Everything new is old again...
Richard Gray | Sydney, NSW Australia | 08/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Woody Allen is one of the greatest comedic voices of our time. Be it as a stand-up, a writer or a director of countless films, Allen is not only unquestionably funny, but clever as well. The four films in this box - Anything Else; The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion; Hollywood Ending; and Small Time Crooks represent the most recent period of his film history, under the Dreamworks banner.
Many say Woody has lost his magic, and to some extent they may be right. I'm not sure whether audiences have seen this "talky" humour to death now (the modern sitcom was born out of pictures like 'Annie Hall', in my opinion), or there is a distaste towards Allen because of his private life or much-imitated performances, but these four movies are largely overlooked gems.
First up, two of these pictures are not Woody standards. 'Small Time Crooks' and 'Curse of the Jade Scorpion' are caper and detective stories respectively, and as full of Woody-isms as they are, it works beautifully. The last two movies are more Woody standards - lots of talking, lots of film references and a lot of humour. 'Anything Else' has been the subject of most of the criticism of Woody's recent work, but it is hard to see why. 'Anything Else' is like a cross between 'Annie Hall' and 'Stardust Memories', although not quite as good as either. For detractors of Woody, he is not in it nearly as much as his on-screen protégée (Jason Biggs). I really couldn't see that much wrong with it (although as one critic said, you know Allen has lost touch with the youth of New York when his characters go to a Diana Krall concert and enjoy it). The script is still sharp too. Christina Ricci's character at one point warns Biggs not to kill himself because it is "so middle class".
So don't let the critics fool you - these films are the work of a man who has certainly earned, and continues to earn, his place in the pantheon of great directors. And you can't pass up four Woody Allen films for under $25.
Randy Keehn | Williston, ND United States | 07/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a big Woody Allen fan. Other than "What's New Pussycat" I had enjoyed everyone of his movies that I've seen. I'll now add one more to the mediocre list; "Anything Else". Unfortunately, "Anything Else" was the last of the four movies that I watched and it was spoiling my impression of the set. I took time out to reflect on the unique Woody Allen style that is strongly present in the other three movies and reassessed my rating of this set.
All four movies are what I would call light entertainment. These are movies that you can relax and enjoy. The humor is good but not overwhelming like is is in "Bananas" or "Love and Death". What appealled to me in the three good movies in this set was the way Woody Allen constructed such oddball plots and twists within those plots. These wacky roads end up leading us to a lot of amusing relationships. These are all romantic comedies the most of which have the leading man (Woody Allen) fall for the leading lady. In some, the relationship is a reunion, in another, it is making opposites attrack. In "Anything Else" it's, well, a sort of agonizing patience.
I missed these movies when the originally came out. Part of that is due to the fact that Woody Allen movies usually don't make it to our local theaters. That's too bad because Allen can do more with less than any director I know."
I would like everybody to have it
Mark Bernadiner | Pearland, Texas USA | 06/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Woody Allen Four Movie Comedy Collection
Excellent quality and fast delivery. Highly recommended collection."