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David Wilkins

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Jul 5, 2001
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Thanks for the warning, RAH.

Does anyone know why the two mentioned, Deconstructing Harry and Sweet and Lowdown have remained so unavailable? They remain two of my favorites from Allen, but even the extensive attention to his catalog by Twilight Time has failed to bring them forth. Here we are well into UHD, and yet they’re still nowhere.
 

Lord Dalek

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^Deconstructing Harry is the lone Woody Allen owned by Warner Bros. Twilight Time never had any relationship with them

As for Sweet and Lowdown, it and the other 90s Woody's owned by Sony (Husbands and Wives, Manhattan Murder Mystery, etc.) seem to have fallen into some sort of black hole.
 

Bob Cashill

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^Deconstructing Harry is the lone Woody Allen owned by Warner Bros. Twilight Time never had any relationship with them

As for Sweet and Lowdown, it and the other 90s Woody's owned by Sony (Husbands and Wives, Manhattan Murder Mystery, etc.) seem to have fallen into some sort of black hole.
Twilight Time had both Husbands and Mystery. The films immediately following this box set, up to Vicky Cristina Barcelona, are also MIA on US Blu-ray.

Allen’s indifference to home video has always struck me as odd, given that I didn’t know what letterboxing was until his insistence that Manhattan always be shown that way outside of theaters. That was a pretty revolutionary stance some 40 years ago.
 

roxy1927

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Considering this is the only way people can see his movies except for his newest film this is a very unfortunate attitude to have. In a perfect world I would see all the films I want to see in a movie theater.
 

Lord Dalek

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Twilight Time had both Husbands and Mystery. The films immediately following this box set, up to Vicky Cristina Barcelona, are also MIA on US Blu-ray.

Allen’s indifference to home video has always struck me as odd, given that I didn’t know what letterboxing was until his insistence that Manhattan always be shown that way outside of theaters. That was a pretty revolutionary stance some 40 years ago.
Well he is famous for being a complete luddite. Don't forget Woody only started making movies in stereo in the last decade and even then only because Philip Glass demanded he do so on Cassandra's Dream.
 

titch

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Apparently, the explanation for his 'mono only' obsession, was that in the early days of Dolby SVA, a lot of installations were so problematic (i.e. either the acoustics of the theatre were problematic or the gear wasn't installed properly) that the sound quality customers were likely to hear was very hit-and-miss. He therefore decided not to 'do' stereo because he wanted to be sure that there'd be a standard result wherever his films were shown, and that customers would be able to hear the dialogue.

Hitchcock rejected stereo for a similar reason: he didn't want customers in a select few first-run venues to get a 'different' track to those in your average suburban fleapit. In particular (he told Truffaut in an interview), he said that if the build up of suspense or another vital function of the film was conveyed through multi-channel audio, then that ran the risk of the effect working on some viewers but not others, depending on which theatre they saw the film in. That's why his VistaVision films didn't use Perspecta.

 

Worth

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Kubrick's decision to stick with mono was also because he thought the implementation of stereo was inconsistent in cinemas. I thought Woody Allen's was more because his films were dialogue driven and scored with old mono jazz recordings.
 

Tim Gerdes

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I didn't realize this was coming until I stumbled on this thread, and I'm grateful that I did. While I'll concede these are merely passable transfers, the previous releases of some of these films are terrible, early DVD transfers. To me $50 for 8 Woody Allen films that look much better than any previous home video release is a no-brainer.

That said, while I am an Allen completist, I consider some in this particular series of films the nadir of his filmmaking (for me he's never been worse than with Small Time Crooks, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Hollywood Ending and Anything Else). But this set also contains the decent Mighty Aphrodite, the very underrated Celebrity, the very, very good Bullets Over Broadway.

And then there is "Everyone Says I Love You." I adore this film, unabashedly. I think the only other person I know who loved it as much as I do is the late great Roger Ebert. If you're a fan of Allen's films, Ebert's review of this one is worth a read. The DVD of this film looks awful, and I love this movie so much, the money was well spent to have a quite decent presentation of the film.

And while I said that Anything Else is one of Allen's worst films, I own and have revisited them all. As Mr. Harris noted Anything else was shot and released in anamorphic panavision. The DreamWorks DVD was released in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen.

As another posted noted, Allen insisted that the home video release of Manhattan was presented in the proper aspect ratio, and the early home video releases on VHS (and if I recall correctly LaserDisc) were presented with grey, not black, bars at the top and the bottom of the screen.

I first saw Manhattan when I was far too young to know what was going on. My mother had rented and was watching the film on VHS and I was struck by the presentation. This film was instrumental to my cinematic education and I have Mr. Allen, and the great Gordon Willis to thank for that. And as this film made me start to appreciate the importance of cinematography and of framing, I suppose that I do care that one of Allen's films is not being presented as intended.

And while Anything Else is certainly no Manhattan, it was shot by Darius Khondji (Se7en, Delicatessen) who does fine work. I'd like to see it as the director and cinematographer intended.

One other random observation, as long as I'm now rambling about cinematography. For those who have stopped following his career, Allen still works with fantastic cinematographers, most recently Vittorio Storaro. I thought Allen's most recent film Rifkin's Festival was quite decent, but it's absolutely worth watching for Storaro's camera work alone.
 

Jeff Adkins

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And then there is "Everyone Says I Love You." I adore this film, unabashedly. I think the only other person I know who loved it as much as I do is the late great Roger Ebert. If you're a fan of Allen's films, Ebert's review of this one is worth a read. The DVD of this film looks awful, and I love this movie so much, the money was well spent to have a quite decent presentation of the film.
I think I probably love it as much as you do. I think it's one of the best films of the 90s and I agree that this Blu-Ray is light years better than the DVD.
 

roxy1927

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Didn't Allen call Siskel and Ebert those two idiots or something like that?
 

Wayne Klein

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Mar 9, 2005
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Allen’s reputation has been badly tarnished so I,doubt that anyone will be paying for fresh scans,of his films any time soon. It’s too bad because, regardless of whether one believes he did what he was accused of, he made some classic films. The art and the artist can be separated.
 

Richard Kaufman

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Pedophiles do not molest one child one time. Or even one child two times. They can't control themselves and, as we have seen over and over again, they molest many children many times. Woody Allen is not a pedophile.
 

roxy1927

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Another I am so old thread. I got standing room for The Elephant man on Broadway. Manhattan had recently opened at the Little Carnegie and I went to see it. I loved it. The Booth theater was packed and standing behind me was Marial Hemingway looking exactly like she does in the film. I went up to her and started praising her and the film and she suddenly started smiling and glowing and being embarrassed all at the same time. She was very cute and beautiful.
 

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