SCREEN WORD THINGS:
"The godfather was born Vito Andolini in the town of Corleone in Sicily. In 1901 his father was murdered for an insult to the local Mafia chieftain. His older brother Paolo swore revenge and disappeared into the hills, leaving Vito, the only male heir, to stand with his mother at the funeral. He was nine years old."
Funeral procession through dry rocky field. Band and altar boys. Little Vito in an adorable newsboy cap. Gunshots! The procession scatters. Screaming. Paolo is dead, apparently. RUDE. Their mom is sad (duh). At some fancy compound, the mom brings little Vito to a fancy looking man drinking from a tiny glass. Don Ciccio. Oh, he's the one who had the family killed. His mom says Vito is only nine and "dumb-witted." Supposedly he doesn't even talk. The mom assures the Don her son won't come back for more revenge. The Don's like, "No, bitch." She threatens the Don with a knife like a badass, the Don's bodyguards shoot her, and Vito runs away. Word is spread that anybody hiding the boy will be killed, but somebody does hide him in the side pocket of a donkey's saddle to escape because obviously.
|I got specific because he's Italian, see?|
Okay, now we see "His grandson Anthony Vito Corleone, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, 1958." This is Michael and Kay's eldest child. He's about to get his First Communion. The whole thing's in Latin because it's pre-Vatican II. Now there's an exciting party on the lake. Dancing, a band, fancy '50s cars, and drinks galore. Connie's shown up to the party, one week late from the airport. She wants to see Michael but her mom's like, WTF, go see your kids first. One of the senators from the state of Nevada is making a speech now. This is a serious First Communion party. There's press and everything. The Senator can't pronounce any of the Italian names correctly. Michael and Kay have donated a lot of money to the state university. A boys' choir now sings. Photo op with the Corleones and the Senator and his wife. Kay's hair has calmed down from the first movie, but now it's very brown now and slightly dowdy. I love the way this opening sequence mirrors the first movie with the large family celebration as a backdrop for serious godfather wheeling and dealing in his office. No rest for the wicked, amirite?
The Senator's come to talk to Mike. Mike won't dismiss his counselors. Robert Duvall has lost a lot of hair since the first movie. The Senator takes some pills. Something about hotel licenses and money. Senator says he "doesn't like your kind of people" and says something about "oily hair." Hating organized crime is one thing, but there's no need to be racist about it. The Senator is asking for a LOT of money for a gaming license, admitting he's squeezing them. Mike is like, "No. Also, no. And, fuck you." The lake and mountains are beautiful. An old man drinks out of a hose as Fredo shows up on a boat, wearing a tuxedo jacket that looks like Christmas wrapping paper. The old man is mourning somebody. He and his Elvis-lookalike compatriot are wearing black armbands. He can't get in to see Mike.
|Nobody wants to find Fredo under the tree.|
The band plays into the night. They cheers to "a hundred years" (in Italian, duh). None of Vito's kids are married to Italians. The old guy is drunk. Fredo's wife is blonde and a sloppy drunk. She falls down on the dance floor. Fredo drags her off. Fredo threatens to hit her but she DGAF. Fredo lets a security guy drag her away after she continues to make a scene.
|You do not get to have opinions about business, Frankie.|
The walls in the bedroom are either hideous rock or hideous faux rock. RUSTIC! Anthony's left his dad a picture of him in a car with the crayon message "Do you like it Dad, yes or no?" Kay asks why the drapes are open. Lots of shooting from outside. He army crawls to her side of the bed and pulls her onto the ground. Scary! Security is all up and running on the compound NOW. Pretty clearly this is Frankie's doing, right? Kay and Mama Corleone and some other lady (a nanny?) snuggle the scared kids. Kay's PISSED. Rightfully so. Still though, you married him. God he is so hot all the time. I never knew I had a Pacino thing until now, you guys.
Tom, in his adorbs PJs (which I could not find a picture of, THANKS A LOT, INTERNET), is concerned about Mike. Mike tells Tom he kept things from him to protect him, but he trusts him more than Fredo or anyone else. He calls him his brother. Tom gets teary. He is definitely your bro, at least until he, too, must inevitably betray you because the message of these movies is clearly that Crime Does Not Pay. Mike's going to slink away into the night, leaving Tom in charge of Fredo and his people and protecting his family. The wrinkles just starting to form around his eyes are so hot. Fredo's drunk wife screams and is getting dragged somewhere (still? again?). Two dudes have been shot. From New York? Mike wanted them alive, but it's too late now. Tom starts to assert his authority. Mike goes to say good-bye to Anthony. He loves him, but is a terrible father, just like his own. Anthony liked his presents, but didn't know the people who gave them to him. Kinda like a wedding. Anthony wants to go with Mike on his "business" trip. "Someday," Michael says.
1917, young Robert De Niro is adult Vito. There's a lady and a baby. I'm guessing this one's Sonny, the oldest, who will one day be killed in a hail of bullets at a fake toll booth in New Jersey. Now there's a Vaudeville show of some kind. Vito's "got to see" some hot chick performing. Is she going to be Mama Corleone? De Niro's friend has a unibrow. Unibrow's so proud of his girlfriend, but they wouldn't show her unless Vito is going to fuck her, right? She has INSANELY long hair. Past her hands hanging at her sides. Vito's intrigued by Don Fanucci, "The Black Hand," in the audience.
I'm out of vodka. Time to get friendly with the soju. (2:30. That is soju o'clock.) Vito watches as the Don extorts a dude for money by threatening to stab the young woman. Unibrow explains what is the what to Vito, which you think he would've picked up in the last 16 years in the Italian-American community? Back at home, Vito's wife is like, "Why you be so distant?" He's like, "NOTHING, GEEZ." Vito's neighbor asks him to hide a blanket full of guns. The Don comes into Vito's grocery store to get more money from Unibrow's dad, the owner. There's nobody to protect the Italians, that's how he gets away with it. The boss has to fire Vito since Fanucci's nephew needs a job. He feels really bad, but Vito's cool about it and gives him a hug. The boss tries to make him take a box of groceries home. He should've taken it. You've got a wife and a baby, bro. But he has brought her a pear. FANCY! The gun guy from earlier, Clemenza, has come to claim his goods. Clemenza offers a nice rug in return for Vito's favor. He'll accept. Chickens in the road! Old-timey New York!
Clemenza pretends to be pissed some guy isn't home and breaks into a house to steal the rug, claiming he won't mind. Young De Niro is pretty hot, too, but I've know that since I saw all but the last ten minutes of Taxi Driver.* They move a table and start to roll up the rug. There's a brief scare with a delivery man at the door, but they make it out with the rug okay and Vito knows what's what. Baby Sonny does not like Clemenza, but I bet he'll get to love army crawling around on that sweet new rug.
BACK TO THE FUTURE. Michael escapes into the night in a fancy train car because the 1950s. A suspicious-looking man in all black and a hat sits nearby. Oh, probably a bodyguard, not an assassin, since Mike seems non-nonplussed. Palm trees and amazing 1950s boat cars. Michael follows some other dude and eventually they both park on the little boulevard strip or whatever. (No curbs.) The other dude has a peach-colored suit on and jogs up to the front door of a cute one-story house. A lady invites Mike inside. Oh, it's Hyman Roth's house. I wonder what his Jewish friend can do for him now. He's lounging in front of the TV. The curtains are made of the same materials as the ugly wicker furniture. FLORIDA!! Hyman loves sports. Mike turns up the TV so the wife won't hear. He says there's going to be more bloodshed, but they don't want a war. He knows it was Frankie who tried to knock him out. Hyman's wife brings lunch in on a sweet TV tray and turns the TV back down. Roth likes Mike. He doesn't care of Frankie gets killed.
The snow falls at what I think is the old Corleone compound in New York. Frankie shows up and his wife is like, "Mike's here. Been waiting awhile." I think everybody knows this is bad, even the ladies who don't get told nothing. In comparison to the first movie, there's a lot more Italian dialogue. Mike yells at Frank about that whole assassination attempt in his family home but says he wants Frank to help him with revenge. His coat has so many buttons. They are attractive. Mike asks Frank to "lay down" to the Rosatos. Frank says Roth is backing them. Mike says it was Hyman who tried to have him killed. Mike reminisces about the family home. Mike's playing this so good. He is really awesome at swallowing emotions for politics.
Fredo and his sexy slut wife sleep in satin sheets on a bed with a mirror headboard. The phone rings and it's Johnny. Something bad is happening. Fredo has gotten into something bad and is trying to claim he's not in it now, I guess? In NYC, Frankie goes to meet with a Rosato bro, I guess. They go to a bar in daylight. Some guy says, "Michael Corleone says hello" while choking him with a garrotte. It's loud. A cop wanders into the bar. Awkward. A shooting match goes down, I guess. Frankie's not dead. Cars peel out. Okay, now a small plane lands on a dark runway somewhere where there are mountains. I miss mountains. Tom shows up at a brothel, I think. "Come on, girls, take a hike, huh?" I bet they know so many secrets. I hope they all write best-selling memoirs one day. Apparently the Senator has been caught with his pants down (literally) with a dead prostitute. She's all tied-up and bloody. He claims he passed out and doesn't know what happened. Tom tells him it's a good thing his bro Fredo runs this place. OMG they own the Senator TOTES FOR REALSIES. Tom's like, "She's got no family, so whatevskis." But SRSLY with the pwnage. Kay is trying to go out to the grocery store, but Tom says she's not allowed to leave because of Michael's orders for safety. Her striped coat and hat are pretty awesome and she's pissed.
|The president of Cuba is joining you.|
|I really wanted it to turn into this.|
Freddie's all like, "My wife/family sitch sucks." Apparently their mom used to say he was abandoned on their doorstep by Gypsies. Freddie says he was mad at him and... Fredo gets drunk while Mike drinks club soda. Mike says he wants Freddie to show some government people a good time. He is definitely having his bro murdered. Okay, but he says that he (Mike) will be assassinated. He says it will be Roth. Okay, this is part of the larger play. FUUUUUUCK. His last brother to be killed. But I also don't think he fully trusts Roth and is playing him too because he is the smartest and the prettiest little mafioso that ever was.
Roth's health is not great. He has such high pants and such thick chest hair He sends his wife down to the casino. OMG this whole movie is like "Who did a thing but are you lying but also let's wear suits and make deals what is happening." I am a bit drunk, so it may be harder to tell. Oh, I should pour another soju! But Mike's like, "Who had Frank killed?" He claims he didn't give the go-ahead. Roth looks a bit guilty. Late 1950s decor is so uggggly. Roth keeps emphasizing how much he loved Vito. Moe Greene invented Las Vegas. Remember when Mike had Moe killed last movie? Shot in the eye during a massage. Roth knows it was him. Roth wants the $2 mil from Fredo. It's intense that each dude has his own bodyguard in the meetings. What they must know! A fancy song and dance show in front of a fountain. Silver bikinis. Mike meets up with the Senator Who Owes Them and some other senators. Johnny Ola, Hyman's orange-suited guy, is also there. Fredo brings everybody to some sweet dive bar. It's New Years. Fake hijabed ladies tie up another lady and throw some lady to the floor. Mike is Not Interested. The lady in her cape turns around is apparently naked. Freddie's having a great time, even though his bro is supposedly about to be almost-murdered.
Roth's man Johnny is getting strangled with a wire hanger by Mike's bodyguard. The bodyguard always wears all black because of totes being inconspicuous. He finds Hyman surrounded by doctors. They're going to bring him to the hospital. Back at some fancy new year's party, the American gov types. Mike stays sober while Fredo goes off to find a "real drink." I feel like Mike's man could really use a cellphone at this point, but I guess they already knew Hyman was dying, so he should finish him off no matter what. Military police watch the Feliz Ano Nuevo party. The Senator wonders where Roth is. Mike watches some soldiers goose-step out of the party. The hospital personnel pull the nurse out of Roth's room to celebrate the New Year for just a minute and Mike's man in black slips inside. He's dying, why must he die tonight, I wonder? He's caught trying to smother Roth by a nurse and some cops/soldiers, who shoot him to death. Mike tells his brother there's a plane to Miami waiting for them and kisses him real hard telling him he knows it was him (who arranged the hit at his house, I think). "You broke my heart." That is some sad shit.
|But SRSLY, have we not been over this?|
BACK IN TIME. Young Vito looks concerned. Little Fredo has pneumonia. He's got a fat belly and we see his tiny baby penis for unknowable reasons. Some lady tries to suction a candle on his chest or something. Vito is driving a car. Fanucci wants money from him from his supposed goods-stealing business. Vito's got to talk to his business partners. Fanucci walks off with a silk robe. Vito's partners are Clemenza and Tessio (who is played by Abe Vigoda in the first movie, which takes place 30-ish years in the future). I was trying to figure out how I recognized young Tessio, and I think it's because he played Nick Katsopolis, the maternal grandfather of the girls on Full House. And/or all the TV he's done for all the years. Hey guys, this movie is 200 minutes long. I have paused a bunch so it's 4:00 a.m. and I am only 110 in. I killed a bottle of vodddzz tonight, and I will def be killing this bottle of soju too. Good thing Isaac and I are celebrating Valentine's Day tomorrow (today) and also will have the evening free for booze shopping (before 8 p.m because this is St. Paul). Mama Corleone makes so many plates of spaghetti. Vito claims Fanucci will accept it if they each only give $50. He claims he'll take care of it. Vito's starting to collect favors. Salut!
|Maybe more Kanye than RuPaul, but impractical/dapper either way.|
A procession outside. A golden Jesus with money clipped all over. Bills. Who will end up with it? Probs Fanucci. He clips a bill to something. Vito follows Fanucci down the street from the rooves above. Is "rooves" not a word? Is it roofs? Whatever, I'm sticking with ROOOOOVES. Fanucci's fucking white suit. He genuflects like I pretend to do sometimes because I work for the Catholics. Fanucci has a nasty neck scar. I assume somebody's tried to kill him before. Fuck, De Niro is hot. I GET IT, BABY BOOMERS. Pacino and De Niro OMG YES. Vito breaks into Fanucci's building. With a towel, he unscrews a lightbulb in the stairwell. Now the towel is wrapped around a big gun. Homemade silencer! Fanucci realizes something's up with the light as Vito aims his be-toweled gun from across the hall. He shoots Fanucci in his front hall while the band and fireworks sound outside. Vito's towel lights on fire. He uses a pistol to finish the job in Fanucci's mouth. He hides pieces of the gun down various chimneys as he escapes the scene relatively casually. All the Italians celebrate in the street below. Vito gets back to his stoop and picks up baby Michael, who will be his favorite. INSERT DISC 2. It's 4:15 am, but I will do it!
A black car drives up to the snowy Lake Tahoe compound gates. SOJU SHOT! I like the ADT Security sign on the gate. Little red car outside (the gift Tom got for Anthony for Christmas). With a half-smoked cigarette in his mouth, Michael walks into the house. Has he always smoked? Probably. Everybody in these old movies (esp. an old movie that's a period piece) smoked. Is this where his family is, or are they somewhere else? Oh, he comes upon Kay sewing in a room that has matching wallpaper, curtains, and furniture upholstery. If she hears him come in, she doesn't respond.
A dude testifies in front of Congress? about the Corleone family. The verb behest is used. YESSSSS. Who is this douche? The guy says he's never met Mike. Our Nevada Senator friend is on the committee, of course. He's trying to help subtly. Mike, in full three-piece suit, walks across his family grounds. He goes to see his mom in the guest house. He wants to know what his dad felt deep inside. Like he'd ever tell his wife that shit. Mike worries about losing his famiglia. HIS ACTUAL FAMILY OR THE CRIME SYNDICATE WHAT HIS MOM CONFLATES BOTH HARD SAD FEELINGS TIMES CHANGIN'.
Young Vito's got some more money, looking classy, getting favors from street vendors, talking in that stupid scratchy voice--I want there to be an origin story for that. Vito goes to see some old lady. Her dog bothers the neighbors and the landlord is mad. I'm not sure this is a job for a mob boss. He said he can help her move, but she wants to stay. Vito finds the landlord outside his barber's. The landlord is a fancy man with his decorative cane. The landlord isn't Sicilian, Cabrese. He rented the apartment already. The rent is $5 a month!!! Vito's like, "Do me this favor. I'll pay the difference in rent increase and she keeps the dog." Awww jah. Landlord Roberto shows up at Don Vito's olive oil shop. He's all repentant now. He returns Vito's money. He's been scared off somehow. I looked at Facebook for a second and don't know why. The door is sticky. Hahahha. Genco Import Co. "olive oil and cheese." That's their business. Viiiito.
Mike Corleone has been called in front of the congressional committee. Our Friend the Senator says his BFFs are all Italian-Americans and says he has to leave. TACKY. Rotten apples and barrels! Remember when the Senator "accidentally" killed that hoor? This dude with awesome glasses and and a mustache is ridic. They bring up the 1947 murder of the police captain and Sollozzo. And the deaths of the Five Families in 1950. He has investments in casinos and shit. This cranky, mustachioed congressman looks like a younger version of my father in law. I'm so glad Kay is back there in some giant drapey blouse/dress thing supporting Michael. Mike brings up being a Navy war hero. He's never been arrested. They're making a big deal about him not taking the Fifth. The chariman is like, "We'll indict the fuck out of you soon." Oh, here's Frankie, still alive, in an FBI safehouse, I'm guessing. He gonna die. I'm glad there's a pool table in there. Tom tells Mike they can't get to Frank. He's still worried about Fredo. Roth fucked errrybody, I guess.
Mike goes to see Fredo, who is all despondent and claims he knows very little. Fredo has always been embarrassed that his kid brother is in charge. OMG is this movie still happening? I made a quesadilla. Fredo claims he's smart. Mike wants info about the investigation. The Senate lawyer is Roth's man, he says. Fredo has betrayed Mike a bunch, so he says, "You're nothing to me now." He wants to make sure they don't run into each other at their mom's. Mike wants Fredo protected as long as his mom's still alive.
Is Vito in a Nazi uniform? Military dudes salute each other. Maybe I'm confused. [Ed. note: I have no idea what this was in reference to.]
|Oh, to be one of the cops right now.|
|I like how it looks like she's wearing a suit made of the couch upholstery.|
EVERYTHING IN THE '50s MUST MATCH.
|Wait, did they actually produce olive oil at one point?|
|Use this knowledge carefully.|
Tom's gone to visit Frankie in prison. His bro went back to Italy. Tom and Frankie share cigars. Frankie was a Hitler supporter, apparently. How much fucking more of this movie is there? The family used to be like the Roman Empire. Duvall makes a balding man look good. Tom implies to Frankie that if he kills himself, they'll take care of his family. Not sure why it matters if he lives now? Connie is looking very matronly these days. She comes in and tells Kay she has to go because "he's coming." Her striped coat is still awesome. Those poor kids. Anthony doesn't want to kiss her. OMG PACINO HOTHOT. Polo shirt with camel coat and matching scarf. He shuts the door on sad Kay.
Somebody goes out on a boat. This fucking luxe boathouse. Fredo and Anthony's fishing trip gets interrupted. Mike wants to take Anthony to Reno. Connie is apparently some kind of family enforcer and also are all her kids grown now? Now the only other guy in the boat with Fredo is New Bodyguard. Fredo gonna die. Roth gets arrested at the airport. Frankie's FBI handlers have lost him. Roth claims he's a retired investor living on a pension. Somebody stabs him in the airport and gets shot. Frankie's slashed his wrists in the bathtub. Fredo says the Hail Mary on the boat on Lake Tahoe. Mike waits until the gunshot. The murder business is pretty murder-y. He's so sad, but he has nice watches and rings now.
Flashback to when Sonny introduced Carlo to Connie. Sonny calls Mike "Einstein." Vigoda brings a cake. The Glory Days. That cake is insane. Oh, I'm pretty sure I mislabeled this family dinner scene as part of the first movie. Something about Jap-lovers. Sonny says, "Country ain't your blood." Mike says he's quit college and joined the Marines. The kids in the background don't know what's up. The brothers contemplate Mike's decision and the godfather's birthday. Mike emphasizes that it's "My future." Last time he'll make that claim. He doesn't join in on the surprise. Fucking family.
Sexy aging Michael remembers his dad with him in Sicily. He continues to wear his wedding ring. He is alone.
*I rented Taxi Driver once from an actual, physical video rental place in, like, 2006. The DVD was scratched, but only at the last ten minutes and they didn't have any other copies. I was filled with rage and then clearly forgot about it because I never did bother to watch the rest. I'm pretty sure it's just De Niro killing lots of people.