Magnum Force

Featured In Issue 133, July/August 2008

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Home Video
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
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When mobsters who have "beat the rap" start showing up dead, it's Detective Harry Callahan's (Eastwood) job to find out who's pulling the trigger in Magnum Force. It soon becomes clear that the killers are a group of vigilante sharpshooting motorcycle cops who have decided to take the law into their own hands. Too bad for them Harry doesn't share their same sense of justice.(Stacey Pendry)

Special features include commentary by Writer John Milius, two featurettes: the 24-minute A Moral Right: The Politics Of Dirty Harry and the eight-minute The Hero Cop: Yesterday And Today, and the original theatrical trailers for all five Dirty Harry films.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.39:1 DVD appears plugged up for much of the presentation, but color saturation is adequate for its age. Fleshtones look natural at times, but resolution is not improved much over the DVD reviewed in Issue 56. Contrast is balanced well—an improvement over the previous release—but the color scheme appears dated. Source element artifacts are noticeable throughout, and heavy film grain/noise can distract. Color separation can be noticed at times, but edge enhancement is not a problem. Many of the same problems are noticeable in the VC-1-encoded Blu-ray Disc, and resolution generally looks smeared in the release. Shadow delineation is adequate and black levels are deep, but heavy film grain and dirt can detract from the presentation. Colors are nicely saturated, but still appear dated. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features a solid front stage, with seamless rear-to-front pans mixed in on occasion. Surround integration overall, however, is somewhat lacking. The soundtrack is noticeably less bright than that which was on the DVD reviewed in Issue 56, but the soundtrack does sound thin, with little in the way of deep bass. The front stage is broad, but it is lacking depth, which limits its realism. Dynamic range is lacking at times, sounding constrained and dated, and while dialogue generally sounds natural, there are times when it is presented at far too low of levels, masking it in other sounds. A shuffling distortion can be heard at times, but the noise floor is low. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding provides a subtle increase in fidelity over the DVD, but it is not a night-and-day difference. (Danny Richelieu)