Today I watched The Godfather Part II, directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1974. I don't really get why it was like, some big controversial Ebert review or whatever. His original review sounded critical but positive to me, but I'm probably dumb. Maybe people were upset to see something not just praising a movie that they really loved? Ebert hates my favorite movie of all time, but I think his review about it makes some good points, although I disagree. Quite possibly I'm just used to disagreeing with criticism about movies, so I don't think someone is...whatever...for not loving something right away or pointing out parts they weren't on board with. Anyway, I really like this film, maybe not as rabidly as some fans, but it's a great movie, and it was nice to watch it again - it had been a while.
There's kind of a lot of things that go on in The Godfather films, so I'm not going to try to summarize all of it because I'm incredibly lazy. From IMDB,"The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba." Lots of other stuff happens, obviously. Murderin' and such, you know how it is.
I have a problem with sequels. An emotional problem. I hate them. I judge the blindly. I don't see them, because I know that I will detest them. It's disturbing, my hatred - I constantly snipe about sequels and prequels and all kinds of quels, and I gloat when my friends and family see them and are unexpectedly disappointing. "What did you except," I sneer, "something good? It's a sequel." I always say it like it's a dirty word. And it is. Because I know that someone out there is shaking their fist at the screen because I'm not addressing if there is a difference between sequels and prequels and trilogies and the like. There is a difference, you know, although it is pretty dependent on the work and the intention. If it was intended as one continual narrative, it's generally way better and not in the territory of my extreme hatred. If it's just "back by popular demand!" it's pretty much guaranteed to suck. I tend to be really suspicious of anything with "Part something" or a number in the title, and with that in mind, had I been alive in 1974, I might have been a little wary of this film.
But I am constantly being proven wrong, and this movie proves me wrong, because it is possibly the only sequel I think I have ever seen that is actually good. The only sequel to ever win Best Picture, even! Some people say it's better than the first, but I haven't watched either of them nearly enough to really know for sure. I like both of them...together. They go really well together, more like a series than just a sequel. They make a ton of sense, and create a lot of plausible situations inside the reality of the first film with the same characters. It's not like..some dumb horror movie sequel where it's just the same bad dude with some new dumb kids. This is everything that a sequel/prequel should be - well thought out, consistent, and builds upon the previous one (and adds to it). You can see a consistent story between the two films (like, "Hey, it's Michael rising to power and then in the second movie, we see him get sort of sucky and ruthless and this is a progression!" versus "Hey for some reason Freddy Kruger is back from the dead and killing more teenagers for some really flimsy reasons to basically just repeat the first movie!" (uh, I might not have seen anything other than Nightmare on Elm Street so don't hold me to that)). Does this make any sort of sense? I'll assume it does and not just keep over-clarifying it for no reason.
So there's that, and that really makes the movie awesome in my book. And it's just a good movie. You know this. It tells a really interesting story, with great, unforgettable characters. It's very masterful, combining great story with great sound and cinematography. You know this as well. Ebert says that when we hear The Godfather movies mentioned in other movies or on TV shows, we know, 100%, why the characters are saying that, because we all know that they are great. I really agree with that - it's just cultural consciousness at this point. Since you're reading my blog, I imagine you quite like movies, and you probably have seen The Godfather Part II, and you probably know all the reasons why it's awesome. and don't want to read me babbling on about all of that, since you know it all already. Yes? I agree. Now that I've saved us both so much time, we can go out and do something awesome with the rest of our weekend :)
Have any thoughts on The Godfather Part II? Share them in the comments!
Ebert's Great Movie Essay on The Godfather Part II
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