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  Directed by
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  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Italian: Dolby Digital Mono
  Subtitles
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  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Cast/crew biographies - Cast/Crew Listing Only
  • Featurette - The Hero Cop: Yesterday And Today
Magnum Force
Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 124 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Two years after the suprising success of Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood reprised the role of Inspector Harry Callahan with Magnum Force. This time round, John Milius took the advice that Eastwood's character was treading a little too close to the blurred line between getting the job done "his way" and being the bad guy. Wisely, and sensing that Harry was probably becoming something of an icon, he eased off Harry’s vigilantism slightly, siding him firmly with the system which caused him so much frustration in the first film, and made him a clear cut good guy that was thoroughly likable by one and all (well, perhaps not by the bad guys).

In Magnum Force, the city is over run once again by the criminals, from big mob players to small time pimps (with snazzy pink pimpmobiles, no less). With the inadequate judicial system letting the crims get away with murder, the public is understandably angry. But it looks like someone has decided enough is enough and has taken matters into their own hands, eliminating the criminals. Cue the funky wah-wah music, Dirty Harry Callahan is put on the case. With a bit of investigative work and some "gut feeling" Harry starts to suspect that the killings are the work of rookie traffic police who have formed "an internal death squad".

This film pads out the running time with a little more characterisation for Harry. It tries to make him a little more human (see Harry smile! See Harry hug kids!) and less a squinty eyed short fused angry cop with a big gun. With a little 'tec work and deduction on Harry's behalf and a slightly more elaborate plot, the film successfully lived up to the Dirty Harry potential.

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
Contract

Magnum Force has a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with a 16x9 enhanced picture. This is an improvement over Dirty Harry (which was still pretty good) with just edge enhancement and aliasing letting the side down. While there are some scenes in the third chapter that at first appear to be a problem, it is more likely a focus problem with the original footage, as it is only apparent in a particular shot, and not the shots it cuts to. Colours are good, blacks and shadow detail are better than Dirt Harry, and the sharp image image is nice and clean.

Audio, although originally a mono or stereo mix on theatrical release, is presented in DD5.1 on this dvd. Magnum Force utilises the rear channels far more than Dirty Harry did, and I have to admit that occasionally I was surprised with how well it was integrated into the soundfield. The separation, panning and directional effects really gaves the film an added edge at times and seemed much more contemporary than the films 18 or so years.

On the downside compared to the Dirty Harry dvd, there’s a less in the way of extra features on this disc. We have a Cast and Crew list, Theatrical Trailer, and The Hero Cop: Yesterday and Today. This is a promo piece from the time of release. At just 7 minutes, it’s brief and dated, but short of any other more recent and more elaborate features, it's still something to look at.


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  •   And I quote...
    "This dvd knows its limitations."
    - 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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