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Alfie (Special Collector's Edition) (2004)

1 rating: 1.0
A movie

Jude Law's Alfie, much like Michael Caine's Alfie in the 1966 original, is what you'd call an unrepentant womanizer. He beds 'em but never weds 'em, and New York provides ample opportunity to continue the process--until reality slaps … see full wiki

1 review about Alfie (Special Collector's Edition) (2004)

"Alfie": Good Jude Law, Confusing Story Execution

  • Mar 16, 2005
Rating:
+1
I'll try to give a brief opinion of the film itself and the features, just to balance things out. "Alfie" is supposed to be a remake; taking the old 1960s movie and transplanting it and the characters into a modern setting. So of course that means it has to go from a London/England setting to the overused Manhattan/New York scene. The women thankfully get an upgrade from how they were portrayed in the first movie to make them stronger characters that fit into today's society.

Charles Shyer, the director, makes it a point to make sure that the audience knows this is supposed to be a modern remake. Yet, through the commentary and espescially the "Round Table Discussion" feature, you can tell that he attempted to work within what had been done in the old film and simply updated a character or plot twist here or there. This makes for a rather average if not flat plot, in my opinion. There are scenes that make the film look as if it's taking place in the 60s with the art direction. Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart provide the music, providing for an older sound that distances it from now and puts it decades back.

I don't fault Jude Law or any of the actors for the outcome of the film. Law and espescially Susan Sarandon carry the film with their performances. The script and direction appear to be at fault here. While updating the characters, Shyer seemed to lose what made the first film work. We have no idea why this Alfie came to the United States. This is a rather big plot hole since the original took place in England and featured Michael Cane, an English actor. Why did this Alfie move to the U.S. and what's his story? It's sort of baffling to be faced with this character who obviously is a bit out of place compared to all the others featured in the movie.

As a viewer, I was left with a lot of questions. Who were all these women? They just seem to come around, then they are replaced by another. By the end, the director seems to want you to feel sorry for Alfie but really, you're left a bit confused and let down. There's a lot of potential that is just not handled well. So my biggest complaint really is about the film itself and the plot. The acting is good all around, considering what they had to work with.

As for the special features (there was a sticker on my copy boasting that there are over 4 hours of bonus features), the "Round Table-Intimate discussion" was not necessary. There was hardly anything intimate about it. The creative people discuss the creation of signs in the movie, locations they shot at, what they thought of the script. Shyer sort of sits there and asks the questions while the others seem to hesitate and find good things to say about the film. "The Women of Alfie" is perhaps the best feature, making a comparison in between the women of the original movie and how they were updated for this film. "Let the Music In" was rather boring. Jagger and Stewart talk about songs, footage of them in the studio is shown as Jagger works through a few songs. The deleted scenes should have all been worked into the movie. They explain a lot of the plot holes and the commentary that you can have playing during them says a lot about why they were cut; just for time. The producers had no real reason to cut them. They were good transitions and little segments that either gave more insight into Alfie or one of the other characters.

This film was okay. It wasn't impressive or ground breaking but it was a nice Jude Law or Susan Sarandon film. I wouldn't have bought it right away; perhaps for a cheaper price, yes, but nothing to scramble to see.

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