Take the Money and Run was one of this week’s 69 series films. I was so jealous of a group of folks at this screening — it looked like a dad & teenage son, and then two of the teen’s friends. I always am jealous when parents bring kids to revival film (or, really, anything that’s not the prepackaged cereal-and-action-figures tie-in sort of thing) because that never would have happened in my “most film is immoral and indecent and a waste of time and money” family.
They were sitting in front of me, so I got to hear their conversation: if any of them had seen any Allen before, and then it somehow drifted off into Shakespeare in Love (which one of the teens didn’t like because it was too funny & made a joke of Romeo & Juliet, which is actually my problem with Baz’s version), and then complaints about it winning over Saving Private Ryan (which entertained me, because that was a topic of discussion in a friend’s journal the day before.))
The film itself is great, one of the original mockumentaries, with a snappy script & fantastic sight gags. It’s the first film he wrote *and* directed *and* starred in, and as such is essential Allen.
Probably the best thing about State of Play was Helen Mirren; also the direction, Russell Crowe & his long hair, the Great Big Sea needle drop, and the set decoration (this is not meant to be damning with faint praise; the sets, particularly for Cal’s office & the newsroom, were fantastic). Unsurprisingly, UK miniseries is much richer & more satisfying. It’s sort of unavoidable when you take 6 hours down to 2. The film is solid, though, and Jason Bateman’s supporting turn as Dominic Foy is fabulous.