What more can be said about the The Godfather that hasn’t already been said? Yes, this is a hugely influential film that not only defined an era of movie-making but spawned what many consider a superior sequel. So, it’s no surprise that Paramount Home Entertainment is dipping into the mob pool again with this new The Godfather Blu-ray release as part of their Sapphire Series line. However, those looking for a packed release on par with 2008’s The Godfather Trilogy Blu-ray release may find themselves disappointed.
Director Francis Ford Coppola’s Best Picture Academy Award winner and cinematic masterpiece The Godfather arrives in sparkling high definition individually on Blu-ray for the first time as part of Paramount Home Entertainment’s exclusive “Sapphire Series.” Popularly viewed as one of the best American films ever made, the multi-generational crime saga The Godfather is a touchstone of cinema: one of the most widely imitated, quoted, and lampooned movies of all time. See where it all started as Marlon Brando and Al Pacino star star in this riveting saga that has earned countless nominations and remains a fixture in pop culture. Now beautifully restored, The Godfather is ready for a new generation of movie fans to discover the complexities that hide within. Startling and unforgettable, Paramount Home Entertainment invites you once again to spend time with the Corleone family.
We all know the story by now. The Godfather focuses on a family run by Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) and his three sons and daughter – Sonny (James Caan), Fredo (John Cazale), Michael (Al Pacino), and Connie (Talia Shire). We follow the trials and tribulations that come along with running such a family and organization. We see deals being made, promises being made, and lives shattered and lost. Overall, it’s a rather modern tragedy from start to finish, one complete story.
That’s The Godfather in the nutshell. There’s obviously a lot more to it than that. It’s an incredibly complex story and an utterly fascinating modern masterpiece. Like I said, so much happens in the first movie that it’d make your head spin. There are so many layers to this tale, and it’s so richly performed, that it’s hard to believe something this rich came from American cinemas. Personally, I believe these movies are best experienced when the viewer has no idea what to expect. That’s how I went into it and I was taken on an unforgettable and absolutely invigorating ride, so I’m doing my absolute best to avoid any spoilers here, regardless of how old these movies may be.
What I think many people don’t get about these movies is how all three movies make up one complete and utterly satisfying story. Sure, The Godfather, Part III doesn’t match the high-caliber of the first two, with the sequel being arguably the best of the three overall, but it does do the movie justice. And it all starts here, with the first The Godfather installment. Now, the first one is entirely watchable on its own, and doesn’t require watching the two sequels, but you’d be missing out on the stellar follow-up The Godfather, Part II and the weak-but-still-good The Godfather, Part III. That may seem like sacrilege to some people, but, personally, I never found the third part to be as ghastly as many people though. Sure, Sophia Coppola isn’t the best actress around, but that doesn’t sink the entire movie, nor does it ruin the overall storyline of the film series. Still, I’m getting off track here. If you don’t want The Godfather, Part III, here is your chance to own the first two, as The Godfather, Part II is also available as an individual Sapphire Series release, without having to own the third.
Still, without the third, you do miss out on a chunk of the story. What I like about this film series is this wasn’t a “trilogy” in what many moviegoers understand it to be. It’s one story told over three parts. It’s not three different installments of a franchise (like the Spider-Man movies, for instance), but it’s one story divided among three movies (like The Lord of the Rings film series, I suppose). It’s an utterly complete story, but one that requires watching each movie. You won’t regret it, even if it will end up being a major time investment.
Well, I’ve gone ridiculously off-track, haven’t I? To put it in the simplest terms, The Godfather is an unforgettable story and a Must Own. Whether you’re a casual movie-goer or a hardcore film buff, this movie is not only an epic standalone story, but also the kick-off to one of cinema’s best masterpieces. The Godfather is one of those movies that you truly need to experience, even if it’s just the first installment in the series. Whether you want to catch just the first one or watch the entire trilogy, The Godfather is an unforgettable experience and an utter classic.
If you picked up The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration, then you know to expect here in terms of video and audio quality. The video transfer for The Godfather Sapphire Series release looks remarkably sharp. The image is lighter and more detailed but, thankfully, doesn’t sacrifice the dark tone of the movie. There’s still some grain and noise, but nothing unexpected. As compared to the video, the audio isn’t that big of an upgrade outside of the usual step-up from standard DVD to Blu-ray.
This individual release of The Godfather holds up well so far, but it does slip when it comes to the bonus features. What we get here is basically the first disc in the The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration Blu-ray release and…that’s it. So, if you own the trilogy release, not only will you already have these bonus features, but more as well. All we get here is an audio commentary from Director Coppola himself. I don’t want to downplay that, it’s a great track, but understand the wealth of documentaries that could also be tossed on here.
What this new The Godfather release boils down to is whether or not you want just this featuire, or this and The Godfather, Part II. If you want just these releases, and have no problem forgoing both the third The God father feature and any bonus content, then pick this up. If you just want the movie, then go for it. However, for perhaps double the price, you can pick up the entire The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration collection with all the features and a host of bonus materials. I’d recommend reviewing what you want, in terms of purchasing The Godfather on Blu-ray, and making the best informed choice possible. You won’t regret it, whichever route you go with, I guarantee.
The Godfather is now available to own on Blu-ray.