The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone

Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.

—-Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part III

A terrible Blackberry photo of my folding Xootr Swift parked next to a Yuba cargo bike (set up to carry a whole family) outside the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Two different philosophies on urban bicycling.

On the last two Saturdays Candy and I went to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to watch special showings of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. So today, the third Saturday in a row, we went to see The Godfather Part III. I was very interested because they were screening the re-cut version The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. I’m not sure if I was ever able to sit through the original Godfather III – it wasn’t up to the standards of the first two – and I found it ponderous and boring, especially on television. I have read that the new version, although it leaves most of the center of the film the same, changes the beginning and end – leading to a version that is much improved. So we’ll see.

I enjoyed it – I think the key is to realize that it is a very different movie, both in style and in message, than the previous two. If you can take it on its own, it’s a good, enjoyable film – though not as epic as the other chapters in the saga. Seeing it in a theater helped – the film mostly made sense, though I still don’t completely understand all the financial issues with the Vatican.

Oh, and I’m afraid its still true – Sophia Coppola may be a great director – but she is terrible in this movie.

And its fun to spot actors that you’ve seen somewhere else that you never thought would be in a Godfather epic (for example Harry Dean Stanton in Godfather Pert II). In this one it would have to be Don Novello (he has a big part) – better known as Father Guido Sarducci.