4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4 Very Good Films BUT Only 2 Worthwhile HD Transfers to Blu-ray + the 5-Disc Edition is Likely To Be Better Value,
This review is from: Ultimate Gangster Collection [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Firstly, if this boxset tempts you do ensure you prefer it over the 'alternative', almost identical, edition which adds 'Scarface'; perhaps unsurprisingly, the only real way to tell the superior version is being sold is to check if the legend 'Scarface' sits sneakily at the base of the vertical listing of the included titles on the outer box (assuming it is pictured) to make the total = 5, or if the retailer makes a positive effort to mention that it is included (most don't). As the price might be more attractive, here's the Amazon product link for it :
The Ultimate Gangsters Box Set 2011 [Blu-ray]
Even allowing for the omission of 'Scarface' this collection is, in my opinion, a good way to dip into the world of organised crime/gangster films as they are all very decent efforts from noteworthy directors with good production qualities and notable casts - no 'duds' included, as so often can be the case with these type of boxsets....
I'm not sure there is a real standout classic and, for me, they all have just about equal standing and their own individual merits.
Happily, the collection is 'simply' that outer box holding the standard retail Blu-ray editions of each feature in their respective blue Blu-ray case.
Sadly, there are blemishes with this collection. Yes, the transfers are all 'proper' HD with the requisite improvement in resolution/soundtrack format BUT 'Casino' suffers from a horrendous prevalence of print damage (ie it has not been 'cleaned-up') and 'American Gangster' looks no better than an upscaled DVD.
In the case of 'Casino' this matter is unforgivable as the regular 'intrusion' of small white flecks onto the screen is very distracting and makes watching the film on Blu-ray a struggle; remastering really should have been easily possible for what is a relatively modern film.
As far as 'American Gangster' is concerned, the transfer is completely unblemished - it just doesn't offer any noticeable improvement. Having said that, what you do get is the extended edition and all the additional extra features from the expanded DVD edition on the one Blu-ray disc - so it does offer something extra.
The remaining 2 films are definite improvements and present themselves extremely well. 'Public Enemies' is a modern production so was always likely to be impressive, but the significant improvement to the older 'Carlito's Way' is a pleasant bonus.
If you want more detail, I've written individual reviews on Amazon for some of these films on Blu-ray, namely 'Casino', 'American Gangster' and 'Public Enemies'. Here are the links to them (or get to them easier/direct by going via my Amazon profile) :
Casino [Blu-ray][Region Free]
American Gangster [Blu-ray][Region Free]
Public Enemies [Blu-ray][Region Free]
So, if priced attractively and acceptably lower than the 5-disc edition, this boxset is a worthwhile purchase as opposed to buying the Blu-rays individually and also because the films are all quality efforts, offering varying degrees of improvement over their DVD editions - except in the case of 'Casino', unless you can see beyond the print damage (I couldn't) in which case you'll be very happy/just as satisfied with it as the other 3 Blu-rays.