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UHD Review A Few Words About A few words about...™ -The Godfather(s) 50th Anniversary Restoration -- in 4k UHD (1 Viewer)

Wayne_j

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Here is a good discussion on the movie with two longtime fans and one guy who saw it for the first time last night.

 

Minimalist1969

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Has anyone taken a look at the digital copy on iTunes yet.
Apparently it’s the new version but obviously without the hdr and 4K.

Interesting, maybe with the hdr and the bump in resolution it will look better then it does.
I’m not sure if the version that was available on March 15 was the 2022 remaster but I can say that the version available today (March 22) is the new 4K Dolby Vision version. Apple dropped the price with the movies going from 17 to 13 and the set going from 40 to 30 dollars for all three. I just finished The Godfather Pt 1 and it looks fantastic on a nice OLED.
 

Kyle_D

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I’m watching The Godfather now. Setting aside the controversy regarding the tint, is anyone else seeing bluish green subtitles during the Italian-language scenes? The subtitles used to be yellow, and I can’t tell whether this is a disc issue or a player issue.
 

Brian Husar

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Robert. I agree you you on this restoration and it looks fantastic, however I do have a question about the grain and hardly anyone is mentioning this. Did they add artificial grain? In a number if shots the grain seems like it freezes and moves and creates an outline with the body or an object.
 

wright96d

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Robert. I agree you you on this restoration and it looks fantastic, however I do have a question about the grain and hardly anyone is mentioning this. Did they add artificial grain? In a number if shots the grain seems like it freezes and moves and creates an outline with the body or an object.
It actually could be a side effect of the noise reduction. I've noticed it when using the exact plugin RAH mentioned. When setting the number of frames to analyze for "temporal" noise reduction, too high of a number can cause that effect.
 

Reed Grele

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I watched the first film tonight using my Panasonic 820 feeding a LG C9 65" OLED so I could check out the Dolby Vision (which projectors don't have).

Very impressed with the sharpness and clarity. I could actually make out the "HOLLYWOODLAND" sign in the scene where Tom arrives in CA. Didn't notice any film grain. Looks like it was shot yesterday with digital cameras. Not quite sure if that's a good thing, but it is what it is. Definitely a different look than the 2008 BD.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Having now received the Blu-ray variant, everything I was seeing in the 4k tracks as one would expect in HD, without the changes affected by HDR.

The most interesting difference between the 2008 and the 2022 in HD resolution, aside from the newly imagined color and density palette, and re-imagined grain structure, is the difference between 2008 and 2022 compression.

If the 2008 were to be handled with new tech, it would look amazing even at HD level.

While I still prefer the original look and textures of the more technical 2007 restoration, there’s a place for the new one for those grain and gold averse among new viewers.

One more variant could now be issued.

A proper BD / 4k set of the 2007 Technical restoration, for those who would like to re-create the original 1972/1974 theatrical experience, and honor the true miracle of Mr. Willis’ brilliance as a cinematographer.

Thank you for taking the time to do this.

From the sound of it, I think I’d prefer the 2008 discs to the 2022 ones. But I enjoy the films enough that I’m likely to give the new version a spin when time permits.
 
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OliverK

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Robert. I agree you you on this restoration and it looks fantastic, however I do have a question about the grain and hardly anyone is mentioning this. Did they add artificial grain? In a number if shots the grain seems like it freezes and moves and creates an outline with the body or an object.
Sounds like they were a bit overzealous with the "reinterpretation" and grain reduction.

I truly find it shocking that this is not happening to some 2nd or 3rd tier movie but to The Godfather trilogy and all of that with the OK of the director. Now he may not be that much of a technical guy but he must have seen what they did with the color timing?

The more I think about it the more it rubs me the wrong way so no Godfather in UHD for me until the day when they will revisit it to give us back the intended look. I am sure that RAH will be happy to help and tell them a thing or two about film grain and what color timing Gordon Willis would have wanted.
 

Bill McCamy

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I'm mixed on this. I preordered the UHD BD, but I think I might prefer to watch these with Mr. Willis' intent even with a bit less detail. Such intent easier captured in rec 709 without the tone mapping variations of HDR.
Bill Hunt was greatly impressed with the 4k release, calling it possibly the best UHD release of the year.
 

Robert Crawford

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Bill Hunt was greatly impressed with the 4k release, calling it possibly the best UHD release of the year.
TBH, I think most people that bought this 4K release will be happy with it despite some people having misgivings about it.
 

Kevin Antonio (Kev)

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I watched the first film tonight using my Panasonic 820 feeding a LG C9 65" OLED so I could check out the Dolby Vision (which projectors don't have).

Very impressed with the sharpness and clarity. I could actually make out the "HOLLYWOODLAND" sign in the scene where Tom arrives in CA. Didn't notice any film grain. Looks like it was shot yesterday with digital cameras. Not quite sure if that's a good thing, but it is what it is. Definitely a different look than the 2008 BD.
Agreed. When I popped it in just to see how it looked, I was shocked how beautiful it was. If I never saw the film or knew nothing I would have sworn it was shot today. I never realized however until I saw it just how dark the scene outside the hospital was. You barely see sterling Hayden face. I would have to go back and look at my older bluray because it seemed like his face was a little but more visible or the image brighter than what I remember.
 

YANG

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... If I never saw the film or knew nothing I would have sworn it was shot today...
this is where some folks would hold on to the 2008 release where the washed out/rustic color tones of the trilogy, truly resonates to the background of the story in which period/era it take place... certainly, with the remaster, newer generation audiences would feel comfortable to what they see... with some, totally who were the artists were in the pictures they see... should the Trilogy is not touted as “50th Anniversary Edition” today.
 

Britton

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I’m watching The Godfather now. Setting aside the controversy regarding the tint, is anyone else seeing bluish green subtitles during the Italian-language scenes? The subtitles used to be yellow, and I can’t tell whether this is a disc issue or a player issue.
The subtitles were a bluish green when I saw the movie on the big screen a few weeks ago.
 

Kevin Antonio (Kev)

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this is where some folks would hold on to the 2008 release where the washed out/rustic color tones of the trilogy, truly resonates to the background of the story in which period/era it take place... certainly, with the remaster, newer generation audiences would feel comfortable to what they see... with some, totally who were the artists were in the pictures they see... should the Trilogy is not touted as “50th Anniversary Edition” today.
I definitely noticed the diffence between the two, but for some reason it doesn't really bother my eyes. Now I prefer the tint more so for part 2, but it still looks so smooth on 4k I can't really be too disappointed. Also when I pull out my projector this would be my preferred version to show family and friends.
 

Kyle_D

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The subtitles were a bluish green when I saw the movie on the big screen a few weeks ago.
Thanks - did you happen to see it in a Dolby Theater? I would not be surprised if this is a Dolby Vision issue. When I play the disc in HDR10, I see the original yellow subtitles. When I play the disc in Dolby Vision, I see bluish green subtitles. The subtitles are encoded as PGS graphics files on the discs, so their color is not software-generated by the player.
 

Kyle_D

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Having watched Part I in Dolby Vision, I'm torn over this release. On the one hand, the disc is gorgeous and packs a technical "wow"-factor that does not come across in the SDR screengrabs. On the other hand, the neutral color tinting and subtle de-graining does rob the film of some of its romantic aesthetic. It was jarring to constantly see bright white shirts that used be yellow/red-tinted. It's still The Godfather, but it felt pulpier and less lyrical in this version. Comparing this release to the 2007 really illustrates the impact of "looking at things through rose-tinted glasses." I'm glad I picked up the new release, but I'll be hanging onto the 2007 set and I suspect the 2007 will be my personal go-to version in the future.

EDIT: Also, having watched the "Full Circle: Preserving the Godfather" special feature, it's pretty clear the colorist went in with the viewpoint that he could "improve" the look of the original film with HDR and the expanded color gamut. He specifically boasts about changing the colors to make the film look more "natural" and adjusting the highlights in the wedding scene to bring out more detail in the wedding dress.
 
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Britton

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Thanks - did you happen to see it in a Dolby Theater? I would not be surprised if this is a Dolby Vision issue. When I play the disc in HDR10, I see the original yellow subtitles. When I play the disc in Dolby Vision, I see bluish green subtitles. The subtitles are encoded as PGS graphics files on the discs, so their color is not software-generated by the player.
Yes, I saw it in Dolby Cinema at an AMC when they were doing the 50th Anniversary showings. Interesting about the subs being impacted by Dolby Vision...
 

Robert Harris

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Sounds like they were a bit overzealous with the "reinterpretation" and grain reduction.

I truly find it shocking that this is not happening to some 2nd or 3rd tier movie but to The Godfather trilogy and all of that with the OK of the director. Now he may not be that much of a technical guy but he must have seen what they did with the color timing?

The more I think about it the more it rubs me the wrong way so no Godfather in UHD for me until the day when they will revisit it to give us back the intended look. I am sure that RAH will be happy to help and tell them a thing or two about film grain and what color timing Gordon Willis would have wanted.
As noted previously, many people who don’t speak “film” will be thrilled with these new editions, as with the exception of the first shot in GF 1, nothing (in 1 & 2) looks like any sort of actual color film.

The final products are fully digital representations of the originals, with all film grain removed and replaced by a (not unattractive) black noise pattern, ie. not a bit of original granular color to be had, and will be considered pretty by many people.

This separates those who understand and desire the look of film in the digital world from those who either aren’t troubled by the change, or are accepting of it and like it, from those who pray at the shrine of cinema.

The story, direction, acting, editing and audio hold this product together because those attributes are that good.

There is nothing wrong with liking the final product, but as it is accepted by the majority, it may well be tolling the death knell of any further or continuous movement to properly represent the true look of cinema, as opposed to digital productions - which are totally different - although some fully digital productions go 180 degrees, adding the attributes of film grain.

The ability to replicate the look of film was supposed to be a major advantage of Blu-ray and HD - marketed as the look and sound of cinema, and made further possible via 4k UHD, which can absolutely create the look and textures of film in the digital world - but with a release of this importance taking on fully digital attributes, one must wonder where the industry will move next.

One thing for certain, it seems that Paramount (and Disney) will be the leaders in this change of art forms, and those executives who proffer the new look will rise in their fields, as it is far less expensive to produce a product of this type than to follow a path that properly replicates film as film. As this movement toward a new look gathers strength, small things in the recent (and not so recent) past, such as the new digital look for Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, can be more fully understood, as The Godfather(s) take those basic attributes and not only raises them to appear far more like film, but moves toward if not perfection, but a pleasant homogenized appearance, and makes them very acceptable.

Go back a bit further, and one can find earlier experiments with releases such as Patton, In Harm’s Way, Gangs of New York, and Amadeus, as early exponents in the removal of film grain, but with nothing added to cover one’s tracks. We’ve come far beyond that point, and reached a plateau where grain removal and re-purposing are no longer extremely problematic, aside from some odd ”grain” patterns, and occasionally waxy faces.

It will be interesting to follow this and see where it goes. But at least now, there’s an absolute known by studio people who can use the “restore” word.

The public is fine with this as a final product.

And it’s extremely difficult taking a position arguing against that.
 
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