Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

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rohmerin
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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#51 Post by rohmerin » Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:51 pm

Well. Thank you, but I don't see nothing about summer and a beach day.
I suppose that Fire Island is a better option. Or other even closer and less gay.
I'd like to go to that gay Gomorrah beach.

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jorencain
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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#52 Post by jorencain » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:03 am

That looks great. I like the Sirk-ian lighting in some of those interior scenes.

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Ribs
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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#53 Post by Ribs » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:22 pm

Early reactions are pouring in ahead of the proper premiere tonight, and they're mixed trending on negative, aside from the as-expected raves for Winslet and Storaro. Things can change once actual reviews start coming and the news cycle this week has been especially terrible to end with a big gala premiere of a new Woody Allen film, and it seems to have some fans, but thus far it doesn't really seem like it'll be on the same level of success with the general critical audience as Midnight in Paris or Blue Jasmine was.

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Dylan
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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#54 Post by Dylan » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:58 am

The Woody Allen Pages gives a good overview of the critical response Wonder Wheel received today. Overall, the critics didn't really cotton to it, but one can say that about most new Woody Allen films. As Ribs wrote above, both Kate Winslet and Vittorio Storaro have received some incredibly high praise for their work, and it seems both may be poised for an Oscar nomination (if Storaro gets an Oscar nomination for this, it will be his first since Dick Tracy).

I think this film looks amazing from the trailer, and I can't wait to see it.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#55 Post by Dylan » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:50 pm

A lengthy video of the NYFF Vittorio Storaro and Ed Lachman master class is online, and while fans of both cinematographers will find it to be of supreme interest, Storaro and his work on Wonder Wheel takes up the majority of the talk (mostly because Storaro is such an emotional, philosophical, and poetic speaker that his answers are naturally longer, while Lachman is comparatively direct and to the point). I especially love how Storaro describes the home of Kate Winslet's character Ginny, which is located in the dead center of Coney Island, with carnival rides visible from every window in the house. I can't wait to see how this location functions in the film. This detail - along with the trailer - speaks to some of the buzz (possibly hyperbole) that Wonder Wheel is the most visually ambitious film of Woody Allen's career.

Also, I didn't know that Lachman was Storaro's assistant on Bertolucci's Luna.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#56 Post by HitchcockLang » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:52 am

Phew! I was really worried this wouldn't hit home media, but there's already a pre-order link for BD/DVD/Digital combo and a DVD. Apparently, Universal is handling the home media distribution.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#57 Post by Dylan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:56 pm

Wonder Wheel is currently 34% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the worst-reviewed feature film of Woody Allen's career. Keeping in mind Amazon's scant "blink and you'll miss" distribution of Wonderstruck - a rather positively reviewed film that isn't attached to controversy - I wouldn't be surprised if Wonder Wheel plays in as few theaters as possible, for as little time as possible, before being pulled from release and dumped to VOD.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#58 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:58 pm

The trailers are visually stunning, which is probably going to get me to the theater - but yeah, writing's on the wall here, it sounds like it's a real misfire.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#59 Post by Ribs » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:04 pm

Dylan wrote:Wonder Wheel is currently 34% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the worst-reviewed feature film of Woody Allen's career. Keeping in mind Amazon's scant "blink and you'll miss" distribution of Wonderstruck - a rather positively reviewed film that isn't attached to controversy - I wouldn't be surprised if Wonder Wheel plays in as few theaters as possible, for as little time as possible, before being pulled from release and dumped to VOD.
It’s being released wide next week. No one saw Wonderstruck because no one cares about Todd Haynes. This will underperform relative to Cafe Society but will still easily get into profit.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#60 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:13 pm

Ribs wrote:No one saw Wonderstruck because no one cares about Todd Haynes.
Absurd. I know multiple people who wanted to take their kids to this but just couldn't find a theater showing it in their area. This is ludicrous.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#61 Post by Ribs » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:19 pm

I love Todd Haynes. I think he’s probably the most intelligent, critically informed director working today. He is not a commercial force like Woody Allen, who famously makes movies that make more money year after year than pretty much anyone in the business.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#62 Post by Dylan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:28 pm

Wonder Wheel: Who’s Afraid of Red, Green and Blue?, an article written by Vittorio Storaro for American Cinematographer.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#63 Post by Black Hat » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:59 pm

The most charitable way I can describe the film is as strange without any charm. Nothing really fits, Kate Winslet's a pretty horrendous human being but she's also representing the struggle of the aging woman? You don't have any sense of anything about this woman. Her lack of complexity made me feel uncomfortable watching this character's story. Timberlake is way too old for the part and acts every scene like he's playing Woody Allen in an SNL sketch. You kinda expect him to break out in song and dance at any moment too. Belushi plays his role as an overweight Popeye so much so that Allen might as well have named him that instead of the preposterous name he does have which I won't spoil. The much hyped cinematography to be kind seems to be operating in a different universe. To be less kind comes off as bad middle school theater lighting. Juno Temple is far and away the only redeeming part of this film, but is barely given anything to do. You can't even say the reaction to Wonder Wheel is backlash given recent events and Allen's late career resurgence because the film is that dated and at times feels so incongruent to itself it creeps up on the edge of senility.

Ribs is right about Haynes by the way, great filmmaker, probably from a to z the best one we have, but he is not putting fannies in the seats.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#64 Post by Lost Highway » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:39 am

There is a small handful of directors whose name has brand recognition and who are box office draws. On the whole people go to see a film because they like the subject matter and they heard good things about it. If Wonderstruck flopped than its less because people don’t care about Haynes and more because the premise was difficult to get across via the publicity, it got so-so reviews and because Amazon is primarily a streaming service and doesn’t take enough care with its theatrical runs.

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#65 Post by The Narrator Returns » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:37 pm

If there was anyone who should've been in the bag for this, it was me, who worships Vittorio Storaro and has found things to like in even the least successful Allen films. But this one is rough, with the most tin-eared dialogue of Allen's career and an absolutely terrible performance by Justin Timberlake (easily the worst in any Allen film since Kenneth Branagh in Celebrity). It does look amazing, I did like Juno Temple and Kate Winslet in it (Belushi is fine, but given to selling-to-the-cheap-seats theatrics; he's no Andrew Dice Clay), and I think it ends pretty well, but this is one of the worst movies Allen has ever made.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#66 Post by Ribs » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:38 pm

I will admit I was modestly wrong about the above - it did under $500,000 in its first weekend of wide release (which ended up being around 500 theaters - I don't think it'll go wider) and will probably end up slightly north of $2 million short of some crazy Holiday period holds (the biggest issue with opening an Allen movie now is it's just going to be replaced in two weeks by more specialty fare which is aplenty whereas in August are hard to come by). It's not Last Flag Flying or Wonderstruck bad but not a good first bow for Amazon's distribution.

I liked the movie well enough - Storaro's contribution to these Allen films will probably be remembered as a highlight of both of their late careers. Had a strange experience where the crowd didn't seem to realize it was supposed to not be funny, and were laughing at every mildly humorous exchange like it was any other Woody movie and not plainly one of his serious ones. Ultimately I'm a bit baffled by the hostility to it and have my pet theories about how that's been arrived at, because while this ain't Blue Jasmine it sure as heck isn't a September either and I'd gladly take this over most of the interminable before-Match-Point mid-career films (even Hollywood Ending, a film I'm fairly sure I'm the only one in the world willing to defend).

It's kind of shocking to me that it really is looking like he'll make it to 50 movies. (and, if he doesn't, I'll count Crisis in Six Scenes to get to that number). Makes me wonder if the Allen lists project should be pushed back five months so we can get the round number (I love the idea of everyone ranking them 1-50, though I know that's not usually how it's done for the mini-lists)

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#67 Post by The Narrator Returns » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:48 pm

Heh, I also kinda like Hollywood Ending and would gladly take it over this (although Ending looks weirdly ugly and this very much does not). And I think this and September are two peas in a pod in terms of Allen at his most stagey and dramatically inert.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#68 Post by Ribs » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:00 am

I admire Hollywood Ending for basically being about how Woody Allen has turned into a complete hack who has no idea what he's doing anymore (and a legitimately great Tea Leoni performance, one I'd possibly be willing to defend as the finest in any Allen film, if I were feeling particularly combative). And I also admire it for setting up a basic punchline that "oh, the movie he had no idea what he was doing for will be hailed as brilliant" and instead just doing the better, more true "oh, no, the movie is just terrible." In many ways I find the film to be the ur-text of the Late Allen period because of being about an artist with no grasp of his work whatsoever doing things randomly.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#69 Post by The Narrator Returns » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:05 am

I agree with all of that (and "Thank God for the French!" became an even better punchline once Allen started globe-trotting later), and add that I just find it amusing to watch Allen walk straight off an elevated platform.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#70 Post by Dylan » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:44 pm

This is in response to Ribs on the Wonderstruck thread, but I feel it's more appropriate to post here.
In contrast, Last Flag Flying and Wonder Wheel have both been listed (this is from Roadside as opposed to Lionsgate proper, but that means its home video release should be through Lionsgate).
Does Wonder Wheel have a streaming/physical media release date yet? All I've been able to find is a pre-order listing on Amazon, which doesn't include a specific release date. I was looking forward to seeing this theatrically but it never came to my city (it was scheduled to start playing at my city's local art theater on December 15th, but it disappeared from the theater's schedule maybe a week before its wide release).

Meanwhile, I recently re-watched Hollywood Ending, which has been mentioned a few times in this thread. Not every single joke lands and it could definitely stand to be more tightly edited, but overall I think it's an excellent comedy (and beautifully shot - I can't understand the criticism of the cinematography as to my eyes Hollywood Ending is about as pretty as an Allen film from the '90s and early '00s got).

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#71 Post by Ribs » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:12 pm

The fact there's a listing with a distributor listed is a good sign. As it just came out a few weeks ago it's not particularly odd that no more concrete details have appeared for this one, and for the most part the reason I noted the Wonderstruck thing was that we're now at the point that it probably should be announced or listed somewhere by now if it is going to happen (I still imagine it will, somewhere, but the idea it might not is deeply ominous - but maybe they are organizing a commentary or something and Haynes has been busy or some other silly reason it'll come out on a bit of a delay). But I wouldn't worry about this one - it's a longshot but I could actually kind of even imagine a world where Universal were to opt for this as a UHD title, even though it had such poor receipts.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#72 Post by felipe » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:20 am

1. Possibly Allen's best looking film ever.
2. One of Winslet's best performances.
3. Justin Timberlake is awful.

I would certainly watch thins again just for topics 1 and 2 alone, but I really wish there was a better movie here to go with them.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#73 Post by Aunt Peg » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:36 am

Wonder Wheel - one of the many weak post Mia Farrow films. Allen seemed to be mining his past in this one.

Justin Timberlake was Woody Allen
Kate Winslet was Mia Farrow
Juno Temple was Soon Yi
Jim Belushi may have been Frank Sinatra

It's a film that looked great but stunk. Almost all of Allen's best films starred Diane Keaton & Mia Farrow, both of them brought the best out of him as a writer. He really needs a muse and he has never found a suitable replacement.

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Re: Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)

#74 Post by domino harvey » Thu May 03, 2018 9:40 am

This wasn't very good, but it had a certain theatrical charm by the end once the play-aping melodramatics got pushed to a hundred (which Timberlake warns us is going to happen). It reminded me a lot of September in its noble failure at staging a filmed play. The film looks beautiful, but plenty of better movies do too. Cast is uniformly good-- Timberlake is clearly giving an intentionally affectated perf mirroring his character's pretentiousness, Winslet does what she can with a tragic but ultimately unlikable Tennessee Williams reject, Belushi is quite able in the blowhard role and I enjoyed how Allen undercut expectations by
SpoilerShow
having him threaten to beat Winslet constantly once he's drunk, only for him to turn soft and emotional instead, and she just coldly twists the knife in response regardless

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