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These are modern crime masterworks, but every title on this set deserves a new high-def edition...
Warner / 697 Minutes / 1973-2006 / Rated R / Street Date: May 21, 2013
The newer gangster titles included on this set are perhaps more collectively beloved to our current generation of moviegoers, but as a Blu-ray box set, it proves that even though the format is hardly even a decade old, it’s time for these titles to get a new high-def appreciation. There’s no question that these are some of the more beloved violent films of recent memory – one’s even a Best Picture Oscar winner – but every one of them deserves an upgrade.
Case in point: GoodFellas (1990). Roger Ebert went on record calling it the single greatest gangster movie ever made, and it’s surely a viable competitor for the title, but on Blu-ray, it doesn’t even come with a lossless audio mix, and its video presentation isn’t as well-oiled as it should be. The Untouchables (1987) also could use a tune-up.
But the appeal of a box set like this is almost enough to counter its technical shortcomings. Mean Streets (1973), Heat (1995), and The Departed (2006) are all fine films, and while they don’t take full advantage of the potential of the format, it’s certainly preferable to watch them on BD than to slog through standard-def DVDs. If you haven’t already added them to your collection, if you can find a good deal on this set, it’ll probably be worth the investment, just rest assured that you’ll likely double-dip on all of them in the next year or two.