After upsetting his superiors, in "Sudden Impact," Detective Harry Callahan (Eastwood) is sent out of town to do some busy work on a murder case. In typical Dirty Harry style, trouble finds him wherever he goes. This time Harry stumbles across a rape victim (Locke) who is hunting down her attackers and killing them one by one. "Go ahead. Make my day," a line from this film, quickly became a national catch phrase. (Tricia Littrell)
Special features include commentary by Eastwood Biographer Richard Schickel, a 26-minute featurette The Evolution Of Clint Eastwood, and the five theatrical trailers from the Dirty Harry Films.
The anamorphically enhanced 2.39:1 DVD shows improved shadow detail, with consistent black levels (even though they are slightly elevated). The color scheme looks dated, dominated by earthy tans and browns, but the few bright colors are saturated better in this release than in the DVD reviewed in Issue 56. Contrast is balanced better as well, and while fleshtones are improved, they still appear slightly pink. Heavy film grain can be distracting at times, and dirt from the source element can also be noticed. The picture is sharper in this release than the previous, with less artifacts and digitization. Still, reds can appear blocky at times. Edge enhancement is not a distraction. The VC-1-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows solid resolution for its age, but still appears noticeably soft. Black levels are deep, and shadow delineation is solid, but colors are slightly desaturated. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features an improved front stage, but surround envelopment is still lacking. Fidelity is improved over the previous release, but music still sounds distorted. Very little deep bass is in the soundtrack, and bass definition is dated. The front stage can be pleasantly broad with good phantom imaging across it, but dynamic range is poor. Dialogue also sounds somewhat harsh and edgy. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding provides an improvement in dynamics and overall fidelity, but it only a subtle improvement. (Danny Richelieu)