The Godfather - Coppola Restoration

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The Godfather - Coppola Restoration

Postby stypee » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:21 pm

I read in digital-bits that if I don't like the Coppola Restoration of "The Godfather" on Blu-Ray than I know nothing about movies.

Well, I guess I know nothing about movies. I'm watching it now and regardless of it's age, I think it's just way off. I've noticed Coppola has this infatuation with yellow. It's really distracting, in my opinion. It also appears blurry at times, especially during the opening Wedding sequence... I can't really put my finger on it but it just doesn't seem right to me. Coppola himself has stated that this is "the best the film has ever looked since it was first released in theatres". I can't seem to agree with that.

I never saw the first DVD release, I have heard it's just awful. I did own the trilogy on Video Cassette, again, it was loaded with yellow especially Part III.

Despite the grain which I sort of appreciate in some ways, this Coppola Restoration, it kind of feels like that WAY-OFF DIVIMAX version of "Halloween", that was just so overdone with color enhancement, key scenes just got lost in the shuffle..

What are you thoughts?
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Re: The Godfather - Coppola Restoration

Postby stypee » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:50 pm

I seriously can't believe any of you guys have an opinion on this one... geeze...
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Re: The Godfather - Coppola Restoration

Postby Dan Mancini » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:28 am

Gordon Willis gave The Godfather films a stylized look on purpose -- and he did much of it in the way he lit the picture to begin with because he didn't want Paramount monkeying with the color timing against his will. If you don't like his choices, that's simply a matter of taste. Those choices are beautifully represented on the Blu-rays, though. The color timing (which sometimes hints a sepia) is spot-on, black levels are deep to the point that they often swallow detail, and whites are frequently vivid. That's what Willis wanted.

If memory serves, the comment from the Digital Bits had nothing to do with Willis' aesthetics and everything to do with the amount of digital manipulation movies are subjected to in order to produce an image with astonishing detail -- despite the resulting artifacts making it look like the picture was shot with a video camera. In the case of The Coppola Restoration, the movie is allowed to look like a movie: detail is sometimes limited by Willis' lighting choices, and grain is always visible and sometimes prevalent. That's not necessarily the sort of look you want from a high def NFL broadcast, but it's the way celluloid (especially celluloid shot with early '70s technology) is supposed to look.
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Re: The Godfather - Coppola Restoration

Postby HGervais » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:33 pm

Dan pretty much sums it up. I thought The Godfather looked beautiful on blu-ray.
Dan Mancini wrote:Gordon Willis gave The Godfather films a stylized look on purpose -- and he did much of it in the way he lit the picture to begin with because he didn't want Paramount monkeying with the color timing against his will. If you don't like his choices, that's simply a matter of taste. Those choices are beautifully represented on the Blu-rays, though. The color timing (which sometimes hints a sepia) is spot-on, black levels are deep to the point that they often swallow detail, and whites are frequently vivid. That's what Willis wanted.

If memory serves, the comment from the Digital Bits had nothing to do with Willis' aesthetics and everything to do with the amount of digital manipulation movies are subjected to in order to produce an image with astonishing detail -- despite the resulting artifacts making it look like the picture was shot with a video camera. In the case of The Coppola Restoration, the movie is allowed to look like a movie: detail is sometimes limited by Willis' lighting choices, and grain is always visible and sometimes prevalent. That's not necessarily the sort of look you want from a high def NFL broadcast, but it's the way celluloid (especially celluloid shot with early '70s technology) is supposed to look.
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Re: The Godfather - Coppola Restoration

Postby stypee » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:13 am

I'm actually sort of a fan of the "grain" especially with older films. All of your points are obviously true to the vision of the look of the movie. My biggest problem is the sepia, maybe it's just me but I've never been a particular fan of that tone. It's one of those palates that to me, are okay when used sparringly but again, in my opinion, with this, it's overkill..

You didn't feel the dark's where just a bit too dark? I don't mean that in terms of mood, there were just scenes that were to me needed a bit tweaking. I do want to add that yes, I did see where the dark's really did shine (so to speak) in the obvious scenes...
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Re: The Godfather - Coppola Restoration

Postby Dan Mancini » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:00 am

stypee wrote:You didn't feel the dark's where just a bit too dark?

I don't. There's a bit of claustophobia to it that fits with the movies' themes. And the weighty blacks in, say, Vito's office at the beginning of the first film really put you in the room. There's a genuine texture to the way that Willis shot it that I really dig.

But again, what you're talking about is a matter of taste. If it doesn't float your boat, I can't really argue with that. I can only say that, as a technical exersize, the BD can't be faulted. It delivers everything that Willis and Coppola ask of it without any digital transfer flaws.
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Re: The Godfather - Coppola Restoration

Postby Dunnyman » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:21 am

Just got this one, and it's freaking gorgeous, it looks exactly as it should. The previous DVD's looked...off for lack of a better word, these are simply stunning. Maybe not to your taste stypee, but they're quite good. This is one of the few restoration/remasters/etc that I feel truly captures what the filmmakers were looking for. This is what Coppola & Willis saw as it was coming together.
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