4.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars for something different
I think this is a movie that not many people will like since its an existential drama...it really tells the way
life is going for most people all over the world, and the people who are not under the influence the married male analyst and the philosopher played by Allen, are able thanks to their intelligence, to put their heads in the clouds, to live outside of this...
Published 5 months ago by Anthony Marinelli
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good
Anything else id not as good as Allen's other. The neurotic character is more in Biggs character, than in Allen's. Biggs is like a young Allen, and it's not that great. Besides that the movie is pretty funny, not rolling on the floor funny, but funny.
Published on July 12 2004 by chicoer2003
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1.0 out of 5 stars WOODY'S BIG FAT BOMB,
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)Jason Biggs plays Woody Allen and Woody Allen plays Woody Allen in ANYTHING ELSE (Universal). That's two too many right there. He directed and wrote this as well. So he must take the blame. maybe it was all a ruse so he could watch cute Christina Ricci wander around in her underwear. There's a ton of talk in this sad misfire of a film and it finally adds up to nothing. It felt like it was 10 hours long. You have been warned.
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return to form after some duds,
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best Woody Since 'Deconstructing Harry',
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.
2.0 out of 5 stars Was this an Annie Hall remake?,
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?
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth Seeing If You're A Fan of Allen's Work,
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)This is not one of Woody Allen's best films but he has never made a bad one as far as I am concerned. This is an entertaining film for the true fan. The only real problem with the film is Allen's casting of Jason Biggs in the lead role. He is a terrible actor and a poor youthful substitute to fill Allen's shoes. The saving grace of this film is Christina Ricci. She plays a thoroughly unlikeable character but she plays it with style and range. She also comes off the most attractive I have ever seen her in a film. Danny De Vito does a great job as well. Allen's scenes toward the end are particularly strong. The ending is one of Allen's best. Genuinely touching. I just think that the miscasting of Biggs in the pivotal lead role really hurts the film overall.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not like Anything Else,
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
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing,
By A Customer
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)This movie is HORRIBLE!!! The only reason I bought this movie was becuase Jason Biggs is in it. I've a lot of movies with Jason Biggs in it and none were more worse than this. I feel bad that Jason had star in such a boring movie. The movie moves incredibly slow. There's not really even a plot to this movie. If I could I wouldn't even give this movie 1 star! I'd give this movie NO STARS!!! When this movie came out, I was so excited and I thought it was going to be funny and interesting, but when I saw it, I felt the complete opposite. I'm telling you that think twice before seeing this movie, it is something absolutely NOT to be excited about. For who think different or can't really decide to buy this movie, I SUGGEST STRONGLY THAT YOU RENT IT FIRST!!!!!!!!!!! Believe me, RENT it first, I promise you won't regret it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly neoteric ......,
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)Here we have yet another offering from our number one existentialist in hollywood.
Filled with quirky and extremely irritating, (even perverse characters}, the film offers up some good laughs.
Is it as good as earlier Woody Allen films? I'll be honest, Manhatten Murder Mystery is the only other film which I have viewed but judging by the reviews I would say that it is a safe guess that this is not the case. However, this is a fresh and unique little comedy that will offer a moment of shade from the banality that seems to haunt comedies at the present.
Like the recent works of Wes Anderson, this is a comedy more in the greek sense, operating with the understanding that comedy is essentially trajedy. I loved this film.
Give it a chance.
2.0 out of 5 stars This dvd is not in DTS OR 5.1 what the!,
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)This "OK" movie is limited from the start in it's lack of good sound, and directing quality. The movie, though on dvd, is not in any other sound format then MONO, YeS MONO. Woody Allen failes to take this movie seriously from the start.And goes on and on & on & on. Like most Woody movies it could benifit from a new up to date Director! Ricci tries hard to bring the movie up from crap and does somewhat.
2.0 out of 5 stars MANHATTEN JUNIOR,
This review is from: Anything Else (DVD)Jason Briggs stuttering monotonous delivery of lines gets tiresome. Christina Ricci's flirting lead lady isn't revealed as anything but a superficial portrayal of what amounts to a not very interesting person. Anything else? Yes, Stockard Channing. as the Mom with a nightclub act is a far more involved character and is wasted to a comedic relief position. When Woody Allen isn't on screen as the cynical mentor of comedy writer Briggs, the weak knees of it seem about to bust. Danny DeVito as the kid's dependent agent is also a welcome relief from the dull young cast. I can't help but expect more from Woody Allen.
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Anything Else by Woody Allen (DVD - 2012)
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