Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Zoe of The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger. Zoe has already reviewed The Departed (HERE) and The Green Mile (HERE) and Big Fish (HERE). Now, as if all those reviews weren’t enough, Zoe was the first person brave enough to choose to review The Godfather I & II (stay tuned for her review of The Godfather: Part II at this same time next Tuesday). Thanks so much for being such a big part of this project, Zoe! 🙂 Now let’s hear her thoughts on The Godfather, IMDB rank 2 out of 250.
There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list of remaining films HERE. See the full list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE.
Alright, so this is going to be quite the post here. I took The Godfather movies because I was horrified to see it just languishing there on Table 9 Mutant’s IMDB Top 250 challenge… alone and untaken. How could this possibly be?! This is one of the greatest film sets ever! Alright, Part III might be a little sketchy and all that, but Part I and Part II are just… wow. Naturally, there are the heathens out there that will slam it, which I just find heartbreaking (though I still love you Eric, don’t ever forget that…). I am one of those people, like a good war movie I love a good mob flick.
“There is more money potential in narcotics than anything else we’re looking at now. If we don’t get into it, somebody else will, maybe one of the Five Families, maybe all of them. And with the money they earn they’ll be able to buy more police and political power. Then they come after us.” – Tom Hagen
Synopsis: The story begins as “Don” Vito Corleone, the head of a New York Mafia “family”, oversees his daughter’s wedding with his wife Carmela. His beloved son Michael has just come home from the war, but does not intend to become part of his father’s business. Through Michael’s life the nature of the family business becomes clear. The business of the family is just like the head of the family, kind and benevolent to those who give respect, but given to ruthless violence whenever anything stands against the good of the family. Don Vito lives his life in the way of the old country, but times are changing and some don’t want to follow the old ways and look out for community and “family”. An up and coming rival of the Corleone family wants to start selling drugs in New York, and needs the Don’s influence to further his plan. The clash of the Don’s fading old world values and the new ways will demand a terrible price, especially from Michael, all for the sake of the family. – IMDB
“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”. – Don Corleone
This movie is just amazing. Something that you can really just wax lyrical about. This is certainly a fantastic mob movie, no two ways about it. I mean just to look at how old this film is, for starters, you cannot help but appreciate how particularly stunning this is, how well it is put together, the actors, the camerawork, the story, the music… everything. But we shall gush about that all as this progresses.
This movie was a piece of pure genius. Marlon Brando was an amazing Vito Corleone… he was certainly not someone I would have messed with, at any rate. The movie progressed at a gradual pace, but it was never boring. From the beginning you know that Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) is definitely the Don’s favoured son, though he has three as well as one that Sonny (James Caan) brought in at a young age and is regarded as equal to his blood sons, and a daughter, Connie (Talia Shire), who has just gotten married to Carlo Rizzi (Gianni Russo). Vito Corleone is a powerful man, and such is evident at his daughter’s wedding. Michael arrives at Connie’s wedding dressed in his Marine Corps uniform and his girlfriend, Kay Adams (Diane Keaton) at his side. It is evident from the off that Michael is not like the rest of his Corleone brothers, though he is favoured by his father.
“My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.” – Michael Corleone
A drug baron called Sollozzo (Al Lettieri) rolls into town and wishes to go into business with some of the families, and Vito is approached by a rivalling family, the Tattaglias, to take the deal. Vito, however, is not in for the drug trade, though it seems Sonny is. Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall), considered the up and coming family consigliere, brought up with the Corleone boys as one of them, advises Vito that taking the deal is the one was to keep the family in power, and not having it usurped over the years. Naturally, this is where the whole movie finally catches. An attempt is made on Vito’s life, and he is left for dead. The Corleone family bands together and Sonny heads it up in the meantime. Michael gets wind of his father’s predicament, and soon his life changes.
Watching the change in Michael is astounding. He starts off as reluctant, wary and insistent that he is not like his family, but when push comes to shove it is evident that the Corleone tendencies are well and truly there. Full scale crime family war breaks out, and it seems no one is safe. There is so much that is going on, so much traitorous betrayal and attempts to do one another in to protect themselves, but the Corleone brothers still stand. Michael gradually becomes harder, tougher and less forgiving, ultimately making the choice and assassinating the police chief and Sollozzo, taking cover in Sicily while things come right. Vito is not dead, but it seems that the family structure has changed drastically.
“What’s the matter? What’s bothering you? I’ll handle it. I told you I can handle it, I’ll handle it.” – Michael Corleone
Michael’s isolation changes him even more, and he takes a wife while over in Sicily, though it becomes evident that it will not be safe for him there for much longer. While he is away, he needs to deal with the fact that his brother, Sonny, is killed, and he in enraged. Due to Sonny’s assassination, Vito decides enough is enough. Too many people are dying at one another’s hands in an attempt to even the scales, and it must come to a close. It thrilled me to watch how pacts and truces were made, how the hierarchy fit together, how people understood their place and abided by it, not questioning too much. It amazed me to see the power that some of these people have. It is astounding to me that although you know what rackets the Corleone family is involved in, it is never thrown onto the screen, never made something that takes over the story. Primarily this movie depicts the familial ties, the organisation and the loyalty, keeping focus on it and demanding your attention.
“You talk about vengeance. Is vengeance going to bring your son back to you? Or my boy to me?” – Don Corleone
The Godfather also touts one of the best cast ensembles in ages, and cannot be faulted for it. I was doing some extra reading and was so shocked to see exactly how much drama there was involved of the making of this movie, how Paramount fought Coppola almost every damn step of the way on casting, decisions, attempts to have him fired, the whole shebang. They were adamant about not having Marlon Brando in there (who *cough cough* won a damned Oscar for his performance, although he declined it) as well as not wanting Al Pacino… I was like what?! Imagine Paramount had gotten as much say as they wanted… The Godfather is one of the most influential films of all time, and should be appreciated for what it is: a piece of genius.
“Only don’t tell me you’re innocent. Because it insults my intelligence and makes me very angry.” – Michael Corleone
I loved everything this film brought to us. This film was an excellent piece on the mob, not highlighting it as something evil and disgusting and something that should be taken down, but telling the story from the inside, which was fantastic. I loved how authentic everything was, how Italian, there are infinitely quotable lines from it, the camera work was fantastic, the score complemented every minute of it and the cast rounded it off perfectly. I still feel I haven’t done this film justice, but I just don’t know anymore. You are riveted for 175 minutes; there are no two ways about it.
Excellent review Zoe!
You liked this one a bit more than me, but I can understand why people love this one so much.
Parrot – just making sure I’m still scheduled for next Thurs. I watched my first pick today (SPR) and will write up the review over the next few days. I haven’t forgotten. Please confirm
Thank you Rob!
I really, really loved this. I feel that this movie is just perfect. It was exceptionally well done, the cast was brilliant, it all just worked so well! I am glad to see that you get it, even if you don’t necessarily share the same love for it 😛
Hi! Was just about to email you, actually. I’ll have to move it a tiny bit (to the Tuesday after) if that’s okay? Otherwise, I’ve actually not promised THIS Thursday to anyone yet! : )
Want it tomorrow?
Lol. Sure! If you really want to do it that quickly?? : )
already working on it as we speak. Good thing I watched it today; fresh in my mind 🙂
just sent it to you by email
Please confirm that you got it
Got it! Thank you! It’ll post tomorrow at 11. : )
Hope it meets your standards
Of course it does! It’s all scheduled now – looks good! : )
Cool. Tnx Mutant!
Reblogged this on The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger and commented:
Check out another entry of mine to Miss Mutant’s IMDB Top 250 Challenge. My latest entry is The Godfather, a perfect film by any measure!
Again, I thank you most kindly lady!
Thank YOU! You’re my IMDB-reviewing machine! Lol. : ) I’d have struggled writing about this one. Such a classic. : )
🙂 My utmost pleasure. I did a bit, but even more with my second half… I just didn’t know what to say to do it justice!
Never heard of this one. Must have slipped through the cracks. Maybe I’ll check it out one day.
REALLY?! Imagine that, like this nifty and perfect little underground film. You should totally look into it, even if it means a bootleg copy! 😛
What?! Ice Cube is awesome in this!
I’ve missed you, dude! God you’re gonna hate me when I catch up on blogs again and you get 100 comments at once. : )
Oh damnz. I luv Ice Cube. Def checkin this out now.
Imagine not liking this and weird that must be.
You aren’t suggesting that there’s someone out there who actually doesn’t like this! ??? ! ? ; )
Could you imagine?!
*how weird, I meant.
what a fucking idiot that person must be.
One of my all time favorites!
Thrilled to hear that, a damn fine film to have on your list!
Great stuff Zoe, I think you did it justice. Both parts 1 and 2 of The Godfather are perfect in my opinion
Thank you Mikey! I freaking love them both. I did my best, so thank you for saying I did alright 😀
We are in agreement!
Excellent work!! I appreciate that this is a well made movie it’s just not my kind of thing. At all. Give me You’re Next or Oculus any fucking day.
Thank you ever so kindly! Well, at least you appreciate some of the merits! 😛 Yeah, definitely more your cup of tea!
This movie bored me so much I wanted to hang myself. LOL HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
My poor Chop. But you made it and at least you can say you have done it, you know?
I will say – this was better than Citizen Kane!
That is all that I needed to know 😛
Lol. I’m going to start keeping my opinions to myself unless I agree with everyone! ; )
LOL JEEZ. I think I should just shut up.
BTW – Guess what I have here at my desk???
A movie I like?! ; )
I think so – this came from the whole “no culture” argument we had a few months ago (I think) (because I would NEVER have ordered this)
Hahaha! Love it. You’ll go into a coma if you watch it! Yeah – you, me & Cara were gonna do a triple review! Lol : )
We should still do it! Hopefully I can get it watched after Repulsion. : )
An when I say “hopefully” I mean = oh man what have I done to myself….
Okay – I’ll let you TRASH Yellow Submarine (which you’ll hate more than everything EVER! Lol) as long as I can review Oculus without you getting mad at me. ; ) Deal? *shakeonit*
Are you being a Silly Butt again? Oculus and You’re Next are MY kind of movies. These are movies made for guys like me. (Although both could use some boobs). The Godfather made me want to harm myself it was so goddamn boring. I know we joke that we never agree on anything but I always read what you write, despite how utterly wrong you might be : )
No ways. We want to hear it all!
I piss Eric off too much! Lol ; )
Wonderful! Still my favorite Godfather film. Fine review, Zoë! 🙂
Thank you very much Michael!
I don’t know how you do so many great reviews Zoe. Superb analysis of a superb film.
Awwww Alex thank you very much for your kind words!
Wonderful post Zoe! Great review! How the hell does Eric not like this?! What the hell!
Thank you Melissa! I have no idea… each to their own, I suppose! 😛
A masterpiece, undoubtedly. Brilliant work Zoë!
Thank you Adam!
Couldn’t have said it any better 🙂
😀 I appreciate that!
great review … it’s worth noting that when it was first released, it did NOT receive universal praise from critics … i like it a lot, but surely it would have been better if Ice Cube had been in it. Looking forward to your take on Part II, which I think is a much, much better film. I tried to read Puzo’s novel once; I thought it was trash, which makes the film even more remarkable … I remember reading a review years ago that praised the film as “pulp fiction raised to the level of art”
Thank you. I was reading about the controversy surrounding it, as well as the reception, etc. It’s done exceptionally well though, and for good reason. I hope I did Part II justice, I tried my best. I also started it but just couldn’t get through it, nothing about it captivated me or drew me in, making me feel like I was wasting my time. It seems I am not the only one that felt that way.
Sturdy review Zoe.
. . .I haven’t seen these movies.
I’ll allow that information to sink in. Then I’ll pause some more and say I’m not in any hurry. . .lol! (But don’t worry, I don’t think I’m Eric. I don’t just not like them. I just am not all that interested in them. Haha!)
Aww – I & II are excellent films, Tom! : )
Tell him Mutant!
Thanks a million Tom!
Yes, it took a while, but I am back here now to continue reading. YOU WHAT?! No… Tom, no… you really ought to watch Part I and II, they are well worth it!
🙂 I know it’s one of the great omissions of my life. I’m very surprised myself that I haven’t sat through them yet. I’m sure the peer pressure (if this word gets out) will crush me in the end, so it’s only a matter of time before I do see them. hah!
Wow haha, that’s pretty impressive. I think that you would like them though, to be very honest.
Epic, epic film! I only saw it for the first time two years ago and it totally lived up to the hype.
Ooooh I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed it! Did you watch the rest, or just this one?
Spectacular work! Very insightful and astute. I never tire of this film and I hold it in pretty high regard. NIce job, Zoe!
😀 Thank you, thank you. I am thrilled to hear that. I am actually itching for a rewatch here!
Yaaaaasssssss to The Godfather!!! Love this one. Marlon Brando FTW! He is 100% the reason why I prefer this over pt. 2 (which is still great, but I miss Brando the whole time). Spot-on review, Miss Zoe!! Glad to hear you love this one, too. 😀 What the heck is wrong with Eric for hating it?! 😉
That’s funny – I prefer De Niro to Brando so think that’s why I find the second one more enjoyable (although the first is a better “film”). Both are great, though. : )
I also think De Niro better than Brando, Mutant. And I too think the second more enjoyable.
I will also say I think it a better ‘film.’ It’s pacing is less uneven. It doesn’t suffer from incongruous violence that plagues the first (the studio forced Coppolo to include more physicality, which is the only reason we see things like a husband beating his wife, etc), and, in my opinion, the ensemble characters are better developed. It’s true that the Godfather and Michael are well developed in the first, but I don’t think the rest of the characters as well treated as the supporting players in the second.
They are both great. I do like De Niro quite a bit in Part II…but I’m just obsessed with Brando. I have been ever since I saw On the Waterfront, I think.
Teehee, yes, this one. He was excellent in here, that is undeniable. I was a big fan of part II. as well! Awwww, poor Eric, always getting flak for this haha!
Eh. Eric can take it. 😉
Definitely a very good film. Great work, Zoe!
Thanks a lot Josh!
Pingback: Forrest Gump (1994) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review | Cinema Parrot Disco