Customer Reviews


29 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars Allen's Attempt to Attract a New Audience
Take a look at the artwork on the front of the case..it looks like a romantic comedy. Unfortunately after picking up this movie and taking it home, some people will see that is it anything but...or at least it isn't a romantic comedy in the strict sense of being a "chick flick". I like Allen's well read, broad vocabulary character Dobel...laugh out loud scenes...
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by Jake McKay

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Insert audible sigh here
Let's be honest and upfront about this. I love Woody Allen movies and always have, right up through his last truly great film, Bullets Over Broadway. Since then, it's been scattershot. Mighty Aphrodite and Everyone Says I Love You were okay. Hollywood Ending wasn't that bad. Deconstructing Harry was an interesting change of pace. Other than that, I can't say that...
Published on June 2 2004 by Daniel Friedman


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4.0 out of 5 stars Far from perfect, but better than the rough treatment it received on release., Oct. 5 2014
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)
Maybe I was too easy on this because the press was so bad that my expectations were low, but it didn't feel like the awful failure I was prepared for. While certainly not up with Allen's best work, and one of his few films I don't feel a need to see a second time, this still had intelligence, wit, good performances and the bittersweet tone about love and sex that Allen does as well as anyone in film history.

It was also interesting to see him finally accept his age, and play a supporting role as an often funny, but sometimes disturbingly crazy older mentor to a young man in love, instead of playing the romantic lead himself.

Yes, some of the jokes are ancient, and Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci, while both fine, don't have the chemistry of Allen and Keaton in "Annie Hall", which this seems to hearken back to. (I actually thought Ricci was excellent, and quite different from her usual screen persona).

But Allen still creates some rich characters, some fun, literate dialogue, and captures how confusing being young and in love with someone who is deeply messed up but sexy and adorable and smart can be. Many of us have been there.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Insert audible sigh here, June 2 2004
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)
Let's be honest and upfront about this. I love Woody Allen movies and always have, right up through his last truly great film, Bullets Over Broadway. Since then, it's been scattershot. Mighty Aphrodite and Everyone Says I Love You were okay. Hollywood Ending wasn't that bad. Deconstructing Harry was an interesting change of pace. Other than that, I can't say that I've enjoyed any of his more recent films. Celebrity, Small Time Crooks, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion - nearly unwatchable. It almost seems like he's phoning it in.
So turning to Anything Else, it appears that he might have learned some lessons from his previous efforts by removing himself as the romantic lead. Thankfully - who wants to see Woody wooing Christina Ricci? And also thankfully, he gave himself a part that is actually the best one in the film. His wisecracking Dobel generates most of the genuine laugh moments in the plot alongside an under-used Danny DeVito. Unfortunately, since Woody is not playing the main "Woody" character, it's left to Jason Biggs to more or less assume the persona which gave me some qualms, especially remembering Kenneth Branagh's Woody impersonation in Celebrity. Surprisingly, Biggs pulls it off without lapsing into caricature but it's hard to digest that a twenty-something man would just happen to possess all of the neuroses and cultural tastes of Woody Allen as we have come to know him.
The same goes for Christina Ricci. She doesn't do anything horrible in the film but her character becomes very tiresome very quickly and while it enhances the comedy elements surrounding Biggs's character, it's probably not the best idea for a romantic comedy to make one half of the loving pair so annoying.
Stockard Channing is also a wonderful actress with an interesting character who doesn't get enough screen time. I know that a lot of actors make sacrifices just for the sake of being in a Woody Allen movie, but some deserve more when they achieve something. I mentioned Danny DeVito earlier - his scene in the restaurant and Stockard Channing's when she plays the piano are gems.
Fortunately for the film, Jason Biggs can do subtle comedy and his character generates a lot of empathy. Hopefully Woody has found a new niche for himself in his films as a major supporting character. Dobel allows Woody to lapse back into some of his early career schtick without crossing the line that made most of us cringe at some of his more recent work. Just in looking at the advertising and PR for this film, one would never know that it was a Woody Allen movie and it's a shame that it's come to the point where his name might be construed as a negative.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Woody: The Exterminating Angel, May 25 2004
By 
Craig Marshall Smith "Craig Marshall Smith" (Highlands Ranch, Colorado United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)
Woody Allen's films have been gifts, balms, salves in my life -
when every other thing that happens around me seems to be
a knock on Camus' door of unhappiness. His films may appear
to be more and more flawed - but not to me.
Robert Motherwell said, " All of my life I've been working the work...Each picture is only an approximation of what you want...you can never
make the absolute statement, but the desire to do so as an approximation keeps you going. " Think about Woody Allen's
career as a film maker - and perhaps this movie will not stand
out, but there are qualities in it that do.
Imagine a retrospective of the best moments of Woody's films, like
the coda-retrospectives in some of them ( Annie Hall ) - it would
be an amazing collage of scenes and lines that we remember
and quote and are reminded of every day.
It is hard to like Anything Else. Christina Ricci's character, no matter how well-played, no matter how agreeable she is to look at, is unbearable.
I rented the movie, and had to turn it off now and then, because I
couldn't understand why Jason Biggs didn't hand her her hat or
strangle her.
Were it not for Woody's character, I may have cancelled the movie.
Dobel ( Allen ) is so nimble-minded, clever in scathing thought
( I'll quote his comment about vomiting in Carnegie Hall to my
college art students ) that I would have been satisfied by the scenes
of Jason and Woody alone.
They both stammer. Woody, like Jimmy Stewart, has made stammering
an art. If you have a problem with one actor stammering, get ready.
Jerry Falk ( Biggs ) can't get through a thought without an eraser.
The music is perfect.
The sly references will please those who grasp
them, and alienate those who don't. Some are just slivers: a couple
exit a movie house and we hear the man say something about why didn't the dinner guests just get up and leave? Woody is honoring
Luis Bunuel's The Exterminating Angel, and sending a little
Valentine to those in the audience who know it.
There are no special effects, eviscerations, frontal nudity, car
chases --- just people talking with people about what ( some )
people talk about. These are my favorites movies. Anything Else
won't get high mention in Woody's obituary - but I dare you not
to be amused every time Jason appears in his therapist's office - or
not to add Dobel to the list of nuanced visionaries and nutcakes
that Woody has created and given to us.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Woody Allens, "Woody Allen XXVI", March 14 2004
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)
As in most of his movies, Woody Allen tapped into the most sacred thing he could find for inspiration - himself. It was a fairly typical Woody Allen movie, composed of Woody Allen himelf, characters that were Woody Allen in essence, a sprinkling of poignant racism, and the females that Woody Allen really wants to sleep with, but never really could, and makes up for in his own private fantasies. Despite the fact that the actors and actresses had big names, the acting was horrible, because not everyone is Woody Allen and/or meant to act EXACTLY like him. Again, like most Woody Allen films, he focused on his expert "advice," along with a few completely meaningless jokes, simply added to show how "funny" he really is.
I would have to say, however, that this film would be loved by any Woody Allen fan, as it is pretty much the same, give or take a few big names and scenes, as all of his other films. I can understand and almost sympathize with some people for finding enjoyment in Woody Allens intense vocabulary and interesting tastes, and even some who are infatuated with the same sort of hopeless sexual fantasies that he drums up; but two stuttering, insecure "meeks" who have plans to "inherit the Earth" where just a bit too much for me to stomach for all 38 hours of this 1 hour and 45 minute long movie.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Gen-Y pair can't fit in Allen film, March 13 2004
By 
Lisa Chau (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)
In "Anything Else," Woody Allen stars as David Dobel, a much older mentor to a young and impressionable Jerry Falk, played by Jason Biggs. As the lights dim, the audience is ushered into the latest Allen production by the sound of retro music. Also typical of the writer and director's films, the movie is set in Manhattan.
Much of the film is comprised of Allen staples. In fact, the only two things that seem to be out of place are the main characters, Biggs as Falk and Christina Ricci as Amanda. It is as if the casting agent blindly picked out two of the most popular teenybopper actors of today and threw them into the movie without regard for subject matter, dialogue or context.
Amanda and Jerry live in the latter's apartment, which is inexplicably inhabited by old furnishings, better suited for a lower middle class grandmother. The audience is never told why the young couple's abode is decorated in such a manner, nor does it add anything to the script. Ikea, many a poor, post-graduate's favorite interior designer, would have provided a more believable and far less distracting setting, if the target audience is the latest crop of boy band chasers.
This kind of uneasy dichotomy seems to run through the whole movie. The young stars seem to have been picked to draw in a younger audience. Yet, everything else is old. Allen is old, the furniture is old, and the music is old. Even Amanda and Falk's tastes are old by today's Gen-Y standards. In a scene set in the Village Vanguard, the couple discuss Humphrey Bogart, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra. As Diana Krall ends a song, Amanda remarks that, "She is so moving." Later, Jerry tries to woo Amanda in a music store by offering to purchase her a vinyl album of Cole Porter music.
Allen's script is wholly mismatched for Biggs and Ricci. The work is better suited for more mature actors and audiences. It's what one would expect of an Allen love-child with the producers of "Dawson's Creek" except there aren't any compelling and contrived dramas.
The film plods along with several different plotlines running and never quite meeting or making a solid point. It's almost like watching a disjointed reality television show about a random guy's life without having all the boring parts edited out. Even the normally seductive and conniving Ricci is reduced to being a neurotic and body obsessed female with a gratingly whiny voice.
To Allen's credit, he does provide a few laughs with his writing. True to form, much of the movie is comprised of quick banter between the characters. Lines like "There was something compelling about your apathy," and "Don't be so middle class," are gems only Allen himself could dream up.
However, these highlights may not compel audiences to choose this film. If you overhear someone saying that he wants to see "anything else," don't be surprised if he actually means he want to see anything --other than the movie of the same name.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Allen's Attempt to Attract a New Audience, Feb. 26 2004
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)
Take a look at the artwork on the front of the case..it looks like a romantic comedy. Unfortunately after picking up this movie and taking it home, some people will see that is it anything but...or at least it isn't a romantic comedy in the strict sense of being a "chick flick". I like Allen's well read, broad vocabulary character Dobel...laugh out loud scenes galore with this guy. The use of Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci (even Jimmy Fallon) help the aging Allen bond with a new generation of viewers. There are many people who marry right out of college and fall on circumstances not unlike the woes of Falk. The mother also shows an air of "youth lost" or symbolizes a fountain of youth seeker. The dynamic of these characters together prove the movie is targeting a younger audience. I mean, Allen smashing car windows and handling a rifle?!? LOL That's reaching for him.
The story is not a mid-life crisis story as Allen is famous for...and I find that quite refreshing. True, the movie is about overcoming complacency and bad situations, but it is also very hopeful and positive in terms of moving on. Perfect movie for "twentysomethings."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return to form after some duds, Jan. 19 2004
By 
Alexander Leach (Shipley, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)
Having been disappointed with Allen's most recent efforts (I couldn't even get through 'Hollywood Ending'), this was a really pleasant surprise. I suppose it can be classed as a comedy drama, like many of Allen's films - and here the two elements are cleanly divided as the story unfolds of young comedy writer Jerry Falk (American Pie's Jason Biggs) and his beautiful but flakey girlfriend Amanda (Christina Ricci). They provide most of the drama, while Allen as Jerry's pal and svengali David Dobell provides the comedy as he passes on esoteric advice and commentary intermittently during their walks in Central Park.
One strange facet of Allen's character here is that apart from being erudite and well-read, he is also supposed to suffer from a slight mental illness: Allen's portrayal is strangely endearing in this regard, although whether this is deliberate and subtle acting I'm not too sure. Perhaps he will now appear slightly eccentric in all his future performances.
In fact this device is just a way for Allen to carry out his usual trick of giving himself the best lines which occasionally have a surreal element - and which are generally very funny, so it's good to see Allen's comedic skills haven't deserted him. It's also refreshing to find he has finally given up on using himself as the romantic interest and passed that torch onto younger cast members.
I got the feeling that Allen has turned a corner with this film, hopefully heralding an Indian Summer for him. A couple of small things make it notable: first, it was shot in 2.35:1 widescreen (the first genuine widescreen Allen film since Manhattan), second, it is the first film in which Allen's age is specified in the script - Jerry describes him in the first five minutes as being 60, a slight understatement, but hey, at least it's something. Maybe this age-reference is significant, but I do know that Allen looks incredibly young in this film: apart fom hair transplants has he had any nips and tucks? He looks younger than in Annie Hall in some close-ups, which is rather strange.
There are also strange references and homages to earlier films: Dobell drives around in a sports car (here bright red) which is identical to that bought by Michael Murphy in Manhattan, while Jerry arranges a 'chance' meeting with Amanda rather as Michael Caine's character does with Barbara Hershey in Hannah And Her Sisters.
The three principals essentially have the film to themselves: Stockard Channing as Amanda's boozy mother appear only briefly, so while Ricci's and Allen's performances are spot-on, I have a few doubts about Jason Biggs. Most of the time he is very believable and pleasing as a young comedy writer but occasionally his inexperience can surface when his timing is a little off and he seems to be reciting the lines rather than delivering them conversationally. Anything Else has been describes as Annie Hall II - and while it's not in that film's class, it does take you on a journey which leaves you feeling satisfied as the credits roll. I really recommend this one for Allen fans.
DVD-wise, this is a good release as all Allen's films tend to be. The 2.35:1 image is superb: crisp and sharp with no artefacts or edge enhancements. The usual Allen green-brown palette for clothes and furnishings is leavened occasionally by bright colours: Allen's scarlet shirt in an early scene is rock-solid with no bleeding. One sequence where Jerry spies on Amanda at dusk portrays the light very accurately, with no grain at all. This is a top notch transfer. As for sound, this is Allen's usual mono soundtrack, with all the dialogue coming crisply from the centre speaker and ambient jazz occasionally using the other fronts. No action from the rear speakers, but there's no need for them in this film at all. So a very nice soundtrack indeed. The disc also has a welcome first, a DVD extra which (incredibly) actually has some input from the writer/director: it's only a production note on a few screens, but we do get some quotes from Biggs and Ricci - as well as Allen himself giving information about the casting process.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars The Best Woody Since 'Deconstructing Harry', Jan. 14 2004
By 
Yancy J. Berns "yberns" (Los Angeles, Ca. United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)
... and the first 'original' Allen picture since the still-wonderful "Annie Hall," from '77. For those with the ability to get past the central casting (some just can't buy Ricci and Biggs talking about Billie Holiday), this variation on Allen's neurotics-in-love presents the familiar material from a truly fresh perspective for the first time since the 1977 classic: Its almost a goodbye to the neurotic New York milieu, a refutation of the themes of seasonal rebirth and human foibles that Allen has been working over and over (often to fine effect) since "Annie Hall." If fact, "Anything Else" could almost be the anti-"Annie Hall": Thirty years on, the neurotic girlfriend no longer seems as sweet as Diane Keaton, but rather as barbed and dangerous as the big-eyed Ricci. Even Danny DeVito's sweet loser of an agent (which Allen played himself in "Broadway Danny Rose")gets mercilessly rebuked. For those with enough patience for the Allen vibe, "Anythign Else" was one of 2003's biggest surprises, and near return-to-form for one of the country's great filmmakers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Was this an Annie Hall remake?, Jan. 14 2004
By 
T. A. Padezanin "panzan" (Pittsburgh, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)
I just watched this film and Annie Hall on consecutive days - but I watched Anything Else first. In many ways, it is the same movie. It's not the same story, but it has a lot of the same gags and themes. The big difference I see between the two stories is that, while the Annie Hall character is quite likable, the Amanda character (Christina Ricci) is despicable. Conversely, while the Alvi character (Woody Allen) in "Annie Hall" remained just as neurotic, fearful, and stubborn in the end as he was in the beginning, the equivalent Jerry character (Jason Biggs) in "Anything Else" manages to break away from everything that's wrong with his life in NYC and move onto an uncertain yet exciting future. I thought that was an uncharacteristicly hopeful ending to a Woody Allen movie. In the end, though, it's not a great film by any means. The story moves very slowly, Ricci's comedy timing is dreadful, and Biggs' acting seems like a very transparent homage to Woody. So, are these two young actors simply too limited in their acting talents to pull it off, or is Allen so set in his ways that he insisted they act the way they did? Do you even care?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Not like Anything Else, Jan. 8 2004
By 
"scojofilm" (Denton, Tx United States of Zimbabwe) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)
First of all, the 5 is for the film, not the DVD. How can I give five stars to a DVD with no extras? Remember the days that we bought movies because they were good, not because they had Richard Shickel commentaries...(I mean, isn't there a better critic?).
The film is excellent, it's my favorite Woody Allen film in recent years. I mean, I love Sweet and Lowdown and most of the 90s run...but there's something about this film. Jason Biggs does an excellent job playing a young neurotic...essentially Woody. For those who never noticed, most characters in a Woody Allen film are playing Woody Allen. Biggs does such a good job that has been cast in the next Allen film to come. Ricci is sexy and lovable despite the major flaws in her character. Danny Devito....oh man.
Don't be discouraged by the terrible cover art.
"It's like a man walking down the street in a new suit. Then suddenly, he sees another man wearing a better suit. Now he doesn't like the suit he has on anymore." - DeVito
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Anything Else
Anything Else by Woody Allen (DVD - 2012)
CDN$ 9.42
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews