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THE GODFATHER, The Coppola Video Game Giftset
on September 26, 2008
This Review is based on The Standard DVD format Restoration, not The Blu-ray Version.
I'm on the fence about this New Restoration Box Set(The Restored GODFATHER III is a cleaner version), but I'm leaning towards an all-out PAN of this New Restoration. Unfortunately, I listened to some of the reviewers here and purchased this Set. (A couple of you owe me a few bucks.) It doesn't look like any of the reviewers here did a side-by-side comparison test of The New Restoration and The Original Versions of these films on DVD. I did mine on a 50" Panasonic plasma.
Yes, the New prints have fewer scratches, dirt, and grain than The Original Set, (which is not as bad as some reviewers suggest). But, the COLOR ENHANCEMENT of The New Restoration Set is OVERLY saturated in many parts. Especially, in the Red Scale. Yellows and orange flesh tones are extremely pronounced, overly brilliant, and unnatural looking in this Set. And it still contains scratches, dirt, and grain. Not as much as The Original Set, but it's still there. A lot of the grain in certain frames has been removed, while other frames remain untouched and appear to be just as grainy as The Original Version. A very uneven transfer in my opinion.
In the opening shot of THE GODFATHER, the Undertaker is so overly saturated with yellow that as the camera pulls back to reveal Don Corleone's desk, it renders The Undertaker almost out of focus. Trust me, this shot looks far better in The Original Set. Compare the shot in THE GODFATHER of Luca Brasi in his apartment, donning his bulletproof vest, in preparation for his meeting with Sollozzo. The colors in The Original Version look natural, while The Restoration renders Luca's apartment in a blazing wash of bright sunshine yellow. These frames are entirely over-saturated with color. I assure you, certain frames of this Restoration DO NOT look anything like the Original film stock print. The warm and natural looking sepia tone of The Original film has been blasted away with digital color in many frames, almost making them look unreal.
THE GODFATHER II has been compressed onto one disc, while The Original Version was compressed onto 2 discs.
(By the way, I could care less about The TV Saga Version. It's not the way these films were shot, and it's not the way they were intended to be seen.)
Some frames of The New Restoration look very grainy, some look incredible, while other frames make these films appear as if Ted Turner Colorized them. At times, I wasn't sure if I was watching THE GODFATHER, or SPEED RACER.
Is this version worth a Double Dip? I'm still on the fence about that. But, I think I prefer The Original Box Set over this half-baked attempt at improving this Classic with an over-saturation of color.
I get the feeling that The Blu-ray Version must look really odd. Blu-ray is great technology for newer films. Older films tend to suffer from over-saturation with this technology. The public is so enamoured with Blu-ray, they don't realize some of the classic older films don't resemble their original celluloid color exposures anymore. And that's a shame. It's going to take some more time before remastering technicians understand the remastering treatment that some of these classic older films deserve. Sometimes less is more.
If you must have The Restoration, turn the brightness and color way down on your TV.
I'm calling this THE GODFATHER: THE COPPOLA VIDEO GAME GIFTSET.
There is no question that this Standard DVD Remastered Version is overly saturated with color. Here is a pretty SIMPLE ADJUSTMENT SOLUTION that seems to work quite well, reproduces truer color, and makes these Remastered films much more enjoyable. At least it did on my 50" Panasonic Viera plasma. (I also use this for The Anniversary Remaster of SCARFACE which is also overly saturated with color.) Stay away from the VIVID and CINEMA Picture Settings. Use the STANDARD Picture Setting which will give you the following numbers: Picture 50, Brightness 50, Color 50, Tint 0, and Sharpness 75. Simply tune the COLOR setting down from 50 to 35. I found that changes to the other settings were not necessary. This should take care of the overly saturated playback color issue. I do not know whether this adjustment will work as well with an LCD, Projection, Tube TV, or Blu-Ray Disc.