruce Willis as John McClane, back doing what he does best — fighting against the odds and tech-savvy terrorists bound on destroying the infrastructure of America. “Deadwood’s” Timothy Olyphant is the impressive antagonist, the beautiful Maggie Q is a kung-fu baddie, and Justine Long plays a computer hacker for comic relief. As with all of the “Die Hard” movies, this takes serious suspension of belief to watch — but that’s what makes it so fun.

The DVD includes a making-of documentary, a featurette with Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis, deleted scenes, and more.

Price: $34.98.

Rent or buy: Buy.


Wow, at last it’s here: the original “Star Trek” series in high definition. The first of three HD DVD sets, Season One has 29 episodes delivered in their original broadcast order, including “City on the Edge of Forever,” “The Menagerie” and “Errand of Mercy.” The cool thing is that Paramount Home Entertainment has included 80 minutes of featurettes filled with interviews with “Star Trek” casts and producers from more recent years, as well as vintage interviews with creator Gene Roddenberry. While there are no audio commentaries, there are text pop-up commentaries from Michael and Denise Okuda, who wrote “The Star Trek Encyclopedia.”

Price: $198.98

Rent or buy: Buy.


While the idea of John Travolta dressed in drag and in a fat suit isn’t all that appealing, if you can get past that, this adaptation of the 2002 Broadway musical does the original story (from a previous John Waters movie) justice. There’s a great cast, good music, and above all else, a host of likable characters who generally love life. The second disc’s extras include information on the script, music and adaptation, as well as deleted scenes and audio commentary.

Price: $34.98.

Rent or buy: Good rental.


How do you freshen up a series that’s been airing for seven years? You create a recurring bad guy to foil the foreign crime lab at every possible turn. The Miniature Killer was the highlight of the seventh season of “CSI,” collected here on DVD. There also were some really nice growth points for some characters. Greg had to deal with a situation involving a child’s possible death, and the relationship between Grissom and Sara grew extensively.

Price: $88.99.

Rent or buy: Buy.


This reality show is set in Canada’s Northwest Territory, thousands of miles from civilization, where perilous roads actually are frozen lakes. Wanting to make some fast cash, truckers, using their own vehicles, brave the roads, hauling supplies to remote diamond mine workers. This series is unlike any on TV; the perils the truckers endure are simply fascinating to watch. The DVD includes episodes from the first season as well as the pilot, which never aired, and deleted scenes. Price: $34.95. Rent or buy: Buy.

Other DVDs coming out Tuesday: “The Santa Clause 3 — The Escape Clause,” “Gene Simmons Family Jewels: The Complete Season Two,” “The History Channel Presents: The Universe,” “Wild, Wild West — Season Three,” “Titanic — 10th Anniversary Edition,” “Mission: Impossible: Season Three,” “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse,” “Rescue Dawn,” “Bill Maher: The Decider,” “Stir of Echoes 2: The Homecoming,” “The Batman: The Complete Fourth Season,” “Teen Titans: The Complete Fourth Season” and “Love, American Style — Season One, Volume One.”

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

A “for rent” sign outside an apartment complex in the Mission District on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Housing inventory wins unanimous approval from supervisors

Legislation will require landlords to register properties, report vacancies and rents

Dr. Grant Colfax and Mayor London Breed said new restrictions could come this week due to rising COVID-19 cases. (Examiner screenshot)
Breed: ‘More restrictive action’ needed to slow spread of COVID-19

San Francisco officials said Tuesday tougher restrictions will soon be imposed to… Continue reading

Harlan Kelly, head of the SFPUC and husband to City Administrator Naomi Kelly (right), faces federal charges for allegedly trading inside information on a city contract in return for a paid family vacation. (Courtesy photo)
Harlan Kelly, head of SFPUC, charged with fraud in widening Nuru scandal

Kelly accused of engaging in corrupt partnership with permit expediter

Jeff Tumlin, director of transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said the agency’s fiscal situation is “far worse” than the worse case scenarios projected back in April. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA prepares for massive potential layoffs as budget crisis continues to build

More than 1,200 full-time jobs on the line as agency struggles to close deficit

Mike McShane voices Scrooge in San Francisco Mime Troupe’s radio play “A Red Carol.” <ins>(Courtesy Karen Samski)</ins>
S.F. Mime Troupe tackles Dickens in ‘A Red Carol’

Radio play offers a new take on holiday classic

Most Read