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|Index||45 reviews in total|
19 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
Cool!, 23 March 2000
Author: Wes-26 from TX
I'm not trying to say that this movie is the greatest movie ever made, but I feel that it is too bad that more people do not know about S.F.W. It's a bit hard to believe the plot, but since when have movie plots played within the guidelines of normal society. Stephen Dorff gives an amazing performance as Cliff Spab. This was the first movie I ever saw him in, and seeing S.F.W. really made me think he is destined for big things. I liked how the story shifted from past to present constantly. This way, you had to wait until the end of the movie to find out what happened at the beginning. Makes it all the more intriguing. I love this movie, and most people would too if they gave it half a chance.
16 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Such a great movie, 25 June 2001
Author: learan84 (email@example.com) from New Jersey
I saw this movie about 3 or 4 years ago, and fell in love with it. It was
at a period in my life that I needed something to show me that I was still
alive and things could always be worse, this movie was it. The characters,
the plot, the cinematography, all of it. Every minute of this movie kept me
wondering what would happen next, and a lot of had edge of my seat suspense.
Stephan Dorff did such a great job of playing this character. Having to
balance such an emotionally scarred but still nonchalant young man must have
been difficult. I really believed that he had been put through these awful
things though, because his performance was that good. Reese Witherspoon
also gave a great performance. I believe her role in this movie was
slightly under-rated, she played your typical romantic interest but she also
was the reason that Dorff's character didn't lose his mind.
I often find that the cinematography is better in independant films, and I believe this was independant. It had some bad language in it, but that doesn't bother me. The symbolism that is throughout this movie amazed me, and I notice something new everytime I watch it. SFW is based on the book 'Madison Heights Syndrom', and even though I've never read the book, I'm sure they did a great job adapting it. There was not one thing about this movie I didn't like and would recommend it to everybody.
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A Life/Mind-Altering Film, 21 July 2000
Author: Jefery from New York, U.S.A.
Way, way ahead of it's time (similarly themed films made years after were Natural Born Killers, Mad City, Truman Show), this is, quite simply, a life-altering, mind-altering film which zeroes in on and then embodies the zeitgeist of the nineties. See this film, take a look at the world surround you (especially western popular culture), and think about it. It's also pretty f***in' funny.
5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Pretty good, actually, 12 May 2001
Author: Dudatje from Den Haag, Netherlands
Okay, I'll be totally honest here. I rented this movie because Stephen Dorff was in it, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. It was actuallt a good movie, entertaining and well-written. Allright, so it may not be worth an Oscar, but hey, it never claims to be, does it? It's just a nice, wellcast movie that makes you think as well.
9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Vicious assault on the media, 4 February 2005
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Sound format: Dolby Stereo
A feckless young man (Stephen Dorff) becomes an unlikely celebrity after surviving a televised hostage ordeal in his local convenience store, but he's unable to reconcile the tragedy of the siege - in which his best friend (Jack Noseworthy) was killed - with the exaggerated version of events peddled by a ratings-hungry media.
Jefery Levy's cult-movie wannabe pairs Dorff alongside relative newcomer Reese Witherspoon in a vicious assault on the contemporary media, depicted here as a soulless entity concerned solely with ratings and money (yeah, so what else is new?). The message is obvious, but Levy and co-scriptwriter Danny Rubin (GROUNDHOG DAY) revel in their own daring: Dorff and Witherspoon play ordinary characters who emerge from an extraordinary situation and are forced to confront their unexpected (and unwanted) fame. However, Levy's unflattering view of modern journalism (symbolized by John Roarke as a variety of thinly-disguised real-life TV celebrities who feed off other people's misery, and Gary Coleman in a fleeting, self-deprecating cameo) seems a little distorted and misleading, though clearly filtered through the lead character's personal viewpoint. Dorff himself is terrific, as always, playing a charismatic and foul-mouthed Everyman, scornful of the manner in which his personal misfortune has been manipulated to feed the expectations of a mindless, sensation-hungry audience. But there are moments when the screeching soundtrack fades abruptly to silence and Levy concentrates on Dorff's haunted face as he recalls key events - good and bad - from the siege, and the friendships that were forged and destroyed under extreme duress. The movie doesn't say anything new, but the execution is invigorating.
Look out for an early appearance by Tobey Maguire as a young stoner who thinks he's died and gone to heaven when he and his buddy (Dana Allan Young) encounter their idol Dorff on an empty street (a truly hilarious sequence). Steve Antin cameos as a news reporter named after his character in the equally odd INSIDE MONKEY ZETTERLAND, helmed by Levy in 1992.
4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
entertaining and real !, 7 January 2002
Author: Lisa from NSW, Australia
I personaly really liked this movie ,i thought Stephen Dorff was great this movie got me interested in him and his other movies!I like the plot its different and doesnt really hide anything its better for a younger crowd 15-21 it can be related to easily by them as it contains a lot of anger and confusion the catch frase is "So F*****g What" which tries to make us c that nothing really matters ! The characters are all put together pretty good except Reese Witherspoon's character Wendy did get on my nerves a bit she just didnt seem right for the part! i recommend this movie i really liked it ,it also has great music in it ranging from hole ,Maralyn mason and soundgarden .
4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Ahead of it's time, 14 May 2001
Author: alissaroode from Fort St. John, BC
I just watched S.F.W. and was amazed at how, at least five years before the major trend of 'reality TV' became the in-thing, this movie satirized it, and showed it for how wrong and un-real it is. This movie scathingly commentates on the media's ability to warp and distort truth, and to give the mundane deep meaning. Cliff Spab is a meaningless person trapped in a meaningless society that does not appreciate the horror of his ordeal and ruthlessly tries to cash in on his pain. This film is chock-full of meaning and irony, and it is simply brilliant.
6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
S.F.W. ....well I liked it!, 6 October 2005
Author: bedragonned from United Kingdom
I watched this film not knowing what to expect; what I got was one of the coolest, most original films I've seen. It is ostensibly a hostage-drama set in a Fun-Stop convenience store, but rapidly reveals itself as more; a biting attack on the media circus and the hype machine, a revealing portrayal of suburban life in America, and a comment on the nature of heroes. The leads are played effortlessly by Stephen Dorff (who seems to not be acting at all)and Reece Witherspoon, with excellent support from B-movie stalwarts Joey Lauren Adams and Jack Noseworthy. All the characters are unlike those you see in most films... they are the sort of people you've met, but never expected to see on screen. Characters the hero Spab (Dorff) meets along the way are delightfully unattractive and random, from the hippie Earl and his militant partner to the receptionist in a neck brace at a posh hotel. Richard Portnow's FBI agent has some wonderfully quotable lines, and Mr and Mrs Spab soon reveal themselves to be far from the perfect parents. The arrangement of the story (flashbacks are employed heavily) lets you build up a rounded picture of the events that made Spab a hero, not revealing the true account of what happened in the store until near the end. Up to this point the events are clouded by the media and gossip surrounding the "Fun-Stop Hostage Crisis" and although we are led to believe Spab did something spectacular, the later flashbacks reveal why he is unwilling to assume the mantle of hero and why he seems to be in a bad mood most of the time!. A great film that depicts a classic anti-hero with more than adequate back-up from the script and cast. Watch it soon!.
The Real Meaning- A Good/Bad Movie, 14 May 2013
Author: rjkeenan from Baltimore, MD
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yes, the acting and directing were a little inconsistent, and some of
the lines were sophomoric and occasionally downright lame, but the
value of the movie lays in it's overall existentialist theme. Cliff
Spab doesn't care about the consequences of anything- he's smokes, he
drinks, he curses, doesn't care about bettering himself, doesn't really
care about the way he looks, and isn't afraid of anything- not even
death. Is it because he was overlooked, abused, etc.? Not really. Cliff
doesn't revel in fame or attention when he gets it, but rather treats
it as a joke because it simply doesn't matter (even if he half enjoys
it), hence the phrase "So Fu.... What." The importance of this phrase
points to the notion that nothing really matters in life. Someone can
get the best grades, go to the best schools, watch their weight, be
good to others, always do right, gain fame and notoriety...or they can
be shot in the head in the middle of a store robbery. In the grand
scheme of things it really doesn't matter. Quoting Chuck Palahniuk, "On
a long enough time-line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero."
Our existence in our solar system, in our galaxy, in the universe is a
spec of dust on a spec of dust on a spec of dust, hence SFW (nothing
The black comedy and satire of this movie comes from the doting media and fans of Cliff Spab. It's not that they really love him, they are just looking for an answer- a motto to guide their lives. But, as in real life, something seemingly meaningful to you one moment becomes a useless fad in the next moment.
In the conclusion of the movie Barbara Wyler tries to shoot Cliff or something (it's really been years), and states her tag-line "Everything matters!" It's the complete opposite theory of Cliff's. Her essential meaning is that everything we do has an affect on the future, future generations, the overall makeup of things on our planet, etc. Her message could be looked at as kind of good, but the irony lies in the fact that she seems all too excited to step directly into Cliff's shoes and be another meaningless, short-lived role model. In essence Cliff was right when he believed nothing matters and Barbara's time in the spotlight will also fade away. One day neither will be remembered and will have no affect on anything or anyone. Even those that followed them for a brief time will be gone and forgotten. It's a sad story of the media misguiding people to waste their short lives with whatever's popular and meaningless in the moment. But, it also questions, if nothing really matters anyway, SFW.
Does Generation X really matter?, 17 March 2013
Author: FlashCallahan from Leicester, United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Cliff Spab doesn't really care about anything. He gets held hostage at
a store for 36 days by terrorists, who demand that the entire thing be
broadcast on national television.
Cliff ends up taking a bullet for fellow hostage Wendy - making him a national hero.
The two are the sole survivors of the ordeal, and soon become prisoners of the media.
Cliff escapes it all, only to find himself being pushed further away from Wendy when he needs her most....
Once you get past the fact that Dorff sounds uncannily like Christian Slater, you get another one of those films from the mid nineties that tried to define good old 'generation X'. And for the most part, it works.
Dorff is great as the guy who is having his fifteen minutes of fame, but cannot decipher why people are not mentioning his friend who was killed. But this was a time when media only really dwelled on the good stuff, to sugar coat the public, to get more money behind their new 'celeb'
The film doesn't know what genre it belongs to. One minute it's hilarious, next it's soul searching, and then it goes for a Araki/Solondz hybrid that baffles.
But it's good, and all the performances are great, I just wish it didn't get lost in its own smugness every now and again.
The last fifteen minutes is great though, showing us how fickle the media were/are, and how fame really slips through your fingers, once a new fad has been found.
Everything Matters? S.F.W...
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