Too many people today look at Woody Allen’s 1979 “Manhattan” for evidence of the filmmaker’s alleged perversions. After all, his character in the film is a 42-year-old having a relationship with a 17-year-old girl played by Mariel Hemingway – and wouldn’t logic dictate that everything Allen does on screen is autobiographical?
To say that I knew what I was getting in to with “Midnight in Paris” is indeed would be a gross error. I had no idea what “Midnight in Paris” would bring me. So for the sake of not ruining what is ultimately a surprise filled comedy drama, I beg you to heed my warning about spoilers as “Midnight in Paris” is such a film that will demand audiences to suspend their belief, but in the meanwhile is typical Woody Allen whimsy. The man has the ability to channel surrealism and fantasy with films like “Zelig” and “Sleeper,” and thankfully “Midnight in Paris” is a return to form. Once again, Allen has lost a lot of his touch with his past films as he no longer spotlights the regular individual, but the glamorous one, but he surmounts such a caveat by delivering a premise in the tradition of the classic Allen pictures. The demented and lively, the ridiculous but existential.
I’m in the minority opinion that about most of what came out of the eighties was utter dreck. Movies, music, fashion, and television, a good portion of it is dreck that has remained in the public consciousness based solely around nostalgia and people still muddled by their own fond memories of the decade. Since I’m in an eighties mood I thought I’d finally settle our top ten movies of the 80’s, a decade that gave us mind rotting MTV, and Mr. T only to name a few of its crimes, of course. Rounding out our top ten of the decade was not an easy task since it was a decade consisting primarily of disposable fare in the way of comedies and horror films, while the dramas were basically mostly middling fare.
I was, however, up to the challenge. I did set some guidelines of course. Since the 80’s were all about the slasher film, about every slasher film made in the decade is off the table since this list would be filled with them and ruin the purpose. I’m a heavy fan of the “Friday the 13th” series and the like, so it wouldn’t be an interesting list. We also left out most of the Nightmare on Elm Street films, Critters, Gremlins, and most horror films from the decade altogether. We give enough respect to them, here are ten films from the ten years that I thought were the absolute best.
After the painfully overrated “Match Point,” I was basically ready to welcome anything else that Allen could offer us. Sadly, going out of New York and onto the UK for his comedy thrillers has worked against Allen, and he’s pretty out of his element, as it becomes apparent with “Scoop.” All essence of genius and life is gone, and every one liner that Allen hurls our way manages to fall flatter and flatter to the point where it becomes rather pathetic. Especially when you consider the fact he’s now resorted to remaking his own movies, with “Scoop” being a loose remake of “Manhattan Murder Mystery.”
I wish I can say that Woody Allen’s venture in to new territory was great—had he actually explored new territory, mind you. And I wish I could proclaim this a giant rip-off of Allen’s style, had Allen not directed it. Fact is, though, Allen’s involvement in the film doesn’t deter the idea that “Match Point” feels like imitation Woody Allen. It’s often been described as “the serious sub-plot of “Crimes and Misdemeanors” extended in to a film”, and that’s an apt description. However, when all is said and done, I’d describe this as a remake of “Crimes and MisDemeanors” with footnotes of “A Place in the Sun” thrown in for good measure.