Wednesday, January 13, 2010

tm Does the QT 20 Part 1: Anything Else

A few months ago Quentin Tarantino celebrated himself by issuing his list of his 20 favourite films since 1992, when he became a film director. Witness!

tm harms, one of our loyal customers, was intrigued by the list, and how few of them he'd seen. He set out to review them, one by one. We shall be serially publishing the results.

Anything Else (dir. Woody Allen – 2003)

This movie joins the long list of Woody Allen movies that are rambling and semi-pointless. This doesn’t make it a bad Woody Allen movie - this movie is of middling quality and will probably be largely forgotten in light of his recent Scarlett Johansson-driven upswing with Match Point, Vicki Christina Barcelona, and Scoop - but you need to be prepared for a few things.

One is that Jason Biggs talks directly at the camera, adding insights and observations to the scene. Second is that it’s hard not be semi-creeped out by Christina Ricci pointlessly spending most of the movie in her underwear and/or without a bra; this is solely disturbing because she’s doing so at the direction of a 72 year-old man (a return of the same icky feeling from Mighty Aphrodite when a 60 year-old Woody makes out with Mira Sorvino). Third, and this is nothing new, that every character is basically a mini-Woody Allen, complete with obsessive/compulsive rants about the ennui-filled minutia of everyday life that was semi-funny 30 years ago, but getting is now tired.

Jason Biggs plays a burgeoning comedy writer and truthfully, he does pulls off a convincing mini-Woody. Christina Ricci plays Jason’s girlfriend who has relationship issues; she’s not a good mini-Woody and isn’t acting terribly well here; there are numerous long, dialogue-driven, single-shot scenes in this movie that give every appearance of being semi-improvised and Christina looks stiff and contrived while Jason seems a bit more at ease. Woody Allen plays a fellow comedy writer to Jason, who Jason admires and they pal around, trying to get a big break. Honourable mention goes to Stockard Channing, playing Christina’s mother that moves in with Jason and Christina.

The dvd’s only special features are text-driven bios of cast & crew and a spiel about the movie – all of which are pretty lame.

tm sez:

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