I finally found the time to watch my new Explosive Media Blu-ray.
It was so great to be able to watch it uncut in English with a good quality image. As expected, the places with SD image and sound are noticeably inferior, but they are not particularly jarring. I have never watched the cut English version (and doubt I ever will), but it is fascinating to note what was cut out while watching the uncut version. Some of the decisions are truly bizarre. If it doesn’t affect continuity, why cut out some great scenes/frames instead of some less good ones (reminds me of how they cut part of the cane fields sequence in The Big Gundown!).
I haven’t changed my opinion that while the theme is very interesting, visually this one is not as arresting as The Big Gundown or Run Man Run. As a result, it remains third in my rankings of Sollima’s trilogy. However, the interesting plot does make me very eager to see an original screenplay (ideally the shooting script). As Sollima has mentioned, his original cut was significantly longer than the “uncut” version we have today, but the producers forced him to remove huge chunks of material.