Woody Allen – Anything Else (2003)


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A young artist struggling with his career and his muse is getting more than a little aggravation from Cupid in this romantic comedy written and directed by Woody Allen. Jerry Falk (Jason Biggs) is a promising 21-year-old comedy writer living in New York City. While Jerry has talent, he’s having a hard time getting his career off the ground, which might have something to do with the fact his agent Harvey (Danny DeVito) is a well-meaning, but ineffectual, blowhard, and his mentor David Dobel (Allen) is an increasingly paranoid eccentric whose twin careers as a teacher and standup comic are both floundering. Poised at the top of Jerry’s mountain of anxieties is his relationship with his girlfriend Amanda (Christina Ricci); from the first moment he saw her, Jerry has been in love with her, but Amanda’s multiple neuroses, fear of commitment, and frustrating intimacy issues make her all but impossible to be around. Jerry is approaching his breaking point when the small flat he shares with Amanda becomes home to a third roommate — Amanda’s mother Paula (Stockard Channing), who has decided to come to New York to chase her dream of becoming a cabaret singer. Anything Else also features supporting performances from Jimmy Fallon, William Hill, and jazz vocalist Diana Krall. — Mark Deming @ allmovie.com Read More »

Woody Allen – Melinda and Melinda (2004)

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Description: Over a meal in a French restaurant, Sy poses a conundrum to his fellow diners: Is the essence of life comic or tragic? For the sake of argument, he tells a story, which the others then embellish to illustrate their takes on life. The story starts as follows: A young Manhattan couple, Park Avenue princess Laurel and tippling actor Lee, throw a dinner party to impress Lee’s would-be producer when their long-lost friend Melinda appears at their front door, bedraggled and woebegone. In the tragic version of what happens next, the beautiful intruder is a disturbed woman who got bored with her Midwestern doctor-husband and dumped him for a photographer. Her husband took the children away and she spiraled into a suicidal depression that landed her straight-jacketed in a mental ward. In the comic version, Melinda is childless and a downstairs neighbor to the dinner hosts, who are ambitious Indy filmmaker Susan and under-employed actor Hobie. Back and forth the stories go, contrasting the destinies of the two Melindas. Read More »

Woody Allen – You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010)

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“Two couples find their lives turned upside down by their unfulfilled longings in this ensemble comedy from director Woody Allen. Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) and Helena (Gemma Jones) have been married for years. They have a grown-up daughter named Sally (Naomi Watts), who is married to a successful novelist named Roy (Josh Brolin), but finds the future of her marriage in jeopardy after falling for Greg (Antonio Banderas), the dapper owner of a prominent art gallery. Meanwhile, as Roy develops a fixation on Dia (Freida Pinto), an exotic beauty he encounters on the street, Alfie ditches Helena for Charmaine (Lucy Punch), an impressionable young call girl. Now it seems that the harder everyone tries runs away from their problems, the faster their lives seem to fall apart. ”
by Jason Buchanan allmovie.com Read More »

Karl Markovics – Atmen AKA Breathing (2011)

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Quote:
Roman, played by Thomas Schubert, is a 19-year-old man who has known little else than prison walls. He is serving time for murder, but is at the end of his sentence. Parole may be offered if he can hold down a job in the real world. He has tried many different vocations, but has never lasted longer than a day. With one last attempt before his hearing Roman takes on a job at an undertakers. Could this be the one that helps him find his place in society? Read More »

Pedro Costa – O Nosso Homem AKA Our Man (2010)

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Synopsis
O Nosso Homem (Our Man) is a short variation in the line of the trilogy Pedro Costa has devoted to the habitants of the Fontainhas quarter, which has been destroyed in the meantime. It can be considered as a sort of appendix to the third part, Juventude en Marcha (Colossal Youth), in which the hero, Ventura, reappears as one of the four characters of this dialogue of hopelessness. They go their own way, from one setting to another, from the darkest to the brightest, carried by this lavishness of frames and timbres of light that once made Jacques Rancière (writing about Juventude en Marcha) say that “the faith in the art which attests to the greatness of the poor – the greatness of each and every man – shines here more than ever. But it does not assimilate it anymore to an affirmation of a greeting Read More »

Abel Ferrara – Body Snatchers (1993)

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Review by Mike Long
There’s an old saying in Hollywood that goes, “Don’t remake the same movie too many times.” Okay, so I made that up, but I’m sure that someone has said that at some time in the past. No matter the case, when “Body Snatchers”, the third film to be based on the novel by Jack Finney, was released in 1993, it went virtually ignored by the public. I can only assume that most people thought it was a re-release of the 1978 version “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” While “Body Snatchers” may share the same basic plot as its predecessors, it is a unique film that brings a new vision to the nightmare story. The film has just hit DVD and deserves to find a new audience. Read More »

Abel Ferrara – The Addiction (1995)


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plot:
Director Abel Ferrara applies his eccentric vision to the vampire genre with this cerebral “Art”
film about graduate philosophy student Kathleen Conklin (Lili Taylor), who is bitten by an
aggressive female vampire (Annabella Sciorra) and soon spirals into a nightmarish world of
blood addiction and existential angst. Driven by her merciless condition, she attacks several
of her pretentious friends and classmates (even her professor) and mainlines their blood like
heroin. Just as she becomes more bold in seeking prey on the streets of New York, she is
waylaid by a potential victim — actually a sophisticated vampire himself named Peina
(Christopher Walken), who chooses to control his own blood addiction through fasting and
meditation. Seeming to regain her self-control, she eventually completes her graduate thesis
(helped by a bit of vampire nepotism) and holds a party to celebrate, inviting the entire
faculty as well as members of her new “family” to join in the festivities. Although the parallels
to heroin addiction are in plain view, this is also a study in the essential evil of humankind — a
theme evident in much of Ferrara’s work. — Cavett Binion Read More »