Monday, 9 August 2010

The One Where They Made You An Offer You Couldn't Refuse

So... cast your minds back, to last week.

There was a vote. To try and find the greatest trilogy of all time. Simple.



I guess it's only fair I put my hat in the ring. (No pun intended).

The Godfather Trilogy was before my time.

In many ways, the film I'm closest too is Godfather 3 - which is controversial, as many dismissed it in their vote, due to how poor it is. But I remember it at the cinema, remember seeing the posters, and my Dad telling me of the preceding movies.

Godfather Part Three has a lot to answer for.

I think one thing needs to be addressed straight away... Is it a poor film? Or is it a poor film in relation to the first two?

Your answer to that, will be hugely influential, on whether Godfather registers for you. Is it the greatest trilogy ever?


Well, I think it's a fact that the trilogy suffers from two things.

One, it's long. Very long.

Two, it's got the Godfather Part Three thing, hanging like a noose around it's neck.

And, dare I say it... Thirdly.... it's a bit pretentious. Fans think they automatically know more about Films, and Cinema. There's a snobbery too it.

That's the side of cinema, I hate.

It's a Family drama - where the family happen to be Gangsters. Simple.


"A test screening of the film garnered negative reactions from the audience. They found cutting back and forth between Michael and young Vito confusing and bothersome. Francis Ford Coppola and his editors decided to decrease the frequency of the transitions in order to make the parallel stories easier to follow." - IMBD 

Godfather Part Three essentially ruined many peoples views of the other two. That's powerful stuff. To even do that. To even make someone think that two of the great, great films, could be tainted by a third.



Me?

I think Godfather Part Three is OK. As far as I know, it's never killed anyone, or even maimed them. As a Star wars fan (*Not Geek*), I can realte to the other Trilogy tainted them... but to outright dismiss them? GF3 managed to do that to some.

Godfather Part Two is the better film, for me. For one major reason. DeNiro.

He owns.

It has for years, given me the ammunition to say DeNiro is better than Al Pacino.

*Hmmm... Is that another vote, potentially?*

"As of 2010, Robert De Niro is one of only five actors (with Sophia Loren, Roberto Benigni, Benicio Del Toro andMarion Cotillard), to win an Academy Award for a role primarily in a language other than English, since almost all of his dialogue is in Italian." - IMDB


Fact. 


The films smack of being Iconic. They are so quotable. There are people who probably quote it, that don't even know they are quoting it.


I rushed out to buy the DVD box set, and rushed out again to buy the Blu Ray box set - it just has that about it. Everyone should own it. As I said above, a film fan almost feels superior for owning it, and quoting it. Not many films can do that.


Like LOTR, it's open to parody. There seems to be a bit more love with it, though. Like it's a loving homage, not a huge piss take.


After all... what is anyone going to say?


That it looks silly when Sonny Corleone gets gunned down? That the horse head looks fake (it was real - so, ner ner). That it's long? (LOTR is 12 hours... TWELVE!).


It stands up. Even now. Even the third one, if you take the emotion out of it. 2/3 are up there as the greatest films ever made. Add to that an "OK" film. It's better than most trilogies out there.


One major concern with trilogies is that they were never meant to be a trilogy. Dom pointed that out. He's right. With the Godfather? It's not even a factor.


Think of all of the movies it's influenced. From crime films, to small family dramas. It was first to most of the similarities, you see.


It's acting is immense. Top draw. The kind of thing you study. It has created a legacy. It's untouchable. Even Hollywood wouldn't mess with it. Sequel. Remake. They are no go's. The story has been told. Even Hollywood knows that.


Or does it....?


I'll leave Sly to answer that... Taken from his recent, brilliant, web chats with fans, on AICN.







1. Hi Sly,
I‘ve been re-reading Stallone: A Heros Story in preparation for this Q&A (great book) and it says that post Staying Alive Paramount offered you Godfather III to write, produce and star. It says you loved the idea and were thinking to tell the story of Michaels son and were planning to cast John Travlota as your rival in the film.



Did this really happen? I have to say im kind of disappointed it didn’t work out - itd have been new and fresh and you vs. Travolta would’ve been awesome. im certain it couldn’t have been any worse than Coppolas GF 3! (which as everyone knows - outshines Superman III as the most disappointing threequel of all time)



It mentions the whole Beverly Hills Cop thing too but the book only goes up to 1985/6 and I was wondering if you could share with us any other big movies you were offered but passed on or it didn’t work out for whatever reason in order to give us a glimpse as to what might have been (and might be in an alternate universe)






All the Best



Pete UK



1. Pete, Answering out of order here - some movies I passed on are WITNESS, COMING HOME, ROMANCING THE STONE, SOLDIER, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, and WHEN HARRY ATE SALLY. The GODFATHER III situation unfolded when the head of Paramount presented me with a poster already printed that had my picture and beneath it ‘GODFATHER III, written, acted and directed by Sylvester Stallone.’ Needless to say, if I weren’t wearing a hat, my skull would’ve split in two. Red-faced, I said to the headman ‘This is the worst idea since my conception.’ Francis created duel masterpieces and it was egregious insensitivity to pull it away from him for monetary reasons. Therefore I took this idea to the sea of mediocrity and plunged it to the bottom.




So... about that vote. Al Pacino or DeNiro?


Vote below, on twitter to @maverick99sback, or on my own Blog post, asking that very question...


Thanks for reading. Until next time, kids.