As long as you haven’t been under a rock or were born in the past two decades, chances are you’ve seen or at least heard of Clint Eastwood’s 1992 masterpiece that is Unforgiven. Winner of four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, this epic has seen countless releases on DVD and Blu-ray, but has now crossed over into the best one there is on a 4K UHD Blu-ray with HDR that make this classic a must have for anyone’s 4K collection.
You know a film is powerful when it made fans out of a genre a lot of people usually don’t care for, the western. Even those who don’t watch them normally loved this movie, so that should give you some idea of how epic this tale is. Eastwood stars as Bill Munny, a legendary hitman that put away his guns long ago to become a family man and live off the land. Of course this kind of peace can only last so long as one day the madam of a local brothel is looking to hire Bill for one last job, to avenge the maiming of one of her prostitutes. With his best friend and partner Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) at his side, as well as a rookie gunslinger known as the “Schofield Kid” (Jaimz Woolvett), the three of them set off to find their bounty. But with the corrupt Sheriff, Little Bill Daggett (played by the always great Gene Hackman) getting in their way of their investigation, Munny and his crew might have taken on more than they can handle.
As with every great story, things can run a bit slow here, but the climactic final act more than makes up for any sluggish moments here. When I first saw this film some years ago, I didn’t care for the pacing that much. Now being older and having more respect for classic movies, I didn’t mind the slow pacing at all. If anything, it made me realize why this movie is held in such high regard in the first place. Thanks to the 4K UHD transfer, everything looks and sounds even better than before, especially with HDR making the colors and details stand out. The audio side of things makes sure you catch every line of crucial dialogue, and will have you taking cover and dodging bullets when the gunfights go off.
When the guns have been hung up, you can sit for a spell and check out the special features, starting off with audio commentary by film critic Richard Schickel. Thanks to him spending a lot of time with Eastwood and studying his films, Schickel offers plenty of perspective on Eastwood’s technique during the filming and production of Unforgiven. “Eastwood on Eastwood” is a huge, in depth documentary that’s produced and directed by Schickel that goes into everything that went on during the production of the movie and Eastwood’s career by having a one on one interview with him. This is by far the biggest and best extra here as having over an hour and a half of Eastwood giving viewers insight into his acting and directing process is nothing short of fascinating. Rounding out the extras is an early appearance of Eastwood as a cowboy in the “Duel at Sundown” episode of the classic TV series “Maverick”. While it has nothing to do with Unforgiven, it gives viewers a nice taste of what would make a young Clint Eastwood so famous and popular.
Even if you don’t care for westerns, Unforgiven will still appeal to those who enjoy great films. Thanks to an all-star cast, a simple but amazing story, and of course watching this unfold in 4K with HDR, this UHD Blu-ray should be mandatory viewing for movie lovers and a must have in anyone’s 4K collection.