One of the biggest peeves that I have about home media releases on disc (especially the new 4K UHD Blu-ray format) is with packaging, especially when it comes to commemorative box sets such as last year’s Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection (released to celebrate Raiders of the Lost Ark’s 40th Anniversary) or this week’s The Godfather Trilogy 4K UHD box set that coincides with the 50th Anniversary of The Godfather’s theatrical release.
Today is the “street date” for many Blu-ray/4K UHD Blu-ray titles, but I’m sure that the most talked-about one is Paramount Home Media Distribution’s The Godfather Trilogy – 50th Anniversary’s 4K UHD sets.
Yes, I emphasized that word – sets – because Paramount is releasing the three-movies/five cuts/five discs 4K UHD Blu-ray in two different packages – a pricey Deluxe Limited Edition (MSRP $167.99), and a DigiPack version which has an MSRP of $90.99 (but I paid, including Florida sales tax, $83.10 at Amazon).
The Deluxe Limited Edition is pricier, in part, because it includes a coffee table-format hardcover book and three portrait prints (one each of Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, and Al Pacino) as “collector’s swag.” But it also has nicer, sturdier packaging, including a durable black slipcover box with The Godfather 50 Years logo rendered in gold-colored on the front side.
Here’s what Blu-ray.com’s Martin Liebman has to say about the less-pricey box set that I’ll be getting later today:
First, a quick word on the packaging. Each film ships in its own thin DigiPack style case; fans will find inner prints inside. The bonus discs ship in a DigiPack package that is double wide to house the legacy cuts of the third film (UHD) and bonus disc (Blu-ray) with both new and legacy supplements. The outer slip box is flimsy, but embossed. This is not sturdy or particularly attractive packaging; it appears that Paramount reserved the best for the pricier Deluxe Limited Edition.
If I had not decided to get three variants of 20th Century Studios’ West Side Story in 4K UHD/Blu-ray, or even if that film had had its home media release scheduled for this year, I might have sprung for the Deluxe Limited Edition. I think that DigiPack slip boxes are cheap-looking and more fragile than other types of home media packaging. Studios push them on consumers because they cost less to produce and ship, which to me is a double-edge sword as a collector.
On the one hand, DigiPacks – not to be confused with Digibooks – are less expensive and fit nicely in media storage shelves or drawers. On the other hand, they can easily be damaged and don’t last as long as Digibooks or sets with sturdier, more expensive slipcovers – such as 2020’s Best Buy-exclusive 27-disc Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga box set.
But because I am – admittedly – more of a West Side Story/Steven Spielberg fan than I am a Godfather/Francis Ford Coppola one, I did purchase the Art Edition, Limited Edition Steelbook, and Ultimate Collector’s Edition sets of West Side Story, so if I wanted to get any of the Godfather 50h Anniversary 4K UHD box sets, it was either the DigiPack one or none at all.
At any rate, my package with The Godfather Trilogy is marked as Out for Delivery and is due to arrive between 12:30 PM and 2:30 PM Eastern.
Speaking of Amazon, my other pending order of Deutsche Grammophon’s (DG) John Williams/Berliner Philharmoniker: The Berlin Concert – Deluxe Set shipped from Lexington, Kentucky a few hours ago. The third-party seller gave me a March 23-March 25 delivery window, but the U.S. Postal Service gave me a less optimistic estimate of Monday, March 28. I can live with that, though. It’s better than how Amazon did with the original “Sold by Amazon Online Store” order; I pre-ordered my 4-disc set last month, well before the U.S. “drop date” of March 4. I waited over two weeks before I canceled that order and went with a third-party seller, partly because the price was eight dollars off Amazon’s, but mostly because every time that I asked Amazon Customer Service about The Berlin Concert ship date, all I got were claims – never verified – that my package was being “readied for shipment.”
Basically, I’ll be happy if I get The Berlin Concert within the March 23-March 25 window predicted by the seller, which has an Amazon storefront called I-Deals. But even if it arrives on Monday the 28th as the Post Office says, I’ll still be happy.
At least I’m getting my order, right?