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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

81






Studio and Year: Paramount - 1972, 1974
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 177, 202 Minutes
Genre: Crime Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby Mono, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Starring: Marlon Brando, Robert Dinero, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Talia Shire, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia, Joe Mantegna, Eli Wallach,
Directed by:Francis Ford Coppola
Music by: Nino Rota/Carmine Coppola
Written by: Francis Ford Coppola & Mario Puzo based upon his Novel
Region Code: Not specified

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 2, 2010







"A Cinematic masterpiece"



Film Synopsis:


THE GODFATHER: Popularly viewed as one of the best American films ever made, the multi-generational crime saga The Godfather (1972) is a touchstone of cinema: one of the most widely imitated, quoted, and lampooned movies of all time. Marlon Brando and Al Pacino star as Vito Corleone and his youngest son, Michael, respectively. It is the late 1940s in New York and Corleone is, in the parlance of organized crime, a "godfather" or "don," the head of a Mafia family. Michael, a free thinker who defied his father by enlisting in the Marines to fight in World War II, has returned a captain and a war hero. Having long ago rejected the family business, Michael shows up at the wedding of his sister, Connie (Talia Shire), with his non-Italian girlfriend, Kay (Diane Keaton), who learns for the first time about the family "business." A few months later at Christmas time, the don barely survives being shot by gunmen in the employ of a drug-trafficking rival whose request for aid from the Corleones' political connections was rejected. After saving his father from a second assassination attempt, Michael persuades his hotheaded eldest brother, Sonny (James Caan), and family advisors Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) and Sal Tessio (Abe Vigoda) that he should be the one to exact revenge on the men responsible. After murdering a corrupt police captain and the drug trafficker, Michael hides out in Sicily while a gang war erupts at home. Falling in love with a local girl, Michael marries her, but she is later slain by Corleone enemies in an attempt on Michael's life. Sonny is also butchered, having been betrayed by Connie's husband. Michael returns home and convinces Kay to marry him, his father recovers and makes peace with his rivals, realizing that another powerful don was pulling the strings behind the narcotics endeavor that began the gang warfare. Once Michael has been groomed as the new don, he leads the family to a new era of prosperity. He launches a campaign of murderous revenge against those who once tried to wipe out the Corleones, consolidating his family's power and completing his own moral downfall. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards and winning for Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando), and Best Adapted Screenplay, The Godfather was followed by a pair of sequels.

THE GODFATHER PART II: This brilliant companion piece to the original The Godfather continues the saga of two generations of successive power within the Corleone family. Coppola tells two stories in Part II: the roots and rise of a young Don Vito, played with uncanny ability by Robert De Niro, and the ascension of Michael (Al Pacino) as the new Don. Reassembling many of the talents who helped make The Godfather, Coppola has produced a movie of staggering magnitude and vision, and undeniably the best sequel ever made. Robert De Niro won an Oscar®; the film received six Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1974.



My Take:


There has been so much written on The Godfather that there would be little that I could add that most who are reading this wouldn't know. Personally I consider The Godfather and The Godfather Part II to be American Cinematic Masterpieces that paved the way for many other great films (not necessarily mafia based) and inspired/influenced other areas in cultural society. They are creative works that should be respected as such even by those who aren't necessarily film fans. Here we are 36 years after The Godfather's theatrical release and it and GF Part II hold up extremely well. It has been a number of years since I have seen them and I still found myself transfixed as I watched. I consider The Godfather films as a collective work to be outstanding and responsible for helping to positively shape American Cinema into what it has become today. Both films are being offered individually on Blu-ray Disc for the first time as part of Paramount's Sapphire Series.



Parental Guide:


Both films are rated R for violence, language and sexual references/content.





AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


Audio: 78


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

These video encodings are the same as those contained in the Godfather Blu-ray box set released last year. In looking at these films it is clearly obvious that the director had a very specific idea about what he wanted them to look like. The use of sepia tones and low lighting is frequently used in all three but seems more prevalent in The Godfather and Godfather Part II. Grain is well preserved, clearly visible and especially in the case of the first two films gives it a distinctive look that seems apropos to the story's telling. The visual style of these films isn't lent to overtly vibrant textures and razor sharp quality. Those expecting them to have the high gloss appearance and pristinely refined detail of some of today's films will be disappointed. They have been meticulously restored with the frame by frame restoration being overseen by Francis Ford Coppola. I will offer my impressions on the video and audio quality of each film separately.

The Godfather comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 33 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 3.8 mbps.

As mentioned earlier the color palette used is somewhat limited however I thought that colors had excellent tonal balance, and clean rendering throughout this presentation. Contrast levels were elevated which negatively impacted the perception of gradational detail in whites and grays during brightly sequences. In the film's opening wedding ceremony there is a wide angle exterior shot as Don Vito dances with Connie. Her white dress and other light colored objects within the shot, have a blooming quality that obscures visible texture/detail. Grain was somewhat inconsistent as it exhibited a heavier grain structure during certain scenes. It didn't negatively impact fidelity but was evident. Blacks were fairly deep, slightly crushed and appeared to have good dynamic range. Detail in dark backgrounds was a mixed bag. There were plenty of instances where shadow detail was resolved quite well and others where it presence was harder to discern. Detail was rendered cleanly with good two dimensional depth and sufficient sharpness in most respects. The sequences filmed in Italy had a bit more of a refined visual acuity that provided deeper image penetration. This clearly represented the two different worlds featured in the film and the effect was notable. This is a dialogue driven film that features a front heavy sound mix. Dialogue sounded kind of thin and lacking in mid range depth. Voices didn't have strong presence and this left dialogue sounding occasionally anemic. Left, center and right channel separation was good which allowed panning effects and spatial cues to sound distinct across the front soundstage. The car bomb in Sicily showed off the sound track's dynamic capability quite nicely as its impact resonated through the room. I had no trouble detecting subtle sonic detail within the mix which I attribute to the higher quality of lossless audio. The music score sounded sweet as it delivered silky smooth highs and excellent tonal depth. The surround and LFE channels were used sparingly however I don't recall feeling as though I missed them.

The Godfather Part II comes to Blu-ray disc featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 3.6 mbps.

This video presentation looked very similar to The Godfather. The overall tone and styling was nearly identical. I felt that grain and sharpness offered better consistency over the length of the film. The use of filtering, during the young Vito segments, imparted a soft glowing effect to the video. Its intention was obvious and I didn't see that had an adverse effect on image quality. Contrast levels were elevated however its effects were minimal as bright scenes maintained good white detail visibility. Black levels were elevated as well which caused blacks to look a bit washed out. Lowering the brightness setting on my display just a couple of clicks improved things. Detail in dark areas and shadows revealed good visible structure and depth of field. Images were cleanly resolved with firm clarity and definitive resolution. The lossless audio presentation was quite good and capably handled the elements contained with the film's soundtrack. Dialogue was crisp with depth and intonation that offered an improvement over what I heard in the first film. Similarly the surrounds and subwoofer saw limited use. This sound mix seemed to generate a slightly more diverse surround experience though. Ambiance, along with a few discrete atmospheric effects created a sound field that at times had a fairly immersive quality. I had no trouble detecting subtle sonic detail within the mix which I attribute to lossless audio's higher fidelity. The music score sounded sweet as it delivered silky smooth highs and excellent tonal depth.



Bonus Features:

  • Each film contains The original, provocative director's commentary





Final Thoughts:


The Godfather films (particularly Parts I and II) represent two of the most influential films in filmmaking history. Their impact can be felt outside of filmmaking circles which is a testament to their significance. The release of these films in high definition has been anticipated by fans since the formats adoption. This restoration and Blu-ray Disc release of Francis Ford Coppola's most critically acclaimed work is truly the best that these American Cinematic Classics have ever looked on home video. I suspect that most fans already own the previous Blu-ray release which contains all three films and an outstanding compliment of bonus features. These discs only contain the original director's commentary which will be disappointing to those interested in purchasing these films separately. If bonus features aren't important to you or you own the 2005 DVD releases and are looking to upgrade them to high definition these are the way to go. Otherwise I would recommend the Godfather Collection.














Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen

Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)

Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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Hey Ralph, do you know when you will be reviewing "The Hurt Locker"? It has some GREAT audio.
 

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I already got the Godfather Saga boxset; these are the same transfers of the Coppola restorations, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by IAM4UK /forum/post/18009538


I already got the Godfather Saga boxset; these are the same transfers of the Coppola restorations, right?

Greetings,


Right..



Regards,
 

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Fortunately, most people get these films. The book is even better!!


Great story supported by a cast full of great actors and a director that understood the material and remained faithful to the world he was portraying.


This was the 1st movie I ever had to stand in line to see in a theater (GFI). Each viewing sold out as soon as tickets were available.
 

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If you don't get it, then don't get them. These two movies are near the top of my all-time favorite list.
 

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Until I read this reveiw, I had my hopes up big time for this movie when it was being re-released!!

That is until I read the reveiw, where Ralph says Godfather 1 is the same as the box set.


Both are great movies. True Classics. And the sequel is the only movie where the sequel is equal to or better than the original, and both movies deserve all the fame given to them. I saw each of the movies at the theaters may be a a dozen or more times.


I thought that a complete restoration was being on done on number 1, but if it is the same as the one from the box set, save your money, as no point in tossing good money after bad.


That version of Godfather 1 on blu ray is a total flop as to its PQ, is like a fish out of water. You might as well watch my version of the old VHS tape. The VHS tape is close to same PQ except the blu ray really brings out all the details of the crud where the original film has degraded thanks to age (?).


The so called "grain" is film degradation and very distracting. Deserves about a 60, and is worse than Gladiator. And for me, since I love the movie, very disappointing. The HD broadcasts on verizon's cable FIOS is better, far better.


But thanks to this review, I have saved some money NOT buying it again!!!!!


But Godfather II is worth having in Blu-ray, which makes "GFI" all that more frustrating......and I hate it when I see movies that I have bought on Blu-ray, and then see how much better the movie is when it is played on that cable, which is just the opposite of the way it should be!!!! Maybe my Oppo 83 blu ray player is broken or something
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm_B /forum/post/18020737


If you don't get it, then don't get them. These two movies are near the top of my all-time favorite list.

+1 Two of my favorites. Will buy this weekend.
 

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I wish they did it in chronicle order, seen it many years ago on VHS ( someone taped it for me) and it was great.
 

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I watched the BD of The Godfather earlier this week and The Godfather II last night. Although I had seen them on innumerable prior occasions, I fell in love with both of them all over again this time. There is a reason these two films are generally felt to be two of the best films ever made. Despite their length, they are endlessly intriguing and it's hard to pick which has the best ending.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) The scene depicting the systematic hits that Michael Corleone ordered against the family's enemies that takes place during his nephew's christening, which comes nearly at the end of The Godfather, has become as legendary as the baby carriage rolling down the steps scene in Sergei Eisenstein's masterpiece, The Battleship Potemkin. The Godfather finally ends after Michael has had his brother in law assassinated, lies to his wife, Kay, about it and immediately closes the door to what was his father's study but which has become his own, with Kay looking on from the outside.


Equally effective, at least to me, is the final series of scenes in Godfather II, which show Michael sitting alone in his boathouse as the hits he had ordered against Hyman Roth and Michael's brother Fredo are carried out. Then he is shown in flashback in a scene at his father's dinner table on December 7, 1941, which ends with Michael being alone again. Finally, the film ends with Michael sitting in his backyard alone, again.
Those two final scenes are two of the finest examples of filmmaking I can recall.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat /forum/post/18126407


I watched the BD of The Godfather earlier this week and The Godfather II last night. There is a reason these two films are generally felt to be two of the best films ever made. Despite their length, they are endlessly intriguing and it's hard to pick which has the best ending.


Those two final scenes are two of the finest examples of filmmaking I can recall.

Actually it is not so much the very final scene, but the series of scenes starting within inside the church.....I remember watching GD 1 when it came out at the old movie house. I thought it was a great gangster kind of flick with sort of the good guy vs evil plot.....then right towards the end....those series of scenes that start up.....and the movie ends.


The second also has the final image that just does not go away, but I thought De Niro was stunning and stole the movie. The flashback part was as good as it gets, and then when it can not get any better, along comes another great ending taking the movie even higher.


Name the only movie where the sequel also won Best Picture. De Niro won best supporting actor in II, and Al Pacino deserved best actor for both movies, as did Brando for his victory.


and all the reason why I am so disappointed in the PQ of the blu-ray. This movie deserves better.


As to storylines and overall impact of a moviemovies, I rank BOTH as the ONLY competitor to Casablanca.




last movie to be made in technicolor.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat /forum/post/18126407


I watched the BD of The Godfather earlier this week and The Godfather II last night. Although I had seen them on innumerable prior occasions, I fell in love with both of them all over again this time. There is a reason these two films are generally felt to be two of the best films ever made. Despite their length, they are endlessly intriguing and it's hard to pick which has the best ending.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) The scene depicting the systematic hits that Michael Corleone ordered against the family's enemies that takes place during his nephew's christening, which comes nearly at the end of The Godfather, has become as legendary as the baby carriage rolling down the steps scene in Sergei Eisenstein's masterpiece, The Battleship Potemkin. The Godfather finally ends after Michael has had his brother in law assassinated, lies to his wife, Kay, about it and immediately closes the door to what was his father's study but which has become his own, with Kay looking on from the outside.


Equally effective, at least to me, is the final series of scenes in Godfather II, which show Michael sitting alone in his boathouse as the hits he had ordered against Hyman Roth and Michael's brother Fredo are carried out. Then he is shown in flashback in a scene at his father's dinner table on December 7, 1941, which ends with Michael being alone again. Finally, the film ends with Michael sitting in his backyard alone, again.
Those two final scenes are two of the finest examples of filmmaking I can recall.

No 1 for me had the best ending.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin /forum/post/18131231


No 1 for me had the best ending.

Yeah, it is one of the most famous endings in film history -- for good reason. The ending of Godfather II, though, has grown on me over the years because of how effectively it shows Michael Corleone's growing loneliness and dissatisfaction. I think that Pacino's performance in that film was the finest of his career. It's a shame he later decided that he had to eat the scenery in nearly every movie he was in. Anyway, both The Godfather and Godfather II are timeless, wonderful films.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat /forum/post/18131545


Yeah, it is one of the most famous endings in film history -- for good reason. The ending of Godfather II, though, has grown on me over the years because of how effectively it shows Michael Corleone's growing loneliness and dissatisfaction. I think that Pacino's performance in that film was the finest of his career. It's a shame he later decided that he had to eat the scenery in nearly every movie he was in. Anyway, both The Godfather and Godfather II are timeless, wonderful films.

Definitley agree gwsat.
 
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