I just watched The Godfather Trilogy a couple months ago, but leapt at the opportunity to check out the new editions being released, The Coppola Restoration. The first two movies have been given a visual makeover from restoration master Robert Harris and the director and the edition comes with a whole new batch of special editions at well.
But first the movies:
There’s no sense in reviewing the movies themselves since they, at this point, are bigger than being merely films that can be judged on any sort of objective, critical level. They’re fantastic and epic, even while telling a very small and intimate story about men and what they do to protect their family.
So on to how the movies look. They’re fantastic. Both The Godfather and The Godfather Part II are crisper and clearer than the 2004 DVDs that preceded them. There has been some discussion that you can’t tell the difference unless you have a 42″ screen and are viewing the Blu-ray discs but that’s just not true. Even watching them on my Mac Powerbook there’s a noticeable difference and improvement in the quality of the presentation.
The Godfather Part III is included in the set but does not carry the “Coppola Restoration” tag. The visuals still seem slightly improved, but that’s probably the result of an improved transfer process than anything else.
To promote the new release Paramount also created TheGodfather.com, containing a number of interesting features that take visitors inside the film and the restoration process. There are also previews of the DVD’s special features.
The whole package is very nice. It’s just the kind of thing that probably should have been done before the first DVDs were released, but that’s a small quibble. At least they’re out now and if you’re serious about the movies you’ll need to pick them up.