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The Godfather Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

When it comes to new home video formats, few films and film series are as hotly anticipated to make their debut as The Godfather Trilogy. Holding off until its 50th anniversary, these brand new restorations of Francis Ford Coppola’s cinematic epic will be arriving on March 22nd. Coming to you in a fancy bells and whistles limited edition set as well as a standard one (Which honestly is in a pretty nice package), the films have been meticulously restored for 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. They contain bonus materials, both new and old. You’ll also find three different cuts of 1990’s The Godfather, Part III, including the 1991 cut and 2020’s The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, which serves as the preferred version of the film according to this set. Pre-orders are already currently up and available, and you can make sure to get yourself a copy by using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review.

The Godfather (1972)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, this mob drama, based on Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name, focuses on the powerful Italian-American crime family of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). When the Don’s youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino), reluctantly joins the Mafia, he becomes involved in the inevitable cycle of violence and betrayal. Although Michael tries to maintain a normal relationship with his wife, Kay (Diane Keaton), he is drawn deeper into the family business.

50 years later, Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece adaptation of the Mario Puzo novel of the same name hits just as well as it did upon arrival in 1972. The film was a cinematic phenomenon of both the decade and a lifetime. The Godfather represents so much beyond its thrills and terrific story. There are so many things to gather from its characters, from the leads of Vito & Michael Corleone, all the way down to smaller parts like Peter Clemenza or Sollozzo. It’s rich in themes and representation of family. In a technical craft sense, few movies have been lit, shot, cut, scored, or acted as well as The Godfather. We’re pretty much counting on a single hand here and probably not even using all the fingers.

Movies and, more importantly, how they are made changed with and around the time of The Godfather (1971’s The French Connection certainly factored in, too) and certainly evolved a few times since then. But while it’s now “old fashioned,” Coppola’s work still maintains quite a powerful tale. The fact that it hits hard in every facet helps as to why. His cast also brings a lightning in a bottle sense to their performances. With longer takes, they really get to live in the moments, and they all provide such an expressive atmosphere on their faces alone. Pacino is absolutely phenomenal here in his breakout, where it’s not even his lines that are the best thing about it. His performance soars through his body language, stature, and the incredible use of his eyes. There’s nothing quite like it. That he would be able to find this insane height again and go even further in the sequel is baffling to have seen achieved. Not to mention he’d go on to give us some of the greatest performances ever repeatedly in his career.

I’m not alone in The Godfather being one of my favorite films of all time, and not just tossing it in there, it easily makes the top 5. And personally, it’s a sliver over Part II. Some of the elements that prove so strong for me here are the presence of Marlon Brando and James Caan, who both add so much to it. Having the family as a whole (and alive) is a flavor I eat up. Diane Keaton and Talia Shire are a lot more present and given more to do here as well. Many of the smaller supporting roles like Richard S. Castellano, Abe Vigoda, and Sterling Hayden run pretty strong too. But, in all honesty, we are truly splitting hairs on two outright masterpieces that are also two of the greatest films of all time. Those are just my personal aspects that keeps The Godfather just a nose in front. Whatever your fancy may be, even if the film isn’t one of your favorites of all time, there’s still that admiration and respect that comes with it, that you understand and know why it comes so highly regarded.

Video

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the restoration featurettes found on the standard Blu-ray Bonus Disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail The process of bringing The Godfather to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray for its 50th anniversary was quite a laborious and involved process against all odds and coming out with one of the most triumphant restorations we’ve seen. And that’s even more impressive considering the previous Blu-ray release was top of the line and wowed us back in 2008. Since that time, more sources and better ones have been found, and processes and technology have improved to do further work. To reiterate what had been done here for this film as well as its sequels:

  • Over 300 cartons of film were scrutinized to find the best possible resolution for every frame of all three films.
  • Over 4,000 hours were spent repairing film stains, tears, and other anomalies in the negatives.
  • Over 1,000 hours were spent on rigorous color correction to ensure the high dynamic range tools were respectful of the original vision of Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis.

There are a pair of new featurettes on the bonus disc, which chronicle and detail the work put into it. And it’s quite amazing to see these improved colors and saturation that feel complimentary and not going overboard. The details that come across more so now than ever and just the added depth and clarity to improve the film. If you’re not just marveling at the movie as you’ve never seen it before as you’re watching, I really don’t know what to tell you.

Depth: While The Godfather has had no trouble showcasing depth and scale in its Blu-ray presentation, it is even more apparent in this new 4K jacket. This transfer allows it to move deeper into the three dimensions, with the rooms feeling much more spacious and big. The Italian countryside and establishing shots of cities feel even bigger as well as the small side streets and alleyways. Movements are smooth and filmic, with no issues abound from any sort of rapid movements in the action being displayed on screen.

Black Levels: Black levels are deep and hit degrees of natural elements while also carrying a hair heavier amount of the grain structure. The shadows and dark photography still hold true, but with better saturation, it’s lit up just a bit as you see more detail and information in the shadows as was meant to be while maintaining its dark look. Clothing and surface patterns, textures, and detail showcase greatly and bringing out elements more apparent than before. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors in The Godfather have never been really a selling point or sign of beauty in the film’s photography, but they really pop out here in this restoration with improved saturation to boot. The hallway traveled by Luca Brasi before he meets his fate is a prime example with a neon sign, some nicely painted walls, and lovely lighting. Many a signage or fire carries a nice glow to it with the help of the HDR and contrast. Clothing fabrics stick out with a much more bold appearance in the most naturalistic of ways. And not just flashy colors, the grays, and browns really shine here. Whites even see an impressive amount of tints and tones showcased.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones carry that natural but slightly bronzed look as afforded by the cinematography of Gordon Willis. It carries an immaculate consistent throughout the picture. Facial features and textures like Michael’s bruise under his eye, stubble, wrinkles, make-up, bullet holes, dried blood, and more come through clear as day.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 2.0 Restored Mono Dolby Digital, Spanish (Latin America) 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital, Japanese 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Danish, Spanish (Latin America), French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Finnish, Swedish

Dynamics: While the video has been upgraded for this release, the audio maintains the excellent 5.1 track crafted and utilized for the 2007 restoration. However, one of the selling points for this release has been that the original mono tracks for the films have been restored. Unfortunately, they are provided here as a lossy Dolby Digital track. It kinda sucks the air out of the room and makes you wonder why they simply couldn’t have it lossless. I’ve personally always enjoyed the 5.1 mix and have no qualms with it, but I was curious to check out the mono track until I saw it was Dolby Digital.

Height: N/A

Low-Frequency Extension: The film features a nice adequate and fittingly power contribution from the subwoofer. It hits on explosions, gunfire, punches, and glass shattering It also adds a prrr to roaring fire while accenting the lower string and brass instrument in the film’s score.

Surround Sound Presentation: Every single scene and setting is expertly crafted and brought to life. They have a nice set ambiance with all channels contributing important elements both large and small, onscreen or off. Sound travel rolls around and adds to the immersion when viewing the film going across the room and front to back. Just popping on any scene, like Sonny’s demise, Vito’s assassination attempt, the finale…any of them instantly show the worth of the track. The most minute of elements here are thought through and perfectly distributed for a great surround experience.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear, crisp, and perfectly dictated, presented, and mixed into the volume to fit the tone and environment on display in any given scene.

The Godfather Part II (1974)

In what is undeniably one of the best sequels ever made, Francis Ford Coppola continues his epic Godfather trilogy with this saga of two generations of power within the Corleone family. Coppola, working once again with Mario Puzo, crafts two interwoven stories that work as both a prequel and sequel to the original. One shows the humble Sicilian beginnings and New York rise of a young Don Vito, now played in an Oscar-winning performance for Best Supporting Actor by Robert De Niro. The other shows the ascent of Michael (Al Pacino) as the new Don. Reassembling many of the cast members who helped make The Godfather, Coppola produced a movie sequel of staggering magnitude and vision. The film received eleven Academy Award nominations, winning six, including Best Picture of 1974.

We’ve been in a commonplace for a good many years now, where quality sequels are delivered, and many have pulled off surpassing their predecessor. However, there was a time when few had done that. The film that first culturally achieved that stature was The Godfather Part II (Though, The Bride of Frankenstein and From Russia With Love should’ve been in the conversation). Its staple in pop culture has been that of being as good or being better than the original. Part II was arguably the only one. The Empire Strikes Back was considered the “darker middle chapter,” but its status as the universally accepted (humor me here) “best Star Wars film” didn’t come until way later. The Godfather Part II would be held up when contenders like Aliens or Terminator 2: Judgement Day would come along and ask if they too pulled off the impossible.

You’ll also find that The Godfather Part II’s narrative also left a pop culture footprint with its choice to tell both a prequel and sequel story within one film. It’s a smart mirroring of father and son, and captures a thematic element and drive not found in the first film, giving this one its own identity. When you see an episode of television or a feature film pull this same effort, Part II will get mentioned. What’s neat, though, even as a sequel, the other half, the cap off to the first film, it feels every bit of its own movie, complete from start to finish. This sequel only really needs so much of the first film to exist before it’s able to really run off and do its own thing. Someone who comes in cold to this without seeing the original probably would find themselves settling in rather quickly and not be lost, as this film can juggle and do the work of welcoming them.

Back in the day, sequels offered more of the same but “bigger” and “better” than before. While The Godfather Part II very much bucks that trend, it also embraces that factor. There are many narrative beats and touches that fall right in line with the events, characters, and beats of the first film. When watched in close proximity, you’ll notice similar things happen, maybe in a different place with different characters, but it’s there. And sometimes, they even occur around the same point in the story as the first film. It harkens back to what Coppola’s pal George Lucas said about ring theory and sagas/serials playing somewhat like a pop song. The verses have different words but sort of play out or sound the same, and the choruses return to the same thing but hit differently or come from a slightly different but similar journey. That rings true here in possibly the greatest sequel ever made.

The Godfather Part II proves you absolutely can trap lightning in a bottle twice in cinema. It absolutely defies the odds and delivers the perfect second half of a story that really didn’t need one and planted its on flag on the cinematic moon. We truly take for granted how insane it is that this film lies in such close proximity of the original as the greatest films of all time. That’s not even taking into account that very same year, Coppola made another perfect film in the Gene Hackman-starring The Conversation, and at the end of the decade would deliver his fourth masterpiece, Apocalypse Now. He’s forever in the pantheon of greatest filmmakers of all time for his 1970s contributions alone. Even just having The Godfather films to his resume, the man didn’t need to prove anything else ever, and his word on cinema should be at least considered in the highest degree.

Video

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the restoration featurettes found on the standard Blu-ray Bonus Disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail The Godfather Part II was restored and transferred to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with the same people and process as the original was given. And the results are just as stunning. The film breathes and resonates like never before. There’s a bit more of bold, confident image here in the filmmaking that comes across with the obvious nature being more daylit and tropical atmospheres as well as a bigger budget and a Coppola and Willis that know the ropes and seek new challenges. With almost identical photography, the details, texture, depth, color, and such are of a matching and complementary nature to the image seen in the first film. There’s both a sense of them belonging together and of The Godfather Part II’s own identity.

Depth: The gorgeous and big cinematography of this epic makes the streets of 1917 New York immersive and the scope of Cuba quite large. The characters and objects in any given frame appear well-rounded and free, with good pushback on the backgrounds to give everything a room interpretation. Motion is filmic, natural, and smooth. There are no issues with jitter or blur that could come with a move rapid action beat or camera movement.

Black Levels: Blacks are at a natural and quite deep. Though it carries grain like the original, it’s a bit lighter than that one. Shadows and shade are very luscious and a contributor all their own to the beauty of the image. Things are indeed a hair brighter, more visible than before, but that is due to more fine information coming through and better contrast and saturation of the blacks in the new transfer and 4K resolution. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: This is a much more colorful affair, thanks to improved source elements and better saturation thanks to the upgrade in 4K resolution and technologies. It’s not absurdly off course from the intended look, though. Colors are just a bit more pronounced and strengthened due to the higher resolution and better contrast. They still look natural, more boldness than pop. However, fires, bright signage, and stuff like it carry a glow and a nice enhancement via the HDR. Take note of Vito’s towel on fire after assassinating Don Fanucci from a shadowy corner inside his apartment building, as its darkened and carries a bright contrast to the glowing orange.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and carry that aforementioned bronze tint from Willis’ aesthetic, consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are incredibly strong, showcasing stubble, blemishes, make-up lines, moles, freckles, dried dirt, and more.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 2.0 Restored Mono Dolby Digital, Spanish (Latin America) 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital, Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Japanese 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Danish, Spanish (Latin America), French, Japanese, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Finnish, Swedish

Dynamics: Like the first film, The Godfather Part II carries over its 5.1 Dolby TrueHD mix from the 2007 restorations. And that’s absolutely fine. Where the gripe from the purists is going to come on this entire release is, again, the choice to make the returning mono track a lossy Dolby Digital one. The 5.1 mix features an excellent presentation that feels complimentary to the film and the era, with great layering, depth, balance, and impact when viewing it. It’s a full-on engagement and easily an excellent way to display and take in one of cinema’s finest hours.

Height: N/A

Low-Frequency Extension: This is a pretty precise and perfectly calibrated attention to subwoofer detail with a nice push and boom on gunshots, explosions, crashing, shattered glass, and more. And again, the score just swims lovingly with the strings and brass accented with the low-end hum in.

Surround Sound Presentation: Another great sound design coming through the 5-channel mix here as there are some of the same type of room and exterior designs the first film excelled at presenting while bringing in some newer environments. Cuba, in particular, features some unique outside presence as well as some different clubs, a New Year’s Eve party, and revolutions that provide all sorts of movements and fun, engaging room consuming soundscapes.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp, fully part of every environment. Always having good volume placement, though never overbearing.

The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (1990)

Review originally published 12/7/2020

As Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) ages, he finds that being the head of the Corleone crime family isn’t getting any easier. He wants his family out of the Mafia, but the mob kingpin (Eli Wallach) isn’t eager to let one of the most powerful and wealthy families go legit. Making matters even worse is Michael’s illegitimate nephew, Vincent (Andy Garcia). Not only does Vincent want a piece of the Corleone family’s criminal empire, but he also wants Michael’s daughter, Mary (Sofia Coppola).

If you’re a fan or knowledgeable about The Godfather films (And why aren’t you? Do you hate movies?), when you saw the title of The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, you knew exactly what had happened. For years and in documentaries, interviews, DVD and Blu-ray extras, Francis Ford Coppola has openly discussed how the third Godfather film didn’t go quite the way he had wanted the movie to upon its release. There were choices, like the title and the cut, that went beyond what he had wished for the film. Now, 30 years later, Paramount has given him the green light to go back and craft the film closest to what he would have wanted the first time out.

Coppola finally got the title he wanted. The cut here is an interesting one. He’s rearranged many of the scenes to play in a little bit different order. We open with the scene of the meeting with the smoking Arch Bishop about making a deal with the Vatican. That scene originally took place 40 minutes into the film and happened AFTER many of the following scenes. This is an improvement as before we catch up with Michael’s family life, it’s now clear what his overarching agenda is.

From there, the differences are less drastic, and plenty of scenes have been excised in this too. He’s slightly altered the ending, which I approve. I won’t spoil for those wanting to be surprised by the change, but there was always this slight thing that felt a little goofy. Overall, it feels the biggest goal of Coda was to tighten up the film, figure out a way to tell the story at a clearer and exciting pace, and trim a lot of the fat. And it runs about 13 minutes shorter than the Best Picture nominated original version of the film.

I’ve always been a fan of the classically maligned The Godfather, Part III. I grew up always wondering why the film was so greatly trashed, as I thought it wasn’t as good as the first two, but still a very good movie. All I’d ever hear was complaints about Sofia Coppola’s role, which I think are a bit crude as she’s surrounded by elite-level experienced talent and gives a fine, serviceable performance. But, I come away from Coda feeling pretty much no differently about the film than before. I’m not sure this will move the needle in either direction for the fans or the detractors, as it feels the general story and details are still largely intact. The versions are different in their structure but ultimately achieve the same feelings and impact.

Video

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray edition (not included with this release), not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail:  As previously seen on standard Blu-ray, The Godfather, Coda: The Death Of Michael Corleone has a beautiful new 4K transfer of the film. Many of my thoughts remain identical, but this is a step up even from that, much more refined. The saturation is more apparent, as is the contrast, of course. It showcases rich color and clarity to it. It has less of a red filter look over everything. The scenes that take place in daytime Italy are absolutely dynamite and gorgeous. They look like something fine transfer of a 1970s film in pristine condition. Great color and contrast is going on as well. The third Godfather film retains a consistent look across all three cuts of the film in this release.

Depth:  This transfer opens up a bit more and feels a little more spacious and pushed back than before. Characters wander a bit more confidently, and the depth of field is a bit stronger. It’s plenty noticeable. No issues occur with any sorts of blurs or jitters during rapid movements or action.

Black Levels:  The dark reaches very natural levels here and is one of the most respectable points of the transfer. Darkened areas of a room, shadow, and fabric carry a heavier bit of grain when really deep. The blacks really contrast and bring out some good strong color as well. Texture, pattern, and follicle all still hold strong in fine detail despite how dark they sit against. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are very strong and bold in this lovely palette. They come most striking in the aforementioned Italy sequences with light blues, pinks, and such giving a great punch. There is also a lot of richness coming in the opera house toward the end of the movie, with luscious reds contrasting with brass and gold.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. Facial features and textures are very impressive as you can make out wrinkles, stubble, freckles, lip texture, make-up brush strokes, and more with ease from a given distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s):

  • Coda: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Czech 5.1 Dolby Digital, German 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Spain) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Latin America) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Polish 2.0 Dolby Digital, Portuguese (Brazil) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Russian 5. 1 Dolby Digital
  • Theatrical & 1991 Cut: English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, German 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Spain) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Latin America) 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese (Brazil) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Russian 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles:

  • Coda: English, English SDH, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, German, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Roman, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Finnish, Swedish, Thai
  • Theatrical & 1991 Cut: English, English SDH, Cantonese, Danish, German, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Roman, Simplified Chinese, Finnish, Swedish, Thai

Dynamics:  The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone comes with a nice 5.1 DTS-HD MA track that is quite lively and engaging. Much of the action is top-notch. There’s a grand balance in this mix of the music, vocals, and effects, with each able to really shine and deliver moments on their own when called upon. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track really does suffice quite well if, indeed, it is the final say on the audio mix for the third Godfather movie. On the Theatrical and 1991 track, the Blu-ray’s terrific 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track is retained as the go-to audio for the film.

Height: N/A

Low-Frequency Extension:  The subwoofer drives it in quite nicely. Obviously, the helicopter machine gun attack is a damn highlight and shakes the hell out of your room, but many an engine, door slam, or regular pistol pop do the trick as well.

Surround Sound Presentation:  This is a nice mix that doesn’t go overboard because the film doesn’t ask it to. But when it does, be it the helicopter mo-down or the street-level assassination of Joey Zasa, the rear channels start pumping and participating. Sound travel is accurate and effective. The film’s ambiance is very strong, especially in the quieter big empty room moments.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are clear and crisp. They feel very present, and like you are there in the room. There’s a natural sense to them.

Extras

The Godfather Trilogy is a 5-Disc set. It contains 3 4K UHD discs for the films, a bonus 4K UHD disc for the Theatrical and 1991 cuts of The Godfather, Part III, and a standard Blu-ray bonus disc where all bonus features are found. In addition, it comes with redeemable digital codes for The Godfather, The Godfather, Part II, and The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.

Disc 1: The Godfather (1972)

Audio Commentary

  • By Francis Ford Coppola

Disc 2: The Godfather, Part II (1974)

Audio Commentary

  • By Francis Ford Coppola

Disc 3: The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corelone (1990)

Introduction by Francis Ford Coppola (HD, 1:32)

Disc 4: The Godfather, Part III (1991) – Theatrical & 1991 Cut

Audio Commentary

  • By Francis Ford Coppola (1991 Cut)

Disc 5: Bonus Disc

For a look at the packaging of this release, I did an unboxing video on my YouTube channel, which you can watch here.

Subtitles: English, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, German, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Roman, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Finnish, Finnish, Swedish, Thai

New Features

  • Full Circle: Preserving The Godfather (HD, 16:21) – The team that worked on this restoration includes James Mockoski (Film Archivist – American Zoetrope), Andrea Kalas (SVP Asset Management – Paramount), Jan Yarbrough (Senior DI Colorist – Warner Bros M.P.I.), Laura Thornburg (Restoration Consultant), Robert Schafer (Editor/Restoration Artist – American Zoetrope), Chuck Woodfill (Exec. Director Vaults & Logistics – Paramount) and Jeffrey Osmer (Film Archive Librarian – Paramount). This detailed look includes lots of comparisons and looks at the pure elements. Since the Robert Harris/Gordon Willis 2007 restoration for Blu-ray, even more, better elements have been found, and technology has improved to do better on what was done before. That restoration served as the foundation for these new transfers. They discuss how they could work through this during lockdown Covid restrictions and how Coppola found Coda during this time and added the element of cutting together a new film. This is fascinating and enthralling to watch and hear how these beautiful transfers were done.
  • Capturing The Corelones: Through The Lens Of Photographer Steve Shapiro (HD, 13:21) – An interview with the special photographer for the trilogy. He landed a cover deal for Life magazine for the film, which landed him a position on the film that included promotional type images, on-set images, behind-the-scenes images, and what he calls “icon images.” He talks about his craft being as quiet and unintrusive as can be. Shapiro understands and praises “Gordy” Willis and his work and the help he gave him on the film. You get to see his camera, and he talks about his thoughts on color and black and white photos. Shapiro describes the set and actors as “very relaxed” during the shoot.
  • The Godfather: Home Movies (HD, 9:04) – Home movie footage shot on the Staten Island shoot of The Godfather, released for the first time here. Its scenes are shot at the exterior of the Corleone family home (Sonny leaving before his demise, the Wedding, Michael & Vito having a heart to heart in the garden, Vito’s death). Gordon Willis’ birthday happened during this as some signs were made for the occasion.
  • Restoration Comparisons – The Godfather: Scan Element Comparisons (HD, 5:19), The Godfather Part II: Scan Element Comparisons (HD, 5:24). These show a bit of a simulation of the process of going from the 2007 restoration to the 2022 one using YCM Separation, Camera Negative, Dupe Negative, VistaVision Camera Negatives, Color Reversal Intermediate, and other elements.

Legacy Features

  • The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn’t (HD, 29:46)
  • Godfather World (HD, 11:19)
  • Emotional Rescue: Revealing The Godfather (HD, 19:05)
  • …When The Shooting Stopped (HD, 14:18)
  • The Godfather On The Red Carpet (HD, 4:03)
  • Four Short Films On The Godfather – GF VS. GF PART II (HD, 2:16), Riffing On The Riffing (HD, 1:39), Cannoli (HD, 1:39), Clemenza (HD, 1:45)
  • The Corleone Family Tree 
  • Crime Organization Chart 
  • Connie And Carlo’s Wedding Album 
  • Behind The Scenes – A Look Inside (SD, 1:13:29), On Location (SD, 6:56), Francis Ford Coppola’s Notebook (SD, 10:13), Music Of The Godfather: Nino Rota (SD, 5:30), Music Of The Godfather: Carmine Coppola (SD, 3:17), Coppola & Puzo On Screenwriting (SD, 8:07), Gordon Willis On Cinematography (SD, 3:45), Storyboards – Godfather Part II, Storyboards – Godfather Part III, The Godfather Behind The Scenes 1971 (SD, 8:56)
  • Additional Scenes (SD) – Scenes (1901-1927), Scenes (1945), Scenes (1947-1955), Scenes (1958-1979)
  • Galleries – Trailers: The Godfather (HD, 3:40), The Godfather Part II (HD, 14:16), The Godfather Part III (HD, 4:21).
  • Photo Gallery, Rogues’ Gallery. Acclaim & Response: The Godfather, Best Screenplay 1972 (2:24), The Godfather, Best Picture 1972 (SD, 1:47), The Godfather Part II, Best Director 1974 (SD, 1:50), The Godfather Part II, Best Picture 1974 (SD, 1:03), Awards and Nominations, 1974 Network TV Intro (SD, 1:35)
  • Additional Material – James Caan Screen Test (SD, 0:39), The Sopranos (SD, 1:34), Puzo “For The Money” (SD, 0:06), The Godfather Around The World (SD, 0:47), Cosa Nostra  Coppola (SD, 1:53)
  • The Filmmakers – Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo, Gordon Willis, Dean Tavoularis, Nino Rota, Carmine Coppola
  • Godfather Chronology 
  • 2008 Credits
  • DVD Credits 

Summary

It’s Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo’s The Godfather Trilogy. Let’s face it, at some point, you’re going to be buying this if you’re a serious collector or film lover. And like clockwork, they’ve gone back and lovingly continued restoration of these masterworks to be the best possible presentations they can. Complete with excellent packaging and all bonus materials, old and new, it’s as fine a set as someone could ask for. There’s no doubt at the end of the year that this labor of love in film restoration and home video will be winding up on most Best of the Year lists.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “The Godfather Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    Great review Brandon! Makes me want to buy it now!!!