Catching Up: “The Godfather: Part III”

IMG_0255-0.PNGThe trilogy is a something of a rarity. It used to be. Some films are so well known that, regardless of the final chapter, it’s still considered an epic trilogy or a great trilogy when all is said and done.

With the Paramount Pictures film “The Godfather: Part III”, this conclusion, depending on the person watching, could be a success or not. It could be seen as a solid ending or not.

This crime drama stars Al Pacino (“Phil Spector”,”Stand Up Guys”), Diane Keaton (“Darling Companion”, Morning Glory”), Talia Shire (“A Secret Promise”, “The Deported”), Andy Garcia (“Let’s Be Cops”, “Rio 2”), Eli Wallach (“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”, “The Ghost Writer”), Joe Mantegna (“10 Cent Pistol”, “Criminal Minds”), Bridget Fonda (“Snow Queen”, “The Chris Isaak Show”), George Hamilton (“Holiday Road Trip”, “Hollywood Ending”), and Sofia Coppola (“CQ”, “Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace”).

The film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola (“The Rainmaker”, “Jack”) and written by Mario Puzo (“The Godfather: Part II”, “The Godfather”) and Coppola (“Youth Without Youth”, “The Rainmaker”).

The film opened on Dec. 25, 1990.

The film would go on to be nominated for seven Academy Awards and seven Golden Globe Awards; among many nominations and some wins.

While this film is considerably shorter than it’s predecessor, it’s still incredibly lengthy. And, as with most of the really long films I’ve seen, this one started putting me to sleep, or at the very least, nudging me in that direction. I was nudged so much so, that at one point I had my eyes closed for seconds, and in that time, there was gunfire. By whom? For what reason? How many people? I have no clue. I just suddenly realized what the noise was and decided to resume paying attention.

The reason for my needing another pillow, in the span of a few days, was that the plot was way too dull. The majority of the film’s plot sucked. It was boring. I could care less, and I certainly couldn’t find myself caring about any of the new characters that were introduced and needed to tell that portion of the story. When I think about it, it’s actually more like Puzo and Coppola took the easy way out. They borrowed from actual historical events and made the films plot revolve around those particular moments. Ugh. Every time there was something involving the Vatican and the church I found myself caring less and less. These plot details really overshadowed every other aspect, including Corleone’s desire to remain legitimate.

I consider the bulk of the film to be focusing on all of the church stuff, and hardly with what Michael and his family is doing. While that really isn’t true, there’s a bit of weaving of his crime family into that, it sure seems like it. But, that’s of minor consequence if you haven’t seen the first two. While I’m a purist, when it comes to seeing films in order, one would think that that may not bee necessary with this film. They’d be wrong. Oddly enough it is, and I appreciate that. Coppola and Puzo could’ve gone in any direction with 16 years between this film and the last. They chose to go for continuity, which some may see as annoying. I don’t find it so, but I also don’t think it helped this film at all. With so much jumping around, and some confusion, I wasn’t able to care all that much about what happened to anyone on a personal level.

My first grievance, which relates to length, is that many of the scenes, or whatever, were far too long. Look at the last 20 to 30 minutes of the film. It takes place at the opera for Michael’s son. It goes on and on like the Energizer Bunny. While it started off fine, after 10 minutes I grew irritated with the music. Then there was so much going on, and taking so long too occur, that I couldn’t be all that excited when it came time to witness the man eating the rest of the cannoli. Talk about delaying the inevitable.

Second, I may be the only one that actually doesn’t mind that Sofia was cast in the film, regardless of nepotism charges. But, come on, if you can’t get a film role because of your father, then what’s the use of being related? I don’t blame her presence for a terribly flat character, but merely her inability to act. She can’t act, which may also explain why she didn’t really pursue it all that much. Her bad acting and bad chemistry with Garcia ultimately made her characters appearance useless, and that particular storyline boring and a waste of time.

The film, while still retaining the look and feel of the previous films, still seemed off a little bit. I think it actually has to do with how something looks when filmed and edited. The quality is just a bit better than that from the 1970s.

The saddest part is that when the film ended, final scene where Corleone is really old and dies… I missed it. I was so caught up and excited that the film ended that somehow I stopped paying attention. Thank God for YouTube! That’s how much I didn’t care for this film, or even enjoy it in the slightest.

The final act is supposed to provide something like closure, or a type of satisfaction that this long journey you’ve been on was worth it. In this case, the lengthy wait for a film, which may or may not have been in consideration for years prior. As a film it didn’t deliver on an ending and it certainly wasn’t all that interesting or impactful as the previous two. Now it’s just a film that has to be lumped with the others because it’s in the same series. How very much like “Jurassic Park III”.



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