"All due respect" to clementine, De Novo, and Terrence Winter, I am siding with Massive G on this one. "I think the third one was misunderstood.":icon_biggrin: I also think that Raging Bull
is as painfully overrated as Godfather III
is over-hated, but then I find Martin Scorcese films in general to be incredibly overrated. The most important tribute I can pay to any of them is that Goodfellas
greatly inspired David Chase, who channeled that inspiration into a work the scope, importance, gravity, and artistic vision of which dwarfs Goodfellas
I do agree that in about 75% of respects, GFIII paled in comparison to the first two, but it also was quite remarkable in the other 25% and provided a certain emotional "oomph" that cannot be found anywhere in the first two movies IMO. I thought the architecture of the story integrating the corporate scandal of Imobilarie, the Vatican Banking scandal of the late 70s, the oddly brief life/tenure of Pope John Paul I, and the quest of an aging, once-reluctant mobster to gain respectability at long last was incredibly creative. Its execution was at times very elementary and awkward, but the larger vision itself was very good, on par with the the attempt to integrate the Cuban revolution into GFII IMO.
There were numerous dialog and acting flaws, and the sensational, soap opera-ish tone in places certainly contrasted to the subtlety of the first two films' most triumphant moments (Michael saying "I'm with you now," to Vito in the hospital, their talk in the garden, Michael's scene with Connie after his mother has died, etc.). Some of the methodology of violence was also way over the top (the worst of the bunch was when Mosca pretends one of the twins is strangling him by standing motion less before knifing the other twin in the chest). But given that the closing 20 minutes of the film was scored by and played in parallel to an actual opera, it's a tone that I think is acceptably different.
Where it succeeds most was in the moments that marked the truly personal portion of the film for Coppola: the death of a child. Coppola lost his eldest child in a boating accident and reportedly still writes this son a note every single day, a diary of communications he still feels compelled to make and keep some 20 or so years after the son's death. The reactions of Michael and Kay on the steps of the opera house are still some of the most painful moments I've ever seen on film, and I think the Mascagni Intermezzo was far more moving in aid to depicting their tragedy than it was in attempting to impart grandiosity to a decidedly un-grandiose character like Jake LaMotta in a movie that really strove to be a documentary about some really dumb, really unsavory, really uninteresting people. Of course, I'm not opinionated in the least.
I loved the use of Barber's Adagio
in Elephant Man, but that didn't stop me from also liking it in Platoon. That piece of music is so intensely emotional that it will always lure filmmakers to use it no matter how many others have already done the same.
I have to say that since 9/11, when an outstanding PBS documentary called "Faith and Loss at Ground Zero" used it to score the last portion that included photos and commentary about the people that held hands and jumped from the buildings, that's my favorite use of it yet. It's as if Barber wrote it for exactly that verbally indescribable horror, an infinite sadness and beauty wrapped together.
To try to get back on topic for just a minute:icon_biggrin:, I would quibble with Terrence Winter's personal take on the music, unless he was somehow specifically speaking for Chase. Chase picks the vast majority of music for the series and he co wrote the episode with Weiner. Winter had already commented in an interview a couple of weeks ago that he had no involvement with writing the last two episodes (beyond outlines, I presume, which all writers author as a group), so I'm not sure he had any input whatsoever into the selection of this music or the thought process behind employing it. Will have to read the slate article later to see if this is covered at all.