Holy crap. This just in from a legitimate source: The Godfather 4 is coming to theaters sometime in 2010. Word has it that Francis Ford Coppola has already penned the script, and the movie is currently in the pre-production phase. It is rumored that Al Pacino will return, though the film will focus heavily on a new character played by Nicolas Cage, who as we all know is related in some way or form, by blood or otherwise, to the famed director. This is amazing news.
However, that news is not real. What is real, however, is that a new DVD set was released today called The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration, which includes the three films remastered and with all-new special effects a la the Star Wars re-releases (it’s pretty crazy seeing Marlon Brando in The Godfather Part III, let me tell you). The collection contains five massive discs of goodness. You can probably guess what the first three discs are used for – the last two are saved for special features, and there are a lot of them.
One of the things I find frustrating by being a movie reviewer, other than constantly receiving free DVDs and invitations to LA press screenings, is that in these renewed box sets that exist solely to make the studio just a little more money by duping die hard fans into buying the latest and greatest version when the DVD they bought five years ago is just as good, the new features and old features are rarely separated. So when I actually take the time to review bonus features – which is not that often because I think most bonus features are a waste of time – I have no clue whether these features have been available for years unless I manage to find the info on Amazon.com or something like that… but the extra ten keystrokes is just more effort than I’m willing to spend.
Thankfully, with The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration, disc four includes special features previously available, whereas disc five is exclusively designed for new bonus featuers. In other words, for review purposes, I skipped disc four and went straight to disc five.
I didn’t make it very far, though. I was building a dresser while watching, and I tried watching the deleted scenes, of which there are many (they are broken out by the chronology of the characters, not the movies). Unfortunately, there’s no “Play All” feature that I could find, and thus it wasn’t worth my time clicking on each thumbnail to watch a deleted scene. So… I moved on to the behind-the-scenes videos, and started watching one of them. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was good. Real good. The video features interviews with practically everyone involved in the movie, and goes into thorough detail about the challenges of making the film – primarily, the fact that Coppola and Pacino were always two seconds away from getting fired. The video is extremely detailed and interesting, and one of the best I’ve seen.
There were many other special features, but that’s as far as I got. Why? Because after watching 45 minutes of behind-the-scenes action, I couldn’t resist but put in the first movie. Having never seen it before, I thought now was as good of time as any. OK, I’ve actually seen The Godfather at least ten times (is that all?), but these movies – yes, even the third one – are so incredible it’s hard to believe they were made so long ago. Absolutely stunning.
The Godfather trilogy consists of three of the best movies ever made. This new DVD set includes a ton of new features that are, I hate to say it, worth owning if you really like your Italian gangsters.