Jews Your Own Adventure

Whatever Works
Seriously, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Trailers & Mo | Official Website

Woody Allen‘s European vacation, including the savory Match Point, the sultry Vicky Christina Barcelona, the fun poop Scoop, and the best of the lot, the underloved Cassandra’s Dream, was such a rousing success that it made the Griswold’s jaunt to the same continent look like a staycation. We hoped the Woodman’s sojourn would never end, but all good things come in their pants, we mean an end, and it was only a splatter of time before he returned to his native New York and park his paranoia. The question is, would his next NY-centric film continue on this new creative march, or juss be more of the same lameness that pre-littered his passport stamps, likeMelinda and Melinda, Small Time Crooksand anything else that was similar to Anything Else. And the answer is… same lameness

The pairing of Larry David and Allen, for his 40th gig as a writer/director, seemed like a stroke of genius, so how then did the finished product turn out to be such a whiff? Slain and pimple, Whatever Works doesn’t really work. It’s mildly amusing, but devoid of any real laffs, even if you wait the entire movie in vain for em. The script was supposedly an old one (is that why it feels so dated?) he had written with Zero Mostel in mind, but Mostel died before he could get it in motion, and it’s probably for the best, as it leaves the wonderful Front as the two’s only cinematic collaboration. David, who’s not really an actor, does a fine enuff job as misanthrope Boris Yellnikoff, but the role, basically a more perturbed version of Allen’s usual nervous nelly screen persona, doesn’t seem to fit into the world that the rest of the movie’s characters live in. Them other characters are sunny and delightful, and the actors playing them try their best with what they’re given. There’s Evan Rachel Wood, basically doing an Amy Adams impression as Boris’ southern Lolita belle Melodie St. Ann Celestine, Patricia Clarkson, as Wood’s conservative mother turned sexually awakened artist, Ed Begley Jr, as her uptight dad who has his own sexual awakening, and The Tudors‘ dreamboat Henry Cavill, who tries to steal Melodie away from Boris. Christopher Evan Welch also gets to show his face after playing the part of VCB‘s narrator. Yet w/o Boris in the picture, the film wouldn’t even be mildly amusing, it would be z-musing, as in snoozzzzzzzzzzzzzzze fest ’87

So, what happened here? Did Woody loose his resurgent mojo on the flight back to JFK? It’s kinda hard to question a man who puts something new out each and every year, even if it doesn’t exactly feel new. Spankfuly, for his next joint Woody’s going back to the old country, and dragging Kidman, Watts, Brolin, Hopkins and Pinto along with him. We haven’t given up completely on his ability to churn out quality NY stories, so for now we’ll juss say, cheerio, but be back soon!

Goying With Our Emotions: NY Mag has a nice little article about the dying brand of Jewish humor that Woody and Larry bring to the table, but outside of Heebs, we doubt many people really care. the only thing goys really need to know about Jewish humor (that will never die) is some good ole Yiddish words and terms, so they too can kvetch like the chosen peoples, or at least understand what they’ve kvetching about. here’s 40 words to get ya started, and here’s two of the greatestest posters of balls thymes

Verdictgo: Sum Merit But No Stinkin Badges

Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Til Megadeth Do Us Part
Trailers & Mo | Official Website

There are so many documentaries out there about those who have made it, but what about those who are less fortunate, who haven’t quite made it and are forever stuck in obscurity still trying to get to the top? Gawd bless the dreamers, for they give us hope that anything’s possible, even when it isn’t. That’s the story of Canadian trash metal band Anvil, and although Sacha Gervasi(writer of The Terminal and an upcoming Herve Villechaize biopic)’s doc is the story of Anvil (sez so in the title), it’s more about the story of Anvil today than the complete history of Anvil. Guess there’s more humor and sadness looking at their current state of affairs than dwelling on their past, when fame was in their grasp, but were never able to grab hold of it. The line-up has changed over the years, but the core (Jew) duo of lead singer/guitarist Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow and drummer
Robb Reiner juss don’t know the definition of quitting, even if that’s what they probably should have done ages ago. Now that the film has found a nice sized audience, setting the twitterverse a blaze with gushing mentions, and the band has been asked to open for AC/DC on a couple of dates next month, quitting no longer is a viable option. Yet when the attention dies down, will they go right back to shmosville? Anvil is mos def worth a peepers, but if yer looking for bigger dreams and perhaps even more heartbreak, czech out The Devil & Daniel Johnston, Chasing Ghosts and In The Realms of The Unreal (and if yer really hard up, here’s a nice list of docs to keep ya busy)

Burn In URL: be sure to czech out Anvil’s website, which looks like it was hobbled together by Mennonites from 1807 (we mean that as a complement), which includes hot merchandise and medium rare photos

Verdictgo: Jeepers Mos Def Worth A Peepers

Whatever Works is not working today in NY/LA only, while Anvil is hammering it home in select cities across the country

and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…

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