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Femme Fatale (2002) - ***
A very sexy, stylish thriller from Brian De Palma. After his last films, Mission to Mars & Snake Eyes, I wasn't sure what to expect. What we get is a decent movie filled with stylish twists and turns involing Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, a jewel thief, and Antonio Banderas, a photographer. It's a nicely filmed movie and it keeps you guessing. Seems like De Palma has switched gears and returned more to his roots, borrowing from French cinema and his earlier work. Even among it's often long scenes without dialogue, it held my interest and I found it enjoyable to watch play out.

Final Destination 2 (2003) - *
I hated the original and this was just more of the same. The only slightly positive thing the first movie had was the original concept. Basically this movie was just a way to take the exact same idea and find some particularly gruesome way to kill off another bunch of people.

Finian's Rainbow (1968) - ***
I'm not a big musical fan, but sometimes they're alright. Somehow when a couple Irish folk come to a southern town and meet up with some sharecroppers, it's not totally unbelievable that they would break into song at dance at the drop of a hat. Finian McLonergan (Fred Astaire) brings his daughter Sharon (Petula Clark) from Ireland to American in search of gold. While searching for the gold, there are some run ins with a five foot leprechaun and some corrupt politicians. There is a bit of racism addressed, but that is dealt with when Sharon wish the racist Senator knew what it was like to be black and he magically is turned black and sees the error of his ways with the help of a little spell from the leprechaun. A fun film.
Rank: #4
St. Patrick's Day Movie

Following (1998) - ***
A good first film for Christopher Nolan, who also directed Memento (2000) and the Remake of Insomnia (2002). Definitely a pretty decent track record so far. The style of Following is similar to that of Memento, in that it is non-linear. It's black and white and quite short at 71mins. About a writer who starts following people to get ideas for characters and goes too far and gets tangled up with the wrong people.

Footloose (1984) - ***
Kevin Bacon moves from Chicago to a small town where dancing and popular music have been banned. Things definitely get stirred up. It's better than a lot of of the 80s teens movies. Well acted by Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow, Lori Singer, Christopher Penn, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Diane Wiest. Probably holds up better for us who were teens in the 80s.

Frailty (2001) - **1/2
A disturbing, but well made movie. To say too much would be giving too much away. It's a good directorial debut for Bill Paxton, who also stars as "Dad". The story of him raising his two kids with his seemingly twisted beliefs is not for the faint of heart, but an interesting premise for the overall story which plays out with Matthew McConaughey (one of his grownup sons) and Powers Boothe as the FBI agent. It's well acted by both the adult and child actors. You can't help but feel compassion for the kids, but your feelings for "Dad" might vary as the movie progresses. It was an original enough idea to hold my interest throughout. Thumbs up to Bill Paxton for good directing and a fine acting performance.

Frank McCluskey, C.I. (2002) - *1/2
I guess if Jim Carrey is going to make serious films like The Majestic, they need someone to fill his old shoes. They found him, David Sheridan. This movie was definitely Jim Carrey-esque...not only does Dave Sheridan act exactly like Jim Carrey, but he happens to look remarkably like him. Unfortunately, the script is ridiculous. A few laughs are provided, but mostly it's groans. If you've been missing the funny Jim Carrey, you might want to try this film for a fix.

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) - ***
A fun movie from Robert Rodriguez and a great cast of George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino (who wrote the story), Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Selma Hayek, and Cheech Marin (who played three roles). This is a rather violent, action movie that could have easily been a turn off, but Robert Rodriguez took Quentin's story and they made an entertaining movie. Quentin's characters always seem to have so much life to them and I think that's what makes the movie better. It could have easily just been a cheesy, totally unbelievable action/horror piece. Not that we're going to walk away thinking what happened could really happen, but as I was watching the movie I wasn't considering the plausibility and was just enjoying the ride. Nice little bits of comedy thrown in which I think made it that much easier to take the violent parts. I loved the neon sigh outside of the "Titty Twister".

From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999) - *1/2
There's a reason this sequel went straight to video, it's awful. It has none of the heart of Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Taratino's original. It is surprisingly watchable, but that's not to be mistaken for being good in any way. It's most significant star is Robert Patrick, who will forever be known to me as the T-1000. It has a couple interesting camera shots, including an homage to Hitchcock that mildly amused me.

From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (2000) - **
Another bad straight to video sequel. This time it's set in Old West Mexico. You can probably guess where the wayward travelers and outlaws end up. Yes, the "Titty Twister" before it had the name. This time the big star is Rebecca Gayheart (The Noxzema Girl, Urban Legend). Nothing new or good to offer from this movie. A couple mildly amusing moments, like the bad guy doing his Travis Bickle impersonation in Español.

From Hell (2001) - ***
This version of the Jack the Ripper story is not for the squeemish, but it was better than I expected. I thought it was well acted by all the actors and it had a good dark, eery setting that gave it a realistic feel.

Full Tilt Boogie (1997) - ***
This is a really good and informative feature length documentary on the making of From Dusk Till Dawn. It covers most aspects of the film making process...Interviews with all of the cast and crew, following them around during filming and off hours from start to finish. Having to deal with issues like unions, paparazzi, weather, long hours, and unexpected fires...yet they all seem to love what they're doing.

Fulltime Killer (Chuen jik sat sau) (2001) - **1/2
A decent hong kong movie about two professional killers. It's very well made, but I bit too serious for me. That's not necessarily bad, but I found myself wanting a of the humor that is common in Hong Kong movies. I was also a bit turned off that one of the killers foamed at the mouth after each murder (and other times).


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