Christopher J. Jarmick | Seattle, Wa. USA | 12/06/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The November 2001 'Collection' release should please Dirty Harry
die-hards a great deal. Look up the individual titles for more detailed comments from me.=-=-=-==-=-=-=-DIRTY HARRY (1971) 4- Stars=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=A very well made genre film that holds up very well and remains
a pretty violent and gritty film. Directed by Don Siegel and featuring one of Eastwoods finest and most charismatic performances, this is the one that set into stone one of the most enduring formulas for action films. A formula still in use today.=-=-=-=-=-=-=Magnum Force (1973) 3 1/2 stars=-=-=-=-=-=-=
the first Harry sequel is a film for action movie and or Eastwood junkies to appreciate. It softens Dirty Harry's character however and actually makes more political type statements than Dirty Harry does. It's not a great genre film but it mostly holds up pretty well and is entertaining. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=THE ENFORCER (1976) 2 1/2 stars=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=The Enforcer really changed Harry Callahan's character. On one hand he's a bad-(...) quick with the quips kind of a guy... but he's really quite a softie. The film turns Harry into a kind of fish out of water dinosaur. When it was made, that variation on the Action film hero wasn't as cliché'd as it is now, but it still feels forced and insincere. It's watch-able but don't have high expectations for this one. Lalo Schiffrin didn't do the score for this one unfortunately and he's missed. This is also John (one year younger brother of Robert) Mitchum's last Harry film (he played Detective
'Fatso' DiGeorgio in the first three Harry's). * * * * =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-SUDDEN IMPACT (1983) 3 1/2 stars=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
This is probably the best Harry sequel, and though it doesn't quite offer as much visceral fun as the other Harry's it's one to catch if you're an Eastwood/Harry fan. This is the only Dirty Harry that Eastwood directed.=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-DEAD POOL (1988) 2 stars =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Dead Pool undoubtedly looked great on paper for several reasons. Unfortunately it plays out like
A very desperate, tired film with ideas that are more silly than clever.
DVD STUFFNearly all of the films in the Dirty Harry Collection of DVD's are presented in Anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen The exception would be The Dead Pool (1.85:1). The original Dirty Harry is not a re-release of the original DVD from a couple of years ago. This time out a sterling print was found and restored and digitally transferred. The original Dirty Harry has never looked better. Most of these 5 Dirty Harry films are presented at their best with colors vibrant, black levels strong and few technical problems present. Sudden Impact's quality is slightly less and there's a couple of moments where print damage glitches are very noticeable. Minor stuff over-all thankfully. The Enforcer and Dead Pool are the two films that are not Dual Layered, but in the case of The Enforcer that doesn't seem to affect the quality at all. Dead Pool's presentation is a few links down the chain from the others. It's the newest film but has the most flaws visible. It's a little less crisp and sharp than even the original Dirty Harry and has more print damage visible than the others.
All of the films have been given a complete audio over-haul and the engineers have done a superb job on all the films. The older films in particular have been improved a great deal with a very well done sound re-design. I suspect some re-recording of some foley type effects took place because some of the sound effects sound utterly free from distortion which you would expect to crop up in loud sound effects from 30 years ago. All of the films have a Dolby 5.1. track that has been masterfully presented. Dialogue is easy to hear, and the sound effects
And music effectively use the surround capabilities of all the speakers without over-doing it .DVD EXTRAS:Dirty Harry has by far the most extras of any DVD in this series. I have reviewed Dirty Harry Separately but a heres a quick run-down of its extras: * * * * This new Dirty Harry release boasts several features including the all new 30th anniversary Documentary Dirty Harry:The Original. A 29 minute puff piece celebration of all things Harry Callahan that Dirty Harry fans will enjoy. Not a hint of controversy is mentioned and not a discourage word is uttered. Those interviewed recently for the documentary include: Clint Eastwood, Andy Robinson,John Milius, Evan Kim, Hal Holbrook, Patty Clarkson and Harry fan: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Robert Urich (who was in Magnum Force - Dirty Harry 2) hosts the puff piece as he visits the sites of several of the films' original locations. Lots of clips from the Harry films are included. You also get a separate Interview Gallery which shows slightly longer and sometimes different interview sound bites of all of the above participants. The original promo piece from 1971 is under 7 minutes, called Dirty Harry's Way and is fun to watch containing a few Behind the scenes shots and glimpses of Siegel and company at work making the movie.Magnum Force gets the 8 minute featurette entitled The Hero Cop: Yesterday and Today and was made as part of the promotional campaign for film in 1973. It has some behind the scene snippets of Ted Post directing Eastwood. The original trailer is not in very good shape on this one. The Enforcer gets a short featurette used as publicity in 1976 that looks at the celebrity of Eastwood and of Dirty Harry. A few shots from behind the scenes are included. Sudden Impact and Dead Pool are nearly bare bones with a couple of production notes, memorable lines, list of cast and main crew and their original theatrical trailers included on the DVD. There's nothing of any real substance to any of these extras, but if you're a fan of any of the films you'll enjoy what there is of them.BOTTOM LINE:If you're big fan of all things Dirty Harry you take the plunge and buy the boxed set of all 5 films. It will really 'make your day' but be careful or they might 'blow your head clean off." Christopher Jarmick, is the author of The Glass Cocoon with Serena F. Holder (...)."
Dirty Harry: the original die-hard lethal weapon!
Zagnorch | Terra, Sol System | 12/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Finally! The original die-hard lethal weapon now has all of his adventures available on the digital format! I was wondering what took Warner Bros. so long. And the new digital transfer looks a whole lot better than the old VHS tapes I used to own! Looks like the WB did a bit of film clean-up as well- I don't see nearly as many scratches or other visual clutter in any of the movies like I did the VHS versions. If you're looking for the movies that made the police action genre what it is today, this is the series to take a gander at!There must've been a time when being in a `Dirty Harry' flick was an actor's ticket to modest-to-amazing stardom. Andy Robinson, the Scorpio Killer from the original DH, eventually found his way into the hearts of the Trekkie minions as the Cardassian tailor/spy Garak on `Deep Space Nine'. Along with a brief appearance by Suzanne Somers, Robert Urich (`Vega$') and David Soul (`Starsky & Hutch') were featured in `Magnum Force'. `The Enforcer' saw future `Cagney & Lacey' co-star & 4-time Emmy winner Tyne Daly as yet another unfortunate partner of Detective Callahan. And Liam Neeson & Jim Carrey had their moments in `The Dead Pool'.Like most, I consider the first `Dirty Harry' to be the best. There's just something about the way that it establishes the characters & situations that Harry will have to face in the subsequent flicks. They could've made the fake blood more realistic-looking, however. Also included here: One half-hour documentary hosted by `Magnum Force' co-star Robert Urich, an original '71 behind-the-scenes doc, and theatrical trailer.`Magnum Force' has its moments, and I found the idea of our anti-hero actually defending the system he dislikes against rogue elements in the police department an interesting one. This one also features one noticeable flub: The scene where Harry's dismantling his apartment mail box. After the wimpy complainer starts walking back upstairs saying he doesn't want to get involved, you can see for an instant the shadow of one of the crew members on the wall above the stairway. Then there's the less-than-convincing scene where a nude, coked-up blonde drops several stories to her death. If there's one scene in the entire DH canon that could use some of that `Star Wars Special Edition'-style digital correction, that particular moment is it! Also included is a brief doc on the evolution of cop flicks leading up to the first two `DH' mo-pics, and an original theatrical trailer.I consider `The Enforcer' to be the weakest film of the bunch- the group of heavies looked kinda psycho, but didn't seem as scary or dangerous as previous or subsequent `DH' villains. The LAWS rocket climax was also pretty hokey. However, it has one of my fave moments in the entire series, where Harry asks Big Ed Mustapha, a Black Pantheresque militant, if he knows him from somewhere. This moment is something of an in-joke- Albert Popwell, the guy who portrayed Mustapha, also played the bank robber who felt lucky in `DH', the pimp in `Magnum Force', and Horace in the subsequent `Sudden Impact'. Strangely enough, he's absent from `The Dead Pool'. Also included: brief male full-frontal nudies (gasp!), a mini-doc, and a theatrical trailer.I thought `Sudden Impact' was pretty cool, even though most of it takes place a short distance away from San Francisco, rather than in the city proper. It introduced us to Harry's `old stand-by', the .44 Automag, which made for an impressive addition to our anti-hero's silhouette during the climactic `final fight' scene. And let's not forget the introduction of his most famous line, "Go ahead... make my day." Also added: common-law missus Sondra Locke, and Clint taking to the producer's & director's seat for this one. `SI' also includes the most notable `blooper' in the series: while Harry's trying out the Automag at a makeshift target range in the woods, the aforementioned Horace drives up and opens the driver's side door to get out. As the door opens, you can clearly see the camera man in the driver-side window's reflection! One of cinema's most glaring oopsies. No docs are included here, just the obligatory trailer.Finally, there's the `Dead Pool', featuring the most bizarre car chase scene I've ever witnessed! And who could forget Harry's takin' out the last scumbag? Just when you thought he was dependent on the .44 Magnum revolver to protect himself, he surprises you with his improvisational skills! Also featured: another unfortunate cop partnered up with Callahan who's only one of two folks throughout the five flicks to survive the experience! As expected, a trailer is included.All in all, the Dirty Harry collection box set is a pretty good presentation of the entire series. There's not an exhaustive array of extras, but if you're a big-time fan, I'm sure you'll consider yourself fortunate to have some new stuff to look at. Too bad WB still hasn't caught wind of putting their DVDs in plastic keep cases, rather than those flimsy cardboard snap sleeves that they still seem to be partial to. C'mon, Warner, let's get with the times here!`Late"
Great Film Series! Poor DVD Extra Features.
Mr. | USA | 11/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dirty Harry is without a doubt one the most famous characters ever to be portrayed by Clint Eastwood. It was almost like seeing the man with no name being given a badge in modern times. The first film is arguably the best, for a great deal of reasons. First you have a great villain: Scorpio..completely off his rocker, who's vile and deadly..somebody you want Harry to show no mercy to. Plus this is the only film that ever gives any real insight to who Harry is and why he's become this sort of rogue cop with a vengeance. One of my favorite scenes is when he's talking to his dead partner's wife as he reveals a bit of himself to her. It's a poignant moment we never really ever see again in the Harry character. But the movie succeeds in keeping our eyes glued to the picture because we want Harry to track down Scorpio and save the girl he's kidnapped just as much as Harry does! The final scenerio on a bus is very good. A modern day classic at its best!The other Dirty Harry movies are not as clever as the first film, and by saying that I mean that they're still good movies, but the 1st film is more superior. "Magnum Force" deals with the story of cops who take the law into their own hands (including a young Robert Urich), going a step beyond what even Harry does, thinking he'll join them. "The Enforcer" give a unique twist of pairing Harry with a female partner, played well by Tyne Daly (which is why I think she later ended up on the TV series "Cagney & Lacey"). My personal favorite of the Harry films next to the original has got to be "Sudden Impact", which was also directed by Clint Eastwood. It includes his all time best Dirty Harry line and has a great finale at an amusement park. "The Dead Pool" ends the series with some great wit and action, including a unique car chase with a little remote control car. Add Jim Carrey as a doped up out of his mind rock muscician (using Guns 'N' Roses Welcome To The Jungle as his own song) and what more could you ask for?As great as the movies are I was very disappointed in the slim pickens as far as extra features on the DVDs are concerned. "Dirty Harry" contains a new retrospective documentary, that is pretty good. But why didn't Warner Brothers opt to include the documentary that was included on the Laserdisc Box Set, entitled: "Eastwood: The Man From Malpaso"? Magnum Force & The Enforcer also contain short "Making Of" featurettes that aren't bad. All the other films only contain a trailer. Which means, perhaps some time down the road another box set will be released, filled to the teeth with extras (anybody remember the Die Hard trilogy?). But for people like me who have been waiting and waiting and waiting for all 5 Harry films to become available, as well as to be put together in a nice Box Set, the time to buy is now. I've never even seen any of the films in the Widescreen format (2.35:1), so now I finally can. So make your day or somebody's day and pick up the Dirty Harry Collection DVD Box Set! You'll be glad you did."Go ahead...make my day" - Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry"
Make my day, punk!
Patrick Selitrenny | 10/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the most powerful movie series in the world, and can blow your head clean off. So I have one question. Do you feel lucky? Well do ya, punk!
You'll feel lucky if you own this box set!"
Go Ahead! Make movies like these, if you dare!
Patrick Selitrenny | Switzerland a.k.a. Helvetia Felix | 04/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Despite all the crazy talk about the glorification of violence in this kind of movies, these are the precursors to all modern action flick nowadays.I rate it 4 stars among the five, just because the last two (Sudden Impact & The Dead Pool) where lesser sequels and had weak storylines that tended to repeat themes already elaborated in the first three.Despite all of this, the "Dirty Harry" series are all exceptionally entertaining movies.Chapter 1) - Dirty Harry (The Good)Introduces us to the character and is obviously the best of the bunch especially with a villain such as the one incarnated by the highly talented Andy Robinson (who, by the way, played a more lovable Elim Garak throughout the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series).
A vicious psychopath named Scorpio blackmails the City of San Francisco with a note where he threatens to kill at random until he gets what he wants. Inspector Callahan is called in to hunt him down...Chapter 2) - Magnum Force (The Ugly)
After having been reprimanded for his violent methods, Harry is put out of the game until a few unexplained murders are uncovered. They all look like executions and a few cops are suspected, among them Harry himself...Chapter 3) - The Enforcer (The Emancipated)
This is one of the very first attempts to tell about the presence of terrorism within American society. A group of separatist hoodlums, a few of which are truly psychopaths, take possession of the prison of Alcatraz and hold tourists as hostages in exchange for a ransom.
Harry is reactivated and sent off with a female colleague who disavowes his methods until...Chapter 4) - Sudden Impact (The Deja-vu)
Harry is sent off to a quiet provincial town where nothing happens to purge his "violent tendencies". Suddenly a mysterious woman appears and at the same time strange murders are being committed. Are they connected to the woman or are they just a coincidence?...Chapter 5) - The Dead Pool (The Bad)
Harry goes Hollywood. While a director starts filming a horror flick, strange murders start to happen and exactly as they are described in the script. Is it the director, whose decline is almost certain unless he finds a way to sell the movie? Or is it somebody else who wants to take a revenge?...In other words, Harry is almost always involved with psychopaths.
With such individuals on the loose who can really blame him for pulling the trigger of his Magnum 44 at the right time?Even if the view of most of these movies is a bit unilateral, they are meant to be taken with a grain of salt.
One has to remember the late sixties and early seventies, where hard drugs were pervading American society and where revolutionary movements (true or invented ones) were rampaging all over with no rules nor pity.Out of this explosive situation came a cinematic response which tried to deal with these problems in its own way.
Can it be blamed? Perhaps, but when you are at war, whether on the battlefield or in a moment of social unrest and chaos, you the soldier in this war, have only one choice: kill or be killed.Harry chose his own way, and within the context in which it was dealt, his way seemed the only one possible.
Sorry for pacifists, but at times you have to trigger your own self-preservation button to stay alive...All five movies are well-acted and the characterization given by Clint Eastwood is impeccable in all of them. Be warned though, they are not for the faint-hearted."