Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Two-Fer

First, The Godfather Part II (1974)

There are people who say that The Godfather is the best movie ever made. These people are wrong. Even if you mob movies are your favorite thing in the world, The Godfather Part II is pretty much superior to its predecessor in all ways, including the vital realization that Michael Coreleone is really a jerk and that nobody in his family, or in any other for that matter, likes him.

Of course, it could be the fact that it wasn't based on the book, and thus I didn't really know what was going to happen, unlike with the first movie. Ah well.

Moving on, In the Heat Of the Night (1967):

You know what's nice? When things are exactly as awesome as you expect them to be. Since my exposure to this film consisted of reading the blurb about it on the back of the DVD case in Family Video and hearing that Sydney Poitier is an amazingly good actor, I had pretty high hopes for it. And it was great.

Part of the appeal for me probably came from simply relating to the plight of Virgil Tibbs. While being a victim of racial prejudice isn't a problem I have to deal with, I do have plenty of experience with being the smartest person in the room and not being able to hide my contempt for some of the incompetent people I'm working with. I understand the hatred Virgil has for close-minded small towns. I feel his frustration when he cannot leave when he wants. While I haven't been chased by a lynch mob in recent years, I've been regarded suspiciously by my peers ever since 6th grade, when it was no longer cool or acceptable to be smarter than them. And I understand the feeling of being resigned to a rather solitary existence both of the main characters express.

Also, Tibbs is able to solve the mystery without the modern conveniences of slow motion close-ups of the relevant evidence while techno music plays in the background, which should be impressive to everyone. He has to make due with some early funk instead.

So there we go. Let's update the sadly neglected Board.

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