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Annie Hall and Manhattan Blu-ray Reviews


“Manhattan” is one of Woody Allen’s best films.

While original, the universal acclaim for “Annie Hall” is downright baffling.


Often called the quintessential New York film, “Manhattan” revolves around Isaac and the women in his life. There’s his charming high school girlfriend (Tracy), his lesbian novelist ex-wife (Jill) and an intelligent journalist (Mary) who also happens to be the mistress of his pal Yale.

“Manhattan” is the type of film that actually gets better with age. The older you get, the more sense it makes. It’s a deeply adult film about relationships (chaotic or otherwise), innocence, love, pain, lust, heartbreak, indecision, confusion, frustrations, and careers. In other words, it’s a film about life. The film doesn’t offer up any happy endings nor does it really have any answers or philosophies about life, it simply tells it like it is through the character’s point of view which is what makes it so fascinating. It’s a portrait of a character and the relationships in his life and it feels so matter-of-factly. Of course, the entire ensemble cast, George Gershwin’s score, and the lush Black and White cinematopgraphy by Gordon Willis also really sell the film as well. But, I think it’s safe to say that Woody Allen’s script is the real star here


From the opening montage of shots of New York to the bench by the bridge shot, this Blu-ray gave me chills. New York has never looked better in B&W 2.35:1 1080p.

The DTS-HD Mono track is a bit soft which means you might have to crank up the sound a bit.

The only extra is a theatrical trailer.

Annie Hall:

Told in a unique narrative fashion, “Annie Hall” focuses on a comedian named Alvy Singer who looks back on his complicated relationship with Annie Hall. Throughout the movie, there also strange aside fantasies and flashbacks scattered throughout.

While I’ve always been a fan of the works of Woody Allen, I’ve never understood the praise for “Annie Hall” (and that’s not just because it beat “Star Wars” out for best picture). I have seen the film several times, but I just don’t see what others who love the film see in it. I find the first 20 minutes with the hilarious “waiting in line at a movie” scene and “The Sorrow And The Pity” gag to be classic Allen, but aftet that, the movie really lags (especially in the middle). The rise and fall of a relationship storyline isn’t particularly revolutionary and, aside from Woody Allen and Diane Keaton’s great on screen chemistry, I don’t feel this film has as much to say as a “Manhattan” for instance. Granted, there’s some really creative writing here to be sure, but when it’s all said and done, it’s still just a story about a lost love.


“Annie Hall” doesn’t look anywhere near as good as “Manhattan.” The 1.85:1 1080p picture quality is generally very grainy, but some of the exterior shots look exceptional.

The DTS-HD Mono audio track, on the other hand, is much livelier than “Manhattan.” Basically, It’s a give and take situation with these 2 discs.

In typical Woody Allen disc fashion, the only extra is a theatrical trailer.



February 10, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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