New York City's Film Forum will be screening both The Godfather and The Godfather Part II during a special three week engagement beginning September 12. And yes, it's a big deal. The first two installments of Francis Ford Coppola's trilogy are often featured in repertory houses, sure, but Film Forum's presentation is of newly restored 35mm prints, which were produced under the direction of Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis and the supervision of film historian and master preservationist Robert A. Harris. The Godfather will run solo from September 12 through September 18, then The Goffather Part II will run solo from September 19 through September 25, and finally, back-to-back screenings will be featured from September 26 through October 2 (the double feature does, unfortunately, require separate admissions). As far as I can tell, neither of these digitally restored classics includes new computer-generated characters or backgrounds, and obviously the guns are likely to still be guns rather than walkie talkies.

If you can't make it to NYC for any of these shows, Paramount is apparently also releasing the restored films in other select cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. Or, you can check out the new versions as part of "The Godfather, the Coppola Restoration collection," which also includes a remastered Godfather Part III, on DVD or Blu-Ray beginning September 26 23 (the DVDs may be purchased in a 5-disc box set, which includes two discs of special features, or separately, in case you like to forget about Part III; the Blu-Ray versions seem to be only offered together in a 4-disc set).

Of course, if you've never seen The Godfather or The Godfather Part II on the big screen, you really should. The two are examples of what I consider to be films that must be seen theatrically to be fully appreciated. I'm not sure if I'd say they must ONLY be seen on the big screen (like those discussed on this site two months ago), but they're certainly worthy of a larger format than your home entertainment system, no matter what size it might be.