I had written reviews on each of the movies, which are posted. My review of this 4- disc package examines the production quality of the DVDs themselves and does not deal with movie critiques.
First of all, the EASTER EGGS! I have yet to find a DVD that had Easter Eggs (those little tidbits that are hidden to treat people who either made a mistake with their remote or dragged the cursor over something to click on), and Blue Underground has at least seven or maybe more eggs inside the DVDs. I can't list them all here, and have made attempts to list the particular egss at the bottom of each movie review I posted on 5/Sept/03. If I recall correctly, If You Live Shoot! has 3; Run Man Run has 2; Mannaja and Django each have one that I discovered. Each DVD's Easter Egg has hidden trailers of other movies on DVD. Shoot! has two interviews in addition, and Run has an interview (each of the four reviews have detail on extracting each egg, and I hope amazon.com posts them all).
The most INCREDIBLE interview came from Shoot! where lead actor Tomas Milian makes some rather startling charges (he even suggests that he may be sued by his revelations of an accusation that he verified he was making during the interview). I will not spoil the interview, but it is worth searching the contents of the DVD to discover.
The lover of European Westerns will relish this find, even though some of the contents of the films aren't up to the caliber of a Leone epic. I knew before buying this set that the movies themselves would be a letdown if I were to expect anything near the filmmaking style of Leone and the musical genious of composer Ennio Morricone. The reason I made the purchase was to discover filmmaking OTHER than Leone's because at almost every turn, a macaroni feature airing on television will be one of the Eastwood trilogies or the epic, Once Upon a Time in the West (which is planned for DVD release in fall 2003).
TSWC is not recommended for the die- hard Eastwood or Leone fan, unless the viewer can be open- minded so as not to wind up comparing apples and oranges. One cannot and should not compare Leone's style with any other spaghetti western. He is in a class by himself.
The DVDs all were from transfers of original prints. The quality of the video material was definitely from the origibal stock. Interestingly enough, Shoot! must have used some cheaper film grade, because the saturation seemed flat, which is no fault of Blue Underground because many of the movie productions of the time were cutting corners to save as much money as possible.
The work that was put into the box set really shows by the amount of information that each DVD box provides. Blue Underground deserves credit for renewing a fan's belief that a company is releasing such obscure titles not for high profit but for a love of the genre. I wouldn't expect MGM to release the 162- minute Good/Bad/Ugly in its original 176 minute fully- restored glory. They did release 14 minutes of footage as extras, but I feel they should have followed Blue's decision to release films completely unedited and uncensored, even if it means having to replace Italian language scenes into an English language release or allowing the runtime to jump towards 3 hours in length.
Blue put forth an excellent effort to give the lover of Eurowestern cinema more detailed information about films that we really appreciate.