Reviewing one movie at a time…

The Godfather (1972)


Trailer: The Godfather (1972)

Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan,  – Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

Running Time: 2 hr & 55 mins – Genre: Crime, Drama

Big JD (Host)

Synopsis:

In the late 1940’s we are placed into the inner workings of a mafia “family”.  The Corleone’s.  As the Don Vito Corleone suffers an attack and coupled with old age the mantel of “Boss” falls to the next viable candidate if something were to happen to him.  We get to follow along as the decision of one mob boss effects the entire Five Families.  Not only, do learn what the Don must do but what is expected of his family in times of the pursuit of the future.  Drugs are bad.

Review:

I have never sat through this movie in its entirety and I’m glad that I had finally completed that task.  I use to watch a lot of The Sopranos so, I knew I was missing something.  There are moments that are used in pop culture to this day.  Corleone’s speech patterns, The horse head, & the DNA of a mob family are only to name a few.  To say that this movie is important to our history in film & our history as Americans is absolutely correct.  But, does that mean I’m going to give this a perfect review?  Ha.  Even the great Mario Puzo & Francis Ford Coppola are great but I felt there were things a miss and I won’t be afraid to highlight those either.  I think.

I’m going to throw a large blanket statement over this if you couldn’t figure it out in the previous two paragraphs.  This is a very good movie.  Some of the characters are very well developed but, that left some characters  to be mere backdrops in a topsy turvey foreground.  Examples include Kay Adams (Diane Keaton), Appalonia (Simonetta Stefanelli), & Fredo.  These characters were included in the story but have very weak backgrounds leaving you not understanding why they do the things they do.  Why does Kay stay with Michael, then and when he comes back?  What happens to the family of Appalonia after the car incident?  Do they attempt to make retaliation?  Fredo goes to Vegas to learn casino’s, ok.  Why is he the weakest of the brothers?  These are all just one question that I brought forward for each, there would be more that follows.  This contrasted with the heavily developed characters of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), & Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) leaves you satisfied but wanting to know more about the others.  For example, the Don was very torn with his responsibilities as boss because he felt that he was a puppet to a larger system. (hence the puppet strings on the Godfather title)  He never wanted Michael involved in this life.  But he also understood that things happen as the chips fall and the best outcome is destined to happen anyway.  No use fighting destiny.  I could go further about Michael and Tom but I will leave that for someone else.  Very deep characters.

This is definitely a story about Michael Corleone.  I’m guessing this is the “Rise” portion of the trilogy.  You can see that he is a different person before he is involved in the family.  Dating a white girl, wearing his medals, acting shy and timid.  But once he gets involved into the family dealings he becomes intense, marries an Italian girl, adds presence to his small stature.  Very Impressive.  Almost like the Clark Kent & Superman Dichotomy.  Mild Mannered War Hero by day & Ruthless, calculating Mob Boss by night.

I’ve talked this movie up a bit so, here is my downward motion.  Ready?  Yeah, ok now you have to pay attention with extreme concentration at times during this movie.  Although it may be hard at times seeing how this movie is 2 hours & 55 minutes of Drama.  I had found myself lost at times or trailing off during conversations.  They apparently weren’t important or I would have ended up lost.  I would say that this movie is a multiple watch view to get everything you missed the time before.  Maybe that’s why it’s so revered?  Possibly but I felt that it could have been condensed just a bit.  Why not at the expense of one of the latent represented characters?  It definitely wasn’t for the fight scene between Sonny Corleone (James Caan) & Carlo the wife beater (Gianni Russo).  My God!  So many fake punches & kicks thrown I thought I was at a WWE practice session.  That was pure ridiculous-ness.  I know that if Rocky had found out someone was hittin’ his girl it would have been a disaster!  As for the ending?  I was seriously disappointed at the death of a specific character.  I mean, all these years I hear so much about this character and yet he is barely in the movie.  Also, were did I get the image of a Fat Don Corleone?  It’s right there in my head but in this movie it is not.  I mean, the ending was very satisfied but I longed for more of the character that I didn’t believe was really dead and gave no explanation to what really happened.

In all, this was a great movie if you have time on your hands.  You will be humming the title song for hours after talkin’ bout “Mamma Mia” and other Italian-isms.  It gets a 4 in my book because of the re-watch factor.  I really have no want to rewatch this anytime soon and I don’t believe that deserves anything less than what I gave it.

Comic Book Movie Plus:  Marlon Brando: Superman, Superman Returns – Al Pacino: Dick Tracy

Nudity Bonus:  Simonetta Stefanelli : Appalonia ( 1:52:00)(T)

 

 

4.0‘s

Ran-Dizzle

This is a first time I’ve ever in my life watched this movie. It saddens me I waited this long to watch it. I was never one to watch mob movies, I like Heists style movies especially ones that involve alot of thinking, but this is a first for me and I must say everyone is right when you put this on your top 100 movies to watch.

The Acting was superb,Everyone played their parts very well, Even Marlo Brando who did a magnificent job even with dental plumpers in his mouth to give him that edge, something interesting also a couple scenes were improved by Brando, When he is chasing his grandson with the orange peel fangs what improved by Marlon Brando.

Al Pacino was found during a Broadway play for this role as Michael and his talents lead him far even though he didn’t make more the 35,000 on the first Godfather, later came to find out he make 600,000 for The Godfather part. The Best part about Micheal’s Character (Al Pacino) in this movie that I liked was seeing how he went from I am never going to be like him, to the better Don out of his brothers, Seeing him jump in and just naturally go through the steps. But the only thing that go me was a year after his wife was blown to smithereens he then married Kay.

The Special effects were done relatively well, there were a few moments where you can see some opportunities for improvement, Although my favorite was when the guy was getting a massage and he puts his glasses on and he gets shot and then there is a delay for the bleeding. I kind of laughed at that.

4.5‘s

Willie Good-Cook

-Classic movie is….long-

Where to start with this one. There is so much material to go over. First off, this movie is long.  At 5 minutes short of 3 hours, your butt may fall asleep by the end of this one. This movie is also a little slow at time. (You guys know me. Action or comedy all the way!). But it does make up for it with a stellar cast, great plot, and classic story. This movie has a slew of awards, and rightly so. For it is one of the greatest movies of all time on most anybodies list.

I really enjoy most of this movie other than the large amount of dialogue. The story is also very good. The twists they add in there are unexpected and exciting. Who thought Don Corleone was going to get gunned down. He is The God Father. This is his movie! And the Sonny getting gunned down. Great crime movie plot. Michael’s rise to power. I love it!

The actors were all great in this, but Marlon Brando playing Don Corleone really stuck out. I am not sure what he did to his face for this film, but his dialogue in this movie was very different. Much of the dialogue in this movie had a sorry of slow, seriousness about it which is really refreshing. And some of the references in this movie really make me laugh. The vest with the fish in it meaning you will be sleeping with the fishes.

The score for this movie did a pretty good job of setting the mood. It reminded me of how The Shining used music to set the tone and imply suspense when there was none. This movie does something similar. Not to mention it has all those old classic songs that most people associate with old Noir style films like this one.

And who else thought the horses head was f’n awesome? What better way to send a message. This movie was so iconic that it is still parodied today, 40 years later. That tells you how good this movie really is. Watching this movie again makes me want to watch the other two movies. (Which I never actually have gotten around to.) I can easily see why this movie is listed among the greats like Scarface other great crime/mafia movies.

-Suggestion-

If you have 3 hours and want to see a really good movie, git-r-dun!

4.5‘s

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2 responses

  1. The Chronicles Of Lady J

    When Sonny is beating up Connie’s husband by the fire hydrant, he throws a punch and it is clearly about 6 inches from his face and down he goes. Best blloper of my favorite movie of all time. Thanks for this post!

    February 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm

  2. Pingback: Top 5 Mob/Gangster Movies | The Movie Crew

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