Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Dirty Harry: The 45th Anniversary Screening

One of the great things about my local multiplex cinema, besides the fact it’s just a six-minute walk from home, and offers the best-tasting theater popcorn on Earth, is their weekly screening of classic movies, called Tuesday Night Classics. I go once every few months, and it’s a real kick to be able to watch a favorite movie—or one I’ve never seen, for that matter—on the big screen for just five bucks a pop. And that’s what I did last year with the Clint Eastwood renegade cop thriller Dirty Harry, one of five revival screenings I went to at the Harkins Arrowhead Fountains 18 back in 2016.

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This was my first time seeing Dirty Harry at an actual theater, and once again the Arrowhead chose to show it in their largest auditorium, and with a flawless print that I could only guess was either digitally-presented in 4K or projected from a Blu-ray disc. What was also nice about this particular visit was that I wasn’t going alone: my sister Kelly was joining me, and since she’d never seen a Dirty Harry movie before, I was looking forward to introducing this film and, eventually, the rest of the series to her.

For those of you not familiar with the story, Eastwood plays ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan, an SFPD homicide inspector who not only plays by his own rules, but backs them up with a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum revolver, “the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off.” A serial killer going by the name of Scorpio is terrorizing the city, and Harry is assigned to handle the case. After a succession of chases, confrontations, and mind games are played out between the two, Scorpio kidnaps a busload of children and takes them to a remote quarry, where he waits for the city to deliver $200,000 in ransom money and a flight out of the country. Harry, of course, has other plans for him.

I’ve watched Dirty Harry many times over the years, from television to tape to disc, so I pretty much know it by heart, but viewing it again in this giant format made it seem like a brand new experience for me…as if I’d traveled back in time and was seeing it during its first theatrical run back in 1971. Like my big-screen viewing of Jaws, there was just so much more to see, and so many new things to find within the camera frame that I hadn’t noticed before. Also, for a film made in the early 1970s, I was surprised at how sharp and vibrant the picture was, even projected to that size. And of course, the sound of that Magnum kabooming in a theater setting was just plain cool.

As I mentioned, it was a blast having my sister there that night, sharing in the fun; she and I were able to see two more of these Harkins TNC screenings before she packed up and moved to Indiana later that year. I figured our trips to the cinema were over, but several months later she decided to move back, and we’ve continued with our monthly—and sometimes weekly—movie get-togethers ever since. And with the Arrowhead currently being retrofitted with luxury seating, it’s possible that our Tuesday evenings will be booked solid until the end of 2018; now, if I can only get them to screen Magnum Force and The Enforcer

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39 comments on “Dirty Harry: The 45th Anniversary Screening

  1. Dracula
    11/8/17

    What makes the popcorn so special? And with the luxury seating will the ticket no longer be 5 bucks? I always enjoy the Dirty Harry movies on late night TCM but then sometimes I fall asleep. No sleeping on the big screen though. Our number is 1122 so the badge is backwards, figure that one out.

    Like

    • Todd B
      11/9/17

      That’s one thing that worries me…those $5 ticket prices disappearing. Based on what I saw at another Harkins theater that added luxury seating, it looks as if the regular-movie prices will bump up a bit, which is disappointing. And I have no idea what they’ve done with the popcorn, but it’s brilliantly delicious…perhaps they add something to the flavoring, like an exotic spice, or butter-flavored cocaine.

      As for 1122, I assumed you meant ‘our’ to mean you and I, but after some involved research, I’ve discovered it refers to you and your lovely wife, and your birthdays.

      Like

  2. butterboy44
    11/9/17

    You look like you feel lucky, but the dame looks more spunky than anything.

    Like

    • Todd B
      11/9/17

      a) I most certainly did not get lucky that night, and b) I think you’re confusing ‘spunky’ with ‘demented’.

      Like

      • Kelly "LMD" Betron
        11/9/17

        You are both idiots.

        Like

      • Todd B
        11/9/17

        Well, yeah.

        Like

    • grandrapidsgirl
      11/12/17

      This from “Butterboy”?!?

      Snark.

      Like

      • Todd B
        11/13/17

        Are you implying that he’s lucky, spunky, or a little of both? Or perhaps…nuts?

        Like

      • grandrapidsgirl
        11/14/17

        Stark-Raving-Bananas !!

        Like

      • Todd B
        11/14/17

        Well, I think we can agree that he’s some sort of screwy food product!

        Like

      • Am pretty sure it’s a genetic anomaly of some sort.

        Like

  3. Kelly "LMD" Betron
    11/9/17

    Yep, that’s me, the tag-a-long sister! Having returned from Indiana, I am excited that I get to resume “Tuesdays with Todd” at Harkins Arrowhead.

    He’s right about the popcorn, save one independent old-timey theater in Franklin, Indiana called The Art Craft, which Todd would have gone to had he EVER visited me there! They get their kernels from a corn field 4 miles down the road. Truly the best flavor a popcorn lover has ever known.

    Dirty Harry was really cool on the big screen. I even noticed things Todd didn’t, which made me feel superior to him for at least 10 seconds. I have no doubt I’ll see more Dirty Harry films in the near future. Perhaps a double feature is warranted?

    Like

    • Todd B
      11/9/17

      I would say a double feature is expected. Magnum Force and The Enforcer on Blu-ray, with to-go pizza and wings for the first movie, and popcorn for the second. And whatever you noticed I LET you notice…except for something involving KFC, I think.

      And the Harkins Arrowhead gets their kernels from four miles down the road, too. It’s called Safeway.

      Like

  4. Dracula
    11/9/17

    Jiffy Pop!

    Like

  5. dracula
    11/10/17

    Does it still have the wire handle and aluminium foil from the 70s to be cooked on the coil stove top?

    Like

    • Todd B
      11/11/17

      Nope, I use a dry ear of corn, put it in the microwave, and hope for the best.

      Like

      • grandrapidsgirl
        11/12/17

        LOL!! 🙂 Well it for sure does not come in a “box”. Last time I checked it was round AND had a handle.

        Like

      • Todd B
        11/14/17

        I prefer to make mine the Native American way, as nature – and Radarange – intended it.

        Like

  6. Super cool to see this one on a big screen and with family no less. Start a petition for the sequels and I’ll sign up for it.

    Like

    • Todd B
      11/11/17

      If your petition idea works out, and you’d like to take part in the festivities, I’ll pay for the cost of your movie ticket (airfare and accommodations not included).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. grandrapidsgirl
    11/12/17

    Dirty Harry was the one and only date I ever had with Steve Schlagheck after high school while visiting Michigan from California. It was a Thursday night and he said he would call. Seven years later I finally understood the phone was probably not going to ring. Thankfully I actually got to SEE this good movie years later on the TUBE.

    Like

    • Todd B
      11/13/17

      Don’t be so hard on yourself…I bet Steve fell into a deep coma hours before he was going to call you, and has remained in that coma ever since. The good thing is, you finally got to see the movie, and the question I have is: was he planning on taking you to the Ready Theater to see it?

      Like

      • grandrapidsgirl
        11/14/17

        Indeed said film was viewed at the Ready Theatre – you have a superb memory my friend!! 🙂

        Like

      • Todd B
        11/14/17

        Wait, I thought you didn’t see it that night with Steve…I thought he didn’t call! Did you actually have that date night at the Ready, then he never called you again?

        Like

      • Saw it, waited, no call. Saw him at the 25th HS reunion (post-Ready) and think he regretted it. Karma’s a bitch.

        Who names a theatre “The Ready” anyway?!? Pretty lame. Absolutely no one in that tiny hamlet was “ready” for anything.

        Like

      • Todd B
        11/14/17

        Couldn’t find a reason why it was called the ‘Ready’, but here’s a question for you: do you remember what movie you and I saw at the Ready in 1995?

        Like

      • grandrapidsgirl
        11/15/17

        Oh gosh waaaa – not sure!!! It’s on the tip of my one remaining brain cell – really.

        Like

      • Todd B
        11/16/17

        Die Hard with a Vengeance!!!

        Like

      • grandrapidsgirl
        11/18/17

        Shuks. Yes, of course. I should have known that – sorry!! Good ol’ Bruce! And I’ll bet you didn’t even need to check your record book.

        Like

      • Todd B
        11/19/17

        Nope, it was neatly stored away in my memory banks!

        Like

  8. Wait . . . did he say spunky or spanky?!?

    Like

  9. grandrapidsgirl
    11/15/17

    Spelunky – good one. You do that in caves though right? I don’t see Kelly being dragged by the hair by any cave men – spunk or spank.

    Like

    • Todd B
      11/16/17

      Spelunking is indeed a cave-related experience…and check out The Descent if you ever need a reason NOT to go spelunking.

      Like

  10. dracula
    11/16/17

    33 comments, are we going for a record here? Splish, Splash, Spanky, Spunky, Spelunky is this the new Dr. Seuss book?

    Like

    • Todd B
      11/16/17

      Black film, blue film, old film, new film…

      Like

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