True Story: Den’s favorite Woody Allen film is Curse of the Jade Scorpion.
That said, Den appreciates the genius of Deconstructing Harry too.
^That’s what I’m talking about.
@santino: I didn’t like Christina…It was horribly overrated.
Woody Allen Top 10:
Broadway Danny Rose AND The Purple Rose of Cairo (can’t decide)
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Husbands and Wives
Hannah and Her Sisters
Midnight in Paris
Love and Death
To be fair to Den, he’s actually got his own unique film philosophy and can defend his very unconventional tastes (Bolero is another one of his favorite films) with well thought out arguments. That doesn’t mean I agree with his conclusions, but they’re more interesting to me than a lot the cookie cutter consensus that keeps popping up over and over again.
Yeah, I have no problem with having a different philosophy. My only observation is that it almost perfectly aligns with the polar opposite of my own philosophy. It’s like bizarro world.
1. Annie Hall
2. Crimes and Misdemeanors
4. Hannah and Her Sisters
5. Midnight in Paris
6. Bullets Over Broadway
7. Deconstructing Harry
8. Everyone Says I love You
10. Love and Death
Top 3 under appreciated Woody films:
1. Anything Else (One of my favourite Woody performances).
3. Stardust Memories
^That’s how I feel about September (although I recognize it’s divisive).
Bolero is great.
Husbands and Wives
Hannah and Her Sisters
Midnight in Paris
" It’s like bizarro world."
Ha! When Den first appeared on this site, I remember saying this exact same thing to him. And then I late realized we have more taste in common than I first thought. Anyway, he would probably say your film taste is as strange/bad as you say his is but, yeah, his taste is interesting to decipher and completely unpredictable. And there are few people on this site who have seen not only as many films as he but as diverse a selection of films.
He’s always hated Soderbergh so it’s no surprise that he disliked Haywire. Do you still think so highly of it, Santino? I was mixed on it but I have already completely forgotten about it until Den’s post.
@ Ari -
See, I think his taste is completely predictable – if I like something, he’ll most likely hate it (and vice versa)! So for me, his opinion on a film I haven’t seen is a good gauge for me – just do the opposite (there’s another Seinfeld reference).
As far as diversity, I think you’re partly right in the sense that he watches films most of us won’t touch (Adam Sandler for instance). But on the other side of the spectrum, I’m not so sure. I don’t see a lot of mention of foreign films from him or a lot of the critical darlings (The Turin Horse, A Separation, etc.). But I could be wrong, as a lot of this impression is based off the threads for the mainstream films that release every week.
Yes, I’m still a fan of Haywire. I’ve seen it twice, once over a year ago then again last fall, so it’s been awhile. But I’m looking forward to buying it and watching it again. As far as popcorn entertainment, it’s a blast.
You probably have more in common than you think. I know you don’t like Godard, but you don’t like Altman (although I think Den’s favorite Altman films are the ones I dislike!) or Warren Beatty?
Well, saying you hate Godard doesn’t put you in a very small group! hahaha
And I love Altman. He’s a top ten director for me. As for Beatty, I don’t really have an opinion. He’s not a very versatile actor but he’s been in some damn good films (The Parallax View).
desert fury (1947) d. lewis allen
billed as the first technicolor noir, it also features burt lancaster’s screen debut (if it hadn’t been delayed til after the release of siodmak’s ‘the killers’ and dassin’s ‘brute force’). lizabeth scott looks gorgeous but mary astor steals the film as her gambling boss mother in a small nevada town. when bad girl lizabeth falls for a gangster in hiding, the fur’s gonna fly. there’s a very strong gay subtext to the film that completely undermines the hayes code of the period, leading one to wonder if they were just completely clueless? lots of fun if u can find it 8/10
shout out to brotherdeacon who made me aware of this film, shot in my own neck of the woods!
to paraphrase: it’s as if tennessee williams wrote a western and peyton place was a town in nevada.
i have submitted this to the database
Screw Mr. Skin or something: Bolero had disappointing nudity.
a few things (thanks brad and ari)
Warren Beatty does not need range (not that he does not have it) because he generally makes great choices and makes sure that every character falls into the persona he created, as all great movie stars do.
second, I champion a number of outside US films,I spent months talking up Nekromantik, love Godard (esp the 80s work), De Oliveria, Rohmer, Argento, Bava and lately Juraj Jakubisko. I like Tarr’s MacBeth, did not like much else.
I tend to like innovators, Jaglom is better than the pretenders that followed. As much as I love early Woody, the Marx Brothers are better.
John Derek makes films about age, beauty, machismo and wealth, can I help if those things interest me.
Santino can be right from his side of course and I will be right from mine. I made my wide release thread because those are films people tend to see in theaters and like talking about what a wide range of people see, I am not necessarily inclined toward mainstream tho, if I was would have avoided Haywire which got an F cineascore.
Regarding Allen films you like Manhattan, Zelig and September are all in my top 15. The only ones I truly hated were Whatever Works and Cassandra’s Dream
^Hey, we can agree on hating Cassandra’s Dream! Whoohoo!
I feel like maybe we’ve discussed this (in the George Clooney thread?) where I see a lot of similarities between Beatty and Clooney. They both started young (and in TV) and were somewhat heartthrobs, had to prove themselves as serious actors, became directors, are active in liberal causes, became producers, and once they became successful, they generally try to make smart decisions in the films they work on (working with only certain directors, choose smart/adult material, etc.). As well, I think both of them have limited abilities as actors – they both have a sort of charm/charisma that difficult to shake – and yet they know their limitations and try to work within those limitations and exploit them.
Whether one is better than the other (at acting, directing, producing) is beside the point – I think what’s interesting is how similar their careers have been. I guess you could also make a similar case with Robert Redford, who also had to get over his looks to be taken seriously, became a director, and started producing.
I’ve never understood why Beatty doesn’t get more respect as an actor. I don’t even think he’s very limited – he can play suave and sophisticated and bumbling and stupid. It’s a bigger range than most actors.
Match Point and Cassandra’s Dream are the only two Allen films I can get into… I find that his films become much more tolerable when he isn’t acting in them.
Has he ever played bad/menacing/scary? Even in his gangster roles (Bonnie & Clyde, Bugsy) there was a smirk to his characters. I think that’s what I’m talking about when I say “range”. He’s got that inescapable charm (like Clooney) that is hard to hide. But that doesn’t mean he’s a bad actor. I find him to be quite a good actor.
Compare that with Jack Nicholson, who equally has that charm but can hide it (King of Marvin Gardens, About Schmidt, etc.)
@ Axel – That’s interesting because I tend to favor Woody films that he is in. Indeed if you look at my top ten list, he’s in all of them except the bottom two (+September).
Bugsy’s as close as Beatty ever got to menacing, but that film would be better remembered with a more conventional lead. I think he’s limited in his range, but can do well when acting within it. (Clooney’s got more range, in my book.) His one great performance I maintain was in McCabe and Mrs Miller, which was the perfect fit. Bonnie and Clyde is a great film and he was instrumental in getting it made, but again, it would have been just as great with another lead.
@ Santino: Well, I guess if I slept with around 13,000 women (to use Biskind’s estimate), It’d be hard to wipe the smirk off my face too! But, yeah, I see what you’re saying. It is hard to imagine Beatty playing an uncharismatic role although I think he would have been able to pull it off. Much as I hate the film, it would have been interesting if Beatty had done Kill Bill.
1 – Autumn Sonata 10/10
2 – Nazarin 9/10
3 – Simon Of The Desert 8,5/10
All of them seen in one day, all worth of praise, specially Autumn Sonata.
Bergman never ceases to exhaust me emotionally!
Beatty (said before but bears repeating) has two soild personas to pick from (most movie stars have one) and the best of his work has parts of both. He is the awestruck midwestern values idealist (Reds, Heaven Can Wait) or the charming cad (Shampoo, The Only Game in Town) or both (Bulworth, Bugsy)
Beatty like Eastwood (another actor we could lump in this group) cares about his audience. He makes films that try to entertain the mainstream and sometimes push boundaries or enlighten.
Clooney is far more cynical. He makes films that mainstream knows to avoid, maybe they are just for him. The American, Solaris, Ides of March are a big fuck you to audiences that he will try to sell the films to. When those movies fail, he just makes Ocean films or tries screwball comedies (Leatherheads), all the films are terrible tho.
oh and Beatty was menacing in P. View
“Well, I guess if I slept with around 13,000 women (to use Biskind’s estimate), It’d be hard to wipe the smirk off my face too!”
Beatty’s best film, in my opinion, is The Parallax View. God, I love that movie.
Den – I completely disagree about your assessment about George Clooney. He makes personal films that interest him (which is exactly what movies like Reds and Bulworth are) and I can’t imagine he (or any filmmaker) actually giving a “big fuck you” to audiences. That, to me, seems pretty cynical. I didn’t actually start to take Clooney seriously until recently, when he made Good Night and Good Luck. Prior to that, I didn’t think much of his work, for the most part. But since then, I’ve admired most of his choices.
“Beatty like Eastwood (another actor we could lump in this group) cares about his audience. He makes films that try to entertain the mainstream and sometimes push boundaries or enlighten.
Clooney is far more cynical. He makes films that mainstream knows to avoid, maybe they are just for him. The American, Solaris, Ides of March are a big fuck you to audiences that he will try to sell the films to. "
No offense or anything, but this is just a huge load of codswallop. The films Clooney actually made (with the exception of Leatherheads) — so I mean Confessions, Good Night, and Ides of March — all have ratings on imdb between 7 and 8, got great reviews, etc. I’m not sure how making films that the public likes is a ‘big fuck you to audiences’.
And as for the films he ‘made’ (he didn’t even produce Solaris, let alone direct it, so I don’t know why you say he ‘made’ that film) which aren’t conventional Hollywood product, far from faulting him, I applaud him for it. I’d rather live in a world where some people try to do something different than a world where everyone tries to make Adam Sandler movies. By my gauge, Clooney has very limited talents, but at least he’s using his position in the Hollywood system to stretch a few boundaries now and then. If I fault him for anything, it’s for not going far enough, but I’d much rather have a few Clooneys around than a Hollywood full of Keanu Reeves.
“Has he ever played bad/menacing/scary? Even in his gangster roles (Bonnie & Clyde, Bugsy) there was a smirk to his characters. I think that’s what I’m talking about when I say “range”. He’s got that inescapable charm (like Clooney) that is hard to hide. But that doesn’t mean he’s a bad actor. I find him to be quite a good actor.”
Agree with all of that. Beatty has an onscreen presence that is hard to dispute. He is a true movie star, in every sense of the word.
As for Bugsy, he was great in that, but it’s a strange performance in a lot of ways. He plays Bugsy like a bit of a charismatic clown with a tough guy exterior. It doesn’t help that Toback’s script plays loose with the facts, and portrays Bugsy as a dreamy romantic gangster that is totally enamoured, and consequently blinded, by his own majestic vision, rather than a charming and brutal hardass like he apparently was in real life. Trust Toback to turn the life of Bugsy into a story of a gambler who utimately crapped out ;-)
Good film though. has aged quite well. shame it has been forgotten. One of the only Levinson films that is actually watchable nowadays haha