The Godfather Part II follows the steps of its predecessor, gathering seven Academy Awards®. Robert De Niro (winner for Best Supporting Actor) plays in flashbacks, the role of a young Don Vito Corleone, while Al Pacino reprises his role as the tragically ascending Michael Corleone.
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.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 DVD shows improved resolution over the previously reviewed DVD (Issue 55), but there are many times when the picture is only slightly better with a soft overall appearance. Black levels are still elevated, but they are improved over the previous release. Shadow delineation is improved noticeably, with details in the near-black portions of the image easier to see. Colors are better balanced, although they still have a dated appearance. The almost sepia appearance of the picture is maintained, though. Reds and blues are noticeably desaturated. The picture does appear slightly washed out, but its clarity is improved. Grain is evident throughout, and while the source element artifacts have been cleaned, there are still flecks of dirt noticeable. Edge enhancement isn't a distraction, and compression artifacts are minor. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows similarities to the DVD, with improved resolution and black levels, and better resolved colors. This release makes the DVD look smeared with bleeding colors. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features the surround channels more prominently, and imaging across the front stage is mixed well. The LFE channel is used well when needed, but it is generally at very low levels. Deep bass is not a big part of the soundtrack, but bass in music is defined well. Fidelity is improved over the previous DVD release, sounding noticeably less dated. There is occasional phantom imaging in the surround stage, but there is little on the sidewalls to combine the two stages. Dialogue sounds natural with good articulation. The noise floor is lowered in this release, and while shuffling distortion can be heard, it is rare. Still, the soundtrack sounds digitally harsh at times. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding improves the naturalness of the dialogue noticeably, with the shuffling distortion completely removed. The digital harshness can be heard on occasion still, but it is much less distracting in this encoding. (Danny Richelieu)