DVD Review HTF REVIEW: City Heat

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Herb Kane, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

    May 7, 2001
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    City Heat

    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Year: 1984
    Rated: PG
    Film Length: 97 Mins.
    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Enhanced Widescreen
    Audio: DD 5.1
    Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Bahasa, Thai & Korean.

    The Feature:
    What do you get when you take “Dirty Harry” and the “Bandit” from the 70’s and send them back in time to Kansas City circa 1933…? Well, how ‘bout Lt. Speer (Clint Eastwood) and Mike Murphy (Burt Reynolds). Written by Blake Edwards and directed by Richard Benjamin, surely this is destined for greatness? Not so fast…

    Set in the depression era, City Heat is the story of a tough guy cop (go figure…) Lt. Speer (you think he’s laid back as Dirty Harry? He’s practically unconscious as Speer) and an ex-cop now private gumshoe Mike Murphy. Once partners, it becomes obvious that there is no love lost between the two. After Murphy left the force, he started a private detective agency with Dehl Swift (Richard Roundtree) as his partner.

    With the private practice on the verge of closing, Swift decides to make some extra money on the side. He locates some ledger books and unbeknownst to his partner Murphy, tries to sell them back to a mob boss. Soon he tries to play both ends and after a double cross, and finds out that it isn’t a Surgeon General recommended practice…

    Now, Murphy is caught in the middle of this mess, left trying to come up with the ledgers with both mob bosses thinking he is in on the double cross. He enlists the help of his ex partner Lt. Speer who doesn’t have much use for the mob. During the search, we’re treated to some great fight scenes and shootouts. And to complicate things, Murphy’s love interest is kidnapped by one of the bosses and held ransom for the ledgers.

    It’s a race to find the ledgers and get the goil back…

    I found myself making very few notes regarding the video while I was watching this movie. The video is most impressive.

    Detail and sharpness of the image were outstanding. Grain was virtually non-existent. Colors were vibrant and nicely saturated including skin tones which looked very accurate. Black levels were as deep as could be and looked great. No sign of any dirt, scratches or compression issues.

    If I had to make any negative comments, it would be that the image went a tad soft during a few scenes and I noticed a slight amount of mosquito noise in only a couple of scenes… Honestly, these are barely worth mentioning – they were hardly noticeable and not bothersome.

    Very impressive…

    The DD 5.1 track didn’t deliver in the same manner the video transfer did. It was average at best. What it did, it did well. Dialogue was always clear. There were several shootouts which lacked any impact. There was a lot of early jazz and big band music that played throughout the movie and did come across very well. I just wasn’t left in awe of the audio track. Use of surrounds were virtually nonexistent. I heard an occasional rumble here and there, that’s about it. LFE was barely noticeable… other than a large explosion during the end of the movie.

    Audio… pretty much average.

    Special Features:
    Similar to the other “Clint Eastwood Collection” titles recently released, all we have in the way of special features is a Cast & Crew with a separate page for Cast and a separate page for Crew. On the Cast page, if you click on Clint Eastwood’s name, you’re taken to a 5 page filmography text listing highlighting the actor’s career.

    Also, included is the Theatrical Trailer which is in very nice shape.

    Final Thoughts:
    Ok… so it’s not greatness. It’s merely a tongue-in-cheek comedic satire on the 30’s mob vs. the coppers. It doesn’t take itself very serious and while it falls flat at times, does have its funny parts. To be sure, this isn’t the career highlight for either actor (OK well maybe for Reynolds…), but it was mildly entertaining.

    Warner Bros. have offered up an outstanding video presentation, an average audio track and a movie that has its moments. Diehard Clint fans might want to check this out.

    Released: September 2nd, 2003
  2. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

    Jan 11, 2002
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  3. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

    May 7, 2001
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    Steve... OK Deliverance - fair enough[​IMG]

    The video for the new Eastwood Collection discs, all seem to be pretty decent thus far. The audio however, is hit and miss. I think your comment about "demand" nails it. Next up; White Hunter, Black Heart.

  4. Kevin Nolan

    Kevin Nolan Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 16, 2000
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    I remember this POS movie!
    I was all excited to see Clint in a different light but this movie just plainly sucked.
    It was one of the premier yawners of the era and it plainly doesn't deserve a look, a rent, or a purchase UNLESS one is huge fan of Clint or Burt no matter how bad they are acting or the vehicle.
    Kevin Nolan
    A big fan of C.E....but not a HUGE fan...ahem...ah er
    Thank You

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