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Le Parrain - Le Coffret [Francia] [Blu-ray]
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Le Parrain et Le Parrain II : entièrement restaurés
Le Parrain III : nouvellement remastérisé
L'histoire d'une grande famille de la mafia dirigée par Don Corleone qui ne veut pas de drogue dans son empire. Puis après la mort du parrain Don Corleone, son fils Michael Corleone va reprendre l'entreprise familiale en main et affronter la dure réalité du milieu.
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Dolby 5.1 True HD: Inglés
Dolby Digital 5.1: Francés, Alemán
Mono: Francés, Alemán
Inglés, inglés para sordos, francés, alemán, danés, sueco, noruego, finés, neerlandés, turco
En resumen: ni audio ni subtítulos en castellano. Esta otra versión, italiana y al mismo precio (al menos hoy...) sí tiene audio y subtítulos en castellano: Il Padrino - La trilogia (edizione restaurata da collezione) [Italia] [Blu-ray]
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Carried over from the original set are all of Francis Ford Coppola's commentary tracks for the three films. On The Godfather one, he appropriately enough, starts off by talking about the film's famous opening scene and how it was supposed to start with the wedding but a friend suggested he do something else. Coppola talks about how he organized the elaborate wedding sequence and shot it only 2-3 days! He talks about the pressure he was under by the studio and in read danger of being fired because they didn't like what he was doing. This is pretty solid track that we've come to expect from the veteran filmmaker.
Coppola's contributes another excellent commentary for The Godfather Part II. Initially, he had no interest in doing a sequel and dealing with studio bureaucracy. He suggested Martin Scorsese for the job. The studio balked at this idea and accepted all of Coppola's terms. The veteran filmmaker talks at length about the development of the Corleone family from Part I. Coppola is engaging and very articulate, delivering a top notch track that is well worth a listen for any fan of this movie.
Finally, there is Coppola's commentary for The Godfather Part III. One of the heated debates the filmmaker had with the studio was over Pacino's hair. He wanted Michael to look older and like a man in crisis, while the studio didn't want to mess with Pacino's distinctive looks. Coppola defends his casting of Sofia and feels that she delivered a "real" performance because she wasn't an actor. He also addresses the scathing criticism she received as in fact an attack on him. This is a solid track with good observations and analysis by Coppola -- better than the film itself.
The rest of the supplemental material is spread out of two discs. Thankfully for those who did not buy the first box set all of the extras from it have been carried over with a whole other disc of brand new material.
The fourth disc features all the brand new material and starts off with "Godfather World," which takes a look at how The Godfather films influenced popular culture, including parodies on The Simpsons and South Park, and how it informed the characters on The Sopranos. All kinds of celebrities, from William Friedkin and Alec Baldwin to author Sarah Vowell who sing its praises with clips of shows and films that reference it.
"The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn't" tells the story of how Hollywood had changed at the end of the 1960s with the demise of the studio moguls and the rise of the film brats, the first generation of film students who became filmmakers. One of them, Coppola, ended up being picked to direct The Godfather. This is an excellent look at how the director almost didn't get the gig and why.
"...When the Shooting Stopped" examines the post-production phase of the first film. Coppola battled with the studio over the length of it. Executives initially did not like Nino Rota's score for the film and samples of some of his original and revised cues are played.
"Emulsional Rescue: Revealing The Godfather" takes a look at the newly restored transfers for Part I and II and how they preserve Gordon Willis' gorgeous cinematography. This featurette takes us through the restoration process, showing before and after examples.
"The Godfather on the Red Carpet" is a forgettable featurette shot during the premiere of Cloverfield with various minor celebrities gush about the films.
"Four Short Films on The Godfather" features celebs citing which one they prefer, Part I or II. Another one has Richard Belzer, and the man who adapted the films for the stage, quote their favourite lines, which turns out to be quite funny. The third one sees Coppola talk about his love of cannoli and how made it into the film. Finally, Coppola answers the question about what happened to Clemenza in Part II and why he died.
The fifth disc starts off with "A Look Inside," a feature-length documentary about The Godfather trilogy done when Part III was being made. As a result, a lot of the major players were interviewed. We see Coppola at work on this film with on-set footage of the director working with Pacino. We also see Coppola working on the script with author Mario Puzo. The doc then goes back to the first film with Coppola's battle with the studio over casting Brando, Pacino, et al. with fascinating vintage screen tests and rehearsal footage. This is an excellent extra that goes into great detail.
"On Location" revisits key locations in the lower east side of New York where they shot parts of all three films and how they transformed them into various historical periods.
"Francis Coppola's Notebook" examines how he adapted Puzo's book into the first film. Coppola shows us his notebook that he used as his master document that he would constantly refer to. This featurette provides fascinating insight into the man's creative process.
"Music of The Godfather" features an audio excerpt of a conversation Coppola had with composer Nino Rota about the music for the film. Also included is footage of composer Carmine Coppola (Francis' father) working on Part III. Francis talks about working with his father.
"Coppola and Puzo on Screenwriting" features the author talking about the origins of his novel while Coppola discusses adapting it with Puzo into the films.
"Gordon Willis on Cinematography" features the man talking his approach to the look of the film and the choices he made and why.
"Storyboards - Godfather Part II and Part III" allows you to see sketches for the look of both films and see how Coppola planned to shoot them.
"The Godfather: Behind the Scenes 1971" is a vintage promotional featurette done at the time of the production of the first film. This is a fantastic snapshot of the times.
"The Filmmakers" are text biographies of key crew members.
Also included are 30 additional scenes from the four eras, spanning the entire trilogy. Much of this footage was inserted into the first two films when they were shown on television.
"The Family" gives you a handy organization chart for the Corleone family. You can see who everyone is and how they are related.
Finally, there are "Galleries" with trailers for all three films, stills, a collection of portraits of enemies of the Corleone family, and footage of the Academy Awards wins for the first two Godfather films.
If you are looking for a "wow" disc to show off your Blu-ray home theater sound and video, this is not it. If you are looking to experience modern American Gangster cinema in its 1970's glory, this is as close as you are ever likely to get, muted sepia-esque color, film grain and all.
These were not done exclusively for the home market. The priority was that they were restored for theatres, because that is where they would be judged the most critically, and all indications are that they do not disappoint. Never watch these films in your living room with the lights on. Watch them like you do in the theater, lights out, to appreciate the effort that went into these films.
The three films will only be released together in this set. The Godfather and The Godfather Part III will each be on one disc, and The Godfather Part II will take two discs. The first of the good news? Francis Coppola has recorded full-lenth audio commentaries for all three films!
But wait, there's a fifth disc that will blow your socks off! Check this out -- the bonus disc contains 3+ hours worth of special features, including: > "The Godfather Family: A Look Inside" documentary > "Francis Coppola's Notebook", an inside look at taking the book to screen! > "On Location" with production designer Dean Tavoularis! > "The Godfather Behind The Scenes" 1971 featurette! > "The Cinematography of The Godfather"! > "The Music of The Godfather" -- two featurettes! > "Coppola and Puzo on Screenwriting"! > Storyboards from GF2 and GF3! > "The Corleone Family Tree" character and cast bios! > Academy Award® acceptance speeches! > Photo galleries with captions! > Theatrical trailers! > Filmmaker bios! > Corleone Family timeline, with real-life events mixed in! > Never-seen alternate opening of GF3! > And "all" of the extra footage found in the televised Godfather Saga!
The picture quality looked fantastic -- Coppola's American Zoetrope did a wonderful job restoring the films! From what I could tell, the sound quality was perfect, and the on-screen menus looked great. And the DVD packaging looks very nice.
All three films are in widescreen format with English 5.1 surround sound, French mono, and English subtitles.
Perhaps the only "bad" news I heard was that there were no plans at this point to release the chronological version on DVD. Francis said that the films were meant to be seen with the flashbacks, and I tend to agree. The biggest plus of having The Godfather Trilogy or Epic on tape, or watching The Godfather Saga on TV, was all the extra footage included. Well, the bonus disc in The Godfather DVD Collection contains "all" of the extra footage, and even something we've never seen anywhere before: an alternate opening for The Godfather Part III. Francis didn't give a firm "no" though; he cited technical reasons for not being able to include all the extra footage on DVD: the different scenes are in various levels of production ("they weren't mixed and scored"), making it difficult to add them seemlessly with today's technology. Maybe, but they seemed to be okay in the boxed sets and on TV to me.
Do yourself a favor and order the biggest DVD release of all time!
A marvelous restoration job, "The Godfather-The Coppola Restoration Gif Set" includes all three original films as they were presented theatrical. It doesn't have the version that Coppola cut for TV and presented in chronological order. THe first two films are masterpieces and while the third is severely flawed, it does have its moments.
Keep in mind that these were restored for theatrical showings NOT for the home video market and, as such, these probably aren't the best Blu-rays to use to show off your home video system. Some people will no doubt be disappointed but, quite frankly, these films have never looked this good before on home video. Is this a big step up from the DVDs? Yes and no. The Blu-ray does provide better resolution but keep in mind it also shows the flaws inherent in the original films (and some people will regard the grainy images as being a flaw).
First keep in mind that "The Godfather" was meant to look grainy so those of you who hate grain will probably wonder why they didn't eliminate it. That's because to do so would have required altering the look of the film not restoring it and the usual result of eliminating film grain is that you lose detail. The result also makes it look like the actors are walking wax dummies. Some scenes are much grainer than others but that's the way the film was meant to look.
According to Harris in an article at American Cinematographer, the original film was in extremely bad shape and, in some instances, frames from outtakes had to be subsituted because damage had crept into the frame area of the film.
"The Godfather Part II" was in better shape for a variety of reasons and didn't require quite as much work on it as the first film.
"The Godfather Part III" since it used different development techniques from the first three (and for other reasons you can read at the American Cinematographer website)and only required Harris to match the black levels and make sure the color scheme was done correctly.
Robert Harris has done a marvelous job on the restoration of the film. Colors are bolder than before with nice crisp images as cinematographer Gordon Willis originally shot the film. While the DVD looks terrific, the Blu-ray looks positively stunning. Does it look like a film released last year? No, of course not that would be impossible but Harris working with Coppola and Willis has brought the film into the 21st century without overprocessing the image (like the recent Blu-ray "Patton")and staying true to the original look of the original film elements if they were in pristine condition.
All of the previous extras from the boxed set have been ported over in HD along with some new extras including "The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn't" documenting the difficult birth of the film from Paramount asking Puzo to initially change the period setting to 1970's Los Angeles to the constant threat of Coppola being fired during the shooting of the film. "When the Shooting Stops" covers the post-production efforts of editing and scoring the film.
THe humorous "Godfather World" has famous directors illustrated the cultural impact of the film and features bits and pieces from "The Simpsons" to "South Park"."Emulsion Rescue documents Robert Harris' restoration efforts of the aging film elements. "Four Short FIlms of "The Godfather" is amusing as well.
The 12 page booklet included with the Blu-ray was clearly designed for the DVD because it's much too large to fit in the Blu-ray holder (it's glued to the outside packaging). It's odd to design the booklet like this as you'll have to either trim it down to fit inside, slide it in where it might possible become creased or store it separately to prevent wear and tear. It has a bit of info on the Oscars for the films and the credits. It's an odd extra to include because it doesn't have anything truly essential NOT included on the Blu-ray or DVD boxed set.
I'd highly recommend this compelling saga on Blu-ray and DVD. It's a huge improvement on the previous set, has new and previously released extras (including Coppola's often blunt commentary tracks)and looks terrific. For those looking for the TV version that ran in chronological order just be aware it's not here as part of this set although many of the deleted scenes used to assemble that one are included.
Moving beyond grainyness, the picture is steady like rock. I wasn't able to detect any major artifacts. The extra available on 'disk 4', showing the kind of work and the technology invested into this product convinced me that this is the best-looking Godfather except maybe the first screening at the Chinese theater in Hollywood that we are going to see in a long, long time. [A post blu-ray 'better' edition is possible in 10 years or so, when blu-ray is surpassed by a new technology, because the best negatives found were digitized on a resolution that's about 3 times higher than the current blu-ray.]
No major complaints about the sound. It's TrueHD 5.1, it's clear but don't expect any surround effects. I doubt the original was even stereo. It was a little bit low-volume on my stereo but it's probably my equipment to be blamed.
The extras on the 4th disk are actually worth watching. They are shot in HD. There's one where just about all major elderly and late-middle-age Hollywood directors and stars show up and say something, there's one about the restoration itself, a little short where some younger artists appear and say funny things. Overall... not too bad. Oh, besides the HD's, you also get the extras from the 2001 DVD edition and THAT's where you see the difference between Blu and the (previous) DVD version.
Now, for the bloopers section, get this: the blu-ray comes with the plastic disk case inside a cardboard boxy sleeve (very nice) but... there's also a nice 12-page brochure with the pictures of Coppola, Pacino, Brando and information on the contents of each of the 4 disks - coffee table style. Well... the brochure was meant to fit inside that cardboard sleeve, next to the plastic blu-ray disk case but it comes actually GLUED to the cardboard case because... it's too big. Someone forgot that the blu-ray cases are a bit smaller than the DVD's and, apparently, the brochure was supposed to be a 'one size fits all' kind of deal that doesn't fit the blu-ray. Sad.
Overall, I enjoyed the Blu Godfathers. While, yes, the picture is grainy and the transfer does not look like the Transformers or Ratatouille, not even like '2001', the blu-ray does look a lot better than the DVD version. This rendition of the Godfathers has many defects, it's far from perfect but, as far as I know, it's the best there is. I do not regret making the purchase.
I took away one star for the little brochure snafu and for the relatively high price (likely to go down) at release time.