Day 176: Don’t Drink the Water

51K2CVB5NDLWoody Allen adapted this 1994 movies from his 1966 play of the same name.

Don’t Drink the Water, the 25th film Woody Allen directed, opens to voice-over narration, delivered in that sonorous, well-modulated radio-announcer (or TV news anchor – a la Ted Baxter, “The anchor man”) style, and period visuals of the Cold War, circa early 1960s.

But the narrative is convoluted, hard to follow, runs on too long, and uses too many words.

Sort of like the movie itself.

By the time Michael J. Fox appears – and he seems woefully miscast – I’m not only not hooked, I’m turned off.

Plus, Woody used hand-held cinematography again. Yuck. It totally interrupts the flow of the movie, although it appears he was going for a documentary style. So perhaps he Continue reading

Day 173: Husbands and Wives

518V6SXNJ1LHusbands and Wives, Woody’s 22nd turn behind the camera, is a terrible movie, on par with Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask*.

Maybe worse.

For one thing, this 1992 documentary-like film is the most foul-mouthed Woody Allen movie to date. Lots of F-words.

Lots. Of. F. Words.

For another, Husbands and Wives uses my most despised cinematic technique: hand-held camera work. It’s the most pretentious, pseudo-envelope-pushing gimmick in the book. Words can’t express how much I despise this way of filming a movie.

The ends result is a film that’s like seeing the world from a swift-moving roller coaster. Sloshes from side to side, extreme closeups, slow (or fast) zooms…It makes me nauseous.

I’ve walked out of movies with cinematography this shitty, and I’m likely to walk out of this one.

Finally, the subject matter of Husbands and Wives is the most Continue reading