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SCOOP: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
American journalism student, Sondra Pransky (Scarlett Johansson), who is visiting friends in London, gets 'volunteered' during a stage performance by another visiting American, magician Sid Waterman aka Splendini (Woody Allen). In the magic casket, Sondra is shocked to see late U.K. journalist Joe Strombel (Ian McShane). From beyond, he gives her the scoop of a lifetime with leads to the identity of the Tarot Card Killer stalking London prostitutes. Sondra starts chasing the big story, enlisting the aid of a Splendini. That chase leads to handsome British aristocrat Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman) and Sondra finds that the romance of her life may well be the scoop she's looking for.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Alarmingly, some of Woody Allen's highly strung performance enhancing gestures rub off on Scarlett Johansson in this bizarre misfire from Allen, who hasn't even noticed that his plot doesn't hold water. Asking us to take a fantasy ride with the Grim Reaper in order to manufacture his fake clue-hunting scenario, Allen has ditched all attempts at grounding the film. The plot is a clumsy vehicle for some old fashioned Allen humour, and he gets off a few sardonic lines that ring with the wry jokiness that endeared him to fans decades ago, but they are far too few and far too weak for the most part.

The absurdity of the plot - involving a tip off from Peter Lyman's (Hugh Jackman) recently dead (possibly poisoned) secretary to the fellow traveller aboard the Grim Reaper's boat, Joe Strombel (Ian McShane) - is undone by the end of the film with a carelessness that's hard to fathom.

As for the romance that is meant to drive the film's dramatic conflict, it's tokenistic and feeble; the rush to bed is made boring and so is the aftermath.

But all of this, even the Grim Reaper's theatrical and clunky appearances, could have been excused if the dialogue was sharper, funnier and less persistently Allenesque, and if the key characters were credible. To make matters worse, Johansson looks awfully drab, and high class Peter Lyman's wardrobe is B grade not A class. Allen is going through his paces with Scoop, and not very well.

Published November 15, 2007

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 1

SCOOP: DVD (PG)
(UK/USA, 2006)

CAST: Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Woody Allen, Suzy Kewer, Romola Garai, Matt Day, Geoff Bell, Christopher Fulford, Nigel Lindsay, Ian McShane, Fenella Woolgar, Charles Dance

PRODUCER: Letty Aronson, Gareth Wiley

DIRECTOR: Woody Allen

SCRIPT: Woody Allen

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Remi Adefarasin

EDITOR: Alisa Lepselter

MUSIC: Not credit

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Maria Djurkovic

RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Icon

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 15, 2007

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: .

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Icon Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: November 14, 2007







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