I watched Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, Francis Ford Coppola’s recut version of The Godfather, Part III.
I watched the original version so long ago that I didn’t really notice what was new or changed. (Here’s a piece in Variety that I just read and liked.) Honestly, I barely remembered any of it.
On the one hand, it’s The Godfather. On the other hand, the absence of Robert Duvall and the presence of Sofia Coppola (who was unfairly cast by her dad as a last-minute replacement of Winona Ryder; and I mean unfairly to Sofia) drag it down...and the Vatican subplot doesn’t really track.
I did notice that for a movie set in 1978 there seemed to be no attempt whatsoever to emulate the period—no haircuts, fashions, or anything. It looks like 1989.
I will say one thing—and I hope this not heresy: Having also rewatched parts of the first two films—all-time masterpieces—for the first time I was noticing a certain malarkey in the pageantry of it: “Thank you, Godfather,” and all that.
I recall reading—although now I can’t find a source—that a lot of stuff that was passed off as Sicilian tradition (like honoring requests on a daughter’s wedding day) were just things that Mario Puzo made up. The guy needed to make a buck!
I think maybe having watched The Sopranos has stuck with me. Those characters are forever reverent of the Godfather films and their sense of honor and tradition—because, in fact, the folks who make up the mob, then and now, are just gangsters.