I've been watching a series, The Offer, on Paramount+. It's about the making of The Godfather with all the crazy shenanigans that went on behind the scenes. It's a hot bloated mess of a series which has, at most, 6 episodes worth of material that's been dragged out to ten episodes (seven of which have aired). But the stuff that's actually relevant is entertaining enough to maintain my interest, so I endure.
The biggest surprise of the show has been who they got to play Marlon Brando... Alex Karev from Grey's Anatomy! I haven't watched the show since Season 02, so it took me a minute to recognize him, but he did a darn good job in an impossible role... so much respect to Justin Chambers.
Watching the series naturally lead to me to rewatching the entire The Godfather trilogy because I just can't help myself. I've seen them all a dozen times, but they're films I can watch over-and-over, and so I do.
...is a problematic movie featuring time jumps that are glossed over quite badly, resulting in a choppy mess. It also has some violence that's almost comical in implementation. But then it has some of the most mind-bogglingly fantastic performances ever committed to celluloid. Say what you want about Marlon Brando, but he was glorious in his every moment on-screen. And then there's Al Pacino with his riveting, star-making role that culminated in one of the best finales of any film ever made.
The Godfather, Part II...
...is equally problematic in that the dual-narative structure, while ambitious, was better in concept than implementation. That being said, I love it every bit as much as the first film. The cinematography and set decoration create a lush, gorgeous world for the characters to inhabit, and are almost as memorable as the characters. Pacino's cold and calculating take on Michael Corleone is about as compelling as it gets. And De Niro's performance is flawless from the moment he walks on the screen.
The Godfather, Part III...
...in the interest of full disclosure, I was not a fan of this film when it debuted in 1990. Some nutty story beats married to an abysmal performance by Sofia Coppola in a key role plus Robert Duvall's absence left me cold. It was an unsatisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Over the years it's grown on me, however. I love the way the ending harkens back to the first film (with Connie, a character I couldn't stand in the first two films playing a satisfying part), and the way that Michael watches his world spin out of control while he's helpless to do much about it. While I don't think it's in the same league as the first films, it doesn't diminish them in any way, so I've made my peace with it.
There was a rumor that they were planning on picking up the movies again, but focusing on Vincent (Andy Garcia) as the next generation of Corleone. While I think that a film focusing on a hot-headed Don who wanted to watch the world burn could have been interesting, I'm grateful that it never happened though. The time frame for these films had passed and the only reason to go on would be to exploit a great franchise for the money instead of anything creative.
Not that this has ever stopped Hollywood in the past, of course.