Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Fantasia 2000


Walt intended Fantasia to be an ongoing project. Take a segment out and replace it with something else, do that with three or four segments and put it back into theaters. Since Fantasia was not a smashing success, it never happened, and I think that’s probably a good thing. I don’t think many people would pay to go to a movie they’d ... Read more »

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

(UK/USA, 2016)

I’m a big fan of J.K. Rowling, both as an author and a human being. She is a huge contributor to several charities, and politically has donated £1,000,000 to the Labour Party, another million to the anti-separatist cause in Scotland, and another million against Brexit. She is reputed to be the only writer who has ever made a billion dollars at her craft, and I can believe it, with the ... Read more »

Fantastic Mr. Fox


Everyone once in a while I just don’t get it. A movie comes along that is almost universally praised by critics and audiences alike, and it leaves me cold. I’m not so surprised when it’s something like Sin City. We live in an age when this sort of violent pornography is so standard that no one seems to notice anymore that it is morally bankrupt and, frankly, ... Read more »

The Fantasticks


Harvey Schmidt and Tom “Not the Singer” Jones wrote a small musical based on a rather silly story by the great Edmund Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac), with a touch of Romeo and Juliet and {A Midsummer Night’s Dream,}} among several other influences. It opened off-Broadway on May 3, 1960, with Jerry Orbach starring … and closed in 2002, ... Read more »

The Far Country


A movie noteworthy mostly for its fabulous vistas of the Yukon Territory during the gold rush. It was actually filmed in Alberta, which I guess isn’t too far off. Everywhere you look, towering mountains, snow, glaciers. They even recreated the famous scene of the prospectors laboring up the Chilkoot Pass, which can be seen on a commemorative Alaska license plate. Other than that, I wasn’t ... Read more »

Far From Heaven


The serious side of Down With Love. This also looks as if it were made in the ‘50s or ‘60s, and it concerns interracial love and homosexuality, and does a very good job of it.

Far From the Madding Crowd

(UK, 1967)

“Madding” at this time meant “frenzied.” I’ve always wondered about that. This is one of those I missed when new, and I seem to be catching up on a lot of missed big movies lately. So be it. I enjoyed it, but more for the widescreen spectacle than for the story, which I found to be frequently frustrating. But I get that way when I see people making stupid choices, particularly beautiful ... Read more »


(L'affaire Farewell, France, 2009)

In the age of Reagan, Mitterand, and just before Gorbachev, a Russian in the KGB is fed up with the Soviet Union and hopes to force a change by passing some very high-level data to the French. As his go-between he picks a French engineer in Moscow with no ties to any spy agency, and thus without a KGB dossier. It is “based on fact,” as they say, and this time they may not have jazzed it up ... Read more »

Farewell, My Lovely

Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe has appeared in ten movies and many TV and radio adaptations. The movies range in quality from very good (Bogart in The Big Sleep) to pretty bad (Dick Powell in Murder, My Sweet, which was really this story, re-titled), to plain bizarre (The Lady in the Lake, shot entirely in ... Read more »



So many of the Coen films are so damned good that it’s a real challenge to pick a favorite, but if held to the wall with a lethal electrified clapboard at my chest, I’d have to say it’s this one. Close contenders are No Country For Old Men and True Grit, but both of those were adapted from novels. This one was wholly fabricated in their ... Read more »