Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Episode Eleven (Annie Hall / Apocalypse Now)

Good god, it has been two months since I watched something off of my shelf? Far too long. Fortunately, it's two goodies.

Annie Hall (1977)

Director: Woody Allen
Writers: Woody Allen, Marshall Brickman

Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts

A simple, genuine and touching story looking at love and relationships. The dialogue is great, as is the chemistry between Allen and Keaton. Allen is his typical neurotic self in this, but Alvy Singer feels like a much more fleshed-out character than simply Woody Allen "playing himself." What really sets this movie apart is the number of creative methods that Allen utilizes to tell his story: fourth-wall-breaking asides, animated sequences, split screen, subtitles showing us the characters' thoughts, kids speaking as their adult selves, etc. An absolute classic that codified a lot of genre standards and set an incredibly high bar for quality in romantic comedy.

Score: 9 / 10

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writers: John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay), Michael Herr (narration),  and Joseph Conrad (novel "Heart of Darkness")
Stars: Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall

Among the all time great films in its ability to evoke an incredibly strong mood and atmosphere throughout. This is achieved through some amazing performances (especially Duvall and Hopper) and great cinematography, but perhaps most notably in its impeccable use of music and sound. An intense and insane experience throughout, which only becomes more and more surreal and nightmarish as we travel deeper into the jungle. An oppressive, haunting film - a must-watch. "Drop the bomb. Exterminate them all."

Score: 9 / 10

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