The Godfather Part II Blu-ray: Review By Paolo Sardinas

The greatest sequel of all time is a bit light on Extras but this Blu-Ray re-release offers a much needed upgrade to the film's video and audio qualities.
  • Feature
  • Picture
  • Sound
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
The Godfather: Part II is quite possibly the greatest sequel of all time. Not only does it contain award worthy direction but also terrific acting done by one of the greatest casts of all time. Part II is definitely a must have in any collection.
Only one extra is offered.
Almost all of the cast of the 1972 classic The Godfather return to continue the story of Michael Corleone's rise to power. The story takes place seven years after the first. Cuba, Vegas, and Miami are all becoming hotspots for tourists, money, and crime. Michael is enjoying his life, the life of a criminal, in his beautiful estate in Lake Tahoe. Michael puts his half brother Tom Hagen(Robert Duvall) in charge while leaving to make business and to let things calm down before returning. He also just survived an assassination attempt by his brother, Fredo. What continues on are the up's & down's of living the Mob life, and world as it changes from one day to next. Just about all of the original cast returns for the second part in the series.

A story parallel to this is that of Michael's father Vito Corleone and his rise to power during the early 1900's. Vito, originally played by the amazingly well talented Marlon Brando, is played by a young Robert De Niro. Both of the main characters, Vito & Michael, Father & Son, are parallel and similair it's like looking in a mirror. They both share the same blind ambition, but are both flawed. While Michael shares many of the same attributes of his father, he also happens to share the same flaws. This can only be done by three amazing actors, who not only created the series, but were also part of a long list of actors who created movies.

The cast is just as flawless and perfect as before. John Cazale returns as the troubled brother Fredo. The older brother, that's still alive, who is also jealous of his brother's recent rise to fame and power. Also returning is the always stunning Diane Keaton, playing the wife who struggles to live the normal life with her two kids. The film is filled with tons of excellent performances all from an excellent group of actors who are not only talented but just plain no what they're doing. One of the other acting highlights of the film is Robert Duvall who returns to his role of Tom Hagen. The half brother who was always considered part of the family but really isn't. His performance is commanding and just plain great.

Francis Ford Coppola returns, of course, to direct the second feature. His direction was spot on and you could tell they took more time with this installment than they did with their third film. Ford Coppola is an amazing director, one of the best. Only he could of made this film and the first what it is today. No other American director can even be imagined to direct these two films. No oneelse has the mind of Francis Ford Coppola. It's only a shame he would wait another 16 years to direct the third.

"Part II" is filled with allot of history. An excellent representation of the world at the time and the way it was always changing. The scenery couldn't of gotten any more beautiful. From Havana, Cuba to Miami, even New York. The film is always something that movies aren't today, entertaining. Not only was it double everything(story, actors, settings), it also won double the Oscars of the first one. "Part II" is and will never cease to be the greatest sequel of all time. It shows us how far people will go to acheive the ambitions, their dreams, and their quest for power. That ladies and gentleman, that is the true American Dream.
A commentary from director Francis Ford Coppola is the only extra we get. If you were satisfied with the extra on the Coppola Restoration box set or on the original DVD releases then there is no real reason to buy this film solely for the extras.
Part II is presented in full 1080p and enjoys the same level of excellence that the previous film in the series received. Its the exact same disc from the original Blu-Ray release just this time it looks better. For those of you who are cash conscious and already own the original Coppola Restoration then keep your box set. But for those who are into the whole Blu-Ray experience then this is the true version you need to own.

For all of you cinephiles out there this Blu-Ray transfer still maintains the dark and grainy picture quality that was originally intended by Gordon Willis. His yellows and sepias are all left untouched. Thus giving the film a more vintage and epic feel.

One difference is the noticeable amount of detail in the flashback sequences to when Vito was a young man, portrayed by De Niro. The sepia tones and darkly lit rooms and streets can be seen in vivid detail. Every other scene looks exceptionally well with an extreme attention to detail this does make for the ultimate Godfather viewing experience.
The Godfather films have never been known for their wonderful audio and sound quality, now with that being said, this new remastered edition of Part II does improve some of the original DVD's faults. The audio and dialogue aren't perfect and neither are the other scenic sounds but the score is fairly well done and should please fans both old and new. The new mix should please the film's fans but if not, don't worry, the original mono track is still available.

Audio choices are English 5.1 TrueHD audio, English mono, Spanish and French audio tracks followed by subtitles in English, Spanish, Portuguese (weird choice) and French
The front cover is probably the best part of this release. It feature a red background which includes Al Pacino in his younger years. A titlecard, and a mention about it being an Academy Award winning film. The back features two cut outs from the scenes throughout the film. A description, tech specs, and a casting list. All with a nicely done red background.
This Blu-Ray release is not exactly perfect. For thos of you who love Special Features it would be a good choice for you to stick with your Coppola restoration collection. But for those who want to enjoy this film with the highest resolution available then this is definitely a good buy.

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