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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A story that has nothing to do with anything. Interminable wedding and
opera scenes with no dramatic progression. Al Pacino doesn't seem like a
mob boss. The first movie was based on the book (and so well done). The
second movie was half based on the book. This movie seems to have been
based on what actors were available. By the end I was wishing Mary
had been killed at the beginning.
Suggestion for those who loved the first movie: read the book and then go watch the first movie again. It's like putting on 3d glasses or switching from a black-and-white to color TV. But save yourself the anger of being duped and avoid GF3.
16 years after the last of two brilliant godfather-films, director
Francis Ford Coppola returns to complete his thus far unfinished mafia
saga. Despite rumours that the final godfather-film is a blemish on an
otherwise magnificent tale of organized crime, it is in fact one of the
most beautiful films ever made and a story that's just as riveting as
any of its predecessors. It once again deals with familiar themes such
as corruption, misuse of power, love, respect, remorse and of course
the most inevitable of all
death! The endless amount of critique and
insults that this film received must have something to do with the many
years dividing part II and part III. In those many years the face of
American cinema has changed radically. Back in the '70s method-actors
like Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro were the true kings
of the movie industry, but after a couple of years special effects
started playing a bigger role in cinema and fantasy figures such as
Indiana Jones, Darth Vader, aliens, terminators, gremlins and horror
icon Freddy Krueger all became immensely popular and just as important.
Amazing is that "The godfather part III" didn't change one bit amidst this massive update of modern cinema. Surely: it takes place a few dozen years later, but it seems as though time has stood still. Even so: there are some significant changes to be had. The biggest change of all is how Michael Corleone has transformed from a strong and confident leader to a weak and aging Don desperately trying to deal with his tragic past. At the same time he wants to legitimize his crime family's interests and remove himself from the violent underworld. Method-actor Al Pacino does exceptionally well at acting out emotions with his voice in this final instalment. The last time I watched this film, I actually cried on two different occasions. That's how powerful and genuine his acting really is. The first moment that got to me was the confession of Al Pacino to a priest. Having never shown repent for any of his sins, he suddenly realizes the vast magnitude of his wrong-doings and ultimately breaks down in tears. Even more compelling is the ending of the godfather-trilogy.
But Al Pacino isn't the only great actor in this film. Andy Garcia plays his role of a lifetime as Vincent Mancini the ferocious son of Michael's oldest brother Sonny and unfortunately for anyone involved he shares his father's hot temper. Especially small-time enforcer Joey Zasa seems to enrage him beyond all reason. This character is played by actor Joe Mantegna and he does a very good job. Mantegna would still get the chance to play an actual mob boss but only as the voice of Fat Tony in the highly successful television series "The Simpsons."
The one person who was attacked the most for her performance was Sofia Coppola; daughter of director Francis Ford. She evidently plays the part of the daughter of Michael Corleone. I have to agree that Sofia is much better behind the camera than in front of it, but to say that her acting was terrible is an overstatement. Diane Keaton and Talia Shire are still around playing their eminent characters, but not everybody returns for this third film. Robert Duvall got a little too greedy on his part and that's why his character consigliere Tom Hagen does not return. This is a real pity, but the film has found a very clever way to work around it so this change is more than satisfactory; I think. Bridget Fonda is also present as a reporter but her role is of no real consequence. Suffice to say, "The godfather: part III" has a fabulous cast.
In short: Sequels simply don't get any better than this! This masterpiece is just as grand as part I and part II ... everything falls into place - from its wonderful actors to the delightful cinematography - "The godfather part III" truly is ... the perfect end to the perfect trilogy!!
Being an optimistic fellow I wanted to enjoy The Godfather Part III the
first time I saw it - this was easy, since its a competent piece of
film making, generally well paced, acted, it's coherent, Al Pacino's in
it, Coppola has made this film from A to Z and on its own terms the
film doesn't have any inexcusable flaws. (Not even, I might add, the
notorious Sofia Coppola; she's bad, but her performance is benefited by
the character she's playing, which is also weak). So for a long time I
was one of those guys going "Hey, Godfather part III isn't as bad as
everyone says. Sure, its not as good as the first two but not many
movies are!" Later in life, presumably with heightened standards and a
better sense of criticism, I started to suspect that the opposite could
be true - that part III was really nowhere near as good as I'd recall -
and after seeing all three films pretty much back to back I have to be
honest (an approach I think wouldn't hurt the more enthusiastic
defenders of this film) and conclude that The Godfather Part III,
despite certain qualities, simply doesn't work.
(Excluded passage due to word limit; concerning how Coppola did the film for the money, and that it actually makes the film a little easier to appreciate)
I think the film really, on a whole, is perhaps not 'bad', certainly not horrible, but definitely a failure. The plot is underdeveloped and not engaging - Michael Corleone suffers from guilt. Its not unreasonable to say he did that at the end of Part II already. Where does his search for redemption lead him? Do "they" really pull him in again? Does his character do or say anything really memorable? Once or twice. But the script really is a long filler-session. And while everybody seems to just automatically praise Pacino because, well, he's Pacino I don't think his performance in this film is particularly good either, at least not by his merits. He's a great actor, and this is as fine a performance as any other he's made, but when you consider how truly versatile Pacino can be (compare Godfather part II with Scarface, with Serpico, Devil's Advocate, you name it, he's right there in character) its a disappointment that the aged Michael Corleone has turned into... well, Al Pacino. Obviously the character is not the same man that he used to be, but I never once really believed that I was watching Michael Corleone. He looked, and acted, too much like Al Pacino.
Not to mention Andy Garcia being nothing more than Andy Garcia, Joe Pantanglio, Eli Wallach, Talia Shire in a strangely awful performance (she's not a bad actress at all, but whatever happened here?). And of course Sofia Coppola; she isn't the crucial problem, but in the end she does become responsible for a lot of misfiring. The only one still doing a prime job is Diane Keaton as Kay - truly an unsung hero in these films, and to me one of the main reasons the drama work - and the film's best scenes were the one's she shared with Pacino. Why? Because then I felt like I was even watching a Godfather movie.
Much of everything else simply doesn't work. Whereas the original films were subtle and ambiguous, part III filters the story with melodramatic punches that are un-inspired and obvious. Michael's son, played by Franc D'Ambrosio, seems taken from Days of Our Lives and so many of the questions we ask ourselves - what does he remember from his childhood? What does any of the characters feel about Michael's marriage in Sicily? Did Tom Hagen ever move to Las Vegas? etc - are left completely by the road, as if Coppola truly isn't interested in telling this story. There are instead near-insulting reminders to the audience that the other two movies still exist (like the pointless scene where Michael have kept the drawing Anthony left at his pillow when he was nine or so; "I remember this" he smiles, though I'm not sure if we are to understand this as "I also remember they shot up the bedroom that same night"; once again, it seems Coppola simply forgets his own story). There are also awkward attempts at creating dramatic highlights in line with the horse-head scene and that very shooting in the beginning of Part II, involving a shooting during a parade in Little Italy and a stupid and ugly scene involving a helicopter. Making a Godfather sequel formulaic is truly a depressing insult to the originality of the first two films. The attempts Coppola takes on the Vatican are also pretty flat when you think about how Italian cinema has been doing this for half a century.
There's no reason to watch this film have you not seen the first two. And there's really no reason to watch it if you have seen them either. When you think about it, I don't see why the film's few merits are worth talking about. Movie newbies having seen Part I and II will naturally see III too, and I think many of them will come to the same conclusion. It's not all bad, but so what. It simply doesn't work very well.
I liked it. Yes, it's a slightly different tone to the first two, but
then it is set 25 years into the future, so if it had exactly the same
feel as the first two it would have seemed false. However, it still has
the deception, music, style and dialogue of the first two. Those things
make it pretty special in my opinion.
Yes, Sofia Coppola seems out of place even moreso in scenes with Garcia who is so good in this it makes Coppola look even more amateurish. It makes me wonder how good it could have been with a better actress playing Mary.
The final hour or so of the film from where Michael speaks to the soon to be Pope is just superb though and matches anything that has gone before. As I said, the ending fits the whole theme of the Godfather movies perfectly. They're all about power, deception, loss, regret and family and in that sense I was ultimately content at the outcome.
Not a perfect movie like the first two, but a worthy and appropriate conclusion to the saga. Sophia Coppola's performance is not the disaster that many people have proclaimed it to be, but it diminishes the impact of the character she plays. Part III serves to underscore and complete the great theme of the trilogy: Michael's fatal flaw in not being able to escape the criminal world into which he was born. The women are stronger presences in Part III, compared to the other two, and a more accomplished actress in the role of Mary would have made those presences have even more of an impact. Andy Garcia does a great job, combining the strength of Vito and Michael with the rage of Sonny.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had always heard that part III sucked, so I had never seen it until
this year (2006). What a treat! So many profound scenes as Michael
loses his last chance for the redemption of his soul and everyone he
I never realized Andy Garcia was so handsome! He's so charismatic in this film. He is up to Pacino's level, and, what a great thing for an actor to play Don Corleone! Wow! The scene in the opera is fantastic - the anti-baptism/assassination.
I didn't think Sofia was that bad. And I thought Keaton was fantastic during the scene on the steps after Mary's death - I was quite amazed at how she totally lost it - never saw her do that before! Thank you, Francis Ford Copola, for writing and directing the best movies of all time. Apocalypse now is still my rank for #1 of all time - but this movie was really great to watch after all these years. I should remember not to listen to critics and public opinion about great movies - they are so often wrong!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The third installment of Mario Puzo's The Godfather...
I think this movie deserves to be in the Top 250 of the database primarily because of the acting talents of most of the characters here. To start off with, Al Pacino displays yet another staggering amount of acting, complete with his now famous "owl-eyes". He perfectly delivered his role of an aging Don Michael Corleone here. Chills went up my spine when he delivered my favorite line of the film: "I command this Family. Right or wrong. It was not what I wanted--"
Next comes Andy Garcia. A clap-deserving performance as Santino Corleone's son. Nice temper and nice acting...he really is convincing as a good nephew to Michael.
Finally, bind together the talents of Diane Keaton and Talia Shire...good women actresses. Keaton really knows how to act, and Shire is the perfect sister for Pacino.
The spoiler, I noticed, is Sofia Coppola. I must say her act is a bit lame and isn't right to be paired with such talents as Pacino. They could've chosen anybody else.
Anyway, perfect sounds, perfect plot (next to Godfather 2) and perfect villains. 9 stars out of 10.
Proboby known as the least recognized or liked of the trilogy, all you have to do is separate it from the first two(which of course are classics) and you will get a lot out of this film,it doesn't have the same feeling or passion of the first two, but it has something else, Andy Garcia gives the performance of his life as Sunny's bastard son, and pacino playing a withering and somewhat matured Michael corlione finally shows that family really is the most important thing and maybe questions some of te decisions he has made in the past thinking he is doing the best thing for his"FAMILY" but really it was just a power trip. I am a huge godfather fan and not taking anything away from the first two masterpieces, godfather three i would have to say is my favorite, it is a movie i can pull out and watch often, where the first two are movies you pull out as an occasion with friends. If you haven't seen it and have heard bad things from idiot so called "godfather fans" forget what you have heard and give it a go............U WILL LOVE IT.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Whenever conversations about the Godfather movies come up, most people
are so surprised that I regard this, the third of the trilogy, the best
of them all. They all automatically assume that anyone who has seen the
entire trilogy likes the first one the best. The first one is
spectacular film-making, there's no denying that, but the Godfather
Part III is not only more epic, but also more emotional, more
resonating, and more poignant.
The entire Godfather saga, in my mind, is not about crime or the Mafia - at the heart of these movies lies one major conflict: Michael Corleone is trying desperately to keep his family from disintegrating around him. At some points, he perpetuates it out of some misplaced pride (such as with Fredo), and at other points, he does in fact hold it together, such as with his children. The first movie is all about how he's drawn into the web of lies and corruption, and how he sees that his family is slowly dying because of it. He enters the business because he feels like he has to in order to preserve the sacred honor of his family. The second movie is perhaps the worst (if any of them could be called 'worst'), simply because it meanders when it should be propelling the story along. The second movie is about how, over everything that he's done, he still can't stop the ball from rolling over his family. The end of Part II - that single shot of Michael sitting in the chair - is one of the best single shots in film history.
That brings me to Godfather, Part III, which probably has some immediate (and rather shallow) detractors because from the outset it feels like an epilogue. That's just the initial impression, though, and then we, the moviegoers, realize that a lot has happened since we last saw Michael. He's guilty over what he's done, especially how he's been unable to save his most precious possessions, and he's trying to change his ways. This Michael is older, more mature, and not as naive about the machinations of worldly men. The fact that the setting changes so much in this film is showing that he has sins to atone for all over the world, and that subconsciously he's maybe reaching out to these past grievances and trying for some closure.
What makes Part III so good, though, is that underlying all of that is a sense of desperation. He knows his time is running out - we all know it as well. It's with morbid fascination that one looks at the running time, especially toward the end, because he hasn't achieved his personal atonement yet. And then...and then the final twenty minutes comes, and we see what Michael's life has been leading up to. All of it - all of his greed, murders, passion - have been futile. His atonement is naught but a passing gesture, because it comes back and haunts him at the end of it all. His family, or what's left of it, is shattered and fragmented in the final scenes.
And where does that leave him? Alone. Absolutely alone. The final scene, in which Michael simply falls over, dead, is the perfect post-script to a brilliant movie, and the end of a truly exquisite saga. Part's I and II are excellent, but they feel incomplete without Part III, and that is because the entire story hasn't been told.
10/10 - Most underrated movie of the 90's.
I watched all tree movies in one weekend. If you have time, do it and
you'll get a very good sense of continuity of the story of one family
spanning over many generations. You'll get a very deep thought and
emotion provoking experience.
All three films are very good and I don't see why the third one has been discredited as the weaker one. In my opinion it is as strong and valiant as the first two. Perhaps people who had seen the first two films made in short proximity of 72' and 74', after 16 years of waiting had their expectations lifted to almost unattainable levels? Another mystery for me is the assault of critic's attacks Sofia Coppola received for her portrayal of the part of Mary Corleone. I thought she was excellent. I thought her casting in the role has been a brilliant idea. She comes across as a young, innocent, well-protected girl- just right for the part she is playing.
Watch this film and judge it for yourselves.
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