Watching a great version of something – and especially the greatest version of something – can really spoil you as a moviegoer. When you're suffering through one bad movie after another, there's a sort of acceptance and even celebration of the ones that tell familiar stories even just the least poorly. But when you see the gold-standard, best-ever iteration of a certain story or genre, it puts you in the unfortunate position of comparing every other version to it.
The good folks at Fox Home Entertainment recently released the Man With No Name trilogy on Blu-ray, so I spent the better part of this week watching Sergio Leone's trailblazing westerns and marveling at how freaking great they are. (Look for a full review of that set coming soon.) Simultaneously, cult movie distributor Blue Underground released Django, the Sergio Corbucci-directed spaghetti western that quite literally spawned an entire subgenre. Never having seen it before now, I was curious: how do other spaghetti westerns, in particular ones in the subgenre's second most famous film series, compare to Leone's? The answer is in this week's "Shelf Life."