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We all love a good box set, but is this forty-film collection worth its monster price...?
Warner / 4732 Minutes / 1971-2012 / PG/PG-13/R / Street Date: June 4, 2013
First point: I love a good box set. DVDs are ever so slowly going extinct, but a doorstop collection like The Clint Eastwood 40-Film Collection is a big, beautiful beauty, a thick, wonderfully-packaged marvel. It’s not complete – no spaghetti westerns here, unfortunately – but it’s nevertheless a pretty darned thorough cross-section of Eastwood’s life and time: if anything, it’s probably the only kind of box set that includes both Every Which Way But Loose and Letters From Iwo Jima.
Second point: 75% of the movies here are available in Blu-ray. Tightrope, True Crime, Bronco Billy, Honkytonk Man, City Heat, Pink Cadillac, The Bridges of Madison County, Bird, White Hunter, Black Heart, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil have yet to get the high-def treatment, but everything else here has, and with that in mind, it’s hard to recommend retreating back to standard-def. It’s the only major facet of this edition that really disappoints
Third point: there’s a 20-Film Collection also new to the market that is in high-def. It doesn’t include some of the fringe titles this monster sports, but it’s probably a better bet in terms of sheer technical prowess.
For viewers who haven’t yet upgraded to a Blu-ray way of life, this 40-Film Collection might be a major advent, but if you’re familiar with the wonders that high-def provides, as admirable as this compilation is, it’s difficult to fully applaud. Clint is one of cinema’s most valuable participants, and on the surface, this box set is appropriately bad-ass, but upon full inspection, it becomes clear that the guy deserves better.