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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Attention: if you have not seen the movie, do not read on. I don´t suppose
put spoilers in, but I might for this is such a classic.
I spent heavy bucks on the recent DVD box and I´m proud of it. But there´s no way to avoid noticing the gap between second and third parts. Not the time gap, because that was of course well taken care of by the brilliant producing and directing. The same cast is there, and with the great addition of 15 years. That makes Michael and Kay controversial, loveXhate relationship even more appealing and dramatic, for now they are mature and have all the wrinkles to prove.
But as Al Pacino said in a recent interview, the attempt for redemption doesn´t fit with Don Corleone. That is a fact. That may be a flaw in Mario Puzo´s story, but that is greatly expectable. As long as you have read "Omerttà" or "The Last Don" you do understand me: not all of his stories are as perfect as the Godfather.
Think of the cold stare Michael gave the Cop that punched him on part one just before and moments after killing him point blank. And also of the look in his face when he shows up unexpectedly at the house and finds Kay secretly visiting their children: he never says a word. Walks towards her, gets real close and, when she starts wondering "is this forgiving time?" he closes the door - we glance at the desperate look Diane Keaton throws at him for a second, but he doesn´t. To me this shot is specially revealing of how cold and stone hearted a Don has to be. The woman aborted his son on purpose. She is let to live, but to him she is dead.
And, as part three goes on, he befriends her again after what, fifteen years? Too human for a Don. Specially Michael, who got appointed by Vitto as the greatest Don ever. What about the scene beside the coffin? That is lame, and is the only part I don´t like in the whole series. Even Pacino did not pull that one off, and the extra disc on the DVD Edition shows it clearly: Coppola tries to guide him through the dialog and the sobbing. It just doesn´t work.
And on a final note, I stick with the majority regarding Sofia Coppola: she is terrible. The theater scene is the climax of the film and she could easily have made it flop. Still, as a director, she has proven herself worthy of the Coppola name. Good thing Nicholas Cage did not stick to it.
This is a really good movie. You have to pay attention so you know what the
story line is exactly, which is difficult when it gets slightly boring in
the middle. I really like how Pacino's voice is sounding heaps more like
Marlon Brando did in Part I. He most likely did that on purpose, but I
be sure, because his voice is naturally like that. Andy Garcia was the
perfect choice for Sonny's illegitimate son, because he acts exactly like
Sonny did - self confident, acting without thinking of the repercussions,
and taking everything personally. I particularly like the scene that
back to when Michael decided to enlist in the marines.
I gave this 8/10, taking off 2 because Sophia Coppolla can't act. It was quite painful to watch her.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
while i don't think that this movie deserves to be panned as much as it
been (critics and fans both) it fails to live up to the greatness of the
first two. over the past week i have watch the entire trilogy. and you
the drill: part I, one of the greatest of all time; part II a notch below,
but still a spectacular film; and part III the one everybody hates
the fact is part III should not have been made. it seems to me that coppola was struggling after being forced to make a lot of throwaway c**p in the 80s (peggy sue, tucker, blah...blah...) after apocalypse now disaster pretty much ruined him. he wanted to revive his career with the franchise that made him a legend of the cinema.
everything that worked in the first two (de niro, brando, du vall, even john cazale) is just not there in the third installment. tom hagen, one of the most important people the family, was just discarded (robert duvall knew part III was a bad idea). who do they replace him with? george hamilton? what the hell is george hamilton doing in a godfather film? for god sakes, he should be off woking on that tan. ridiculous. and casting his daughter sofia coppola as mary. she was god awful in the role. i mean she butchered every scene she was in. and mary's whole incestuous relationship with vinny. i could not understand her character at all. thats your cousin for god sakes. (also how did she get that huge nose? michael nor kay have a huge nose). i did enjoy andy garcia who plays hot headed heir very nicely. pacino is pacino, spectacular as always. but i could not understand they did not kill him in the end. its a gangser movie for god sakes, (damn you, coppola!), and in the end the gangster is supposed to die, not his nasty, big nosed daughter who we do not care about at all.
i really dont even consider this part of the franchise. it's showing daily down in sequel hell (say hi to speed 2 for me). i mean really. the fact is that this was really a bad movie by itself, and a disgrace if viewed as part of the franchise. im finished trashing this movie.
5/10, only for those who love pacino "i thought i was out, but THEY PULLED ME BACK IN!"
This film came out about the same time as Goodfellas, and pales in
comparison with the Martin Scorsese effort. I know the two shouldn't be
compared, but the fact that they are both gangster films begs some sort of
Does Godfather III "complete" Coppola's Godfather series? Only in the sense that we see what happens to Michael when he is an old man. In my opinion, we didn't really need to know that. To me, the Godfather films ended with Michael Corleone as a shell of a man after losing his wife and murdering his brother.
Besides, I'm of the view that the best American films of the 20th century were made in the 1970s.
I've read a lot of the bad reviews about this film and couldn't disagree more. In my opinion, this is a brilliant film that relies mainly on casting for its success. While the plot is a bit disjointed in places, the gaps make the viewer think more. I thought the Vatican scenes were a bit of a yawn and seemed to stray a bit from the main Hamlet-like theme (i.e., torment, guilt from the past). (Too bad, could have been a perfect setting to spook Michael with Fredo's ghost or Jesus on the cross or something. I could have seen him do a collapse routine overcome with guilt.) Michael's carefully chosen words clearly speak louder than the violent actions of his younger days as an ambitious mobster. Likewise, his restraint in dealing with enemies contrast with the hubris of his younger days. All the other characters revolve in his world and react to him. Everyone in the film looked Sicilian or Italian and were very believable. Eli The Ugly did not disappoint, reprising his role as the villainous worm he was in the spaghetti western genre. Perhaps he represents the mobster in grotesque, what Michael could have become if he did not have his family. I'm also amazed that Sofia Coppola was so good in this film! I think the criticism of her was off base and maybe just a little envious that a director's daughter could step in and do so well. I guess sometimes talent does run in the family. This movie is all about the journey of life and fragility of human existence, where a life can end in an instant and a tough guy can be brought to tears. It is a classic film evoking primal elements not unlike 2001. Part III completes the trilogy in a big way. It is a must see film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The most popular in terms of quality film trilogy ever made ends in
such a haunting, unforgettable manner.
"The Godfather" films are that good that make you comment about it's most important scenes and makes you forget about the production values which are perfect anyways.
In this last chapter of the trilogy, we find a more mature but ill Michael who finally decides to take the family's direction into legality. But crime never pays. The consequences are deadly and now Michael, who always tried to protect his family, will understand too late about crime's consequences.
Francis Ford Coppola's masterful direction does it again. He creates a parallel world filled with beautiful Italian exteriors, classy camera angles such as in the infamous helicopter attack, and the never tensing opera climax. His directing skills never went away and he gives a unique looking style to the trilogy. The soundtrack is as beautiful, haunting, and dark at the same time. It's just as good as in the previous movies.
The acting is glorious. Al Pacino delivers a dramatic performance and takes Michael to a whole new level that we didn't see in previous films. He displays regret, sadness, fury, and even a diabetes attack. All his emotions are powerful and demonstrates why he is the spinal cord of the trilogy. I will never forget the scene where he gets a first diabetes attack and curses against his enemies, and figures out what was going on. Also, when he is in the need to eat a candy or drink orange juice; that's acting. Also, it broke my heart his last crying and how he screamed after his daughter's murder. Diane Keaton is just fine but do not add anything special to the movie, that's my take. Andy García is one good looking guy and delivers a brave performance in the likes of James Caan's Sonny in the original. Joe Mantegna is an actor you have to love, he's charming and plays his part perfectly. I didn't care for Talia Shire's acting, it was wooden in my opinion. The same goes for Sofia Coppola who delivers an extremely wooden performance. She didn't display the most powerful feelings correctly. I always wonder, "how would Winona Ryder be in that part?". Richard Bright plays Neri in such a class act that you just don't forget him. The rest of the cast is excellent.
The cinematography and art direction is just fine and displays the early 90's artistic techniques.
The plot is complex but easy to follow and deals with politics, religious authorities immersed with crime, betrayal, loyalty, power, but in the end, everything is summed up with a single word "business".
But getting out crime has it's deadly consequences. Crime never pays. The consequences derive in assassinations, conspiracies, church's dark interests, and more.
The addition of Vincenzo Corleone added fresh air to the series mainly because he is very different from Michael. It was like bringing back Sonny but in a younger and more clever version. It was also a manner to connect the last chapter with the previous films.
Important events from previous films play an important part in Michael's fate. He feels guilty and regrets for Fredo's murder. Anytime he listens to a Hail Mary, dark memories invade his mind. Also, he knows how to deal with Vincent because he perfectly handled Sonny's impulses and raging reactions. It was nice for the fans to hear constantly the name of Vito Corleone, Sonny, and more. Plus, it's always a pleasure to see Al Neri and the rest of the Corleone allies such as Don Tomassino, Calo, and more. Heck, even Johnny Fontaine returns for a last singing! Plus, Michael's children now grown up play an important and vital part. Anthony and Mary are Michael's most appreciated treasure. Special mention for Bridget Fonda's super sexy appearance. I love blondes with long legs and beautiful face.
This time, the Corleone's enemies do not represent such a big menace in terms of menacing looks or violent ways. The new enemies are more clever and cold blooded. Except for the thrilling and spectacular helicopter attack; we don't get much shootings as in previous films. That's when we learn that crime is more dangerous through briefcases, tables, and church. Don Altobello was the perfect nemesis for Michael; he is wise, knows who to convince, and pulls the strings masterfully. Joey Zasa is a regular gangster in the likes of Don Fanucci and do not represent a threat for the Corleones. The Vatican Bishop and Lucchetti, a strict-right moralist who is against the Corleone's immersion into "religious business". He's by far the most menacing enemy. But we also need to remember about Mosca, a Sicilian capo that is widely known for not failing an attack.
There are memorable scenes in this movie, beautiful, haunting moments. The family photo at the beginning of the movie displays that family means union and it's Michael's treasure. Michael dancing with Mary, Vincent counterattacking an assassination attempt, the infamous and sad opera attack, the helicopter attack, the filling of Zasa, Tommassino's sad murder, Mary's murder, Al Neri's final display of his skills, Vito's childhood home visit, and of course, the top three Godfather moments: Michael's last thoughts that deal with the important women of his life, then, he dies alone. It's just as haunting as the flashback in part II which features him eating alone, thinking, planning his future.
The last Godfather finds death in such a sad but poetic manner.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Detractors of The Godfather part III have two main gripes: the most
obvious is Sofia Coppola's acting skills as Mary Corleone, and the
second is the character of Michael Corleone, who bears less resemblance
to the cold, calculating criminal mastermind of the first two films.
Regarding the first point, I have to agree that Sofia Coppola is
insufferable in this film. Thankfully, she had little screen time.
However, she looked wonderful: she was convincing enough as a "cute
little lovestruck innocent daughter" that I could believe she meant a
lot to her family and her father in particular.
As to the second point, some things need to be born in mind. The Michael Corleone of the first two films had descended into the lowest possible place, yes, murdering his own brother (among others) by the end. He had become everything he did not want to be and worse: his reign over his family's criminal empire was Machiavellian on a level his father had never dreamed of nor would ever have allowed.
But by the beginning of this film, a decade and a half had passed since he had crossed the terrible trough of fratricide. Michael's parents and brothers were all dead during this time, Tom Hagan passed away (although the loss of the character was a tragedy, it served the story very well to accent Michael's sense of isolation) and Connie was clearly far too unstable and too much of a yes-woman to ever provide true companionship. Michael was not a man easily resigned to being alone and he had a fierce protective instinct--even if it could be overrode by his jealous vengeful nature--for "his own." Remember that in Part I, he always hoped to return to the States as soon as possible and when this seemed a tenebrous goal, he sought a marriage and a new life in Sicily. Throughout Part II, he lost two more members of his family and his wife left him. It is not hard to imagine that the murder of Freddo would in fact be his moral trough, that the pent-up guilt could have spilt over into guilt at having deprived his young children of their mother and perhaps even a fear that they would grow up in his shadow, so he gave them up, even though he knew it meant further isolation.
But he knew all along that his cold, calculating criminality had taken him to this horrible place, and so he has spent the years since sloughing through the long marsh out while yet keeping his own person intact and out of prison. Obviously, given how much he aged from Part II to Part III, such a task has taken its toll, both physically and psychologically, and this is portrayed brilliantly. And what of Michael's sudden lavishness? I can tell you from personal experience that when you experience extreme isolation from those you love, you often cling as never before to the greatest treasures of your ethnic and religious heritage, cultivating them with the utmost sincerity partly because these are reminders that you are a real human connected with others and that you belong somewhere. The need to belong somewhere and to something and someone more concrete than the "global citizenry" is universal, and I don't know how either Puzo or Coppola could have known about this, but they did an amazing job.
"What good is Confession if you don't repent?" Good question. Michael longs for redemption and forgiveness, but almost to the end he seeks legitimacy on his own terms, a quiet retirement from the Mafia. The result is a subtle illustration of the observation of the Curé d'Ambricourt in Robert Bresson's Le journal d'un Curé de campagne: "You can't bargain with God. You must give yourself up to Him, all at once, as you are." Michael's sins live on apart from him, and by the end are visited full circle on the people he loves.
But the ending is cryptic enough that we have to ask: was Michael redeemed? Did truth and justice ultimately prevail at the Vatican? Will they ever prevail anywhere, even imperfectly, before the next life?
When Anthony Corleone asks of Sicily, "Why is such a beautiful country so violent?" he opens up yet another flood of mysteries. How to resign ourselves to living in a world of so much beautiful treasure and yet so much of it born in great crime (think, for example, of the great Deicide, of Christ redeeming mankind, nailed to the Cross)--and how and in what circumstances can they be ours for the legitimate taking and cherishing? The Godfather part III provokes such difficult questions in all those willing to see and ponder them.
If the acting and cinematography are not as polished as in the second installment, a film set anywhere in Italy needs little visual embellishment, and the music sets the mood for each scene perfectly. The Godfather part III reminds us of the world ever-present outside the closed sphere of Cosa Nostra and captures the struggle of one man teetering on the high-current edge. If you are unwilling to expand your mind beyond criminal exploits and into the personal anguish of their effects on real human beings, stay away. If, however, you have even a slight appreciation for psychology and/or Roman Catholic moral theology, you will welcome this rounding out of one of the greatest sagas ever invented.
Any true fan of THE GODFATHER series will not acknowledge this film ever
exists and it was all just a bad dream.
The story begins in 1979, some 20+ years after we last left Michael Corleone, who had done the unspeakable at the end of THE GODFATHER PART II. He has just been given the highest civilian honor by the Catholic church, which basically frees him from all sin. Once again, the film starts with an extravagent party. Michael and Kay are now divorced; their children, Anthony and Mary are now grown. Michael has sold the casinos and has no interests in illegitimate business. He has turned the Corleone family in New York over to Joey Zaza (Joe Mantegna).
Michael is seeking redemption. He commited a big-time sin at the end of THE GODFATHER PART II and this still haunts him. His son wants nothing to do with the family business and wants to be an opera singer. Michael finds a prodigy in his nephew Vincent (played horribly by Andy Garcia).
This movie is bad. There is no other way to put it. Connie (Talia Shire) is weak for the first two movies, now all of a sudden she is strong and even helps in plotting a murder. The character of Mary (Soffia Coppola) is totally uninspiring. I still say Sofia Coppola can't act her way out of a paper bag. The film misses the Tom Hagen character (Robert Duvall) who is replaced badly by George Hamilton, playing a different lawyer to the Corleone family.
Like the other films, this also deals with double crossing and betrayals and family loyalty. I walked out of this movie in 1991 feeling very unfulfilled and am extremely angry at Paramount for not releasing the DVD's of the movies individually. I watched the first twenty minutes of this on DVD recently and realized why I hated it so much. Even the breath-taking scenes of Sicily couldn't do it for me this time. (ZERO STARS)
What's the problem? The imagery is excellent, and the continuity flows well with the previous two in the series. I think it would have been better if both the church characters and assassins would have been better developed or more integral to the overall workings. The musical score could have been stronger, which I think greatly influenced the previous two. Still overall, a very moving story and solid ending to the trilogy.
It's an excellent film which neatly ties up the series.
It shows Michael's development and his redemption.
Sofia Coppola is not great but she brings a sense of family to the film.
It's problem is it is eclipsed by the other two films and if judged independently is a cracking good film.
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