In The Line of Fire—Columbia Pictures (Blu-ray)

Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 3.75/5
Extras: 3/5

Eastwood stars as Frank Horrigan, a veteran Secret Service agent haunted by his failure to protect John F. Kennedy from assassination. Thirty years later, he gets a chance to redeem himself when a brilliant psychopath threatens to kill the current president and take Horrigan with him. Taunting him by phone and tantalizing him with clues, the assassin lures Horrigan into an electrifying battle of wits and will that only one man can survive.

Clint Eastwood is getting heavily promoted on HD lately and I was glad to see Sony release this catalog gem. This is a great ensemble piece and the material holds up just as well today as it did on its initial release. I’ve always loved the character work in this film and Eastwood and Malkovich’s performances are both worth catching if you haven’t had a chance to see this one yet. Thrillers don’t get much better.

Sony has done an outstanding job with this HD presentation and this is easily one of the best looking catalog releases I’ve seen from them or anyone else. The quality of the source print looks to be impeccable and the image has a great sense of depth and dimension. Detail is preserved beautifully in close ups and medium shots and color rendition is superb. Some of the longer shots are a tad bit on the soft side but it was hardly distracting. Contrast levels are strong throughout most of the film. Not much to complain about here.

The audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and overall this is a winner. Fidelity and dynamic range fall a bit short of what we see from newer soundtracks but the soundstage is very wide and there is a nice balance of sound from front to back. Surrounds do a great job of opening up the soundstage and there are a few discrete sounds here and there. The score has nice depth and provides some nice low end when needed. Dynamics in the action sequences was better than expected and the gunfights have some nice low end punch.

Extras include a feature commentary with the director and a host of production features that look at the film’s themes and the secret service. Some deleted scenes are also included.

Sony has done a tremendous job with this presentation. The A/V quality is outstanding for an aging catalog release. Highly recommended.

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