I am a massive fan of the mob movie genre – which is weird because I am extremely squeamish about gory violence and there are about a million movies I can barely watch, including anything that contains the threat of something awful happening to an animal. Remember the scene in American Psycho where the bank machine tells him to feed it a kitten? Me = hysterics. Was able to watch the rest of it no problem (except for having to cover my eyes when the music got in any way “something scary is about to happen”). Will inevitably cry in The Incredible Journey, Milo + Otis, et cetera.
So anyway, back to The Godfather. I hadn’t seen the trilogy since about five years ago, on cable in New York – but I wondered if perhaps it had been weirdly edited for TV, a la Pallies:
As we trekked through the first three-hour foray of Godfatheriness, I was still pretty into it, I remembered most of it, and was lovin’ it lovin’ it as most of the editing, although peppered with Pacino’s long silences, was reasonable and necessary. I spent what little non-essential-to=the-story time there was trying to pinpoint the exact moment in Al Pacino’s career where he began to look like a walking pickled liver, which admittedly took up only about half of the initial wedding scene (that goes on for like eighty hundred hours, but as it’s at the beginning of the film – we can look at that long, probably deserving-of-some-editing scene as exposition for the rest. Personal opinion. Kill me in the comments section, already).
So yesterday, because the TIVO à la BT Vision completely screwed the pooch in recording Back To The Future II – a sequel that manages to out-do the original (Go on: take notes), I wound up watching the second Godfather, which although I was bummed in not catching Doc Brown’s sexy ways and Flea’s appearance in the future, I was semi-excited for the whole follow-up to the night before’s film – which for some reason I was having a hard time remembering altogether, but I chalked it up to brain-blendering The Godfather, Goodfellas, Casino, Boondock Saints, Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, which, don’t front, is easy to do, because essentially it’s the same cast in every bloody movie et cetera.
HERE’S WHY The Godfather II FALLS SHORT:
- We open in the past, presumably to follow Vito Corleone’s journey to America – which ends up flashing back and forth throughout the entire film unnecessarily. It would be one thing if there seemed to be relevant moments that Michael Corleone is remembering either because he was there, or at least that corresponded to the “current day” action. As it is, not only is it confusing, but it’s straight-up BORING and DRAGGY. Every time you get past Pacino’s long silences and face-tilted to 49-degrees-ness, it seems like there’s no POINT. And then we’re back to watching Bobby DeNiro speak Italian in the past. Yes, I get it that we are supposed to be comparing Michael’s achievements & adversities to Vito’s, but they’re not even doing similar types of things? So why not have all the flashback sequences at the beginning of the film so there’s some fucking flow & buildup for the rest of the character development?
- Oh wait, What Character Development? As I said, I am a fan of the genre, but the only character development we see in Michael Corleone seemed to have happened in the first film, and the second seems to be more storyline development of his movements, things that happen to him, business deals he makes — but HE doesn’t seem to change at all. With the exception of finding out his baby has been aborted rather than miscarried and he switches on “anger” from “indifference”, even as he’s telling Fredo “I know” and all that, he’s so boring and cold. Whether that’s supposed to indicate how business-oriented and masculine he is or whatever I don’t know-slash-care, but it’s so tedious to watch, particularly after having just watched the dynamics of the first film.
- Too many crowd scenes and crane shots and music and bullshit makes me think the locations were more just to attempt to create some kind of tension/release in the non-killing “action” scenes, as the rest of the film lacks character development, is badly lit and overly full of meaningful silences.
- Why do people go on like “its the best one”? Is it strictly because the first one was so good and then “OH MY GOD THERE’S A SECOND ONE AND IT ALSO STARS ROBERT DENIRO AND THE BEST FRIEND FROM When Harry Met Sally?!” It’s so not even on the same level – period.
I could go on about it but to be honest I’d happily etch-a-sketch that wasted 3 hours of my life and try re-recording BTTF: II.
I leave you with this – something to cleanse the palate, internerd-style.