Overall | Dirty Harry (Remastered) (1971) | Magnum Force (1973) | The Enforcer (1976) | Sudden Impact (1983) | Dead Pool (1988)

The Dirty Harry Collection (1971)

The Dirty Harry Collection (1971)

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Released 18-Nov-2002

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Overall Package

    The Dirty Harry Collection is, as its name suggests, a complete collection of all five Dirty Harry movies; Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact and The Dead Pool. All of these DVDs have been previously released individually, and this box set simply combines all of them into a single, coherent box set.

    The box set itself warrants specific mention, as its gatefold presentation is, to say the very least, most unusual. Unlike most gatefold packages, which fold out flat, this gatefold folds out flat and then an additional flap folds down at the right of the package, containing the perfunctory booklet which merely replicates the back covers and chapter listings of the previously-released DVDs. What is unusual about this gatefold is that Dirty Harry's gun, a Magnum .44, is printed on its inside - an extremely impressive effort from a presentation point of view (it's a REALLY big gun), but incredibly fragile in terms of long-term durability. Handle this packaging with extreme care!

    At $99.95 for over 500 minutes worth of Dirty Harry, this package represents a substantial saving over purchasing these titles individually (5 x $34.95 = $174.75), so is well worth it if you are a Dirty Harry fan and don't already own all the movies in this collection.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Dirty Harry (Remastered) (1971) | Magnum Force (1973) | The Enforcer (1976) | Sudden Impact (1983) | Dead Pool (1988)

Dirty Harry (Remastered) (1971)

Dirty Harry (Remastered) (1971)

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Released 20-Nov-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio
Listing-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Dirty Harry's Way
Featurette-Dirty Harry: The Original
Interviews-Cast & Crew-10
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1971
Running Time 98:18
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (64:10) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Don Siegel
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Clint Eastwood
Harry Guardino
Rene Santoni
Andy Robinson
John Vernon
John Larch
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Lalo Schifrin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Dutch
Arabic
Spanish
Portuguese
German
Romanian
Bulgarian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This is a remastering of Dirty Harry ('tis the season for remast'rin'...).  I refer you to our review of the original (here) for a synopsis of the plot.

    The original disc was not too bad, all things considered. The movie was made in 1971, so it's 30 years old. Normally I'd expect that to mean that we get lots of  film artefacts, somewhat washed-out colours, and so-so sound. The original disc was better than that. This remastering is rather better again. And they've added some good extras to the disc.

    This was the first movie of its kind, and it had a dramatic impact. It invented a new kind of police hero, and a new genre of police thrillers. So successful was the original that it spawned four sequels - kinda funny for a film that ends in the way that this one does...

    When I first got a DVD player, I made a list of the movies I wanted to collect. The Dirty Harry series was high on that list. When the original version of this disc came out I leapt at it, and was not overly disappointed. Alright, I was a little disappointed. Since then, I've been waiting for the remainder of the films to be released. The wait is over: all of them are being released together. In Region 1 they are being released as a box set. Here they aren't, but that's OK - it means you can buy them gradually, rather than having to front up with all the money at once.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. That's the original aspect ratio.

    The image is razor-sharp, with slightly reduced shadow detail. There is no low level noise. The night-time scenes, which are plentiful, have a lot of unrelieved black, but that is OK, as that is true to the source material.

    Colour is surprisingly good for an early 70s film. Many films of this era show faded colour. This one does not. Greens and blues come up well. Reds are nearly as good - blood is very bright red. A lot of the colour looks a little drab, but that is production design rather than a failing in the rendering. For a simple example, look at the yellow swimsuit that appears in the opening scene - bright and colourful.

    The transfer is excellent, but the movie is 30 years old. So it is inevitable that we get a few film artefacts. They are most noticeable on shots with a lot of sky - they show up strongly against the sky. Aliasing is prevalent, and I'd attribute that to the sharpness of the transfer - if they'd backed off the sharpness a little they may have reduced the aliasing. There is some minor noise on backgrounds, but that is almost unavoidable with MPEG encoding. There are no obvious MPEG errors. 

    The subtitles are fine. They're white with a black border, in a simple sans serif font, placed over the bottom of the picture. They are accurate enough, and well-timed.

    The disc is single-sided, dual-layer, formatted as RSDL. The layer change is at 64:10. It is placed on a still shot with nobody in view - not easy to see.



Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    We get a choice of soundtracks; English, French, and Italian. The English soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1 at 384 kbps - that's what I listened to. The other two soundtracks are Dolby Digital mono at 192 kbps.

    The dialogue is clear and understandable. There are no visible audio sync problems.

    The score is a classic Lalo Schifrin effort. Very 70s, and that's exactly what it should be. It is not as memorable as the music from Shaft, but it fits well.

    The surrounds don't get a lot of use, although they had fun with the helicopter in the scene where the helicopter spots Scorpio on the rooftop (why is it always helicopters?). The subwoofer isn't used heavily, but it does get some exercise.



Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The original R1 disc had extras, but they were all text-based, to fit them onto a single layer with the film. The original R4 had no extras at all. The extras on this disc are mostly video, because of the extra space afforded by an RSDL disc.

Menu

    The main menu is static, with music. It is much more attractive than the previous menu.

Cast and Crew

    A simple list of the main players, nothing more.

Original Documentary - Dirty Harry's Way (6:48)

    A short featurette about the movie - an extended trailer, of the sort they used to have prior to the development of the "making of". It includes segments from the film, but they are horribly grainy and scratchy.

New Documentary - Dirty Harry: The Original (29:45)

    A documentary made last year, it covers the entire series of Dirty Harry movies, with some emphasis on the first one. It is presented by Robert Urich, and features interviews with a lot of people, including Arnold Schwarzenegger. It makes some interesting points about the influence of Dirty Harry on films that followed.

Interview Gallery

    This is a list of interviews with ten people (all of whom feature in the new documentary - they clearly shot both at the same time). The interviewees are:

Trailer (3:20)

    A trailer presented in about 1.85:1 and not 16x9 enhanced. Has a memorable comment, saying that Dirty Harry is a movie about two killers - the one with a badge is Harry. 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The original R1 was a doubled-sided disc (pan-and-scan on one side, wide screen on the other), cramming the movie and text-based extras onto a single layer. The original R4 was a single-sided, single layer disc - like having the widescreen side of the R1, but without the extras (because of the extra space occupied by PAL instead of NTSC). The remastered R1 is not yet available (it gets released on the 12th of November 2001). This new R4 offers a significantly better transfer, good extras, and the luxury of spreading the movie across two layers. I'm guessing that the new R1 will be similar.

Summary

    This is a very good remastering of an influential film - this is the version I want to collect.

    The video quality is very good, especially considering the age of the film.

    The audio quality is good, but doesn't really take advantage of the 5.1 mix. That's OK - the original soundtrack was mono.

    The extras are good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Monday, October 22, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDArcam DV88, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Vincent C
DVDAnswers - Warwick G
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Kevin S
DVD Plaza - Anthony C (read my bio)

Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Dirty Harry (Remastered) (1971) | Magnum Force (1973) | The Enforcer (1976) | Sudden Impact (1983) | Dead Pool (1988)

Magnum Force (1973)

Magnum Force (1973)

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Released 20-Nov-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio
Listing-Cast & Crew
Featurette-The Hero Cop-Yesterday And Today
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1973
Running Time 117:33
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (75:24) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Ted Post
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Clint Eastwood
Hal Holbrook
Tim Mathison
David Soul
Robert Urich
Kip Niven
Mitchell Ryan
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Lalo Schifrin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Dutch
Arabic
Spanish
Portuguese
German
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This is the second Dirty Harry movie. The first one (Dirty Harry - reviewed here) was intended to be a standalone movie, but it was too successful to escape a sequel. Magnum Force is that sequel. It tries very hard to capture the qualities that made Dirty Harry a hit.

    Magnum Force is about a motorcycle cop killing off high-profile criminals - we see that it's a motorcycle cop from the beginning, but Harry doesn't find out for a while. We get to see a bit of Harry's home life in this movie, not that there's a lot to his home life. And he gets to meet some of his neighbours, including the attractive young lady downstairs. We get to see Harry competing in the police combat shooting competition (he's the reigning champion, unsurprisingly).

    You know, I thought every Dirty Harry movie had a tagline. The first one had "Do you feel lucky?". I was surprised to find that there's no such tagline in Magnum Force. The closest we get is Harry saying "a man has to know his limitations"; but it isn't the same without him pointing his gun at a crook.

    There are definite elements to each Dirty Harry movie, however. Early in the movie, Harry stumbles into a crime being committed, and deals with things in his own inimitable way. His partner is always a representative of a minority; in this case an African-American. Before the movie is over, Harry will have mouthed off to authority, fired several shots, been shot at repeatedly, and will have solved the case in an unconventional way. And Albert Popwell will have a small part; in this movie he's a big-time pimp (he was the target of "do you feel lucky, punk?" in Dirty Harry, he's the leader of a sect in The Enforcer, and Harry's colleague in Sudden Impact).

    It wasn't until I saw this movie again that I noticed how closely the theme to Gunsmith Cats (review here) resembles the theme to Magnum Force. That's probably deliberate.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. That's the original aspect ratio.

    The image is fairly sharp. Shadow detail is limited, with a fair bit of unrelieved black, especially in night-time scenes. There's absolutely no low-level noise, though.

    Colour is excellent. Bright, fully saturated colours appear without over-saturation or colour bleed. Much of the colour palette is a little drab, however, to imply the sordidness of Harry's working life.

    There are almost no few film artefacts, which is amazing for a film this old. The real problem is aliasing - there is noticeable aliasing on every car grille, every car door, Venetian blinds - every possible place; there's even moire on the walls of the shooting range - it's continual, but it never gets above noticeable to irritating. There is some shimmer in backgrounds, too, but it's fairly minor. There's nothing particular in the way of MPEG artefacts. There's a little bit of telecine wobble on the credits, but I suspect that may be inherent in the source material.

    The subtitles are fine. They're white with a black border, in a simple sans serif font, placed over the bottom of the picture. They are accurate enough, and well-timed. There are lots of gaps without any dialogue, so don't worry if you don't see any subtitles for a while.

    The disc is single-sided and dual-layered, formatted as RSDL. The layer change is at 74:24. It is placed at a cut from a black night-time scene to a door just before it opens. With no sound at the time, the layer change is invisible - nice work.



Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    We get three soundtracks: English, French, and Italian. The English soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1 at 384 kbps - that's what I listened to. The other two soundtracks are Dolby Digital mono at 192 kbps. Exactly the same as Dirty Harry - they have been consistent on this.

    The dialogue is clear and mostly understandable, even with the variety of accents. There are no visible audio sync problems.

    The score is another Lalo Schifrin. It's not the same as Dirty Harry, but definitely related. It's not deathless, but it does the job.

    The surrounds are used nicely on some effects, but they don't get a lot of use. The subwoofer is the same - there's not a huge amount of lower octave.



Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The main menu is static, with music. It is very plain, and not awfully pretty, but it's functional.

Cast and Crew

    A simple list of the main players, nothing more.

Featurette: The Hero Cop - Yesterday and Today (8:04)

    Basically an extended trailer, but it is of dreadful quality. Limited historical interest.

Trailer (2:16)

    The trailer is presented in about 1.78:1. It is reasonable quality. 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This movie has not been previously released in R1; it is being released as part of the Dirty Harry box set on 20 November 2001. The features sound like they will be the same.

Summary

    Magnum Force is a rather good DVD of a classic Dirty Harry movie.

    The video quality is quite good, considering the age of the film, except for the aliasing.

    The audio quality is good, but doesn't really take advantage of the 5.1 mix. The original soundtrack was mono.

    The extras are rudimentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, October 30, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDArcam DV88, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Vincent C
DVDAnswers - Warwick G
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Kevin S

Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Dirty Harry (Remastered) (1971) | Magnum Force (1973) | The Enforcer (1976) | Sudden Impact (1983) | Dead Pool (1988)

The Enforcer (1976)

The Enforcer (1976)

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Released 20-Nov-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio
Listing-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Harry Callahan/Clint Eastwood: Something Special In Films
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1976
Running Time 92:38
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (33:44) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By James Fargo
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Clint Eastwood
Tyne Daly
Harry Guardino
Bradford Dillman
John Mitchum
DeVeren BookWalter
John Crawford
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Jerry Fielding


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Dutch
Arabic
Spanish
Portuguese
German
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This is the third Dirty Harry movie. It follows Dirty Harry (reviewed here) and Magnum Force (reviewed here). It has become topical again, in a way, because it involves terrorism. It's Dirty Harry versus terrorists, but these are amateur terrorists - although some of them are later revealed to be in it for the money, rather than the politics.

    They have introduced a few twists on regular Dirty Harry elements. For one thing, one of Harry's partners isn't killed until after he and Harry are split up.

    This is another Dirty Harry movie without a tagline. The closest we get is Harry saying "Marvellous" occasionally. 

    This movie drives home how much things have changed since this movie was made. The cars are a bit old-fashioned, but that's nothing special. Most of the police carry revolvers. Women's Liberation is at its height. But perhaps the most obvious difference is mobile phones - Harry calls in from public phones. It's also clear that the disposable shoulder-fired rocket was a brand-new thing - the film-makers have to demonstrate it for us, so we understand it. The moment they do, we know that Harry will end up using one as an accessory to his hand cannon. There's another thing that's dated - Alcatraz was apparently not a tourist attraction at the time.

    Harry Callahan is always unconventional. His idea of hostage negotiations is novel, as is his way of interviewing candidates for police inspector (the San Francisco Police Department's term for detective - their inspectors are rather lower in rank than ours). After expressing his doubts over the fitness of women as police inspectors in the field it is somewhat fitting that Harry ends up with a female partner (Tyne Daly, of Cagney and Lacey fame).

    There was one scene that showed a distinct lack of attention to detail. They are in an armoury, with guns, ammunition, and explosives all around, and they are firing guns at one another - I was waiting for an explosion, but none came.

    There's one instance of gratuitous nudity as Harry chases a suspect through a house where they're filming what looks like a porn movie. Can't see what the point of this was.

    Albert Popwell's role in this movie is as Mustapha, leader of a black militant group called Uhuru. I like playing "Find Albert" in Dirty Harry movies - he gets a different role every time.

    I do wish they'd get the spelling of Callahan consistent - it's Callahan in the subtitles and extras, but Calahan in the credits.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. Just as it was made.

    The image is quite sharp. Shadow detail is limited, with a fair bit of unrelieved black, especially in night-time scenes - most of this movie takes place during the day, though. There is no low-level noise to be seen, which is nice.

    Colour is solid, although flesh tones looked a touch orange at times. There was no sign of oversaturation or colour bleed.

    There are very few film artefacts; see 19:20 for about the only instance. There is a little bit of shimmer, but a whole heap of aliasing on car doors, grilles, and Harry's jacket - perhaps it might have been better to make the transfer a little less sharp, to reduce the aliasing.

    The subtitles are easy to read, in white with a black border. They are presented with a simple sans-serif font, located over the bottom of the picture (rather than under it). I spotted one error: there's a reference to a knife which is subtitled as a "boy", when the speaker clearly says "Bowie", as in "Bowie knife".

    The disc is single-sided and dual-layered, formatted as RSDL. The layer change is barely noticeable at 33:44, in a scene change. It is not quite as well hidden as the layer change in Magnum Force, but it's perfectly acceptable.



Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Once again we get three soundtracks: English, French, and Italian. The English soundtrack is a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack at 384 kbps - that's what I listened to. The other two soundtracks are Dolby Digital mono soundtracks at 192 kbps. Looks like they've standardised the languages for all of the Dirty Harry movies.

    The dialogue is clear and comprehensible. There are no visible audio sync problems.

    The score is by Jerry Fielding. Quite a change from Lalo Schifrin, who scored the first two Dirty Harry movies. The score is a bit sparse, with lots of stretches without any music, but it does cover all of the action sequences.

    The surrounds are used nicely on occasions, but they're not heavily used. The subwoofer is the same - not a huge amount of low bass.



Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The main menu is static, with music over the main menu. It is a plain photo, but it's functional.

Cast and Crew

    Nothing more than a one page list of the main players.

Featurette: Harry Callahan / Clint Eastwood - Something Special in Films (6:01)

    Another extended trailer, with pretensions to covering all the Dirty Harry films. The excerpts from the film are very grainy.

Trailer (2:12)

    A trailer presented in about 2.35:1. Nothing special. 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This movie has not been previously released in R1. It is being released as part of the Dirty Harry box set, on 20 November 2001. The features sound like they will be the same.

Summary

    The Enforcer is a reasonable DVD of a decent-enough movie - not the best Dirty Harry, but OK.

    The video quality is quite good, except for a large amount of aliasing.

    The audio quality is good, but doesn't really take advantage of the 5.1 mix. The original soundtrack was mono.

    The extras are rather basic.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Friday, November 02, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDArcam DV88, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Vincent C
DVDAnswers - Warwick G
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Kevin S

Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Dirty Harry (Remastered) (1971) | Magnum Force (1973) | The Enforcer (1976) | Sudden Impact (1983) | Dead Pool (1988)

Sudden Impact (1983)

Sudden Impact (1983)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 20-Nov-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio
Listing-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1983
Running Time 112:21
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:09) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Clint Eastwood
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Clint Eastwood
Sondra Locke
Pat Hingle
Bradford Dillman
Paul Drake
Audrie Neenan
Jack Thibeau
Michael Currie
Albert Popwell
Mark Keyloun
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Lalo Schifrin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Dutch
Arabic
Spanish
Portuguese
German
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This is the fourth Dirty Harry movie. The first three are: Dirty Harry (reviewed here), Magnum Force (reviewed here), and The Enforcer (reviewed here). 

    This is perhaps the weakest of the Dirty Harry movies, partly because it includes Sondra Locke. She's a painter and merry-go-round restorer who goes on a killing spree in revenge for the gang rape of her and her sister - I'm not giving much away because we get to see all of her killings. We're not spared the gang rape either - a nasty and overlong flashback. Add in a psychotic killer (or should that be a second one?), a very poor depiction of a lesbian (why would she hang around with a bunch of red-neck guys?), some unrealistic behaviour from a small-town police chief (Pat Hingle tries very hard to sell the character, but he fails), and you have all the elements you need for a weak script.

    There are some nice bits: I do like Harry's way of handling a robbery in a coffee shop (beats Pulp Fiction), and this is the movie where he utters those immortal words: "Make my day", and "You're a legend in your own mind".

    The essence of the story is that Harry is sent away from San Francisco to San Paulo to investigate the background to a homicide because he's made himself a target for assassination by giving a mob boss a heart-attack at a wedding. As you'd expect, a simple background investigation becomes something much larger with Harry involved.

    Early in the film we're introduced to Harry's new toy - a .44 magnum automatic - another hand-cannon even more intimidating that the .44 magnum revolver Harry carries on duty.

    For those of us tracking Albert Popwell, in this movie he's Horace, a colleague of Harry's, one of the ones who likes Harry. He even gives Harry a dog.

    Even a weakly-scripted Dirty Harry movie is worth seeing. I have to suggest you get the others first, because they're better films, but this one is not a complete waste of time.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is sharp and clear. Shadow detail is limited, especially in low light, resulting in quite a lot of plain black. Night-time scenes look like they came from the first season of Buffy, with a mostly black shot punctuated with a few visible elements. Daytime scenes are nicely detailed, though. There's no low level noise.

    Colour, especially in daylight, is solid and well-saturated; there is no oversaturation or colour bleed to be seen.

    There is a whole heap of shimmer, which isn't helped by the clothing choices - lots of plaid and tweedy fabrics. And there's aliasing in almost every shot: car grilles and door frames, window treatments, even road markings; it is omnipresent, but never hugely objectionable. There are one or two tiny film artefacts, but they're completely negligible. 

    The subtitles are easy to read, in white with a black border. They are rendered with a simple sans-serif font, located over the bottom of the picture (rather than under it). They are definitely subtitles, rather than captions, because they don't cover the sound effects.

    The disc is single-sided and dual-layered, formatted as RSDL. The layer change at 57:09 is placed at a scene change, and is not noticeable on some players. On others it is barely noticeable. Nice work, but not the best I've ever seen. I do like the way that they're getting better and better at hiding the layer change, though.



Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Every Dirty Harry movie is the same; we get three soundtracks: English, French, and Italian. The English soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1 at 384 kbps - that's what I listened to. The other two soundtracks are Dolby Digital mono at 192 kbps.

    The dialogue is clear and easily understood. There are no visible audio sync problems.

    The score is by Lalo Schifrin. After trying Jerry Fielding for The Enforcer they went back to Schifrin again. It means that the soundtrack is what we expect for a Dirty Harry movie.

    The surrounds are used well for gunfire, but that's about all the use they get. The subwoofer is not noticeable. Considering that the original soundtrack was mono, that's not too bad.



Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    It seems like each movie in the series gets fewer extras.

Menu

    The menus are static, with sound over the main menu. It is a plain photo, but it's functional. They've done one slightly unusual thing - the menu is arranged horizontally, with the choices as vertical bars.

Cast and Crew

    A one-page list of the main players.

Trailer (1:24)

    A trailer presented in anamorphic 2.35:1. Emphasises "Go ahead, make my day". 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This movie has not been previously released in R1; it is being released as part of the Dirty Harry box set, on 20 November 2001. The features sound like they will be the same.

Summary

    Sudden Impact is the weakest Dirty Harry movie, presented on a reasonable DVD with quite a bit of aliasing and shimmer.

    The video quality is very good, except for the aliasing and shimmer.

    The audio quality is good, but doesn't really use the 5.1 mix. The original soundtrack was mono.

    The extras are basic.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Saturday, November 03, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDArcam DV88, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Vincent C
DVDAnswers - Warwick G
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Kevin S
DVD Plaza - Anthony C (read my bio)

Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Dirty Harry (Remastered) (1971) | Magnum Force (1973) | The Enforcer (1976) | Sudden Impact (1983) | Dead Pool (1988)

Dead Pool (1988)

Dead Pool (1988)

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Released 20-Nov-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio
Listing-Cast & Crew-1 page
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1988
Running Time 87:28
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Buddy Van Horn
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Clint Eastwood
Evan Kim
Patricia Clarkson
Liam Neeson
James Carrey
David Hunt
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music Lalo Schifrin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Dutch
Arabic
Spanish
Portuguese
German
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The Dead Pool is the fifth and final (so far) Dirty Harry movie. It was made five years after the fourth instalment: Sudden Impact (see our review here). In many ways, this doesn't quite fit with the other Dirty Harry movies, and that's not just because Clint Eastwood was starting to get a little old for the role. All the other Dirty Harrys are in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 - this one is 1.85:1; all the others had a number of actors in common (including Albert Popwell - the one I always look for) - none of the familiar faces (Harry Guardino, for example) appear here. The only familiar elements are Clint Eastwood, his gun, and Lalo Schifrin's music. Heck, even Harry's saying in this movie is objectionable: "You're sh*t out of luck".

    The movie does have some redeeming features: we get to see early roles for Jim Carrey (he is billed as James Carrey) - he plays a drug-using rock star (voiced by Guns'n'Roses) - and Liam Neeson - he's Peter Swan, the director of a music video / movie.

    This time Harry's new partner is a Chinese/American (maybe one of the reasons this is the last Dirty Harry is because they ran out of minorities?) Al Quan (Evan Kim).

    There are two central threads to this movie: the dead pool, and Dirty Harry's relationship with the media. The dead pool is a macabre game, in which each participant selects a list of celebrities who may die before the year's end - the winner has the greatest number of dead celebrities. Harry's interaction with the media has rarely been calm. In this case, the media, as personified by Patricia Clarkson, playing Samantha Walker (that name's been used more than once...), manipulates the circumstances to get Harry out to dinner.

    There are additional complications - Harry has just put a mob boss (Lou Janero) in prison. Janero is not happy, and he sends killers after Harry, until Harry comes up with a novel solution to this problem. Harry's solution is amusing.

    There's less plot to this movie than previous Dirty Harry movies - it's less satisfying.

    In passing, I would like to mention that I've finally had a chance to see the artwork for the recent releases of Clint Eastwood movies: they've done a nice job of tying all the movies together, while preserving the original art. If you collect these movies, they'll look good sitting together on the shelf. And it's not just the Dirty Harry movies, either - a number of others have been released in matching covers.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced. That's the original aspect ratio.

    The image is fairly sharp, with adequate shadow detail. There is no low level visible noise. The night-time scenes are somewhat grainier, but that's inherent in the source material.

    Colour is strong and fully saturated. There's no colour bleed.

    There are no visible film artefacts, but there are frequent traces of aliasing, and a moment or two of moire. There are no MPEG artefacts - that's good.

    The subtitles are attractive, in white with a black border. They are accurate enough, and well-timed.

    The disc is single-sided and single layered, so there's no layer change. Amusingly, the cover reads "SINGLE-LAYER FORMAT. Layer transition may trigger a slight pause" - that's perfectly true, but a bit misleading.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    We get the same choice of soundtracks as on all the other Dirty Harry movies: English, French, and Italian. The English soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1 at 384 kbps - that's what I listened to. The other two soundtracks are Dolby Digital stereo, surround encoded.

    The dialogue is clear and understandable. There are no visible audio sync problems.

    The score is more Lalo Schifrin. Standard for a Dirty Harry movie.

    The surrounds are used nicely for ambience. They get some of the score, too, but it is the ambient sounds that show real artistry. The subwoofer never draws attention to itself, but it works in well.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    This disc has the fewest extras of any of the Dirty Harry movies.

Menu

    The main menu is static, with music. It is much like all the other Dirty Harry menus.

Cast and Crew

    A simple list of the main players, nothing more.

Trailer (1:26)

    A trailer presented in about 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version is missing:

    The Region 1 version is missing:

    That makes me lean towards the Region 4 version already (I detest snapper cases). Add in the fact that both versions have pretty much equivalent transfers, except that the R1 is NTSC and the R4 is PAL, and I favour the Region 4.

Summary

    This is a good presentation on DVD of a reasonable movie.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is fine.

    The extras are basic.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Sunday, December 09, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDArcam DV88, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Vincent C
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Kevin S

Comments (Add) NONE