Posts Tagged 'the godfather'

Wick-Quoting #30: The Godfather Part III

“Finance is a gun. Politics is knowing when to pull the trigger.”

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After watching the final installment to The Godfather series, one thing came to mind: Part III is substantially better than Part II.  While TG2 (The Godfather Part II) is entertaining to say the least, it lacks the obvious genius of the other two films.  TG3 (The Godfather Part III) is able to surpass TG2 by basically copying the original.  TG3 goes back to the original by including a retiring leader, ambitious new characters, and forbidden love.

1) a retiring leader

An aged Michael (played again by, of course, Al Pacino) is now highly respected, just like how his father was in the first movie.  Now, it is easy to say that the reason as to why the first movie was so successful is because of the compelling character of Don Vito Corleone.  His gestures, his accent, his personality are all very interesting to watch.  In TG3, Al Pacino is attempting to fill in the shoes of Marlon Brando.  Although he doesn’t quite pull it off, he does have his own respectable take on an old, ex-mob boss.  And with the fall of one, comes the rise of others.

2) ambitious new characters

In an attempt to hold up the family’s honor with Michael’s withdrawal, many characters all compete for the spotlight, including Connie, Mary, and Vincent.  While Connie isn’t exactly a new character, her role is drastically different than it was in the previous two movies.  In TG3, she does take action, which is positive in the view of the family.  Mary, Michael’s daughter, gets a lot more accomplished (story-wise) than her brother.  Finally, there is Vincent Mancini (Andy Garcia) who is almost like a combination of the two characters, Michael and Sonny when they were younger.  Fresh faces is exactly what sequels need in order to propel further.  Of course, too much “new” isn’t all that beneficial – just look at the third installments of Spider-Man and Shrek.

3) forbidden love

Like the first movie, TG3 contains flickering love; however, it is far more “messed.”  Vincent and Mary (cousins) end up growing feelings for one another, and it sort of gets out of hand.  Of course, if there’s anything we learned from the first, with all forbidden love comes consequence!

Building on from that, foreshadowing is huge in TG3, which I absolutely missed from TG2.  The way I see it, a film with good foreshadowing deserves great backlighting with its movie posters.  The other day I finally saw Black Swan, which also uses great foreshadowing – and I was blown away.  Foreshadowing – although can be cheesy at times – can really make a movie shine (alright, enough with the cheesy wordplay).

TG3 is not all light and glitter though, due to the fact of some out-of-place scenes and small, annoying details.  Examples of this include the helicopter shoot down and the fact that Michael becomes a saintlike character: both are not that believable.  One of the main problems I have with the movie is Sofia Coppola in general.  I do not enjoy watching her character making a mess of situations, and what I enjoy less is her big mouth.  Her mouth is pretty distracting to watch, and it reminds me of the bigmouth girl from Glee (a terrible show indeed).  I also do not like Lost in Translation, which was directed and written by Sophia Coppola.  No, I am not being biased based on a movie made by Sophia – in fact, I just learned that she is the one who directed Lost in Translation.

Lost in Translation had a budget of only 4 million, yet has made way more than it should have

TG3 has made 136 million, paying off quite reasonably well for itself.  With interesting foreshadowing, Al Pacino, and some nice scenes (especially the ending scene when Michael yells) TG3 is not a film you should miss, especially if you have already seen the first two.

8.5

(I didn’t quite plan for this post to be so long…)

Quoted by MWP

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Double-Quoting #26-27: The Godfather & The Godfather Part II

“Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you.  But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again.  Ever.”

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While The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974) are both films from the same franchise, there is a clear difference between the two, in both quality and character development (there may obviously be a connection between the two).  Even though The Godfather Part II is longer by 25 mins (The Godfather is 2 hr & 55 mins while The Godfather Part II is 3 hr & 20 mins) The Godfather seems to include so much more characters, story, excitement, and twists than its sequel.

Marlon Brando as "The Godfather"

One of the main, apparent reason as to why The Godfather is at a higher caliber than TG2 (The Godfather Part II) is because of Marlon Brando’s performance as “The Godfather.”  He created a unique character who appears gentle and reasonable, yet commands respect from not only his family, but from his enemies as well.  “The Godfather,” also known as Don Vito Corleone, has an unforgettable way of speech, which makes you wish he was your grandfather.  Through Vito Corleone, the sons can be easily compared, bringing out their unique and different personalities.

... and they never come back

Even though The Godfather can be very predictable at times, such as when certain characters will die, it still has a solid foundation of character development.  At first, it may seem as though Vito Corleone is the main character of the story, but later, it becomes very clear that the film revolves around the life of the youngest son, Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino.  This is done in a similar fashion as in Star Wars, where the whole series revolves around Anakin Skywalker instead of the teacher, Obi-Won Kenobi.  As events pass by, including the attempted assassination of his father, Michael can be seen to change as a character, from an unreliable, indifferent son, to a quick thinking, criminal mastermind.  Our attachment to Michael at the beginning, due to his life as a normal person, grants us a ride through a legacy of killing for respect.  While Michael does not become exactly like his father, he obtains qualities as a mob king which makes him awesome in his own way.  This includes his cold, calculating mind, his smooth hair, and his icy stare.

He looks like he was made for the part

The Godfather has it all, love, betrayal, murder, payback, and cool lines.  What TG2 lacks is not one of the qualities mentioned in the previous sentence, but the character development of  the main character in both films. In The Godfather, Michael’s love life is shown, with him and Kay (Diane Keaton) going through much hardship to be together in the end.  Also, his rise of power is depicted, starting from his position as the youngest son, to the strongest mafia head in the country.  In TG2, Michael is already at his peak as the powerful mafia boss.  He could go no higher; in fact, he narrowly escapes losing everything by almost being held responsible for his crimes.  The movie contains no romance; he kicks Kay out after learning the truth behind the miscarriage.  TG2 is more focused on comparing the past to the present.  The film is literally made up of half flashback scenes, which mainly involve Vito Corleone’s younger days.  Most of the flashback scenes don’t do much for the overall film.  After just the first flashback, we get the idea – the business which Vito Corleone started back in the day is now falling apart.

The stare of death

TG2 follows a technique which many bad films adopt, which is the art of introducing random characters/story plots in order to keep the story moving.  The example I’m talking about here is when Michael brings in the older brother of Frank Pentangeli with him to court.  This character is some random character with assumed fame and respect and so happens has the ability to shut Frank up.  Now, I am not saying that TG2 is a terrible film; I am saying it is a terrible film compared to its prequel.  However, the film still holds up on its own with the returning cast including, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and John Cazale.  Not to forget to mention, the musical background in both is riveting.

My favorite scene in Part II

The difference of both films can be told in numbers.  The Godfather had a production budget of only 6.5 million but raked in a total of 245 million, while TG2 had a production budget of 13 million but only scored 193 million (the word “only” is used to emphasis the comparison).  Even though these films are oldies, they are by far better than the majority of films being made nowadays.  The Godfather series is turning up to be one of my favorite series.  Hopefully the third installment can live up to the first (not just the second).  I will find out soon enough.

The Godfather: 9.5

The Godfather Part II: 8.0

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“If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone.”


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