Posts Tagged ‘The Godfather’

I know. Long title. But, bear with me. I was planning on writing just a regular movie review to accompany yet another one of my posts about the misadventures of a writer. However, as I was deciding which movie to write about, I hit a wall. I have watched so many great movies lately. Zodiac, which is now my favorite movie of all time. Million Dollar Baby, which… made me cry like a baby. And then the Godfather, which I re-watched after three years.

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The Godfather was the movie which inspired me to write again, three years ago. Earlier, I wrote a post about Failure. But, the thing is… I didn’t know that back then. I had just finished Xenon Bane, and it was horrible. I talk a little bit about that in every post, but I’m going to fill you all in on the details. It was a disaster, and while I didn’t really stop writing for long… I had no intention to actually write again. By the end of Xenon Bane, I was having no fun at all, and it became a chore. Writing wasn’t as cool as it started out to be, and I was back to just doing whatever that struck my whimsy. Then, one night, I convinced my parents to let me watch Godfather. The CD we had of Godfather was horrible, and the voices weren’t synced properly, and there were tiny cracks in the disc. But, I loved the movie. There were no jokes at all, and it wasn’t a war film either. It didn’t have a lot of action, and it was in the dark most of the time.

The movie was two hours and forty-five minutes long, it was late, and I couldn’t understand what Marlon Brando was saying. Yet, I was spellbound by the movie. I was transfixed by the story about gangsters. They wore suits, they were smart, and they didn’t just go around raping women for no reason. In fact, it has been noted by a lot of critics that there isn’t a single innocent victim in the entire movie.

For me, the Godfather showed me the grey area. I’ve talked before about books which were about grey characters, but the Godfather was the movie which inspired me to write again. So, after watching all three Godfather movies, I started writing my second book – the City of Crime. Writing became fun again. It was interesting and new. I wrote about Asian gangsters, and about a dogged Asian prosecutor trying to catch the Triad in the act. It was awesome! I won’t tell you the story is brilliant – that’s for you guys to decide. But I will tell you that writing the City of Crime paved the road for me to start writing even more.

In more ways than one, I owe the Godfather for inspiring me to write again. I watched it two days ago, and it inspired me again. Lately, I’ve been trying to write scripts. But, I just can’t do it! I keep trying to be funny, and all of my jokes would fall flat. After watching the Godfather, I am reminded that you don’t need to be funny to be interesting.

And guess what, I wrote a few more scenes in my script. So, I guess you can say that I’m thinking too much into it. Heck, you can call me pretentious, but while the Godfather didn’t change my entire lifestyle… it did inspire me to write once more, and a year later, the way I did things did change.

So, yeah. I hope you enjoyed this post. I sure enjoyed writing ( Ahem, GUSHING ) about the Godfather. It’s a true story. I was inspired by it to write once more, and I guess you can say this is the “spin-off” for my Failure is Actually An Option post.

I’d appreciate if you’d Like, Follow, and Comment. Hopefully all three. Other than that, I’m going to inform some of my loyal followers ( You mean everyone that’s related to you? ) that I will now be posting a review accompanying each post I make about writing or about life in general. It’s a way of making up for the fact that I no longer post once a day like I used to do.

Interesting fact, Mario Puzo, who wrote The Godfather, also wrote the Sicilian. And the main character of the Sicilian is named Guiliano. Yup, I am named after him. My devoutly Catholic grandmother had my mother change the spelling and add Angelo as my middle name for fear of me becoming a gangster. Yup, that’s also why my middle name, in English, means Angel. To cancel out the Gangster first name. It’s a shame the Sicilian wasn’t made into a huge, blockbuster movie like the Godfather.

Thank you, and goodbye!

~J.A. Romano

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I haven’t actually seen any of his movies, but on the day that I wrote the post, “Movies, why do I like them?” I watched the movie, Hitchcock.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0975645/

Let’s get the basics down first. The acting of Sir Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren are impeccable. I expected that going into it. Personally, the last thirty minutes of the movie showcased some damn fine acting on their parts.

Second of all. This is a bit of a dramedy. I read this review by Roger Ebert, actually, and he considered the subplot concerning the marriage of Hitchcock and his wife, Alma, to be a distraction.

But that subplot, in essence, was actually the plot of the entire movie. The movie is about their relationship during the filming of Psycho. I could see how it would be a problem if the summary and trailer told you: “This is only about the filming of Psycho. Nothing else.”

Yet, the problems with their marriage, in a way, is an attempt to humanize the character of Hitchcock. Let’s face it. You can’t really sympathize with a man such as Alfred Hitchcock from the get-go. Because we don’t know how hard it is to make movies, and if it only showed that part of him, we’d all go: “Well, he just jeopardized his house for a movie? Ridiculous!”

And we wouldn’t be able to sympathize with him as much. Whereas, the combination of his marital problems (something most regular folk and strange folk alike experience at one point in their lives) helps to make it an overall more… human experience.

This is also the type of movie where you would have to listen to fully appreciate it. It’s pretty funny at times, and rather deep at others. For me, it just has the right amount of seriousness and comedy that I can watch it whenever I want. I have trouble watching comedies like Grown Ups – no matter what mood I have – and I have trouble watching movies like the Godfather or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind if I’m feeling… well, light hearted?

But I enjoy it when I see a movie that uses just the right amount of both that makes me want to watch it whenever – despite my mood.

I have trouble, however, giving it a 10 star review or something like that, though. Just as I have trouble saying, “The Avengers is one of the greatest movies!”

(I can’t even say it’s an especially great movie. Don’t know why, but it’s missing something. )

This movie, same as above, is missing something. It lacks the uniqueness and originality of new characters altogether, although it compensates by having us go, “OHH. Janet Leigh thinks Hitchcock is less controlling than Orson Welles?”

It would have benefitted if it utilized some name dropping. Of course, name dropping makes it less accessible to the younger generation ( I being one of them), but would the younger generation really watch a movie about a British fellow in his mid-sixties directing a really, really old movie that doesn’t even have any explosions?* But, it could emphasize the fact that some of these actors have worked with actors that some of the viewers idolized as children. Or their parents’ idolized when they were kids, as well. Maybe some more emphasis on the fact that Hitchcock directed a lot of movies that cemented Cary Grant as a really great actor, and that they featured Ingrid Bergman. The woman from Casablanca. It just didn’t take enough advantage of those things.

*Not a lot of them would. It’s a sad fact, and I am in no way insulting their intelligences, but… Still. Even I, the most pretentious member of the younger generation, still hesitates about watching really old movies. First of all, they most likely (actually, they really won’t) have the eclectic dialogue of movies like Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and In Bruges. And that’s what I really liked about those movies. They talked. Like real people.

So many times, I end up watching a movie where the dialogue is simply a tool to keep the plot going. Sometimes, I’d rather have, “I don’t tip waitresses,” than a sturdy, “Well, let’s go rob that jewelry store.”

That’s a reference to Reservoir Dogs, by the way.

I especially enjoyed the fact that I discovered a lot about American cinema before Hitchcock’s movie, Psycho. Before his movie, a toilet had never been shown on camera in the entire history of American cinema. Also, it was the bloodiest movie at the time.

Bear in mind, that the “stabbing” scenes don’t even show the knife breaking flesh. That is genius.

And for that reason, I give this movie a 7.5/10.

It is a great movie. I’d ask you to think before watching it, but after that one second of hesitation, do it. 

 

7.5/10

 

(Note: The asterisk is a continuation of my original point about the younger generation not watching a movie like this without ample reason. Y’see, I get sidetracked really easily. )