It is currently Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:09 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 78 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:08 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
Honestly, I think what makes II such a powerful movie is the change of perspective the film is told from. In the first film, we are introduced to a universe that seems to be evolving for a new generation: it's a wonderful portrait of an underworld. The second film however places that universe within the context of changing times throughout the world, and shows it collapsing. Gone is Little Italy, "the neighborhood" Casinos, "joints" and so much else of what is associated with mafia life-replaced by international intrigue and federal courtroom drama.

Surely there are overlaps in the stories, but that's kind of the point, isn't it? I think it's a testament to just how good of a story this is and just how well Coppola tells it, that it can be told twice, and so effectively.


Top
 Profile  
 

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:33 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm
How often do you hear about The Godfather I and II being mentioned / discussed as individual titles? You almost always hear about them in the same sentence. Is Part II a sequel with the story of Michael carrying on from Part I or a prequel with the story of young Vito? It’s both, making it a very uniquely structured and designed film. Young Vito in his room looking out to the Statue of Liberty, singing a hymn dissolving into his grandson’s First Communion ceremony fifty decades later – the bridging between the generations – is among the most beautiful moments in all of cinema history.

Fredo’s storyline is horribly tragic. How could you not be crushed and chilled by that “you’re nothing to me now” conversation between Michael and Fredo?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Weaop_aiTg


To me, The Godfather I and II together is the similarly-themed Citizen Kane times 1000.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:49 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:48 am
One thousand you say?!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:57 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm
tarpilot wrote:
One thousand you say?!

:lol: Yes, at least. :-"

Citizen Kane, like Vertigo, is very sterile and stiff, unlike The Godfather I and II, which are very intimate films with much soul and air. You get to celebrate weddings and attend wakes, and to learn how to make tomato sauce via Clemenza, naming a few examples. The Baptism sequence is the master class in film study. And more than Charles Kane, the Corleone family makes a fascinating and much expanded symbol of America.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:42 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
Michael wrote:
tarpilot wrote:
One thousand you say?!


:lol: Yes, at least. :-"

Citizen Kane, like Vertigo, is very sterile and stiff, unlike The Godfather I and II, which are very intimate films with much soul and air. You get to celebrate weddings and attend wakes, and to learn how to make tomato sauce via Clemenza, naming a few examples. The Baptism sequence is the master class in film study. And more than Charles Kane, the Corleone family makes a fascinating and much expanded symbol of America.


Citizen Kane is one of the most vibrant and ALIVE films I've ever seen (I won't say "ever" considering the substantial number of films I haven't seen, but I'm tempted too). From the moment his childhood is stolen from him, to the deterioration of his marriage, to the up-ending of his political career, these scenes are all brought alive by gripping acting, outstanding editing, and masterful shots.

And Vertigo as STERILE? James Stewart gives one of his most tortured performances.

Perhaps we have different definitions of the words, but I fail to see how these films are sterile or stiff.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:42 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am
knives wrote:
There are several outbursts in the film. Just about every interaction with Talia Shire is when it gets at its worst, but even a few other scenes have him screaming. If I remember it is not as bad as Scent of a Woman, but is certainly not as subtle and simmering as the first film.

Edit: You're right, but as you say Cazale gives such an amazing performance that I'm willing to forgive it.

What outbursts are you talking about? (I'm not sure if your edit is you saying "You're right," to Sausage, and you realized that maybe it was Caan you were thinking about). . .

Pacino screams in this film? The only scene I can think of where he screams is the marriage dissolution scene with Diane Keaton. The entire irony--the entire thru-line of the film and Michael's character-- is that he's the goody-two shoes of the family, the quiet one, the guy always in the background, and thus the least imagineable brother (and therefore, the most perfect to those who Understand power) to become the Don in the end. Michael is effective as a Don because of his blank poker face-- he can lie directly to his wife when she asks about Carlo's death, can lie to Carlo when he tells him that he will not perish for his transgression, can embrace Fredo while eyeing Al Niri (sp?) to send him the message commanding his own brother's death.

It's like you've seen an entirely different film than I did, Knives.

As to a similarity of Michael's and Vito's plotted arc, the only real similarity I can think of is that they both end up gangsters. As individuals, and in terms of narrative journey in terms of moment to moment touchstones and developments , they couldn't be more different.

Vito is a traditionalist immigrant who would never turn his back on his family-- Michael is a dissasociated child of the modern age who places money and power above all else.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:53 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
HerrSchreck wrote:
Vito is a traditionalist immigrant who would never turn his back on his family-- Michael is a dissasociated child of the modern age who places money and power above all else.

He's also a child of WWII and of industrialised warfare on a grand scale.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:14 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
colinr0380 wrote:
HerrSchreck wrote:
Vito is a traditionalist immigrant who would never turn his back on his family-- Michael is a dissasociated child of the modern age who places money and power above all else.

He's also a child of WWII and of industrialised warfare on a grand scale.

And as the story makes vividly clear, his choice is between life and death. He loses his job and his family has nothing. He falls into the crime gig, and it's really his only option.

Michael, on the other hand, chooses the life he chooses to uphold what his family has. Surely you can argue that it was "necessary" in terms of maintaining lifestyle or something, but he had been getting on just fine without a life of crime.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:18 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm
Michael's also an educated, uppper middle class kid with a wide idea of what the world is like and how power works. Vito, for all his lethality, always maintained a certain naivete, where the big shots were people you talk about with a faraway gleam, not people you manipulate and murder.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:05 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:57 pm
Location: Rollin' down Highway 41
Michael wrote:
[...] Vertigo, is very sterile and stiff [...]

Up until a couple of years ago, I would've fully agreed with this assertion. Looking back, I'm not sure what put me off of Vertigo originally (I think I saw a crummy full screen print, for one thing) but I didn't have it ranked very high, even among Hitchcock's canon. I've subsequently watched it a few times on TCM and have a far higher opinion of it.

Having said that...it is still a Hitchcock film and thus tends to be rather mannered and distant, compared to the more realistic and less (for lack of a better term) cinematic films that were part of the mid to late 60's approach. Any Hitchcock film, no matter how well executed and involving, is always reminding you in ways large and small that it's a movie. Films like The Godfather (and The Last Detail, Mean Streets and any of a long list from that time period) feel a lot more like a secretly filmed documentary in their level of detail and verisimilitude.

As for Michael...I've always though a major key to the whole saga is that not only did he not especially want to get wrist deep in the business, his family, particularly Vito, didn't want him there, either. They thought of him as ticketed for mainstream, aboveboard success, likely in politics. When circumstances force him to be the one to deal with Sollozzo and McClusky, it fundamentally alters that. Watch the scene where they tell Vito what's gone down when he's finally well enough to handle it. He's completely crushed and waves them all off because he knows that Michael's prospects have just narrowed considerably.

It's also present in that wonderful scene between Brando and Pacino when they're stting around in the yard and Vito's wistfully musing about how he'd hoped it would be Michael who would be the one in the chair and not just pulling strings behind the scenes.

I've also always felt that the immortal last shot, with Michael sitting there while the leaves blow around him, indicates that though he would never admit it out loud to anyone, he knows deep down that by killing Fredo, he's crossed a line that his father, for all of his ruthlessness, would have never crossed.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:40 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm
Polybius, what is Vertigo doing on The Godfather thread? That was the conversation that got cut and transferred here from the Sight & Sound Top 10 post. While Vertigo is a magnificent film, there's something I don't like about James Stewart, who takes up nearly every scene of the film. People keep saying how tortured he is, how he is "the common guy" and so on. Watching Vertigo, he felt fake to me and I never bought his sickness, whatever that's called. I know I'm in the minority and I don't even think Vertigo is Hitchcock's greatest film.

Back to The Godfather. I personally think it's (Part I and II together) the greatest film ever made. For a 40 year old film, it has not aged or dated a bit and it look like it could be filmed this morning. Something I can't say the same for any of those listed on Sight & Sound's Top 10.

For fans of the film, you must pick up the book released last January - The Godfather Effect by Tom Santopietro. The book was impossible to put down! Santopietro exquisitely weaves stories of the Godfather films and being Italian in America. He also weaves in a nostalgic and deeply moving memoir – his own personal search to rediscover and reclaim his Italian-American identity. He also examines how The Godfather changed the way the rest of us look at Italian-Americans – and the way Italian-Americans look at themselves. And how the film could only have been done by Italian-Americans, Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo. They incorporated their family lives into the film to insure its authenticity.

"Such was the power of Brando's portrayal that, when combined with the golden-hued cinematography, era-evocative production design, and haunting music, viewers across the nation completely capitulated," the author says. "They didn't just like the film, they embraced it with a fervor."

Like the young Vito, the author's grandfather sailed as a boy from Sicily to New York's Ellis Island. But two generations later, for suburban families like Santopietro's, the Italian-American experience is heavy on the American, with little or none of the Italian.
"We of the third generation are solidly upper middle-class, fully assimilated, and, for all of our electronic devices, noticeably disconnected," he writes. He says that watching The Godfather portray the earlier generations helped him to reconnect to the sense of la famiglia.

In the final chapter, Santopietro describes his visit to Ellis Island: “seeing” young Vito staring at the Statue of Liberty softly singing, gently swinging his legs back and forth; hearing the whispers from his grandfather; getting wrapped in some bittersweet mist of the old country.

His writing is consistently engaging and beautiful.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:59 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:59 am
matrixschmatrix wrote:
II obviously goes over a lot of the same thematic territory as the first- it's a sequel, it's part of the same world, and it's intended to further essentially the same themes. But it quite deliberately takes a lot of the romantic allure of the gangster lifestyle and the ethnic psuedojustification for it and simultaneously deepens it into something more meaningful (in the Vito sections) and exposes the underlying ugliness of pure capitalism which is its inevitable destination. It's a shockingly powerful movie, and Pacino absolutely isn't in screamy mode- with his sister, he raises his voice, but never comes close to losing his composure.

When he does lose his composure, it's terrifying, because you've seen the demonic intensity in his eyes throughout the movie. Comparing it to Scent of a Woman is ludicrous, as not only is Pacino playing in an entirely different register, but this is the period in which even full on histrionics Pacino was still a marvelous actor, as in Dog Day Afternoon.

The Fredo storyline is a meaningful darkening of the Carlo story- Carlo was an asshole who set his own wife up so he could get his brother in law murdered, and we as the audience never felt any particular loyalty to or pity for him. Fredo is an immensely sweet and likable person whose only real failing is that he's weak, and he's stupid, and he wanted to have some modicum of self respect. At the end of the first movie, Michael is a gangster. At the end of the second, he's a monster.


Agree with everything above. I just re-watched Godfather I & II back-to back (for the first time on BD), and am simply stunned (yet again) at how superb these two films are.

The masterfully controlled rage that Michael Corleone (Pacino) displays in II is nowhere near the over-the-top screaming/ranting & raving that we have seen in many of Pacino's '90's-on films - not even close. In fact, since we had mainly seen MC calm in I (even when he took out McClusky & Sollozzo in the restaurant), the unexpected flare-ups we see in II are that much more startling & powerful since we don't expect the character to act this way.

Though all of the performances in these films are stellar, some of my highest accolades go to Diane Keaton & John Cazale. Even though they both have relatively small supporting roles in these two movies, their acting is truly sublime. At the end of I, when we see Keaton's eyes as she sees Pacino in the back room being surrounded by all of his subordinates, we realize immediately that she knows he lied to her when he said he didn't have Carlo killed - no words needed to be spoken here. Also impressive is the scene in II when she angrily confesses to Michael what really happened to their baby, and insists that she take the children with her.

Cazale is amazing as well, notably Fredo's outburst in II as he gets upset at Michael for not trusting him more with the family business, especially since he was the older brother....Excellent. And, you had to feel sorry for Fredo as his wife drunkenly danced with another guy at that large party earlier in the film, and one of Michael's subordinates had to remove her from the scene...since Fredo was either unwilling or unable to do so.

The ending of II was also masterful, i.e. having a flashback dinner scene with the brothers talking right after the U.S. has entered WW II, and Michael's revelation that he has joined the military. It was interesting how Sonny criticized Michael's decision to join, whereas Fredo congratulated him...The fact that both had passed by the end of this film made the scene all the more poignant.

And, the very ending of II with the close up of Michael staring into space & presumably thinking about the horrible thing(s) he had done was just incredible.


Last edited by LavaLamp on Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:23 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:29 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm
LavaLamp, I agree with everything you said. Excellent !


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:27 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Something called The Godfather Epic will air on HBO on the 17th.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:18 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:45 pm
Location: Washington
It sounds like that television version that edits the first two films together in chronological order and also inserts most (all?) of the deleted scenes. I have the VHS set that came out sometime in the 90s, but I don't think it has seen the light of day since.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:56 pm
I was hoping this edit would finally show up again one day. Most of the reinstated deleted scenes are from the De Niro segments of Part I, and they work really well. In fact, the whole film (i.e., both films) works extremely well with the chronological structure straightened out. It's been 20 years since I've seen it this way, but I preferred the epic over watching the first two Godfather films in their original forms. I'm curious to see if I still feel that way (and whether this is even the same cut that Coppola released on VHS all those years ago).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:59 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city
Francis Ford Coppola's legendary gangster epic "The Godfather" and its Oscar(R)-winning sequel "The Godfather II" are edited into this single film--told chronologically and with added footage that was cut from the original films.

Since it's listed as being in HD, this is almost certainly a newly-assembled edit using the most recent restorations. Presumably, the edit will follow the same format (and use the same deleted scenes) as in the 90s iteration.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:47 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:02 pm
Location: nYc
For Thanksgiving this year (2015), AMC showed the Godfather Trilogy in a marathon. I've had it on all evening (despite owning the trilogy on Blu-Ray) and Part III started (I'm actually a fan, warts and all). Appended to the beginning of the third film is the very poorly put together video montage/review of everything that happened to Michael in the first two films. Then, the film jumps straight to the Twin Towers->Michael's Party that you would normally see at the beginning of GFIII and so forth.

What is that? Is it a new edit? Perhaps the one HBO is airing? Is this something AMC did themselves? Regardless of whether it was AMC, Paramount, or even Coppola, why would you need a review like that if you've watched the first two films? Especially if you are watching the marathon on AMC. Doesn't make any sense to me and was painfully awkward since I know all three films very well. Godfather III played seamlessly after that five minute montage. It's just awkward that if you are going to show the first two films (with the deleted scenes) seamlessly and add GFIII so you have a ten hour epic, a montage 2/3s in would be silly.

Can anyone explain this or post a link I could read?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:20 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC
Wikipedia's list of material included in this "epic" edit which is surprisingly a lot.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:46 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city
hearthesilence wrote:

Although quite a bit of the extra footage is notated as only appearing in the 7+ hour "Saga" edition. The version HBO is showing is the trimmed-down 6.4 hour "Epic" edit.

According to that wiki article, the "Saga" edition was broadcast in HD on AMC three years ago. That version must have come from the restoration, but would have been censored. The HD "Epic" version debuting (?) on HBO would not be censored.


Last edited by Roger Ryan on Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:50 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
I'd guess that it's not trimmed either, that the 7-hour runtime of the saga edition also included commercials.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:18 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city
flyonthewall2983 wrote:
I'd guess that it's not trimmed either, that the 7-hour runtime of the saga edition also included commercials.

I wondered if that might be the case. However, if the Wiki article is to be trusted, there are numerous deleted scenes that were reinstated for the (supposedly longer) "Saga" version that were not included in the "Epic" version. Having only seen the theatrical films, I have no first hand knowledge of how these mega-edits played out.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:29 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Though 20 minutes of commercials over a 7-hour span would push the term "limited commercial interruption" to an insane degree.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:21 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:01 pm
Location: Stretford, Manchester
There really needs to be a new restoration and Blu-ray of The Godfather. I projected that tonight and it is really showing its limitations. Any dark scenes are just covered in highly digital, often coloured noise. The colour timing is also highly inconsistent from shot to shot even within the same scene. Maybe this 4k resto is just a product of its time, but it’s pretty crap.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:41 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:02 pm
Location: nYc
hearthesilence wrote:

I guess what I describe above is the "Trilogy" cut since it includes most of the deleted scenes in the "Saga", plus the third film.

TMDaines wrote:
There really needs to be a new restoration and Blu-ray of The Godfather. I projected that tonight and it is really showing its limitations. Any dark scenes are just covered in highly digital, often coloured noise. The colour timing is also highly inconsistent from shot to shot even within the same scene. Maybe this 4k resto is just a product of its time, but it’s pretty crap.

I still think the BDs on my 60" 1080p look superb. But, I can imagine the limitations past 80" or so. I can't imagine this not getting a 4K BD release.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 78 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection