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Showing 1-10 of 17 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on February 28, 2003
Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" trilogy represents a landmark achievement in American cinema. Okay, maybe not Part III, but cumulatively. The first film established the benchmark of excellence that by Part III was starting to look rather cliché. In "The Godfather" we are introduced to Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), a Mafia kingpin who rules his underworld empire with compassion and family honor at heart. What is fascinating about Coppola's interpretation of the Mafia is that it examines them not as criminals per say, but as struggling immigrants unable to secure their place in the new world without being forced to resort to intimidation and violence. In the first film, the Corleone empire is threatened almost from the star. After the jubilant wedding of the Don's only daughter, Connie (Talia Shire) the Don is almost assassinated. Michael (Al Pacino), the son who has been groomed for legitimate business, vows revenge and achieves it in assassinating the rival Don whose orders almost killed his father. But when the heir to Vito's throne, Sunny (James Caan) is brutally murdered at a toll booth, Michael is forced to step in and assume control of his father's underworld empire.
Stemming from a prior incident, Paramount didn't want Brando on the film. Ditto for Al Pacino, though in that instance their apprehension seems to have been predicated on the fact that Al was then an unknown quantity in Hollywood. Shire had to practically beg Coppola for her role. It all worked out in the end. "The Godfather" set a benchmark for cinema violence and took home the Best Picture Oscar. Two years later, "The Godfather: Part II" would sweep the award, winning more Oscars than its predecessor.
In Part II Coppola's formula film making is cemented by a parallel storyline: the first picks up where part one left off, with Michael now married to Kay (Dianne Keaton) and living near Lake Tahoe where they raise their children. However, as part two progresses the marriage disintegrates into a bitter custody battle. The other plot point of Part II regresses to 1930s New York and charts the rise to power of Don Vito, on this occasion played to perfection by Robert DeNiro. Part II is by far the most intricately balanced and thoroughly explorative of "The Godfather" trilogy.
Part III is something of a rehash and a disappointment. It assumes a straight forward story involving the aged Michael. Reconciled with Kay - at least on speaking terms - and now a struggling diabetic, Michael's hopes for his children are shattered when his son refuses to pursue a law degree and his daughter, Mary (Sophia Coppola) is accidentally assassinated on the steps of the La Scala Opera House. The penultimate showdown of Part III is reminiscent of the final acts of the previous two films. It offers nothing new or viscerally stirring to the saga of this crime family. Evidently, the Academy of Arts and Sciences agreed. "The Godfather: Part III" took home no Oscars.
The DVD transfers of these three films from Paramount Home Video are in short a dismal disappointment. Although Coppola did shoot his films with a decidedly dated look, none of the transfers included in this collection are anything but dated by the ravages of time. Color fidelity and balance are inconsistently rendered. Flesh tones are either faded pink or too orange. Blacks, browns, dark grays and blues all appear as one gigantic muddy brown mess. Fine detail is completely lost. Digital compression artifacts, film grain, aliasing, fine detail shimmering and video noise are prominent throughout.
Oddly enough, out of all the transfers, Part I looks the best while Part III, the newest of the bunch, represents the worst example of tiling and color bleeding that I've seen in any film from the eighties. Also, Part II is inexplicably spread across two discs. Paramount's reasoning is presumably to avoid compression related problems on a lengthy film -which still abound - yet Part III, which shares almost the same running time, is compressed onto one disc. Chapter references on all three films is bare bones - for a three hour movie, twelve chapter stops is inadequate. All the extras for these films are lumped together on a separate disc, but with all the problems I've just listed and the added disappointment of not being chapter referenced. Unfortunately, for fans of these immortal classics, Paramount Home Video has given us an offer all too easy to refuse!
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on October 23, 2001
Talk about the DVD DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR! Like many, I've been waiting for this release but I couldn't believe the shabby quality associated with it. Paramount blew it!
Many would like to have seen the release of the Godfather Saga/Epic, but that didn't happen so this 5 disk set had to do.
And it was horrible.
Godfather 1 and 2 are excellent movies. Godfather 3 was a huge disappointment.
Having said that, I still purchased this 5 disk set, hoping to view them in all the technical splendor Paramount had to offer.
Apparently, they had none and released this poor quality offering for the money only, not for any artistic reasons.
The video transfer is horrible but the audio was very good. But, I want to watch AND hear a good movie.
I returned this 5 disk set today and will not buy any subsequent release until I've read as many reviews as possible.
Francis made Godfather 3 for the money and it appears Paramount released this disappointment for the same reason.
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on October 13, 2001
First off, the 2 stars rating is not for the quality of the movie. I doubt if any of you are reading reviews to see if the Godfather is a great movie. Its my favorite and its the favorite of a lot of you out there. The good thing is the sound and picture are better, but the bad thing is and I have seen this among the comments already,the extra scenes that you see when Godfather is on TV are not cut in within the movies. Instead they are on a bonus disk where you have to watch them individually. I have seen these scenes and they add a lot to the movie, they do not make the movie too long and they explain a lot. For example, there is a scene after Connie's wedding where they visit a dying Genco Abbondando (Vito Corleone's concilliere before Tom Hagen)in the hospital. Its the Godfather, Johnny fontane, Hagen, and the three sons. There is a scene at the water fountain in the hospital where Vito tells Michael that he has plans for him and that he doesn't come to him like a son should, and Michael turns away and says "we'll see". This scene really demonstrated the whole theme of the movie, as Michael goes from not wanting anything to do with the family business to becoming a lot like his father. This and other scenes should be included, and I though for the close to 80 bucks I spent I would get that. I was a little dissapointed. Still, if you are a Godfather fan like me you should own this set, and some of the extras on teh Bonus DVD are interesting, especially for someone like me who has watched the movie themselves hundreds of times.
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on October 11, 2001
First of all I am a HUGE Godfather fan and I know almost everything there is to know about the first two films. When I heard Godfather was to be released to DVD over a year ago but was going to be delayed due to the fact the studio and (Coppola?) were going to give it the red carpet treatment, I was happy that finally, every scrap of footage that was ever cut was going to be replaced! From The Saga, (the tv version with the most added footage) to the Complete Epic which has scenes that neither the regular version or the Saga have. Plus I was hoping for even more footage. Warning people! The 3 films are all as you would have seen them at the movies! Although awesome DVD picture quality and sound, never the less this is NOT the To-End-All Godfather DVD I had waited and waited for:( All of the "extra footage" is on the 5th supplemental disc not cut in with the rest of the film as I had hoped for. And what makes it even worse, is that, the makers of this DVD didn't even put ALL of the extra scenes in, I know of 4 more scenes they didn't add to this disc. What a disappointment for a true die hard fan. Maybe one day they will put together a version to end all versions, until then I still Have my own version I painstakenly cut together from 3 different versions over the course of 2 weeks, although the quailty and sound are not the greatest, I feel I do have the most complete version.
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on November 2, 2001
first of all the movies expect three are great movies and anybody who watches movies know this. The problem is the box set where do i start the transfer of one is almost unwatchable specks and grain thourgout, lighting is also very bad. The second and escpecially the third are deccent but nothing to write home about, the packing is awful and each time the discs are watched and returned to the cases they get scratched. why make a box set like this the rocky and superman boxes were packaged better then this although they had very few features expect on the first movies.The only thing good abot the set is the fifth disc of bonus materails they are nice and enjoyable, bottom line don't buy this they will issue a new and better version very soon am sure just like thier doing for almost famous in decemember.
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on November 20, 2001
Very poor tranfer to DVD.
Grainy, contrast too high - no shadow detail.
Lots of specks and dust that should have been cleaned up.
The darks are so dark that you see little or no detail, ex: Pacino's hair and dark clothing render no or very little detail, just black, you wont see any strands of hair or folds and pockets on dark suits.
The cardboard cases eventually will fall apart with use in time.
The old widescreen video version has better quality than the DVD.
It seems that Paramount did a quickie job to get this box set out and make there bucks, and in so doing compromised the quality and attention that these great films deserve.
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on October 14, 2001
is the only word I can use for this DVD collection, having waited anxiously for them after placing my order day's after they were announced. As an owner of the previously released trilogy on VHS, the video quality of these DVD's is astonishingly poor in comparision. There is a tremendous amount of grain visible, it's overly dark with poor shadow detail and there's been no attempt to clean up the dirt, specks and scratches. Owner's of the VHS tapes will notice that these DVD's have not received a THX blessing and it's readily evident. I wonder what the expanation is for this, considering that, in relative comparison, the VHS tapes look far superior.
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on July 7, 2002
I eagerly awaited this title to be released on DVD, however when I received it how disappointed was I!!!
I have watched the Godfather many times on VHS format & had the luck to view it as it should be seen - starting from scicily right through to the end (with all the cut scenes included in the final film)
I sat down to watch & looked forward to a great evenings entertainment - I was disappointed!!
A great opportunity has been lost to release this film on DVD the way it was meant to be shown - I watch it more on VHS now, more than before!!
Maybe there will be a directors cut in the future!!
I live in hope
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on June 24, 2001
I think the movie(s) were excellent,but am disappointed that no one wants to produce a dvd that shows the story in Chronological Order!!!I,personally,would like to sit & watch the movie begin- ning with Vito as a boy then onto his life as a "successful"Don. Then continuing with his sons,etc. Please,can someone do this.If a dvd of this caliber is finally produced,I would be first in line to purchase it...cost ? object!Also please add the scenes that were" thrown on the floor...". thanks for letting me air my opinion. Errol M.
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on March 5, 2002
Though I am not the slightest bit Italian, I thought these movies were a little ethnically offensive. Not to mention the fact that nothing interesting ever really happened. I have seen these movies many times and honestly cannot quote a single line from any of them. My son Herb loves this series but I think he is just being plain silly, SILLY! I say put your money towards something a little more worthwile - like the new blockbuster smash "Snowdogs" - I have already seen that one 5 times!
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