THE SCREENING ROOM
By Bill Kallay"For a Few Dollars More" seems to be the template for many of the buddy cop films of the 1980s. That's why it's so much fun to watch.
"For a Few Dollars More" is now available on Blu-ray.
As much as I didn't really care for Sergio Leone's "A Fistful of Dollars," I really did enjoy its 1965 sequel. The acting, the story, the pacing and the overall better production value are a nice improvement on what is considered classic cinema. Clint Eastwood is back as "The Man With No Name" and he's just as mysterious as before. Joining him is Lee Can Cleef, the epitome of the rough scowling cowboy. Both actors are superb.
The story essentially revolves around Cleef teaming up with Eastwood to capture El Indio (Gian Maria Volonte) for a sizable reward. Of course with any buddy movie, Eastwood is reluctant and through a series of tricking one another, they decide it's best to team up. What is surprising is how well done the film's plot unfolds. I got a bit misty-eyed at the end realizing why Cleef was after El Indio. Who says you can't get a little choked up in an old western?
The film reminded me of some of the buddy cop films of the 1980s. Although I've seen a number of films made before "For a Few Dollars More," I haven't seen a film with its template for the reluctant enemies teaming together for the common good. Films that came to mind were the "Lethal Weapon" films.
The Blu-ray picture is very good. The quality in high definition is totally fine, for the original film elements shot in Techniscope are grainy to begin with. Viewers should not expect a film like this to have a supremely sharp and grain free picture. To my eyes, this is how the film should look.
The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is very good. The DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack has been dubbed with new sound effects. Though they sound very good, they don't match the original dialogue track sound quality whatsoever. The new effects seem out of place. Fortunately, the original mono mix is included and sounds fine for what it is. This film was made on a low budget and the sound quality shows it.
This is a nice surprise of movie. Certainly some of the elements are dated and the film as a whole is a bit crude in its execution. Yet it's entirely entertaining.
Special thanks to Click Communications
Photos: © Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. All rights reserved.