It was enough of a miracle that "Godfather II," lived up to its predecessor, and I think it's close to a miracle number three is as good as it is. It's most certainly a worthy entry in the saga, but that hasn't stopped many from acting as though it were -- oh, I don't know -- a "Star Wars" prequel?
I will say this: "Godfather III" does not work as a standalone. If you just pop it in, the story and characters are hard to follow. But if you watch them all in succession, the movie not only works, it's seamless.