Godfather Part III, The

Featured In Issue 136, November 2008

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Violence and Language
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Four-Disc Set: BD-50/BD-25
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Not Indicated
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Francis Ford Coppola
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Nominated for seven Academy Awards®, The Godfather Part III closes the trilogy with nine minutes of additional footage and Al Pacino reprising his role as Michael Corleone, older, wiser and trying to redeem his family by moving them out of crime and into legitimate businesses. But the Corleone clan, with decades of mob violence bred into them seek a successor to their empire. Twenty-five years after Part II, the Corleone family—with all its seductive past of power, tradition, revenge, and love—lives on.

All the feature films contain audio commentary tracks by Francis Ford Coppola. The Supplemement Discs (Discs Four and Five) contain all special features and are mislabled. Disc Four is labeled as containing the 2001 archival supplements, but indeed it actually has the "All-New 2008 Supplements," which include the following featurettes: "Godfather World" (11 minutes), "The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn't" (30 minutes), "...When The Shooting Stopped" (14 minutes), Emulsional Rescue Revealing The Godfather (19 minutes), and "The Godfather On The Red Carpet" (four minutes); Four Short Films On The Godfather, which include "G.F. vs. GF Part II" (two minutes), "Riffling On The Riffling" (two minutes), "Cannoli" (two minutes), and "Clemenza" (two minutes); and the list 2008 credits for the all-new supplements. Disc Five is mislabeled as containing the new 2008 supplements but instead features the "2001 Archival Supplements," which are divided into chapters. The chapter "Behind The Scenes" contains the following featurettes: "A Look Inside" (73 minutes), "Francis Ford Coppola's Notebook" (10 minutes),"Coppola & Puzo On Screenwriting" (Eight Minutes), and "Gordon Willis On Cinematography" (four minutes); Storyboards for Godfather Part II and for Part III; a vintage featurette "The Godfather Behind The-Scenes 1971" (nine minutes); "On Location" still frame containing text only; and profiles on Nino Rota and Carmine Coppola, both of whom contributed to the "Music Of The Godfather." The "Filmmakers" chapter contains still profiles of six filmmakers who contributed to the three films; The "Galleries" chapter contains a photo gallery, trailers, another photo gallery of "Rogues," and an "Acclaim & Response" gallery containing a listing of all the awards garnered by "The Godfather" franchise, along with a TV spot; a Corleone Family Tree; and 34 deleted scenes.In addition to the same special features as on the DVD, Blu-ray™ exclusive features include an interactive " Crime Organization Chart," "Connie And Carlo's Wedding Album" and a photo gallery.

Again, while resolution is better than the previous release, there are times when the anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 DVD is too soft. Black levels are noticeably improved, but near-black shadows appear crushed. Contrast is enhanced, with much better balance. Browns and greens dominate the color scheme, and while color brightness has been improved it still appears desaturated. Edge enhancement isn't a big problem, and the compression ratios have been improved, with far fewer artifacts noticeable. Fleshtones appear natural, but there is little differentiation between various hues. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows fewer signs of compression than the DVD, and the increase in overall resolution makes for a much more realistic experience. Colors are defined well, and black levels are fairly deep. Shadow delineation is also rendered nicely. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack leans heavily towards the front three screen channels, with the surrounds used infrequently. When they are used, however, the surround channels can create a believably dimensional soundstage. Fidelity is generally good, although the audio does sound veiled at times. Phantom imaging is adequate across the front stage but is limited elsewhere in the room. Dynamic range is slightly constrained, but there is an acceptable sense of depth in the front stage. The LFE channel is used fairly frequently, and the encoding levels of the bass seem to have been raised, giving the soundtrack a more full, natural sound. Bass is better defined as well. There is audible noise, though, and a high-pitched ringing can be heard on occasion. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding seems to sound less veiled than the DVD, but dynamic range is still limited. Fidelity is improved over the lossy encoding, with a more fluid midrange and tighter, more impactful bass. (Danny Richelieu)