Director William Friedkin, best known for ''The French Connection,'' takes amoral cop drama to the Left Coast in To Live and Die in L.A., a film that's both more vibrant and more nihilistic than that classic, if not its peer otherwise. It's a kick to watch a lanky, fresh-faced William Petersen (now starring on CBS's ''CSI'') as a federal agent who -- you guessed it -- plays by his own rules as he tracks down a sadistic counterfeiting kingpin (a delicious Willem Dafoe). Unfortunately, what was no doubt part of ''L.A.'''s original allure -- namely, its sun-bleached rendition of Reagan-era malaise -- now lends a time-capsule feel to the proceedings (as does the painful Wang Chung soundtrack).
EXTRAS A making-of doc, ''Counterfeit World,'' includes Friedkin's, Petersen's, and Dafoe's thoughtful deconstruction of the plot. Another, shorter feature provides an alternate take on the film's jaw-dropping climax.