Friday, October 28, 2011

Favorite Stars Who Stopped Making Good Films in the Last Millenium

WOODY ALLEN is a different kind of case. For a while in the '80's I saw and loved everything he made. He is still doing work many critics admire, such as this year's "Midnight in Paris".
But Allen's off screen behavior has been so repugnant, I've had a difficult time enjoying any of his work. This is especially true when he is on screen (such as in "Scoop", which reminded me of something that is scooped off the sidewalk.)

I find many of the remarks he's made about religion and politics (particularly about 9/11) disgusting, but I can separate the art and the artist with these films made well before Bush Vs. Gore.

10) BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (1994) John Cusack (we're back to the beginning of the week) subs for Woody onscreen in this farce about the theater and gangsters. ("Don't speak!")

9) HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986) Michael Caine rightly received an Oscar for his performance in this film, but he couldn't collect in person as he was filming JAWS: THE REVENGE (for which he didn't receive an Oscar.)

7)SLEEPER (1973) Woody is very funny as a man of the '70's who wakes up in s sci-fi future. He makes a very good robot butler.

6) TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN (1969) Yes, I like his early, funny films (along with the aliens in STARDUST MEMORIES.)

5) ZELIG (1983) Allen beat Tom Hanks to Forrest Gump by a decade.

4) BROADWAY DANNY ROSE (1984) One of the few times an Allen film (and the character he protrays) can be described as sweet. Fortunately, its funny as well (especially the shoot out in the helium balloon ware house.)

3) ANNIE HALL (1977) It beat out STAR WARS for the best picture Oscar, and perhaps deserved it. Allen's most creative comic bits (I especially like the grade school students who tell what they will do in later life.)

2) PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (1985) Woody isn't on screen in this fantasy about a cinematic hero who comes off the big screen to romance an abused wife. Equal parts funny and heart breaking. (Okay, maybe funny gets an edge.) Jeff Daniel's playing the movie star and the screen character is excellent (say, has that SOMETHING WILD star made a good film in the last ten years?)

1) CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989) Allen's masterpiece as far as I'm concerned. Explores the questions of what to do when evil prospers and righteousness is punished. Allen asks the right questions in the film. He just seems to have come up with the wrong answers in real life.

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