Given it’s hefty price tag, it stands to reason that the massive Clint Eastwood: 35 Years at Warner Brothers Collection would be out of reach for many consumers. It was no doubt with that in mind, that Warner Bros. has made several films from the collection available to rent or buy via download on iTunes, Amazon Video on Demand, Playstation 3, and more.
As of today, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, The Dead Pool, Dirty Harry, The Enforcer, The Gauntlet, Magnum Force, Absolute Power, Firefox, Heartbreak Ridge, Kelly’s Heroes, True Crime, Where Eagles Dare, Pale Rider and Unforgiven are available.
Over the last three or four years, I’ve downloaded countless albums, videos and the occasional television show to my iPod and more recently, my iPhone. However, I never really considered downloading whole films; as a bit of a quality snob, I guess I figured the downloaded file would somehow ruin the integrity of the movie watching experience.
Regardless, when I was given the opportunity to download a Clint Eastwood film, I decided to give it a try. I chose one of my favorites, 1971’s Dirty Harry; though download times will vary depending on your internet connection, I found the process seamless and had the 1.11 GB file on my computer in just under forty minutes. I was pleasantly suprised by the qualirt of the film itself–watching it on my computer using a 22-inch HD monitor was very similar to watching a standard definition release of the film. Though there were a few occasion where the picture seemed stretched.
Later, I watched the film on my iPhone and really enjoyed it. The film fanatic in me just loved the idea of being able to watch a movie while I was waiting for an appointment, going on a flight, etc. On the smaller screens of the iPhone or iPod (I tested that as well) you don’t experience any of the ‘stretched’ effect. Beyond that, the picture is surprisingly sharp and the soundtrack is well delivered.
So while I would never claim that downloads as they are now could replace the quality of Blu-rays and DVD’s, the are an excellent alternative for those who cant afford pricey box sets and an excellent addition for folks who would like a film for when their on the go. I would strongly suggest checking out the Official Eastwood 35 Years iTunes page. While your at it, be sure to check out the Official Clint Eastwood 35 Site.