Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Julia Roberts, David Hyde Pierce, David Duchovny, Nicky Katt, Catherine Keener
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Academy Award(R)-winner Julia Roberts (Best Actress, ERIN BROCKOVICH, 2000), David Duchovny (THE X-FILES), and Blair Underwood (RULES OF ENGAGEMENT) star in another acclaimed triumph from Oscar(R)-winning director Steven S... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Rick U. (rickumali) from ARLINGTON, MA
Reviewed on 3/30/2008...
I have always enjoyed movies about movies. I was a big fan of the Project Greenlight reality show. This movie is in a similar vein, in the hands of master director Steven Soderbergh. He follows the lives of seven people in Los Angeles, as their worlds briefly intersect, and finally join at a dinner party for a common friend. The fourth wall is broken multiple times, and it's enjoyable to deconstruct what you're seeing. David Hyde Pierce (of Frasier fame) gives a revelation of a performance here, as he acts and sounds nothing like his famous television character. An enjoyable lark!
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
This movie is awful, just awful
Mark | Madison, Wisconsin | 12/08/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This was a very bad movie. It was very disjointed, confusing, no story and in my opinion worthless. The movie was presented in a documentary style about making a movie. The acting was very poor and the script was awful. That is something that I don't say very often because I am the one that likes B movies. The only reason that I would have given this movie 2 stars would have been that David Duchovny was totally nude. Well, the scene was about 2 seconds long, blurry and shot at an angle that you knew that he had something between his legs, but you really couldn't see it well enough to say it was worth the movie price. Don't waste your time with this one, it isn't worth the plastic that it is packaged in."
Experimental does not always mean good
Galina | Virginia, USA | 04/08/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It saddens me to say so but "Full Frontal" is painfully boring, pointless, disjointed, and underdeveloped. I am a big fan of indie experimental original movies but this one gives the term bad meaning. As hard as they tried, the talented performers ((David Hyde Pierce, Catherine Keener, Mary McCormack, Julia Roberts, Blair Underwood) could not make their lifeless characters interesting enough for me to care. I love Catherine Keener in every movie I've seen her but she's played the same role in better films. She is much more interesting in Neil LaBute's "Your Friends & Neighbors" (1998) which reminds in some ways Full Frontal. Both, Neil LaBute's and Soderbergh's films picture selfish and often unpleasant and despicable people who are not happy with themselves and can't make happy those close to them. Another Keener's film that came to my mind, is Living in Oblivion (1995), a 91 minutes long low-budget independent movie about trials and tribulations of making a low budget independent movie. Tom DiCillo's smart, funny, playful, and highly enjoyable Living in Oblivion has surreal, strangely poetic and amusing quality to it. Unlike, Soderbergh's empty exercise in self-indulgence, wonderful cast of Living in Oblivion has something interesting to play and the characters created by Steve Buscemi, Catherine Keener, Chad Palomino, Dermot Mulroney and Peter Dinklage (in a very funny cameo) are alive and three-dimensional. I am a fan of Soderbergh's work since I saw his fascinating debut, the Palme d'Or winner "Sex, Lies, and Videotape". I read that "Full Frontal" is in a way a sequel to Soderbergh's first feature. If that's true, it only proves that sequels almost never measure up to originals.
Soderberg's take on neo-realism
Steward Willons | Illinois | 07/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Judging from all the negative reviews, I'm guess this film attracted a lot of mainstream viewers who enjoy Soderberg's other films like "Ocean's 11" and "Traffic". That's not really the intended audience and I can understand their frustration. However, much of the criticism heaved at this film is due mostly to a misunderstanding of how to view it.
My best example is in the acting. I've heard so many complaints that the acting is horrible. It's not horrible - it's just a different style. An improvisatory, more natural style. One usually finds this type of acting in Dogma 95 films (think Lars Von Trier). It feels unrehearsed and has an immediacy that is quite appealing, if you know what you're looking at. If you're seeing major stars and their acting is different than in their other films, that's only because Soderberg's whole approach is different on this project. He creates the situations with an outline of character motivation. From there, the actors create the characters, in great depth.
The story is another point of contention. Anyone disappointed in the supposed lack of a narrative was looking for something that just wasn't there. The film is episodic, much like Fellini's "La Dolce Vita." It's really about the characters, their lives, and their struggles. There isn't a major "goal", there isn't a beginning or an end, and we never reach any sort of closure. There are small stories happening throughout the film and they do have a beginning, middle, and end; but overall, it's a brief look at a wide variety of individuals - some interesting, some not. One of the most clever parts of the film is the love story, which Soderberg immediately identifies as a film within a film. It's his cynical way of pointing out that the masses want a love story in their film. Well, he gives us one, but he also points out that it is completely contrived and false.
I find these characters completely fascinating. The acting is just incredibly real and raw. Soderberg's direction is top notch and reminds me just how great of a filmmaker he really is. It's easy to consider him a mainstream hack when he releases multiple "Ocean" films, but he's brilliant.
As one can tell by reading all the one-star reviews, this film is not for everyone. It's not technically "experimental" because this style is well precedented, but to those unfamiliar with neorealism or Dogma 95 films, it might as well be avant garde. If I could offer one piece of advice, it would be to shed your expectations of how a film functions. You'll just be disappointed. Try to enjoy just watching the characters without trying to form detailed connections between them. The scenes are really just brief episodes that serve to show us the characters and they don't necessarily form a teleological progression from A to Z.
Finally, a word on the craftsmanship. Soderberg filmed most of this in digital video, so it doesn't have the same richness as film. This is fairly typical with this sort of realist film. Directors in this style often like to travel light, so the film crew is unobtrusive and extremely flexible. On a few occasions, Soderberg does switch to film, but it's for the film-within-a-film, and the dramatic change in look clues us into what we're watching
To a minority, this will be a great and rewarding film, full of detailed, nuanced performances. For many, it will be frustrating and tedious, so long as we insist on trying to make it into a regular film. It's worth watching, but keep only the expectation of seeing something 'different.'"