Woody Allen: Film by Film Thread

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by RayS, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Pass on this.
     
  2. RayS

    RayS Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Jim Belushi spared the audience the usual "Woody was great to work with" anecdote, offering some rather eccentric bits of information instead (he was arrested as Santa Claus, he carries his brother John in his pocket). His humility seemed quite genuine (a slob like me working with all these Academy Award winners, kind of thing), and his mention of "Wonder Wheel" having a Tennessee Williams quality made me, of course, think of "Blue Jasmine". The clip did conjure a bit of Danny Aiello from "Purple Rose of Cairo" in his portrayal.

    It looks like the film will be opening at "a theater near me" while I am vacationing in sunny Florida (opening Friday, 12/15).
     
  3. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    There's no slowing him down.
    His next film A Rainy Day In New York out 2018 a comedy staring Jude Law.
     
    johnaltman and RayS like this.
  4. ampmods

    ampmods Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    I'm looking forward to Wonder Wheel. I was actually at Coney Island and rode the Wonder Wheel 2 days before he shot there!
     
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  5. RayS

    RayS Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The only "slowing down" evident is that he apparently finally won the battle he's been fighting for decades - he got the studio to let him out of promoting the movie (the cast seems to be carrying the ball alone, unless I missed something).
     
    alexpop likes this.
  6. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Helps the creative process makes sense.
    He's no spring chicken anymore.
     
  7. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    It opens in the sprawling metropolis of Boise on 12/15, so I'll get to see it then, too.

    I'm guessing it will be gone by Christmas. :hide:
    Well, Woody almost always does a few major interviews with each film. If it weren't for the daily torrent of scandalized males in the news, I'd predict one/two of those. However, I'm sure he doesn't relish doing them. And it could very well be that the folks at Amazon Studios figure it would be better for the film to NOT have him opt to interject one concept at this juncture in time...
     
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  8. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    This probably needs to be posted here - it could very well count as among Woody’s final “stand up” comedy bits.
     
  9. George P

    George P I Know The Pieces Fit

    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks so much for posting that!

    "Death is nothing to worry about. It's like a colonoscopy. The problem is, life is like the prep day." :biglaugh:
     
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  10. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    Oh God thank you! I had tears in my eyes.
    The moment he starts with the hand gestures, you're back in 1967 waiting for the punchline.
     
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  11. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    If the reviews are like the one in the Philadelphia paper, it will be out before then.
     
  12. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    That was painful.

    The poster may be the single best thing about this current film. What say you, Ray? Would you rather spin Alice?
     
  13. RayS

    RayS Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ew, sorry to hear that.

    It's not playing within 100 miles of me. I won't get to see it until next week when I am on vacation (in a more populated, art house friendly area).

    EDIT: Down to 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, but still hovering well above the "Crisis in 6 Scenes" level (17%).
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  14. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    Well, I did hear a few giggles during the matinee I attended today*, so perhaps that explains the higher rating.

    Oh wait, it wasn’t a comedy...



    *really
     
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  15. RayS

    RayS Forum Resident Thread Starter

    You're making me dread this event. :) The art house I'll be going to does have my favorite beer (Sam Adams), on tap and reasonably priced. Perhaps I should self-medicate in advance. :)
     
  16. RayS

    RayS Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I got to see the film at a matinee this afternoon. I couldn't make it to the art house I had planned on going to, so I went to the Googleplex. I got a good laugh when the ticket seller asked me to choose my seat in the nearly-empty theater.

    My high respect for the opinion of my fellow hardcore Allen fan, Mr. J, brought me to the theater with low expectations. The film easily outdistanced those lowered expectations, but I can also point to a number of flaws. I did enjoy the film more than I enjoyed "Cafe Society" (which I did like better on second viewing).

    What appeared from a distance to be a cliched and hackneyed story, actually packed some life, some subtleties and some surprises for my money. I thought the film was well paced, and once again (as with "Cafe Society") it was beautiful almost to the point of distraction. (The sunset on Kate's face scene is likely to divide the audience right now the middle. It's hard NOT to have an opinion about it one way or the other). I liked the way the story played out, and I was happy with the ending. I found the de-evolution of the main character very interesting, and I liked Winslet's take - playing scenes as an amateur actress who can't pull off the acting.

    There are a number of what I perceived to be negatives. As is common in most of Woody's 21st century films, there are 5-10 lines of stiff dialog that sound like the author instead of the characters. Most of them find their way into the mouth of Mr. Timberlake. Could the movie's stage-bound feel and occasionally overwrought dialog be attributed to the fact that the narrator is an amateur playwright? Is everything coming through his lens? Is he even - dare I suggest it - making up the whole story while he sits bored in his lifeguard stand, after seeing the other 3 principals one afternoon?

    I found the two female leads to be just fine. I found both male leads to be lacking. The movie wasn't even over yet when I was thinking how much better the film might have been with two more qualified actors in those two roles. Belushi has some good moments ... but then has some moments where I get the feeling the Knicks tip-off was an hour away so Woody was reluctant to have Jim give it one more go.

    Again, as with most 21st century Woody films, there are bits of DNA from many other films floating around. The adorable Seth Green character from "Radio Days" has been replaced by a one-note arsonist, who it seems (based on his "theme song") is supposed to be played, at least partly, for laughs (but there were none to be found).

    Overall, this was a middling affair for me. A big "might have been". But I still enjoyed it. It won't start any new religions, that's for sure, but this ain't no "Alice" either (or "Crisis", for that matter).
     
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  17. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    Good to hear your take, threadmaster...

    I may have to make my moviepass give it one more shot, although it’s been yanked from the local WA-friendly indie theatre after just one week, so I’m not sure how I’ll manage that. Also worth noting that some brave soul started a WW thread of its own here recently, following a favorable viewing.

    I just stumbled across a short - and almost completely unmemorable - video interview with Woody and thought I’d post it here. Apparently Amazon is making Woody available to Polish fans for interviews in an effort to break this wide open, which seems like a sound strategy...

    There is some interesting discussion about the lighting (really), but that’s about it.
     
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  18. RayS

    RayS Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but it appears that Amazon wants him to do promotion, just not with the American media.
     
  19. RayS

    RayS Forum Resident Thread Starter

    So now that I've seen it as well, would you care to expand on why you were so unimpressed?
     
  20. modrevolve

    modrevolve Forum Resident

    The most exciting part of the movie for me was around half way though when someone snuck in the theater and tried to steal an old lady’s purse.
     
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  21. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    [​IMG]
     
  22. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    Unfortunately, I don't have anything remotely insightful or detailed to contribute. I saw a mid-day matinee and had trouble staying awake through it! I kept waiting for Belushi to scream "STELLA" at one of the 247 times when he was pounding his fists in anger against a table/wall/whatever. I thought Juno Temple was terrible - her "doe in the headlights" look (throughout the ENTIRE FILM, it seemed) - made me completely baffled why Timberlake would be so drawn to her. It really didn't help when, about three times during my viewing, 2-3 people burst into chuckles at dramatic points. One time I nearly did. I expected to be wowed by Winslet but thought she just came across as a blue-collar Jasmine, echoing the performance by Cate a few years ago.

    The one thing that really made my jaw drop (appreciatively) was in the final 10 minutes or so, when they did some sort of amazing camera movement and all the colors changed. It was dazzling, as was the lighting/cinematography throughout.
     
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  23. RayS

    RayS Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yes, it does appear that Woody was mining "Street Car" one more time, and Belushi is no Brando. If 2-3 people would have chuckled during the screening I was at, that would have resulted in the entire audience doing so. :)

    I almost always seem to like them better the second time around (except "Alice"), so I'll give the film another spin when it gets to Amazon Prime.
     
  24. Mr Sam

    Mr Sam "...don't look so good no more"

    Location:
    France
    Just saw it this weekend.
    My first impression was : very good - especially the latter half - but no "Cafe Society" (probably the stagey feel).

    My initial thought, but it could be a real grower: I'm rethinking now and it certainly ranks among his darker ones. The final scenes would make for a perfect(ly poignant) career closer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
    RayS likes this.
  25. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident


    the old bugger still has it
     
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