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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 3 November 2013
I am very disappointed with the Blu Ray of Annie Hall. It has a major audio sync issue. The sound is about half a second out in places, especially during the monologue at the beginning. I have been sent a replacement, which also has the issue. I have tested both discs on three players:

Sony Playstation 3 (Slim top loader)
Sony BDP-S185
Samsung BD-E5300

They are the same on the two Sony players and slightly worse on the Samsung! Some scenes are almost in sync, and others are noticeably out. Fast forwarding or re-winding makes the problem worse. The film is unwatchable.

This issue has been widely reported on the internet, but a re-call has not been announced yet. Some people with high end Blu Ray players have reported that the sync issue does not affect them.

Buyer beware!
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on 30 May 2003
What is there to say? If you haven't seen this film, you really don't know what you're missing. This is Allen's most celebrated masterpiece, and shows Diane Keaton and Woody at their best (Keaton's singing voice is as uplifting as her acting!). The relationship between Alvy Singer and Annie Hall is portrayed with the closest attention to detail, so that whether it is waiting in line to see a movie, buying books for one another, persuading Annie to take up an academic course or photographing Alvy during a very amusing lobster incident, the result is highly effective. You know, it's like the old Groucho Marx joke: "I don't want to join any club that will take me as a member"; this is Alvy's maxim; a man who is never satisfied, but always wants invitations! Annie, the nightclub singer, is, at the same time, just like Alvy and nothing like him - what is it they have in common? The answer is their individuality. From the moment Annie utters her non-sensical phrase, "La Di Da", Alvy is in awe. It is a relationship of mutual appreciation as much as it is companionship. The relationship is doomed to fail, but the journey from friendship to love, and love to friendship, and - guess what? - friendship to love again is compelling to watch. Alvy can't communicate with other women in the way that he does with Annie, to the point that there is no room for laughter: [Alvy] "I haven't been myself since I quit smoking" [Some girl] "O, when did you quit smoking?" [Alvy] "Sixteen years ago" [Some girl] "Wait, I don't get it. Is it a joke?". Well, you decide. This film is one on many levels, with Freudian undertones, and musical overtones, and each viewing is a new experience. What if Annie had married Alvy, for example? Her name would, ironically, be Annie Singer! See this film, or don't call yourself a Woody Allen fan!
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on 4 March 2005
Woody Allen transitioned from a very funny writer/actor/director, to a truly brilliant filmmaker with "Annie Hall." I saw this landmark movie again and was amazed at how well it holds up over time, and how pristine the film looks on DVD. Like Allen's earlier works, this is hilariously funny, but beneath the humor lies a poignant love story of two mismatched, neurotic people. It is a focused film that takes a mature look at modern urban relationships. The witty, clever screenplay is one of the reasons for its enduring popularity, regardless of the audience's demographics.
Alvy Singer, (Woody Allen), is a pessimistic, insecure, angst-ridden, short, Jewish New Yorker, originally from Brooklyn, just like Mr. Allen. Obviously, there are autobiographical elements here. Singer used to be a gag writer for comedians, but made a career decision to do his own comic stand-up routine. When we meet him for the first time, he has already become a star...and is still very neurotic. "Life is full of loneliness, misery, suffering, and unhappiness - and it's all over much too quickly," he says. Singer has a spurt of good luck, however, when he meets ditsy, charming Annie Hall, originally from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Diane Keaton is outstanding in the role - she won an Academy Award for Best Actress, and began a funky clothes trend with her wardrobe that lasted for a few years. If Alvy is New York seeded rye bread, then Annie is a somewhat tightly-wound, Wonder Bread WASP. She actually orders a pastrami sandwich on white bread with mayo in a local deli - that's like ordering fettuccine with ketchup in an Italian trattoria. It's a wonder that when the two have their first conversation they don't go into instant culture shock. Alvy may have poor self esteem, but Annie sure does like him. They appear to be having a wonderful time together too, as in the scene where they chase live lobsters around the kitchen floor, trying to cook a seafood dinner. Alvy's anhedonia, (the inability to enjoy oneself), seems to abandon him temporarily as the romance flourishes.
"Annie Hall" gets much of its comedy from mundane, everyday occurrences. I actually wonder if Jerry Seinfeld didn't derive some inspiration for his hit sitcom from Allen's film. One of the more brilliant scenes occurs when Singer goes to Annie's apartment, for the first time, right after they meet, for a drink and some getting-to-know-you conversation. As they make small talk, sub-titles appear on the screen, stating what the two are actually thinking: Alvy: "I wonder what she looks like naked," Annie: "He's too smart for me; hang in there." There is also an outrageous split screen sequence of Annie and Alvie in therapy sessions, with their respective shrinks, discussing their relationship. His therapist asks if they have sex often, hers asks the same. He replies, "Hardly ever! Maybe three times a week." Annie responds, "Constantly! I'd say three times a week." Also fantastic are the wacky sequences with Annie's Midwestern family, (Colleen Dewhurst is wonderful as Annie's mother, and Christopher Walken, her spooky brother, is beyond weird). Singer comments on how different his Brooklyn family is from her Midwestern relations. Then the screen splits and we see Annie's family talking quietly over dinner, while Alvy's boisterous family, bicker over their Passover meal. As the romance progresses, Alvy's previous relationships with wives numbers 1 and 2 are depicted through a series of flashbacks.
There are problems and rough spots, as with most relationships. Alvy keeps trying to turn Annie into the woman he wants her to be. When he pushes her to go back to college and take some classes, she gains new confidence - and develops a crush on one of her professors. The plot thickens when Annie meets a hit record producer who offers her a job in Los Angeles. Alvy goes along, temporarily, to do a TV special. One of Woody Allen's pet peeves is California, and life on the left coast as compared to life in NYC, so you can bet there is plenty of scathing commentary about Hollywood. Although many know how Annie and Alvy wind up, I won't spoil it for those who don't. However, if you have not seen "Annie Hall," you are really missing something phenomenal. And if you have seen it, and don't have it in your DVD collection, you might want to reconsider.
The film is done in non-linear form, and Allen's use of split screens techniques, animated characters, direct-to-camera narration, and occasional subtitles, are extremely effective, creative and innovative. Allen won Oscars for Best Director and Best Screenplay, and was nominated for Best Actor for "Annie Hall." There are cameos by: Christopher Walken, Shelley Duvall, Carol Kane, Janet Margolin, Marshall MacLuhan, Dick Cavet, John Glover, Jeff Goldblum, Beverly D'Angelo and Sigourney Weaver.
So what is the point of this fabulous movie, besides lots of laughs and terrific acting? Well, Groucho Marx used to say, "I'd never belong to a club that would have someone like me as a member." The primary message here is that to be loved, one has to love oneself first. Of course Woody Allen is also saying that love is annoying and pointless, as are relationships in general - but we need them.
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on 12 January 2017
This review applies only to DVD (ASIN:B00H8OBEJW). The transfer to DVD is very good due to an average bitrate of 6350kbps. Picture and sound are both very good.

I wasn't a fan of the slapstick comedy in Allen's earlier movies. Whilst still funny, the comedy in Annie Hall is more sophisticated.
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on 5 June 2006
A close friend of mine recently showed me this film, which I knew NOTHING about. I literally mean NOTHING!

I wasn't really a woody Allen fan, (that'll get me a few negative points, oh well!) and i'd only seen a couple of his films and enjoyed them BUT didn't get the hype (is that the right word?) about how he is regarded by some as the greatest director ever. However, all I can say now is ...

Where has this film been all my life? It's older than I am! Why hasn't someone shown this to me earlier? Shame on you planet earth for keeping this quiet.

I haven't got any interesting factoids or snippets of info about the film, but there are plenty of reviewers on here who can do that job better than I can, however, if you have seen this film why haven't you bought it yet. If you haven't seen it, buy it. If you know someone who hasn't seen it, buy it for them. You'll have a friend for life.

I cannot stress how much I love this film, it's so refreshing and sharp and on the money, despite it's age. The use of imagery is used to hilarious effect. I don't want to spoil anything, so i'll just say that a couple of my favourite scenes are to do with dodgems, and indulgent film makers, and give a knowing nod and a wink.

I get it now but i've got some catching up to do.

Next stop Manhattan.
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on 27 April 2012
Annie Hall is a rather odd film, with Allen's character - a neurotic Jewish comedian, that must have been a stretch for him to play - frequently addressing us directly, in one scene switching seamlessly from real-life to fantasy when annoyed by a boor behind him in a movie queue, in others suddenly becoming a cartoon character or using subtitles to show the subtext in his and Annie's first conversation. But never mind this playing with the form because quite apart from that Annie Hall is a very funny film: it's because Alvy Singer's romance with Annie Hall (and with Brooklyn) is so affecting and awkwardly believable that it's so hilarious. Enjoyable, cheering - and only an hour and a half long! - I'd recommend Annie Hall to anyone.
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on 13 October 2013
The sound on the BluRay is about half a second out of sync with the picture, almost unwatchable. (And yes, I've updated my firmware... I'm not getting this problem with any of the several hundred others discs I own.)
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Just got this DVD to replace our old VHS one. Love the colour and sharpness against the murky old tape we were used to. You get scene access and the original trailer.

You've got to admire Allen, not only as writer/director/actor, but also as writer willing to assign himself a leading role that is not altogether sympathetic. It starts and ends with his character's - comedian Alvie Singer - views on life and relationships. He looks back on his relationship with singer Annie Hall, the time frame jumping back and forth from different stages of their relationship, his first two wives, her former relationships, his childhood, their breakup, etc. This method of storytelling really keeps you on your toes.

Strange, but it only really sunk in now, on the umpteenth viewing, that Alvie and his friend Rob continually refer to each other as Max, for some private reason. I still don't know what Alvie means when he tells his second wife that he hates the country because there's no place to walk after dinner. Aside from that, this is a very funny and seminal film about a loving but problematic relationship between a neurotic jewish comedian and a kooky insecure nightclub singer.

An intelligent comedy that would make an ideal introduction to Allen's oeuvre. I still think Love & Death is the funniest one, Play It Again Sam the most romantic, Stardust Memories the most artistic. A personal favourite: Manhattan [DVD]
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VINE VOICEon 6 June 2003
Annie Hall is Woody Allen's masterpiece, and indeed any film that can beat Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope to the 1977 Best Picture Oscar must be pretty damn good, and it is. This is Woody Allen's most autobiographical movie, and the lead character of Alvy Singer is a pretty thin disguise. Even Diane Keaton's real name is Diane Hall, giving another clue to just how close to 'art imitating life' this movie is.
What makes this movie a masterpiece is in the variety of techniques and different types of scenes Woody Allen manages to blend and weave together so seamlessly. Flashbacks where his present day character and friends are standing in the middle of the action, looking on; Split screens where the characters in either seen are interacting; The most ingeniuous use of subtitles in cinematic history (the classic scene where Annie and Alvy are sizing each other up) and even an animated sequence.
Needless to say, the script and screenplay are among Allen's very best, and as per usual, Allen gets the lion's share of the best lines. But what is most enjoyable is the fact that it is very easy to identify with much of what is going on. His portrayal of how relationships end and the uneasy aftermath is so unerringly accurate that you can't help but feel that the nail is being hit squarely on the head. There are also a few interesting cameos, including Paul Simon, Jeff Goldblum, Sigourney Weaver (albeit a walk-on!) and Shelly Duvall.
The DVD is much like many other MGM titles in that it is pretty sparse with the extras. You only get the original theatrical trailer, which I always think is a bit pointless having a trailer for a movie you are about to watch, but nevermind. As far as extras go, that's yer lot I'm afraid, but I wasn't really that bothered by the lack of goodies on the DVD, and was perfectly happy with the widescreen presentation and the overall picture and sound quality are great.
Even for those who are usually sceptical of Woody Allen's brand of film-making, this is a real treat, and a movie that hits on a personal level. I hate the tag this film has earned as a 'romantic comedy', as I think it is wholly inaccurate. Comedy? Yes, but it's not intended to be a side-splitter. Romance? Well, it's about a romantic relationship maybe, but to dump it in the Romance genre would be a grave injustice. I don't know how to classify it myself, so suffice it to say that it doesn't need any other classification other than 'Best Picture Oscar Winning movies'.. which seems about right.
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on 15 December 2010
This film started my love affair with Woody Allen. He was always in the periphery of my circle of reference but it wasn't until a few months ago that I bit the bullet and bought Annie Hall. It sat with my other DVDs until I decided to watch it and this was probably one of the best decisions I've made this year.

It's a genuinely touching love story, the original rom-com if you will, you have to think that this film was made before all the others of it's genre, if it came out now you could argue it was formulaic but it isn't, it invented the formula because it works so well. The main character bumbles through life being angular and awkward, nervous and paranoid but ultimately loveable and he stumbles upon Diane Keaton's character who is naive and sweet. If you don't see yourself in one character or the other then you're not looking hard enough. There are some classic moments in this film that you'll recognise from all the references you've heardand there are some scenes I go onto YouTube and watch when I'm feeling down that cheer me up no end.

It's a totally beguiling, charming and awkward film in all the best meanings of those words.
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