The Godfather Saga on HBO

What HBO has done here showing The Godfather I & II chopped up in chronological order isn’t anything new, it was done on TV a while back, or is it? I am an avid Godfather fan, as I am of most thing Italian related. I have read the book, in fact I own a good deal of Mario Puzo’s works, and I have seen the trilogy probably no less than 20 times. What struck me about this rendition of the first two films, other than the just more than 7-hour run time, was the addition of new scenes in the film. There were maybe 5 or 6 of them and people who casually watch the film might not even notice the scenes were new.
The first of the two I will mention comes after the wedding scene of Connie Corleone. Don Corleone finds out that his consigliere Genco is ill and will not make it through the night. He takes his 3 sons and his godson to the hospital to pay their respects to the dying man. Gene comes briefly to consciousness and begs the Don to help save him. He tells the Don that he is bigger than death, the Don has the power to save him. Don Corleone tells him he is not that powerful and cannot but not to be afraid of death. It has been a while for me having read the book, but i do remember reading something like that scene in the book.
The second scene comes after the death of Sonny Corleone, the Don’s oldest son. In this scene it follows the call to Buonasera (the undertaker) who is getting ready to receive the Don and his remaining sons as well as some security. Buonasera is getting dressed and prepared to meet him, his wife helping him dress. Buonasera is telling his wife he regrets the day that he got “in bed” with the Don asking him to help with a personal matter. He thinks he is going to become an accomplice, having to make a body disappear, or worse, only to find out the Don wishes the undertaker to use all of his powers to make the recently deceased Sonny viewable for the funeral.
These two scenes are just a couple examples of the additions to The Godfather in this presentation. It is viewable for streaming on HBOGo or HBONow and they have run it in entirety on the channel. It is also an interesting opportunity to get to watch the entire first two films in chronological order and see the development of the characters, especially Don Vito Corleone from the time he was in Sicily until the time he dies in his garden playing with his grandson. I hope they put this version out on Blu-Ray it would be a definite buy for me and I have or do own The Godfather on VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray. Even if you cannot watch the film in 1 sitting, it took me 3 just due to life and obligations, it is completely worth it to see the Saga as presented here.

The Sopranos II (A remake or a prequel)

I just read an article  on nationalreport.net that The Sopranos is getting a remake. Now from the description it sounds like more of a prequel that will also show through the original show ending. The one thing I did notice is the absence of creator David Chase’s name from the article. The second thing I noticed is the lack of any Italian-American actor or actress from the show. The Sopranos is easily one of the greatest shows in American History.  I hope Val Kilmer (who is co-producing, directing and starting as Tony Soprano) takes this project very seriously if he is really doing it. Here is the article….what do you all think?

http://nationalreport.net/sopranos-remake-begins-production-cast-revealed/

 

Sylvester Stallone: An Italian-American Success Story

People may think that this title is corny but when you examine his track record he was never handed anything. He wrote and created his two greatest roles: Rocky Balboa and John Rambo. More than even an actor or director, Sylvester Stallone, is a masterful storyteller. His ability to paint emotions with vivid colors is amazing. He has faced many struggles in his journey in Hollywood and has overcome every single one. The original Rocky film almost didn’t get made. He had a number of offers fro studios but they were with the understanding that he did not star in the film. He passed on every one of these offers. He took a huge pay cut when he found a studio that would let him star. The results speak for themselves. Almost 40 years and 6 films later Rocky Balboa is one of the most recognizable and celebrated American Film Icons ever created. He has now moved the Rocky character into the trainer role as he helps to bring a new take to the story releasing CREED this Thanksgiving. This will follow Apollo Creed’s son in his journey as Rocky finds himself in the mentor role.

John Rambo was created in 1982 and now has 4 films (with a 5th planned). Rambo was a Vietnam Veteran, permanently damaged by the war. If you look at all the films they correspond with political/war crisis’s in the world. From Vietnam to Iraq to Myanmar (Burma) in the most recent. The Rambo films exist to bring awareness to issues of a global scale.

Stallone’s newest franchise THE EXPENDABLES is currently in planning for its fourth installment. THE EXPENDABLES gives you exactly what you think: a brief storyline followed by amazing action sequences. While not the most in depth stories the action in the films is extremely satisfying.  He has helped bring new talent to the forefront.