*** Official Scoop Review & Discussion Thread (Please use Spoiler Tags)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Steve...O, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    After reading some positive reviews my wife and I went to see Scoop yesterday. We both thought it was quite entertaining. Allen was funny without being annoying and the two young leads (Johansson and Jackman) were quite engaging.

    I don't want to give away anything so I won't go into specific plot points, but it did seem to be the perfect blend of mystery, fantasy and comedy while making it all seem halfway believable . Best of all, it wasn't overly long (about an hour and a half).

    The theater was packed which could be a sign that Woody has a hit on his hands. This is my favorite Allen movie since Curse of the Jade Scorpion/Hollywood Ending came out several years back.

    Any other HTF members see this yet?
     
  2. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    I saw it this afternoon, and I pretty much agree with you. Scoop doesn't come anywhere near Woody's best, but it's a fine, light entertainment. My screening was pretty full as well, and there were several places where the whole crowd erupted with laughter.

    Plus it has Scarlett Johansson in a wet bathing suit. That's worth at least an extra star in my book. [​IMG]

    I've seen at least one review that called this Allen's worst movie ever. That's just ludicrous (did the writer NOT see Anything Else?). If you like Woody's films give this one a watch.
     
  3. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I should be seeing it sometime this week. It's only playing in 2 theaters around here and it's rare for an Allen film to open in Louisville. I think the last one that did that was EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU.

    I'm glad to hear that the crowds were good. A friend told me that the screening he went to was sold out.
     
  4. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    A lot of people compared Match Point to Crimes and Misdemeanors. Going by that logic, this is sort of like the new century Manhattan Murder Mystery.

    I also liked this movie too. It was pretty funny. The initial boat sequence had several different people laughing out loud, probably because each realized what the boat meant at different times. Allen's role in this movie is also probably his best on screen role since Small Time Crooks. He doesn't seem overly pushy, and his neurotic side is just right for this sidekick.
     
  5. Jerry R Colvin

    Jerry R Colvin Stunt Coordinator

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    "It's only playing in 2 theaters around here and it's rare for an Allen film to open in Louisville. I think the last one that did that was EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU."

    What are you talking about...? I moved to Louisville in 1990, and have seen every Woody Allen movie released since then, either at the Vogue or at Baxter Filmworks. Match Point played at Baxter Filmworks earlier this year....
     
  6. Dave Hackman

    Dave Hackman Stunt Coordinator

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    Scarlett Johansson plays Sondra Pransky an English journalism student on vacation in London. While attending a vaudeville performance by the great Splendini who’s real name is Sid Waterman (Woody Allen) Sondra finds herself chosen to be part of Sid’s de-materializing act. Once in the box and the magic words are spoken she sees the ghost of Joe Strombel (Ian Mcshane) a well-respected dead reporter. This guy was so good he even got a scoop while traveling by boat in the after life. Joe was so determined to break the story that he materializes before Sondra and gives her the name of the Tarot Card killer who is killing prostitutes in London.

    The alleged killer is Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman) a wealthy good-looking man who is the least likely person one would consider a murderer. Sondra enlists Sid initially against his will to help her verify this ghostly tip.

    When this movie first started it appeared to be a real disaster. It opens with a cheesy after life scene that is followed up by the first appearance of a dead reporter. Once Sid and Sondra begin looking for clues I was able to get into it and enjoy the many funny moments. The laughs are in the bantering back and forth between Sid and Sondra as they make up stuff on the fly and try to mingle amongst Lyman’s rich friends.

    I read reviews stating that they wished Woody would cut more of himself out of the movie and I disagree completely. I loved every scene with Woody and felt he carried the film. I wouldn’t even want to image Scarlett attempting to carry this on her own. I don’t like her much but she gave her performance a ditsy nerdy-ness that worked. Jackman was nothing like Wolverine and he did a great job.

    This is definitely for an older crowd who enjoys laughing at the subtle jokes that Woody plants in the dialog.

    B
     
  7. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Re-read what I wrote. I said to open in Louisville. MATCH POINT opened 2 months after its release date on 1/31. This is the first film in a VERY long time to not open months after the original release.
     
  8. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Finally. Something I want to see at the movies.
     
  9. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Overall, a very strong [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] rating. Not as brilliant as MATCH POINT but it's certainly worth watching even if you aren't a fan of Allen. For my money Allen is back in top form that makes me drooling for his next film. That wasn't the case after CURSE but now I can't wait to see what he does next. ANYTHING ELSE was certainly flawed but I liked the change to Allen's character and I thought the screenplay was his strongest in years. MELINDA AND MELINDA was a sly, Bergman-like comedy/drama, which I enjoyed a lot and as I've already said, MATCH POINT was a major breakthrough. SCOOP isn't among Allen's best but it's certainly a delightful little film that I'll be able to watch over and over.


    As for the crowd, I'd say there was around 35 people at the 1pm showing. The manager said this was more than any other movie playing, which included PIRATES, CARS, SUPERMAN, MIAMI VICE and a couple other "hit" films. [​IMG]
     
  10. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Mike, I've been putting off seeing MATCH POINT for a long time and I wish I hadn't, but I do mean to get to it eventually. But for me, I like seeing Woody Allen in his films and I mainly enjoy comedies with him featured as his usual nebish character.
     
  11. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    MATCH POINT is certainly the most un-Woody-like film I've seen from him.


    Then you should enjoy this as long as you don't go in expecting anything great like his 70's stuff. Johansson gets most of the screen time but she does great with it.
     
  12. Jerry R Colvin

    Jerry R Colvin Stunt Coordinator

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    Match Point started playing at Louisville's Baxter Ave. Filmworks on Jan. 27. I still have my stub proving I saw it there that night.

    It wouldn't have opened anywhere on 1/31. That was a Tuesday.
     
  13. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    My my my my my.

    My bad on the date. MATCH POINT opened in Louisville on 1/27 while the original release date was 12/28, which means Louisville got it a month after the original release date. My point again: Louisville doesn't get these films usually until way after the original release date so SCOOP was a first in a very long while. The smallest frame time I have is SMALL TIME CROOKS, which opened two weeks after the original date.
     
  14. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I just saw the film.

    Meh.... not bad, but just thoroughly average Allen, at best. Woody continues to push it past the limits, much like he did with ANYTHING ELSE (which was another disappointment for me). I didn't see that much which hit me as funny here - at least not this first time out - and Woody struck me as showing his age, and coming off as quite slow and achingly slurring his lines. I don't know how much of that was intended, but he just seemed more tired than ever to me. Now, in all fairness, I originally said kind of the same thing when I saw him in more "recent" films like SMALL-TIME CROOKS and HOLLYWOOD ENDING, but I've come to think those two films are good (though I still don't think much of CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION). Another problem with SCOOP is that it's so much of "been here, done that" with the typical Allen murder mysteries and sneaking about looking for clues. My wife didn't care for the movie, and we both felt Scarlett Johansson acting came off as "put on".
     
  15. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw this movie Sunday night and I thought it was wonderful. I don't get why this movie is getting slammed by the critics (check out rottentomatoes.com). Despite what the critics are saying, the movie is loaded with positive reviews on imdb.

    Like the others here who saw it, the theater I was at had pretty good attendance and the audience was laughing at just about every joke. I've been seeing every new Allen film since Small Time Crooks and this film has by far gotten the best reaction from the audience.

    I don't think it was cheesy, I think it was funny. It set the tone for the rest of the film; lightweight, breezy, entertaining, with more than a hint of fantasy.
     
  16. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    Based on the reviews here, I'll go check it out. I was deterred from what I saw on RT.

    ~T
     
  17. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    The "after life" scenes also reminded me of an Allen spoof of Bergman's THE SEVENTH SEAL.
     
  18. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    In the interest of balance, I guess I'll speak up.

    We went to see Scoop this past weekend and were very disappointed. My wife and I aren't what you'd call "big Woody Allen fans" but we do generally enjoy his stuff so I think our expectations were quite reasonable. We figured it would be funny, charming and perhaps a bit silly and inconsequential given the premise. Especially given the dearth of really good movies this summer I'd been looking forward to seeing Scoop ever since seeing the trailers back in the spring.

    Honestly, I can't believe that we saw the same movie as you guys are describing in this thread. Different strokes and all that but I can't recall the last time I saw a movie so thrown together, unpolished and inert. Almost every scene between Scarlett and Woody had the feel of a rehearsal runthrough with them taking turns saying their lines rather than making any connection or even interacting. Comedy is all about timing and there was none evident here. At his best Woody does great stream of consciousness riffs that drag you along with the tortured logic of his trademark neurotic characterisation but in Scoop he was like a half wound down clock that can only intermittently keep up with something like real time. Conversely, Johansson performed most of her dialog at a steady, monotonous trotting pace that could actually work effectively with only an occasional apt verbal stumble or well-placed momentary pause. But the lines just sort of flowed at that one medium-fast clip until she got to the end of the scene.

    And as for the dialog itself, I thought for the opening few minutes of Splendini's first scene that he was going for some sort of wierd, ironic take on our memories of Borscht Belt patter as filtered through the "Woody" character in movies like Broadway Danny Rose. Eventually it dawned on me that there was no irony intended. The character in Scoop really did talk like a bad lounge-act impersonation of an old Woody Allen movie. How many times did he say "A credit to your race"? It wasn't that funny the first time and was just lame used as a runner.

    Hugh Jackman has a lot of presence (and looks better in a bathing suit than Scarlett Johansson) but it was excruciating watching him try to find anything to react off of in the presence of his costars. I swear you could often see his eyes scanning the set in the manner of a cocktail party guest being cornered by a sloppy drunk. At other times when conversing with Sondra/Jade he seemed to have trouble supressing a grin, whether out of amusement or embrassment I could not tell.

    The whole movie reminded me more of a filmed rehersal than a finished product. Each actor seemed more interested in getting his/her lines delivered than in feigning an emotional connection to the others (or even making eye contact for goodness sake) and the timing was more akin to a TV sitcom in need of a laugh track than a Woody Allen comedy. And the plot, in addition to being a rehash, was preposterous. Not that a farce needs a believable plot but Scoop didn't have enough jokes and pratfalls to even be a comedy, let alone a farce. I hope Woody was able to film this one quickly and on the cheap because any time and money he spent beyond the bare minimum does not show up on the screen.
     
  19. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    I knew the lovely Scarlett Johansson had made another film with Woody Allen but never got to see it. Well, one of my brothers and his wife invited me over to see this film tonight on dvd. It was released in theaters back in July 2006.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Starring Scarlett, Hugh Jackman, and Woody Allen, this is a pretty cute and clever little movie. We laughed quite a bit and thought that Woody Allen and Scarlett were a good team in this. (No...they are just allies here). But it works and is alot of fun. Not an extremely difficult film to follow and may not make many peoples Top 10 list but a very solid film.

    A snippett from The New York Times:
    It's a good dvd and a really good watching experience. Give it try when you can. [​IMG]

    8.5/10. [​IMG]
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    "Scoop" was the in-flight movie for my last trip to California; I don't think I'd even heard of this movie when it was out. I normally enjoy in-flight movies; I've found fun fare like "Fools Rush In" and "The Devil Wears Prada" that I might not have otherwise seen. And being in-flight, with nothing else doing, I've got a low threshold for being entertained.

    "Scoop" was unwatchable.

    I took off my headphones and went back to reading "The Economist" about 20 minutes in. The flight back, the movie selection was screwed up and they played "Scoop" again, so I gave it another shot. Again, I gave up in short order.

    Perhaps I'm just not a Woody Allen fan, but he killed the movie. His character was a caricature, a satire of Woody Allen characters. He was the annoying sidekick that killed recent Disney animations. Had he been excised, perhaps the movie would have had a chance.

    As for the rest of it, with Allen, it was tedious. Small town girl chasing big city killer with an inexplicable ghost popping up to advance the plot to Scarlett and the audience. It just wasn't interesting.

    This is a so-tedious-I'd-leave-the-theater-movie. But I was at 30,000 feet so I couldn't.

    2/10
     

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