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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: Tightrope



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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Herb Kane

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Posted September 05 2003 - 06:03 PM

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Tightrope





Studio: Warner Brothers
Year: 1984
Rated: R
Film Length: 114 Mins.
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Enhanced Widescreen
Audio: DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Thai & Korean





The Feature:
With the recent release of eight Clint Eastwood titles there is an assortment of unique professions and characters portrayed by the legendary actor; everything from a musician to a bounty hunter – a carny to an American assassin.

In Tightrope, Eastwood plays a detective, but not the “Dirty” Harry Callahan that most of us think is synonymous with Clint Eastwood. This time, Detective Wes Block (Clint Eastwood) is a cop in the Pelican State and has been assigned to investigate the murders of a number of sex trade workers in the underbelly of New Orleans. Still struggling with his emotions from his wife walking out on him and his children, Block is vulnerable to women. Through his investigation, he meets up with a rape crisis worker, Beryl Thibodeaux (Genevieve Bujold) who, for obvious reasons has a keen interest in the case. As the cases progresses, so does her affection for the good detective.

As one murder leads to another, and then another, Block is forced to hide the knowledge that he knows these women, walking a “tightrope” between what is expected of him and what he fears is happening. After Block discovers a link between himself and the killer, the case becomes personal. Why are all the women he has been with, being killed?

The basic character of Wes Block may seem surprisingly similar to that of Harry Callahan however, it’s quite different. In Tightrope, we see the fallible cop who has succumbed to human weaknesses. Things are about to become very complicated …



Video:
For the most part, I was pleased with the video rendering offered up in Tightrope. Image and detail were clear although it did have a somewhat softer appearance during certain scenes. Grain was virtually non existent as was any sort of film dirt or scratches. I noticed a few instances of mosquito noise however, it was very slight. There were perhaps a couple of instances of haloing (EE) however, it didn’t stand out nor was it bothersome. And in all honesty, a couple of the examples I marked down during the movie may have been more of a shadow (lighting) instance rather than EE.

My only true complaint was the color. As you know by now, I’m kinda picky about colors. In this case, I felt they were slightly inconsistent. The majority of the film looked very good, although the colors were slightly muted (more than I like). Skin tones also looked good for the most part however, they did have a “reddish” tint to them at times. This is another film which is very dark including many of the indoor scenes.

Overall though, I thought the video presentation was pleasing.



Audio:
While the video may have had a few slight glitches, the audio did not. The DD 5.1 was most impressive. Up front, clarity and dialogue was exceptional. There were several scenes where the movie is totally quiet and characters are walking in an alley/laneway. The crispness of the footsteps made it seem as though we were right there walking down that same laneway.

Directionality was also very impressive demonstrated by busses and trains passing by, doors opening and closing etc. Equally as impressive was use of surround material. The movie is littered with great jazz music as well as a very dramatic score which certainly adds to the suspense, and it plays very nicely on the rears – when necessary. There are several bar scenes and thunderstorm scenes which also give the rears a good workout. There was a decent amount of LFE utilized as well during a few of the bar scenes and a few of the action sequences.

More than I bargained for….



Special Features:
Not much in the way of Special Features. There is a Cast & Crew page which feature the main characters and their roles in the movie. There is a link when clicking Clint Eastwood’s name which outlines a 4-5 page filmography highlighting the actor’s successful career.

Also included is the feature’s Theatrical Trailer which is in pretty good shape.



Final Thoughts:
I hadn’t seen this movie since its theatrical release in 1984 and frankly, I had forgotten how raunchy it is. It is certainly one of Eastwood’s more (most?) seedier roles. Hey, this is a Clint Eastwood flick and in my opinion, a pretty good one. It’s certainly different from the typical cop roles we’re used to seeing the star portray in the many Dirty Harry versions and certainly an underrated one.

It is an intense psychological thriller that’s sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. While the disc might be virtually void of any extras, the audio and video presentations are sure to please. I think fans of Clint will be impressed... Recommended.




Released: September 2nd, 2003
My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#2 of 9 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted September 06 2003 - 02:32 AM

I watched my dvd this morning and I have no complaints about the dvd presentation.

Also, ever since this film came out in 1984, I thought it was one of Eastwood's most underrated and less appreciated films.



Crawdaddy

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#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Herb Kane

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Posted September 06 2003 - 04:17 AM

Quote:
Also, ever since this film came out in 1984, I thought it was one of Eastwood's most underrated and less appreciated films.


Crawdaddy... I agree. In fact, I should have included that in the review. Edited to reflect the change.

Herb.
My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#4 of 9 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted September 06 2003 - 04:40 AM

Herb,
A very good review, keep up the great work.





Crawdaddy

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#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Jeff_HR

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Posted September 06 2003 - 07:55 AM

Quote:
I watched my dvd this morning and I have no complaints about the dvd presentation.
I watched mine 2 days ago & I echo Crawdaddy's feelings about it. Posted Image
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#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Scott Hamilton

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Posted September 06 2003 - 06:25 PM

I will pick it up for sure... Funny part it is on MoviePix in Canada as I write this... Forgot what a great movie it is...

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Richard Hardbattle

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Posted September 07 2003 - 07:57 PM

One of Clint's very best - "underrated" doesn't even begin to cover it....Posted Image

Watched the DVD last night, and I agree with the review. The sound in particular was impressive.


Rich

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Rob Willey

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Posted September 08 2003 - 07:11 AM

I too am pleased with the presentation on this disc and think it is one of Clint's best although it doesn't usually get recognized as such.

Rob
"That suits me down to the ground."

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Steve Spin

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Posted September 08 2003 - 11:10 AM

I agree with you all!!!
Mr.Eastwoods best thriller since "Play Misty For Me."





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