- Once (2006)
- All the President's Men (1976)
- Being John Malkovich (1999)
- In the Year of the Pig (1968)
- In The Mood For Love (2000)
- Hole, The (1960)
- Tokyo Story (1953)
- Ocean’s Eleven Blu-Ray Review
- Jurassic Park (1993)
- Gilda (1946)
- Rounders (1998)
- Masque of the Red Death, The (1964)
- Django Unchained (2012)
- Fat City (1972)
- Amélie (2001)
- All That Jazz (1979)
- Night of the Hunter, The (1955)
- King of Comedy, The (1983)
- Manhattan (1979)
- Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)
- Sullivan's Travels (1941)
- Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The (1994)
- Hecklefest Four-Word Film Reviews! August '12 - Week 4
- Playtime (1967)
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
- Haunted Castle, The (1921)
- Last Wave, The (1977)
- Naked Lunch (1991) * Weird and Wacky *
- Phantom Carriage, The (1921)
- Lolita (1962)
Magnum Force (1973)
The Dirty Harry Series - #2
Genre: Action Crime Drama Thriller
Directed By: Ted Post (Hang 'Em High; Good Guys Wear Black)
Overview: When bad people start dying it's obvious the murderer is a vigilante, but clues all seem to point Harry Callahan to men within the police force.
Clint Eastwood isn't a 'soft' guy. Sure, as a matured director he does important dramatic tear-jerkers like Mystic River, but at 43 years old he was Dirty Harry, a perfect transition bridge from the Western hard-ass he earned his reputation with. Magnum Force is before Clint's 80s career hiccup of films like the tragically ironic self-debasing Heartbreak Ridge - a comedic caricature army movie with bad honky rapping that also celebrates the attack of Grenada. Point is, Clint's the reason for watching, unless you prefer the 'Oh! Where do I know that guy from!?' game, cause boy, there's a lot of recognizable but brain-wracking faces.
Granted this is not as beautiful as the original film, but when those action scenes, shootouts and assassinations happen, you're there, loving it. Just a touch of art meant to draw the mystery of the thriller out of its shell.
When it comes to action films today, one does not expect much in the way of dialogue. Magnum Force, however, delivers genuine character depth that is well thought-out. The dynamic between the police captain and Dirty Harry starts off problematic almost to a clichéd point, yet as they interact you can see that they're both professional men with well-designed goals in mind and each sees the value of the other. Though their working relationship is prickly, it's honest. Every scene where the two men are behind closed doors getting on each others' nerves is pure gold.
You could definitely get away with calling it formulaic. In fact, much of the way this film unfolds is quite similar to the first: introduction of Harry, introduction on the problem, introduction of the new partner, a couple examples of Dirty Harry's special way of dealing with things, issue, climax, showdown resolution, etc... etc... but with scenes like 'the ho holds out on her pimp, he's had it and kills her in the back of a cab - while it's driving - while pumping a can of Drano down her throat', well that's still queasy mood-setting original stuff.
Dirty Harry is a character as American as Rocky, as tough as Rambo, but without all the moral lessonin' and the post-traumatic stress. He's a veteran cop who's sick of procedure, but plays the game, skirting the line. Much as it was (exactly as it was?) in Dirty Harry, the ending is a stereotypical showdown of wicked awesomeness. I'm not saying it's a deep film. It's hard-boiled cop action. And it's pretty damned sweet.
Overall Rating: 78% (To Be Reckoned With)
If you ask me, the problem with this film was ultimately in its director. I hate Ted Post for what little I've seen of his work, and I suspect his reputation preceded him. If it wasn't that that made this film suffer, maybe it was simply the taint of sequeldom.
Some people talk about mediocre film saying, 'yeah but it's good if you know what to expect', or 'you can't take it seriously, it's fun shut-you-brain-off stuff'. I'm not about those kinds of LCDF films, so I want to make it clear that this is genuinely better than that. It's got good characters and a decent plot that carries you through and makes for a good time.