No, they're not related, but there's not much sports news to report, especially since I haven't watched any of the NBA Playoffs so far, and thus, I'm reduced to cultural criticism.
I finally convinced the wife to watch it with me on Sunday night and she, of course, loved it. (If she would just listen to me more...) As always, I learned something new from watching the movie. I had always thought that Pentangeli was involved in the assassination attempt on Michael and that that was why he was told to commit suicide at the end, but after watching the movie again, it finally dawned on me that he had nothing to do with the attempt, but he was advised to open his veins because he had decided to testify against the Corleone family. I also thought that Senator Geary was a violent sex freak and that's how the family managed to blackmail him, but now, after reading IMDB, it turns out that he was slipped a mickey and set up. This should have occurred to me before, but the lesson as always is that I'm not smart.
The final scene, where Michael is having a flashback to having dinner with his siblings, brought home to me that the first two Godfather movies are a tale about the fall of Michael Corleone, not unlike Star Wars I-III, although with better dialogue and less CGI. In the dinner scene, which takes place before Godfather I, Michael is a college-educated man who is so patriotic that he volunteers to fight on the day that the U.S. is attacked by the Japanese. By the end of Godfather II, he has alienated his wife to the point that she aborts his son and he's murdered his brother. The fact that Carlo Rizzi and Tessio are at the dinner flashback is important because they are both people who betray Michael, forcing him to off them and contributing to his disillusionment as a person.
Michael's downfall is illustrated by his statement early in Godfather II that everyone working for him is a businessman looking out for his own interest. He's a selfless guy who's happy to fight for something other than himself (his country) at the outset, but being betrayed by everyone around him, including his own family, jades him into a person who thinks selfishly.
There are some good Anakin Skywalker parallels there. Anakin's downfall isn't so much betrayal (we wouldn't want any moral ambiguities that might make us sympathetic to him; those ambiguities don't exist in the Galaxy Far Far Away) as it is his anger about being a slave, losing his mother, and then losing (or contemplating the possibility of losing) his wife. Michael's downfall is similar, but distinct in that he doesn't just lose his father and brother; he loses them because he's betrayed by his own family because they are corrupted by greed.
In juxtaposition to Sunday night's high-brown entertainment, Monday night brought another viewing of The Bachelor and more evidence of my devolution, not simply because I watch and enjoy that show, but because I'm better at picking the results of that show than I am at picking sports events. It was fun watching a contestant melt down last night and claim, in a fit of unbelievable narcissism, that her beauty was a curse because resentment of it led her to be voted off, but at this stage, I need my balls reattached. Hopefully, I'll get to the Braves game tonight and will be back tomorrow to talking about Furcal's lousy plate discipline as opposed to insane women fighting with other insane women.