Movie Review: The Godfather Part III (1990)

Can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finish this damn trilogy. I watched and reviewed the first part all the way back in 2015. Then in April of last year I finally got to Part 2. And now, nearly four years after that first one, we wrap it all up. So here we fuckin’ go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Godfather Part III”.

The year is 1979. An aging Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) is working to fully go legitimate, after all the sins in his past. But that turns out to be more difficult than anticipated as he has to deal with the other families, as well as reluctantly take his nephew Vincent (Andy Garcia) under his wing. So now we have our third and final “Godfather” story. And god damn, is it a mixed bag. I was actually quite invested at first, as the story they present towards the first act of the film is reminiscent of the other films in the series, and presents a compelling narrative around lineage, atoning, and the various other themes one would expect from the franchise at this point. Then shit hits the fan and it all gets quite uninteresting for a while. It’s not awful, but it’s just kinda boring and mediocrely written. Then towards the end it kinda picks up again. The entire thing is kind of a mixed bag.

The characters in this are mostly quite good. There’s one or two that I just had trouble giving a shit about. I just went “Oh yeah, you’re here too, I guess” any time I saw one of them. First up we have Al Pacino reprising his role as Michael Corleone, head of the Corleone family. He’s a lot older now, getting tired of all the shit going on around him. And he’s still probably the most compelling character in this whole thing. And Pacino is great in the role. Next we have Andy Garcia as Vincent Mancini, Michael’s nephew and now protegé. He’s a bit of a hothead who often gets into trouble, but still wants to really impress his uncle, showing that he can be useful. And aside from one subplot that is just… wrong, he actually has a good arc here. And Garcia is great in the role. We also get Eli Wallach as Don Albotello, a fellow Godfather and generally interesting man with an interesting little plot of his own here. And Wallach is great in the role. Next we have Sofia Coppola as Mary Corleone, Michael’s daughter. She has a character arc in this that is weird, uncomfortable, and not the most well written, making her a character I didn’t care for that much. And Coppola isn’t very good in the role… at all. We also see the return of Talia Shire and Diane Keaton, both doing very well in their roles. We also get supporting work from people like Bridget Fonda, Joe Mantegna, George Hamilton, Raf Vallone, Franc, D’Ambrosio, and many more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Carmine Coppola, and it was quite good. IT has that intimate and emotional style of the previous “Godfather” scores without just sounding like the exact same thing being used. It has its own flourishes, and I liked most of them. What I don’t get is the frequent use of a mouth harp. Is this a movie about an Italian-American crime family, or is it about a wacky clan of hillbillies? Other than the weird use of a mouth harp, the music here is damn good.

“The Godfather Part III” is as expected from the title, the third part in the “Godfather” series based on Mario Puzo’s book of the same name. But unlike the last two, this had no real source material, so it was written from scratch by Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, and directed by Coppola. And while the writing leaves a bit to be desired at times, Coppola’s direction is still (mostly) as tight as ever, giving us an intimate, engaging, and suspenseful look into this world. And the cinematography by Gordon Willis is quite good too, giving us some real eye candy throughout.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 68% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie was nominated for seven Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best supporting actor (Garcia), Best Director, Best cinematography, Best set decoration, Best film editing, and Best original song.

“The Godfather Part III” is a bit of a disappointing end to this trilogy, but it’s overall an enjoyable crime-drama. It has an okay plot, okay characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography. As previously mentioned, the movie suffers due to a large chunk of the plot being uninteresting, a few uninteresting characters, and one distractingly bad performance from a major player. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Godfather Part III” is a 7,87/10. So while heavily flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “The Godfather Part III” is now completed.

Sometimes the mighty fall. But then they give it one last push.

Movie Review: Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)

It is time. The final part in my little “Ocean’s” trilogy review series. I’ve had fun revisiting this series… for the most part, “Ocean’s Twelve” was a bit rough. But other than that I’ve enjoyed doing this series. So let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ocean’s Thirteen”.

After one of their own gets screwed over by notorious hotel owner Willy Bank (Al Pacino), Danny (George Clooney), Rusty (Brad Pitt), and the rest of the gang has to pull off another heist as revenge against Bank. So now we have our plot. And it’s pretty refreshing, going back to a focused heist formula like the first movie, making it feel less disjointed than the second one. Here we do get a fun and well paced heist plot. Sure, it lacks the tension-filled thrillride of the first movie, but it never feels boring, and it does have a few decent switcharoos. Overall this plot is good. Not as great as the first, but still a fun time.

I’m not gonna linger too much on the characters here since I covered them all before. But the entire gang, AKA George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Qin Shaobo, Bernie Mac (R.I.P), Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Eddie Jemison… they’re all still really good in their respective roles, and they work really well together. Now let’s talk about Al Pacino as new antagonist Willy Bank. He’s a charming jerk who cares more for his ego than anything else. He’s an interesting foe for the gang to go up against. While not quite as intimidating as Terry Benedict, he’s still a fun addition to the cast. And Pacino is really good in the role. Speaking of Terry Benedict, he makes a return in this. Not saying to what capacity, but I found his role in this to be enjoyable, and Andy Garcia once again did a really good job in the role. We do also get a pretty good supporting performance from Ellen Barkin as Bank’s right-hand-woman. Really, it’s a very well acted movie.

David Holmes of course returned to do the music for this, and once again he killed it. His score here is jumpy, energetic, mysterious, and just really fun. It fits the movie perfectly and sometimes even improves upon the experience. There’s also like one or two licensed tracks used throughout, and they work well in their respective scenes.

As with the first two movies, “Ocean’s Thirteen” was shot and directed by Steven Soderbergh. And he once again brought his A-game. His direction is fast and snappy, giving the movie a great sense of energy that keeps it feeling fun. And his cinematography is really good as well. Not much else I can say on that front that I didn’t already cover in a previous review. What I can say is that there’s some really good humor throughout the movie, it got me laughing quite a bit.

This movie has been decently received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 70% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 62/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

While not on par with the first movie, “Ocean’s Thirteen” is still a very enjoyable return to form for the crew. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, really good directing/cinematography, and funny humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Ocean’s Thirteen” is an 8,67/10. So while flawed, it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Ocean’s Thirteen” is now completed.

Aaaaand done. The “Ocean’s” review series is now finished.

Movie Review: Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

As I promised last week, I am still going through with reviewing the “Ocean’s” trilogy. So let’s jump into the second part in the series.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ocean’s Twelve”.

After successfully stealing 160 million dollars, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) decided to settle down and life an easy life with his wife Tess (Julia Roberts). But that relaxing life gets halted when Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), the man they stole from, threatens to kill Ocean and his friends unless they can give back those 160 million (plus interest). So Danny has to team up with his gang once again to pull some heists in Europe in hopes of paying back their debt. All while a Europol agent (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is on the hunt for them. So now we have our heist sequel plot. And it’s not great. It lacks the tightness and suspense of the first movie’s plot, often feeling a bit disjointed. It’s also pretty boring in a lot of parts. Admittedly this isn’t the worst plot ever, since there are some fun moments throughout to keep it from becoming absolute shit. It’s… meh.

The characters in this don’t really get any significant development, but what I can say is the returning cast are all still a lot of fun to watch as they share some damn fine chemistry. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Elliott Gould, Bernie Mac (R.I.P), Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Qin Shaobo, Carl Reiner, Eddie Jemison, Julia Roberts, they’re all fun. Even Andy Garcia who, despite a relatively small role, still gives a quietly intimidating and charming performance. Catherine Zeta-Jones is pretty good as the agent that the guys have to avoid throughout the movie. Again, not a lot of interesting character development here, but I did enjoy the cast.

David Holmes returned to do the score for this, and once again it is really good. It’s fun, energetic, and just helps bring something to the movie to keep it a little more interesting. The licensed tracks used throughout are also pretty good. Not the most catchy or memorable, but they still work pretty good within the movie.

As with the first movie, “Ocean’s Twelve” was shot and directed by Steven Soderbergh, and his direction is kind of what stands out here. While his direction can’t bring suspense to the heist like in the first one, I do admit that no shots he had were uninteresting. As a matter of fact, there are some shots in here that I thought were really good. Again, no real suspense is built here, but his directing is solid enough to keep me interested.

This movie hasn’t been the most well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 54% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,5/10.

“Ocean’s Twelve” isn’t great, but there is some fun to be had throughout. It has a meh plot, good characters, really good performances, really good music, and good directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Ocean’s Twelve” is a 6,12/10. While not great, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Ocean’s Twelve” is now completed.

“Ocean’s Thirteen” next week.

Movie Review: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

With the release of “Ocean’s 8” being upon us (June 27th here in Sweden), I thought it was time for me to finally talk about the movies that preceded it. So today it’s “Ocean’s Eleven”. And over the next two weeks you can look forward to reviews of “Ocean’s Twelve” and “Ocean’s Thirteen”. Will I cover the 60s original? Probably not. With that out of the way, let’s get into the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ocean’s Eleven”.

After being released from prison, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) plans to pull a heist at a big casino owned by a man named Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia). But he can’t do this alone. So with the help of his friend Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) he gathers up a crew of specialists to help pull this heist. It’s a basic heist movie formula that we’ve seen so many times at this point… but this movie is one of the better examples of how it should be done. Yes, we know the story beats (since they are repeated in so many movies), but “Ocean’s Eleven” does it in a way that makes it feel fresh. The twists and turns in here still catch me off guard despite me having seen the movie before. And this due to a brisk pace, genuine suspense, and a believably executed plan.

The characters in this are colorful, unique, and really entertaining. George Clooney plays Danny Ocean, the man with the plan who the movie is named after. He’s a charismatic and intelligent con artist with a troubled past. He may be cooler than ice, but he still feels fairly realistic (Clooney handsomeness aside). And Clooney is great in the role. Then we have Brad Pitt as Rusty, Ocean’s closest confidant and old time ally. Clever, cool, and with a devil-may-care attitude, it’s basically the heist movie version of Brad Pitt… and I’m okay with that. So yeah, Pitt is really good in the role. Next up we have Andy Garcia as Terry Benedict, the film’s antagonist and target of the heist. There’s a quiet intensity about him that makes him a somewhat intimidating guy whenever we’re in a scene with him. And Garcia is really good in the role. I will also not go in-depth with every character, because that would make this part too long. But I will say that the rest of the crew consists of Bernie Mac (R.I.P), Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliott Gould, Matt Damon, Carl Reiner, Eddie Jemison, and Qin Shaobo. Then we have Julia Roberts as Ocean’s ex-wife. So yeah, this movie is filled with cool people, and all of them do really well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by David Holmes, and I think he did a really good job. The score is very jazzy and bouncy, giving a very fun and energetic vibe to the movie. But it still never takes away from the suspenseful moments. There are also a few licensed tracks used throughout and they work well in their respective scenes.

This movie was shot and directed by Steven Soderbergh and I think he did a great job with it. His direction here has a very fast and fun style that keeps it from ever feeling boring or slow. He also manages to build a lot of suspense here, with one sequence in particular almost making me curl up in my chair due to the level of suspense in that moment. And I usually never talk about this, but the editing here is as slick as it gets, often adding to the suspense or just overall fun of a scene. Speaking of fun, there’s some comedy sprinkled throughout this movie, and I found it to be genuinely funny.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 82% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

“Ocean’s Eleven” is a fast-paced and fun crime caper with a very fun cast. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, great directing/editing, and great humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Ocean’s Eleven” is a 9,86/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Ocean’s Eleven” is now completed.

Remember, “Ocean’s Twelve” next week!

Movie Review: Ghostbusters (2016)

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What? Two reviews in such a short amount of time? And both of recent movies that are in theaters? What kind of madness is this? I’ll tell you what it is… Mad skills, that’s what it fuckin’ is!

Ladies and gents… “Ghostbusters” (the rebootification).

Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) are two long time friends, both having an interest in the paranormal. So when they discover that ghosts actually, truly, without any doubt exists, they form a group/firm together with crazy engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and historian Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones). They also get a secretary named Kevin (Chris Hemsworth). And together these people make up… the Ghostbusters (roll credits). And what they have to do is try to stop a sudden paranormal invasion of New York City. Interesting? Decently. Investing? Not really. I never really thought the plot was bad throughout the movie, but there was also never a point in which I got emotionally invested in it. I wasn’t bored at any point, but there was never that full on investment that I might’ve wanted from the movie.

The characters, I honestly thought I would dislike them… but no, they’re actually pretty enjoyable. Let me first say that the central cast have terrific chemistry, they work well together. Melissa McCarthy does a fine job in the movie, she’s not bad nor great, she does well. Kristen Wiig does a really good job with her performance and her character was enjoyable. Leslie Jones, I thought she would be pretty annoying, based on the trailers. But no, I actually enjoyed her in the movie. Then we have my favorite of the four… Kate McKinnon. Her character was just absolutely nuts, and was definitely the one I enjoyed the most. Best way I can explain her is that she’s kind of a mix of Doc Brown from “Back to the Future” and Tyler Durden from “Fight Club”. Chris Hemsworth is a lot of fun in this movie… mainly because he’s playing a dumb blonde secretary who’s pretty much inept at anything he tries to do. Yeah, everybody did a good job… holy shit, I never thought I’d say that about this movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Theodore Shapiro and I thought it was okay. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. It was what most people would call passable. It worked just fine for the movie, nothing spectacular. As for the new and “updated” theme song however… yeah, I fucking hate it. And just so you know, saying that saddens me because I like Fall Out Boy. I think they’re a good band, but this new “Ghostbusters” song is not good.

This movie was directed by Paul Feig and I actually think he did a pretty good job. The direction is pretty fast and snappy and never spens too much or too little time on a specific bit. As for the CGI? It’s fine I guess. I wouldn’t call it bad, but there’s a point in this movie where it’s just a bit too much. And the ghost designs aren’t really creative or even scary, which is a little sad (Sidenote: Slimer looks like shit). And since this movie is a comedy, we should look at the jokes and see how they are. I thought the jokes were fun. Not all of them, there were a few that made me cringe a little bit, but the majority of jokes at least made me at least chuckle. There was one joke which I can’t remember, but I know that it made me laugh quite a bit. Most of the comedic entertainment came from Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth in my opinion, both of whom had a bunch of fun lines and entertaining personalities. So let’s talk cameos! That’s right, all of the original cast members (‘cept for Rick Moranis and William Atherton) had cameos, even Harold Ramis who is dead. And these cameos felt a little bit distracting for me. While not as gratuitous as some cameos in other movies, they still felt a bit distracting and almost even forced.

This movie has sure as hell gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,4/10.

Let me start this wrap-up by saying that the movie was a lot better than I anticipated. Sure, the plot isn’t very engaging, the CGI gets a bit too much at times, some of the jokes don’t land, and the cameos are distracting. But the characters are all enjoyable, the performances are good, the music is fine (‘cept for that damn theme), the directing is pretty good, and a lot of the jokes are pretty fun. Time for my final score. *WHO YA GONNA CALL!?* My final score for “Ghostbusters” (the rebootification) is a 7,54/10. While not that great, it’s still worth a rental (or in this case, worth a watch).
Rent it

My review of “Ghostbusters” (the rebootification) is now completed.

True story: When my parents and I got out of the theater and got into the car, the original (AKA good) “Ghostbusters” theme played on the radio. No joke, it actually fucking happened.

Movie Review: The Untouchables (1987)

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I don’t know why, but modern American history is incredibly interesting to me. And by modern American history I basically mean everything within the 1900’s. What mainly interests me are all the crime stories, especially the gangster-related ones. I have no idea why they interest me as much as they do, they just happen to do so I guess. And that is what I think fuels my love for gangster movies. So let’s review a gangster movie, shall we?

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Untouchables”.

So in this movie we follow Federal Agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) as he puts together a team of non-corrupt cops to find a way to legally take down gangster boss Al Capone (Robert De Niro) during the prohibition era. Simple premise, excellent execution. The plot lends itself to show some genuinely great drama and surprisingly good storytelling thanks to the premise being as simple as it is. What is also great about the plot is the pace, this movie moves at a pretty great pace. I never experienced it to be slow at all, I would even dare to say that it was pretty fast. And I liked it!

The characters in this movie all feel like real people… probably because a bunch of them are real people portrayed by actors. Examples: Eliot Ness was a real man who formed a real team called “The Untouchables”. And as you all know, Al Capone existed and was a ruthless gangster. Most other characters are fictional but still based on some men who existed back then. Anyway, how were the performances in this movie? Top notch, I tell you! Kevin Costner was great as Ness, Sean Connery stole the show (just like in “The Rock”) as old and wise police officer Jim Malone, Charles Martin Smith was great as his character, Andy Garcia was great as his character and Robert De Niro was fantastic (as always) as Al Capone. Everybody was great.

I don’t even have to mention how great the music is. You should know that I loved it. Why should you know such a thing? Because the score was done by none other than Maestro Ennio Morricone who might be my favorite composer of all time. But yes, he did the score and it is amazing. Next topic!

The shots in this movie look great, the camera work is great, it is a great looking movie. Thank you for doing that Brian De Palma! Now if you oculd direct a good movie again, that would be great! Now, instead of ripping on poor Mr. De Palma, let’s talk about something good from this movie: The action. The action in the movie is visceral, brutal and awesome. Whenever an action scene happened in the movie I cheered because the action scenes are just straight up awesome. Also, if you hate violence then you don’t want to see this movie. In fact, stay away from anything that Brian De Palma has directed if you don’t like violence in movies.

This movie has been very well-received over the years. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Supporting Actor (Connery). It was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best set decoration, Best costume design and Best Original Score. 

“The Untouchables” is a very touchable movie that I think everyone should touch. I know, that sounded weird but trust me, it makes sense soon enough. The story is great, the acting is great, the music is great, the direction is great and the addition of the action is something I really liked a lot. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “The Untouchables” is a 9,89/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“The Untouchables” is now reviewed.

Can’t touch this…