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review by Zach B.


Rated PG

Studio: MGM

Running Time: 83 minutes

Starring Denholm Elliott, Mia Farrow, Elaine Stritch, Jack Warden, Sam Waterson, Dianne Wiest

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)

Lane (Mia Farrow) suffers a nervous breakdown, and goes back to her childhood home in Vermont to calm down. There, she starts to fall in love with a writer named Sam (Sam Waterson), but as the film goes on, Lane has to go through all sorts of emotions and comes to grip with a secret that does involve her mother (Elaine Stritch) in a deep way.

The idea of "September" is a good one, but it just didn't work for me. The movie is very intimate and basically focuses on six characters who are all connected by guilt, and while the characters are well developed and the story is pretty solid, I found it boring, not shocking, tedious and uninteresting. It's a dramatic Allen film and while Allen is certainly capable of drama, it doesn't work here so well. I liked the movie, but I felt it could have been better. The dialogue and stories here are good, I just felt it didn't add up the way I wanted to. I found it annoying and overbearing, it just feels a bit forces, dry and too overdramatic. Sure the themes of facing past demons is a good one, but it went too slow and got a bit shallow. There's a lot to take in, but there's usually too much and it becomes a bit cluttered.

The cast here is pretty decent and a bit smaller then most Allen films. I felt the actors lacked soul and warmth into the characters. They do play off one another well and have good chemistry, and seem tight-knit, but there have been better Allen casts. You may have heard this movie was filmed twice, as Allen wasn't happy with it the first time, and he changed some of the cast. I wonder how good it would have been with the old cast. Still, "September" is a melodrama that doesn't quite get it right in the end. You may like it, but you may not. Die-hard Allen fans only should check it out.

"September" has a 1.851 anamorphic transfer that looks very good. Grain and fuzziness are in some scenes, but it's not too distracting. Colors are a little underwhelming but the saturation is good betwen them and fleshtones. Detail is okay and black levels are pretty good. There are scratches, blemishes and pieces of dirt, but nothing too major. This being an older Allen film too, it still looks pretty impressive.

"September" also has mono tracks in English, French and Spanish. They're not great. Dialogue is clear and easy to hear, but fidelity is bit low. Dialogue is not distorted either, while little sounds like crickets and rain sound pretty good. Still, there could have been more but the darker and more key atmosphere makes it sound pretty suitable. A decent mono track that sort of sounds it age but sort of doesn't. English closed captions are included plus French and Spanish subtitles.

The full frame Theatrical Trailer and a good, info-filled collectible booklet inside the keep case.

"September" isn't one of Allen's greatest. The transfer here is okay and the sound is plainfully average. This is a movie you should check out if you have to see everything Allen or if you are interested in it or a sucker for boring dramas.

(3/5 - NOT included in final score)




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