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New York Stories [Blu-ray]

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rosanna Arquette, Talia Shire, Giancarlo Giannini, Mae Questal, Mia Farrow
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: June 12 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B007NYZA0Q
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,964 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Three views of life in the city of all cities comprise this film, with segments directed by Woody Allen, Francis Coppola, and Martin Scorsese. The best of the three is "Life Lessons," directed by Scorsese, about an artist (played by Nick Nolte) who uses his hypersuccess to lure beautiful young aspiring artists to serve as his assistant/lovers. The segment is an astute portrait of the nature of the New York art world. In "Life Without Zoe," Coppola portrays the life of the privileged Zoe, the daughter of a world-renowned flutist, whose adventures on the Upper East Side (in the upper echelons of society) play like something approaching a cartoon. Woody Allen finishes up the film with his "Oedipus Wrecks," a typical Allen number about a successful New York lawyer who's still hounded by his mother--the title tells you all you need to know. Though stronger segments to complement Scorsese's would have made this film much more interesting and enjoyable, it does provide an accurate glimpse into this wondrous city and is a must-see for anyone fascinated by New York. --James McGrath --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Studio

Get ready for a wildly diverse movie about life in the big city. NEW YORK STORIES features the creative collaboration of three of America’s most popular directors, Martin Scorsese (Hugo), Francis Coppola (The Godfather) and Woody Allen (Midnight In Paris).   LIFE LESSONS • Nick Nolte stars in this passionate tale of a world-famous painter torn between his obsession for his art and his infatuation with his sultry but unresponsive assistant (Rosanna Arquette). Directed by Martin Scorsese.   LIFE WITHOUT ZOE • Talia Shire and Giancarlo Giannini star in this whimsical fantasy as the childlike parents of Zoe, a very grown-up 12-year-old girl who brings charm and magic to life in New York. Directed by Francis Coppola.   OEDIPUS WRECKS • Woody Allen directs and stars in this hilarious comedy as a neurotic lawyer who cannot escape the one woman who looms largest in his life – his mother (Mae Questal)! Mia Farrow and Julie Kavner star as the “other women” who further complicate his situation.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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The first two stories are quite good and the reason I purchased the DVD. They celebrate the artist in different ways and make you want to get up and create. The first is starring Nick Nolte as a famous and difficult New York artist, struggling with his art weeks before his next big show. I've seen many of Nolte's films and this brief short film is, I believe, one of his best. If you like Nolte with a euro bent, I also recommend The Good Thief. The second story has a sense of being a modern day fairytale and is a good one to watch with younger children (aged 6-9). It may be children in an adult environment (nothing bad don't worry) but it is just as charming and mature as is The Secret of Roan Inish, yet childlike enough for little ones to enjoy and be enchanted by, in my opinion. (The last story in this trio is with Woody Allen and it is asinine and awful and I never watch it.) Two out of three you'll be happy to see again and again.
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Format: DVD
I cast my vote Woody's way. I just love the interaction between the over-the-top characters, wonderfully portrayed by Allen, Julie Kavner, and yes, Mia is good too -- can't always say that...
The real gem here is one of the final performances by Mae Questel, who once upon a time played "Betty Boop." Soon after this performance she began to decline due to Alzheimers.
This is the zany, neurotic fun that made Allen's early comedies my favorite part of his opus. Once upon a time when I was a teacher, I used "Oedipus Wrecks" with my students as a "visual short story." I had them write the ending of the story before they saw it. We had great fun with it.
Second I'd vote for Coppola's "Life Without Zoe" based, again, on the performances, especially Heather McComb's debut. She hasn't done much of note since, but I really enjoyed her here.
Scorsese's "Life Lessons" felt flat to me, despite Nolte and Arquette, both of whom I usually really like. It seemed talky and more like some of Allen's later work. There is a germ of a good idea here -- sexual obsession versus art and getting on with one's life, but I felt the film just didn't deliver.
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Format: DVD
I didn't think much of the Woody Allen segment (although he's one of my favorite filmmakers) and I hated the Coppola piece but I'm still giving this one 5 stars because of "Life Lessons" which in the first of three short films in this collection. No other movie that I can think of better illustrates the creative thought processes of the artist (Nick Nolte) or their sense of lonely isolation. He cannot live without women and even hilariously tells his young assistant, and I quote from memory, "I don't know anything about love? I was married and divorced four times before you were even born!" Nolte is tortured by his desires and his isolation but even lust will not allow him to compromise his artistic integrity. When Arquette pleads with him concerning whether she has any talent or not, Nolte refuses to lie to appease her. Instead he elects not to answer her question which infuriates her even more. Although he is downtrodden throughout much of the film the ending is a happy one. I own the VHS and have seen the 40 minutes of "Life Lessons" at least seven times over the years. I highly recommend it.
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Format: DVD
There are two-thirds of a good movie in this movie, as New York's three most famous directors each contributed a short film about an aspect of New York life. The opening short, "Life Lessons" by Martin Scorsese and starring Nick Nolte and Roseann Arquette is a unforgiving look at the competitive, abusive, almost cannibalistic world of a megalomaniacal painter. I read somewhere that this short is flawed because Nolte's character doesn't change. That is not a flaw; that's the point. The ego of a successful artist, according to Scorsese, will not soften, will not learn what a conscience is, will not admit that there are other artists in his/her world. Even when the artist recognizes talent in someone else, it is quickly dismissed. The ego lords over all.
The final short film, "Oedipus Wrecks" by Woody Allen is typical comic genius. The plot is simple. Woody takes his overbearing mother to a magic show, and the magician makes her disappear. Completely disappear. The magician himself doesn't know how he did it. When mom appears as an apparition in the clouds, and speaks to the entire population of Gotham about her son, the laughs are endless.
In between these two films is one directed by Francis Ford Coppola. I can't tell you what it's about. I have yet to sit through more than ten minutes of it.
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