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Curse of the Jade Scorpion
Curse of the Jade Scorpion (Soundtrack)

Curse of the Jade Scorpion Review

Directed By: Woody Allen.
Starring: Woody Allen, Helen Hunt, Charlize Theron, Brian Markinson, Dan Aykroyd.

Synopsis: Woody Allen stars as CW Briggs, the top insurance investigator in New York in 1940 - or so he keeps telling the firm's new efficiency expert, Betty Ann 'Fitz' Fitzgerald (Helen Hunt). Briggs prides himself on being able to crack any insurance caper by getting into the mind of the thief, but now, thanks to the hypnotic powers of the Jade Scorpion, the mind of a thief is getting into Briggs.

I'm a big fan of Woody's. Always have been and for all the films of his I do love, I always will be. I loved Crimes and Misdemeanors, Annie Hall, Love and Death, and enjoy films of his that are in the middle ground and at least find something of interest in his weaker efforts...or what everyone else calls his serious films (i.e. Alice and Interiors). Curse of the Jade Scorpion is middle ground Woody Allen, a place where a most of his films from today back to the early 90's reside.

It's not that the man has lost it, he still has a great knack for writing a witty put-down, even when they are extremely long winded (as Helen Hunt would surely attest to after being given some of the longest phrases to slap around C.W. (Allen) with. One her better ones has to do with not 'letting the door smack him on the buttocks and crack his hip'. Hey, at least he ackowledges his age once in awhile.

Dismissing this comedy is not a possibility except for the most close minded...or those who simply dislike Woody Allen, which there are a fair number of. That at least I can don't like Allen...he can be grating at time...but to say the man has never been funny? That's like pointing to the sky and saying 'mucous membrane'. It makes no sense whatsoever.

There are a couple of glitches in the, Charlize Theron throwing herself at Woody Allen...not merely a joke...but a painful thing to watch...word to the wise kids...become a director and cast every fantasy you ever have opposite yourself. At first I blamed Allen, thinking the man is too old for the role...which isn't the case, it was casting Theron too young. A woman in her late 30's early 40's would have not raised an eyebrow...and don't tell me there are not some ladies in Hollywood at that age who can't still raise the sexuality bar to the height needed in the script. Catherine Keener, Michelle Pfeiffer are two names that come to mind and both have a great knack for comedy.

A nice tribute to the old style movies that Allen himself grew up on, with implausible coincidences, a hokey hypnosis plot which has C.W. and Betty Fitzgerald robbing the homes they provided the security and insurance for. Some very funny moments do arise, from C.W. berating a couple of gumshoes who are his competition on the case and the rumours that fly around C.W. when he is on the lamb as they discuss him being 'catlike'. Something about Woody Allen being described as 'catlike' evokes a smile. Go figure.

Not his best film, but certainly not his worst, and as I mentioned before, worth the look. Compared to some of the so-called comedies out there at least Woody's doesn't resort to a slew of dick and fart jokes...although that would be one whacked out direction for the Woodman to go. 2.5 stars out 5.

Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul

DVD Information:

Special Features:
Scene Access
Interactive Menus
Theatrical Trailer
Cast/Crew Bios
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic) Audio:
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Mono [CC]
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Mono
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Mono

The DVD Review:
Sadly, as with all Woody Allen DVD's there are few perks to speak of. Mainly there are the cast and crew bio's as something extra to peruse but don't expect a whole new set of Woody Allen DVD's any day soon.

See, the guy has this thing about watching his own movies...apparently once he's finished with them, that's it. No revisiting ever, so getting him to sit down and provide a commentary...I wish. I would kill for him to spend a few months, go back over his body of work and reminisce about his work. The closest I have been able to find is the book on Woody Allen by Eric Lax which is worth checking out if you can find it. You can find it Amazon with this link for $11.20.

Evil Ash

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