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  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras

    Sweeney!

    Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 92 mins . M15+ . PAL

      Feature
    Contract

    The Sweeney was a taut, terrific and tough crime series from Britain in the 1970s, built around Scotland Yard's ace crime-busters The Flying Squad, and starring John Thaw as Detective Inspector Jack Regan and Dennis Waterman as his offsider, Detective-Sergeant Carter.

    This great series is being released on DVD in both Britain and the States; as an appetiser Universal have issued here the two spin-off movies, Sweeney! and the imaginatively-named Sweeney 2.

    In Sweeney!, a potential Tory cabinet minister is rather embarrassed when his mistress is found dead in a hotel room, apparently of an overdose. Fortunately for this rising star, he has a spin doctor on hand who can clean up the whole messy thing. Sex it down, as it were.

    But as we've found out recently, spin doctors can't be trusted. The whole thing is a plot to compromise the young rising star. And the spin doctor is in fact a ruthless, murderous but apparently charming psychopath.

    Regan and Carter, who in this movie spend most of the time boozing and whoring, have to kick the girls out of bed and get onto the job. After prodigious amounts of swearing, drinking and macho stuff, they finally get the case solved, even if Carter gets a bit upset when he discovers at the end that perhaps his boss is a tad psycho himself.

    It's a bit of thuggish, bloke-ish twaddle which has dated quite a deal from when it was committed to celluloid in 1977.

    It lacks the tautness and the feeling of veracity which were strengths of the television series. Its makers have just tried too hard to exaggerate everything, in both plot and characterisation, to move it onto the big-screen.

    Still, as an exercise in nostalgia, it'll do 'til the series makes it down under.

      Video
    Contract

    The anamorphic transfer is very clear and clean, with extremely natural skin tones and general colour values.

    There's no evident film grain in this Technicolor print. Nor is there any evident colour saturation; in fact, colours are slightly bleached out if anything, which is appropriate for the UK outdoor colour palette.

      Audio
    Contract

    This is a serviceable Dolby Digital two-channel presentation which, although designed for cinema showing, is really not that much better than standard television quality. Dialogue is clear and undistorted.

      Extras
    Contract

    There are no extra features.

    Universal is increasingly bringing us these bare-bones movies which offer just chapter indexing plus movie.

    This is acceptable as long as the price for these skeletal issues is kept well below the $20 mark, as this one is - it's below $15 on DVD sites such as Ezydvd. I guess Universal is introducing the DVD equivalent of paperbacks - you pay less if you want just the movie, with no commentaries, background features etc.

      Overall  
    Contract

    Rent this one, until the television series is released eventually. That's what will be worth owning.


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      And I quote...
    "Tough crime-busting from Scotland Yard's Flying Squad - well, if Regan and Carter can get away from the booze and the girls for long enough..."
    - Anthony Clarke
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Panasonic A330
    • TV:
          Loewe Profil Plus 3272 68cm
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