I never know what to make of hypnotism.
In theory, it's a pretty cool "power", for lack of a better word. But is it real?
Does it really happen? Or are those people you see on TV from time to time barking like a dog on command just acting?
Well, I dunno if it's real, but it supposedly is very influential, and that is the plot device in Woody Allen's
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion.
Prolific writer - director Woody Allen brings us another rapid-fire comedy, this one set in 1940 New York.
I can't really say much for Allen as a director; He's not really all about clever camera angles and the like. No, obviously his strength lies in his dialogue, which spews forth with a sharp wit that is pretty rare. (Personally, I think Kevin Smith is a sort of Generation X version of Allen, a mediocre director with a great head for dialogue. I know, Smith's got a dirty mouth, while Allen's more implicit, but you know what I mean. But why am I talking about Kevin Smith? I already reviewed JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK last week!)
Anyway, the first thing that always happens when I see a Woody Allen movie is that I gotta get over his appearance. He's old. I mean, he constantly cast's himself with younger women, and quite frankly, it's pretty fucking gross. I mean, come on, in his last few films he's been with Mira Sorvino, Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron, and Helen Hunt.
Woody, get a grip on the old ego there, will ya bud? Sheesh.
But once I get used to seeing the tired old man on screen, I just listen to the dialogue, and appreciate the fine acting that usually accompanies the script.
The acting here was great. Allen has played this role, be it in different characters, so many times that he's just perfect. Helen Hunt is never disappointing, although I have yet to see her come close to her gripping performance in PAY IT FORWARD. Here she is just fine, but if I can be an asshole for a moment (OK, OK, I'm always an asshole), she's not looking so much like the cutie that I once thought epitomized America's girl next door. Sorry, I can be so shallow at times!.
Charlize Theron has a small role here, and she's pretty great. She has this awesome, throaty voice, and Fucking A, she looks amazing with a Veronica Lake-like 'do! Dan Ackroyd is pretty good too, as are David Odgen Stiers and Wallace Shawn.
So yeah, overall, I enjoyed The Curse of the Jade Scorpion.
No, it's not a movie for every one. Kids and teens would be bored to death, as would people who don't appreciate dialogue heavy, action-less movies. I'm not being pompous here…it's not like I'm crazy about all of Allen's films. Hell, I've only seen a handful. But I feel this was an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours…