The good, the bad, the ugly in 4K UHD, the review: Leo’s masterpiece as you’ve never seen it

The review of The Good, the Ugly, the Bad in 4K UHD: thanks to Eagle’s 4Kult series, here is the first Sergio Leone film to arrive on the Italian market in the most advanced video format.

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The good, the bad, the ugly: Clint Eastwood in a scene from the film

It is the first film by maestro Sergio Leone to arrive on the Italian market in the most advanced video format, and for this alone it is an unmissable product. But as we will see in the review of The good, the bad, the ugly in 4K UHD, even the quality of the edition that arrives for the Eagle Pictures 4KULT series makes it a truly special product for many reasons. As well as the best possible way to review the 1966 western masterpiece with Clint Eastwood completing the famous dollar trilogy, as well as the exploits of Tuco (the Ugly), Joe (the Good) and Sentenza (the Bad).

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The good, the bad, the ugly: a scene from the film

Slipcase pack, three discs and a numbered collector’s card

Buonocover

The edition 4Kult of Eagle of The good, the ugly, the bad convinces right from the packaging: as for the other products of the series, we find an elegant slipcover of cardboard with parts in relief to contain an amaray of the large ones. Inside one card numbered collectible illustrated by Marika Polcari and three discs, each in its own special housing. On the first disc the film in 4K UHD version with the Italian cut of 175 minutes and the authoring by 64biz, on the second the film in the HD blu-ray (with old master and DVDlab authoring) while the third is a DVD entirely dedicated to numerous special contents, about 90 minutes in total.

4K video: super detail and depth, and on colorimetry …

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The good, the bad, the ugly: Clint Eastwood in a scene from the film

And we come to the most awaited part, namely the video. First of all it must be said that for the disc, as for the previous American edition in 4K UHD, HDR was not used, due to the precise choice of those who took care of the dubbing and evidently considered it useless, if not downright harmful, to proceed with this system. for this type of film. Another important aspect, up to now numerous editions of the film have been released and in many of them the variety of colorimetry has been discussed. Here we can only say that the vision is truly excellent: the master is the result of the careful restoration, financed a few years ago by MGM and Cineteca di Bologna, curated by L’Immagine rediscovered, while the color correction it was supervised by Sergio Salvati, camera operator of the film and close collaborator of Tonino Delli Colli, director of photography who passed away in 2005. And this is a guarantee of quality.

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The good, the bad, the ugly: Eli Wallach in a scene from the film

We were talking about excellent performance and in fact thanks to the fantastic master we are faced with a really very good detail, even granite on the wrinkles and the lived faces of the three protagonists, often shot in close-ups loved by Leone. The grain is very present, all natural, always in motion and organic to the images. The depth in the panoramas is also good, where the grain is understandably greater, while with regard to the famous colorimetry here we are faced with that general slightly yellowish hue already seen in other editions: a shade that has caused discussion (in a recent American edition there is no ‘is a much colder one), but which to the test of facts is certainly a beautiful sight that makes a lot of vintage western films, and is not so marked as to be forced. The only relief, in the dark scenes a little softness emerges and at times the slightly high black tends to wash out the contrast with a bending also of the detail and the contours.

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The audio: shame about that Italian multichannel only on blu-ray

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The good, the bad, the ugly: Clint Eastwood in a scene from the film

The audio question is a bit schizophrenic. On the 4K UHD disc in Italian we find only the DTS HD Master Audio Mono 1.0 track, while in English, in addition to mono, there is also the DTS HD Master Audio 5.1. Let’s be clear, the Italian track is clean and has a satisfactory rendering, but it is certainly very closed on the central, the dynamics are flat and the dialogues a bit dry with the sound effects of the shootings very sacrificed. Certainly the lossless English multichannel has a greater involvement. On the blu-ray instead, we find only two Italian tracks, the DTS Dual Mono 2.0 and above all the DTS HD Master Audio 5.1. The latter is precisely the one with the most convincing Italian audio, with a discrete spatiality and with flashes of dynamics, as well as greater balance. Too bad, however, that the track is not combined with what is by far the best view, that of the 4K disc.

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The extras: a fully dedicated DVD with 90 minutes of contributions

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The good, the bad, the ugly: a scene from the film

And we come to the extra, as mentioned, all inserted in a special DVD, or the third disc in the package. We start with The West by Sergio Leone (20 ‘), a 2004 documentary on Sergio Leone’s career and the impact of his films on the genre, with interviews with the critic Richard Schickel, the film translator Mickey Knox, the producer Alberto Grimaldi and the actors Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach. Continue with Sergio Leone’s style (24 ‘), a contribution on the unmistakable visual style of the master, his artistic choices and the influence of dreams: here too there are interventions by Knox, Eastwood and Wallach, with the latter two sharing an anecdote of an accident on the set.

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The good, the bad, the ugly: Lee Van Cleef in a scene from the film

We therefore find Rebuilding The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (11 ‘), on the work done for the restoration but also to bring the film back to its extended version, then The Master: Ennio Morricone and the good, the bad and the ugly (8 ‘) with the historian Jon Burlingame who examines the work of the great composer, then followed by his audio commentary on the soundtrack of the film (13’). It continues with the Reconstruction of the Socorro cut scene (3 ‘), the Extended scene from La tortuna di Tuco (7 ‘), to close with the international trailer, the French trailer and the Easter eggs – interviste a Eli Wallach e Clint Eastwood (2 ‘and a half).

Conclusions

As we analyzed in the review of The good, the ugly, the bad in 4K UHD, the Eagle Pictures edition for the 4Kult series is not only precious for being the first release in this format on the Italian market of a Sergio Leone film, but also unmissable because it allows you to admire the final chapter of the dollar trilogy as never before, thanks to an excellent master, the result of an excellent restoration. The audio is discreet but with somewhat questionable choices, while a separate disc is reserved for extras with 90 minutes of contributions.

Because we like it

  • The video is gorgeous and gritty, with great detail and natural grain.
  • The colorimetry has a pleasant yellowish tone but without exaggeration, however the result of careful supervision.
  • The audio tracks, albeit with understandable limitations, are all clean and allow for pleasant listening.
  • The 90 minutes of extras are noteworthy, all enclosed in a special DVD.

What’s wrong

  • Too bad that the superb 4K video is combined only with an Italian mono audio track and not the Italian DTS HD 5.1, present instead only on the blu-ray.

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