Recently Warner Bros released two boxed sets filled with Gangster films, most of which I did not own on Blu-Ray or DVD. I like a good gangster film, so I thought this would be a good time to take them for a spin.
The 2 sets represent two eras of these films, Contemporary and Classic. I will start off talking a little about the general things for both release and then talk about what you get in each set more specifically.
When I see sets like this, I tend to look first at which films I might own already. These are compilation sets more than box or collectors sets. What you are really getting is each individual film at a reduced price. Since my gangster film collection is weak, this worked out well for me. If you do own some of these, I am not sure you need to invest in the sets. Instead do some price comparing. Can you pick up the other ones on the cheap? If so, do that, you are not missing anything. If you are like me though and want to pick up some classic films at a great price and do not mind a box set on your shelf instead of an individual package, these are worth your money.
The sound and picture on these releases are solid. Very good transfers and clean audio on all of them. Mind you the older films, while “cleaned up” are still with some flaws. Do not expect heavy digital retouching (but why would you want that on these gems).
With the classic Gangster films, here are the titles you will get:
- Little Caesar
- The Public Enemy
- The Petrified Forest
- White Heat
I have seen all of these films before, but they have never looked this good. White Heat is AMAZING! I do not think I ever appreciated as much as I did on this watching and I think that is mainly because it looks so good. Even if you do not buy this box set, you might want to check out that release up individually.
In the Contemporary release you get:
- The Untouchables
- Mean Streets
- The Departed
I thought I was going to just watch and rave about the Untouchables (which I love), but I realized that my copy of Mean Streets was still a VHS copy and I put that in first and Wow! I know people rave about this film and it is solid, but like watching the classic films from above, watching Mean Streets in HD is an “experience”. To me, this is the true standout in this collection. The other films are fine, Goodfellas is alright and The Departed has some great acting. I just never loved Heat and this format does nothing to help that out. Of course, if you enjoy those films and do not own them in HD, this could be an improvement.
All in all I think these sets are a good value. I especially enjoyed the Classics collection and the older films in the Contemporary collection. If you do the math and these work out to be a good deal for you, they are worth your entertainment dollar. So why not order up your copies today.