Review: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

  • What’s Good: The best “Potter” film to date. By far. Directing, cinematography and the adaptation must all be singled out for praie. Same goes for many of the performances. Slughorn, Snape, and young Tom Riddle excel.
  • What’s Not: Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore does not. I’ve never responded to his flat characterization.

A good “Potter” film needs to balance four things. Humor, horror, fantasy (magic) and sexual angst. As simple as the formula and cut/paste writing style of the books may be (Rowling is no literary giant but she’s Hagrid sized next to Stephanie Meyer), “Potter” films always struggle with those tonally varied themes because their 100 pages scripts must accommodate 1000+ source material. Some get the magic part right (the dual in “Order of the Phoenix” is a high point), some the lightness and sense of fun of being a wizard (“Stone”), and some, by attempting to do everything, end up doing nothing (the god awful “Goblet of Fire”), etc. But none did any sort of justice to all four traits until now. The odd part is that, as a book, “Half Blood,” is not the most popular or the most memorable or much of anything except a long bridge that gets us to the fantastic final chapter. This film changes that. It is not only the first “Potter” film since the first one that feels new but it is also a film I have no problem calling the “Empire Strikes Back” of the Potter-verse.

“Half Blood’s” success owes everything to director David Yates, writer Steven Klovis’s return and cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel. The film has a lot of style and just as much feeling, more so than the fan-favorite “Prisoner of Azkaban” which is considered the best as it happened to be directed by a, um, actual director. Now David Yates must also be called that for his work here defines what a “Potter” film should be. This one’s a beaut and a great leap forward from Yates’ safe-playing but competent work on “Order of the Phoenix.” His second effort “Half Blood” comes alive with equal parts intrigue and whimsy. What’s cool is that stylistically it owes as much to the “Lord of the Rings” movies as it does to past “Potter” films. Dark color pallets dominate the frame but are stabbed by serenely stark points of source light (usually emanating from a wand) and even the abundance of comedy and relationships subplots retain their sense of innocence and fun will remaining enmeshed in darkness. There’s a scene where Harry comforts Hermione (in lourve with Ron, who apparently just discovered that chicks are a lot more interesting than Harry) in some forgotten corner in Hogwarts. This may be a small moment but its captured with a lot of heart and detail–the moss on the ground, the open window, the golden hues and the birds she unceremoniously launches against the wall at the end of the scene.

While beautiful, the colors are a bit too saturated at times. When Harry and Dumbledore head into a cave to find Big V’s horcrux it’s almost black and white! I’m not complaining though because the aesthetics are a wonder.
Negotiating flaws are tricky, perhaps even futile, seeing as how I’m a fan of the books and to a (much) lesser extent the films. Unlike the last “Potter,” which I feel took a long book and focused in on what worked, this version runs longer but were it not so it would be faulted for being too short. Again, the film series can’t win. The middle chunks of this film feels like a WHOLE one (the fiery attack on Weasley’s farm house or whatever is a conceptual failure) and I kept looking at my watch, waiting for the meaty flashbacks (Voldermort’s mum and such), and Harry/Albus horcrux quest to kick in. They never fully did get into the flashbacks save a few key ones. I loved, for example, Frank Dillane who, as 16-year-old Tom Riddle/Voldermort, is more effectively creepy and mannered than Ralph Finnes (this kid’s going places). Also, the (re)introduction of horcruxs (ever the deus-ex-magica) felt like an afterthought but seeing as how “Potter” and co. have a lot more horcruxs to track down in the final installment(s) (are you ready for “Tent: The Movie”?), the next film(s) is going to suffer from too much of that so maybe it was wise to delay and tighten “Half Blood’s” denouement. Another issue (but not really) is that, even though they are indeed balanced brilliantly, the tonal shifts are as skittish as a snitch. A single scene (like the one I mentioned with Harry and Hermione) can start funny then turn really sad then end with a blast of magic.

The film’s all over the place but in a good way because I liked all the overs it goes to. Amazingly, the film assigns a great deal of priority and weight to the teen’s sexuality (SNOGGING!) and throwaway moments of random humor (I heart Luna) as much as it does the main plot thread consisting of uncovering the Death Eater’s plot to kill Dumbldore and subvert the Wizarding community as they make way for you-know-who. That Yates and co. allow for the serious stuff to coexist so well with the warm humor and sexual hook-ups/hangups is is why it ranks as the best or, if not that, than the most enjoyable. Professor Slughorn (a famewhore who holds Voldermort’s big soul sucking secret) as a character, is, I think, the lynchpin for why the plot elements hold together so well. He is not only a very funny character that interacts with the young wizards but also connects the darker elements of the past. It helps that Jim Broadbent not only handles this character with a squinty-eyed charm and a priceless awkwardness that no other “Potter” side character has ever approached, but he actually makes Slughorn more vivid than he ever was on the page.

Michael Gambon does the opposite. Yeah, I must once again (and for the last time thank the gods) bitch about Gambon’s Dumblebore. While this may be the character’s best non-Richard Harris entry into the films (I liked his early scenes with Potter and the random moment where he picked out a Knitting magazine from Slughorn’s squatting quarters) but he’s still far too cold and apathetic to ever be considered a great film character. I never felt he gets or, now, got the character. I understand the secret burden placed upon Dum-Dum must be secret (der) but even clandestine actions and frustratingly veiled half-truths/instructions he imparts to young Harry (and Snape with his parting double-edged “please” line) come across as exasperation more than emotional exigency. Alan Rickman’s Snape, on the other hand, nails the same dualisms with just a glance and I can’t wait to see what he does with “Deathly Hallows.” Upon hearing Rowling’s fantastic social twist when she outed Dumbldore after his wizzard in love flash-backs in Book 7 (funny, I knew he was gay from Book 1), I had hoped that might add some layers to this performer’s approach to the guy (like Ian McKellen’s Gandalf the Gay) but no, aside from the usual creepy hugs and “I don’t think you know how much Dumbledore reeeeeeeeeealllllllyyyyyy liked you, Harry” lines this is the same old wizard.

Grade: B+

Emmy Reactions: Thirty WHAT?

Where’s the Battlestar nominations? Where’s the brilliantly goofy (and gay) True Blood? Where’s 24 (it’s best season since 5)? How about The Shield? David Duchovny on Californiacation? And for a show that has rallied to become near perfect in its penultimate season, the biggest Emmy mistery in Lost’s fifth season is that it didn’t get more love.

Bitching: It seems to me that while people who like TV are happy with some of the offbeat choices, I’m not. Granted, I’m happy that bad popular shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Two & a Half MenBoston Legal and ER were rightfully left off, just as many overrated critically respected shows like Flight of the Conchords and Big Love and the worst “good” show ever Entourage (not only past its prime but horrible when it was in its prime) were all mentioned. And don’t get me started on the “multi talented” Tina Fey and her “multi talented” 30 Rock, a show I watch but not a show I see as worthy of Best Comedy let alone winning its THIRD straight best comedy award. As for Mad Men, the show’s second season was quietly masterful but kinda the same as its first–did it really deserve four out of five writing nominations? What does it say about an industry that feels only Mad Man is written well? Sames goes for the best comedy writing slot, four of five of which belong to 30 Rock. YIKES! So the two biggest categories are locked up for not just this year but the foreseeable future. Boring. And so are most of the nominations like House and The Office and, oh, why go on, network TV is clearly dead and rotting in the “reality” wastelands. Overall there’s only a few new shows that got recognized and they’re the wrong ones (subjective, I know). Family Guy is one of them. Repeat, Family Guy is one of them. Here is a show that never won the best animated show category (Simpsons and South Park dominate, and should!) yet it breaks a lot of ground for being the FIRST animated show to ever get nominated as best comedy? THE. FUCK?! That’s an insult to the wonderful medium of animated television.  Even more shudder inducing is the notion that, thanks to the Emmys, Drew Barrymore now has been honored for her acting abilities.  

The stuff I like: Breaking Bad is a solid if not ground breaking drama. And Damages, while easy to dismiss as another lawyer show, is fantastic (yay for Glen Close, who will win again and should, and double yay for Rose Byrne getting her first nom and triple yay for William Hurt! Good show). I’m surprised both got nominated considering the Emmy’s preference for safe and mediocre programming. Same with Lost, the show’s almost too good to be nominated by this awards group. Still, it should have gotten more respect beyond Michael Emmerson and a single wiring nod (Jeremy Davies as the bearded, time traveling physicist turned in the best and most poignant performance all year) but at least it got a best show nomination because, really, that’s what it is. On the subject of snubbed actors, it’s appalling that Keifer missed the list this year for 24 when he got nominated for the far worse 6th season (his non-action turn in the last episode is a high point for this sad, sad character) but the upside is that the fantastic Cherry Jones got recognised for her presidential turn on that show. Battlestar‘s lone nomination for Michael Rymer (directed the first and, now, last BG episode) is a no brainer which, considering that is coming from an awards show with no brains, is quite an ironic feat. Yes, Mad Men is great but a lot of the actors that made it that way were left off like Vincent Kartheiser (he may reek of the Emmys still-standing Joss Whedon curse) but one, John Hamm, was not only left onbut snagged a guest star nomination too! He really should win this year as his stoic Don Draper never fails to impress as a character.  Same goes for Elizabeth Moss on Mad Men, she really grew this season. And, you know, not a fan of the show but same goes for Tracy Morgan on 30 Rockwho rocks despite the show’s hammy hands! Oh, yeah, and about Dexter… hum, the third season (of which I only saw half) is easily its worst (Dexter the dad is lamer than hell and I refuse to accept it) but, even so, bad Dexter is better than almost anything else.

 

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • 30 Rock
  • Entourage
  • Family Guy
  • Flight Of The Conchords
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • The Office
  • Weeds

Outstanding Drama Series

  • Big Love
  • Breaking Bad
  • Damages
  • Dexter
  • House
  • Lost
  • Mad Men

(acting nominees and more, after the cut)

 

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

  • 30 Rock • Alec Baldwin, as Jack Donaghy
  • Flight Of The Conchords • Jemaine Clement, as Jemaine
  • Monk • Tony Shalhoub, as Adrian Monk
  • The Big Bang Theory • Jim Parsons, as Sheldon Cooper
  • The Office • Steve Carell, as Michael Scott
  • Two And A Half Men • Charlie Sheen, as Charlie Harper

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

  • Breaking Bad • Bryan Cranston, as Walter White
  • Dexter • Michael C. Hall, as Dexter Morgan
  • House • Hugh Laurie, as Dr. Gregory House
  • In Treatment • Gabriel Byrne, as Paul
  • Mad Men • Jon Hamm, as Don Draper
  • The Mentalist • Simon Baker, as Patrick Jane

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

  • 24: Redemption • Kiefer Sutherland, as Jack Bauer
  • Cyrano de Bergerac (Great Performances) • Kevin Kline, as Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Into The Storm • Brendan Gleeson, as Winston Churchill
  • King Lear (Great Performances) • Sir Ian McKellen, as King Lear
  • Taking Chance • Kevin Bacon, as LtCol Mike Strobl
  • Wallander: One Step Behind • Kenneth Branagh, as Kurt Wallander

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series

  • 30 Rock • Tina Fey, as Liz Lemon
  • Samantha Who? • Christina Applegate, as Samantha Newly
  • The New Adventures Of Old Christine • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as Christine
  • The Sarah Silverman Program • Sarah Silverman, as Sarah Silverman
  • United States Of Tara • Toni Collette, as Tara Gregson
  • Weeds • Mary-Louise Parker, as Nancy Botwin

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

  • Brothers & Sisters • Sally Field, as Nora Walker
  • Damages • Glenn Close, as Patty Hewes
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • Mariska Hargitay, as Detective Olivia Benson
  • Mad Men • Elisabeth Moss, as Peggy Olson
  • Saving Grace • Holly Hunter, as Grace Hanadarko
  • The Closer • Kyra Sedgwick, as Brenda Leigh Johnson

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

  • 30 Rock • Tracy Morgan, as Tracy Jordan
  • 30 Rock • Jack McBrayer, as Kenneth Parcell
  • Entourage • Kevin Dillon, as Johnny Drama
  • How I Met Your Mother • Neil Patrick Harris, as Barney Stinson
  • The Office • Rainn Wilson, as Dwight Schrute
  • Two And A Half Men • Jon Cryer, as Alan Harper

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

  • Boston Legal • William Shatner, as Denny Crane
  • Boston Legal • Christian Clemenson, as Jerry Espenson
  • Breaking Bad • Aaron Paul, as Jesse Pinkman
  • Damages • William Hurt, as Daniel Purcell
  • Lost • Michael Emerson, as Ben Linus
  • Mad Men • John Slattery, as Roger Sterling

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series

  • 30 Rock • Jane Krakowski, as Jenna Maroney
  • Pushing Daisies • Kristin Chenoweth, as Olive Snook
  • Saturday Night Live • Amy Poehler, as Various Characters
  • Saturday Night Live • Kristin Wiig, as Various Characters
  • Ugly Betty • Vanessa Williams, as Wilhelmina Slater
  • Weeds • Elizabeth Perkins, as Celia Hodes

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

  • 24 • Cherry Jones, as President Allison Taylor
  • Damages • Rose Byrne, as Ellen Parsons
  • Grey’s Anatomy • Sandra Oh, as Dr. Christina Yang
  • Grey’s Anatomy • Chandra Wilson, as Dr. Miranda Bailey
  • In Treatment • Dianne Wiest, as Gina
  • In Treatment • Hope Davis, as Mia

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series

  • 30 Rock • Apollo, Apollo • Millicent Shelton
  • 30 Rock • Reunion • Beth McCarthy
  • 30 Rock • Generalissimo • Todd Holland
  • Entourage • Tree Trippers • Julian Farino
  • Flight Of The Conchords • The Tough Brets • James Bobin
  • The Office • Stress Relief • Jeff Blitz

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series

  • Battlestar Galactica • Daybreak (Part 2) • Michael Rymer
  • Boston Legal • Made In China/Last Call • Bill D’Elia
  • Damages • Trust Me • Todd A. Kessler
  • ER • And In The End • Rod Holcomb
  • Mad Men • The Jet Set • Phil Abraham

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

  • 30 Rock • Reunion • Matt Hubbard
  • 30 Rock • Apollo, Apollo • Robert Carlock
  • 30 Rock • Mamma Mia • Ron Weiner
  • 30 Rock • Kidney Now! • Jack Burditt, Robert Carlock
  • Flight Of The Conchords • Prime Minister • James Bobin, Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

  • Lost • The Incident • Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof
  • Mad Men • A Night To Remember • Robin Veith, Matthew Weiner
  • Mad Men • Six Month Leave • Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Matthew Weiner
  • Mad Men • The Jet Set • Matthew Weiner
  • Mad Men • Meditations In An Emergency • Kater Gordon, Matthew Weiner

Review: Public Enemies

  • What’s Good: The film may be hollow and characters may be as blank as a movie gangster’s prop gun but, damn, the period movie action is nice.
  • What’s Not: Michael Mann, I am sorry to say, has lost his touch. I mean, HD video? Again?! That was cool… in 2000 but, errrr, not so much in the 1930s.
  • Faux Peter Traverse Review: Depp will shake your bones!

Michael Mann, what happened?

Michael Mann, or as I use to call him, the Mann, enjoyed the lofty position of being one of the best and most vital directors of the 90s. But it seems as if the day the perfect “The Insider” wrapped he… lost it. The films that followed in the 00s, “Ali,” “Collateral,” “Miami Vice” and last week’s “Public Enemies” have all seen the director slip further and further into a formalized coma. His approach in all except “Ali” is crime drama with a documentary edge (“Ali” is biopic with doc edge–no big diff). What worries me is that the clearly talented filmmaker sticks to this style as if he has nothing else to fall back on which he clearly does! Shaky cam mise-en-scèn “freedoms” can be compelling in the right context but I simply don’t feel that any film made or story told by new-Mann has needed it, especially those set in the 19-goddamnmotherfucking-30s! Ironically enough, his best film, the on-the-street cop and robbers “L.A. crime saga” “Heat,” could have thematically carried this new fondness for abstract close-ups and the grainy digitally shot vibe but Mann chose instead to make that one good. You could say that “Public Enemies” is also a cop and robbers film but, unlike the modern-set “Heat,” this one offers nothing new to the genre except for the way it’s shot. While I feel the director’s digital improv approach is tired, predictable and unnecessary (again: handheld and digital is anachronistic given the subject matter and therefore a total indulgence), it actually ended up helping the film. This may be because the arbitrary look and feel of “Enemies” is tolerable because it’s so noticeable that it distracts the viewer from how boring everything and everyone else is.

That’s right, boring. One would think that depression era action subject matter + classic cinema romance + Johnny Depp would be more than enough to hold one’s attention but that’s not the case. Far from it, Depp as the infamous, law evading bank robber John Dillinger is a virtual blank slate. He’s a man of action but not motivation. By the end of the film I didn’t feel like I knew him any better and by the end I didn’t feel like I wanted to know him any better.  Unless the historical Dillinger was supposed to be a listless sap with zero personality, the film is not successful at exploring, with any conviction or insight, Dillinger’s psychology, only his deeds (i.e. crimes) and passions which are not even used to build upon the myth of Dillinger or provide some sort of social contextual commentary. The “I’m here for the bank’s money, not yours” Robin Hood theme is hard to find involving when it’s as thinly drawn as Dillinger’s moustache. Oh, and I almost forgot, Dillinger is fiercely loyal to his men but, again, there’s no fire in that bond just robotic duty that is carried out. As a character study, then, “Enemies” is either misguided or not guided at all. Dillinger shoots men and Dillinger loves women but the film fails to give any clues as to what he gets out of either beyond the obvious build-up and release thrills that are attached to both passions. “Finding Neverland” aside, by looking at Depp’s overrated post “Pirates” performances I’m reminded of how consistently overwrought he has been. Every role demands that we notice how affected he can be and people tend to interpret that as good acting when it’s really only just loud acting. Then there’s this film, the opposite of loud as Depp can barley be heard. Depp is so deliberately lethargic that I wondered at times if there was some sort of meta-component to this non-performance.

The action fares a lot better. The shoot-outs are brilliant in fact. The old school pow-pow-pow gunplay comes loaded with a visceral kick that is made all the more interesting because Mann choreographs his sequences to fit the era in terms of the guns used, the way the guns are used and the way characters (cops, robbers, bystanders) look and act while shooting. From shootouts in down town Chicago city streets to a dark forest ambush even the geographical settings are captured effectively. This is also a rare instance where Mann’s digital doc style heightens the action if not makes it feel organic. While the technical aspect is used well in this one respect I still found myself not caring. Since “Public Enemies” didn’t convince me to like or dislike Depp’s Dillinger I had very little interest in the outcome of the many action scenes. Sure, Dillinger’s rise to fame and eventual gutter bound undoing is apparent to anyone who watches History Channel or, you know, reads but I’m really holding the film accountable for the detachment I felt.

Well-shot/zero-investment action is just one aspect. The film falls short in more ways than that! Its heavy reliance on a romance might tops the list because there’s no danger, no lust and no heat (or “Heat” the movie) evident on screen. Depp and Oscar winning Marion Cotillard are supposed lovers who, against all odds and stray bullets, are drawn to each other and strive to be together (and all that crap) but her character is underwritten and stifled by the English language while Dillinger, who takes every chance to proclaiming his mad love in his libido crushing monotone, does not really act in love. Is the character’s self sabotaging, “one more score then I’m done” compulsions the point of the character and narrative? I don’t even care to find out! The film’s underuse of Christian Bale as a troubled lawman caught between catching the crazy Dillinger and coddling the crazier J. Edger Hoover also stings. When the ends credits roll and we find out what happened to the real life Melvin Purvis after the events depicted in this film I thought to my self that there’s a interesting film in his story (aided by Bale’s fantastic intensity and sadness) that this one glosses over. The problem is that, as it stands, there probably a more interesting film in anyone’s story as long as Michael Mann doesn’t tell it.

Grade: C

Review: Knowing

  • What’s Good: Nick Cage, when used right, hits the spot. The last act is so crazy you’ll call it genius or you’ll call it stupid. Me: the former.
  • What’s Not: Director Alex Proyas always gets shot down for taking chances. He’s doomed and might as well play it safe–maybe then critics will respect the guy.

Nick Cage doesn’t act, he ACTS. Every move, every gesture, every emotion is enunciated to a level of fourth wall breaking distraction. Usually this is just annoying and when it’s not that it’s funny to a point of delirium (see Nick punching women in bear suits from “Wicker Man,” see also face melting scene in “Ghost Rider,” see also the entirety of “Bangkock Dangerous”) but his hyperbollocks (my word) style fits right in with Alex Proya’s latest. Having made the classic “Dark City” and underrated Hollywood “I Robot” the director always finds a way to work in some notion, indirect as it may be, relating to the end of the world. He’s done it figuratively (the “city” in “Dark City” crumbles), indirectly through artistic implication (the fantastically subtle final shot of “I, Robot” where robo-Jesus leads his flock to the promise land) and, now, literally but through the guise of a common supernatural thriller. I would call “Knowing” sci-fi fantasy posing as a thriller or, more to the point, a lively mash-up of “Final Destination’s” mechanics and “Donnie Darko’s” grandiose gestures. While the film also looks like a lower rent version of the already low rent “The Number 23,” the gradual genre contortions allow this film to come off as a genuine surprise. You may hate it, but you WILL be surprised by what you see!

As the film establishes the premise that a page of numbers from the past has a way of haunting our present, tension builds in ways that are not cinematically mind blowing; things creek in the dark, strange figures appear out of the fog and random numbers coalesce into full fledged prophecies. “Knowing” may read like a (by the) numbers thriller about a string of fatalistic disasters leading up to the ultimate whopper, but I give the story (written by someone whose only previous credit is “Mercury Rising”!) a lot of credit for taking a simple/derivative idea and following it –perhaps even stretching it– to a singularity point of absolute endness. Far too many Hollywood films cut short their narrative trajectories and, thus, are usually remembered for their concept more than the paid off. I would use M Night’s “The Happening” as a prime example of chicken shit Hollywood filmmaking; of taking an idea full great promise and imagination, the end of days, and pulling back on it just before it’s allowed to get interesting or say something new. As with 2007’s “Sunshine,” Here is a film that does both and, in the process, goes down in a blaze of glory. Literally, “blaze” and “glory” are the two most symbolic features of Proyas’ visionary (yeah, I said it!) final denouement where notions of science and divine destiny collide to create the biggest WTF moment I’ve seen in years. I wish I could spoil it but that would  rob the film of so much of its power.

As with Cage, the film supersizes everything. Things don’t happen, they HAPPEN. But, taken as a lofty and searchingly ambitious B-movie, I feel “Knowing” is a truly special film. Something easy to overlook due to all the hamminess and loose ends (deconstructing the film will make you go mad), but something that refuses to compromise. Plus, where else are you going to find a film where Nick Cage out acts fate. Nowhere. NOWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this film.
Grade: B+

Ranking Woody Allen

I am, as always, humbled by Allen’s body of work. No other director living or dead has done what Allen has done. He has made an indelible mark on not just cinema in general but has helped to define and shape the cinema of four separate decades.  Which era of Allen is best? It’s hard to say. What I can say is that he is prolific, he is a genus and he is also a fool (which makes him even more of a genus). Note/Warning: I will probably copy/paste what I just said when he dies.

  1. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) The best of all shades of Allen: comedy, whimsy and deep, dark disturbed moral pathos.
  2. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) Allen’s shortest and sweetest. His one true fable. This film cannot be praised enough.
  3. Zelig (1983) “And to the, to the gentleman who’s appendix I took out, I…I’m, I don’t know what to say, if it’s any consolation I… I may still have it somewhere around the house.
  4. Take the Money and Run (1969) Best “old school Allen.” The laughs in this film however never get old.
  5. Deconstructing Harry (1997) It’s easy to overlook this one. I think time will be good to it in terms of how its viewed by stupid-ass critics who dismissed it when it came out.
  6. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) Woody! Caine! Woody! Caine!
  7. Match Point (2005) Sex and death. That about sums up life.
  8. Love and Death (1975) “There are many different kinds of love, Boris. There’s love between a man and a woman; between a mother and son… ” Boris: “Two women. Let’s not forget my favorite.”
  9. Stardust Memories (1980) I had to watch this three or four times to love it.
  10. Annie Hall (1977) Great, but..his best?
  11. Interiors (1978)
  12. Manhattan (1979)
  13. Sweet and Lowdown (1999)
  14. Radio Days (1987)
  15. Bullets Over Broadway (1994) I don’t write hits. My plays are art. They’re written specifically to go unproduced.”
  16. Cassandra’s Dream (2007)
  17. Whatever Works (2009)
  18. New York Stories: Oedipus Wrecks segment (1989) I wish Woody did more  short/one-act films.
  19. Husbands and Wives (1992)
  20. Melinda and Melinda (2004) Goes down as his most underrated.
  21. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
  22. Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
  23. Another Woman (1988)
  24. Hollywood Ending (2002) His second most underrated film. The premise is solid.
  25. September (1987)
  26. Celebrity (1998) “I’ve become the person I’ve always hated, but I’m happier.”
  27. Alice (1990)
  28. Anything Else (2003)
  29. Scoop (2006)
  30. Shadows and Fog (1991)
  31. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972) The Gene Wilder segment with the sheep is great.
  32. Sleeper (1973)
  33. Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
  34. Everyone Says I Love You (1996)
  35. Mighty Aphrodite (1995) You didn’t want a blowjob so the least I could do is get you a tie.
  36. A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982)
  37. Small Time Crooks (2000)
  38. Bananas (1971)
  39. What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
  40. The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001) yes, this is his worst. the only Allen film I would have to call “bad” as hard as that is for me to say.