The Godfather I, II and III: The Coppola Restoration (Paramount, 1972, 74, 90) D: Francis Ford -Coppola w/ Marlon Brando, Al Pacino.
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Godfather I and II are brilliant from any perspective. They're beautifully written, acted, directed and shot, and structurally and stylistically innovative. No matter how many times I see this, I'm always moved by the tragedy of Michael Corle-one, heir apparent to a
Mafia family who struggles to escape his fate and protect what he loves.
If Godfather III is a lesser movie, it's because Michael Corleone's story is over at the end of Part II. The continuation is a good
movie in its own right but an afterthought, and best watched separately.
The restoration does much to bring back Gordon Willis's groundbreaking, moody photography, with it's impenetrable blacks and warm golden tones. The restoration doc itself is worth a watch, both for its clarity on technical matters and for the human stories it tells.
Two discs of bonus material, one of them all new, include excellent making-of docs, appreciation docs and an influence-of doc. Coppola's
commentaries reveal a warm, personal filmmaker, open about his thoughts on both process and product. The disc-four doc on his
notebook is particularly valuable if you're interested in how a director prepares.
$59.99 at HMV.