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[Released] Dirty Harry 5 - The Dead Pool - in scope format
Project info:

Finally it's up, Dirty Harry 5 - The Dead Pool - in scope format V. 2.1 final.

[Image: harrywide.png]

Original Blu-ray VC1 converted to H265.

1. EN Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby Surround (from the 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 16 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).

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.

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

I remember seeing the film on initial release, and not noting the format had changed. So maybe something is off with the presentation of The Dead Pool on all home-video formats. The framing looks totally bad and loose in all of the home-video versions, with tons of dead air.

Here's a possible explanation: a few years ago an industry insider told me that back in the mid-eighties, a trend developed in Hollywood where they would ask directors to shot spherical, for all formats. Meaning the producers decided at the end what format the movie would be released in. It could be cropped on the sides for TV, and either be released as 1.85:1 or 2.39:1 prints, depending on the film budget and the marketing research. He said films like Batman and The Punisher could be framed both ways (assuming you use the complete negative).

This could explain for example why Top Gun cannot decide over all the video releases what format it is on.

A Dirty Harry film in 1.85:1 looks wrong. 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 black and red Warner logo from The Exorcist 2 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. (old version, will be updated with final V2.1 images).

As usual, PM me for the links, contributing members only please.
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.
Thanks given by: Stamper
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.
Thanks given by: BDgeek
Great work, Stamper.

Thanks given by: Stamper
V2 is done, encoded to H265. PM me for links.
Thanks given by: stwd4nder2 , NeonBible
I have to say those caps are really tempting me...

I'm genuinely intrigued to see how this looks in 2.35.

Clint did seem to go through a 1.85 phase with his first few films shot by Jack Green...


Do any of these have similar framing "issues"?

None are listed (on the IMDb) as Super 35.
Thanks given by:
That's right, nope they are all framed nicely, even Pink Cadillac which is also signed by Buddy Van Horn.

I was rewatching the final file yesterday of The Dead Pool, and it really feels it was shot for scope.

I think those Clint phases were for economical reason. Clint is really close to his films budget money.
Thanks given by:
Currently encoding v. 2.1

I just did two adjustments based on users remarks. One shot that looked a bit off as it was a zoom in was adjusted, and I replaced the red warner logo at the beginning which was from Sudden Impact, with the black and red warner logo from The Exorcist II. Why because it's a wink to the Exorcist and if you know the movie, you know the wink! And it makes this one stands out more.

Will be upped this week-end and then I can make some room for different projects!
Thanks given by: Plissken1138
Geez, rippin' off old movies like The Exorcist...
Thanks given by: Stamper
It's not a rip-off! It's a homage!
Thanks given by:

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