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: The Godfather Part II (1974)

I recently ran a poll on my twitter page where I asked which of four classics that I hadn’t seen yet people waned to see a review of. And at the end of it, this movie came out victorious. So let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Godfather Part II”.

We follow Michael (Al Pacino), the new head of the Corleone family as he ascends within the crime world, trying to hold on to his empire and his family. And throughout the movie we also get flashbacks to a young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro), from his arrival in New York during his childhood, to him rising in the mob world as an adult. What I liked about the first “Godfather” movie, and also this is that while it has this sweeping and epic gangster story, it also focuses on the smaller family drama, which gives it a lot more nuance. Yes, it is a very long movie (3 hours, 10 minutes), but it needs that runtime to be able to tell this big and impressive story. Emotional, suspenseful, intriguing, and well written, the plot in this movie is great.

The characters in this are layered and interesting. First up we have Al Pacino reprising his role as Michael Corleone, the current head of the Corleone family. In this movie we see a very conflicted Michael as he has to become the new Godfather, while being pulled in the “legitimate” direction by his wife. And it makes for an interesting character study. And Pacino is fantastic in the role. Then we have Robert De Niro as the young Vito Corleone. He’s a quiet man with a lot of emotion built up inside of him after some stuff that happened in his past. And it’s interesting to see him go through everything he goes through. And De Niro is fantastic in the role. Diane Keaton returns as Kay, the wife of Michael. She goes through some stuff in this movie, and seeing her try to deal with the shit that comes from her husband’s mob-life is quite fascinating and heartbreaking. And Keaton is of course great in the role. Then we have John Cazale (R.I.P) as Fredo, Michael’s older brother. In this movie you see that he’s a bit of a spineless man who does love his family, but some of his own agendas seem to come first, and it makes him an interesting foil for the other characters. And Cazale is great in the role. And in further returning roles we see people like Talia Shire, Robert Duvall, Richard Bright, Gianni Russo, and Morgana King (among others), all doing very well in their roles. Then we also got some new comers like Lee Strasberg, Michael V. Gazzo, G.D. Spradlin, Bruno Kirby, and many more. They also do very well in their respective roles. ’tis a very well acted movie.

The music for the movie was composed by Nino Rota & Carmine Coppola, and it’s fantastic. It’s a sweeping and emotional score that fits the world perfectly and helps elevate the scenes to the next level. What I also liked is that it’s not just super serious string tracks, but there are also a couple of more fun tracks for a few moments throughout the movie, and I think that works quite well. Yeah, the music’s great.

Like with the first movie, “Part II” was written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola (with some writing help from Mario Puzo), and once again he knocked it out of the park. His direction captures the sweeping nature of the crime syndicate plot, while also managing to really elevate and engage during the smaller family drama scenes. I really don’t think anyone could have captured it as well as Coppola.

This movie has been incredibly well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 97% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars and put it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,0/10 and is ranked #3 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 6 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best supporting actor (De Niro), Best director, Best adapted screenplay, Best set decoration, and Best original score. The movie was also nominated for an additional 5 Oscars in the categories of Best actor (Pacino), Best supporting actor (Gazzo), Best supporting actor (Strasberg), Best supporting actress (Shire), and Best costume design. Fuck, that’s a lot of awards and nominations.

Does “The Godfather Part II” live up to the hype? For me, it does. It has a great story, really good characters, fantastic performances, great music, and great writing/directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Godfather Part II” is a 9,85/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

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

And for those wondering, I do prefer the first one.

Movie Review: The Godfather (1972)

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Oh god, now I am gonna get it… big time. Not having seen one of the most popular and best reviewed movies of all time until now. So far I have gotten through it all without getting my ass bitten, but this is sure to piss people off. For the people who might be able to accept the fact, I am sorry. But for you who are dead set on murdering me, be gentle.

My friends… “The Godfather”.

This movie follows aging mob boss Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando, R.I.P) as he wants to try to hand over the empire to his reluctant son Michael (Al Pacino). We also get to see them try to take care of business and survive from the other “families” in the city. Now that is really all I can say about the plot for the few out there who haven’t seen the movie yet. But I can say that the long time that the story spans (circa 10 years) is one of the most intriguing and perfectly constructed plots I have ever laid my eyes upon. This movie is almost three hours long and I was never bored with any of it, that is evidence of a terrific and interesting story. It also features a few pretty neat twists and turns at times.

The characters are all very nuanced, unique and interesting. All of them had great writing behind them and I can safely say that there was not a single weak performance in this movie at all. Marlon Brando was fantastic as this deep, caring and humble mob boss. His performance was one of the best I have ever seen. Al Pacino was also great as his son Michael, a guy reluctant to take on the role of Godfather (Or Don as it is also called). But he also played the character with a lot of humanity and showed that the character put family above all else. It was also great seeing a bunch of other great actors such as Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and James Caan in this movie playing all these great characters. Like I said before, there were on weak performances in this movie and the writing for all of them was excellent.

The score by Nino Rota was perfect. It managed to help build a lot of suspense, even in a lot of scenes where there was a regular conversation between two characters. The music also helped bring a lot of emotion to scenes that wouldn’t have been as powerful without it even though they would still have been great. And while I did love the original score for the movie, please listen to this cover of the song “Speak Softly, Love” by David Davidson, it is beautiful.

There is a reason Francis Ford Coppola is called one of the greatest directors ever and that is hwo this movie is shot. Sure, there is nothing special at first glance when it comes to the shot composition, but that is the greatness of it all. It is simple yet so magnificent. The shots look terrific, especially on the restoration DVD that I watched. Sure, the blu-ray is probably even better, but I don’t care. The movie looks fantastic.

Like I said in the beginning, this is one of the best reviewed movies of all time. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 99% (Holy shit) positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 100/100, one of the few movies with such a score. Roger Ebert gave this movie 4/4 stars and put it in his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,2/10 and is ranked #2 on the “Top 250” list (Sidenote: At #1 is “The Shawshank Redemption”). This movie also won 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando), Best screenplay based on previously published material. It was also nominated for an additional 8 Oscars (Holy shit) in the categories of Best Supporting Actors (James Caan), Best Supporting Actor (Robert Duvall), Best Supporting Actor (Al Pacino), Best Director, Best costume design, Best sound, Best film editing and best original score. 

I can’t deny it, “The Godfather” is one of the greatest movies ever made. The story is fantastic, the performances are fantastic, the score is amazing, the direction is great and the writing is terrific. The only problem I could see it having is that it would be a tad too slow for most modern audiences… but not for me! Time for my final score. Jeff, get me the envelope! No? Well how about this, I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse. Yeah? Thank you! My final score for “The Godfather” is a 9,89/10. There is nothing else to say other than it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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I have finally reviewed “The Godfather”.

This movie made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. And I am at least not sleeping with the fishes.