Author Topic: Dirty Harry Marathon  (Read 13065 times)

Najemikon

  • Guest
The Enforcer ***
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2010, 09:43:21 PM »
The Enforcer
3 out of 5



When Detective Harry Callahan stops a liquor store hostage standoff in his own no-nonsense way, he gets busted back to personnel.  But not for long.  When terrorists rob an arms warehouse and go on a blood-soaked extortion spree, San Francisco's leaders quickly seek out Callahan: 'The Enforcer'.
Clint Eastwood takes dead aim again in this third of his five 'Dirty Harry' films.  Presaging her four-time Emmy-winning stint as half of TV's 'Cagney and Lacey', Tyne Daly co-stars as Harry's new partner, who has two jobs:  nailing the terrorists - and winning hard-boiled Harry's confidence.  Stoked with brisk humour and hard-hitting mayhem, 'The Enforcer' carves another winning notch in the handle of Harry's .44 magnum.


Despite a great start that sees Harry getting properly angry again and a well staged ending, this plods something rotten in the middle section. It feels like a TV movie, complete with seriously crap music! But while women's lib was always going to be too easy a target, Tyne Daly gives it some life, cutting a nice balance between plucky and scared. Of course, Clint Eastwood is dependable as ever, though seems to be lacking a proper catchphrase: in Dirty Harry we had "Do you feel lucky?"; in Magnum Force "a good man's got to know his limitations", but here, just a running joke with Daly. Still there's plenty of other Harry-isms, like "seven-point suppository..." delivered to his snivelling boss with the trademark growl! The villains are predictable caricatures, but the leader Bobby Maxwell (DeVeren Bookwalter) is a truly vile piece of work and certainly enough to piss off Harry and us, which I think Magnum Force lacked.

Despite the middle section lacking vitality, there's still plenty of action, with poor old Daly trying to keep up (almost getting a faceful of rocket at a test site was funny, as was the run through San Francisco). Albert Popwell pops-up again! Here he plays Mustapha, a suspected gang leader Harry cuts a deal with, and he finally gets a solid speaking part. If you haven't recognised him, he was the bank robber in Dirty Harry ("Hey man. I gots to know...") and the pimp in Magnum Force (killed the prostitute with drain cleaner).  ;)

Overall it's passable fun and better as a sequel than Magnum Force. The weird thing is -and don't laugh- but from about halfway through, I couldn't get the similarirites with Robocop of all things out of my head! I said, don't laugh. ???

(click to show/hide)

Offline Jimmy

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6754
  • Yes this is me...
    • View Profile
Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2010, 11:27:25 PM »
Since it's my domain I can resist to add this little fact about DeVeren Bookwalter. He was in a film made by David E. Durston (the director of I drink your blood, a great film released by Grindhouse Releasing years ago) called Manhole in 1978. So what so special about this since he his an actor? Manhole is an adult men only film starring Zebedy Colt, Wade Nichols and Jamie Gillis. It was film in 3D (you see there nothing new under the sun) and the film is actually missing in action (as many others men only film of the seventies).

Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7170
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: The Enforcer ***
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2010, 05:27:23 AM »
 :o

...for the RoboCop reference.

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: The Enforcer ***
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2010, 02:28:05 PM »
:o

...for the RoboCop reference.

Is that a "good grief I never noticed!" shocked, or a "are you nuts?" shocked...  :laugh:

Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7170
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: The Enforcer ***
« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2010, 08:13:31 PM »
:o

...for the RoboCop reference.

Is that a "good grief I never noticed!" shocked, or a "are you nuts?" shocked...  :laugh:
:hmmmm:

"never noticed"...

Najemikon

  • Guest
Sudden Impact ***
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2010, 10:40:18 PM »
Sudden Impact
3 out of 5



Sensitive to outcries of police brutality, the superiors of San Francisco Detective Harry Callahan have sent him on an out-of-town assignment until things cool down.  But wherever Harry goes, things just get hotter.

One of the interesting things about the Dirty Harry franchise is how it maintained a decent level of quality throughout the series. We're at number four in Sudden Impact and while a couple of glaring faults let it down, in the main it is a worthy sequel, continuing to try something new. How many other series can claim that? Number five is another issue, but for now, this is a great achievement, all things considered.

There's a new edge to Harry and Clint plays him as well as ever since the original, and with a great new catchphrase ("Go ahead. Make my day"). He's got a real chip on his shoulder because trouble seems to be following him around without him even trying now! This time he's making enemies of organised crime, which means he can't avoid being a target and causing untold damage everywhere he goes. So his bosses send him to a quiet town and it doesn't stay quiet for long, with a great action sequence using a bus to chase a thief!

He's there to help the reluctant local police investigate a murder and little does he know but the murderer is right there. Reclusive artist Sondra Locke is on a mission of revenge to pick off several members of a gang who years before raped her and her sister, who is now little more than a vegetable. She takes out the first couple with relative ease, but then morals start getting murky and the last couple are serious threats.

How much you like Sudden Impact rather depends on how much credibility you give the plot. On one hand, it's directed by Eastwood himself who has always made interesting and challenging films where he can and it's easy to see this as a more natural development of Dirty Harry than the previous two films. Locke is pretty good at convincing as a cold-blooded killer and shy artist, so she gets the viewers sympathy. Eastwood is asking us to be angry again, but also consider the cost of revenge. Finally, Harry also literally takes the law into his own hands, which marks him as much the flawed anti-hero as ever.

Then again, this is hardly Oldboy. Hardly even Play Misty For Me and the plot frequently goes for cheap set-pieces, so you have to wonder, how much of the dark moralising was on purpose and how much by accident of making such a film?

Albert Popwell is in it again and this time he gets more of a speaking part, but his character suffers a pointless fate that is blatantly only there to piss Harry off and make him and the viewer mad. Then we move to the predictable and limp showdown in the fair ground. It's dumb decisions like that reveal it as just any other part 4 of a tired franchise. But they are rare moments and there's enough good stuff here to mark it in the top two or three Dirty Harry's.

Split the odds and it can be seen as a nice mix of the serious drama of Dirty Harry and the sillier Magnum Force, which possibly set the template of cheap action movies. So it's extending both legacies and leaves us thinking while still having fun. Definitely a success overall. And it has Harry's best partner yet: Meathead, the farting bulldog! :laugh:
« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 11:03:47 PM by Jon »

Najemikon

  • Guest
The Dead Pool **
« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2010, 10:49:51 PM »
The Dead Pool
2 out of 5



Clint Eastwood returns for his fifth Callahan caper, and this time Harry's new partner is a karate wiz.  Mafia goons sworn to snuff Harry now scramble to protect him.  And in the most amazing San Francisco chase since Bullitt, Harry puts pedal to the metal to out-race a bomb-carrying, radio-controlled toy car.

Ah, well. Getting to number four relatively unscathed was an achievement in itself. It's too much to ask that part five actually be any good. Because The Dead Pool isn't. At all.

That's not true. Eastwood is still very good as Harry and the relationships with both partner Al Quan and reporter Patricia Clarkson are great (though the romantic twist is absurd) begrudgingly earning this film another star, but he is let down by the plot. It rehashes earlier moments for no reason, especially when it fails to have a point, which all the predecessors had. For the only time in the franchise, it feels like it's chasing other films like Lethal Weapon, rather than the other way around.

The story is a joke and makes no sense when you think about it too long (a film directors "Dead Pool" game is hijacked by a real killer. Pardon?). Liam Neeson as the stereotype British Arsehole looks lost and the villain is pathetic, and his reasons for being a villain even worse. One "James Carrey" comes out of the film best amongst the supporting cast and proves he would work well in more supporting, serious roles. In fact, he's wasted, even in his brief moment here. Also, what was with the bloody Guns 'n' Roses cameos?

At least the action makes up for it, eh? Erm, actually no. The direction is laboured and wheezy, which is ironic considering Callaghan is getting long in the tooth yet Eastwood convinces he could still run rings around anyone. Shame the film can't keep up. The synopsis writer must be having a laugh if he thinks chasing model cars around San Francisco is comparable to Bullitt. Shut up. Just... no.

Buy the boxset. Even the Blu-Ray is astonishingly cheap at the moment. You get one classic film, three fun sequels and you can use this thing as a novelty coffee mat.


Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4096
    • View Profile
Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2010, 12:00:36 AM »
It's been a while, but wasn't it this film when he whips out the huge anti-tank gun? I'm not talking about the rocket launcher from The Enforcer, this one almost looked liked a hydraulic whaling harpoon in size.

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2010, 12:06:24 AM »
It's been a while, but wasn't it this film when he whips out the huge anti-tank gun? I'm not talking about the rocket launcher from The Enforcer, this one almost looked liked a hydraulic whaling harpoon in size.

"Looked like"? No, it was a whaling harpoon! ;)

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4096
    • View Profile
Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2010, 12:24:49 AM »
It's been so long, and the film was sooooo bad, I forgot. :-[ :laugh:

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2010, 09:07:31 AM »
I got the feeling that The Dead Pool was just an excuse for Clint to give his old pal Buddy Van Horn another shot at directing. Any Which Way You Can and Pink Cadillac are Van Horn's only other directing credits, and none of them are especially remarkable. He has stuck to stunt coordinating since then, and that's probably a good idea.

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2010, 07:03:45 PM »
But that doesn't excuse the story. All the sequels varied in quality, but they all found a way to use the Harry character properly. That's a writing issue.

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Dirty Harry Marathon
« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2010, 08:39:01 PM »
No, you're right in that. And none of the people involved in the screenplay seem to have any other writing credits. Maybe just as well. Maybe the blame should go to producer David Valdes for selecting these people? Although he was producer on some very fine films as well, like Unforgiven.