LETTER F

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Far from Heaven

French Connection, The

Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Fresh

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Frida

Femme Fatale

Friday

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

From Hell

Fireworks

Full Frontal

Fistful of Dollars, A

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Following

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For a Few Dollars More

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Fortune Cookie, The

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Four Rooms

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Frailty

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Freddy Got Fingered

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#  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  UV  W  XYZ

Far from Heaven  (2002)      

6.5 /10

Interesting re-invention of 1950's cinema, crossing old style melodrama and cinematography (gorgeous) with subject matter far too controversial for original time period. Julianne Moore and especially Quaid give strong performances as ideal couple until husbandís secret life is exposed. Unfortunately, forced presentation of material many times rings false, as with unrealistically well spoken black gardener.  [English, 107min, PG-13]

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Fast Times At Ridgemont High  (1982)      

8.5 /10

Serves as a sad reminder of how much the teen movie empire has fallen. Cleverly funny and not afraid of sex (or nudity!), this is one of the ultimate high school films. Featuring the iconic Sean Penn role of surfer-stoner Jeff Spicoli and of course, the uber-famous Phoebe Cates pool-side topless scene. [English, 90min, R]

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  (1998)      

6 /10

Not speaking from experience, the closest a movie has come to being one single acid trip. Depp and Del Toro go balls out in this absolutely crazy chronicle of Hunter S. Thompson's road "experience." Propelled forward by the shear energy of leads, for a while, until becoming a too-long Terry Giliam brand sensory overload.  [English, 118min, R]

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Femme Fatale  (2002)      

3 /10

Gratuity at itís finest. Ventures back to sex heavy thrillers of late 70's, early 80's (familiar territory for De Palma) as an excuse to give the body of Rebecca Romijn-Stamos ample screen time. Bravado opening sequence makes good use of operatic score and slick intercutting to build tension, not to mention a hot lesbian encounter. Plot then ranges from the utterly ridiculous to laughable silliness, topped off with a "you canít be serious" twist ending.  [English, 114min, R]

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Ferris Bueller's Day Off  (1986)      

8 /10

A genre classic with a career defining performance by Matthew Broderick, who may never eclipse role recognition. Made towards the end of John Hughes 80's hot streak, which included most of the era's most well known teen comedies, this high schooler "fantasy" has a number of memorable scenes and characters, serving as a reminder of how crappy these kinds of movies have become.  [English, 102min, PG-13]

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Fireworks  (1997)            

8.5 /10

Ying-Yang grouping of graphic violence and absolute tranquility. Uses silence better than most movies use sound, built around Japanese superstar Takeshi Kitano's ultra-understated performance as a cop dealing with an injured colleague and a dying wife. Ends on a devastating, graceful note that is far too provocative for American film to attempt.  [Japanese, 103min, R]

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A Fistful of Dollars  (1964)      

7.5 /10

Rough, stylistic (especially for the time) remake of Japanese film Yojimbo is more or less on par considering genre change. Eastwood grinds his lines out so effectively that even his gun is less intimidating and Sergio Leone knows how to milk the drama.   [Italian, 99min, R]

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Following  (1998)      

8.5 /10

Short'n'sweet noir from Memento director Christopher Nolan, particularly impressive considering it was shot with friends as actors on weekends over the course of a year. Budgetary limitations are transcended by intriguing premise that toys with chronology while packing some good surprises along the way. Definitely worth making an effort to watch, especially from a director evolution standpoint.  [English, 69min, R]

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For A Few Dollars More  (1965)      

8.5 /10

Leone aggressively raises the ante from A Fistful of Dollars by giving Eastwood more personality and adding great revenge story to anchor some superb shoot offs. Volontť's "bad guy" is just as good here and excellent music score critically enhances drama during pivotal moments.  [Italian, 130min, R]

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The Fortune Cookie  (1966)      

5 /10

A simple, entertaining premise about ill-judged insurance scam is made tedious by unnecessary plot repetition and excessive running time. Noteworthy for successful ying-yang pairing of Lemmon and Matthau, the latter particularly good as speed talking shyster lawyer, though his highly unlikable character taints upbeat mood. Also leaving bad taste is subplot involving football player made care-giver with uncomfortable racist undertones.  [English, 125min, NR]

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Four Rooms  (1995)      

4 /10

Complete misfire of novel idea: four directors do four short films all connected by one character. Only two parts mostly succeed (those by Rodriguez and Tarantino); Tim Roth is spastic in his paper thin bell-boy role but Antonio Banderas gives fun performance as overbearing father. Coulda been a contender if talent involved had been better utilized.  [English, 98min, R]

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Frality  (2001)      

6.5 /10

Bill Paxton takes on thriller with disturbing premise for first directorial effort, but ultimately bites off more than he can chew. Some effective scenes and decent acting (especially child roles), but can't escape plot holes, genre conventions, and one twist too many. Heavy religious theme results in a hypocritical denouement that undermines most of what came before.  [English, 100min, R]

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Freddy Got Fingered  (2001)      

3 /10

Not the film travesty it was made out to be (I DID laugh a few times) but certainly not a contribution to quality cinema. Tom Green's arguably funny TV antics are mostly lost in this big budget upgrade. Best scene involves a messy child birth that is so tasteless and exaggerated that you can't help but be amused by the lunacy of it all.  [English, 87min, R]

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The French Connection  (1971)      

9 /10

Above all else, this gritty cop tale directed with complete confidence by a then unstoppable Friedkin, contains one of the most superb chases in film history involving a speeding car desperately keeping up with an El-train. The sequence has a sense of real excitement and danger nearly extinct from modern cinema.  Other high note is Gene Hackman who shouts and bullies his way through the taunt story line as tough cop Popeye Doyle tracking down a shipment of high grade heroin.  [English, 104min, R]

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Fresh  (1994)      

8 /10

An intriguing, powerful inner city drama that makes unique stylistic choices (especially in the music & cinematography department) that defy genre expectations. Helped by an outstanding cast and screenplay that create powerful, assured drama. One of the best films to be centered around a child character.  [English, 114min, R]

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Frida  (2002)      

8 /10

Salma Hayek is perfectly cast in this stylish biopic that avoids normal superficial trappings of genre. Wisely skips overdone "painter at work" montages, making artwork an extension of Frida Kahlo's tormented subconscious. Exceptional art direction, cinematography, and music enhance every scene, not to mention many star filled cameos. Alfred Molina also fairs well as unfaithful longtime lover. Good pacing, but episodic structure leaves murky areas towards end.  [English, 123min, R]

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Friday  (1995)      

6 /10

Urban comedy, aided considerably by Tucker and Witherspoon, that isn't afraid of more serious issues, but being centered on two pot smoking jobless black men doesn't help any stereotypes.  [English, 91min, R]

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From Hell  (2001)      

7 /10

The Hughes brothers successfully shift from the American ghetto to the London ghetto in this compelling, pitch dark take on famous Jack the Ripper mystery. Sporting excellent production value (especially sound design), disturbing imagery, and good outings from Holm and Depp, it movie manages to be an intriguing thriller rather than simply a stylish slasher  [English, 122min, R]

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Full Frontal  (2002)      

6.5 /10

Interesting, self-indulgent misfire from Soderbergh comments on Hollywood and society without fresh insight. Worth seeing for talented cast, featuring strong dramatic work from Catherine Keener & David Hyde Pierce (Nicky Katt is hilarious as pompous theater actor). Despite intentions, purposeful degradation of video footage will only hurt the acceptance of it as a serious movie medium.  [English, 101min, R]

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