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  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital Surround
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  • Theatrical trailer
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The Dead Pool

Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 88 mins . M15+ . PAL


Clint Eastwood is back in unfortunately what will probably be his last Dirty Harry role. This is a bit of a shame, because the character really deserves to go out in a blaze of glory with all the promise and attitude Eastwood showed in Dirty Harry 17 years earlier. Instead, we can clearly see that the spark was gone by the time The Dead Pool was made, with Eastwood merely needing another cash cow to fund his next personal project.

This one has everything we had come to expect from the series: a new partner he has to reluctantly team up with, a co-incidental and plot irrelevant shootout to give Harry a chance to say some cool line and shoot some scumbags and the ever present chewing out by his superiors. In The Dead Pool, thereís a new game being played in town. Just draw up a list of the people you think will die soon, put some money on it and wait for the corpses to turn up. With a rock star already being wiped, Harry has joined the ranks of those expected to die, and he isnít too pleased about it. With the people on the list getting picked off one by one, Harry has to find the sicko responsible for the killings before he finds Harry.

Even though the film is a bit of a non event, it is curious for a few other reasons. It contains Jim Carrey in an early role well before his comedic rise to fame. You could see here he had a thing for pulling faces and couldnít act for shit. In a role that probably didnít do anything for his career, Liam Neeson shows up as a ponytailed, dodgy film director. And probably the segment that ages the film more than anything else, Guns íní Roses get a few seconds screen time as friends of Jim Carreyís character. By far the best bit of the film has to be the great spin on the typical movie car chase, when Harry tries to outrun a bomb carrying remote control car. Cleverly, it still has all the hallmarks of a San Franciso chase, with people diving out the way on the sidewalks and the cars flying through the air on the bumpy streets, but done with a car thatís only 30 centimeters long chasing Harry's full sized sedan.

Still, all these things donít quite add up to enough to save this film from being a let down for the end of the Dirty Harry show. The story is only so-so, the acting stilted and OTT for most players and the finale a tad limp. Hopefully Eastwood will see fit to give Harry an Unforgiven quality send off one day, but donít hold your breathe.


As with the previous Dirty Harryís, this film is framed at 1.85.1 and is 16:9 enhanced. It has a nice picture, with a clean source used for the transfer. As usual there are plenty of dark scenes to render, which it does quite well managing to pick detail out of the inky blacness. Colours look nice, generally warm and natural in most cases. Detail levels are quite high and solid, with some slight aliasing and edge enhancement, though this isnít too bad and never really gets out of hand or distracting. This is all comfortably crammed onto a single layer disc which isnít suprising seeing as the film is only 87 minutes long.


The opening music sets this up as a child of the eighties, with its synthesised score all high pitched and fast paced while a shot of the city skyline from a helicopter plays. Nothing to fear here, as the DD5.1 mix at 384kbps sounds fine and generally lively. You could argue that it plays a little forced in some of the use of the rear channels, but then most films could be found guilty of that, so Iíll let it pass. Dialogue is fairly natural sounding, with low mutterings from Harry to his boss easy to understand and the sound not fatiguing. Probably the over riding impression that I got is that it doesnít seem to sound as dynamic as earlier efforts.


Hope you werenít expecting too much to flick through here, because theyíve decided that your thumb has needed a rest from pushing the ENTER button. All you get is a cast and crew list and a theatrical trailer that makes the film look much more like the action flick it wanted to be but never lives up to. Thatís it.


Not the greatest ending to Harryís film exploits, but reasonably entertaining if you donít expect too much. This is probably going to appeal more to people who want to collect the whole Clint Eastwood Collection set of discs, or just the whole Dirty Harry set of films at the least. It does boast a fairly solid and reliable transfer but the lack of any substantial features will be a hindrance to people who need that little extra enticement to outlay a few bucks for their films.

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      And I quote...
    "Not the greatest ending to Harryís film exploits, but reasonably entertaining if you donít expect too much"
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB930
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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