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The Godfather Part III

by Louise Adams
Monday May 12, 2014
The Godfather Part III

Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back into 1990's glacially-paced "The Godfather Part III," now out on digitally-remastered Blu-ray with no special features.

In the thankfully final chapter, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino, obeying "mafia-speak" and not using contractions, "this I cannot do," sporting perpetual collar pins and enough product to keep his hair vertical) yet again swears he's out of the mob biz, just wanting to live peacefully in 1979 New York (quite sad to see the Twin Towers in the opening shots). He dolefully claims "the only wealth in this world is children" while donating $100 million to a Sicilian Catholic charity.

He's purchasing, I mean, receiving the church's Order of St. Sebastian, and therefore is fĂȘted by The Families and his family: remarried ex-wife Kay (mollified Diane Keaton), estranged opera-singing son Anthony (barely seen Franc D'Ambrosio), dopey daughter Mary (dreadful Sofia Coppola, all hair flips and petulant pouts), and Sonny's bastard upstart and Corleone heir apparent Vincent Mancini (hirsute Andy Garcia).

"The higher I go the crookeder it becomes."

Michael's unholy financial alliance with the church leads him and his minions to Vatican City and the Pope himself to "purify" their ill-gotten gains, although "the higher I go the crookeder it becomes." Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo's bloated 170-minute script contains Michael's endless self-reflection (Kay differentiates, "I don't hate you, I dread you"), diabetic episodes, and Fredo flashbacks, while Mary and Vincent explore incest and rival Joey Zasa (Joe Mantegna, warming up for Fat Tony) steps on vengeful toes.

Sister Connie (Talia Shire) remains unforgiving and vindictive, although the many murders are never investigated and reap no consequences. There's a lot of smoking. And SNL's favorite puffing Pontiff-watcher, Father Guido Sarducci, aka Don Novello, has an amusing turn as Corleone Press Secretary Dominic Abbandando.

Don Corleone's dearest desire is for "all our ships to sail in the same direction." Too bad they didn't dock in the editing suite.

"The Godfather Part III"

Louise Adams is a Chicago freelance writer at www.treefalls.com (and a nom de guerre).


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