152 of 167 people found the following review helpful
An offer you can't refuse--"The Godfather" restored for Blu-ray (and DVD) looks and sounds terrific-Doesn't include TV version,
This review is from: The Godfather Collection (The Coppola Restoration) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
NOTE: Opinions vary but MY review is designed to help those who haven't purchased the product decide whether or not they want to. If you disagree, write a review--the comments section IS for that but not the voting system.
A marvelous restoration job, "The Godfather-The Coppola Restoration Gif Set" includes all three original films as they were presented theatrical. It doesn't have the version that Coppola cut for TV and presented in chronological order. THe first two films are masterpieces and while the third is severely flawed, it does have its moments.
Keep in mind that these were restored for theatrical showings NOT for the home video market and, as such, these probably aren't the best Blu-rays to use to show off your home video system. Some people will no doubt be disappointed but, quite frankly, these films have never looked this good before on home video. Is this a big step up from the DVDs? Yes and no. The Blu-ray does provide better resolution but keep in mind it also shows the flaws inherent in the original films (and some people will regard the grainy images as being a flaw).
First keep in mind that "The Godfather" was meant to look grainy so those of you who hate grain will probably wonder why they didn't eliminate it. That's because to do so would have required altering the look of the film not restoring it and the usual result of eliminating film grain is that you lose detail. The result also makes it look like the actors are walking wax dummies. Some scenes are much grainer than others but that's the way the film was meant to look.
According to Harris in an article at American Cinematographer, the original film was in extremely bad shape and, in some instances, frames from outtakes had to be subsituted because damage had crept into the frame area of the film.
"The Godfather Part II" was in better shape for a variety of reasons and didn't require quite as much work on it as the first film.
"The Godfather Part III" since it used different development techniques from the first three (and for other reasons you can read at the American Cinematographer website)and only required Harris to match the black levels and make sure the color scheme was done correctly.
Robert Harris has done a marvelous job on the restoration of the film. Colors are bolder than before with nice crisp images as cinematographer Gordon Willis originally shot the film. While the DVD looks terrific, the Blu-ray looks positively stunning. Does it look like a film released last year? No, of course not that would be impossible but Harris working with Coppola and Willis has brought the film into the 21st century without overprocessing the image (like the recent Blu-ray "Patton")and staying true to the original look of the original film elements if they were in pristine condition.
All of the previous extras from the boxed set have been ported over in HD along with some new extras including "The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn't" documenting the difficult birth of the film from Paramount asking Puzo to initially change the period setting to 1970's Los Angeles to the constant threat of Coppola being fired during the shooting of the film. "When the Shooting Stops" covers the post-production efforts of editing and scoring the film.
THe humorous "Godfather World" has famous directors illustrated the cultural impact of the film and features bits and pieces from "The Simpsons" to "South Park"."Emulsion Rescue documents Robert Harris' restoration efforts of the aging film elements. "Four Short FIlms of "The Godfather" is amusing as well.
The 12 page booklet included with the Blu-ray was clearly designed for the DVD because it's much too large to fit in the Blu-ray holder (it's glued to the outside packaging). It's odd to design the booklet like this as you'll have to either trim it down to fit inside, slide it in where it might possible become creased or store it separately to prevent wear and tear. It has a bit of info on the Oscars for the films and the credits. It's an odd extra to include because it doesn't have anything truly essential NOT included on the Blu-ray or DVD boxed set.
I'd highly recommend this compelling saga on Blu-ray and DVD. It's a huge improvement on the previous set, has new and previously released extras (including Coppola's often blunt commentary tracks)and looks terrific. For those looking for the TV version that ran in chronological order just be aware it's not here as part of this set although many of the deleted scenes used to assemble that one are included.
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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 25, 2008 1:46:08 PM PDT
Great review. I still don't understand why grainy scenes cannot be improved without losing detail. I'll definitley but this collection. I would like to know if annoying previews begin playing before the movie starts. Thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2008 1:51:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 25, 2008 1:52:06 PM PDT
They can be...the way that grain is removed is using a software tool like DNR. Using it essentially throws the image out of focus or softens the grain. Then you must go back in and digitally enhance areas of the screen. If not done carefully, it gives skin a plasticine look results in the loss of fine detail. It's a (pardon the pun) fine line that companies that do grain management (believe or not this is what it is called) to make the transition from film to the digital realm during the Telecine process.
The grain was always high in "The Godfather" due to the low lit scenes, type of film used, etc. Grain is more of a problem particularly during really dark scenes with the BLu-ray and DVD reissue. Robert Harris' job wasn't to reduce the film grain in his restoration (that's something that happens during the transfer process to the digital realm) but was, instead, to make the film look as much like it did when it was first released in terms of the quality with the materials he had.
As far as annoying previews--mine went right into the movie after the Paramount Digital logo.
Posted on Sep 26, 2008 2:00:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 27, 2008 7:11:26 AM PDT
I have this blu ray set. The booklet does fit just fine in the case. It looks like it won't fit. You have to slide it in diagonally, then scootch it over a bit, then insert the blu ray case. No bent corners at all.
One more thing - one or more of the discs may become detached in the case during shipping. This happens alot with multi-disc sets. The resulting movement of the disc inside the package may appear to mar the playing surface of the disc itself. Blu ray discs have a very hard protective coating, and the plastic material that the case is made from is very soft. Just wipe the playing surface with a diaper (OK, soft cloth) until the surface is clean again.
Nice review, by the way.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2008 2:28:18 PM PDT
Thanks. Maybe mine was meant to be cut smaller, I'm not sure but I've found I would have to slide it in such a way that it will crease it. It's not a big deal just odd if they designed an oversized book NOT to be put inside the DVD case and/or slip case.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 10, 2008 11:26:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 10, 2008 11:31:54 PM PDT
Giacomo Holdini says:
"Robert Harris' job wasn't to reduce the film grain in his restoration (that's something that happens during the transfer process to the digital realm)"
Technically speaking, the transfer to the digital realm happened at the start of the restoration, not when it was transferred for Blu-ray. Since the negatives were so fragile, doing an optical restoration was impossible. Thus, after inspecting the film stock to make sure it could survive the scanning process, all film elements were scanned at 4K resolution, and all restoration work was done digitally. Even some of the theater screenings of the restored movie were projected digitally in 2K res. Thus, if Harris wanted to, he easily could have employed DNR type techniques to reduce the grain as part of the restoration. My suspicion is that he didn't because that would have seriously undermined the look of the original film (a la Patton on BD), as your explanation makes clear. But to say that it wasn't his "job" because the restoration was prior to a digital transfer is inaccurate.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2008 9:25:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Feb 4, 2009 5:26:41 PM PST
I agree about the grain management. I didn't state that the restoration happened prior to the digital transfer (perhaps that's implied because of the way the sentence is written)but merely pointing out that DNR use during grain management usually occurs as part of the transfer process to the digital realm.
Harris elected to keep the grainy look of the film because that's how it was supposed to look. This was never meant to look like a recent film but recall what it might have looked like in its glory days of the 70's. That's what Harris did--it wasn't his job to manage the grain during the transfer TO the digital realm--that's done using DNR which wasn't Harris job (the restoration was). He did, however, supervise the transfer to make sure it represented how the film looked in 1973.
Thanks for the comment.
Posted on Feb 3, 2009 3:11:39 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 6, 2009 2:14:48 AM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2009 8:13:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 3, 2009 8:26:19 PM PST
It does look like 1080p BUT you have to consider the condition of the negative, the restoration (which improves the image quality of the film but doesn't make it look like a more recent film). I have no idea what you're referring to in the white specks...white specks are usually a flaw in the film or negative itself.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2009 11:42:28 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 6, 2009 2:15:03 AM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2009 7:53:58 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 18, 2009 9:05:49 PM PDT]
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