Discussion in 'Community' started by TheEmperorsProtege, Aug 15, 2004.
As well as the Fantastic Four reboot.
Phone Booth, not a bad movie
Shaft: The original with Richard Roundtree. Is it sad that the only salvageable thing about this film was Isaac Hayes's soundtrack? I really would have rather seen Hayes as Shaft since that was originally going to happen. It's fairly bland and doesn't really go anywhere. On the other hand, I do love Black Dynamite.
Back to the Future Part 1
Warm Bodies, night before last.
The heartwarming cinema classic, MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY
The Bride of Frankenstein
I watched the cell with a friend. It was good. But having seen it years after it's release it wasn't as original as it might have once been.
zero dark thirty. i thought it was a pretty flawed film, and of the eight best picture nominees that i've now seen it's the only one i really didn't enjoy. the biggest problem for me was that the film was built around a really strong and compelling main character, who then has nothing to do with the climactic third act of the movie. i get that it's a document of actual events, and as that it's ok i guess, but as a movie it's not great storytelling. i thought jessica chastain was very good and her best actress nomination was well earned, but the best picture and best screenplay nominations are way off.
"Seven Days to Noon", an Oscar-winning and now-obscure British thriller from 1950. One of the first (if not the first) nuclear blackmail movies, with a very early version of a suitcase nuke. Very well-made movie.
The Baytown Outlaws, fairly decent
Back to the Future Part 2
Sword of the Beast
at the movie theater: The Hobbit
I just saw in IMDB that Romeo from "Warm Bodies" played the goofy kid in "About a Boy." I never would have recognized him.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
It was a decent flick, though what occupied my thoughts through most of it is that I don't care how old Ewan Mcgregor gets, I will always want to have his babies.
The Godfather- I had tried to watch this about 15 years ago, but the taped-off-TV recording my friend's parents had ended just after the restaurant sequence. At first we were like "Well, for a movie called "The Godfather", he sure isn't actually in the movie much. Then we found out there was more to the movie.
Well, soon after that I figured I'd just wait for the DVD release to come out. Then the DVD set came out but was pretty expensive, so I held off as I didn't want to drop that much cash on a trilogy of films I didn't know if I was going to really like (especially since mob movies/shows don't tend to do much for me). I also didn't rent movies much so that wasn't really an option. And after that I just never got around to it.
Anyways, flash forward and I have to take a film analysis class as part of my game design degree (despite having already attended film school, the credits couldn't transfer, arg!), which will include The Godfather among the titles we'll be watching and picking apart in the coming weeks.
Well, I didn't want my first full viewing of the film to be during the stop-and-analysis of the class, so since I had some extra time today due to work closing because of the forthcoming blizzard, I pulled it up on an on-demand service (non-HD and not widescreen, so not exactly an ideal quality but it will suffice for my purposes here for now).
So what did I think? It's ok. It does have some excellent moments and some great performances. It does feel like two movies slammed together, though. I did like the first half more- it feels like it has too much fat at the start but the hospital and restaurant sequences are the highlights of the film. Oddly enough, though, I liked Michael more in the last fourth (after the Italy filler of the 3rd fourth) than the first half.
The abundant fade to blacks kinda annoyed me too, but I'll admit that's more of a personal nitpick/pet peeve (I'm fine with people using them in films, but only when usd properly. All to often filmmakers seemed compelled to use them to end almost every sequence, as if they're just covering up the fact that they don't have an actual transition or know how to end a scene). Minor annoyance and your mileage may vary.
The only thing that wasn't made clear was the nature of Abe Vigoda's betrayal. I get that the first that spoke of Benzini was the traitor and that was him. I also picked up the establishment of that connection by Brando in the one discussion with Michael. What was seemingly lacking was what that betrayal was and how it connected to Benzini.
Anyways, I hate to be "that guy" who harps on a classic film feeling overrated. I didn't dislike it, but it just didn't fully engage me (except for the noted sequences above). I admit it could simply be because it was more revolutionary at the time of it's release even if its a little blase by modern standards (no doubt due to the mob cliches that the Godfather itself likely established in the first place).
Also, I CAN'T be the only one who thought the young James Caan was somehow a time traveling Adam Baldwin, can I? All he was missing was Vera and a mighty hat.
Back to the Future Part 3
The "peace summit" Tessio (Vigoda's character) arranges between Barzini, Tattalgia, and Michael is actually going to be an attempt at a hit on Mikey. In exchange for getting Michael to attend the "meeting," where he'll be killed, Tessio stood to have the Barzini/Tattalgia axis swoop in on the remnants and put him as the head of a puppet Corleone family. This is why Tom is so surprised that it was him - Tessio has otherwise been a loyal, upstanding member of the family, but at the time the summit was being planned it seemed obvious that Barzini and Tattalgia would win and, like Michael says, "It's the smart move. Tessio was always smarter."
I... don't actually remember how clear they made that in the film versus how clear it's made in the book, the two are essentially inseparable in my mind anymore, even if the book itself is vendor trash whereas the film is one of my all-time favorites (as is Part II). That is the whole of the matter, though.
Barzini was the one plotting against the Corleones the whole time; he convinced Tessio (Abe Vigoda) to betray Michael by setting up the meeting where he'd be assassinated, in return for getting control of the Corleone family.
EDIT because Ramza scooped me: the nature of the plan is evident in the movie -- that Michael is being set up to be killed at the meeting. It's not said explicitly what Tessio expects to get, but it's implicit that he's going to be rewarded by Barzini, and control over his own organization is what he's already told Michael and Vito he wants.
Oh, no- that I got. My question is how did they know about the hit in the first place? How did they know about a traitor? As far as I could tell, they just mention how to catch the traitor out of the blue for the first time during the garden conversation between Michael and Brando. They subsequently explain that the meeting will be a hit during the funeral after Abe reveals himself.
In other words, it seems they explain the setup to the payoff after the payoff.
It comes across as "Someone has betrayed you ina n unexplained manner." "Whomever comes to you to arrange something about this guy later will be the guy who did that betrayal." "It's this guy- it is obviously a setup for a hit."
Remember, Barzini doesn't know that Vito's wise to his bull**** act of pretending to be the neutral party while actually pushing Tattalgia to war with the Corleones. So Vito reasons that the only reason anyone would suggest a meeting with Barzini is if they intended to betray Michael.
As for why it's a hit, well, two reasons: 1. In universe, this is the mob we're talking about ( ) 2. Out of universe, it's meant to sound suspiciously reminiscent of the circumstances where Michael met with Sollozzo.
Vito knows how the mafia works, and Michael has learned the same. Barzini is gunning for the Corleones, therefore it's a given that he's going to be trying to suborn one of Michael's subordinates to get at him. It's not that they've uncovered a plot, just that they know that there will inevitably be a plot, and anyone who's carrying messages for Barzini to set up a hit opportunity (Barzini has no idea the Corleones are on to him, so he doesn't know how suspicious the meeting offer is) is the inevitable traitor.
EDIT: RAMZA STOP POSTING BEFORE ME.
Ah, ok. The film isn't very clear on that pre-emptive assumption of betrayal. However, I do recall Vito commenting on it being Benzini about something after the meeting.