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Crimes and Misdemeanors

review by Zach B.


Rated PG-13

Studio: MGM

Running Time: 104 minutes

Starring Caroline Aaron, Alan Alda, Woody Allen, Claire Bloom, Mia Farrow, Joanna Gleason, Anjelica Huston, Matin Landau, Jenny Nichols, Jerry Orbach, Sam Waterson

Written and Directed by Woody Allen

Retail Price: $19.98

Features: Theatrical Trailer, Collectible Booklet

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Mono, French Mono, Spanish Mono, English Closed Captions, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Scene Selections (16 Scenes)

Cliff Stern (Woody Allen) is a documentary filmmaker who's attempting to make a movie about a professor, until he is offered to make a profile at about a succesful TV producer named Lester (Alan Alda). Cliff is not pleased with Lester, as the two are pretty much opposites. Things get a bit tricky when Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau) learns that his ex-mistress, Dolores Paley (Anjelica Houstn) is planning to exploit him with everything he has. Jack (Jerry Orbach), Judah's mobster brother, suggests to have Dolores killed, Jack has to make a big choice. While it should be pretty obvious what to do (kill her or have her tell expose him), it isn't to Judah. Meanwhile, Cliff has his own choices to make. What happens and what they do will come together and effect those around them.

Here we go! "Crimes and Misdemeanors" is truly one of Allen's best films, in fact, I'd rank it as one of the top five. There are some truly inspired scenes here and a lot of great lines. This is movie is hilarious and has a good deal of comedy, but with that, comes some deep themes. The central theme of this Allen movie is mortality and values. Characters here have to face what they stand for and the right choices as well as the consequences. I keep mentioning this, but what makes Allen such a good filmmaker as while we can't always relate to the situations, we can relate to the characters and their dillemas. Here, people face big decisions every single day. Sometimes they make the right moves, sometimes they don't. For what people do wrong, they sometimes get away with it but other times they don't and must face the worst. There's also themes of staying true to yourself. What I liked about this movie too was the use of flashbacks and how they were effective. Allen lets this movie flow at a great, live and entertaining pace. Great comedy, great situations and great dialogue make it a winner.

The cast here is also marvelous. Anjelica Houston and Martin Landau have great chemistry together, while Alan Alda and Woody Allen are pretty funny from their end. The rest of the cast too is great and makes it believable and fun. So, whatever you do, don't miss "Crimes and Misdemeanors" because it's classic, pure Allen. A great story with great issues to further explore and reach out into our lives.

The transfer for "Crimes and Misdemeanors" is really sharp and looks nice in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, complete in anamorphic widescreen. Despite some noise, blemishes and dirt that isn't too bad, this is a really fine transfer. Colors are staturated nicely, fleshtones and blacks are dead-on, the hues are good and so is detail. This is a very nice transfer and I'm glad since this movie deserves it highly.

The English mono track has high fidelity and sounds pretty new. Dialogue is crisp and clear, not muffled or overpowered. Music sounds very good as well as the nice sounds that are throughout the movie. It won't blow you away, but for what it is it works very well and it is pleasing. French and Spanish mono tracks are included too, plus English closed captions and your usual MGM French and Spanish subtitles.

A very nice collectible booklet with good information about the movie and good perspective is included, plus the Theatrical Trailer.

Don't miss one of Allen's best. A nice presentation and the usual Allen features, this is a movie anyone can enjoy with a good story that has a good meaning. This is one movie that I think everyone should own. If you haven't seen it, you owe it yourself to check it out.

(4.5/5 - NOT included in final score)




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