Seven segments related to one another only in that they all purport to be based on sections of the book by David Reuben. The segments range from "Do Aphrodisiacs Work?" in which a court ... See full summary »
A reporter in Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army's New Earth Army, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions.
The story follows an underground weapons manufacturer in Belgrade during WWII and evolves into fairly surreal situations. A black marketeer who smuggles the weapons to partisans doesn't ... See full summary »
A Russian is caught up in the Napoleonic invasion of his country. Much of the humor comes from the philosophic conversations that people break into in the midst of crisis situations. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
When Boris' father visits him in his prison cell, near the end of the movie, he tells him about Raskolnikov killing two women and about getting told by the brothers Karamazov. Rodion Raskolnikov is the protagonist in Fyodor Dostoevsky's classic "Crime and Punishment", in which he murders two women and does not know how to deal with the moral consequences afterwards. "The Brothers Karamazov" is another epic book by the same Russian writer. The dialogue also evokes "The Possessed", "Raw Youth", "The Idiot", "The Insulted and Injured" (usually "The Insulted and Humiliated"), "The Gambler", "The Double", "Bobok", all of them novels by Dostoyevsky. See more »
In the battle scenes the infantry use percussion cap muskets, which were not invented until after the Napoleonic Wars. See more »
How I got into this predicament I'll never know. Absolutely incredible. To be executed for a crime I never committed. Of course, isn't all mankind in the same boat? Isn't all mankind ultimately executed for a crime it never committed? The difference is that all men go eventually, but I go six o'clock tomorrow morning. I was supposed to go at five o'clock but I have a smart lawyer. Got leniency.
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Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev is listed in the credits as "S. Prokofiev," just the way he would have been listed in the credits of a Russian film. See more »
The last of Woody's uneven (but still hilarious) comedies
"Love and Death" is one of my favourite Woody Allen films, right up there with "Manhattan," "Crimes and Misdemeanors" and "Deconstructing Harry." Sure, the jokes are scattershot and don't always work, but when they do the film is a gut-buster. ("A tremendous amount of wheat!") Parodying everything from Russian literature to foreign films (especially those of his beloved Ingmar Bergman), it's also one of Allen's most overtly philosophical films with characters breaking into syllogisms and formal arguments at the most unlikely moments. Students of philosophy should get a kick out of it.
That said, it is accessible to just about anybody. Almost nobody does fish-out-of-water comedy as well as Woody Allen (see also "Bananas" and "Sleeper"), and Diane Keaton shines as usual as the promiscuous object of his desire. And look for Jessica Harper in a small role as the cousin who rattles off a convoluted list of romantic entanglements worthy of Chekhov.
This was the last step of Allen's formative period. After this, his films would get a lot more focused.
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