The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration
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On the DVD
People used to say this was Frank Sinatra's world, and the rest of us just lived in it. After watching the multiple special features in the box set The Godfather: Coppola Restoration, one might conclude it's actually time for a cultural and historical revision: This is the Corleone family's world. The rest of us better tread lightly. Actually, the point of the half-dozen or so features crammed onto a disc accompanying the beautifully restored The Godfather, The Godfather II and The Godfather III, is that The Godfather movies have penetrated popular culture in such a deep and meaningful way that they are second-nature to everything. David Chase, creator of and writer on The Sopranos, for example, describes in the featurette "Godfather World" that his hit HBO series was intended to be the story of the first generation of mobsters actually influenced by Francis Ford Coppola's hit trilogy. Joe Mantegna calls the three films "the Italian Star Wars." (Mantegna co-stars in The Godfather III.) Alec Baldwin says no matter what one is doing, one is compelled to stop and watch the films if they're on television. Richard Belzer calls the films "a religion."
And so on. A number of people similarly testify in "Godfather World" to the importance and ubiquitousness of The Godfather and its sequels in American life. There's no point in arguing, so its best to move on to the other featurettes, including "The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn't," reviewing in detail much of what has been said about Paramount's mistreatment of Coppola, about casting fights (Steve McQueen as Michael?), about the studio's assumption they were getting a quick-and-dirty B-movie, and about producer Robert Evans' determination to keep his choice of director and unlikely actors under his wing. Fresh information within the special features, however, begins with "… When the Shooting Stopped," a fine study of post-production on The Godfather, with several surprising and fascinating facts. Among emerging details is an explanation of why Michael Corleone's scream toward the end of The Godfather III is silenced out. (Hint: it was meant to be the inverse of a sound effect in the first movie.) "Emulsional Rescue: Revealing The Godfather" talks about the painstaking work of restoring the first two films, beginning with a phone call from Coppola to Steven Spielberg (after the latter's DreamWorks studio became part of the Viacom family) asking if he'd request money from Paramount for restoration work. "The Godfather On the Red Carpet is a negligible series of fawning statements about the movie from hot young actors, while "Four Short Films" are brief and enjoyable takes on different aspects of The Godfather's impact on modern living. --Tom Keogh
Stills from The Godfather - The Coppola Restoration Giftset (Click for larger image)
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Top Customer Reviews
Carried over from the original set are all of Francis Ford Coppola's commentary tracks for the three films. On The Godfather one, he appropriately enough, starts off by talking about the film's famous opening scene and how it was supposed to start with the wedding but a friend suggested he do something else. Coppola talks about how he organized the elaborate wedding sequence and shot it only 2-3 days! He talks about the pressure he was under by the studio and in read danger of being fired because they didn't like what he was doing. This is pretty solid track that we've come to expect from the veteran filmmaker.
Coppola's contributes another excellent commentary for The Godfather Part II. Initially, he had no interest in doing a sequel and dealing with studio bureaucracy. He suggested Martin Scorsese for the job. The studio balked at this idea and accepted all of Coppola's terms. The veteran filmmaker talks at length about the development of the Corleone family from Part I. Coppola is engaging and very articulate, delivering a top notch track that is well worth a listen for any fan of this movie.
Finally, there is Coppola's commentary for The Godfather Part III. One of the heated debates the filmmaker had with the studio was over Pacino's hair.Read more ›
If you are looking for a "wow" disc to show off your Blu-ray home theater sound and video, this is not it. If you are looking to experience modern American Gangster cinema in its 1970's glory, this is as close as you are ever likely to get, muted sepia-esque color, film grain and all.
These were not done exclusively for the home market. The priority was that they were restored for theatres, because that is where they would be judged the most critically, and all indications are that they do not disappoint. Never watch these films in your living room with the lights on. Watch them like you do in the theater, lights out, to appreciate the effort that went into these films.
The three films will only be released together in this set. The Godfather and The Godfather Part III will each be on one disc, and The Godfather Part II will take two discs. The first of the good news? Francis Coppola has recorded full-lenth audio commentaries for all three films!
But wait, there's a fifth disc that will blow your socks off! Check this out -- the bonus disc contains 3+ hours worth of special features, including: > "The Godfather Family: A Look Inside" documentary > "Francis Coppola's Notebook", an inside look at taking the book to screen! > "On Location" with production designer Dean Tavoularis! > "The Godfather Behind The Scenes" 1971 featurette! > "The Cinematography of The Godfather"! > "The Music of The Godfather" -- two featurettes! > "Coppola and Puzo on Screenwriting"! > Storyboards from GF2 and GF3! > "The Corleone Family Tree" character and cast bios! > Academy Award® acceptance speeches! > Photo galleries with captions! > Theatrical trailers! > Filmmaker bios! > Corleone Family timeline, with real-life events mixed in! > Never-seen alternate opening of GF3! > And "all" of the extra footage found in the televised Godfather Saga!
The picture quality looked fantastic -- Coppola's American Zoetrope did a wonderful job restoring the films!Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What can I say, it is the Godfather disk that work and display well.Published 10 days ago by gloriashm
Looked very good.on blu ray while maintaining the old school feelPublished 27 days ago by Vance Daniel
Fantastic!! One of the best movies ever made, and this is a fantastic portrayal of it. Everyone should see this version.Published 29 days ago by Russell F.
The picture quality is very grainy! I thought it would be restored to high-def blu-ray quality. This is version is terrible! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Scott Brackett