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Reviews & Ratings for
Full Frontal More at IMDbPro »

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in soderbergh i trust

Author: obi_skillz
4 August 2002

This is one fine ass piece of work. It just makes me happy inside knowing that a big ass like Soderbergh is willing to make a straight off the wall crazy little film. And what a little film it is. If your just a Roberts fan please don't see this movie. But if you are a lover of film... ohh me goodness. Don't listen to the DV bashers. It lends the movie a very unique look, I for one had to cringe at all 34mm work. All i wanted was DV. All of the acting is superb, nicky katt really steals every scene he is in. Its madness. Most of all it will make you laugh. I mean DP= sven jurgen...

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weird and innovative, yet, not very entertaining.

Author: ImagyneIt from Los Angeles
3 August 2002

A movie about a movie... what would you think?

"that sounds interesting, I wonder how they're going to pull that off" is exactly what I thought. And indeed Full Frontal was interesting. It was innovative, different, and at times funny.

There's a 'but'.

But, I wasn't completely satisfied. You could tell that the camera work, the sound, the lighting... was all part of the movie's style and essence. Unfortunately, it gave off an incomplete type feeling.

I dont particularly recommend this movie, but if you want to see something completely out of the ordinary, that is if you dont mind the boredom... then by all means- dig in.

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Intelligent and amusing

Author: Laura (berceuse66) from Ann Arbor, Michigan
3 August 2002

I remember that some people complained about The Red Violin being too confusing to follow. Oh please. This film is no different: if you have an attention span longer than the 90-second variety, you will have no trouble following the story and character relationships in this movie.

This is sex, lies and videotape Soderbergh, not Ocean's Eleven Soderbergh. The plot doesn't jump around in time, but it does jump from character to character. Yes, there is a story, but the film's focus is on the relationships between the characters - between sisters, between lovers, between actors and directors, between spouses, etc. It never gets overly deep, but it is thoughtful and moving. Hollywood and the movies are simply the backdrop to these explorations.

The comedy here is intelligent, sexual, and referential. The funny bits are often visual, and often at the expense of the film-making and theatrical industries.

Catherine Keener turns in an excellent performance. The big name cast members do fine as well, but it's the lesser known names who really shine.

If you go to see this because you liked Ocean's Eleven, you may be disappointed. It's not a fun, slick, eye-candy-type romp through sexy Hollywood. But if you are looking for an intelligent and amusing little film which explores the relationships between some broken people while laughing at the movie industry, you will likely enjoy this one very much.

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Soderbergh as cosmic masseuse, two hours of clarity, et cetera

Author: Stephen Macy ( from Los Angeles, USA
2 August 2002

How can a film of the moment seem so new? The answer to this paradox of paradoxes resides in the relation of a sometimes-symbolic fact about the cinema's apparatus to Steven Soderbergh's latest: If the screen is merely reflective, then "Full Frontal" is a double-sided mirror spinning round its axis at a revolution rate so very close to 24 times per second. Therefore it is hardly coincidence that this motion picture's motion is thoroughly therapeutic; it is a genuine work of art as it contains nothing artistic; in its every instant, it demonstrates to us how we must live, and therefore how to live in life's any given instant. In other words, this naked film whispers, "understand," over and over again. Soderbergh immerses himself, the cast, the crew, and us so deeply into this movie of movies so that we can come out of it not only unsoiled but cleansed as well (note the last line of the movie: "It was like -out- of a movie."); now, I dare to ask you, which other film yet made can make us honestly believe in that conviction as strongly as this one? Watching this film capture the butterfly of truth in its knowing hand only to gleefully let it go so that it can seize it yet again, I know in my heart that this is the greatest thing yet created: the only question left is whether Soderbergh should make another film, the doubt of course arising of out of the reasonable fear that he might fail to surpass this one. However, if we embrace life itself (as Soderbergh has), the only sane answer is (simply as (a) we must protect our hope for progress, and (b) only an honest review of "Full Frontal" can end with the following words): Yes, yes, et cetera.

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The wizard of id

Author: Jerry Langford ( from los angeles
2 August 2002

The oft-ridiculed tag line--"Everybody needs a release"--refers to the auteur as much as anybody else. A real audience-closer-outer in the fashion of KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE and Godard's LEAR, FULL FRONTAL is all about layering: multiple voiceovers, tired "meta" boxes within boxes, jackass comedy butting up against Cassavetesian soul-baring, cameos and allusions and off-the-cuff gags careening against a bleakness of tone unique in Soderbergh's work. The movie is about stitching and gluing, about varying thicknesses: it suggests more a cinematic version of Wassily Kandinsky's Lego-like "Boogie-Woogie" canvases more than Soderbergh's usual agreeably American Rauschenberg-like impasto. The meat of the matter, the stuff of the thing, is rather unfortunately close to the L.A. Times' "Lifestyle" articles, or a West- side-yup heartbreak article from Los Angeles magazine (whose offices feature prominently in the movie). But it's the treatment that's the thing. One senses that Soderbergh set up a process, cut up the carrots, skinned the potatoes, poured it all into a pot--and saw what came out with the same stunned, was-I-even-there? amazement that the audience has seeing it for the first time.

If there's a coherent idea to the movie, it's that life has tended to feel more and more like a collection of movie moments--echoed by the movie's nightmarish movie-within-a-movie-withinness. The penetration of Planet Entertainment into the Former Republic of Reality is given a clinical, almsot biopsy-like sharp focus. But what's more dazzling about the picture is its privileged moments. Soderbergh seems to have studied Chantal Akerman and Godard (particularly TWO OR THREE THINGS and NUMERO DEUX--not the cute early stuff everybody else likes): there are moments when Catherine Keener, as a sadistic, melting-down "director of personnel," falls apart on camera that seem to come directly from one of those Gallic auteurs' seventies pictures. Soderbergh's meak/meen use of Julia Roberts couldn't be more fascinating. On one hand more star-dazzling than ever, she also plays your worst fears about who Julia Roberts might be--brilliantly. (In perhaps the movie's most stunningly multi-edged moment, Roberts stands around at a party saying, "There's lots of good chromium! In fact, I LOVE chromium!"--a sick joke on the sick (real) people in ERIN BROCKOVICH.)

Some of Soderbergh's choices defy logic. Casting TV dullards like David Hyde Pierce and Blair Underwood in giant roles (in which they tremble visibly in fear at the Soderbergh-Julia titanicness of it all) goes beyond perversity to a kind of hari-kiri. But the movie's much-derided "ugly" digital video has its own logic. Soderbergh plays up the tangibly video-esque, the palpable and painterly part of that ugly image, rather than opting for the faux-movieish DV of John Bailey's work in THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY. The result is a processional of images so powerfully eye-soreish you might feel you're in a video dupe of an early Warhol movie.

FULL FRONTAL doesn't have the "Aaah, satisfying!" quality of most of Soderbergh's recent home-run fare--but it is built deliberately not to. No working American filmmaking is more daring, more outre, more committed to his own artistic journey--or more willing to turn the "Love me" button on or off.

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Five or Six "can't miss" moments

Author: raines_t from Austin, TX
1 August 2002

Overall, the film was pretty entertaining, however, this was the Austin premiere and having Nicky Katt there in person was as if someone held a "laugh" or "applause" sign up through the entire flick. On its own, it certainly is not Stephens best work but he did quite a bit with only 18 days of work.

David Hyde Pierce was probably the highlight and Nicky Katt gave a memorable performance. For acting and quick wit, check it out, for a story that makes sense, go see something else.

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Hard to follow but that doesn't seem to matter

Author: ftm68_99 from United States Minor Outlying Islands
30 July 2002

About half-way through this movie I gave up trying to follow it, and it didn't seem to matter. We see scenes of people whose only commonality seems to be that they have all been invited to the same party that night. The editor must have found this an easy gig, as the scenes have little if nothing to do with one another, and we jump from one scene to another with no apparent reason. To add to the mix, some scenes seem to be from a movie being made within the movie.

Most of the dialogue seemed to be improvised. That it was improvised well, and done so by a lot of likeable actors, made the movie entertaining, if incomprehensible.

Caveat: it's shot in digital video and I found the blurriness tiring after a while.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Vastly Misunderstood

Author: BradT105 from United States
10 August 2006

FULL FRONTAL = A FILM VASTLY MISUNDERSTOOD. A masterpiece that should be seen by any film student or film enthusiast. Vastly misunderstood by the masses, this film examines people as are and should be. The (public's) general consensus fails to recognize the film's beauty as a story about humanity and human error. The form, which encompasses both film and digital video, is initially jarring but soon becomes a guide to help learn about characters. The cameos do little but emphasize the importance of the director and his impact he potentially has upon the industry. This film is best seen in context with "Full Frontal" and "Bubble."

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Every great artist has their bad moments

Author: tritisan from Mill Valley, CA
17 July 2003

Boring, pointless, pedantic, self-important, annoying, jerky,

mystifying...I turned it off after 30 minutes of this. What a shame.

What a waste of talent.

To be fare, I was tired and in the mood for something lighter (like

Ocean's Eleven). Maybe someday, if someone gives me a VERY

good reason, I'll try again.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Have you seen 'Adaptation'?In a similar vein with a lot more sophistication.

Author: dollarhotel from isle of wight
20 May 2003

So 'Adaptation' was good right? Everyone loved the way the movie seamlessly moved in and out of real life and fiction. Or at least it moved between what the film makers identified as real life and fiction. 'Full Frontal' plays with similar issues, but you can't help feeling that it does so on a whole new level to 'Adaptation'. For a start, the fiction is fictional: at times we can't be sure how many layers of film we are watching. So it's a film within a film within a film? Maybe. It builds a pretence that lets us assume that some characters are real and others are not, but it still hints at the fact that 'hey hey kids! This Is Hollywood!'. Where 'Adaptation' was glossy, 'Full Frontal' builds its realities within different qualities of film. It sucks you in with a 'looks so real it must be' trickery that really works. Okay, so there have been loads of complaints about the quality of film, but it's all purposeful, it's asking those all-important questions that films such as 'Adaptation' only just touch upon. It wants us to evaluate all the things we know about Hollywood, the actors on screen, the people behind the camera, but it wants us to laugh as we do it. It wants us to be able to watch a film within a film within a film within a film (it really is that many!) and understand, without too much explanation its ideas. Interweaving various plotlines we are shown many narratives and POVs. This film wants us to know its characters and not in a self-deprecating way ('Adaptation' was good, and honest, but it never really opened up). At times it seems to be about watching, we are watching a film after all, and about how one thing tanscribes into many others. That thing appears to be about love, but the film is far too complex for me to begin to unravel it. All of these characters are evaluating their lives, just as the film asks us to evaluate everything we see. Don't be put off by bad reviews. This is an extremely intelligent movie, and despite being a little abstract succeeds on many levels. As interesting as it is artful, this shows Soderberg at his best, shying away from Hollywood whilst having his usual stint of A-list actors present. If you want a bit of eye-candy and a relaxing night in hire 'Ocean's 11'. But if you want to see Hollywood doing something out of the ordinary, see 'Full Frontal'. And even though it's out of the ordinary, expect the usual score of A-list cameos, because they're always entertaining!

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