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Click above to purchase "Shadows and Fog" at amazon.com

 

Shadows and Fog

review by Zach B.

 

Rated PG-13

Studio: MGM

Running Time: 85 minutes

Starring Woody Allen, Kathy Bates, John Cusack, Mia Farrow, Jodie Foster, Fred Gwynne, Julie Kavner, Madonna, John Malkovich, Kenneth Mars, Kate Nelligan, Donald Pleasence, Lily Tomlin

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)

Kleinman (Woody Allen) is a bookkeeper who is awakened one night by a vigilante group to help capture a killer who strangles his victims. However, Kleinman doesn't know what he should exactly do. He soon meets Irmy (Mia Farrow) when the circus comes to town, who is running away from her clown boyfriend (John Malkovich). However, when he doesn't expect it, the whole killer thing comes back to him and it's time for Kleinman to go right into the shadows and fog.

"Shadows and Fog" is Allen's homage to German expressionist cinema, and it's a very enjoyable film. It's in black and white, and while it may seem dark it is very funny. The scenarios and situations are quite interesting, while the characters themselves are unique and well developed. This is one of Allen's most original films. The dialogue and moments are great, and it goes out at a quick pace. It's a very entertaining and interesting film that a lot should enjoy if they check it out, Allen fans or not. There's also some interesting themes and metaphors within the context. It's a mysterious and fantasy-driven film sortof. The movie has a lot of elements and areas that come together.

Allen has a great, legendary cast for this one and the acting is very natural and good. Allen is his usual fun and quirky self, while Mia Farrow is good as Irmy. John Malkovich has solid delivery and is very unique as the clown (I like Malkovich as an actor), while Julie Kavner and Madonna offer some solid performances too. Lily Tomlin and Jodie Foster also pop up. There's a lot of great acting and great moments in this movie. It's not for everyone, but it is unique and I suggest you don't miss it. One of Allen's more developed, intriguing and finer films.

The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is fantastic. It is very sharp, there's a little grain and blemishes pop up here and there, the same thing for pieces of dirt and scratches. Black levels are sold too, and the black and white look and feel to it is very nice. This is a solid MGM transfer that works well and creates the chilling, eerie and moody points of the film.

The English mono track really surprised me. Fidelity is pretty high and the sounds in this movie are great. Nothing overpowers the dialogue, which sounds clear, sharp and crisp. No distortion or anything there. The music sounds alive and adds to the movie while sounds such as footsteps, crowds and doors closing sound great. A great mono track, believe it or not that I found impressive. Classic Allen mono does work. French and Spanish mono tracks are also included, plus English closed captions and French and Spanish subtitles.

A very informative keep case collectible booklet is included, plus the nice Theatrical Trailer in full frame.

A very unique film from Allen that his fans will enjoy plus those who have open minds and are willing to give something a chance. World film lovers should eat this one too. With a good sense of mystery and a nice touch of comedy, and good writing and acting plus directing, "Shadows and Fog" is one great movie from Allen that sure does please.

(4/5 - NOT included in final score)

(4.5/5)

(4/5)

(.5/5)

(3.5/5, NOT an average)

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