Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coda: The Death Of Michael Corleone 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 260, March/April 2022

WSR Score5
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Paramount Home Entertainment
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Violence and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Francis Ford Coppola
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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This is Director/Screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola's newly restored, brand-new edited version of "The Godfather Part III," which was originally nominated for seven Academy Awards«, entitled "Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coda: The Death Of Michael Corleone." This closes the trilogy with 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 familyŚwith all its seductive past of power, tradition, revenge, and loveŚlives on. Coppola states: "For this version of the finale, I created a new beginning and ending, and rearranged some scenes, shots and music cue." (Gary Reber)

Special features include an exclusive introduction by Francis Ford Coppola and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD Dolby Vision/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on Eastman 35 mm film stock in Academy Standard Flat using the Arriflex 35 IIC and Mitchell BNCR camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate. Zoetrope and Paramount's restoration team began the restoration by searching for over 50 original takes to replace lower-resolution opticals in the original negative. This process took more than six months and involved sifting through 300 cartons of negative. American Zoetrope worked diligently to repair scratches, stains, and other anomalies that could not be addressed previously due to technology constraints.The fine film grain is virtually invisible. The picture is gorgeously filmic, retaining a natural grain structure, which is ever-present. Color fidelity is superb with rich and warm hues and realistic saturation, which enhances the realism of the settings and the descriptive characters. Subtle hue shading are exhibited. Browns and greens dominate the color scheme and deep warm reds are nicely rendered. Flesh tones are rendered natural in appearance. Contrast is enhanced with much better balance, exhibiting deep black levels and shadow detail. The increase in overall resolution and sharpness makes for a much more realistic experience. Facial features, clothing, and object texture exhibit exceptional clarity and detail. This is the definitive rendering in this cinematic classic. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack presentation 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. In the scene with the Las Vegas casino owners in which they all are almost killed the sound effects are powerful, such as the helicopter gunfire bloodbath intensity and mayhem throughout the soundfield. Fidelity is generally good, although the audio does sound veiled at times with muffled dialogue. 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 .1 LFE channel is used fairly frequently with impactful bass. Atmospherics are realistic and sound effects are effective. Carmine Coppola's score is hauntingly beautiful. Dialogue is nicely integrated spatially throughout. This is a solid sonic experience that nicely complements the storytelling. (Gary Reber)