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Mafia

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Goodfellas



Title: Goodfellas
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Written by: Nicholas Pileggi, Martin Scorsese
Year: 1990

I guess Goodfellas, together with The Godfather (as well as its sequel), proves that I do not like the crime genre, especially not the Mafia variety. It is not that I think the films themselves are that bad; in fact, I have difficulties putting my finger on any particular aspect I do not like. Instead, I seem to dislike the genre as a whole. I simply do not find these films interesting or entertaining.

Goodfellas focuses on drama, more particularly on the life of Henry Hill and his gradual integration with the Mafia. It is a story about a style of life, filled with violence, caprice and power. I think these themes are well portrayed in the film, so kudos to both the author and the director. However, I still do not think the content merits more than three snails. This film is competently made, but made for someone else than me.

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Title: The Godfather, part II
Directed by:
Francis Ford Coppola
Written by:
Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola
Year: 1974

After having watched The Godfather, I cannot say I was looking forward to watching part two, but having done so anyway, I am at least happy to tell you that I actually enjoyed the second film. Since they have fairly much in common, I will keep this review brief. The film is really a sequel and a prequel in one, with two story lines running parallel, one covering Don Corleone’s arrival to New York and the other a direct sequel to the first movie.

I cannot really put my finger on why I liked the second part more, but I think it has got to do with many small things adding up, because apart from the story arrangement, the two films are similar. References to the first part is also apparent in many ways (the opening scene with the party from part one is used again, but with different people and a slightly different setting, for instance). As before, the film is adroitly directed, but still fails to catch my interest and is way too long for its own good. It seems that the mafia theme is not my cup of tea after all.

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The Godfather


Title: The Godfather
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Written by: Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola
Year: 1972

Even though there are certain problems associated with a list based on popular opinion, there is at least a social value in having seen movies on IMDb’s top 250 movies, since the experience is shared with so many people. One task on my 101-in-1001 list is to have seen the top 100 films and I thought it would be nice to start from the top. The Godfather has been ranked as number one for quite some time, closely followed by The Shawshank Redemption.

Sadly, I must say that The Godfather utterly fails to impress me. I admit that it is skillfully directed and that many aspects of the plot and characters are interesting, but everything is watered down to a three-hour film with too much time spent on things which are supposedly there for atmosphere or something. The story is centred around the Corleone Mafia family, picturing both the private and business sides of their existence. This portrayal of internal affairs within the family is next to the only thing which arouses my interest.

Conclusively, I did not like this film at all. I have difficulties understanding why it is held in such high esteem by so many (so if you happen to be one of the 128,974 people who think it deserves the highest rating possible, please explain). I give it two and a half snail, mostly because it is adeptly directed and has a fairly interesting story. Apart from that, there is not much of interest.

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