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An offer you can’t refuse [The Godfather] (103461)

Did you know that before Francis Ford Coppola’s The
Godfather came out, La Cosa Nostra was about as different as it could possibly
be? Contrary to popular belief, The Godfather was not based on the Mafia. In
fact, it was just the other way around; the Mafia was based entirely on the
movie. Before the film, the Family was nothing more than a bunch of cutthroat
thugs who would sell each other out at the slightest mention of cash. After its
release however, real-life mafiosos began to brandish values such as honor, loyalty,
tradition and some even altered their speech patterns to match that of Don Vito
Corleone’s which goes to show you just how much of an influence a great movie
can have on society (especially Italian-American immigrants).

Unlike other gangster films I have watched, which portray
crime as deplorable and allows you to view the movie’s events as either an
outsider or from the law’s point of view, The Godfather allows one to see
gangster life internally. It basically glorifies the idea of a crime syndicate
that looks out for each other and shows each other fondness and respect (fear and
respect are apparently synonymous). It makes you almost want to join in on
their brotherhood and revel in the glory. Keep in mind that the film shows none
of the actual crime rings supposedly operated by the family such as extortion,
prostitution, etc. It also portrays lawmen as arrogant and corrupt such as the
FBI agents who crash the wedding “disrespectfully” as well as the policeman who
is under a rival family’s payroll.

I think the most important aspect of this film is the
evolution of Michael, initially innocent and doe-eyed, to a ruthless, murderous
leader due to unforeseen circumstances. Basically, once you’re in the life, you
can never get out. I also noticed that true to life, nobody ever sees the wrong
in themselves, often justifying their mistakes. Though Michael at first
distances himself from his family in order to be accepted by Kay, he never
shows any attempt at stopping his family’s crimes. I found certain lines in the
movie particularly striking.

Michael:
My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power,
like a president or senator.

Kay
Adams:
Do you know how naive you sound, Michael?
Presidents and senators don’t have men killed.

 

Michael: Oh.
Who’s being naive, Kay?

I’m really glad to be able to watch this film. I used to
have this classmate who kept bugging me to watch it, which I think is precisely
why I never did. His constant praises for the film made me feel like it was
probably another one of those overrated fads that are abundant these days. It
didn’t help that said classmate always had slicked back hair, was fat, and
tried to be friends with everybody. Now, having watched it, I guess I can see
the appeal of having money and power, but this comes at the cost of other
people constantly trying to topple you over to get a slice of the cake. Still
it is a great film that truly changed the way people view crime.

I still liked Scarface better though. More chainsaws and M16’s.

 
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Posted by on 29 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The Godfather: A Film That One Can’t Refuse (083568)

It’s difficult to talk about one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time, for the reason that there is just so much to be said. The Godfather for many is an instant and timeless classic, a movie that has set the standard for other films to strive to be like. I myself enjoyed the film, it falls nothing short of the epic ambiance that it instills right from the opening credits as the audience is greeted by the infamous scoring of the Godfather soundtrack. It’s tune now infamous and directly linked to heart and soul of the Godfather series.

A gangster film at it’s core, the Godfather is an epic tale of the Corleone family through the rise and fall of Michael Corleone. Filled with violence, blood and gore, at first glance this may seem as more of an action film than anything else. However after an entire screening, it would be rather obvious that this is a film best filed under the genre of drama. Francis Ford Coppola’s work is rightfully described as a masterpiece, and after viewing the movie I can’t argue with the high praise that I’ve always heard about it.

What I exceptionally liked about the film was how it was both sincere and sadistic in it’s own right. At one moment we as the audience would be listening to Don Vito talk about the importance of family and how even the involvement of narcotics in the mafia business would bring about nothing but trouble, in a sense Don Vito was a very noble and respectable man as the Godfather. However, in the next scene we would then see men being garroted and strangled to death by orders of the same man whilst being justified as all a part of business. The Godfather doesn’t fail to erect the cold, heartless and deceptive atmosphere of the mafia world.

Towards the end of the film, in its climax, the movie juxtaposes the irony between the sanctification of the catholic beliefs of the Corleone family during the christening of Connie and Carlo’s son to that of the relentless killing as ordered by Michael. In essence, although kept cool, calm and somewhat comforting on the surface, the mafia world is exposed for all its blood, gore and backstabbing that it enthralls. The Godfather speaks volumes not just about mob life but about the importance of family. What stood out to me throughout the film was how Don Vito never failed to teach Michael the importance of family and how he should place his family above all else. Amidst the gangster life that he lived, it was the lone bright spot that shed some light into the darkness of the Godfather.

The scene which I feel captures the soul of The Godfather film is the famous part when studio head Jack Woltz in terror is greeted in the morning with the fresh head of his most prized horse in his bed, covered in blood (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzlsmSqSqXI&feature=related). As Tom Hagen comes to greet Woltz with a caring and warm personality and nature, it completely masks his true intentions, that these people are going to get what they want no matter what the cost. The Godfather leads many into a false sense of security before whiplashing it right back into their face, this scene captures the deceptive spirit of the mob world and the coldness that it ensues, whilst being simplified as “business” which adds all the more to it’s heartless nature.

Ultimately, despite what the film may stand for, it is utterly a tale of epic proportions set in a gangster world. It is a film not worth watching but worth experiencing, a film that one simply can’t refuse.

 
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Posted by on 26 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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For better or for worse: The Godfather Part II

The Godfather Part II is such an amazing yet very complicated sequel to The Godfather, and if not, maybe even better.  Such praise and applause should be given once again since the movie indeed exceeds beyond expectations. The film being unbelievingly and surprisingly long is still worth a watch and should not be taken lightly since every second is a work of art. This movie, as said by most movie critics and professionals, paved the way for movie sequels.

The story, being presented in two parallel storylines talks about the rise of power of both Vito and Michael Corleone. This film glorifies crimes even more, adding drama and support in every critical decision and action done by the characters. The film being a masterpiece tells the dramatic story of both father and son and how they struggle to maintain power and influence in spite of all the complications, with all means necessary.

The story being darker than ever as to compare to the first Godfather movie, sets the mood and emotion of the movie that makes the audience feel somewhat sorry as to what happened to Michael Corleone. He is not anymore the Michael that we’ve met in the first film; he is totally different and unrecognizable.  At the end of the film, there is no other reaction for Michael but total pity, sadness, and sympathy since we’ve seen his eventual rise and upcoming fall.

But even in the greatest of films, they also have their own setbacks. The film is too complicated in the sense of it has a lot of characters together with a lot of subplots that are connected. Honestly, it’s very difficult to keep track on to what’s happening with who’s who because of a lot of things happening at the same time, even in Michael Corleone’s case.

I actually found the film very helpful in understanding the background story of Don Vito Corleone until the present who is Michael Corleone. Again, this film tackles a lot about family, relationships, business, power, influence, and money. Being a crime film as it is, it goes beyond the boundaries of morality, having siblings killing each other, a mother aborting her own child so not to be exposed to his father’s sins, and murder as an easy option to end all problems. The film is so full of violence, sacrilege, and immorality that you get this feeling of numbness already at some point if this keeps on occurring. I guess this film is such a challenge to watch but you get this great appreciation for the film even more.

 
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Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Why the Godfather is a “best movie”

Named as one of the best movies of all time, this film does not disappoint. The premise alone, even without its fame, would be enough to draw anyone in. The story about the internal struggle of a family working as an underground crime organization set in a post war New York City pulls in the viewers by the shroud of mystery in it. Hiding behind closed doors and veiled meetings, the Corleone family make their shady deals under their political protection.

Although it would be easy to mistake the movie to be about Don Vito Corleone, it is actually about his youngest son Michael. The chronicle of how the former war hero rose to power is filled with bloodshed and ruthless decisions. Being the most reluctant to enter into the family business, Michael is forced to do so due to his brothers’ failure.

Michael is the most rational and clear thinking of the three brothers, not including the adopted Tom Hagen. The eldest, Sonny, is much too hot-headed and prone to violent reactions. He is impulsive and does not think his actions through. This is frowned upon as seen when Vito reprimands him for telling a person outside the family what he thinks. After finding out that his brother-in-law was physically abusing his sister, Sonny flies off in understandable rage. That was my favourite part when Sonny starts beating up Carlo with energy fuelled by love for the family and anger for Carlo’s audacity to hit his pregnant wife. These uncontrollable characteristics though are a flaw when it comes to succeeding his father’s position as the godfather.

Fredo, the second son, is not smart or adept enough to be head this crime family. His reaction to when his father was shot was pathetic as he just sat down and cried. His attempt to fire his gun failed when he merely fumbled and dropped it. He was the most unfit for the Vito’s position since he is seen as the weakest among all of them.

Michael however detaches himself from people which proves to be his biggest weakness and greatest strength. How he refused to reciprocate Kay’s “I love you,” is a clear sign that he knows emotions can be used against a person. But it comes as a liability when it comes to keeping the family together. He had his brother-in-law killed because he proved to be a threat and betrayer to the family. Despite knowing that he would make his sister a widow and his godson half an orphan, Michael knew that it had to be done. He takes in his sister’s misery without an ounce of guilt on his face.

Michael’s ability to persuade is reminiscent of Don Vito’s. He can assure a person of his harmless, threaten with a straight face, and get what he wants in the end. In the case of Carlo, he managed to calm him down by lying so well. In order to marry the girl in Sicily, he did not use violence yet when he spoke to the girl’s father, he chose his word well. He said that he meant no harm then divulging information to make him vulnerable put the father in a position of domination. Then by saying that he was the best thing for her and threatening slightly but clearly, Michael shows that he gets what he wants. He offers him a way out of the mess by introducing his plan to meet his daughter. Michael has immense and convincing powers of persuasion that he would be the best choice for being the godfather despite being the youngest.

 
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Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The Godfather : The Offer No One Can Refuse [092805]

The Godfather : The Offer No One Can Refuse

People weren’t wrong about The Godfather. Ever since I was younger, I was always told that I should not let my life pass me by without watching The Godfather. I even downloaded the trilogy of The Godfather because of everything everyone has been raving about, all 2.88 GB of it. (Mind you, my laptop has less than 4 GB left.) As I had mentioned in class, I did not want to take my time away from things I would normally do, which is why I had not seen the film yet. This is why I was ecstatic when I found out that we were going to watch this film in class. My time in class would be put to great use, I thought. Some may say that I underestimated what The Godfather has to offer but in truth, I really had high expectations for this movie.

As I said earlier, after seeing this film, people were not wrong about it.

I must say, I am immensely impressed. After seeing the film, I was like, “No wonder!” Now I know what everyone’s been talking about. I don’t know what it is about this film that simply lures everybody in. Everything about the film just seemed so tight and put together that the output of the film was great. It was definitely a lengthy film and at first I had my doubts about it. I thought that at some point, I would want to just want to go out for a quick break then come back. However, the story of The Godfather kept me completely interested the entire time. I did not even notice the time. If the movie had gone any longer, I honestly would not have minded.

The acting was impeccable, as well. I noticed and recognized this in the first few minutes of the movie through one of the supporting characters in the film, Bonasera. The way he explained the situation of his daughter almost put me to tears right then and there. As the movie progressed, the rest is history. Just like everybody else, I found myself completely engrossed in the events of the Corleone’s. I must admit, I am not exactly the type to watch “boy” movies. Because of all the killing and the bloodshed, because it is mafia-themed, some would automatically assume that The Godfather is a man’s film. However, I feel that more than that, it is also a film for the family. I loved and admired the way Don Vito Corleone put his family first at all costs.

In my opinion, what I should also commend most about The Godfather is the script and how well it was written. Each character played an important role in the film and each contributed to each other’s character. I must say, at some points in the film, I had to rely on my friend (who has already seen the film) to tell me who’s who because there were just too many characters for my brain to register and remember in such a short span of time. But what I think is a good thing was that I actually wanted to know who each character was and what kind of role they played in the film.

Apparently, The Godfather was based on Mario Puzo’s books and right now, I actually want to read the books as well as I was completely blown away by the movie. So many of the usual cliches and quotes I have been hearing and using throughout the entire duration of my life so far, I realized, came from The Godfather.

I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” After the nth time he said it, I came to like and enjoy this line a lot. I was amused at how such a short sentence can cause even the most powerful of people to shut up. This particular line seemed like Don Vito Corleone’s trademark (which he later on passed on to his son Mike, but more of that later) and indeed, he always followed through.

The character of Michael Coreleone played by Al Pacino (…who was such a handsome man at that age!!!) played a critical character in the story. At the beginning of the movie, he tells Kay, his girlfriend turned wife, about his family’s business and how he blatantly told her, “That’s my family Kay, it’s not me.” Everything changed after he volunteered to take part in his family’s business as an act to take revenge for the attack on Don Vito. There was a drastic change in character for Michael from the beginning of the film to the end which simply added so much depth to the film itself. Though Don Vito Corleone died, Michael’s story doesn’t end there, as he is the unlikely man to take the place of his father, the Godfather.

All the elements of the film made me, as an audience, feel as if I could be there, as well. From the set design, the people, the music: I found myself wanting to be a part of what was going on. Truly, The Godfather deserves all its praise. It is a classic example of a classic.

 
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Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Blessing from The Godfather (090102)

The Godfather can be considered as the godfather of all crime-mafia family films that ever and will be to exist. I now consider this film as one of my most favorite movies of all time together with Schindler’s List and Clockwork Orange. I consider this film as a masterpiece, a diamond in the archives of the greatest films that have ever made. I really admired the characters of this film and how well they were portrayed by their actors from Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard S. Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte and Diane Keaton, all of them have done well enough to show an emotional Italian crime family. The awards received by this film are all worth it, even all the doubts, conflicts and controversies in the pre-production process, especially its casting.

The Italian American Corleone crime family has now been immortalized because of this film. In my opinion, even though it sounds so wrong, this movie paid tribute to the highly influenced and admired mafia power hungry families. This film shows these kinds of families in a different light, showing the Corleone family not as a threatening family to be afraid of at first but a family that only needs protection from the outside and from them. Somehow they are only victims of people, who want to have the same power, influence, and dominance that they have, as well as their money. They wanted support and affiliation from the Corleone family, and by not granting them that kind of privilege, they tried to put the family down to the ground through various assassination attempts, both successful and unsuccessful in some events.

Thus with these events, consequences of these are now, therefore inevitable. Revenge must be made, reconciliation is somehow impossible to be done for those who inflicted pain to them, and indeed they sentenced them with their own system of justice and karma in their own hands. In the end, the Corleone got their last laugh in the expense of several of their loved ones murdered, battered, and bruised and the change in Michael Corleone’s character from a civilian member of the Corleone crime family to the new Godfather. The transition of Michael’s character can be seen as the darkest plot in the film, a change from better to worst, someone so innocent turning to someone so dark, merciless, and evil, a pure heart being stained by the evil’s surrounding and influencing him.

This film tackles a lot regarding morality, relationships, trust, faith, and humanity. The film being dark all throughout, showing the consequences of too much power, luxury, influence, and status, it certainly tells us that money cannot buy everything and it cannot bring back the lives of the people killed because of it.

Here we can see that family is still the most important thing among the characters, every member is responsible for each other, everyone must be have the same security and protection, and if it is necessary, one should sacrifice himself for the family to be spared.

Indeed The Godfather is a bittersweet story that is both admirable yet heartbreaking.

 
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Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Justified [The Godfather, 080664]

I have been reluctant to watch The Godfather. My apprehensions have been there upon learning it is about a Mafia family. Given a choice, I try to avoid its kind, those that contain too much violence, guns and gore. The second reason would be its status as a classic, universally-praised film. It gives me high hopes and expectations for this movie, and several times I’ve seen classics and critically acclaimed movies, I feel let down. I’m happy that I’ve been forced to watch it (Finally!). Every second of the more than three hours is worthy of my time and full attention.

I think I mutter the word ‘epic’ hundred times after watching the film. The way it extracts a raw and compelling twist from an otherwise emotionally-distant subject is unbelievable. It comprises many different characters with unique personalities, but they all have their fair share of the spotlight. They have their trademarks, and long after I’ve forgotten all of the dialogues (Except “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”) or the sequence of events, I know the roles play significant parts. Moreover, these aren’t one-dimensional characters. They may be ruthless murderers but they have human qualities as well. To Don Vito, family welfare comes first. As much as he can, he keeps Michael out of the family business. One of the most emotional scenes is when he learns the death of Sonny and breaks down. The family members follow the orders of their kins, not because of fear, but out of loyalty and respect.

In my opinion, the movie wouldn’t be as good without Marlon Brando and his superb performance. The man is irreplaceable. I have read that he masters method acting; internalizes easily with his roles. He has created the Don Vito we know – a man we love, fear and respect. He is old; his health, failing. But until the end, I find him the most sensible, intelligent man in the family. The eldest Sonny is short-tempered and his temper always gets in the way to making a sound decision for the family business. He is the brother that we can somehow empathize with; he has two huge responsibilities – being the heir to the throne and the protector of his younger siblings. It’s not easy to juggle both, and oftentimes he ends up sacrificing one for the other. The youngest, Michael, has no plans to get involved in the family business. During his sister’s wedding, Al Pacino tells this to Diane Keaton with a straight face, and we know Michael is telling the truth. But he maintains that demeanor until the end – when he gets to kill Sollozzo and McCluskey, when he becomes godfather to his nephew, and even when he tells Kay that he is not responsible for Carlo’s death. He is a cautious man; clever not to let his emotions betray him.

It doesn’t surprise me why people tell The Godfather glorifies crimes. Most of the murders appear to be justice well-served. I don’t think I am the only person relieved seeing the heads of other Mafia families, especially Don Barzini, gunned down. The killings are done to remove obstacles, but mostly as punishment to the people who have done wrong to the family.

I hope cheering for the Corleones is the the natural reaction to watching The Godfather. Even if it isn’t, the film gives me plenty of reasons to believe so.

 
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Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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