The Godfather

Retro Lisa: The Godfather Trilogy, Nice Guy Johnny

The Godfather

It all started with a conversation I had with my boyfriend of almost two years, EJ. When I told him about my desire to go back and watch movies that I had never seen before instead of spending money at the movie theater, it lead into a conversation about his favorite classic movie, “The Godfather.” “Of course you’ve seen that?” he asked. I sheepishly shook my head, ‘no.’

“No…?!” he asked. He got up, put his hands on his head and broke up with me. Okay, not really. He jokingly said that he should break up with me because how could Lisa Iannucci, an Italian and a movie lover, have not seen one of the most iconic movies of all time? (I didn’t want to let him know that I didn’t even realize there was more than one.) I didn’t realize that just because I was Italian I needed to see this movie. I guess when he learns that I’m really half-Italian and half Russian/Hungarian, he’ll flip out when he realizes I haven’t seen “Dr. Zhivago” either.

I know “The Godfather” plot (mafia boss kills people), and I can do a mean Vito Corleone impersonation for a woman, but that’s where it ended. So, the next three weekends turned into marathon of “The Godfather” trilogy.

For those of you who, like me, hesitantly admit that you haven’t seen it either, “The Godfather” is an Academy-award winning film released in 1972. It’s a crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola that’s based on Mario Puza’s novel. Marlon Brando plays the leader of the Corleone crime family, and the movie chronicles the decade of his rule, death and, ultimately, succession of his son, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino). The success of the first movie led to “The Godfather Part II” in 1974 and “Part III” in 1990.

It was a very good movie if you like crime films. I’m not the biggest fan of the genre, but the film captivated me. I did find it to be dark, and I don’t mean the story … the film is dark and it’s hard to tell at times what’s going on, but you get the idea.

I have to admit we haven’t watched the third film yet, but Part I and Part II are well-written, really tell the story and explain what’s going on, even through flashbacks. So if you think you’re going to have a hard time following the low dialogue and dark film, Coppola does a great job keeping you interested.

I will admit, however, that if it weren’t for EJ, I probably wouldn’t have watched Part II or Part III. I got enough of the Corleone family in Part I, but I promised I’d watch all of them. If you’re a movie buff, you really should just sit through at least Part I (I can hear the “Godfather” fans yelling at me now that you must sit through the rest).

There is a spectacular cast of actors who went on to have extremely successful careers in this trilogy, and that alone should encourage you to watch it.

In the meantime, I also used Netflix to watch “Nice Guy Johnny,” a 2010 movie starring Matt Bush (Johnny Rizzo), Kerry Bische and Edward Burns. Rizzo is about to trade his dream job in talk radio for a more secure, higher-paying job his fiancée Brooke wants him to have. When he spends the weekend with his free-wheeling uncle (Burns), who’s more focused on getting him laid than helping him build his relationship, Rizzo isn’t interested (he’s a nice guy, get it?). But Brooke challenges everything Johnny believes in.

I enjoyed this movie, although I describe it as a straight-line movie. There isn’t this great build up to anything. It goes straight across. Of course, there is some challenge in Johnny’s life and we see how that is resolved, but it doesn’t leave you on the edge of your seat, make you cry, or challenge your emotions in any way. Like its title, it’s just a ‘nice’ movie, but it’s definitely not a chick flick that I’ll watch again and again (I do that…).

Finally, I have to admit I went to the movies. After working almost non-stop to earn money to not only get out of debt, but repair a boiler that’s on its death bed, my stress level was high. I needed to get out of the house and decided to go see “42” – so good. Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, it’s well worth the money to watch such a great story (Jane agrees – read her review here).

I was disappointed in the ending because I wanted more (not giving it away, but you’ll know what I mean), but that’s the only downfall. I give it a 9 out of 10.

There are a few movies I want to see IN the theater, including “The Great Gatsby” and “Iron Man 3,” but so far, “Iron Man” is the only movie I’ve given myself permission to see this year. After all, that furnace isn’t going to fix itself.


5 responses to “Retro Lisa: The Godfather Trilogy, Nice Guy Johnny”

  1. Jane Boursaw Avatar

    Love this. We did the same thing with the Godfather trilogy a while back, since I hadn’t seen the whole trilogy from start to finish. It took us about a year to get through it. 🙂

  2. […] Retro Lisa: The Godfather Trilogy, Nice Guy Johnny ( […]

  3. […] looked back at my last Retro Lisa post and was stunned to realize it was last April. It’s been a crazy year as I put my goals of getting […]

  4. […] covers sports topics for Reel Life With Jane and over at Sports Palooza, suggests a marathon of “The Godfather” trilogy (buy it on Amazon). Another favorite is “The Hustler” (currently available […]

  5. […] Garr, who covers sports topics for Reel Life With Jane and over at Sports Palooza, suggests “The Godfather” trilogy (buy it on Amazon). Another favorite of his is “The Hustler” (currently available […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *