The Dirty Harry Collection DVD Review
PictureFramed anamorphically at 2.35:1 Dirty Harry boasts a fine transfer. The colour palette is dealt with exceptionally well and detail is high. The one letdown is how dark the film becomes in places - for instance, the night time chase through the park midway through is often a real strain.
Like Dirty Harry, the Magnum Force (anamorphic 2.35:1) disc offers a clear, crisp transfer. It boasts well-rendered colours. There is a slight sheen of crawl across some surfaces, but not enough to distract you.
The pin-sharp transfer offered on the The Enforcer (anamorphic 2.35:1) doesn't let the side down. There is more evidence of grain here, but for a film a decade and a half old, this is a top job.
If you're enough of a fan of the series to make it all the way to Sudden Impact (anamorphic, 2.35:1), you're probably not going to care what the disc looks like - however this one's a stunner too. Check out the swirling smoke and breaking glass of the restaurant shoot-out for proof of how well it deals with detail.
Fittingly, The Dead Pool is the weak link in the chain. Grain levels are up on the other discs, and the image is also a tad soft. Curiously, this is the only disc in the collection to be presented in 1.85:1. It is anamorphic.
SoundEach of these discs has been given a shiny new remix, and it's pleasing to report that sound quality across this box set is top notch. Dirty Harry's often violently dynamic soundtrack is dealt with very well. The rampant gunshots and funk never get in the way of the dialogue, surround speakers are particularly well-used.
Magnum Force, meanwhile, creates an equally impressive soundstage, giving Lalo Schifrin's soundtrack a warm and full feel, while vocal and ambient sounds are vivid and lively.
The film may be wildly inferior to the first two, but The Enforcer's soundtrack more than holds up its end. Sound is detailed, yet powerful, with special mention going to the ambience created by the crowd noise and PA announcements at the baseball game - very impressive.
Sudden Impact holds up its end too, the remix giving the film's soundtrack a new vitality. It really has never sounded this good before.
By the time The Dead Pool came along, the sleek musical stylings of the early 70s had been replaced very dodgy 80s metal. It is with regret that we have to report that this disc's 5.1 remix does the film's brutal ambience full justice.
ExtrasExtras-wise, Dirty Harry has by far the most impressive range on offer here. Despite the fact that there's no commentary, the disc is still pleasing with a theatrical trailer, two documentaries (Dirty Harry's Way, Dirty Harry:The Original) and a cast and crew list. The whole thing is rounded off by a selection of interviews with the major players in the making of... the film. As with the series, things start to dip with Magnum Force. A cast and crew sheet and trailer are augmented with publicity/making of... documentary The Hero Cop: Yesterday and Today. The pattern continues with The Enforcer, it also boasts a cast and crew sheet, a trailer and documentary exploring the links between Callahan and Eastwood. Sudden Impact and The Dead Pool boast only a cast and crew sheet and a trailer each.
VerdictThese discs are an object lesson in how catalogue titles should be treated, plus they're a bargain at this price.
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