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The Godfather Trilogy 4K UHD Review

“The Godfather Trilogy” finally hits 4K.

1972’s “The Godfather” is simply one of the cinematic greats. It may be a mafia movie, but it’s much more than that. It’s a story about the Corleone family, crime, heritage, and loyalty. It’s a sweeping story about the feuding Five Families, assassinations (and assassination attempts), betrayal, and the rise of Michael Corleone to become the new Don of the family. It’s a rare perfect film. The direction by Francis Ford Coppola is first rate, the script by Mario Puzo and Coppola is a masterclass in writing, the score by Nino Rota is forever ingrained into our collective memories, and the ensemble cast featuring Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Marlon Brando, Diane Keaton, John Cazale and Abe Vigoda is as good as it gets. 

The age old question- Is “The Godfather Part 2” better than the original? I’m still unsure, but there’s no denying it’s a great sequel that also acts as a prequel. It’s a tale of two movies here as the story shifts back and forth from a young Vito in early 1900’s Sicily and New York to Michael in the 50’s where he discovers that his brother Fredo has betrayed him (among other turbulent issues involving his marriage). In addition to its unique narrative, the sequel is more ambitious in its storytelling and characterization. The addition of Robert DeNiro as a younger Vito also tremendously strengthens the franchise.

“The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone” (AKA “The Godfather Part 3”) is Francis Ford Coppola’s preferred cut of the film and, indeed, it is the best version (you can check out my review of the 2020 Blu-ray release here: https://dvdcorner.net/2020/12/07/the-godfather-coda-the-death-of-michael-corleone-blu-ray-review/). However, if you are a purist, you’ll be happy to know both the theatrical and 1991 version of “The Godfather Part 3” are included as one of the two bonus discs so you can at least revisit the original version in 4K too (the ending of which I am a big fan of). Anyway, this third entry sees Michael Corleone attempting to enter a legitimate business but getting trapped by his past. Sofia Coppola and George Hamilton replacing Robert Duvall drag the film down, but there’s a lot of good material here with Michael Corleone and Andy Garcia as Vincent (the best new character).

Overall, what else is there to say? This is a classic trilogy that has stood the test of time. With “The Godfather Coda,” the third entry has ever improved since its release. It goes without saying that this 4K set is a must buy.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 2160p. How do they look? Worry not, fans, the new 4K restorations deliver the goods. All 3 films (including all cuts of “The Godfather Part 3”) maintain the purity of the original print all while offering up a crisp new 4K transfer. This is easily the best these films have looked on home video.

Audio Tracks: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Restored Mono Dolby Digital. Numerous language options from Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, French and so forth are also included. How do they sound? Much like the picture quality, the audio quality is top notch. The lossless 5.1 packs a punch and the Mono track is well balanced for those who’d rather choose that option.

Extras:
* Commentary by Francis Ford Coppola on “The Godfather,” “The Godfather Part 2,” and  the 1991 cut of “The Godfather Part 3.”
* DVD credits and 2008 credits
* Photo, rogues, acclaim and response galleries.
* Trailers for all 3 films.
* “Full Circle: Preserving The Godfather”- A new featurette about the restoration process.
* “Capturing The Corleones: Through The Lens Of Photographer Steve Schapiro”- The on set photographer discusses his experiences on set. Also a new extra.
* “The Godfather: Home Movies”-A new extra featuring 1971 8mm footage from the set of the first film.
* “Restoration Comparison”- A new extra comparing the 2007 and 2022 restorations from the first 2 films.
* “The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn’t”- Fascinating behind-the-scenes stories about getting the film made.
* “Godfather World” covers the saga’s  influence in pop culture.
* “Emulsional Rescue- Revealing The Godfather”- An archival feature about the 2007 restorations.
* Text Godfather Chronology.
* Additional Material featuring James Caan Screen Test, “The Sopranos” clip mentioning “The Godfather,” “Puzo For The Money” clip, “The Godfather Around The World” features various language tracks, and “Cosa Nostra And Coppola” involves George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola talking about mafia history.
* 34 additional scenes from all 3 films.
* “Connie And Carlo’s Wedding Album” photo gallery.
* “Crime Organization Chart”- Criminal records and profiles of characters.
* “The Corleone Family Tree”- The title says it all
* “…When The Shooting Stopped”- Post-production stories.
* “The Godfather On The Red Carpet”- Various actors and actresses expressing their thoughts about “The Godfather” from what appears to be a “Cloverfield” premiere. Strange extra.
* “Four Short Films On The Godfather” titled “GF Vs. GF Part 2,” “Riffing On The Riffing,” “Cannoli,” and “Clemenza.”
* “Behind The Scenes”- A collection of 9 archival extras- “A Look Inside,” “On Location,” “Francis Coppola’s Notebook,” “Music Of The Godfather,” “Coppola And Puzo On Screenwriting,” “Gordon Willis On Cinematography,” storyboards for Parts 2 and 3, and “The Godfather Behind The Scenes 1971” featurette.
* “The Filmmakers”- Text profiles of Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo, Gordon Willis, Dean Tavoularis, Nino Rota and Carmine Coppola.
* Digital copies of “The Godfather,” “The Godfather Part 2” and The Godfather Coda: The Death Of Michael Corleone.”

March 22, 2022 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , ,

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