The Good The Bad and The Ugly
Not sure why, but this go around it didn't quite live up to my previous viewings. Nothing serious. It's still great. I just felt it dragged a bit when Tucco and Blondie arrive at that Monastery where Tucco's brother is a monk, after that it's ok. How did you guys feel about that bit and others? Did it feel a bit long at times?
I watched this for the first time on Blu-Ray tonight. The transfer was better than I expected, and for the most part it looked great. However, the DVD only allows you to watch the 175min extended cut, and I hate that version. It lets all the air out with a handful of scenes that just aren't as good. It throws off the whole pacing. The scene where Tuco meets his brother is well-acted, but removes the mythic quality from The Ugly. Additional political commentary does the same to The Good. (And whoever read Eastwood's lines sounds nothing like him. It's a real travesty.)
Even ignoring the extra baggage, the film wasn't as strong as I remembered. I have 3 Leone in my Top 100, and having recently seen them all now, I can't say for certain this is better than Once Upon A Time in the West or even For A Few Dollars More. But I kind of came back around in the final half-hour, which is cinematic perfection. Every shot, edit, performance and music queue in that grave yard is as good as cinema gets.
Also, I started noticing a lot of Jack Sparrow in Eli Wallach's performance, especially in the hand gestures and the way his character comes off like a boob but is very capable when he needs to be. I'm surprised Johnny Depp hasn't said anything.