Shadows and Fog Reviews
While I can appreciate his work as a director / writer, I feel that as an actor he is a one trick pony. And unfortunately that "pony" is a sad, annoying and pathetic putz. Which can be good for a chuckle once in awhile and in the right context, but when it's all that you do...it ceases to ammuse.
While he is slightly less annoying (then usual) here, I feel that his presence really detracts from the film.
Aside from that...the film is beautifully shot and wonderfully cast. The music is amamzing and perfectly suited to compliment the look and feel that Allen was going for.
I would have to say that while I haven't seen ALL of his films, of the handfull that I have seen...this is probably one of my top three "Woody Allen Films".
The slapstick humour was so plain and wasteful I wasn't really laughing because I thought to myself and said "Haven't I've seen this suff before?" Towards the end of the film I didn't care if Allen and his cast found the killer or not because the movie already dived and bombed. There is an excellent all star cast and a tremendous black and white look reminiscent to the films of German Expressionism and film noir, but imo it is better to rent or watch those films on DVD/TCM. If one is going to pay homage, might as well make it compelling and moving like "The Artist". "Shadows And Fog" is not a success.
This is the most visually tantalizing film by Woody Allen, with the possible exception of Manhattan's opening five minutes. Steeped in... well, shadows and fog, every scene plays out like everyone's awake at 4:00 in the morning, not quite themselves, not quite sure of what's going on them. Judging by reviews of the film, many people felt the message was too convoluted, trapped beneath an impressive cast list and jokes that fall flat. The message takes some thinking through, especially with the misleadingly happy ending that may seem unsatisfying and trite if taken at face value. The image of Allen's character never knowing what his part in the plan is (although everyone else seems to know and finds him incompetent for not knowing) stuck with me long after the film ended. Not a perfect Allen film, but one worth hashing through afterwards.