Dead Pool, The

WSR Score4
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Warner Home Video
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Buddy Van Horn
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Detective Harry Callahan (Eastwood) is back in The Dead Pool, the fifth installment of the Dirty Harry series. When several celebrities turn up dead and Harry's name shows up on the killer's hit list, he and his new karate champ partner will stop at nothing to find out who's behind the murders. Watch for rubber-faced Jim Carrey doing what he does best. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include commentary by Producer David Valdes and Cinematographer Jack N. Green, a 22-minute featurette The Craft Of Dirty Harry, and the theatrical trailers for the five Dirty Harry films.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 DVD shows much improved resolution over the DVD reviewed in Issue 56, and shadow delineation is also better defined. As early as the opening credits, the improvement in the near-black detail is noticeable, with a more palpable sense of depth in the San Francisco cityscape at night. Contrast is higher, looking more natural in this release, and black levels are deep and unwavering. Reds, browns, and greens dominate the color scheme, but saturation is improved in this release. Still, colors can appear dated. Fairly heavy film grain can distract, and source element artifacts are noticeable at times—but far less often than in the previous release. The VC-1-encoded Blu-ray Disc also shows a relatively soft picture, with fine details looking smeared, and while black levels are deep, shadow delineation is lacking. The source appears noisy, but fleshtones are natural and contrast is balanced well. (DannyRichelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack sounds dated, with limited dynamic range and muffled dialogue. Dialogue does sound more crisp in this release than in the DVD reviewed in Issue 56, though. Phantom imaging is limited, and the surround channels aren't incorporated with much persistence. Deep bass is also lacking, and the LFE channel's effectiveness is limited. The noise floor is low, but occasional hum and distortion can be heard at times. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding does not provide much of an improvement over the DVD, sounding dated, but there is a subtle increase in overall fidelity.(Danny Richelieu)