I haven't seen '(500) Days of Summer', but if it's similar to 'Annie Hall', the various tricks which Allen pulls off will probably not be as surprising and effective, if you've seen the later film first. I have to admit to being a bit surprised, though, because I think that 'Annie Hall' is really clever and funny. Perhaps, you just don't like the Woody Allen movie persona?
That's a well-argued post and, of course, different people see different things in movies and react to them accordingly. In contrast to you, I hated the soundtrack, for example. Concerning the detachment of the movie from its protagonists, well, I didn't find them interesting enough to just watch what they are doing (which wasn't interesting either). But, hey, I might just be too old to appreciate 'The Bling Ring'. When I was complaing that I'd seen enough of people taking selfies on their mobile phones, my wife just said that this just is not our generation.
I recently watched to pretty old movies:
Funny Face (1957)
Those MGM musicals of the 1950ies certainly had style. This also applies to ‘Funny Face’, which technically isn’t one of them, because it had been made at Paramount. However, many members of Arthur Freed’s famed production unit have been involved in making ‘Funny Face’, such as director Stanley Donen and the male lead, Fred Astaire.
Astaire plays a fashion photographer, who suggests to the editor of the new fashion magazine “Pink!” to do a photo shoot in a bookstore, which happens to be run by super photogenic Audrey Hepburn. Of course, the photographer wants her to become a model. The problem is that her character despises the shallow fashion industry and is more of an intellectual type, visiting cafés in Greenwich Village where people wear black turtleneck jumpers and recite Beat poetry.
Well, Audrey Hepburn isn’t the most convincing beatnik, but at least she can dance and, it goes without saying, so can Fred Astaire. The dancing sequences and the music, mostly songs by George and Ira Gershwin, are all good. I also thought that the production design was noteworthy. The problem with ‘Funny Face’ is that the contents are utter piffle. I am aware that ‘Funny Face’ was never meant to be anything but lightweight fluff and that its story isn’t the point of the movie. It should hold your attention, though, and I became more and more disinterested in the film. It’s a mediocre musical at best. 5/10
Two Rode Together (1961)
Okay, I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a philistine when it comes to John Ford westerns. I understand why he is regarded as one of the great directors, but to date I’ve only really liked ‘The Man who shot Liberty Valance’ and found ‘The Searchers’ to be a better than average, but not really a good western.
So it’s no surprise that I didn’t like ‘Two Rode Together’, which stars James Stewart as a hard-drinking frontier town lawman, who limits his law enforcement to assisting the saloon owner against a cut from her profits. When relatives of children, who have been abducted by the Comanches, pressure the cavalry to do something about it, the cavalry pressures Stewart’s character to lead a search party and try to ransom the captives. Richard Widmark as a young cavalry officer is also assigned to the group. However, when they make contact with the Comanches, they find that some of the captives are reluctant to return.
The thematic similarities to ‘The Searchers’ are obvious so comparison is inevitable. As much as I’m not a fan of the latter movie, ‘Two Rode Together’ is much worse. There’s hardly any exciting or even memorable scene. Widmark is too old to portray a young soldier and James Stewart is horribly miscast. It’s not that he couldn’t play “dark” characters, but his ambivalent roles in Hitchcock movies were generally good people who were unhealthily obsessed with something. His character here is a cynic and Stewart isn’t believable. The movie has been made too well to be an outright failure, but it’s not worth checking out. 4/10