The Godfather Part II appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. The Dolby Vision transfer replicated the source material in a splendid manner.
Sharpness remained strong. Any minor instances of softness came from the source and failed to create distractions.
I noticed no issues with jagged edges, shimmering or edge haloes. Grain levels felt appropriate for a movie of this oneís age and style, and no print flaws appeared.
As was the case with the first movie, Part II went with a palette that favored a yellow tint much of the time. A few brighter tones occasionally found their way into the proceedings, such as during some of the Cuban scenes.
However, the film usually stayed subdued and nearly monochromatic. Given the storyís tone and visual design, I didnít expect many vivid or brilliant hues, so I found the colors of II to appear satisfactory. The discís HDR added impact and range to the hues as well.
Since so much of Part II took place in low-light conditions, it needed very good blacks and shadow detail. These shots had good depth and clarity from start to finish.
HDR contributed power and dimensionality to whites and contrast. Overall, I felt pleased with this excellent presentation.
I wasnít wild about the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 remix of the first film, and I continued to have some qualms about this movieís rejiggered audio. That said, the second flickís multichannel sound appeared a bit more satisfying. The soundfield itself seemed surprisingly natural and involving, as the elements in Part II blended together with solid grace and realism.
The mix remained concentrated in the front spectrum, where fairly positive stereo music appeared as well as a variety of effects. Those bits added the good dimensionality to the track, as sounds appeared to be appropriately placed throughout the film.
Surround usage stayed pretty minor, but they contributed acceptable reinforcement of the front channels, and they also kicked to life nicely at times, such as during a train sequence.
As with the first flick, the audio suffered from too much artificial reverb at times. This especially affected dialogue, as speech often seemed unnatural. This wasnít severe, but the echo made things a bit messier than Iíd like.
Otherwise, the sound quality for Part II seemed decent for its era, and dialogue usually came across as reasonably distinct and crisp. Some edginess interfered at times, but I detected no problems related to intelligibility.
Effects also could crackle on occasion, but as a whole they seemed clean and relatively dynamic. In addition the few loud sequences showed decent bass response.
Music demonstrated some modest distortion as well, such as during the opening party sequence. Overall, the score lacked the depth heard during Godfather, but I still thought the music seemed to be relatively clear and vibrant for a film of this vintage.
Ultimately, the multichannel audio of Godfather Part II showed its age at times, but it appeared to be above average for its era, and some parts of it worked quite well.
As was the case with the first filmís sound, I preferred the original monaural material to the 5.1 mix. However, I found less of a difference between the two this time, as the multichannel track had enough strengths to make it an acceptable alternative.
The 5.1 version went with some wonky Foley choices, and that reverb didnít make me happy, but I felt reasonably pleased with the 5.1 track for Part II. Iíd still choose the mono in the future, though, as it was more natural and also obviously better replicated the original theatrical experience.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray? Both offered identical audio choices.
As for the Dolby Vision image, it looked better defined and cleaner than the Blu-ray, and it also came with superior colors and blacks. Expect a nice step up here.
Only one extra appears here: the same audio commentary from director Francis Ford Coppola that appeared on prior releases. Once again, Coppola provides a running, fairly screen-specific affair.
Frankly, I expected this track to be less interesting than the one created for the prior film. First flicks always have the most background to relate, and the rough time Coppola went through making it seemed to offer more opportunities for interesting stories.
To my surprise, I found the II commentary to be at least as good as the one for Godfather, and it may actually be better. When I reviewed the Godfather track, I related that despite his negative experience, Coppola didnít seem bitter as he discussed the shoot.
While that remains true, Coppola does appear much brighter and cheerier through his chat here. Clearly Part II was a much more pleasant time for him, so instead of the complaints about difficulties heard during Godfather, Coppola focuses more on positive issues for the sequel.
That doesnít mean we get a superficial puff piece, however, as Coppola never lets the commentary degenerate into excessive praise. Instead, he simply talks about a variety of elements that went into the making of the film, from his reticence to do such a project to casting woes Ė which include the reason why Clemenza doesnít reappear in the sequel Ė to his overall goals for the flick to a slew of other issues.
As was the case with Godfather, a moderate number of empty spaces occur, but these seem fewer during Part II, perhaps because the subject engages him more fully. Ultimately, Coppola provides a very informative and engaging track that includes a wealth of good information about Godfather Part II.
I donít know if Iíll ever like it as much as its predecessor, but Iíve begun to appreciate The Godfather Part II more. Part II offers a fascinating and deep experience that holds up extremely well to repeated viewings. The 4K UHD brings excellent visuals as well as generally positive audio and a solid audio commentary. This becomes the definitive version of Godfather Part II.
Note that as of March 2022, The Godfather Part II 4K UHD can only be purchased as part of a multi-disc ďGodfather TrilogyĒ set. It comes with 1972ís Godfather, 1974ís Godfather Part II and three cuts of 1990ís Godfather Part III as well as a bonus disc.
To rate this film, visit the Boxed Set review of THE GODFATHER PART II