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Godfather: The Coppola Restoration Collection, The (Blu-ray Review)

26 Oct, 2008 By: John Gaudiosi


$119.99 four-disc Blu-ray, $72.99 five-DVD set
Rated ‘R.’
Stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire.

A lot has happened in Hollywood and in the technology used by Hollywood since The Godfather made its theatrical debut in March 1972. This gorgeous new Blu-ray Disc set, featuring the first two remarkable “Godfather” films and the third forgettable one, recaptures the cinema of the 1970s.

This is the most beautiful restoration of these classic films ever. The movies retain the grain of the theatrical versions, as well as the extremely dark black levels, that director Francis Ford Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis created with this trilogy. These fully restored movies are dark, rich and true to the mood and tone of Mario Puzo’s original novel. Especially noteworthy are the light sepia film tones of the backstory sequences in The Godfather Part II.

Paramount also has restored the audio and offers a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack for each movie. When listening to the film in its original incarnation and then switching to the lossless soundtrack, there’s a huge difference — even if these films did not employ the surround-sound effects modern movies utilize today.

This Blu-ray collection comes with an exclusive fourth disc filled with HD bonus material, as well as some standard-definition leftovers from the 2001 DVD release.

“The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn’t” is a 30-minute documentary that explores the troubled history of bringing Puzo’s novel to the big screen. Fans interested in seeing how this beautiful restoration was done should watch “Emulsional Rescue: Revealing the Godfather.” And the controversy of The Godfather is explored in the featurette “When the Shooting Stopped,” which focuses on the horse-head scene as well as the overarching themes of the three films.

This is the ultimate “Godfather “collection and a must-have for any HD library. I doubt there will ever be a more comprehensive or gorgeous collection assembled for this masterpiece.

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