Reviews written by registered user
Movie_Man 500

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124 reviews in total 
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
nice little corker, 27 October 2005
7/10

Pretty decent old time chiller with some axe murders and Joan both camping it up and giving it her gusto. At 1 point, she's as vulnerable as your granny might be; the next, she's belting out her dialogue like a diva. She always was a very watchable actress, even in B thrillers like this, which, nonetheless is well photographed and goofily entertaining, despite its over-lurid plot. Diane Baker went on to play the Senator that Hannibal Lector toyed with in Silence of the Lambs. Here: she's barely out of her teens. Or at least is 20 years older than her character is supposed to be from the beginning. Her and Crawford have believable chemistry as mother and daughter. You really can't guess how it's going to end. When it does, you'll be giggling in disbelief. Fun time during the spooky season of October and AMC recently aired it with commercials and didn't ruin one second of it. Hop along for the ride. Makes a nice companion piece to Lady in a Cage...

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Nice fluff despite the off kilter warbling, 1 September 2005
8/10

This is one of Allen's oddest pieces because it takes a while to get used to. I needed a third viewing over time to get past the musical numbers and discover how sweet this really is. The old grandfather is the funniest character and Alan Alda has probably the best dialogue. And the autumn and Venice scenery here is well photographed. Actually, all the seasons are filmed with poetic breath taking photography, to enhance the rather goofball story. The entire cast is likable, despite representing the bored wealthy elite so over the course of the picture, even their lies and mannerisms become endearing. Goldie Hawn and Julia Roberts stand out, and yes Woody makes himself appealing to both of them; the running gag of having beautiful women fall for him still going strong as he ages... Not "great" but great to look at. Even for people who usually cringe, like I do, when movie characters break into song and begin dancing.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
One of Woody's finest dramas, 1 September 2005
10/10

The great Gena Rowlands has a fine narrative voice and in fact, it is her voice that you'll remember long after this is over. Voices in fact come into play a lot in this picture, from the sad stark voice of Mia Farrow whom Rowlands accidentally overhears in therapy, to the soft voice of John Houseman recalling his life, to the harsh voices of Sandy Dennis and Betty Buckley, in both real and flashback time. Allen shows some nice touches here as he uses visual and theatrical tricks to flesh out key parts of Marian's past. Nothing is wasted film wise as the editing is smooth and keeps everything finely constructed like a novel. Regrets and mistakes soon haunt everyone in the story and Marian comes to identify with a stranger (in Farrow) as she realizes most of the people in her small world never really knew who she was. Not as emotionally heavy as Allen's 2 dramas, this one allows you to admire the careful writing and the sometimes selfish motives of the characters, who don't always resonate with likability. Gene Hackman and Martha Plimpton offer pleasant support, perhaps the only 2 connections to solid love Marian has experienced... Worth repeated viewings, as all of Woody's movies are...

September (1987)
35 out of 42 people found the following review useful:
moving, excellent, 31 August 2005
10/10

I'm probably in the minority here but i find this to be one of Allen's top ten masterpieces. Every scene works and the more you watch it, the more searing it becomes. No doubt you need to be in the right frame of mind to see it, but it's like a great night watching a play unfold. So many deep secrets, betrayals and unspoken feelings, finally, all coming to a head by the time the power comes back on after that thunderstorm. It feels way too real and may be why it makes most audience members uncomfortable. I liked this the first time I saw it and continue to hold it in high esteem years and almost 2 decades later. To preserve the great Elaine Stritch on film forever is enough to recommend it but the acting is painfully truthful to the point of awe. Woody's 3 dramas: this and Interiors and Another Woman form a great triangle. They should be looked at and admired now for the fine ensemble casting and the pinpoint writing. Whether they rip off Bergman or not, is rather pointless to argue. Each of them stand up as potent films on their own. Waterston and Wiest re-united on TV's Law And Order, and Stritch as well went on to win an Emmy on Law, so it shows how intuitive Allen was when it came to choosing great actors for his scripts. I found Farrow's character to be highly moving. Then again, I liked everything she and Allen did together. You became almost spoiled by the high quality. As a lifelong Allen viewer, I still think this is fine stuff and will stick by my high opinion every time I re-see it.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
cute ride and very funny, 31 August 2005
8/10

Nice re-pairing of one of cinema's best comedy duos, has great location shooting, an amazing visual ending and some of Allen's best one liners. Alan Alda and Angelica Huston provide feisty support, especially Alda, who's quite playful here. While this is basically a long running gag about being nosy and suspicious, there is an undercurrent of seriousness below the goofy parts about growing older and livening up the duller routines of life. While it's not recommended to spy on your neighbors to see if they're killers or not, having an adventure with the person you've been married to a long time is something to consider; be it just around the corner or somewhere unfamiliar. That aside, this is a lively counterpart to Allen's previous Husbands and Wives, which was filled with bitterness inside its rich comic moments, as well as a pleasant diversion. It's really refreshing seeing Allen and Keaton together as a lovable couple, with no one cheating on each other, although a few slight scenes do discuss some hidden jealousies and insecurities. Keaton has some of her best bits being a snoop here and this may qualify as one of her better comic roles. Plus she always has the best clothes. Only she could carry off that wardrobe of hers. Look briefly for that Zach actor from Scrubs in a very small scene as the couple's son. You might blink and miss him.

The Brood (1979)
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
brutal bit of pulp, 26 August 2005
7/10

This has to be a cult classic by now; it's so twisted and effectively disturbing. Real blunt violence too, that makes you inhale and wince: the work of a strong director. Baby-making jealousy gone awry. One of the few times Oliver Reed has been bearable on screen. He's a campy presence here, as always. Playing his typical hammy authority figure. I doubt he could ever pull off a nice father role, showing him tossing the football in the back yard... The usual Cronenberg trademarks are all present; body distortion, internal rage and gross blood letting, etc... Decidingly the child actors in the picture probably required therapy after filming. Scarier than both a Grimms fairy tale and a Michael Jackson video

Last Night (1998/I)
7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
my favorite end of the world movie, 26 August 2005
8/10

Stark, original piece set in Canada has a really depressing, terrible feeling behind every scene, but how else can you make a movie about the last day of human survival? Every character is sadly, gloomily interesting, especially the great, under-appreciated Sandra Oh, who gives the picture most of its immediate emotion. Her character is married to a key figure in the story played by David Cronenberg, who just happens to be the best film maker Canada has ever produced. His plot is just as upsetting as everyone else's, although McKeller's rather sexy buddy seems to be having the most exhausting fun. He's going out in style with pleasure. Hint: he even hits on poor gloomy Don for one last experimental thrill... tho Don wimps out and turns him down...Another great actress, Genevieve Bujold, plays a nice role in several stories. She still looks stunning as she ages. And her accent. Probably worth hearing as the world is slowly dying. Outdoor scenery is mesmorizing. Indoor scenery is quiet and unsettling. You definitely need to be in the mood to watch this. It always leaves a rather brutal impression...

Radio Days (1987)
18 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
well photographed trip in time, 25 August 2005
10/10

Woody's best " memory" piece has great set designs, a sad and funny script and the usual great, well chosen cast, including a very young Seth Green playing Allen as a boy. Diane Wiest and Julie Kavner excel strongly in the female leads, Allen's voice narrates the whole picture, and Mia Farrow squeaks deliciously as a bimbo cigarette girl who gets a culture make-over. This is the only Allen movie that both Farrow and Diane Keaton appear in (she has a very brief cameo singing a song in a night club.) The final scene on top of the roof is almost bittersweet, altho it is nice to see a landscape filled with wide eyed people, before the world was dominated by television. The story becomes even more poignant as you age. Watch it repeatedly over different stages of your life...

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
really sweet romantic comedy, 24 August 2005
9/10

I really like Marsha Mason a lot in this movie and felt her role was much more complex than Dreyfuss's often clumsy and irritating one. He's a bit over the top here, but then his character is supposed to be> I just felt he was trying too hard and Mason was the more enjoyable of the 2, specifically because she seems to grow more and has the less manic personality. Plus she cries and screams better and has the better comic timing. A shame her and Diane Keaton were both nominated in the same year for a Best Actress Oscar, delivering as they did, 2 of the richest comedy performances of the 70's.

Neil Simon was always rather cutesy with his writing but he found a great trio of actors to round out his story here and they all play well off each other. Quinn Cummings was never better on screen as Mason's world weary young daughter, Lucy, and it was nice to see her nominated, along with Dreyfuss and Mason; Dreyfuss, who beat the odds and went on to nab the Best Actor prize away from movie giants like Richard Burton (Equus) and Woody Allen (Annie Hall). The romance builds nicely, too, so it's not forced, and by the last emotional shot, things have come full circle, and you realize just how sweet the whole thing was...

Annie Hall (1977)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
'romance in all its many insane stages...'., 24 August 2005
10/10

The more you watch this, the more you realize that nothing changes. Captures the absurdity of love and, as well, the heartbreak after it's over. So many pieces to this have been analyzed, it would be pointless to re-hash them. You either get them or you don't. Falling in love is as complex as it gets in life. And this has to rank right up near the top as one of the best relationship pictures ever made. The anger, bitterness, jealousy, frustration, manipulation, selfishness, wonder, awe, beauty; everything is shown and dissected with Allen's superb use of the "cut up" technique. Fragments all bunched together in different time frames and points of view. To make up a whole. The humor found here inevitably somehow always turns sad. It's the first of Woody's comedies that casually mixes the funny with the poignant, so you're left both choked up and amused. Probably his best cast, with a glowing Diane Keaton at her daffy infectious peak. A shame she had to be up against Marsha Mason in the Goodbye Girl the same year: 2 of the best female roles of the 70's.


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