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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Italian: Dolby Digital Mono
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Portuguese, English - Hearing Impaired, Italian - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Cast/crew biographies - (list only)
Sudden Impact
Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 117 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Trouble seems to follow Inspector 'Dirty' Harry Callahan wherever he goes. This time, he’s sent to hide in a small seaside town to investigate a series of murders after he becomes a target for the mob. It turns out someone is going around shooting men in the nuts, just before they finish the job with a bullet in the head. Unwittingly, Harry just so happens to meet up with the killer and strikes up a relationship. This isn't really suprising considering their agreeable views on the justice system -he grudgingly defending it and her sidestepping it in search of revenge.

Not so much a Dirty Harry film this time, as it is a Dirty Harriet story. Eastwood was getting old and tired and just a little too at ease with Harry, so it was up to ex-Mrs Eastwood, Sondra Locke, to get pissed off and clean up the scumbags in her own subtle way. And not a bad job she does with them, too. Even though I never really liked Locke, she plays the dead-eyed blonde bitch with ease, if a little heavy on the old flashbacks.

The funny thing is that Eastwood (who directed) makes no attempt to hide the killers identity from us, and this kills off any build up of suspense. Instead, he focuses on the reason for the revenge killings, although it's just not enough to carry the film. So, to keep people happy, every now and then he has Harry beat someone up or play stooge to his dog. Fact is, they could have taken Harry out of the film entirely and not much would have changed, which is probably the saddest thing I can say about his own film.

And that's what disappoints the most rewatching this series of films on dvd. The excitement generated by revisting the the first film Dirty Harry creates an appetite for more of Harry's bad attitude, sharp insults and no-shit-takingness that simply dimishes as the films roll on and Harry becomes older, slower and less angry. His contempt for his superiors is eaten away, the bittereness in his voice has softened and the cold hard gleem in his eyes is now just a cataract.

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
Contract

Sudden Impact has a 2.35:1 aspect ratio with a 16x9 enhanced transfer. The picture is very good, with the best detail and clarity yet of the Dirty Harry films I’ve looked at. Colours are very good, and look more natural and balanced across the film than the other releases. Aliasing and the resultant shimmering is still present to about the same degree as all the others dvds, but it still isn't too much of a distraction.

This dvd is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. While this time the mix isn’t as aggressive as the previous dvds, the sound is slightly meatier in the effects and more natural in the dialogue. Effects such as gunshots are nice and loud and carry a bit of bass, with Harry's new .44 automatic sounding more like an anti-airgcraft cannon than a gun. Even though this film doesn't really do anything adventurous with the audio, the sound is still crystal clear.

Extras consist of a Cast and Crew list and a Theatrical Trailer which must have been made long before they finished shooting because it doesn’t tell you a thing about the film other than show you Harry’s famous “Make my day” line twice and some assorted biffo.


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  •   And I quote...
    "Dirty Harry takes it easy this time and hands the gun over to Dirty Harriet."
    - 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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