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4 items from 2009

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Whatever Works’ Coasts on Worn Formula

28 October 2009 7:58 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chicago – There was a time when a Woody Allen film starring Larry David would have been an obvious slam dunk. Both men have created comic personas so vivid and indelible that it’s hard for viewers to pinpoint the line separating “performance” from “personality.” They have mastered the art of neurotic kvetching, though their similarities are skin-deep at best. While Allen’s persona has exuded a Chaplinesque charm since the early days of “Bananas,” David’s is aggressively misanthropic, as his monstrously petty obsessiveness digs him into one hole after another in the uproarious HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” “Whatever Works” marks the first time these two comic titans have forged a close collaboration, and that’s why the film is ultimately one of the year’s most heartbreaking disappointments.

Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0

I’ve never actually hated any movie by Woody Allen. Even his weakest efforts have a few witty »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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Review: ‘Whatever Works’ Doesn’t

18 June 2009 6:13 PM, PDT | | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

Whatever Works marks Woody Allen’s much-heralded return to New York, where his ongoing European sojourn has felt like a profound betrayal, even if the high cost of shooting in NYC necessitated it. Though he’s done some of his best recent work abroad, unpacking London and Barcelona with his unique, carefully observed eye for high-end urban spaces, the man as closely associated with New York as anyone belongs on this side of the Atlantic. So there’s definitely some pleasure to be had in the specter of Allen coming back home, with a multitude of Lower Manhattan locations once again playing a major role in his storytelling. Casting Larry David as his Doppelgänger also seems, on the face of it, a coup, a melding of the minds of two of the all-time great masters of Jewish humor. Yet Whatever Works, which Allen wrote for Zero Mostel in the 1970s and recently updated, comes »

- Robert Levin

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Whatever Works: Woody Allen Casts His Twin

8 June 2009 9:41 AM, PDT | | See recent ReelzChannel news »

Early in his career, Woody Allen famously cast himself as the male lead in his movies, making a name for himself as an actor in Bananas, Annie Hall, Manhattan, and many others. As he grew older, Allen kept the neurotic persona but has occasionally charged other actors with the role, including John Cusack, Will Ferrell, and Jason Biggs.

For his upcoming release Whatever Works, Allen has once again thrown the role onto someone else, casting Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David as the lead. While it was a bit of a stretch for someone like Ferrell to take up Allen's mantle, with just a little digging it's clear that this role won't be too difficult for David. In fact, their similarities are pretty stunning. See Whatever Works: Woody Allen Casts His Twin.

Next Showing: Whatever Works opens July 1, 2009

Link | Posted 6/8/2009 by reelz

Woody Allen | Larry David | Whatever Works »

- reelz reelz

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The Power CD List

2 April 2009 1:59 AM, PDT | | See recent Backstage news »

The following is a list of the top 25 Power Casting Directors in film and television (including Casting Director of the Year, Debra Zane; see page 9). We began with more than 100 candidates. In some cases, collaborations were so closely tied that we considered multiple people as one entity. Several drafts later, all 25 spots were cast.Notably omitted from the list are in-house casting executives at studios and networks, the inclusion of whom would have ballooned our list to 50 or more. But read about them online at Focusing on independent casting directors leveled the playing field and highlighted people whose puissance is not affected by one scale-tipping affiliation. Now, on to the top 25!Kerry BardenCan you imagine Monster's Ball starring Erykah Badu, or American Psycho starring Leonardo DiCaprio? Kerry Barden can, because he saw them read the parts. "There are so many great actors that sometimes it's a »

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