on December 2, 2008
This full frame-by-frame restoration is beautiful. A damaged master copy had been the main culprit of a poor transfer to DVD/video originally. This transfer is not just a digitally cleaned up version of that master, but in some cases they used a better quality negative. The old version had murky dark scenes and washed-out bright scenes like the opening wedding scene. It was terrible. This version fixes all that and is just beautiful in HD. The Godfather the way it was meant to be seen.
Read this for more info:
on July 18, 2004
While the original film ranked #2 on the AFI's list of 100 Greatest Movies (#1 being Citizen Kane), many film buffs, afficionados, and audiences believed that the first Godfather film deserves that #1 spot. How many people do you know who know some of those famous quotes like, "I'm gonna' make him an offer he can't refuse," or "Never take sides against the family again, ever..." A few maybe? Or perhaps you grew up in an Italian family like mine and your father can translate the Italian for you while you watch? Now how many people can quote Citizen Kane beyond, "Rooooosebuuuud...."
Despite the excellence of the first film, it is my opinion that Godfather part 2 delves deeper into the family, more into the two-toned life that Michael Corleone orchestrates between the family business and his family. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the relationship he cultivates between himself and Hyman Roth (wonderful performance by Lee Strasberg), cementing the old adage that you keep your friends close and your enemies closer. On the surface they are friends, behind closed doors they are co-conspirators, between each other they are close friends and confidants. Beneath it all, in the depths of each man's heart, they are mortal enemies, Corleone ultimately the victor. The whole movie is a mounting tension between the two, reaching heights as when Hyman fumes over the death of a great man, Mo Green, whom Corleone had killed in the first film. In the end, Hyman becomes just another victim, mowed down by a Corleone footman.
The court proceedings are shot in a way that transmits the claustrophobia and morose tedium of the justice system back in the days of McCarthyism (the eras align somewhat, both post-war 1950's). The court is crowded, people line the walls, journalists write furiously in the heat of the courtroom, in the background, people walk in and out of the proceedings like is was a Wal-Mart. People speak into microphones, their voices drone in the hollow, sparse room.
And then Michael Corleone has his own brother killed. Many would say this is when Michael gives himself over fully to the title "Godfather." This is actually one of the central themes of the first film, when exactly does Michael become Godfather? The first film has a wonderful moment where, in the family office (the predominant colors are brown and orange), Brando gets out of his chair, moves over to the side of the office, Michael gets up from the couch on the other side, moves to the desk, and sits in his fathers chair. This is when Michael becomes Godfather in my opinion, but Coppola is good enough to give us more moments that question exactly, "When?"
Coppola's film legacy lies within this box set, as does Pacino's, Brando's, Caan's, and Duvall's. DeNiro managed to go off and do other things, his legacy lies somewhere else, but to the aforementioned actors, they have never done another film or role as well as what they did in the Godfather films. You don't realize it until you pop in the bonus disc, but composer's Nino Rota and Carmine Coppola also put their legacy into this film with the music. Who can forget Rota's seven-note theme that opens and closes the film? Carmine Coppola adds a more Italiano flavor to the music in the flashback scenes featuring DeNiro as a young Vito Andolini (a.k.a. Don Corleone in the first film).
There's so much to go over, the least of which is film #3. But the contents of the other three discs justifies the cost, which could actually be higher. But really, this collection is an offer you can't refuse, or do I have to put a gun to your head??
on March 11, 2011
So many years ago I read Mario Puzo's book and of course went to see the movies. I just knew this collection was going to be great and it was, especially the extra discs showing how the movie was made. The Godfather is my all time favourite movie. You won't be disappointed! Even though Godfather I was the more acclaimed one - I love all 3, yes even 3! I yearn for another one to be made, but know that won't happen. Years ago I never would have thought that "mob movies" would be amongst my must haves, but now on certain ones, I'm hooked. The direction, the haunting music and of course five-star acting by my favourite actors, especially Al Pacino. Carlita's Way, Scarface and of course the fabulous Goodfellas with the great Ray Liotta...they are all classics in my book. I'd also recommend the audio CD Godfather Part 11. Can you believe I even watch them when they are on TV also?! Yes. I admit it.....I'm totally addicted.
on February 14, 2009
Bought this a month ago and it was everything I wanted...
Includes all 3 of the Godfather movies, plus a supplement dvd with extra features such as additional scenes and the making of the Godfather..
Worth the price for sure.
on October 19, 2008
I had no problems playing these discs on my PS3.Blu-ray discs are a bit odd as they are more scratch resistant than regular DVDs but sometimes if there is a fingerprint on the disc they will not play.
The picture quality in these movies while not razor sharp has warm rich collours.In Godfather 2 the Picture quality is very good when the movie shows how the Godfather started out at the beginning of the century and sepia tones are added to create atmosphere.
I think this is a fine collection.
on March 25, 2010
I just received the trilogy on Blue Ray. It's just amazing compared to the DVD version I had.
on January 6, 2004
What could I say about the Godfather movies? MASTERPIECE
I wore out my box VHS set so of course I bought the DVD's as soon as they came out. I think those $80 bucks were well spent.
The Godfather trilogy should be viewed by everyone at least once in their lifetime. Its a piece of American Culture.
Brando, Pacino, DeNiro, Keaton, Duvall and Caan are amazing in The Godfather movies. Plus the other cast are great.
The movie is about the Corleone Mafia family, their rise and movement, their involvement with other crime families in New York, their bussinesses etc.
The movie is a classic and produces some of the most famous movie lines in the cinema history...
"I'll make him an offer he can't refuse"
So dont refuse to make this great purchase, if you're a fan of mafia or any of the cast it is a must have, it makes a wonderful gift.
In addition to the movies you'll get an extra disc with hours of extra features (p.s. click on the bunny and see The Sopranos watching The Godfather)
extra features include interviews with cast and directors, Copollas strive to make the movie, you can see Mario Puzo working on the scripts, and look at the Corleone family tree.
on November 1, 2003
For me, the greatest film ever made is The Godfather, Part II. This is a sequel that accomplishes everything that the first movie accomplished twice over, thanks to the intersecting storylines which show the parallels between the rise to power of young Don Vito and Michael's attempts to invest in Cuba and eliminate his enemies. Although Michael wins all his battles in the film he loses most of his family, and the surprise party scene and subsequent final view of Michael sitting on a bench show a defeated man who is nothing but a wasteland of sadness. To call him a shell of a man would be overstatement. Where The Godfather (and the Vito storyline in Part II) were ultimately comic in that the situation worked out for the protagonist in the end, the Michael storyline is perhaps the most profoundly tragic ever on film. It is the stuff of Greek tragedy, Oedipus Rex, or Medea. Even though Michael deserves his fate because he has done some wretched things, it is impossible not to feel sympathy for him. This is human tragedy at its most poignant and powerful, and that it works so famously is no small testament to Al Pacino and Dianne Keaton as Mike and Kay Corleone, as well as John Cazale as Fredo, Lee Strasberg as Roth, Robert De Niro as young Vito, and Michael V. Gauzzo as the unforgettable Frank Pantangelli. All are wonderful here, and the storytelling is at its peak.
Its predecessor, however, is generally revered as the greatest movie ever made. I put it at number two. The Godfather is the ultimate gangster film, but it is ultimately a film about the human experience. Destiny, family, passion, betrayal and redemption are only part of what's explored here. Also magnificent are the standout performances. Brando as Don Vito, Pacino as Michael, Caan as Sonny, and Duvall as Tom Hagen are all fantastic, and all were nominated for Oscars. Coppola brings all the elements together in such a powerful way that The Godfather is a film that commands praise and attention. Its combination of sensitivity and raw power are mesmerizing. Perhaps the greatest problem with the film is, ironically, its own success. It is an iconoclastic film, and so many of its words and scenes are so deeply engrained into the cultural lexicon that it is not possible to fully enjoy the film the way it was meant to be enjoyed. That said, even overexposure doesn't rob much of it from being a hauntingly poignant yet satisfying movie. The horse's head scene is still very potent. Ultimately, this is a movie which would be the best movie ever had the sequel not been made.
Although the third installment has been much maligned, it is not a bad film. It is just not as good as the first two, and it really can't be helped. This movie's central theme is redemption, and Al Pacino gives perhaps his most touching performance as Michael Corleone, who really hates what he's become and tries to make amends through charity and faith, but can't fully escape his past. While flawed, it's certainly worth watching, especially for the other wonderful performances from Joe Mantegna, Dianne Keaton and Andy Garcia.
Now this DVD set is impressive. The films look great and sound even better. There are plenty of extras about the making of the films. But the best part of it for me was the deleted scenes. Sure, many movies promise deleted scenes, and there are usually a few that were probably scrubbed for technical malfunction or are competely worthless to the story. This set, though, contains dozens of scenes, many of which are absolutely wonderful and added to the story. For once, I actually would have liked to have seen an edition of the film with the deleted scenes inserted. There is only one from Part III, though, and it's just an extension of another scene in the film. I guess they didn't cut much from the movie.
If you haven't seen these treasures of American culture, make them the next movies you see. I guarantee it, you won't regret it.
on October 30, 2003
This is a special note for people who have NOT YET seen either of the Godfather installments, or at least who haven't yet viewed Part III: I am utterly appalled by the widely irrational amount of negative comments on THE GODFATHER PART III. Yes, one has to admit that Part III is different in style and narrative approach than Parts I & II, AND one also has to admit that it is also an EXCELLENT movie that does deserve all the praise that Parts I & II attracted. I am currently writing my Master's in Philosophy and I have to say that I really enjoyed the "GREEK TRAGEDY" aspects of the Part III -you will see in the BONUS DISC F.F. Coppola explain why he chose to give this Part an additional level of moral questioning, another layer of PHILOSOPHICAL depth (that perhaps Parts I & II lack a little -just a thought). DIRECTOR Coppola has worked extensively with AUTHOR Mario Puzo (by the way, do read the book, it adds another very distinctive flavor to your experience of the movie -the end is quite different, enough said!) and that is perhaps why Parts II and III are so excellent too (Part I is more or less already in the book, but II and III had to be invented). Thus, Part III has extraordinarily moving quality that makes the whole series complete. THANK GOD I had never read the other Amazon reviews that say Part III is less good before watching all three movies - I would have then expected to be disappointed. Instead of that, I was warned that each Part was quite different from each other but that all were INDISPENSABLE to create the full range of nuances that make our UNIQUE experience of THE GODFATHER. As I work in a movie theatre, I am acutely aware that more than quality as such, it is beforehand 'expectations' about the movie ("it's a nice and cute little movie", "it's the greatest masterpiece of all time"...) that create satisfaction or disappointment after the viewing. So, please, 'expect to see' three very good and very different movies. Forget about comparing one with the others, just enjoy the cathartic* experience and let yourself be transformed. (I couldn't resist the fact of adding the meaning of 'cathartic' because it depicts SO WELL what happens to the GODFATHER fan watching the series: "producing a feeling of being purified emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically as a result of an intense emotional experience..." --Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.)
on October 16, 2003
When Francis Ford Coppola returned to direct "The Godfather Part II," his mission was to create a sequel as compelling, involving, interesting, and downright exhilarating as the original. Everyone told him it was impossible. He made the impossible possible.
This sequel is just as terrific as the first film, if not more so. I hesitate to call it a sequel, as "sequel" is quite simply the wrong word I am looking for. A film like "The Matrix Reloaded" is a sequel - a blockbuster blast that returns the characters from the original in a new storyline. "The Godfather Part II" is something more. It is more of a chapter than a sequel. A continuation, if you will. The same characters are all here - at least those who survived the original, that is - but when I call it a "sequel," it strikes the wrong cord. It is as if both films are one, divided into two separate chapters. When you read a novel, and someone asks you if you liked it, you don't say, "Yeah, but I liked the first chapter better than the second and so on." You either like or dislike the novel. Think of "The Godfather Part II" as a chapter in a novel; it is a true continuation, nothing more.
This film won six Oscars in 1974, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (Robert De Niro). It deserved every one. It involves the viewer from the start and never lets up. Particular aspects I enjoy in this film are the flashbacks to Don Vito Corleone as a child immigrating to New York City after social problems in his homeland, Sicily. I like the intertwining of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), his son, in present day, dealing with his crime inheritance, and Vito (Robert De Niro), his father, years ago. I like how, as Michael comes to terms with his family legacy, the film shows us Vito coming to terms with his future. The day he shoots that man in a gritty apartment complex is a turning point in his life.
As I write this review, "The Godfather Part II" holds the no. 3 spot on the IMDb's list of the top 250 films of all time. "The Godfather" is currently taking the no. 1 spot. I guess people still do have good taste in film - but the fact that "The Lord of the Rings" made it to the no. 1 spot for close to a month startles me just a bit. Are filmgoers so cinematically naive nowadays to vote every blockbuster they see a "10"?
Every actor is in top form here. Al Pacino has gradually made the move from a man who denies his future to a man who is accepting it. His character is the spotlight of this film, much more so than in the first film (though both center around his decisions).
Robert De Niro is particularly wonderful and convincing as a young Vito Corleone, who was of course played by the constantly-spoofed Marlon Brando in the original. De Niro takes an iron grip on his character and completely engulfs himself; this was, in 1974, the sign of an actor who would go places. Indeed, he did. Among his other film contributions was Martin Scorsese's classic tale of loneliness, "Taxi Driver"; Michael Simino's tale of friendship, "The Deer Hunter"; Martin Scorsese's fact-based drama "Raging Bull," based on the life of boxer Jake LaMotta; Sergio Leone's true epic "Once Upon a Time in America"; as Al Capone in "The Untouchables"; and Martin Scorsese's true story of gangsters in "Goodfellas."
Coppola's magical sense of direction is at work here, as is the terrific script by Coppola and Mario Puzo (whose novels the series is based upon). The original was a wonderful film, with wonderful direction, but the sequel presents more of a challenge. Flashbacks are often intercut in the middle of a film at the wrong time; Coppola inserts his flashbacks here like clockwork, ticking back and forth and coming into play right when the audience either (a) wants them or (b) does not want them, which is always the best thing. Sometimes an audience wants a flashback if they're getting tired of a scene - sometimes they don't want a flashback because they are involved in a current story and are hooked on the screen. Coppola inserts his flashbacks at just the right moments. If he feels a scene is too long, he gets a flashback going. If he feels the current story could benefit from a flashback that is reminiscent of the current matters, he inserts one. And if the audience is at the height of tension, awaiting the end of a scene, he will insert a flashback and the audience will soon forget about the scene they were involved in minutes ago - until the flashback is over and the "present time" scene starts up again. Then they are really at attention.
It takes a great kind of skill to master something like this, much less a sequel to one of the most beloved films of all time. "The Godfather" was an instant classic upon its release in 1972. Coppola had two years to plan for his continuation of the film. People told him it wouldn't work, he would never beat the original, and he would never pull it off. But he showed them all. "The Godfather Part II" may well be the best sequel I have ever seen in my entire lifetime. Oh boy, there I go again with that word, "sequel." I really hate that word. Continuation: That's a word I really have to keep in mind next time I'm coughing up a review on a sequel. Argh, there I go again. D'oh!