Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekly Round-Up (1/22/12 - 1/28/12)

The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen) ***1/2 - A fictional character from a movie steps out into the "real world" to charm the pants off a woman with an unhappy marriage during the Great Depression. It is a wonderful, charming, funny film that's essentially about the magic of the movies. It's not Woody's funniest film but I had a smile plastered throughout a huge chunk of it. Jeff Daniels is terrific in a dual role and Woody Allen's muse, Mia Farrow, is also as strong as she's ever been. The final shot of the film is absolute perfection, IMO.

Manhattan (Woody Allen) **** - It's one of the handful of canon films/all-time/top classics I haven't seen and by God, why did I wait so long? This is an amazing film and without a doubt it's one of Woody Allen's masterpieces. The script is funny and nuanced. Although Woody's films are often not praised for their visuals, this one contains some really jaw-dropping cinematography courtesy of Gordon Willis. Despite clearly made and set in the 1970's, it does not feel dated at all. It's a true classic, one of the greats.

Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen) **** - The worst thing I can say about this film is that it isn't quite as great as Woody Allen's masterpieces from the '70s and '80s. But it is very much a highlight on his current contemporary European phase of his films. It's a funny, joyful infectious romp about writer who longs for the past and suddenly getting his wish come true at the stroke of midnight. Owen Wilson manages to make the "Woody Allen"-type lead character without doing an overt impression. I'm watching this right after a marathon that consisted of The Purple Rose of Cairo and Manhattan and this film has plenty of elements that strongly reminds me of both films.

We Bought a Zoo (Cameron Crowe) **1/2 - The highest praise I can give this film is that it's fine and it could have been a hell of a lot worse. It's a highly unremarkable film that somehow managed to entertain thanks to the charm of Matt Damon and the cast. The script dials down the potential for silly sap and annoying cute moments. It's an interesting enough story that could have been a bit better as a TV pilot, I think. Still, it's just....fine.

Deconstructing Harry (Woody Allen) *** - It's 8 1/2 meets Wild Strawberries with F-words, C-words and sex jokes. That's the best way I can describe writer-director Woody Allen's probably most vulgar, explicit film. There are some good laughs in it and the supporting cast is terrific (Kirstie Alley especially). It's not quite as great as Allen's finest works but it's overall, a solid, respectable and fascinating film. It's a wilder, wackier Stardust Memories in a way, if I think about it.

J. Edgar (Clint Eastwood) ** - I usually really like Clint Eastwood's films. This one is probably the weakest I've seen from him in a long time. Granted his last few films were far from masterpieces, I really struggled with this one. The film is full of potential. Somewhere in there is a great film waiting to be made especially since the subject of this film is such a fascinating, complex character. It seemed to want to be so many things that it lost me. Leonardo DiCaprio is a bit miscast though he has moments of greatness, I can't help but feel a LOOK AT ME!!!! I'M AAAAACTINNNG!!! vibe from him from time to time. Armie Hammer was really good but I agree that his old age makeup was horrendous.


YeamieWaffles said...

You've definitely had a week filled of Woody Allen to say the least buddy. I'll have to check some of these higher rated films out once I've finished with the Hitchcock films I've been wanting to watch for ages now recently.

Mark said...

So much Woody Allen.

Red Baron said...

woody allen sucks dick

but interesting blog im going to follow

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Looks like you were on a Woody Allen kick this week... Manhattan gets my vote!

That Bastard From Bellingham said...

Looks like SOMEONE had a hankerin' for some Woody!

Yeah, I'm not much for Woody Allen myself, but his films? I use the term "usually" coupled with other terms like "well-written," "well-directed," and "pretty fuckin' good movie, buddy" with a wild, near mindless abandon.

The man himself? Wouldn't piss on him to put out the fire if he was aflame in the middle of the street. "The Creep" was made for guys like him. It's not even that he's an older dude who's into younger chicks, it's just that he LOOKS like a creepy pedophile and embodies all the most insufferable traits of the Jewish people on top of that.

Don't you DARE look at me funny like that, everyone's got those parts of their race that isn't quite exemplary. Well, for the Jews it's Woody Allen. All of him.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah...good set of reviews, m'man! ESPECIALLY on J. Edgar, which is a movie I didn't want to touch myself. Not because of Clint Eastwood, who is generally an awesome movie-guy (actor, director, ain't he a writer too?), but because the movie doesn't have nearly enough of J. Edgar forcing his subordinates into fishnets and bangable positions. Nowhere NEAR enough manwhorism in that movie.

Of course the MOMENT I saw that it was a movie about J. Edgar Hoover, I immediately thought "Oh, a FBI version of Rocky Horror Picture Show!"

To my chagrin, it appears that it is not.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame I've never watched any of these.

Rockinrule said...

rest in peace, brother