finally caught this on HBO and . . .
I thought it was great. Kudos to HBO since a TV airing is one of the few ways to catch it.
The original GF is a personal favorite. I was more lukewarm, however, to GF II although I know that some folks say that it the best of the trilogy. (I also think GF III was unfairly maligned, but again, opinions vary on IMDb.)
To have the two films (w/ the hour-plus of added footage) restructured into a straight chronological narrative just felt like an improvement.
The only thing better would be if HBO would air the equally rare "The Godfather Trilogy" from 25 years ago.