Friday, May 19, 2017

A sort-of re-release for the Flesher/Mack/ Ordynans indie rom-com, BURNING ANNIE

Would that the movie -- BURNING ANNIE -- were half as fraught and fascinating as its own history, which you can read all about here in an article that appeared recently in Moviemaker magazine. The film itself is not awful by any means. It has quite a few chuckles and, depending on your sense of humor, some outright guffaws. But it is mostly "of its time," and that time, unfortunately, has pretty much passed. Begun in 1999 but only semi-finished in 2004, it finally made its theatrical debut at a single Manhattan theaters in 2007.

One month after theatrical release, its DVD hits the street, and since then, the film has been in limbo. The brain child of writers Randy Mack and Zack Ordynans (shown above, with Mack on the left) and directed by Van Flesher, Burning Annie offers a main character, Max (Gary Lundy, below), who is besotted with Woody Allen's Annie Hall. He watches this film constantly and appears to try to live and love by its "rules." This is particularly odd, since Max seems not to understand the film in the least.

The Allen character (in Annie Hall and in nearly every other of Woody's many movies) is intent on trying to fit into the the normal world and in the process get laid, while young Max does precisely the opposite. He rejects that world and pushes away literally everyone, especially all the women around him. (When he finally does get laid, the moviemakers conveniently leave out what led up to this momentous moment.)

The mostly non-stop dialog is often fun, though now -- some 15 or so years later -- it can also feel rather forced and too of-its-time, while the acting ranges from OK to good. Lundy seems like a somewhat cuter and sexier Jesse Eisenberg (who burst upon the scene during the years that Burning Annie was being made), but perhaps lacking the latter's extraordinary acting chops. (TrustMovies would not be surprised if some of the roles that might have gone to Lundy went to Eisenberg instead.)

The rest of the cast is perfectly adequate, but the Annie Hall thing hangs over the movie something fierce and finally weighs it down enough to make it difficult for this would-be rom-com soufflé to rise.

From Armak Productions and The Sundance Institue Creative Distribution Initiative, Burning Annie will get its worldwide HD re-release this coming Monday, May 15, on every major HD platform, including Vimeo On Demand, Netflix, iTunes, Vudu and Amazon

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