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Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Starring Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Marlon Brando

What more can I say? The Godfather: The Coppola Restored Giftset Blu Ray is all three Godfather films restored and on Blu Ray. This collection was recently released on DVD by Paramount.

The Movies

If you haven’t seen these movies, where have you been? Any movie fan should be familiar with the story of the Corleone family. But, if somehow this passed you by or you need a refresher, here we go:

The Godfather (1972), based on the novel by Mario Puzo, begins as the Corleone family is celebrating the wedding of “Don” Vito Corleone’s (Marlon Brando) beloved daughter. His son Michael (Al Pacino) is just back from the war and does not want to be a part of the family “business”. He knows from experience that Vito can be gentle as a lamb when things go his way but as vicious as a viper when someone tries to go against his family and his “mob” family.

Vito is set in the ways from the old country, but times are changing and he isn’t happy and resists every way possible. A rival wants to set up “shop” and sling drugs in New York and needs the influence of Vito and the Corleone family to get this done and soon Michael is caught up of Vito’s struggles and a world of crime.

The Godfather: Part II (1974) continues to tell the story of the Corleone family and features flashbacks to a young Vito growing up and making his way in Sicily and in New York in the early 1900’s. It also joins Michael as he tries to take the Corleone family in a new direction: ventures in Las Vegas, Hollywood and even Cuba.

The Godfather: Part III (1990) is the final installment in the trilogy of films. In this film, the much older Michael Corleone is trying to remove himself from the “life” and attempt to legitimize the family business and the family name. He makes an attempt to join forces with the Vatican and has to deal with the complicated love affair a man is sharing with his own daughter.

This is a hard review to write in so many ways. I am just barely skimming the surface of all the characters, plots, and subplots that exist in these films. These films are truly the definition of “saga”.
And, how can I ever express how I feel about these films. They are, without a doubt, simply amazing.

The performances by all involved are spectacular. The cinematography is wonderful and the direction by Coppola is in a word: brilliant. Even though I consider, as many other film fans do, the third installment to be the weakest, I still love this trilogy of films. That being said, even though the third film is not my favorite, the ending is still powerful in its subtlety and its simplicity.

I know this is a strong statement but you cannot call yourself a true film fan unless you have watched these films. I am not saying you have to love them as much as I do or other film fans do, but you at least owe it to yourself to have the experience.

If you do not own these films, I implore you: just plunk down the money today and put these film classics in your library now.

10/10

The Video

The Godfather: The Coppola Restored Giftset: Blu Ray, which includes all three films, have been masterfully restored and are presented in 1080p MPEG-4 AVC anamorphic widescreen. The transfers are truly first rate and the image is breathtakingly crisp and highly detailed. These films have truly never looked better than they do in this release. There is some grain and just a very few very minor blimishes but overall the presentation is fantastic. Certain decisions were made in favor of improving the image in the first tow films that change the look a bit but overall the decisions do pay off. Colors appear hotter than they did in the previous DVD release but black levels are solid and detail is good through most of the running time of all three films. The third film, the most recent of the trilogy, comes out looking the best.  No surprise there. This is sure to be the best these films will ever look.

10/10

The Audio

All three films are presented in TrueHD Dolby 5.1. The dialogue is crystal clear and perfectly balanced. There are also Spanish and French 5. 1 mixes available as well as subtitles. These films were not shot with surround sound in mind and it shows in this presentation. There’s very little surround usage through all three films. Dynamic range is much improved though makign the score feel truly epic.

8/10

The Packaging and Bonus Features

The Godfather: The Coppola Restored Giftset: Blu Ray is presented in a standard Blu Ray case with understated artwork on the cover.

Wow, there are a lot of extras on this release. There are commentaries by Coppola on all three films. There are so many documentaries covering the production of these films, I will just list them: Behind the Scenes, The Filmmakers, Family Tree, The Masterpiece that Almost Wasn’t, Godfather World, Emulsional Stopped, and The Godfather on the Red Carpet. They are all worth your time.

There is also a Family Tree, Storyboards, Photo Galleries, Trailers and Connie and Carlo’s Wedding Album. Four Short Films on the Godfather is a nice bonus feature as it explores different thematic elements in the three films.

A Crime Organizational Chart and Additional Scenes and Chronology are offered too as well as Acclaim and Response.

Rounding things out is a 12 page booklet with credits for each film and award information.

If I didn’t shorten this segment of the review up, it would go on for longer than you want to continue reading it. Trust me, the bonus features are entertaining and extensive.

10/10

Overall (Not an Average) 10/10

The Review
The Movies 10/10
The Video 10/10
The Audio 8/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 10/10
Overall (not an average) 10/10

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