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Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Earlier this year as I was continuing my journey through the world of film making, I introduced myself to a director named Woody Allen. Before I went to see his newest release, Midnight in Paris, I decided to have an open post where people came and gave their opinion on Allen, and like all directors there were mixed opinions. But what I found most interesting was half of the people thought he was top 5 all time, and the other half hated him, mostly for reasons concerning his personal life, which is understandable I think. You take directors like Scorsese, Kubrick, Spielberg, Kurosawa, and so on, and whether people consider them "one of the greatest", "greatest", or "just a fine director", pretty everyone can agree they are excellent at their job. With Allen it's entirely different, he is an acquired taste, you either love him or hate him.
I personally really enjoy his films. In fact, that I can remember I have not rated one lower then 3/4. Of course I have not seen even half of his work, some of them sitting untouched in my home, but from what I have seen Allen never ceases to entertain me. You can bet your life that you will get a new release nearly every year too, and for that I believe Allen is not as consistent as other great directors. But you know what? He is a comedy director, and his movies are both funny and intelligent, should we ask any more from him?
Here are my thoughts on some of his work:
Manhattan Murder Mystery - 3.5/4
This one is just about as funny as they come, and one of Allen's most purely enjoyable works. It perfectly blends both comedy and mystery (yes, it does actually have an interesting plot). The camera work is so plain at times the film feels like a home made video coming from an extremely expensive camera. In most films that would annoy, but Allen directs so wonderfully I hardly even notice.
Zelig - 3/4
Now this is an interesting one. The fictional documentary about a human chameleon played by Woody Allen. The writing as far as the script goes was brilliant, not many scripts are this funny. Allen is incredible, both directing and acting, even more so in the acting department for this film. Maybe it does not hold up with his finest, but it sure goes along fine for an entertaining movie experience.
Manhattan - 4/4
My personal favorite of Woody Allen's work (that I have seen anyway), just the absolutely beautiful scenery alone is enough to watch this film. For some it may be just a tad slow, but Allen masterfully directs Manhattan, impressing me to no end.
Of course there are many more great Allen films, but these are just the ones I have seen recently. Some people may hate the man, but I sure don't.