Unfortunately, based on most threads I have read, it appears only "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" is being remastered for this release. While it is the film I most wanted to be remastered out of the trilogy, it seems kind of weird to call the release a 4K remastered edition when only one of the films is receiving that treatment...
I've read that 'Duck, You Sucker' is to be released on BD in the US this summer. Also, Amazon UK has a pre-order for a steelbook of the GBU-only remaster (not the trilogy). So, I've decided to:
(1) Order the German BD's of 'Fistful of Dollars' and 'For A Few Dollars More'. The former used the same master as the Italian release and has superior picture quality. The latter reportedly has a slightly different picture (really no better nor worse) than the USA version, with the attraction being that it is fully uncut - it runs for 44 seconds more. Both are English-friendly - they definitely have English audio, and reportedly have all of the same extras.
(2) Sell my current 'Man With No Name' BD trilogy
(3) Buy individual copies of 'Duck, You Sucker' and 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly' when they are available (hopefully as early as this summer).
Now is a nice time to think about it (not! AFTER ordering the German 'Fistful of Dollars' and 'For a Few Dollars More'), but can anyone tell me if the extras are English-friendly, or only the main feature?
For example, comparing (compliments of dvdcompare dot net) the German Universum release of FAFDM to the USA MGM release:
Blu-ray ALL America - MGM Home Entertainment Commentaries: Audio Commentary by Professor Sir Christopher Frayling Featurettes: - 'The Christopher Frayling Archives: For a Few Dollars More' (19:02) - 'A New Standard' (20:14) - 'Back For More' (7:08) - 'Tre Voci/Three Voices' (11:05) - 'For a Few Dollars More: The Original American Release Version' (5:18) - 'Location Comparisons' (12:16) 12 Radio Spots (7:36) Trailer (3:29) Double-Bill Trailer (3:44)
Blu-ray ALL Germany - Universum Film Commentaries: Audio Commentary with Professor Sir Christopher Frayling Featurettes: - `A New Standard' (19:10, SD) - 'Back For More' (6:34, SD) - 'Tre Voci / Three Voices' (10:18, SD) - 'For a Few Dollars More (The American Release Version - Extended Scenes)' (4:48, SD) - 'Location Comparisons' (11:31, SD) - `Restoration: Italian Style' (4:21, SD) German Trailer (Constantin) (3:07, HD) German Re-Release Trailer (Tobis) (3:23, HD) American Trailer (3:36, SD) Double-Bill Trailer (1:55, SD) Radio Spots (x12) German Opening Titles (3:10, HD) Subtitles:German, English, German (Commentary), English (Commentary)
Based on the German and English subtitles for the commentary, logic dictates that the Frayling commentary will be in English. This is good - commentaries are things I listen to multiple times.
How about the rest? Featurettes aren't as important - many are 'watch once'. There are a some obvious content differences, but I won't keep my USA disc just for a few featurettes IF the German disc has its contents in English. If I really want to keep a featurette from my USA disc, I can always burn it to DVD-R.
Can anyone confirm if the featurettes on the German discs are English-friendly?
I don't know if anyone is reading this message trail, but in case someone runs across this and finds it valuable ...
I received the $1 and $2 Universum BD's yesterday and gave them a quick look. Highlights: - PQ on $1 is definitely superior - PQ on $2 is arguably inferior (lots of dirt not present on MGM disc) - Original mono (not the 5.1 fold-down's put on the MGM discs) is available for both. I spent only seconds listening to $1, but watched quite a bit of $2 with the original mono and it was quite nice (none of the special effects added for the 5.1 mix) - Frayling's commentaries are present for both. You can add English or German subtitles if you like. - For all extras in English, there are German subtitles 'hard-coded' into the presentation. If there is a way to turn them off, I haven't figured it out yet. - For the extras not in English, there is no way to get English subtitles (if there is, I haven't figured it out yet).
So, my plan now is to keep the MGM $1 and $2 discs because the contents are more different than I thought. When I get the GBU remaster, I'll get whatever I can for the old disc.