Throwback Trailer of the Day | Woody Allen Week ~ Day 4
Match Point (2005)
Woody Allen is famous for directing comedies, yet he has made quite a few great dramatic films over the years. There is nothing funny about Match Point. This is one incredibly tense and suspenseful film. Match Point was the first Woody Allen movie to star Scarlett Johansson, and the two have gone on to work together several times since this. Allen loves to pay homages to older directors, and Match Point is his ode to Alfred Hitchcock. As the film deals with both tennis and murder, Strangers on a Train and Dial M For Murder especially come to mind. Match Point is one riveting film, and is proof that Woody Allen is a skilled director of dramas as well as comedies.
Throwback Trailer of the Day | Woody Allen Week ~ Day 3
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
One thing that Woody Allen has a knack for is assembling terrific ensemble casts. With Hannah and Her Sisters, Allen plays his usual neurotic character, but this time in one of the supporting roles. Talented actors such as Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, and Max Von Sydow all have prominent roles in this films that they all shine in. Hannah and Her Sisters is one of Allen’s most delightfully enjoyable films. It even features a happy ending for Allen’s character, which is a rarity.
Throwback Trailer of the Day | Woody Allen Week ~ Day 2
Manhattan is both one of Woody Allen’s better films and a film I can actually stand Diane Keaton in. Though this film doesn’t have Allen’s signature breaking of the fourth wall, it does have him as the main character, just as neurotic as usual. Heck, he even uses the word pedantic! Don’t expect an extremely happy film, either. While a good film, Manhattan takes its share of ups and downs, but it’s all wonderful to watch. Oh yeah, and Meryl Streep is in it… That’s pretty cool, right?
Throwback Trailer of the Day | Woody Allen Week ~ Day 1
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex * But Were Too Afraid To Ask (1972)
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex * But Were Too Afraid To Ask is not your average motion picture. Instead, it is a series of short films, all outlandish and crazy. For instance, one of the best shorts of the film involves a goat and Gene Wilder. This isn’t to say all the shorts work, but they’re all interesting enough to watch. Also, where else are you going to see Woody Allen dressed up as sperm?
Woody Allen is the most prolific directors working today, and has been since at least the 1970s. Allen still directs a new film every year. While most of his films tend to be hit or miss due to the high volume he makes, this year’s Midnight in Paris ranks among his very best films. On December 1, Allen will be celebrating his 76th birthday. To celebrate, we will be featuring five of his hilarious movies. Happy birthday, Woody Allen!
Martin Scorsese’s Hugo may be disguised as a family film, but adults will find a lot more to love than children, though both will be enchanted. With enough magic and charm to captivate any audience, this film is most certainly a love letter to the early days of film. From the unforgettable score to some of the best 3D effects in any film to date, Hugo is a film for the ages and one of the best films of the year.
Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield)is an orphan who lives in the Paris Montparnasse train station. The only relic of his former life is an automaton his father (Jude Law) found years earlier. After fixing it up, Hugo finds that something important is missing to make the automaton work: a key. Meanwhile, a toy shop owner (Ben Kingsley) in the train station has seen drawings of Hugo’s automaton and has shown great distress. Is there a connection between this mysterious man and the automaton? Hugo takes it in his care to find out.
Though based on the 2007 book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Hugo is a film that works best when going in blind. The film’s mystery is half of the fun. Don’t be fooled by this film’s marketing, either. The automaton is only part of the mystery, and Chloë Grace Moretz and Ben Kingsley play a much larger part than the trailers for this film would have anyone believe. That being said, I suggest people who have yet to see this film stop reading now.
Had Hugo’s story been less interesting, the numerous flaws this film had in acting and editing would have shone through. In fact, while visually appealing, the first 10 minutes of the film were slow and had me worried. Thankfully, once the film’s title appeared, the film picked up and got into gear. Ben Kingsley as Georges Méliès was quite a surprise, and from there, the backstory of film-making was amazing.
Relative newcomer Asa Butterfield was okay as Hugo Cabret. While not a great child actor, he was more than capable for the part, though at times, his acting was blatantly awkward. Chloë Grace Moretz on the other hand was great. Her timing was wonderful, and her stage presence is palpable. If it wasn’t for her, scenes between the two children would have been a bit unbearable. Ben Kingsley brought obvious talent as well. It is assured that any role he is in will be good, even in a bad comedy such as The Love Guru. Sasha Baron Cohen was even bearable, if not endearing in parts. Also, some great small roles were given to wonderful actors such as Emily Mortimer and Christopher Lee.
The 3D in this film was the best I have seen in a film since Avatar, and that is no exaggeration. Scorsese knows how to use 3D as an enhancer, and not as a gimmick. He knew how to make a scene look larger than life, and how to avert focus on a scene just by playing with depth. Also, the amount of special affects didn’t hurt. The opening shot of the film, for instance, was done by Lucasfilm.
If this film doesn’t get a nod for Best Picture, Best Director, or at the very least, Best Art Direction, I will be upset. Hugo is a magical film with a beauty only Scorsese could have pulled off. While I believe this film will under-perform at the box office, I’m hoping all the wonderful word of mouth will bring people in to the theater. It’s this film’s only hope! Go see this wonderful film.
Throwback Trailer of the Day | Martin Scorsese Week ~ Day 5
The Departed (2006)
Despite making a number of incredibly iconic and influential films such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas, Scorsese had repeatedly lost the competition for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. In 2006, Scorsese finally got the Oscar recognition that he had deserved for decades with his Boston mafia film The Departed. Featuring great performances by Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, and Jack Nicholson among others, the star-studded cast helped make The Departed a huge hit among both audiences as well as critics. While far from my favorite Scorsese film, The Departed is certainly an entertaining and expertly made movie. Though long over due, I am glad The Departed helped Scorsese finally get his Oscar.
Throwback Trailer of the Day | Martin Scorsese Week ~ Day 4
One genre that Martin Scorsese has explored repeatedly throughout his career is the gangster genre. Goodfellas ranks not only as one of my favorite Scorsese movies, but one of my favorite gangster films of all time. The dialogue is so snappy, the characters are intriguing, the violence is handled well, and the movie is shot gorgeously. I really don’t have enough good things to say about this film. I recommend it to anyone new to Scorsese’s work. It’s introduction to the director and, if you’re anything like me, it will make you want to see more of his films.