Trailer: Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel

The annual Woody Allen joint for 2017, Wonder Wheel, is a mob story set on Coney Island in the 1950s seemingly in Technicolor. Starring Kate Winslet (in Romance & Cigarettes mode), Juno Temple, Justin Timberlake, and a very potbellied Jim Belushi. The film revolves around Ginny (Winslet), the wife of a carousel operator (Belushi), who perks up when she falls for a handsome lifeguard, Mickey (Timberlake). But when her husband’s estranged daughter (Temple) resurfaces and also sets her sights on Mickey, it begins ‘the great unraveling of Ginny. Not as baroque or kooky as Jonathan Demme’s Married To The Mob, but still it looks like Allen stepping a (wee) bit outside his comfort zone here. Once again, Amazon Studios is funding, and while the film will premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 14, it will be seeing a wider release on December 1st.

The eponymous Coney Island Ferris Wheel is no stranger to being on screen, as it is featured in The Taking of Pelham 123, Remo Williams, Angel Heart, underwater in A.I., and in the opening credits of Walter Hill’s iconic, The Warriors.

Blu-Ray Review: Crimes and Misdemeanors

Director: Woody Allen
Screenplay: Woody Allen
Starring: Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Alan Alda, Mia Farrow, Anjelica Huston
Country: USA
Running Time: 89 min
Year: 1989
BBFC Certificate: 15


What’s been great about reviewing a handful of Arrow’s re-releases of Woody Allen’s back catalogue is that it’s made me realise how much I love his work. I’ve largely been cherry-picking supposed ‘on-form’ Allen movies, but they’ve never failed to impress or entertain me. I watched Cafe Society the other week and was less enamoured by it, but perhaps watching all of these upper tier Allen titles mere days previously raised my standards a little too high. It certainly didn’t put me off exploring more unwatched titles from his hefty filmography though. Crimes and Misdemeanors was next up and I’d heard very good things about it, so expectations were high.

Crimes and Misdemeanors tells two stories. One sees happily married ophthalmologist Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau) tormented by threats from his mistress Dolores Paley (Anjelica Huston) to tell his wife about their affair. Judah has grown weary of Dolores and realised he loves his wife Miriam (Claire Bloom), so he doesn’t want her to be hurt and leave him. When it all gets too much for Judah and the threats get more serious, the solution suggested by his mobster brother Jack (Jerry Orbach) is to have Dolores killed. The film’s second central story is that of Cliff Stern (Allen himself). He’s an unhappily married, unsuccessful documentary filmmaker who’s offered a chance to make some money making a film about his successful TV comedy writer brother-in-law Lester (Alan Alda). He hates the job, but is consoled by the fact that he meets a woman he falls madly in love with, Halley Reed (Mia Farrow). Having recently got divorced, she’s reluctant to start another relationship though. Undeterred, Cliff stays close to her as a friend and gets her involved with the more respectable documentary he’s trying to produce on the side, with the hope that she’d be swayed eventually into his arms.

Would you like to know more…?

Cannes 2016 Lineup! It’s chock-a-block!

It appears to be a great year for international cinema, if the line-up for Cannes is any indication. New films from Nicolas Winding Refn, Woody Allen, Jeff Nichols, Park Chan-Wook, Steven Spielberg, Andrea Arnold, Ken Loach, Pedro Almodovar, Olivier Assayas, Hirokazu Kore-Eda, Shane Black, Jim Jarmusch, Paul Verhoeven, The Dardennes Brothers, and young canuck, Xavier Dolan. And that is just getting started.

Woody Allen’s star-dense Cafe Society will kick off the festival on May 11th with the following films playing in competition.

“Toni Erdmann” (Maren Ade)
“Julieta” (Pedro Almodovar)
“American Honey” (Andrea Arnold)
“Personal Shopper” (Olivier Assayas)
“The Unknown Girl” (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardennes)
“It’s Only The End Of The World” (Xavier Dolan)
“Slack Bay” (Bruno Dumont)
“Paterson” (Jim Jarmusch)
“Staying Vertical” (Alain Guiraudie)
“Aquarius” (Kleber Mendonça Filho)
“Mal De Pierres” (Nicole Garcia)
“I, Daniel Blake” (Ken Loach)
“Ma’ Rosa” (Brillante Mendoza)
“Bacalaureat” (Cristian Mungiu)
“Loving” (Jeff Nichols)
“The Handmaiden” (Park Chan-Wook)
“The Last Face” (Sean Penn)
“Sierra Nevada” (Cristi Puiu)
“Elle” (Paul Verhoeven)
“The Neon Demon” (Nicholas Winding Refn)

The rest of the line-up (those out-of-competition for the Golden Palm) are tucked under the seat.

Would you like to know more…?

Mamo 417: Mission Impossible

Mamo!

Building off last week’s Destroy All Monsters column, we discuss the idea of cultural erasure when faced with an artist whose personal conduct has been exposed as repellant. What does “voice” have to do with it, whether we’re talking about Bill Cosby, rape culture, celebrity culture, Cara Delevigne, or vocal fry?

Cinecast Episode 364 – Fetishizing the Pen

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack. And you may find yourself in another part of the world. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife. And you may find yourself in the seats of the third row. And you may ask yourself, well…How did I get here? We ask ourselves the same questions. With no main review this week, we’re stuck with our home viewings and The Talking Heads. Which is plenty when you consider the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Woody Allen, John Turturro, Fisher Stevens and James Cameron. With nothing to talk about, it’s a mouthful folks (two, actually).

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


 
 

 
 

Would you like to know more…?

Cinecast Episode 363 – Maybe We Should not Give Up on Megan Fox

Back to a more classic styled Cinecast for Andrew and Kurt this week, a relaxed conversation on two major celebrity deaths these past few days, the smaller theatrical releases: Magic in the Moonlight, I Origins, Coherence and film festivaling. It’s all pleasant and sweet agreement for the first half of the show but things slowly go south at the start of the 1984 Project (which sees Roy Scheider in 2010 but really just doing his character from Jaws) and the nerd-shit really hits the fan as Ready Player One enters the conversation.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


 
 

 
 

Would you like to know more…?

Mamo #342: MamOscar 2014

Oscars 2014! This omnibus episode stitches together all 9 of the minisodes from last night’s Oscar telecast. Ellen, Slave, Gravity, selfies, Blanchett, McConnaughey, Hustle, Menzel, Midler, Minelli, the pizza guy and much, much more!

To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo342.mp3

Trailer: Fading Gigolo

Woody Allen as a Pimp and John Turturro as an aging male prostitute? Why does the whole thing feel so Bottle Shock*? Either way, This is John Turturro’s six directed effort, and he always has an eye and ear for a bit more sophisticated storytelling, so I should give him the benefit of the doubt. The film is playing at the Toronto International Film Festival in a couple weeks, and co-stars Vanessa Paradis, Sofia Vergara, Sharon Stone, Leiv Shreiber, Michael Badalucco and Bob Balaban. You’re parents will love it.

Fioravante decides to become a professional Don Juan as a way of making money to help his cash-strapped friend, Murray. With Murray acting as his “manager”, the duo quickly finds themselves caught up in the crosscurrents of love and money.

*See Cinecast episodes for the definition of a Bottle Shock movie.

Trailer: Blue Jasmine

It looks like all the right ingredients for another great Woody Allen film, with this trailer for Blue Jasmine. The Woodman is back in America for this outing, and has Cate Blanchett (channeling Judy Davis as much as all lead characters in his films channel Allen himself) looking to out-drunken-rage Kate Winslet (from Carnage) playing a woman on the downward slide of wealth and happiness and forced to leave her extravagant Manhattan lifestyle behind and move in with her sister (the always excellent Sally Hawkins) in Brooklyn. Many man orbit the pair of women, played by Bobby Cannavale, Louis CK, Andrew Dice Clay and Alec Baldwin. Somewhere in there is Peter Sarsgaard and Michael Stuhlbarg, but clearly the show belongs to Blanchett who is playing a narcissistic monster with major issues.

Check out the trailer below.