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.

Series Review: Peaky Blinders – Season 4 (2017)

As some of you might know, I have reviewed the previous three seasons of this shows before (nudge nudge, wink wink), and I honestly loved them all. So I was of course excited for the fourth season. So now that I’ve finally watched it I can give you my thoughts on it. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Peaky Blinders” season 4.

It’s christmastime, and everybody is trying to enjoy the holidays. But when Tommy (Cillian Murphy) receives a letter he realizes that his family will be in danger. So he has to bring the family together so they can defend themselves against their newest foe: A group of American gangsters led by the dangerous Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody). So now we have our Peaky plot. And it’s still great. The plot here is tense, dramatic, filled with twists and turns, and never failed in keeping me engaged. There’s an air of mistrust and unease after the end of season 3 across the entirety of this season, and it adds so much to the quality of it all. So yeah, this is a great plot.

I’m not gonna go too in-depth with the main/returning players here, since I’ve talked about them so much in my previous reviews. But I can say that they’re all damaged here, and they’re all a bit different since the end of the previous season, adding another compelling side to them. Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Finn Cole, Sophie Rundle, Harry Kirton, Joe Cole, Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Kate Phillips, Ned Dennehy… they’re all fantastic. Now for some of the newer people. As mentioned earlier, this season introduces Adrien Brody as Luca Changretta, an Italian-American gangster who’s coming for Tommy and the others. He’s a ruthless, cunning, and calculating villain. And Adrien Brody is inconsistent in the role. The writing itself is great, and there are moments where he can be quite menacing. But at a lot of points his delivery is almost like a caricature of Marlon Brando in “The Godfather”. It doesn’t take away too much from the show, but it is quite noticeable. Then we get Aidan Gillen as Aberama Gold, a Romani Gypsy that Tommy starts working with after the Italians make their entrance. He’s a clever and cool man who got a few tricks up his sleeve. And Gillen is really good in the role. And then of course we see the return of Tom Hardy as Alfie Solomons for a bit. And he’s as awesome as ever. There are more actors throughout the season, but if I get too in-depth I might accidentally spoil stuff and also be here all night. But let it be known that this is overall very well acted.

The music here is interesting as there are some tracks composed specifically for it by Martin Slattery and Antony Genn. And those tracks are great. But let’s face it, everybody is here for the licensed rock tracks used throughout. And if this is your first time hearing about this, let me quickly explain. “Peaky Blinders”, despite being a period drama, has rock music in it… and it fucking works. Anthing from Nick Cave to Johnny Cash to Arctic Monkeys to a fuckload of other ones… and it works surprisingly well. All the music here’s great and it all works well within the show.

The show was created by Steven Knight, and he wrote all the episodes this season. And all the episodes here were directed by David Caffrey, who I think did a damn good job. He captures that gritty yet stylish “Peaky” flair that has been in all the seasons so far. And the cinematography by Cathal Watters is fantastic. There’s also some action in this show, and it’s tense and exciting. And really violent. ’tis awesome.

This show/season has been well received (from the little data I can gather on my usual sites). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating. On Metacritic it exists but has no real score. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,8/10 and is ranked #57 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

Yeah, season 4 of “Peaky Blinders” was great. Had a slight nitpick, but nothing to break it for me. It has a great plot, great characters, great acting, great music, and great directing/cinematography. Like I said, I found Brody to be a bit inconsistent here, but it doesn’t ruin it for me. Just takes me a tiny bit out of it at some moments. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Peaky Blinders” season 4 is a 9,60/10. This means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Peaky Blinders” season 4 is now completed.

PEAKY FOCKIN’ BLOINDEHS!

We now have a trailer for “Live by Night”

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen of the internet. I am back once again to talk about a trailer. I know, it happens quite a bit nowadays, but that’s just because so many interesting trailers are coming out. So let’s talk about this one.

As the title of this post tells you, we now have a trailer for “Live by Night”, a movie based on the novel of the same name written by Dennis Lehane. Now, before we get into what this movie is about, let me tell you my specific reasons as to why I decided to talk about this one today. First off, it is a pretty cool trailer. And secondly, it’s based on a book that I have read and absolutely love. Also, that book was written by my favorite author, so I’m of course instantly interested. So I guess you could say that this is a pretty personal thing for me. Now, with all that said… what is this about. “Live by Night” is about Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck), a man who gets into some shit with mobsters and then himself starts truly becoming one. And that’s as vague as I’m gonna keep it, because the story that plays out is pretty phenomenal… in the book at least. Now, do I think this movie looks good? Yes! Ben Affleck is a great actor and director, so I am glad that he’s the one handling this movie. This looks intense, badass, dramatic, and overall good. I would also say that the cast looks pretty great. Though it is kind of weird to have Scott Eastwood as Danny Coughlin, the older brother of Joe Coughlin who’s played by Ben Affleck, who’s about 14 years older than Eastwood. Oh well, whatever. I’m not gonna lie to you guys, I am really excited about this movie. Ben Affleck did a great job directing “Gone Baby Gone”, which was also based on a Dennis Lehane novel. And he’s become better and better as both a director and an actor, so I don’t think I have much to worry about. “Live by Night” is set for a limited US release in December, and then a wide release in January.

So what are you thoughts? Are you looking forward to Ben Affleck’s “Live by Night”? And are you a fan of the original novel? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

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.

Anime Review: Baccano! (2007)

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You know, as a fan of gangster movies and anime. I was surprised there isn’t that many gangster animes. There is a subtotal of around…5 (I think, at least real GANGSTER/MAFIA ones). But this…this is the first one I heard of. So I decided to give it a chance. And I really gave it a chance without it taking like…2 months before I do it. So is Baccano! (unnecessary exclamation mark) any good? Let’s look.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOZ1hsb8smQ

The story is set in 1930’s ‘murica. It follows the “adventures” of like 10 different characters. And by adventures I mean their point of view during certain events that happen throughout the series. Most of the story is set on the train “The Flying Pussyfoot”, and no…I am not making that name up. There is not much more to say other than it contains immortals, mafia families, alchemists and thieves. If I say anything else I’ll go into spoilers. Oh wait, it is set during like the entire 30’s and a few more years/decades.

The characters in Baccano! are just so fleshed out and great that there is nothing to complain about. I’m gonna count up a few of them; Isaac Dian (J. Michael Tatum) who is the most lovable theif ever, his partner Miria (Caitlin Glass), Firo Prochainezo (Todd Haberkorn) the young immortal, Ladd Russo (Bryan Massey) the fucking psychopath, Ennis (Brina Palencia) who is Firo’s love interest and the assistant of alchemist/immortal Slizard Quates (R. Bruce Elliott). Those are just a few of the great characters of Baccano!

The animation is honestly Rock solid. The studio (Brain’s Base) had never really done anything really big up until then. And this show really is proof of their fantastic skills.

The music in Baccano! is…awesome. It is a great jazzy soundtrack that fits perfectly. There is no song on there that is bad per se. Especially the opening song (Gun’s n roses by Paradise Lunch) is a prime example of awesomeness. If you want an example of another great song on the soundtrack, I reccomend “Baccano no theme” (weird name). And of course the dub for this…is one of the greatest dubs ever. I am especially happy about it since the english with the Italian-American dialects are so well done and fits perfectly for it. I applaud you Funimation for it!

In a sort of overall look at Baccano! I will give it a score of 9,22. In other words, go buy the boxset now. The show is perfectly worth it. Everything is good in it. And the DVD set is not THAT expensive.

This show gets the “Markus Anime Seal of Approval of Doom”.

This was my review of the great show Baccano!

Buh-bye.