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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Physically beautiful, wise, if (for me) slightly more emotionally distanced than 'Annie Hall'. Finally available on blu-ray!
One of the most stunningly beautiful to look at films of the last 50 years, made with great wit, and full of strong
observations about loss, aging, and how we lie to ourselves.

But, personally, It doesn't quite rise to the level of `Annie Hall' for me in terms of timelessness or emotional impact.

It's a film I deeply admire, respect, see why...
Published on April 14 2011 by K. Gordon

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars The Stars Are For the Cinamatography
You could watch just the first 5 minutes for the opening monologue and brilliant establishing shots of the city. It's gorgeous. That said, Allen's character's relationship with Hemingway's character is completely creepy. And the normally wonderful Keaton is forced to play an unlikable, neurotic, pretentious woman. There isn't the core of sweetness that I liked in Annie...
Published on Nov. 6 2001


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Physically beautiful, wise, if (for me) slightly more emotionally distanced than 'Annie Hall'. Finally available on blu-ray!, April 14 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Manhattan (DVD)
One of the most stunningly beautiful to look at films of the last 50 years, made with great wit, and full of strong
observations about loss, aging, and how we lie to ourselves.

But, personally, It doesn't quite rise to the level of `Annie Hall' for me in terms of timelessness or emotional impact.

It's a film I deeply admire, respect, see why others have it on their '10 best of all time' lists, etc. but feel guilty
that I can't unreservedly love. Somehow all the adult characters' self-obsessed narcissism keeps me at arms length.
I identify with moments, but -- unlike 'Annie Hall' - not the whole.

That said, it's strengths are so strong, and it has affected so many so deeply that its any film lover owes themselves
the chance to see. Among other things, Gordon Willis' photography will leave you with
images you'll never forget.

And as nice as the DVD transfer was, the beautiful new blu-ray goes it one better. This film has a depth
and immediacy on blu-ray that rivaled my memories of seeing it for the first time on the big screen. Of
course, as always with Woody, there are still no real extras, but these images are so great, that you
owe yourself the blu-ray version.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Annie Hall, July 6 2004
This review is from: Manhattan (DVD)
This is how a black and white should be filmed. And in the perfect location. I'm not a Woody Allen fan but this is just simply an excellent film. Funny, smart, insightful and emminently watchable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless christmas gift for New York!, July 3 2004
By 
Hiram Gomez Pardo (Valencia, Venezuela) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Manhattan (DVD)
Woody Allen made a pictoric statement ; an artistic gift of countless carats ; an etarnal portrait for the next generations who will watch this picture with the same devotion we have in front a masterpiece in the Metropolitan , Louvre or any other prestigious museum in the world.
The story turns as a leit motive in many films of this clever film maker , about the disturbing relationship between two lovers , the loneliness , the no sense living who seems work out for many people in a city as NY that owns the sublime virtue of being capable of renovating to itself from time to time . This is the clue why we love so much this unique city .
The opening shots shows Allen who is left by his wife (Meryl Streep) for another woman ; this bitter sight is linked with the fact Woody falls in love with a teenager that it might be well his own daughter (Mariel Hemingway) ; notice this relationship is built for the Pygmalion effect. She admires him and eventually falls in love with him when she compares his rich gaze about the world with the routiny of her friends ; flat and deepless.
In the middle of this emotional chaos the rendezvous to NYC emerges from time to time with unforgettable images . Gordon Willis stole the show with this arresting landscapes. He caught the mythical essence of this caleidoscopic city: irreverent , creative , seductive , challenging but fascinating . However Allen knew show the viewer the underestimated wonderful treasures that by one or several reasons some proportion of the people who lives there it doesn't seem to realize . Once more the sight of an artist is to make open the eyes and alterate the usual perspectives of the reality , creating a new one.
And Allen made it . Bravo!
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4.0 out of 5 stars ...Old-Fashioned and New-Fangled, May 2 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Manhattan (DVD)
Schmuck!
This is the movie you wanted to buy back from the studio?
It doesn't really matter, and maybe that's why it makes such a noticible difference: "Annie Hall" was the first of an apparantly unconcious trilogy where Woody Allen, acting as a writer/director/actor ("Star Wa- oops!- DUST Memories" is the third: "Interiors" came out around the same time but is a very different non-animal and doesn't count) acceded -- in very different stages of reluctance -- his own attractiveness, brilliance and success in all realms of life.
But in "Manhattan," Allen dumps his editor?collaborator? Ralph Rosenblum and takes control in collaboration with maverick non-union non-recognized cinematographer Gordon Willis to make a very different film. Allen allows that the concept was to make a film in real wide-screen (aka "anamorphic") set in New York.
Schmuck.
Unlike "Annie," this film is non-improvisational and supremely more stylish; and being filmed in widescreen black & white is by no means the greatest of the differences.
Meaner than "Annie's" breaking-the-fourth-wall snottiness, "Manhattan" honed a contempt for the delusional and self-hating inhabitants of its namesake into a screed in which even the judgemental character Allen plays (who lectures everyone -- especially himself) is scalded for having no business enjoying the magnificent vistas they cluelessly scamper through with as much appreciation as a yeti in the Serengheti.
Sorry. Great film, gorgeous cinematography (the first 10 min. are worth the price of the DVD alone), acting you won't even notice, it's so good, probably the best of any 10 films of the last 25 years, regardless of your opinion of Allen's life or personal crap.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant character study!, April 10 2004
This review is from: Manhattan (DVD)
There's a scene in this film where Woody Allen is lying on his couch, lethargic and immensely depressed. He's talking into a tape recorder, and he says something along the lines of, "I'm thinking about writing a short story about people in Manhattan who are constantly creating these real, unnecessary, neurotic problems for themselves, because it keeps them from dealing with more unsolvable, terrifying problems about the universe." What an interesting issue he's preparing to approach in his latest work of art. And purposefully (for obvious reasons), that quote sums up the entire film.
Manhattan surrounds the lives of Isaac (Woody Allen), his ex-wife Jill (Meryl Streep), his best friend Yale (Michael Murphy), his seventeen-year-old girlfriend Tracy (the Oscar-nominated Marial Hemmingway), Yale's wife (Anne Byrne Hoffman), and, of course, Yale's mistress Mary (the wonderful Diane Keaton). One day, Isaac and Tracy are on a date and they come across Yale spending the day with Mary. And that's what starts it all. At first Isaac despises Mary's overbearing, free personality. But eventually he runs into her again and he gives her a chance, walking home with her after a gala. And the two become great friends, leading to something more, causing an entire love triangle to form, affecting every character in the film in different ways. But of course, that's not all there is to it.
The love triangle between Mary, Isaac and Yale is a vehicle for studying the behavioral habits of Isaac, the film's main focus. He is an intensely neurotic man who, like he says at one point in the film, fixates on smaller problems in order to rid his mind of the larger ones he is afraid to face. But as the love triangle progresses, falls apart, nearly comes back together, then falls apart again, he transforms into another man at the end. And the way Woody Allen carefully (and in a very clever way) tells the tale and explains the change is so utterly original and touching that it will leave you breathless.
That is, of course, the high point of the film: its screenplay. There are so many brilliantly subtle jokes and so many of Isaac's mannerisms made fun of and focuses upon that the smile will never leave your face. It is also full of artistic maturity and integrity which Allen, in his early days (apparently), never ceased to express. Not once does he stray from the purpose of the film. Nor does he create unnecessary or cliche plot points or become dishonest in any way. He remains true to himself and the the world. And what strengthens the writing are the wonderful performances from every person in the cast.
Of course, Marial Hemmingway was nominated for the Oscar. And although she was great, the truly wonderful performance in this film was Diane Keaton's as the confused, newly-divorced Mary. She is so precise with her emotions, but reveals so many shades and builds upon the already realistic depth of Allen's screenplay. She should have been nominated for the Oscar. Also noticeably great was, of course, Woody Allen himself, who is always wonderful. Another character clearly and beautifully conveyed in the film is the city of New York.
The widescreen, black-and-white cinematography by Gordon Willis is stunning, and matches the overall tone of the film perfectly. Also complementing the photography and personality of the film is the music scattered throughout, all written by George Gershwin (the film even opens up with the commanding sound of "Rhapsody in Blue").
So as you turn off your television and relax after having finished Manhattan, you are sure to be filled with amazement at how honest, witty and glorious the film is, with the clear knowledge that Woody Allen is a pure genius.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Matchless Entertainment!, March 11 2004
By 
Patrick D. Mayo "Drum Nut" (Huntington Beach, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Manhattan (DVD)
I've read some great reviews on this film and agree with the ones that states that this is one of Woody's best.As much as I like to notice the artistic endeavors a film maker puts into his/her movies, the key to me is does it pull me into the story? Does it move me in some way? This movie definitely does so. I became enthralled with how petty the adults were and how the innocence of youth packed the biggest wallop of wisdom. Allen seems to want to show that our preconceived notions of "older and wiser" is not always a truism. Of course he also shares a load of laughs with his witty writing as he does in most of his movies. I too was blown away by the cinematography and use of music to convey the emotional content of the movie. As an artist he always tries to be true to himself and sometimes he hits and sometimes he misses, but in this film he knocked one out of the park in the ninth inning with 2 out and the count at 3 and 2 and the bases loaded.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'll take Manhattan, March 8 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Manhattan (DVD)
I am giving the Woody Allen classic "Manhattan" 5 stars here because it's a classic movie- despite the fact that the dvd has no bonus features other than the original trailer (after all, the movie was released in 1979). Anyway, this movie holds up particularly well even today- especially because of the gorgeous black and white cinematography. It's a timeless, romantic slice of pre-9/11 New York. Woody Allen at his best. Still skeptical? Rent it at your local video store and you'll want to add it to your collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of Woody's best, Dec 22 2003
This review is from: Manhattan (DVD)
Manhattan is a witty comedy-drama that most certainly ranks as one of Woody Allen's most aesthetically charming films. New York City is affectionately lensed in black-and-white, and brought to life with a score featuring music by George Gershwin. There are several inspired moments: A twilight scene filmed under the Brooklyn Bridge; a conversation between Allen and Keaton in silhouette against a background of stars and planets at the Natural History Museum in Central Park, a scene which beautifully encapsulates the irony at the centre of Woody's persona.
At the same time, however, I cannot escape the feeling that our experience of the characters in Manhattan is, for the most part, a cerebral one. We do not care for Isaac the way we cared for, say, Alvy in Annie Hall. Stunning, intelligent, undoubtedly the work of a very accomplished filmmaker, but the film lacks the heart of some of his other work. Perhaps one of the few moments that really does engage the heart as well as the head, is the final shot of Woody, a typically Allenesque moment tinged by a sense of hope as well as melancholy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A valentine for the Big Apple, Oct. 22 2003
This review is from: Manhattan (DVD)
Manhattan is Woody Allen's most ambitious and most fully realized picture. Filmed in beautiful black and white and full of laughs. A romantic, sentimental, witty gorgeous portrait of New York City and the people it inhabits. Allen gives his most charming performance as Issac Davis, a forty some year old television writer who quits and focuses on a book he can not finish and is involved in a tryst with a teenage girl (played spectacularly by Hemingway and giving the film's best performance). He breaks it off with her, for her own good or so he says, and chases Mary (Keaton) a confused, elegant women who his best friend is having an affair with. With his wife writing a autobiography of their relationship and his temporary at best relationship with Mary failing he looks to what really matters to him and hopes that he hasn't lost all that was true. He finds the biggest lesson to learn is to "have faith in people."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, Sept. 22 2003
By 
"fek519" (Atlanta, Ga USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Manhattan (DVD)
I have seen a dozen or so movies that come very close to capturing the true art of filmmaking, but this one nails it. Woody Allen's genius is all here, spread before us in a rich tapestry that validates in one perfect effort the suspicions that we have from watching his other films.
The story is set on a lush canvas of Gordon Willis cinematography and George Gershwin score, and you are carried sweetly into the sublime swirl of New York City from the first rhapsodic blend of music, monologue and images. For those who love New York (and those who may never see it) it should be known that the quintessence of the City is precisely captured here in sound, light, and character.
True to form, Allen strings his instrument with the requisite elements of life and relationships-- love, romance, friendship, betrayal, and essential insecurity-- and plucks them in perfect harmony. In subtle brilliance, he does not lead you directly in this film, but allows you to go looking on your own volition for his simmering meaning of love and life. The camera is a poignant voyeur as Allen's character searches earnestly (and obstinately) for answers to the wrong questions. He is confounded but for the allure of the pure and benevolent Mariel Hemingway, who plays the angelic savior of his soul.
In the end, the ultimate message that Woody's character learns in Manhattan is the same rich reward that we earn from our experience in watching this movie... that hope, patience, and faith are the virtues that always keep their promises.
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Manhattan [Blu-ray]
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