Monday, May 24, 2021

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Theatrical Cut – Kino Lorber (4k UHD/Blu-ray Combo)


Theatrical Release Date:
Italy, 1966
Director: Sergio Leone
Writers: Luciano Vincenzoni, Sergio Leone, Agenore Incrocc, Furio Scarpelli
Cast: Eli Wallach, Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffrè, Luigi Pistilli, Rada Rassimov, Aldo Sambrell, Mario Brega

Release Date: April 27th, 2021
Approximate Running Time: 162 Minutes 20 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 2160 Progressive / HEVC SDR (4K UHD), 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC (Blu-ray)
Rating: R
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English
Region Coding: Region Free (UHD)/Region A (Blu-Ray)
Retail Price: $39.95

"For three men the Civil War wasn't hell it was practice! By far the most ambitious, unflinchingly graphic and stylistically influential western ever made, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a classic actioner shot through with a volatile mix of myth and realism. Screen legend Clint Eastwood (A Fistful of Dollars) returns as The Man with No Name, this time teaming with two gunslingers to pursue a cache of $200,000 and letting no one, not even warring factions in a civil war, stand in their way." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.5/5

Over the years, Sergio Leone films have been treated poorly on home video. Nowhere is this clearer then how inconsistent the audio and video has been since the first time his films got released on home video. Another shortcoming of Sergio Leone’s films on home video is that most of these releases represent versions that alter his original vision. Fortunately in recent years there has been a raised awareness to finally restore his films the way they he intended them to be seen.

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, “Over 30 hours of extensive shot-by-shot color grading and a 4K scan of a 1967 IB tech print as the secondary source to restore the theatrical cut to its original glory.”

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly comes on a 100 GB triple layer 4K UHD.

Disc Size: 95.7 GB

Feature: 81 GB

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 47.6 GB

Feature: 39.3 GB

Four years after their first release, Kino Lorber revisit’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with a brand new transfer that addresses the shortcomings of their earlier transfer. That said, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a film that I have become very familiar with over the years. And though each new release showed signs of improvement over the earlier release. This new transfer is easily the most substantial upgrade The Good, the Bad and the Ugly has had to date.

Though the lack of HDR will put some off, the result is a beautiful transfer that most fans of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly are sure to be thrilled by. Also, considering the source materials available for this transfer is the reason I give this transfer a 4.5/5 instead of 4/5.

Audio: 4.5/5

This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a DTS-HD mono mix in English. It should-be noted that for this release that mono mix is newly restored, after years of being absent from home video releases. The source for the mono track is a laserdisc release by MGM in 1993. Hearing the mono mix for the first ever was a revelation and it is now my preferred track by a mile. The 5.1 track is the same track that Kino Lorber used on their earlier Blu-ray release. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.

Extras:

Extras for this release are spread over two discs.

Extras on the 4k UHD disc include, deleted scenes (17 minutes 58 seconds, 2.35:1 Widescreen / 2160 Progressive, DTS-HD Mono English, no subtitles), extended scenes (7 minutes 29 seconds, 2.35:1 Widescreen / 2160 Progressive, DTS-HD Mono English, no subtitles) and alternate transitions (58 seconds, 2.35:1 Widescreen / 2160 Progressive, DTS-HD Mono English, no subtitles).

Extras on the Blu-ray disc include, a stills gallery titled The Good, the Bad and the Ugly on the Set (8 minutes 13 seconds, with music from the film playing in the background), a poster & lobby card gallery titled Promoting The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (9 minutes 6 seconds, with music from the film playing in the background), four deleted scenes: Extended Tuco Torture Scene (7 minutes 15 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), The Socorro Sequence - A Reconstruction (3 minutes 2 seconds, scene is reconstructed by using stills and text information about scene), Skeletons in the Desert (1 minute 4 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles) and Extended Torture Scene (1 minute 4 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), alternate footage titled The Optical Flip (55 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), four brief interview outtakes titled Vignettes: Uno, Due, Tre (41 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), Italian Lunch (44 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), New York Accent (10 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles) and Gun in Holster (1 minute, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), Trailers from Hell with Ernest Dickerson who discusses The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (3 minutes 25 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo, no subtitles), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly trailers: U.S. trailer (3 minutes 23 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), German trailer (3 minutes 28 seconds, Dolby Digital mono German, no subtitles) and French trailer (3 minutes 31 seconds, Dolby Digital mono French, no subtitles), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly radio spot (35 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), A Fistful of Dollars trailer (2 minutes 26 seconds, DTS-HD mono English, no subtitles), For a Few Dollars More trailer #1 (2 minutes 30 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), For a Few Dollars More trailer #2 (3 minutes 50 seconds, DTS-HD mono English, no subtitles), A Fistful of Dollars / For a Few Dollars More – Burning at Both Ends trailer (2 minutes 4 seconds, DTS-HD mono English, no subtitles), A Fistful of Dollars / For a Few Dollars More – Burning at Both Ends radio spot (1 minute 2 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), a featurette titled titled Reconstruction The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Extended Cut (11 minutes 10 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), a documentary about The Civil War titled The Man Who Lost the Civil War (14 minutes 23 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), a featurette titled The Leone Style (23 minutes 49 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), a featurette about composer Ennio Morricone’s score titled Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Part One (7 minutes 49 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an audio interview Ennio Morricone’s score titled Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Part Two (12 minutes 28 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), a making of documentary titled Leone's West (19 minutes 56 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles) and an audio commentary with author/film historian Tim Lucas.

Summary:

What can-be said about The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, that has not already been said. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is arguably one of best westerns ever made, and though Sergio Leone would go on to direct two more excellent westerns, Once Upon a Time in the West and A Fistful of Dynamite. With the former widely being considered his masterpiece. There’s something about The Good, the Bad and the Ugly that makes it standout when compared to Sergio Leone’s other westerns. Where all of his films are known for their stylized visual sets pieces, ultimately The Good, the Bad and the Ugly has a narrative depth that arguably his strongest.

No matter how many times I watch The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, it is a film that remains as vibrant as the first time I saw it. That said, for anyone on the fence about buying The Good, the Bad and the Ugly yet again, I strongly recommend this new release from Kino Lorber.

Note: The Screenshots are from Kino Lorber 2021 Blu-ray disk that's included as part of this release.












Written by Michael Den Boer


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