Monday, September 24, 2007

The Godfather

The wife and I have been insisting that we sit down and watch our favorite trilogies. For her, it's the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings. For me, it's the Godfather. This weekend, we began the long, arduous process of watching both. We watched the Fellowship of the Ring on Friday, and the first Godfather on Saturday. I'll leave the Lord of the Rings review for her. I'll focus on The Godfather.

I've seen this movie probably 15 times or so, and every time I'm struck by how great it is. I realize I'm not treading any new ground here as a critic, but I'll be damned if it isn't true. One of the things that constantly gets me about this movie is the fact that 90% of the movie is a couple of guys sitting and talking. But at no point do I ever wish something actioney would happen. The dialogue always feels true, and I'm always interested in what they're saying.

I can't believe the producers wanted to fire Al Pacino. It's unbelievable that anyone could see him in the first scene, the wedding, and not think he was Michael Corleone. His description of who Luca Brazzi is to Kay is fucking brilliant. You can see him straddling the line between resignation as to who is his family, and judgment of it. Then the quick turn to playful, asking Kay how she likes her lasagna. And by the end, how can you doubt that he IS Michael Corleone. When he volunteers to kill McCluskey and Solazzo, geez... the fucking icewater in his veins.

John Cazale was born to play Fredo. A fantastic performance, in the second biggest sadsack role of all time. That one guy in Death of a Salesman (Biff? Willy?) is number one. This blog is really no good. Let's just say I like the movie, although I can never decide which Godfather I like the best, 1 or 2. I'll leave the third one out of the argument.

A few other rambling notes:
- I hate Diane Keaton with a vengeance, but she's pretty good in this movie.
- I'm pretty sure Robert Duvall and Marlon Brando were about the same age when they shot this.
- I heard Brando really scared the shit out of that kid when they filmed his death scene.
- I still use the marinara recipe that Clemenza gives: Fried Garlic in olive oil, stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, a little wine, your meat, and a little sugar.
- Leave the gun, take the canolis.

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