A Few Words About A few words about...™ Love and Death -- in Blu-ray

Oblivion138

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Completely agreed. It tends to be one of Allen's more forgotten pictures. Which is odd, considering its place as a very early example of the comedic mockumentary. I can't tell you how many times I've seen Take the Money and Run. All I can say is that, like you, I'm in stitches every single time. In terms of sheer hilarity, it is one of my all-time favorite comedies, and I would love to have it on BD. So here's hoping SOMEONE will license it and get it out into the marketplace. If Twilight Time acquired it, I would have absolutely no problem plunking down $30 for it. It would be a day one pre-order.
 

Kyrsten Brad

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On a Woody Allen related note, apparently the 1967 spy-spoof version of Casino Royale (where Allen played "Jimmy Bond") has gone out of print. Cheapest U.S. copy on Amazon is now $99.91. Sucks as I was planning on getting the Blu for this (I have the DVD).
 

Oblivion138

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That's a bummer. Not a film that I really love, but seeing those kinds of aftermarket prices just makes me shake my head. I'd suggest keeping the faith, though. Never Say Never Again went OOP, and was fetching ridiculous prices on Amazon and the like, but then it was released in Europe, and could be imported for a song.
 

CraigF

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ShellOilJunior said:
This film, like many WA films, was not treated kindly on DVD.
Now there's an understatement. :) Even moreso if you only count the English-is-the-primary-language countries. There are several films only available on non-anamorphic DVD in those places, but on anamorphic DVD and on BD even in Scandinavia (for one). Academy Award-winning films.


I had no idea of this until I started trying to upgrade my old WA discs last year (I had the common MGM BDs, and the more recent film ones). It can get rather expensive when it's doable. Italy, Germany, and Scandinavia, seem to appreciate WA films, certainly more than is apparent in Canada, which is a veritable WA dead zone.


So yeah, kudos to everyone righting this "wrong".
 

JoeStemme

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I had largely dismissed it after seeing it once back in the VHS era. So............I took another look.
It's still just okay. The last of his 'early funny ones', you could still see Allen struggle between balancing the lightweight comedy bits with the more sophisticated material he would start to develop with ANNIE HALL. For every good bit, there's a couple that fall flat.
Still, one could see the roots of his more serious comedy side starting to come to the fore. Allen's lifelong obsession with Death is all over this film. His jabs at Russian literature are occasionally amusing, particularly his insights into his Russian-Jewish ancestry. Ghislain Cloquet's cinematography gives it a certain air, and Prokofiev's musical excerpts work fine. It was also Allen's third film out of four where overthrowing a leader is one of the main plot points!
Overall, I'm glad I gave it a second look. I can see where Allen was headed, and that leap with ANNIE HALL is monumental. SLEEPER is still the best of his early work.
 

Ejanss

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I had largely dismissed it after seeing it once back in the VHS era. So............I took another look.
It's still just okay. The last of his 'early funny ones', you could still see Allen struggle between balancing the lightweight comedy bits with the more sophisticated material he would start to develop with ANNIE HALL. For every good bit, there's a couple that fall flat.
Apart from Zelig, it's one of the last with Woody's old New-Yorker-short-story sense of humor, where the jokes would revolve around the silliest and most baffling out-of-nowhere non-sequiturs into the middle of a seemingly sensible parody.
Such as our hero's portentous, symbolic, Dostoevsky-like dream of graves giving up their dancing headwaiters...
 

Billy Batson

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Still one of my favorites from the "funny era."
Yeah, mine too. The last of his "Bob Hope" films (or in this case, Bob Hope meets Ingmar Bergman ), & in my case, when I saw it at the cinema, a good introduction to the music of Sergei Prokofiev.

...& I'm thinking it's aged better than Annie Hall!
 
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haineshisway

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I had largely dismissed it after seeing it once back in the VHS era. So............I took another look.
It's still just okay. The last of his 'early funny ones', you could still see Allen struggle between balancing the lightweight comedy bits with the more sophisticated material he would start to develop with ANNIE HALL. For every good bit, there's a couple that fall flat.
Still, one could see the roots of his more serious comedy side starting to come to the fore. Allen's lifelong obsession with Death is all over this film. His jabs at Russian literature are occasionally amusing, particularly his insights into his Russian-Jewish ancestry. Ghislain Cloquet's cinematography gives it a certain air, and Prokofiev's musical excerpts work fine. It was also Allen's third film out of four where overthrowing a leader is one of the main plot points!
Overall, I'm glad I gave it a second look. I can see where Allen was headed, and that leap with ANNIE HALL is monumental. SLEEPER is still the best of his early work.
It's so easy to "dismiss" a comedy like this having seen it once in the VHS days in your house. If you'd seen it in a theater with a full house you would know that not one thing falls flat - it was non-stop laughs from start to finish. Watching these films years later by yourself, whether on VHS and/or Blu-ray, you simply cannot judge what worked and what didn't with an audience. You can, of course, have your opinion on the bits you think fall flat but every comedy film that one views alone are going to have bits that fall flat that don't, in fact, fall flat at all in a theater with an audience.
 

lark144

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It's so easy to "dismiss" a comedy like this having seen it once in the VHS days in your house. If you'd seen it in a theater with a full house you would know that not one thing falls flat - it was non-stop laughs from start to finish. Watching these films years later by yourself, whether on VHS and/or Blu-ray, you simply cannot judge what worked and what didn't with an audience. You can, of course, have your opinion on the bits you think fall flat but every comedy film that one views alone are going to have bits that fall flat that don't, in fact, fall flat at all in a theater with an audience.
When I watch these films at home I can still remember how they played with an audience and what particular lines got the biggest laughs. Of course, when you're dealing with an audience, it's not just individual laugh lines, for it builds from one line to the next. Having people laughing around you is infectious, and these films were designed to be seen with an audience.

Also, some of the lines are purposefully not quite as funny, as you want to give people a little break from non-stop laughing. And no one was better at fine-turning a script for laughter than Woody Allen.

I remember going to see "Interiors" at the New Yorker on a Saturday night. It was a full house and everyone was laughing. And we weren't laughing at the film but with it. "Interiors" is really funny but in very subtle ways. It's more visual then verbal. And if I hadn't seen it with that audience, I don't think I would have gotten it.
 
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JoeStemme

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It's so easy to "dismiss" a comedy like this having seen it once in the VHS days in your house. If you'd seen it in a theater with a full house you would know that not one thing falls flat - it was non-stop laughs from start to finish. Watching these films years later by yourself, whether on VHS and/or Blu-ray, you simply cannot judge what worked and what didn't with an audience. You can, of course, have your opinion on the bits you think fall flat but every comedy film that one views alone are going to have bits that fall flat that don't, in fact, fall flat at all in a theater with an audience.
Please, are you serious?! I've seen THOUSANDS of movies both at home and in theaters including just about every single Woody Allen film.
I can deal.:rolleyes:
 

haineshisway

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Please, are you serious?! I've seen THOUSANDS of movies both at home and in theaters including just about every single Woody Allen film.
I can deal.:rolleyes:
Roll your eyes all you like - I responded to your first sentence, was it not accurate? "I had largely dismissed it after seeing it once back in the VHS era." You saw it on VHS at home for the first time, NOT with an audience. We've all seen thousands of films in theaters, but that wasn't what your post was about - you didn't see THIS film in a theater and I was merely pointing out seeing it with an audience is a whole other experience. I thought I was pretty clear.
 
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JoeStemme

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Roll your eyes all you like - I responded to your first sentence, was it not accurate? "I had largely dismissed it after seeing it once back in the VHS era." You saw it on VHS at home for the first time, NOT with an audience. We've all seen thousands of films in theaters, but that wasn't what your post was about - you didn't see THIS film in a theater and I was merely pointing out seeing it with an audience is a whole other experience. I thought I was pretty clear.
So, everybody who's ever seen a comedy only on the tube over the past 70 years of TV isn't able to judge it merits?

Think about that. This is after all a "Home Theater" forum. You know, discussing watching movies on TV.

Please.
 
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JoeStemme

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Yes, let's. Your 'point' is the most fatuous I've encountered in discussing films over the past four decades.
 

Robin9

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Yes, let's. Your 'point' is the most fatuous I've encountered in discussing films over the past four decades.
You're mistaken. The point being made is not fatuous at all. There is a huge difference between watching a comedy film at home and watching it with a big audience.
 

JoeStemme

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You're mistaken. The point being made is not fatuous at all. There is a huge difference between watching a comedy film at home and watching it with a big audience.
Nobody would dispute that. Certainly not I. I am as strong an advocate for the cinema experience as anyone. But, the idea that you would ignore 70 years+ of home viewing is fatuous. One uses their theatrical viewing experiences when judging a film watched purely at home. How many millions of people have fallen in love with comedic films over the past 7 or 8 decades that were experienced only at home? Countless.
And the notion that someone like myself who has seen 40+ Woody Allen films in a theater, can't judge one of the 3 or 4 that I haven't - is asinine.
As I wrote in my first reply: I can deal.
 
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