And the HD Oscar Goes to: The Godfather – The Coppola Restoration

Cast: Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, James Caan, Talia Shire, John Cazale, Richard Bright.
Director: Francis Ford Coppola.
Screenplay: Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo.
Score: Nino Rota (Parts I & II), Carmine Coppola (Part III).
Cinematography: Gordon Willis.

Here, in one collection, in HD, are two of the greatest films ever made and a third that, while frustratingly flawed, boasts the best Blu-ray presentation of the three. Don’t expect the images to sparkle and pop like a new release – the Oscar-winning Parts I and II were released in 1972 and 1974 – but the restorations are fastidious and revelatory. Mario Puzo’s novel about the rise of a Mafia don was a good read but writer/director Francis Ford Coppola’s visualisation is an American film masterpiece. He adroitly juggles themes of power, corruption and loyalty with the sweep of an intimate family saga spanning continents and generations. Part II is as good, if not better, than the original. Deftly fusing past and present, it explores both Godfather Vito Corleone’s Mafia beginnings and his son Michael’s handling of the expanding family business. The final chapter in the Corleone chronicles is set 20 years after the end of Part II, when Corleone discovers the path to heaven, or at very least legitimacy, is littered with murderous graft. The result is a potent mix of Vatican skulduggery, Mafiosa vendettas and Corleone family turmoil, despite being artistically compromised and suffering from a grossly-inflated finale. Each movie includes a director’s commentary and there’s a fourth disc of substantial new extras in HD as well as the standard definition extras from the 2001 (unrestored) box set.If you’ve been dithering over whether to invest in Blu-ray, this offer should make it a format you can’t refuse.

Movies: 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Image: 😀 😀 😀 😀 😐
Extras: 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

This is the fourth in a series of Blu-ray reviews counting down to the the Academy Awards, which will screen live in HD, for the first time in NZ, on Sky Movies (March 8, 2.30pm).

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2 Responses to “And the HD Oscar Goes to: The Godfather – The Coppola Restoration”

  1. Been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now, great to be able to find out what’s coming out in NZ soon – but, um, wasn’t the original Godfather film from 1972 – 38 years ago? Not 17-19…

    After seeing the BD of Blade Runner, I’d be expecting a lot from a film as recent as 1991!

  2. D’oh! Thanks, Robert. I have amended the review so it now reads 37-39 years ago given the movies were filmed in 1971 and 1973. Put the mistake down to a senior moment on the part of someone who vividly remembers seeing the original theatrical releases and still can’t believe it was so long ago! I appreciate your comments about the blog.

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