What more can be said about the The Godfather movies that hasn’t already been said? Yes, they are hugely influential films that defined an era of movie-making. And, thankfully, these movies live up to the hype that surround them even to this day, so it’s no surprise that Paramount Home Entertainment is dipping into the mob pool again with this new The Godfather Collection release, except this time, we get everything in beautiful high-definition. So, for those who have held off on buying the The Godfather movies for whatever reason, now is your chance to own these films in arguably their greatest presentation to date.
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. Marlon Brando and Al Pacino star star in this riveting saga that has earned countless nominations over its three installments and remains a fixture in pop culture. Now beautifully restored, The Godfather is a saga 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’s so many layers to these stories, 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. 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. 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 regreat it, even if it will end up being a major time investment.
If I was to come up with an overall grade for these movies, it would be a solid A, but not an A+. The third part of the The Godfather story does lose a few points since, well, it’s just not as strong as the first three. But, still, overall, this is an unforgettable story and a Must Own. Whether you’re a casual movie-goer or a hardcore film buff, these are movies that you have to see. What’s stopping you? It’s an absolutely amazing story, and the first two movies are probably some of the best movies Hollywood has ever done. These movies belong in every collection, no doubt about it.
First off, I’m going to spare you any of the tired reviewing cliches that comes with every home entertainment release of The Godfather, so, no worries about any “they made a Blu-ray you can’t refuse” jokes. They’re tired and played out and, frankly, just aren’t funny. Paramount Home Entertainment has released The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration on a four-disc Blu-ray release. The DVDs are housed in the standard Blu-ray clamshell packaging, housed within a cardboard slipcase. For those wondering about the DVD release, the packaging features four slimcases packed in a cardboard slipcase. It’s a great looking package that should stick out on any shelf, especially the gold and blue foil on the Blu-ray release.
So, the big draw to The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration is the video transfer and, here, wow, it looks sharp. The video quality on the Blu-ray is absolutely astounding. The video transfer, compared to the previous The Godfather Collection release, is lighter and more detailed but, thankfully, doesn’t sacrifice the dark look 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 upgrade difference from standard DVD to Blu-ray. The movies look and sound great on Blu-ray, and I doubt anyone is going to be letdown when they pick up this set.
So, after that, we all want to know about the extras, right? Well, there’s a pile of them. The extras from the original 2001 DVD release of The Godfather Collection has been ported over, so there’s no real need to look at those. The extras we get here, the news ones available in high-definition, include a host of featurettes, documentaries, and so much more. Really, there’s an unbelievable amount of extras here that cover all angles, even the completely unnecessary angle, such as the “The Godfather on the Red Carpet” featurette, where random celebrities, at what looks to be the Red Carpet premiere for Cloverfield, are asked questions about the movies. Weird.
As expected, the fourth disc contains the majority of the bonus features here, mixing together both the new features for this release and archived DVD special features from the 2001 DVD release. “The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn’t” tells the initial rocky road the movie went through before being greenlit, the many problems and confrontations on and off set, and then reaction from the film itself. Afterwards is the brief “Godfather World,” looking at the influence of the film on current culture. Then, we get a look at the film’s restoration with “Emulsional Rescue: Revealing the Godfather,” followed by “When the Shooting Stopped,” another look at the conflict with the studio over the movie. “The Godfather on the Red Carpet” is featured next. After that are a few short films about The Godfather to wrap things up for the new supplemental material.
What follows are the original bonus features from the 2001 DVD release of The Godfather Collection and, like I said, don’t really need repeating. The extras include commentaries, documentaries, profiles, featurettes, additional scenes, and all types of extra goodies which, if you picked up the 2001 release of
For those picking up the DVD release of the The Godfather, you’ll find all the above material in the collection. Just as solid a DVD of a Blu-ray release, The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration is a risky move on Paramount’s part, but one that pays off. Having just recently re-released these movies just a few years back, this new collection will surely make a big impression on anyone’s Blu-ray collection and can also faithfully replace any previous The Godfather release on the DVD shelf, too. A bold move, but, with the abundance of new materials on top of faithfully porting the extras from the previous release, Paramount has made a smart move with this release.
Overall, it’s an absolutely no-brainer on what my recommendation for The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration will be. The Blu-ray is an absolute Must Own, as is the DVD release. Paramount Home Entertainment is really embracing the Blu-ray format and I’m sure we’re going to see many more excellent releases, such as this one, from the studio in the near future. The audio looks amazing, both on DVD and Blu-ray, and the bonus features are sure to keep one occupied for hours on end, especially those new to the The Godfather saga. A truly brilliant movie collection, in terms of main feature content and bonus features, The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration is flat-out worth owning for anyone, and if you haven’t seen it yet, well, here’s your chance to. And look, I managed to make it without one terrible The Godfather pun.
The Godfather: The Copolla Restoration is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.