on 11 September 2015
A fantastic boxset where the trilogy is presented in an excellent HD transfer and full of extra.
Watching it again I must say that the first film looks now, if not better than the second one, usually considered the real masterpiece of the trilogy, at least at the same level.
I'm not saying that the 2nd is not still great (with its double storyline set in the past and the other showing how everything "evolved" and changed since De Niro poor origins, and its intense drama and strong political and social statement about the twisted side of American dream) but the first one is maybe even more consistent and compelling. It still looks closer to classic gangster's stories, but Brando's character and performance really make it so special and the directing style looks different, darker, even more shakespearing (and less political) than the sequel.
What makes those two films unique is that, maybe for the first time in cinema history, the sequel actually is a prequel and a sequel at the same time, so you jump back in the past to see how it all started and it draws a parallel line with how the saga unfolds and evolves as Pacino replace Brando.
The third chapter is still the weakest and, despite some bold and provocative statement about italian politics, it loses that sense of almost sacred tragedy and the characters become more like those of a common crime film, as the story focuses too much on showing Mafia new connections and business, and on dramatic relationships among new characters that look just more common without being either tragic or realistic. Frankly too long and not so interesting or tragic.
Disc 1 The Godfather
Disc 2 & 3 The Godfather Part II
Disc 4 The Godfather Part III
Disc 5 Bonus Materials
For those perhaps too young, and for those who just haven't had the pleasure yet, this is the film box set above all others you should own. The first two films are two of greatest films ever made. Indeed The Godfather is ranked No.1 and The Godfather II is ranked No.3 in the IMDB.com rankings as of today. Bare in mind that these films were made over 30 years ago and that is some achievement.
Part 3 is not a bad film, and by normal film standards is pretty good. However in comparison with the first two its not in the same class, and doesn't merit repeated viewings in the same way as 1 & 2.
The bonus disc contains a lot of interesting stuff:
Behind the Scenes (on location, music, screenwriting, auditions, storyboards, cinematography etc),
Academy Award speeches!
If that doesn't convince you that you're getting good value for money, then perhaps when I tell you the total running time of all 5 discs is 710mins will (thats almost 12hours). Unlike some boxed sets the box itself is not made of thin card, and is quite sturdy - looks good on the shelf as well.
Think I'll start from the beginning again now...
on 12 July 2008
I love that these landmark movies got a squeaky clean restoration, added special features, and that Godfather II is on one disc instead of two. As a Godfather fan, of course I've ordered this new set, BUT I can't wait for a definitive chronological edit to hit DVD someday (soon?).
Previous chronlogical edits include: (1) "Godfather 1902-1959: The Complete Epic" which is a VHS-only 402 min. chronological edit of Parts I & II not available on DVD or laserdisc. Doesn't include Part III (171 min.) which would take it to 573 min. total; (2) "Godfather Trilogy: 1901-1980" which is a Laserdisc chronological 583 min. edit of Parts I, II, & III (std 171 min. for Part III); and (3) "Godfather Saga" (aka Mario Puzo's The Godfather Saga: The Complete Novel for Television) which is a chronological 605 min. edit of Parts I, II, & III with added footage (434 min. for Parts I & II plus std 171 min. for Part III) done for TV broadcast only. This version was never issued commercially in any format. Some lucky people like me were able to record it off TV.
ALL of these chronological versions are slightly different and all contain at least some footage not contained on the other versions! Come on Francis, give the fans a super complete chronologiocal edit sooner rather than later!
on 10 October 2001
Possibly the greatest mafia movies of all time have finally been released on DVD. They come in a stunning 5-disc box set packed full of special features that just make it even better.
For those of you haven't heard, The Godfather Trilogy is set around three generations of the Corleone family. The first film shows us the fall of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) and the rise of his son Michael (Al Pacino) into mafia power. This continues into the second film with Michael's power growing and it shows that he has fully established himself as the respected and feared head of the family. The third film is mainly Michael trying to amend his wrongs so that his children can live safe and lawful lives.
All three films are very good and are already written in cinema history. Francis Ford Coppola went all out with these and they will always be the films that he is most remembered for. They were based on the novel by Mario Puzo, who was also joint scriptwriter with Coppola. Surprisingly the sequel was better then the first one, especially with the flash backs to Vito Corleone's early years with the part of Vito being played by De Niro. The weakest one out of the three was The Godfather 3 but it is still a good film and its perfect as a conclusion to the other two.
I can't think of any complaints about these films. They are well shot and even though they are all long they keep you so gripped that the time just flies by. The soundtrack is amazing and it fits in perfectly with the film. All in all it is one of the best box sets to ever be released on DVD. I own these on video and yet I'm still going to buy this...
For [the] price you get three movies and over three hours of special features including deleted scenes, commentary by Francis Ford Coppola and the music of The Godfather.
Conclusion: Buy it now! This is a must have for any DVD collection and you would be mad not to buy it.
on 28 April 2003
The Godfather (1972) was a landmark picture in mafia movies, which broke the "Hollywood mould" in that its sequel, The Godfather Part Two, was arguably better than the film that spawned it. The Godfather also played a major role in propelling its young star, the unknown Al Pacino, to heights from which he has never descended. Pacino joined an experienced and big named cast including Academy Award Winner Marlon Brando, James Caan, and Robert Duvall, an award-winning musical score by Carmine Coppola and veteran Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola in the making of the films that have now become known as The Godfather Trilogy. The films have been re-released on DVD to mark the 30th Anniversary of Part One's production and come in a 5-disc box set that includes a 187-minute bonus disc with features such as a "Behind The Godfather Family" documentary. The bonus disc also shows never before seen footage, out-takes and interviews with the cast and crew that spans the production of all three films from 1972 - 1990. The bonus disc, through these interviews, helps to tell the story of the Corleone Crime Family through the eyes of the actors who portrayed those memorable characters and seems to give the story a greater depth, after all "murder, as they say, was a serious business!" All discs are presented in Dolby Surround Sound, with Parts 2, 3 and the bonus materials disc available in 5.1. The picture quality is greatly improved from the VHS version, with Part 3 looking the sharpest and clearest.
The Godfather (1972)
Where it all began - The Godfather charts the loss of innocence as a young,clean-cut, Sicilian Michael Corleone (Pacino) transcends, seemingly against his own will, into the family crime business. Helped by his father, the masterful, mumbling Don Vito Corleone (Brando) Michael soon becomes involved in the world he once shunned in favour of a highly decorated career in the American Army. Supported by his half-brother Tom Hagen (Duvall) his brother Sonny (Caan) his sister Connie (Talia Shire) and long-suffering girlfriend Kay (Diane Keaton), Michael inherits his father's power and respect, but also his enemies. This moving tale of power and corruption tells the story of the rise and rise of the most influential mob-family in New York - The Corleones, and shows that in the serious business of murder, you should keep your enemies closest because you have no friends. "Never take sides with anyone against the family"
The Godfather Part Two (1974)
Arguably better than the first, Godfather Two tells the story of two men, half a century apart, as they try to build on their criminal empire by executing their enemies but at he same time watching their loved ones cut down before them. It tells the story of Michael's even greater acquisition of power and his further transition into the murderous corrupt thug he once swore never to become. But it is told in contrast to his father's early years, from an eight year old Vito seeing his father and mother murdered to the young Don Vito Corleone (Robert DeNiro) as he tries to make a name for himself in 1920's Hells' Kitchen, New York. The film moves remarkably well through the different generations and utilises the backdrop of 1900's New York, Sicily, 1950's New York and Havana. Duvall once again makes an appearance as Michael's stepbrother and lawyer Tom Hagen and also features classic performances from Diane Keaton and Talia Shire.
The Godfather Part Three (1990)
Often labelled an 'attempted cash-in' by critics and fans, Francis Ford Coppola re-united most of the cast and crew to make, not so much of a continuation of the saga, but more of a conclusion, and epilogue. None the less, Part Three is a fine film, perhaps not in comparison with the first two, as it doesn't have the same 'sweeping fluency' or strength in plot. It does, however (true to form) feature a dazzling array of actors including Pacino, Keaton and newcomer Andy Garcia. It tells the story of an ageing Don Michael Corleone as he tries to legitimise the family business he so violently protected in his younger days. After a serious illness, Michael, now in his sixties, starts to wonder whether he has wasted his chance on life and if it is too late to turn it all around and make something good come out of the Corleone Family. But 'old acquaintances' and his violent, disrespectful nephew Vincent Mancini (Garcia) seem to keep him involved in the life he so badly wants to leave behind. Inevitably, you see that 'real power can never be given, it must be taken'. The film, to an extent, seems to answer all the questions asked by the first two films and makes for a fine conclusion to what is argued by many as the greatest trilogy ever made.
The Godfather Trilogy is a must see for every film fan out there. Now available in this DVD box-set, it gives fans both old and new a deeper insight into the men and women behind the most infamous, feared and influential family in Cinematic History, The Corleones.