On The Godfather Part II and Eyes Wide Shut
Although its reputation certainly precedes it, The Godfather Part II is nothing short of excellent. It deserves a full review, but having just written a long paper on it, I will beg forgiveness and just capsulate it. This second installment in the trilogy of my favorite of the three, mainly because of Robert De Niro’s remarkably restrained performance as the young and rising Vito Corleone. As Michael struggles with his burdens as Godfather, Vito cheerfully puts things together, making friends and killing enemies; the two timelines are intertwined and cut back and forth from each other. The movie runs rather long at 2.5 hours, but it is so beautiful in a quiet way that time slips by in the manner of being absorbed in a great story. 5/5 – everyone should see this movie.
We watched this erotic-thriller for class, and also read more than a dozen reviews of it. At the time Eyes Wide Shut was being filmed, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were still married, and their casting as the husband and wife in the movie was apparently big news. The movie starts off with a few dramatic deliveries by Kidman, who, though heavy handed, dominated the scenes with her monologues. After that, Cruise unfortunately takes over and feels passive and unsure of himself – part of this is undoubtedly part of the story, but part of it felt genuine in an unpleasant, weak sort of way. His character discovers a sexual, religion ceremony, which includes some scandalous scenes. Rather amusingly, digital figures were edited into these scenes to lessen the explicit nature of the movie, something every reviewer seemed to remark upon. To top it all off, director Stanley Kubrick (of 2001 and A Clockwork Orange) died right after making the film. 2/5 – without having experienced all the drama surrounding its release, the movie felt remarkably plain, boring even.