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New York Stories [Blu-ray]
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Not as good as I remembered though the Woody Allen Oedopus Wrecks is side splittingly funnyPublished 1 month ago by Zoe Sellers
Very disappointing. The format was not compatible with my DVD player.Published 14 months ago by Diane Howard