Al Pacino, on the other hand, was not so fortunate. Nominated twice for his performances as Michael Corleone, Al Pacino failed to win himself an award for a role he delivered excellently. (He would not win an award for his achievements until 1992 for Scent of a Woman.) In the first film, he was absolutely brilliant, truly deserving for the title of Best Supporting Actor that he did not receive, even compared to his competitors, James Caan and Robert Duvall. For Part II, Al Pacino was promoted to a Best Actor nomination for his sinister portrayal of an utter villain. Once again, my initial view of this second segment was much, shall we say, higher, as in I was immensely captivated by his performance, reflecting on my overall admiration of the film itself. However, once again, a second time around proved to alter my judgement, for the worse in this instance. (Or is it for the worst?)
As I progress in writing this important post (important because it describes and honors one of the greatest masterpieces of cinema), it seems I will list a series of facts about the film in a structured, organized manner. Of course, as you have already seen, I will incorporate my own views on the films, as well. Just thought I should inform you now before you become confused as to what exactly my purpose is. I feel I should always caution you in my writing--moving on.
Allow me to explain exactly what my initial judgment of Part II was. To sum it up, I considered it to be the greatest sequel in the history of film that I have seen thus far. In fact, I thought it more than surpassed the first one, being, quite frankly, a damned fine masterpiece, from the proportioned length to the brilliant acting. However, this gaspingly admiring description very much declined on a second-time viewing. I'm not implying that this was the worst sequel in the history of film, as it was a pretty great sequel considering what it competes with. (Part Two: The Demanding Sequels.) Upon a second appraisal of this film, I found my opinion to be greatly changed from what it once was. Now, I find myself with more than a few complaints, including the drastic change in setting and a certain character's demise in respectability. In the first film, the Corleone Family remained in its familiar home of Long Island, New York, a home that moviegoers have similarly become adapted to. Part II takes the audience across the country, eradicating the Corleones from their home in Long Island to the barren Western coast in Nevada. The basic plot of the second film involved Michael Corleone branching his crime syndicate to Lake Tahoe in Nevada. Also, in the background of this change of scenery was the chaos surrounding pre-revolutionary Cuba. Forgive me, but this feels a little too much like Scarface, only quieter. Of course, I cannot expect a sequel to follow every point that was followed in its predecessor, for that would just be copying-and-pasting, but creating something new that isn't better is also a wrong turn.
Breaking News: It has come to my attention that a prequel based on a screenplay Mario Puzo drafted years ago has been released in the form of a novel, under the title The Family Corleone. In a (not so recent) recent article in Entertainment Weekly, the dramatic lawsuits against this book and the Puzo family estate (for "copyright infringement") and the counter-suits against Paramount ("go to the mattresses") is only the intriguing silver lining to an even larger discovery: the possibility of a fourth Godfather film. After Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola collaborated on The Godfather Part III, the original author decided to begin writing Part IV, and, according to his editor, it had "all the wonderful flavor of the Godfather movies." (Doesn't quoting from a respected publication make me sound pseudo-intellectual?) When my eyes came across those hopeful words, my face did a spasm it usually does when I experience shock and awe. Then again, would another Godfather film be the most logical choice? Keep in mind the infectious misfortune sequels have received lately. Of course, this would be a prequel to the saga, after Robert DeNiro's Vito Corleone and before Marlon Brando's Vito Corleone. One can recall the success of X-Men: First Class. The prequel in question would take place during the time when the Godfather's Mafia was in its unstoppable prime, and there was very little attack targeted against them. Think of it as that glorious time between the two World Wars, a sort of Midnight in Paris-esque era of wonder and joy. As of this time, no trial date has been made for the lawsuit at hand, nor has any official word been released that there will be a fourth Godfather film. (This breaking news is brought to you by a May 2012 issue of Entertainment Weekly.)
P.S. For the record, it took me five months to dish this baby out. (I hesitated in typing that sentence, so you're aware.) I don't know why I delayed it for such a long period, but I figured better late than never, and it would be a fine start to what would hopefully be a productive year in my steady posting.