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278. The Godfather: Part III/Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (#—)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guests Jenn Gannon and Jason Coyle, The 250 is a weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released Saturdays at 6pm GMT.

So this week, both Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part III and Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.

It is 1979. Michael Corleone has solidified control of the Corleone crime family, and hopes to take the family business completely legitimate by striking a deal with the Vatican Bank. Trying desperately to reunited his fractured and divided family, Michael quickly discovers that organised crime isn’t the only place where criminals are lurking, ready to strike.

At time of recording, neither movie was ranked on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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276. The Godfather: Part II (#3)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guests Deirdre Molumby and Brian Lloyd, The 250 is a weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released Saturdays at 6pm GMT.

So this week, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part II.

In 1901, Vito Andolini is evacuated from the small town of Corleone, fleeing to the new world in the hopes of a new life. In 1959, his son Michael Corleone continues his efforts to legitimise the family business. However, will Michael’s efforts to maintain control of the empire that Vito built ultimately lead to the collapse of what both men held most dear?

At time of recording, it was ranked 3rd on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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275. The Godfather (#2)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guest Philip Bagnall, The 250 is a weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released Saturdays at 6pm GMT.

So this week, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather.

Michael Corleone has spent most of his life running away from his family connections, enlisting in the United States Marines to avoid the siren call of his father’s organised crime empire. However, when Michael returns home for his sister’s wedding, events conspire to draw the prodigal son back into the family business.

At time of recording, it was ranked 2nd on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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New Escapist Column! On “Mad Max: Fury Road”, and the Elastic Boundaries Between “High” and “Low” Culture…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. There’s been a lot of debate recently about the boundaries between “art” and “content”, which can frequently sound like a debate about “high” and “low” culture, so I thought it was worth taking a look at how porous those boundaries can be.

On paper, Mad Max: Fury Road should be a standard franchise film. It’s the fourth film in the Mad Max franchise, serving as a vague sequel or even reboot to one of Australia’s most successful movie franchises. It cost a lot of money. It features a lot of special effects. It has very little dialogue. However, in spire of that, it is arguably as pure an expression of cinema as an artform as has every existed, and demonstrates how elastic and how illusory arguments about “high” and “low” culture truly are.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Luke Cage – The Creator (Review)

Luke Cage has always been engaged with The Godfather.

This was obvious even during the first season. Outside of dialogue accepting The Godfather, Part II as “the sequel better than the original” in Step in the Arena, the portrayal of the Stokes family in flashback owed a lot to Francis Ford Coppola’s generation crime saga. Indeed the sequences of the Stokes family gathered around the family table, unaware of the chaos that would rain down upon them, evokes the closing flashback of The Godfather, Part II. It is an image rich with irony, bringing the tragedy something of a full circle.

This point of comparison makes a great deal of sense. The Godfather is a story about a minority community in America, trying to exist both inside and outside the law. It is an archetypal American fairy tale, one of the great cynical meditations on the American Dream. (After all, the opening line of The Godfather is “I believe in America.”) This fits neatly with what Luke Cage is, an exploration of a particularly distinct subculture within contemporary America that explores the sometimes tumultuous relationship that this community has with the law and with political structures.

The second season of Luke Cage commits to this idea even further, its narrative borrowing liberally from The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II in crafting a generational superhero crime epic.

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Fresh Perspectives: Classic Directors and Not-so-Classic Films…

I caught Mel Brooks’ High Anxiety at the weekend, and I have to admit, I liked it. I’d only heard the movie mentioned in passing from time to time, never discussed with the same reverence as Space Balls or Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein, but never with the same bitterness as Dracula: Dead and Loving It. It never really made it on to any conscious “to see” list with any of the great works from iconic directors. However, I really enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t consider it a forgotten classic, or a misunderstood gem overlooked in Brooks’ impressive filmography. It has its flaws and problems, but I enjoyed it. In fact, while I wouldn’t consider on par with some of his stronger films, I dare say that I actually enjoyed it more than some of them, despite the fact I hadn’t heard that much about it. In fact, I can’t help but wonder if I enjoyed it more because I hadn’t heard that much about it.

High expectations can lead to monstrous results...

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Desert Island Discs

The ever wonderful Andy over at Fandango Groovers has put together a rather excellent little project among film bloggers where we’re all essentially playing ‘desert island discs’. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, it sees the person in question stranded on a desert island somewhere with only a handful of items – in this case films. Each person will then choose their own eight films that will presumably see them through the rest of their lives in something resembling tranquility. Of course, the kicker is if we arrive on the island and there’s no DVD player.   

The Losties were less than pleased when Darren phoned ahead with his movie choices...

Note: I’ve also compiled a list of movies and bloggers, so you can see if anyone else shared your picks.

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Who Lies About Seeing Dirty Dancing?

This was an interesting piece of news last week – a large number of us lie about the films we’ve seen, as demonstrated by a survey in the UK. Basically, a large number of us pretend to have seen movies which we haven’t in order to avoid appearing ‘uncultured’. There was a fair bit of focus on the fact that the most lied about film is The Godfather, but it seems to have gone unnoticed that the second most lied about film is Dirty Dancing. Even keeping Patrick Swayze’s recent death in mind (which probably happened after the survey was complete), why would you lie about Dirty Dancing? It takes a stuck-up film snob to judge you for not watching The Godfather or The Shawshank Redemption, two indisputable classics, but who in their right mind would complain that you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Dirty Dancing?

The time of your life, indeed...

The time of your life, indeed...

Sequels Separated by Decades…

Flynn lives! Jeff Bridges’ career declines! The viral marketing campaign for the sequel to Tr0n kicks off this week at Comic Con and I’m skeptical – but not just because they haven’t decided to go with the logical title Tr1n. I’m mostly skeptical because it’s a sequel to a cult movie produced twenty years after the fact. How many sequels separated by decades have actually succeeded?

It was cutting edge for the time, I swear...

It was cutting edge for the time, I swear...

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