It's a little like slapping the Kenner inflatable light sabre out of my ten year-old self's hand, but I have to agree with the opinions that say Star Wars is just... not... that... great... of a movie. I'd still gladly watch it once a month for the rest of my life, but that has more to do with nostalgia than film quality, I'm afraid. Part of Star Wars' appeal was the ability to keep living in the film's extended universe via toys, comics, novels, and all the other satellite products unlike any film before or after. There have been millions of lost episodes played out in family rec rooms over the last 40 years. But when I come back to film now, and especially when showing someone without the filter of my childhood biases, there are weaknesses difficult to overlook... and the new hope is showing its middle age baggage.
This hurts less than I thought it would.
"A New Hope" is a really, really, REALLY important film. No one - not even the cruel gods governing Filmspotting Madness and the Pantheon - can ever take that away. It laid the groundwork for a pop-culture phenomenon that I am an unabashed, unapologetic nerd for. I drink my coffee every morning from one of a selection of Star Wars-themed mugs. I share my Kenner action figures with my 4-year-old daughter. I have been playing "Star Wars: Force Arena" on my tablet when I should be working.
But for all of its immeasurable import... for all of the beloved, truly magical things it spawned; the characters, the music, the theme park attractions and t-shirts, all of which I've gladly poured endless cash into... the original film is great and special, but it ain't as well-made a movie as "The Godfather Pt. II." It just ain't. The narrative is a little thin. The characters are roughly drawn. The dialog is a little hokey. For proof, consider "Empire," and for that matter, "The Force Awakens:" those installments are every bit as sweetly naive, as escapist, and as wonderful to behold, but they're much more carefully written and thoughtful than "A New Hope" managed to be. In other words: Star Wars magic and clumsy dialog aren't mutually exclusive.
"Godfather II" is one of the strongest movies of the modern era, period.
I'd miss "A New Hope," but I'm too busy campaigning for "Empire" and getting fired up for "The Last Jedi."
I've decided that I can only vote for one Star Wars movie. By that logic, I can only vote for one Godfather movie. While I prefer Empire, I think the original Star Wars is a wonderful film and, truth be told, I prefer the original Godfather. So, I'm keeping both the originals in their series, getting rid of their sequels and keeping the wholly original and very cinematic Apocalypse Now.
Can't wait to see how this shapes out.
A lot of people consider The Godfather to be the best film of all time. Star Wars is definitely (probably, arguably) the most *influential* film of all time. As a film history nerd, Star Wars wins.
Michael shot first.
As much as I enjoyed having my comment read on last week's episode (writing this currently from inside the asylum with Randle and Chief), the truth is I really dislike ever being forced to play the role of the stereotypical contrarian snob. I do wish I understood why anybody could sit here, look at these two choices next to eachother, and genuinely feel like a goofy accidentally-successful space opera is on the same level as the fucking Godfather films. Or Apocalypse Now (the horror). Fandom is one thing, fine, and I'm sure 30-40 years from now there will still be a new crop of adults who will unironically argue that Guardians of the Galaxy is better than The Master, or whatever. But to me this speaks more to the problem with internet polls and proof that there really isn't much wisdom in crowds. This is like the film version of thousands of internet denizens voting for a serious government research boat to be named "Boaty McBoatface". Star Wars films will win both of the battles they're in this week, and that's really, seriously depressing to me.
Star Wars for the win. Mic drop.
I think that Star Wars should be the Darth Vader of Star Wars striking down the Obi Wan of Godfather Part II. Sorry Obi Wan but this is payback for your hit on The Dude. Of course this analogy doesn't make any sense because Godfather II is all about the Dark Side, so really GF2 should be Vader and Star Wars should be...Han Solo because it's cool and maybe The Big Lebowski is Obi Wan who got iced by GF2 but shall return someday stronger than we can ever imagine. Star Wars is ABSOLUTELY NOT FREDO.
The dark side cannot win, therefore it must be Star Wars.
Have we stopped to consider what kind of world Filmspotting Madness is taking place in? A monstrosity of a world where only one film eventually survives? And if that is the case, how could you not need Star Wars to hold on to when everything else, has been lost?
Ouch! This one hurts. I went with Star Wars. May the Force NOT be with you when someone gives you an offer you can't refuse Adam and Josh. ;-)
The Godfather Part II is an outstanding film and an outstanding sequel, but I have always seen it as vastly overrated relative to its older brother. My reasoning is that the entirety of The Godfather Part II is *already implied* by the first film. We can see Michael's descent and the crumbling of his marriage before the credits roll on the original; his snapping at Kay and that last shot of her disturbed face tell the tale. Sure, watching it all play out in the sequel is heartbreaking and worthwhile and executed to a T, but considering young Vito's story, while also beautiful to behold, hardly ventures from the expected, Part II adds much less to the Godfather legacy than many claim. The criticism that the first film glorifies a life of crime while the second film shows it for the painful existence it is doesn't hold with me; the brutal emotion of Sonny's death and its aftermath and the aforementioned final scene between Michael and Kay are just two scenes of many that give the first film its wonderful nuance: there is something that we like about these people, and when we see them standing around the kitchen talking about pasta recipes, we can enjoy their company just like we would anyone else's and imagine ourselves as part of their daily lives, and yet the violent deaths and the tears remind us that their choices are not to be emulated, their situations not to be envied. And lastly, de Niro is great, but he isn't one of my all time favorites, and is it worth getting him for losing James Caan and Marlon effing Brando as Vito Corleone, the iconic performance of all iconic performances? Heck no.
Star Wars, though... Star Wars. Like so many before me, seeing it as a child changed my life. I have never quite understood some of the oft-repeated criticisms of the film - I, for one, like the performances - and I still use the Force to this day. During its production, no one believed in Star Wars - to the degree that it became a fashionable butt of jokes in Hollywood - but when George Lucas showed the near-finished product to the 20th Century Fox board of directors, at least one cried, and another went home to his family that night and said, "This moment is why I got into making movies decades ago. We did it." Little did they know that they had reluctantly created arguably the most popular story of the entire 20th century. Also, John Williams. Popularity doesn't always signify greatness, but in this case, it sure as hell does.
A little gerrymandering would have gone a long way here, fellas. Would have so loved for Alien to face off against Star Wars, and the Godfather's to meet face to face. As it stands, Don Corleone has to be the one to shoot first.
THE GODFATHER PART II is THE EMPIRE STRIKE BACK of those films. But STAR WARS is STAR WARS. I am going with Han over Don.
So, I watched Star Wars for the first time in a long time a few months ago with my wife, who (believe it or not) had never seen it. I was so excited to show it to her, and hunted up a bootleg copy of the original theatrical release (Han shoots first, yadda yadda) for the occasion. And you know what? I hate to say this now as much as I hated to realize it then, but it's just not that good. It really isn't. There are some amazing images, and it's the kind of swashbuckler that makes the hearts of young boys everywhere swoon, but the dialogue is terrible, the direction ham-fisted, and the whole thing is about as shallow as a kiddie pool. It will always have a place in my heart for how much I loved it when I was 10, but better than Godfather II? Not a chance.
Let the hate mail commence.
Star Wars is the kind of movie that it's harder to continue enjoying and appreciating as time passes - the adventure, or action film. Which is better known, The Adventures of Robin Hood, or Casablanca? Gunga Din or Gone With The Wind? Being more serious, I guess, dramas seem more likely to retain their levels of greatness, while adventures tend to date and fall out of favor, not just with cinephiles, but even as viewing experiences in general. Star Wars and The Godfather are different kinds of achievements in so many ways, but this was the most vote-applicable one I could think of, and Star Wars wins it.
Also, The Godfather has many worthy companions - Goodfellas, Miller's crossing, The Sopranos. Are they better? No, but they may sit next to it without bringing dishonor. Star Wars remains unparalleled. Heck, most of the other Star Wars movies shouldn't sit next to it.
So those are broad and vague, the worst ways to evaluate anything, but this is a rare case where wisely being in the weeds brings too much to the table for both sides.
Confession: I've never liked /any/ of the Godfather films. Perhaps I subconsciously suspected this day would come. Star Wars without a second thought.
Sure, I love the performances and dual plot of TG2. But I will NOT allow you to steal my entire youth.
Much like Greedo, the Godfather shoots first.
This is probably the hardest choice I could ever face in a tournament like this.
I remember the first I ever watched the first two Godfather movies. I was 10 or 11 years old sitting with my father and something magical appeared on screen. I didn't know why it was amazing, it just was. As time went by this movie established itself as the best, and also my favourite.
Then something happened. I fell in love with Star Wars at age 14. Everything surrounding the universe was magical. The games, the books. Everything happened because of this movie.
The Godfather Part II is just on another level when looking at the movie itself. Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall and John Cazale all deliver some career best performances in this film that's both epic, historical and a characterstudy of a family and masculinity.
That's why I have to go with The Godfather Part II.
If I follow the heart of my 12 year old self I would go with Star Wars all the way but my adult brain wants to choose Godfather. My adult brain won, my 12 year old heart breaks.
Maybe this one should have been more of a struggle for me, but as a lifelong Star Wars fan, and as one who doesn't believe for a moment that Godfather Part 2 is better than Part 1, voting for Star Wars was relatively easy. Don't get me wrong, it will probably be wiped out in the next round, but for now, I'm okay with it staying in.
"I knew it was you, Greedo. You broke my heart."
It breaks my heart too, but Star Wars walks away with this one with a swagger. I can't imagine a world without it.
Sorry about the mess, Adam and Josh.