There should be only two.

Here is an all-encompassing theory to explain The Godfather Part III, based only on on-screen evidence (i.e. ignoring production woes, casting woes, rewrites, budget and schedule comprises, and what?)….

I remember not hating Godfather 3 as a kid. Not in 1990. Not on the golden VHS tapes. But I do remember never watching it again. I remember buying the VHS tape used at some point, but I don’t think I ever watched it. There’s a slim chance I marathoned Godfather at some point. But by my late teens, after Sofia Coppola started directing, it certainly seemed like I’d never see Godfather 3 again. I no longer trusted my twelve year-old self’s impression of the film.

Around that time, my best friend started saying “there are only two Godfather movies” and, although I never picked up that phrasing, I started to forget about *Part Trois*. It became a footnote in the collective pop culture consciousness, that thing Sofia Coppola did before she directed. People didn’t even care enough to remember it as the beginning of Pacino’s yelling phase. Or at least the breakout of the yelling.

In general people forget Andy Garcia had theatrical releases, which is simultaneously understandable and surprising.

We watched the first two Godfather movies over ten years ago (I’d gotten the LaserDiscs of 1 and 2 but not three and then upgraded them to the DVDs) and I wrote about them for Stop Button. No idea what those posts are going to look like….

But we skipped 3 because… Godfather 3.

I like to pretend I’m a franchise completest at Stop Button. Like it matters if I have all the Batman movies or all the Blondie movies (the latter attempt lasted one sequel, I think).

It doesn’t actually matter. I know people binge read the site but it seems rare they do it for series.

We started going to a movie night a couple years ago and, recently, we watched the first two Godfather movies. So the movie night wanted to do the third. So we did the third.

Somehow it forecasts how bad Phantom Menace was going to be, nine years in the future. I thought about it a lot during the film, I’ve just blocked those memories. Probably something about how terrible the scenes were written, like Puzo and Coppola didn’t care about hearing their lines spoken, which actually might not be the problem with George “Midichlorian” Lucas.

Anyway. Unless someone pays me for it, no more watching Godfather 3. I particularly don’t like it being such a stain on cinematographer Gordon Willis’s otherwise superb career.

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