The Godfather [Blu-Ray] Francis Ford Coppola

The Godfather [Blu-Ray] Francis Ford Coppola
Circa 2010, what more is there to say about The Godfather? Everyone knows it's one of the high watermarks of American filmmaking, that it's generally considered one of the finest motion pictures ever made and that it's Coppola's definitive masterpiece (sorry, Jack). Its fable of corruption and the pains of familial responsibility are so well known that it established the template for the modern American mob movie. Rehashing the plotline would be futile, like bothering to mention that the Tin Man wants a heart or that Rhett Butler doesn't give a damn, frankly. It's the stuff of cinematic lore; it's the kind of movie you know without having to see. And when audiences lost interest in the easy moralizing of the Western genre in the late '60s and early '70s, the more multifarious ethics of films like The Godfather stepped in to address the confusion of post-Vietnam America. Without it, there would be no Goodfellas, Sopranos or Jane Austen's Mafia. But if you picked up the previously released complete Coppola restoration of the Godfather trilogy, this disc will be of zero interest. DVD manufacturers were notorious for all the repackages, double-dips and super-fancy special editions, and Paramount seems to be following suit with this "Sapphire Series" Blu-Ray. And even though people like to harp on the lazy third act of Coppola's Godfather trilogy, picking up the first two chapters (Part II has also recently seen release as a Sapphire Series single-disc) alone seems like a bad investment, given that the highlight of the complete box set was its bonus disc bursting with special features detailing Robert A. Harris's careful restoration of the films' original prints. That said, this Blu-Ray does render the film nicer than ever, with the warm hues of Gordon Willis's cinematography having been restored to a point that equals (and maybe even outstrips) the brilliance of the original 35mm Technicolor print. Like all worthwhile Blu-Rays, it looks terrific. But given the existence of a more definitive box set, this standalone release is an offer you can probably refuse. (Paramount)