2019 Blind Spot Series: The Godfather Trilogy


What I knew going in: I had seen scenes from the first Godfather before, and the essential plot.

Oh man, this was a lot of hours. Like I did when I reviewed the Three Colors Trilogy, I'll break them up film by film.

The Godfather - Aging Don Vito Corleone (Marlan Brando) is about to let one of his sons take over his criminal empire when someone wages war against him and his then clean son, Michael (Al Pacino) gets sucked in.

I never realized just how many films borrowed from The Godfather. I saw so many things that looked so familiar. Marlan Brando was spectacular in this, damn. Seeing the entire context of his performance was something else. His scene in the morgue with Sonny was the most powerful. Pacino was great as well. I became very immersed in this story, but there is a lot of filler. Then strangely some parts, like Michael's time in Sicily seemed to race by. It felt slightly uneven but you can't deny the masterful film making here. Everything from the director to the actors to the editing was just very well done. After sitting with this film for a week, I ended up watching it again and raising my grade. I couldn't stop thinking about it. A

The Godfather Part II -We meet up again with Michael, and intertwine the story with Don Vito's (Robert DeNiro) origin story. Michael has firmly replaced Don Vito in all capacities. 

I liked this one a bit less than the first. I thought the parts with Don Vito's origin were really strong, and DeNiro was so good. His mannerisms were so similar to Pacino's that at times I didn't realize the scene had changed for a few seconds. But the entire trial aspect dragged this film down. I felt like Michael's story didn't truly get interesting until the last hour or so of it. The best scene is easily the emotional conversation between Michael and Fredo (John Cazale) The entire story between the two of them was so tragic. It makes no goddamn sense that Cazale wasn't Oscar nominated for this. I also watched this a second time a couple of weeks later and appreciated it more the second time around. A-

The Godfather Part III - Oh boy, I actively disliked this. I'm glad to read Coppola regretted not having Robert Duvall in this because first things first, he was sorely missed. Michael had no legitimate confidants. The one thing I consistently heard about this film was how terrible Sofia Coppola was in it, and yeah she wasn't good, but she's not nearly the most egregious part of this movie. I'd argue that Andy Garcia (who somehow got nominated for an Oscar when Cazale didn't) was on par with her. Their "romance" was gross. Diane Keaton was phoning it in for the majority of the film as well.  On top of all that, Michael just got boring. I didn't need to meet up with him in the 70's when he had nothing interesting to say or do. It's well made, but ultimately unnecessary. I didn't go back for this one a second time like I did the other two. C-

Recommended: Yes for the first two, nope for the third.

Memorable Quote: "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." - Don Vito (Marlan Brando)

12 comments:

  1. WOW! That was a huge undertaking! Lots of time with mobsters and family squabbling. You kinda land where the majority does. 1 and 2 are great films. Then we get 3.....

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    1. They were all on Netflix Instant so that made it easy lol.

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  2. I never saw the 3rd but I recall, when I was a kid seeing James Caan get full of ketchup when he got mowed down:). That will always stay with me. For whatever the reason, I am just not enamoured with these films. I know they are well acted and done well but I am not wowed by them like most people are...I guess I am against the grain on this

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    1. Since it took me this long to see them, I'll admit I wasn't as excited about them either.

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  3. The first 2 films are undisputed classics. I love those 2 films and you can't help but enjoy re-watching them because they're so good.

    Yes, the third one is very disappointing. Let's just be glad that Sofia found her true calling as a filmmaker though it should be noted that she got the part because Winona Ryder dropped out at the last minute and Francis couldn't find anyone to play Mary.

    The only thing about The Godfather Part III I enjoyed was Eli Wallach as Don Altobello. He was a slimy motherfucker. He had this appearance of being this weak and frail old man that seems harmless but if you turn your back on him. He will stab you in the back. I love that man.

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    1. I read that on IMDb, that Winona had to drop out. I just feel bad for Sofia, she takes all the blame for a movie that had multiple reasons to be bad.

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  4. I give you all the respect in the world for watching all 3! I've only seen Godfather I and that was for Blind Spot one year. I enjoyed it but it was just so, damn, long.

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    1. Part II is even longer, they felt a lot shorter then second time around for each though lol

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  5. While I've never admired the original film, nor the second for that matter, as much as some they are finely made films and especially in the first's case brilliantly acted.

    I remember the first was such a phenomenon when it came out though I was too young to see it. Everybody was talking about it everywhere you went and it restored the lustre to Brando's name which he had squandered with a run of bad films. Well at least temporarily until he pull that stunt of sending Sacheen Littlefeather to refuse his Oscar for the role.

    The third is so very much the lesser of the trilogy. After such a gap you would think Coppola would have been able to pull a story and script together and have it polished to a high shine but this is more of a dead fish.

    Sofia Coppola is horrendously bad and the film probably would have been a bit better with originally cast Winona Ryder (she had to drop out due to exhaustion) in the role-though had he cast Laura San Giacomo who was considered and would have been ideal casting it would have been even better-but one performance would not have been enough to save this big lump of mediocrity.

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    1. But even with someone else playing Mary that film would've still bombed. Like I said, Garcia was equally as bad as she was, IMO.

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