He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or, rather, an offer better than anything else I was doing at the time.
I don’t remember how old I was when my dad first got me to watch “The Godfather” with him — vaguely, a teenager, able to appreciate cinema beyond “D2: The Mighty Ducks” — but I’ll never forget the enthusiasm with which he insisted I do so upon learning I hadn’t yet seen it. It was one of those “you HAVE to” moments that people offer when they find out you haven’t read “Harry Potter” or tried the frozen yogurt that’s sold by the ounce. Dad rarely did that, though, so knowing that loving “The Godfather” was something required by all adult men, I yielded to his request.
popped burned microwave popcorn, cracked soft drinks and put blankets over the blinds when simply drawing them didn’t stop the glare on the TV.
He pointed out little foreshadowings and his favorite characters as we sat through the nearly-three-hour-long epic.
Of course, I loved it.
We watched the sequel, “The Godfather: Part II,” in the same manner, a complete cinematic experience save the stops for bathroom breaks, the dog, the telephone and my little sisters’ insistence on control of the remote. (We skipped the third film on Dad’s insistence, a decision that many have impressed upon me was the correct one.) I’ve seen both films a number of times since, but the way Dad and I did it always seemed the most appropriate: For these two movies with such great scope and cinematic value, re-create a movie theater to enjoy the experience. For most people born past 1975, it’s the best we’ve been able to do to come close to seeing the movies the way they were intended, the way people like my dad did.
Until today. For one day, Cinemark theaters in Bluffton is showing a restored version of the second offering of Francis Ford Coppola’s Corleone saga (They showed the first in late March, which somehow missed my radar — I blame St. Patrick.): Pacino, De Niro, Duval and Keaton in their full 200 minutes of glory. If my dad lived in the area, I’d play hooky and burn some popcorn for the occasion.
With Blu-Ray discs, high-definition televisions and surround sound systems, it’s a lot easier for home theaters to rival the ones you pay to get into, but I can’t see this opportunity as something a “Godfather” fan could turn down. Or ... ahem ... refuse.
Here’s this week’s award:
• Worst place to run out of tartar sauce: The Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival on Friday and Saturday at Shelter Cove Community Park. Area seafood restaurants will be doling out their best seafood dishes at the annual festival to benefit our stomachs as well as the David M. Carmines Foundation. The Iron Chef competition also will be returning, in which chefs will be required to incorporate two mystery local seafood ingredients into an appetizer and entree.
Andy knew it was you, Fredo.