Well, I just finished watching The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly for the first time (I know, I know, I should've watched this ages ago, but at least I finally did get to see it!) and all I can say is: WOW. What a fucking fantastic movie. I think I need to see it another several times to get everything out of it, but still, wow.
I watched the newer, extended version of the film - now, I'm wondering what the original was like, because I don't feel like there is anything that could reasonably be left out of what I saw! I would be interested to know what was missing from the edited version, but I don't have any interest in watching it, really - I can't imagine it could be as good.
I never realized how great Clint Eastwood was as an actor, either - I have never really had any interest in him or his work, since the only times I've seen him were when he was rather aged & gray. But he really did a great job in this movie, although I've no idea why he is "the good", or at least any more good than the others, really. They are all just looking out for themselves. However, at the same time, I was really hating that I didn't dislike Tuco's character more than I did...as I head from someone else, he does become somewhat endearing and "totally loveable" even while incredibly "sleazy" and simpering and two-faced (well, at least he attempts to be - everyone sees right through his act). What bothered me was that if he really is guilty of all of those crimes that were being read out against him at the beginning of the film, why do I really end up kind of rooting for him, at the end (and throughout the film, for that matter)? He's a complete bastard, and deserved to hang like he was supposed to - but instead he ends up with ... well, I won't ruin it for those who haven't seen it. It's just something I'm going to have to keep in mind next time I watch the movie - I want to know why his other, past crimes are so easy to forget. He's constantly presented as a jerk! And yet the viewer still wants him to end up on top, for some reason or other. It's a really interesting work of film, that Sergio Leone can manage that.
There is also so much complexity to those characters. It's incredible how much story you get about each one of them, in only a few hours. Somebody on IMDb pointed out that Blondie "[isn't] exactly good, but there are limits to his brutality." Very interesting point. Relative to the others, he certainly is "the good" - but the question is, to what extent? (Which is partly what the ending reveals.)
In any case, I'll stop raving about the movie - I'm going to go read some more message board posts about it, to see what others have to say about it - but I definitely recommend it to any of those who haven't seen it. (Although I'm sure most people in this world already have; I know I'm slow!) Glad I finally got around to it, though. Definitely worth it.
I especially love how the movie had not a single female character. I know, coming from a girl that might be rather odd to hear, but any romance or even sexual tension would have completely changed & perhaps ruined that movie. I am still in awe of Leone's work as a filmmaker. Bravo.
TITLE: The Handmaid's Tale
AUTHOR: Margaret Atwood
TITLE: V for Vendetta
AUTHOR: Alan Moore & David Lloyd