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Customer Review

156 of 174 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best version I've seen so far - yes, the picture IS grainy and there's a packaging blooper too, September 27, 2008
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This review is from: The Godfather Collection (The Coppola Restoration) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Let's put this behind us: the Godfather was, is and will always be 'grainy'. It's just the way they were shooting movies THIRTY-SIX YEARS AGO. So, yes, it's a 36 year old movie and it looks its age. It's true, '2001' looks a lot better on blu but, apparently, that's the best that could be extracted from the existing Godfather negatives - there is an entire 'extra' that explains how the transfer was done and the sometimes painful choices the restorers had to make. The transfer is grainy all over. It's grainy all the time. The whites are grainy and so are the blacks. In the end, it does not really matter or it didn't matter much to me because it's better than anything I've seen yet.

Moving beyond grainyness, the picture is steady like rock. I wasn't able to detect any major artifacts. The extra available on 'disk 4', showing the kind of work and the technology invested into this product convinced me that this is the best-looking Godfather except maybe the first screening at the Chinese theater in Hollywood that we are going to see in a long, long time. [A post blu-ray 'better' edition is possible in 10 years or so, when blu-ray is surpassed by a new technology, because the best negatives found were digitized on a resolution that's about 3 times higher than the current blu-ray.]

No major complaints about the sound. It's TrueHD 5.1, it's clear but don't expect any surround effects. I doubt the original was even stereo. It was a little bit low-volume on my stereo but it's probably my equipment to be blamed.

The extras on the 4th disk are actually worth watching. They are shot in HD. There's one where just about all major elderly and late-middle-age Hollywood directors and stars show up and say something, there's one about the restoration itself, a little short where some younger artists appear and say funny things. Overall... not too bad. Oh, besides the HD's, you also get the extras from the 2001 DVD edition and THAT's where you see the difference between Blu and the (previous) DVD version.

Now, for the bloopers section, get this: the blu-ray comes with the plastic disk case inside a cardboard boxy sleeve (very nice) but... there's also a nice 12-page brochure with the pictures of Coppola, Pacino, Brando and information on the contents of each of the 4 disks - coffee table style. Well... the brochure was meant to fit inside that cardboard sleeve, next to the plastic blu-ray disk case but it comes actually GLUED to the cardboard case because... it's too big. Someone forgot that the blu-ray cases are a bit smaller than the DVD's and, apparently, the brochure was supposed to be a 'one size fits all' kind of deal that doesn't fit the blu-ray. Sad.

Overall, I enjoyed the Blu Godfathers. While, yes, the picture is grainy and the transfer does not look like the Transformers or Ratatouille, not even like '2001', the blu-ray does look a lot better than the DVD version. This rendition of the Godfathers has many defects, it's far from perfect but, as far as I know, it's the best there is. I do not regret making the purchase.

I took away one star for the little brochure snafu and for the relatively high price (likely to go down) at release time.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 28, 2008 7:19:50 PM PDT
Wayne Klein says:
Actually I found that the booklet does slide in if you are careful and do it before you slide in the BD set. Granted, it's not ideal but it works.

Posted on Mar 14, 2009 9:44:34 AM PDT
Golly a whole star just because of the booklet? (and the price?). Seems a bit harsh. Good review though.

Posted on Oct 18, 2009 3:24:55 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jun 6, 2010 7:21:43 PM PDT
C. Melott says:
for this set does it come with three separate discs for each film and do you know if there is a standalone copy of part 3 on blu

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2011 11:53:34 AM PDT
Kubricker says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Oct 5, 2011 6:58:24 PM PDT
mart kwain says:
Call me a heretic... I took a pair of scissors and Neatly CUT about 1/8th of an inch off the bottom of the booklet and now it fits perfectly inside the Blu-Ray sleeve.

Posted on Jul 16, 2013 11:22:36 PM PDT
Dr.Blu says:
I just wanted to add that if it is a bit grainy it is due to the quality of the filming method not the age. There are films 50-70 years old that are crystal clear. Example.... look at Wizard of Oz (1939 on 35mm), The Searchers ( 1956 on 35mm ) or Lawrence of Arabia ( 1962 on 70mm film ). They are stunning in Blu Ray. The bigger the film size the better it transfers to Blu Ray. The Godfather I believe was a mix of 35mm and 8mm film. Obviously the scenes shot in 8mm will not blow up as clear as the 35mm. The other issue would be the lighting.... more dark scenes and you will get a grainier look compared to daylight scenes.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2013 10:09:47 AM PDT
Ryan says:
This is a very significant point. If one is going to critique the video and audio quality of a Blu-ray, as the original reviewer has done, they should understand the difference between source limitations and remastering weakness. The fact that the original reviewer doesn't even realize that the original two movies had mono soundtracks is concerning. For those pursuing the original theatrical experience--a major highlight of Blu-ray treatments--the mono tracks are essential, and not to mention sound outstanding. The Godfather I and II have grain because the original two prints had grain when they were filmed. This is NOT an issue with the transfer. As stated by Dr. Blu, there was use of both 35mm and 8mm for the shoot, and we do not even know the film speed. High speed film--which was most likely used frequently for the dark scenes--has an inherently large grain structure.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2014 8:39:25 PM PST
does it have three movies

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2014 2:20:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2014 4:15:39 PM PST
Kit Sargeant says:
Ryan, Dr.Blu:

Could you please share where you got the info that Coppola shot parts of the first Godfather films with 8mm?

8mm is insanely small and would never be used to be blown up and cut into a feature 35mm film ... unless someone was trying to create a news footage or documentary look.

I never heard of the use of 8mm for Godfather I and II and my searches online have not come up with anything. So I'd love to see your sources.

If Coppola did use a smaller format than 35mm, he almost certainly would have used 16mm. Even when you blow up 16mm to 35 there is enormous loss in image quality. Blowing up 8mm to 35 would be horrendous.

I'm also a graduate of the NYU Tisch film department and I was once treated to a small documentary that NYU students made when Coppola was shooting the Little Italy scenes in NYC. At one point, Coppola, talking to the students, talks about how he envies them with their small 16mm camera. He talks about how much he misses being able to "shoot from the hip." How much he dislikes being tied down by big, heavy cameras and dollies.

I'm not sure he would have made these comments if he were actually shooting 8mm for any portion of the Godfather films.

If you can prove me wrong, I'd love to see where this is documented.

One other thing ... please do not attribute all of the problems with this restoration with the original condition and shooting of the original films. Yes, Godfather I and II have grain. But the original films did NOT have shots where the blacks lose their depth and go dark gray as if someone turned the contrast way down. The original films did NOT have shots where faces glowed a weird orange.

Unfortunately the fact is, while these new Blu Rays have a great image 70 - 80% of the time, the other 20 - 30% of shots are nowhere near what the films looked like in 1972 and 1976.
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