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Dirty Harry 5 - The Dead Pool - in scope format

5 Replies, 1062 Views

Project info:

Finally it's up, Dirty Harry 5 - The Dead Pool - in scope format.

[Image: harrywide.png]

Original Blu-ray VC1 converted to H264.

1. EN Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby Surround (from the Widescreen laserdisc)
2. FR Dolby Digital 2.0 (from Blu-ray)
3. FR Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (from Warner LD [1181013])
4. German Dolby Digital 2.0 (from Blu-ray)
5. Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (from Blu-ray)
6. Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (from Blu-ray)
7. Spanish II Dolby Digital 2.0 (from Blu-ray)
8. Portugal Dolby Digital 2.0 (from Blu-ray)
9. Audio commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (from Blu-ray)

Also includes all the Blu-ray PGS subtitles tracks.

The first track is Kchrules Flac capture of the Stereo LD found on the internal organ with the initial sync delay corrected.
The French mono rip is by Shatpack.

Any Warner BD (plus subs and chapters).

Total size is about 8.85 gb.

The story:
Like all Dirty Harry fans, I didn't get why Dirty Harry 5 - The Dead Pool - looked ugly on video for years. First it was released in open matte 4/3 with some cropping on the sides on VHS & LD, then in 1.78:1 on DVD, then on wider 1.78:1 on Blu (more opened on all four sides), and none of those presentations looked like a decently shot film.

It was easy for decades to dismiss this as "the director was a hack", but I disagree with all those ready-made cookie cutter opinions. First because the director Buddy Van Horn was a respected second unit director with credits I wouldn't mind having on my resume, and second because it's obvious half the film at least was shot by Clint himself, as you can see the exact same tricks Clint uses in all his films in all the quieter dialogue scenes (for example, long lens with blurry background, character enter frame, or exit frame, it's signature director Clint).

The director of photography is Jack Green the DoP of Bird and Unforgiven. Don't tell me the guy don't know how to shoot films, he is a bloody Oscar nominee. So it's obvious something is wrong on all the home-video versions of this film.

I think as the film was shot very fast in the spring of 1988 and released in July, that they had two units working jointly, one lead by Clint. The other involving the action and secondary characters led by Buddy Van Horn, and he got the credit given by Clint because he shot more stuff than the usual second unit thing. One way to tell is that the film has no second unit directors credits.

So anyway the other weird thing is that the film is 1.77:1 on Home-Video, whereas all the other Harry films are scope 2.39:1.

IMDB lists it as 1.85:1, but I remember seeing the film on the initial release, and it was larger widescreen to me. In fact I didn't notice there was a change in format.

I can understand, as the film was shot very fast in the spring of 1988, and released in the summer, that they went spherical because it was easier and faster to shoot that way, but I don't think it was shot for 1.85:1. The framing looks totally off and loose in all of the home-video versions, with tons of dead air. I think due to it's bad reputation, this film got no care on home-video, and the Warner staff after the initial 4/3 VHS transfer, didn't bother to do a LD 2.39:1 version, so they released it in 4/3 LD. Then when it hit DVD, they wrongly assumed the format based on IMDB listing, and the real initial format got shafted due to internet user generated stupidity.

So what this project does is fixing this by converting the film to 2.39:1 scope format.

Here's a Blu-ray shot with the Super 35 framing layout layered on top.
Red is the scope framing, green is the 4/3 framing indications.
[Image: super35-DP.jpg]

Now look how the Laserdisc 4/3 closely matches the framing of the Super 35 4/3 layout.
[Image: PSharry.png]

There's nothing surprising about it, because from the 1990's on, other Clint films shown in widescreen 2.39:1 on home-video weren't anamorphic either, but spherical shot films.

I made about 100 adjustment to scenes and individual shots to achieve this, as I think the 1.77:1 version is adjusted with tilt and scan depending on the scenes and shots (some shots are short of headroom, while having tons of bottom space, and others the reverse). I also added the red Warner logo at the beginning, as the blu one on the Blu-ray master is freeze framed and ugly. It makes the whole thing feel more like a true Dirty Harry sequel presentation. I say it's pretty neat looking now, so enjoy this V.1.0. You now will be able to watch The Dead Pool with a presentation in line with all the other films in the series. Ain't fanres forum a gas?

[Image: Badass.png]

Here's a quick screenshot gallery.

As usual, PM me for the links, contributing members only please.
(This post was last modified: 2021-06-27, 07:04 AM by Stamper.)
WOW! Congratulations Stamper!
In short: it looks just right and beautiful!

What a scope format can do for a film!

Actually, this reminds me of something I read about Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. It was shot safe for 1.33:1 and to be released in festivals and theaters in 1.85:1, but then he was approached by someone of influence in the industry, who said something in the line of (and I'm paraphrasing here, just to be clear): you got a good film here, but if you frame in scope, you'll have a classic!

I'm sorry I don't recall the source for this and I even performed a quick search to try to reference it. But it's just an interesting anecdote to illustrate Stamper's effort in this project.
(This post was last modified: 2021-06-24, 10:18 PM by BDgeek.)
Thanks. Yes there's been several sources including books (as Tarantino was a pop culture happening from the get go, many books were written about him just to get on the bandwagon) where you can rebuild the story and realise Reservoir Dogs was initially a direct to video, that got converted to cinema because it was too good. They include Quentin himself saying the first Sundance screening looked wrong with a bad format (it was probably just show matted to 1.85:1), and the convert to widescreen made it epic, despite a handful of shots clearly looking weird.

Here I have to say, it's obvious widescreen scope is the film intended format. It look so much more badass that way.
Great work, Stamper.

I'm done on small corrections based on forum members input, and will release a 2.0 version next week.
Also it will be a better encode, from a prores export.

A few funny things I noticed while turning the film into scope:

- In the opening scene, Clint is wearing the same dark red sweater he also wears at the beginning of the first film and during the bank robbery.
- The shades Harry wears are the one from Sudden Impact. Just like in all his westerns Clint holster is the one from Rawhide. I'm also 100% sure the sweater was also the original one from the first film. Clint stores all his clothings and accessories from past films. He probably still owns it in storage!
- The Scorpio theme is heard briefly during the opening credits and there are other call backs musically to the first one.
- The Saints Peter and Paul Church location is used again when the guy wants to set himself on fire (Scorpio sniper's place in the first when he is trying to shoot a black homosexual), as another call back to the first.
- Some of Harry costumes are the one from Sudden Impact and he wears them again in a couple of occasions. Why waste money when the old costumes still fit? Good old economy Clint.

- Clint Eastwood at the time was into bodybuilding and fitness, and it shows. It's the film where Harry is the most beefed up. Look at those biceps when he wears a T-Shirt!
- In some of the scenes when Harry have his back to the camera, and move out of shot, it's a body double not Clint.
- The end winks at Sudden Impact finale, as it's set in a studio set with some carnival like figures, and Harry appears kinda as a demon again, in the smoke.

- People said Clint was phoning it and looked bored in this one, but I disagree, I think he played a tired Harry that was beginning to be out of his time, and didn't really give a shit anymore because he was near retirement. He rejects being on the cover of magazines and hailed as a hero by fans who want his autographs. I think Clint from the get go considered this one as the character funeral and a final gift to fans. It's obvious through the winks at many moments in the saga, and call-back of his character legendary history through the journalist.

- I read in reviews that people are offended that Harry kills defenseless bad guys in here and that it was a betrayal to the character. I think it's in fact a character's evolution point. Harry has become so bored fighting crime over the years that he just doesn't give a shit anymore and get rid of the scum that would walk out on a technicality anyway. The Prison scene, where he basically bait the Jaws like character into maybe killing the mob guy, and doesn't give a fuck, clearly represent this. It's not young Harry anymore, but more of a predating Gran Torino like Harry.
- The ending is a twist on the ending of the first, as the guy who stole Harry 44 magnum fires six shots, and his gun is empty. Also the "shit outta luck" line, is a wink to the "do you feel lucky?" line in the first. So in essence, it brings the saga full circle. It's completely a closure for the character.

Overall, I think the film had some bad rap over the years, due to three things: first fans expected Sudden Impact redux, and it lacked a good additional 30mn + a better vilain and Clint 100% directing to achieve this and be as epic, but this was never the intention of this film. Second, bad presentation on home-video in either 4/3 or 16/9. Finally it came out in the same summer as Die Hard. Die Hard was the new kid on the block, Harry the older one. Out with the old, in with the new.

Another thing I think what must have happened prior to launching this project, is that Warner must have did a poll about Sudden Impact, and people said in Sudden Impact the best parts where the first act when Harry is in SF, is being hunted down by the mob, arrest robberies, has a car chase etc. As crazy as it seems, many people dislike Sudden Impact delocalisation of the character to San Paulo and the dark noir rape and revenge vibes. In a sense I get the criticism, as the characters in the last half of Sudden Impact are really unpleasant. On the Blu forum, there is a poll, and about 3 people said Sudden Impact was their preferred, but 80 on the first and about the same on the second. Sudden Impact is hated by many people due to it's nastiness and dark arty noir approach to the myth.

So they drafted a film which was essentially the fun stuff people like about Harry. It's the first act of Sudden Impact turned into a whole movie. However, it's more than this, in the way it approaches the character legend, and the way it inject humor to the point of parody.

Many people complained about the bad guy being blah. But the bad guy here is of no importance, he is cannon fooder just like robbers in all Harry's films. The film is not about a vilain, unlike the others. It's about Harry's legend and legacy, and in that effect, though it's less good than Sudden Impact, I think it's the perfect send off. Especially in true epic scope widescreen.
Almost done on v. 2.0 which will be definitive.

Further proof the film format isn't 1.85:1. Look at the electrical equipment plainly visible in this shot.

It's not the Cable Guy it's the Dead Pool!

[Image: cable.png]

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