"I can't believe all the bad reviews this has gotten. This box doesn't hold a bad film, yet there's so many complaints about it not holding any comedy or being to serious or something. First off, "Another Woman" and "September" aren't really funny at all, but hey, they excellent anyways. And the other three, "Crimes and Misdemeanors", "Alice", and "Shadows and Fog", are essentially comedies! Sure, "Crimes..." has a deathly serious side, but really... does that matter? "Alice" is one of those movies you can't really have any complaints about. It's really fun to watch. The weakest film here is, true, "Shadows and Fog", but that does not by any circumstances mean it is a bad film. It has excellent cinematography and it is really funny at times. Definitely worth seeing, even if it is one of Woody's weakest films. All in all, you pretty much get the best of Woody Allen here. Really funny, funny and whimsical, funny and sad, deathly serious, and more deathly serious. A fine box set. -Randy"
What can I say?
Luis G. P. Davidson | barueri, sp Brazil | 03/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The whole idea behind a Box Set, is to attract fans. So if you're not a Woody Allen sucker, you'll probably never come to this point of the navigation, specially reading reviews. The fact is, this Box Set comes with more "noire" films from Mr. Allen, not the best comedy, but some very good drama though. The Sets 1 and 3 are better. But what can I say? The worst Woody Allen movie deserves 4 stars and a half, but I could't figure out how to give them. So I gave it a five. You're his fan too, you understand me."
Another great Allen set
Joren R. Cain | Valdosta, GA USA | 06/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These are 5 great movies from a wonderful director, and are finally available on DVD. These are in direct contrast with the first collection, his "early, funny ones," however. Both "Another Woman" and "September" are serious dramas, and any humor in the other three are tempered with deeper dramatic elements, which has become his trademark style. These films represent a mature Woody Allen, and are highly recommended to anyone who is interested in his more serious side. All the films are great, despite what anyone says about "Shadows and Fog," which seems to generally be underappreciated. As for his films in the early 80's ("Hannah," "Zelig," "Sex Comedy," "Broadway Danny Rose," "Purple Rose," and whatever else I'm missing), I think those are in set 3, to be released next. The entire set is not to be missed. Also recommended is the book "Woody Allen on Woody Allen" in which he discusses each of his films through "Manhattan Murder Mystery.""
The Genius Emerges
David Schweizer | Kansas, USA | 09/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We have two masterpieces here. The first is "Crimes and Misdemeanors." The second is "Alice." The others are vintage Allen and deserve to be seen, for the first or tenth time. "Crimes" is a brilliant piece, gorgeously well-acted and directed. The cast is superb, probably the best ensemble performance since Cassavetes' films with Gena Rowlands and co. Martin Landau gives one of the most startling performances of the decade, a performance which must have helped give this remarkable talent a second life. But in the end, it is the writing and direction that make this such a deep, moving film. "Alice" has, of course, the incomparable Mia Farrow, who emerges here and in other Allen films as one of the most exciting actresses of our time. They made a great couple. She introduced him to the Upper-East side, grand WASP lifestyle that became his subject matter for the next twenty years. She was his muse. He has never really recovered as a film director from her loss."
Two Fantastic Movies And A Lot of Solid Fun
Mel C. Thompson | san francisco | 09/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shadows and Fog and Alice are good clean fun, lots of laughs and a little magic. But I'm really here to write about three amazing movies.
1. Crimes and Misdemeanors. If you are a philosophy student, or a theology student, this is simply the best movie you will ever see. Period. I am not an Atheist, and Woody Allen is, but don't let this put you off. In this movie he shows in a very fair and balanced way that all of us, no matter what our belief system is, have hard challenged. Of course he makes statements that lean his way, but he really gives a whole lot of great treatment to all sides of the debate. The movie, above all things, is a masterpiece of humanity.
Also, Martin Landau simply gives the best performance of his life. Period. In this film he shows a range of talent that is just stunning, almost frightening. It's a darn shame that more directors didn't see the full scope of his talent. He tended to get pigeonholed in much of his acting career. But this performance shows us the genius that we all might have known more of, had other directors and casting managers had the skill that way employed in the case of this movie. Also, Jerry Orbach's performance as a gangster is shockingly convincing, more convincing than his excellent performances as a policeman. Any fan of Orbach just has to see this film to get a more information on this actor's great range.
2. September: When I saw this film, I realized that I had forgotten huge swaths of my own emotional life. The conversations between Waterston and Wiest are almost too emotional to handle. Also, Mia Farrow, who I have mixed feelings about, plays her very best role in this film as a psychiatric out-patient. I was stunned by her ability to master this part. This work has the heaviness of a Checkov or a Gogal. This powerful work made me look at my own boundaries and feelings in ways that were very surprising.
3. Another Woman: Mia Farrow does great work in this one too, as a secondary character. For reasons the plot shall reveal, we mostly hear her, but don't see her too much. The things we hear are very powerful. But the movie centers around an aging female Philosophy professor who slowly comes to terms with the lack of honest passion in her life. Gene Hackman plays a short but awesome role. His brutal honesty knocks us off our chairs and makes us really ask questions. The movie moves a bit slow at first, but don't let that fool you. It's all a perfect setup for some juicy cinema. Very interestingly, there's very little overt romance in the movie, and yet the movie is movingly romantic. Here Woody proves, perhaps against his own inclinations and perhaps against his own occasional anti-intellectual moods, that sexuality is far more a mental phenomena than a physical one, and that the resolution of a romantic problem can arise without ever having to carry out much in the way of "real world" romance.
If you've not seen these three films, and if you think you know Woody Allen, and if you think you know his range and limits, you're wrong. See these and have a new world open up before your eyes.