With an invitation like that, how could I refuse? Accordingly, I arrived at the appointed hour and duly filed into La Porcella's for Melbourne's Godfather DVD Collection Launch. The setting was perfect - an Italian restaurant, Italian waiters, complete with their inimitable style, and even an accordionist to provide just the right amount of extra ambience.
The lights dimmed, and the immortal theme began...
First up, we heard from David Hunt, the Managing Director of Paramount Home Entertainment Australia, who thanked us all for coming and who made a few brief introductory remarks about the fact that The Godfather DVD Collection was a worldwide simultaneous release and made it clear that Paramount are very excited about it. He then introduced Allan Chadwick, the Marketing Manager of Paramount Home Entertainment Australia.
Allan Chadwick spoke at length about the Collection itself and the movies, highlighting the fact that there are going to be over 3 hours worth of extras in the Collection (not including the commentary tracks), and emphasizing the fact that all 3 movies feature audio commentaries from the director Francis Ford Coppola.
The Collection is due to be released on 12th October in Australia, soon after the 9th October US release, and will be presented on 5 DVDs in a Slipcase. We got to see a mock-up of the actual box, and I must say that it looked rather attractive, even though Slipcases aren't my preferred DVD packaging option for durability reasons.
Disc 1 will have The Godfather on it. Discs 2 and 3 will have The Godfather Part II on them (one RSDL disc and one single-layered DVD - the decision to go to two discs for this movie instead of upping the compression to fit it onto one was made by Francis Ford Coppola himself for quality reasons, so we can't argue with that). Disc 4 will have The Godfather Part III on it and Disc 5 will carry the Bonus Materials. All the discs except for the second disc of The Godfather Part II will be RSDL-formatted discs.
All of the movies will be presented in their original widescreen aspect ratios and all will be 16x9 enhanced.
Allan then went on to detail some of the Bonus Materials in this collection, including giving us brief sneak previews of some of them. Let me tell you, there look to be some mighty impressive extras in this Collection. Quality as well as quantity is the go here, as befits movies of such stature.
Cinematography of the Godfather
The Godfather Family - this extra sees Francis Ford Coppola talking about the importance of family, and why he chose to use so many of his family members in the Godfather films. You may even find out about some cameo appearances that you didn't know about.
Corleone Family Tree
The Music Of The Godfather
Academy Award Acceptance Speeches
74 Network TV Introduction
The Francis Ford Coppola Workbook - now THIS looks to be an absolutely fascinating extra. With a running time of 56 minutes, the brief sample we were shown was riveting. It shows in exquisite detail just how Francis Ford Coppola prepares for a movie. Absolutely guaranteed to enthrall any film buff.
Godfather Around The World
The Coppola-Puzo Screenplay
Audio Commentaries (3)
Deleted Scenes (37 minutes worth)
The presentation concluded with some marketing details - availability of standees and posters and the like - which wasn't of specific interest to me.
Well, I was impressed. There were a few key things that came out of this press launch;
This is a great DVD set, both from the technical side of things and from the content side of things.
Paramount are justifiably enthusiastic and proud of it.
Francis Ford Coppola has personally put a lot of time and effort into making this Collection one that is truly worthy of owning. This is not a half-baked release. This is full-on, DVD-to-the-max, just the way we like it.
I can't wait for October 12th.
Demtschyna (read my bio)
26th July 2001