To coincide with a blu-ray DVD release (that is extra, extra HD quality I guess -- haven't seen one myself) of a new 'Coppola Restoration' Godfather Trilogy, Paramount released the first two films for a limited theatrical run. My friend Nick and I went to see the original last weekend, and yesterday I went to see Part II.
(That is one of the perks of not having a regular job/regular work hours -- true, I may not have money or job security, but I was able to go to the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood at 11:20 a.m. and sit by myself, with my large soda and tub of popcorn. And over three-and-a-half hours, I was drawn deeper and deeper into the Corleone family...)
Never having seeing the films on the big screen, it was quite an experience. It must have been really something for those theater goers in 1972 and 1974. It really allows for an immersive experience, the long takes, the slow tracking shots, the amazing score -- and the sheer scope of the 6+ hour narrative is incredible. Even more pronounced for me were the wonderful performances -- especially by Al Pacino in Part I and Robert DeNiro in Part II. It is easy to see how they became national treasures. Such sublety and nuance - it would be great to see either of them go back to that...
In any case, if you get the chance to see one or both in the cinema, do yourself a favor; carve out the necessary chunk of time, grab a big Coke and tub of popcorn, sit back and enjoy. It will be worth it, I promise.