jack’s review published on Letterboxd:
"I knew it was you, Fredo"
The Godfather changed filmmaking forever. It will forever go down in history as one of the greatest films of all time. Honest time: I prefer Godfather II.
Hold your horse heads and your Marlon Brando pictures. Let me explain myself, as I am in the small minority that thinks this is truly the better film.
Al Pacino's acting. Michael's personality completely changed when the second one hit theaters. He went from a kindhearted veteran, to a Don who will extract his revenge on any human being who decides to go against him, attack him, or wrong him in any way. He becomes the very thing he refused to become in the Godfather: A villain. How the fuck didn't he win the Oscar?!
The supporting characters are pivotal in every scene of the film. They become players in Michael's downfall. Fredo, especially. Damn you, Fredo.
How about the fact, the simple fact that you get two films for the price of one? You see Vito Corleone's rise to power, what he did to build up his world, and Michael; who watches it crumble.
De Niro's performance is outstanding. You all know that. And the plot, cinematography, script and score are also key players in why this is the best of the films.
It's also got one of my favorite scenes in cinema history. Vito and Michael (as a child) are riding a train back to their home. Vito wraps his hand around his son's, tells him "Say goodbye, Michael" and begins to wave with him. It then switches to Michael (as an adult), sitting in a chair, looking into the distance.
This is the greatest film of all time, to me. It's the best sequel ever made. It showed that directors can indeed make a sequel that can be successful (For crying out loud, it won 6 oscars, first one only 3). I cannot explain anything else, for I flat out refuse to. This is a film you need to see to see my point on it. Words cannot do this film justice. Believe the hype, for the hype is real.