To Rome With Love: Ciao, Woody!

by Ethan Alter June 22, 2012 6:09 am
<i>To Rome With Love</i>: Ciao, Woody!

What do you do when you've just directed the film that became the biggest hit of your career and scored you another Oscar? Well, if you're Woody Allen, you take your act on the road once more, trading the rain-soaked streets of Paris after midnight for sun-dappled Rome. The iconic writer/director's forty-second film (stop and take that in for a moment... that's 42 films in almost as many years; respect man, respect) is To Rome, With Love, a quartet of fancifully comic -- and, as the title suggests, romantic -- stories set against the backdrop of Italy's historic, absurdly picturesque capital city.

To Rome With Love: Woody Allen Remembers His Roman Holiday

by Ethan Alter June 20, 2012 11:35 am
<i>To Rome With Love</i>: Woody Allen Remembers His Roman Holiday

If you ever want to see a group of jaded movie journalists get truly starstruck, stick them in a room with a filmmaking legend like New York's own Woody Allen. The writer/director/actor/nerd icon was front and center at a recent press conference for his latest film To Rome With Love, and despite being flanked by some of the movie's big-name stars (among them Alec Baldwin, Penélope Cruz and Ellen Page) all of our eyes -- and most of our questions -- were directed at him. Here's what Allen had to say about working in Italy's lovely capital, acting on camera and why he rarely makes movies in his native city anymore:

Dark Knight Felled By Thunder

by Odie Henderson August 18, 2008 10:37 am
<i>Dark Knight</i> Felled By <i>Thunder</i> Pineapple Express underachieved on its opening weekend, causing the Watchmen-addicted Zach to incorrectly predict it would unseat The Dark Knight. I challenged him, stating that Tropic Thunder would be Batman's nemesis. He said I was crazy, and I was -- like a fox! Let's look at this logically: On one hand, you have a stoner movie. They're having a resurgence thanks to Judd Apatow and company. On the other hand, you have a movie that, in the name of satire, makes fun of Blacks, Asians, and the mentally challenged. It also has a Scientologist using more Jewish stereotypes in his performance than a Mel Brooks movie on crack. And let's not forget the gory war violence and farts! How could anybody predict that Middle America would resist this movie?! You don't need to be Miss Cleo to get this one. While I wrestle Zach for the one measly dollar I've won, which he refuses to pony up, here are this weekend's box office numbers.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Ménage à Blah

by Lauren Gitlin August 12, 2008 12:18 pm
<i>Vicky Cristina Barcelona</I>: Ménage à Blah

As I walked out of a screening for Woody Allen's new film Vicky Cristina Barcelona, a friend cracked that Allen only gives us a decent film every 10 years, and implied that VCB had successfully staked its claim as the decade's quota. Me, I'm not so sure. Certainly Allen's prior two films, Match Point and Scoop, weren't anything to write home about. But it's tough to say if VCB is the triumph we've all been waiting for.

The Counselor: The Jury’s Out

by Ethan Alter October 25, 2013 6:00 am
<i>The Counselor</i>: The Jury’s Out

As discerning fans of underrated crime films will immediately recognize, The Counselor is the Killing Them Softly of 2013: a stylish, mean-spirited picture about amoral people doing amoral things in an amoral criminal underworld that’s being quietly dumped into theaters by its studio because they don’t know what the hell else to do with such a flagrantly anti-commercial picture. (The fact that Brad Pitt appears in both as a very un-Pitt-like crook further unites the two movies.) Unfortunately, in terms of overall quality, The Counselor isn’t quite the dark-hearted delight that Killing Me Softly proved to be. That movie was a subversive home run whose reputation will hopefully grow over the years; this one is more of a ground rule double -- it puts its talented team in scoring position, but doesn’t ultimately bring them all home.

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