A Fistful of Dollars / For a Few Dollars More [Blu-Ray] Sergio Leone

A Fistful of Dollars / For a Few Dollars More [Blu-Ray] Sergio Leone
Well, first the good news: A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More are two of the greatest westerns ever and they've arrived on Blu-Ray with excellent transfers at a budget price. The bad news, which isn't really that bad, is that otherwise these Blu-Rays are absolute shovelware, just basically chucking their previous DVD releases onto Blu-Ray, which means their special features, while extensive, don't feel like anything that fresh, special or worth writing home about. (I find it nearly impossible to get excited about commentaries from film historians, which end up being too much like being forced to eat your cultural vegetables.) If you're completely unfamiliar with the Dollars trilogy, they star Clint Eastwood in his first major role and (arguably) the greatest role he's ever played, the Man With No Name, a mysterious drifter in an old-west seen through the lens of Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone. Inventing the Spaghetti Western (at the time a derogatory term), A Fistful of Dollars is nearly a shot-for-shot remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, but with its own incredible style and panache. For a Few Dollars More builds upon it, crafting its unique story, introducing Lee Van Cleef, in what is (unarguably) his greatest role, as an unshakeable bounty hunter who competes with Eastwood in pursuit of a fugitive. When you get Blu-Rays like these – simply a disc in a blue plastic case – you actually sort of wonder what the point is. For a cinephile, a cheap shovelware Blu-Ray is never going to go far enough to make you feel like you own the copy of the film you'll have forever. And if you're not that attached to the film in the first place, it's undoubtedly rentable, viewable through Netflix or some other service, or heck, you'll eventually catch it on AMC. It makes these discs hard to recommend, even at a sub-15-dollar price point. (MGM)