The Godfather

So, I had never seen The Godfather. I know, I know, your instinctive reaction was "Really?" Yes, really. But, you know, I was 2 when it was made and then the this and the that and we all make choices about our time. It's actually a lot harder for me to see a movie that's supposed to be good because then I have to carve out 2 hours (or, in this case, 3) to pay attention. A bad movie I can watch while upgrading servers or something.

Anyway, Shaun was so offended by this gap in my cinema education that he decided to organize a Godfather Marathon and trap me at his house to watch all three. We downgraded that to setting aside a Sunday night to watch just the first one and Erica and I trundled over to watch this cinematic masterpiece. We ordered in some pizza and pasta (and yes, cannoli. I know the line. Everyone knows the line.) and settled in for three hours.

My reaction: It's an OK movie.

So first off, while you're preparing your "my god you have no taste" comments, I have to say that the transfer from film to DVD that was done for the 2000 box set is terrible. Anything outdoors is shiny and looks like videotape. Anything indoors is so dark you can't see what's going on. I read that the newer "Coppola Restoration" discs (from 2007?) is much better, and I'll definitely seek those out when we move on to watching parts II and III.

And then it suffers somewhat from all the ways it's sunk into the zeitgeist. Clever lines become a "oh, that's where that comes from" instead of a real zinger. I wondered why they were playing Generic Gangster Music over every other scene, until I realized that the Godfather soundtrack has been co-opted by every imitator since. And you know, I get it with the scope and Michael's story and so on and so forth, but it just didn't seem to have the umph for me that it has for so many other people. I was ready to be blown away, and I wasn't.

FuzzyCo grade: A-

Update: Timing! Merlin Mann just blogged about the terrible state of the Godfather negatives pre-Coppola restoration.