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F*ck
DVD disk
03.13.2007 By: Dave Davis
F*ck order
Director:
Steve Anderson

Actors:
Billy Connolly
Janeane Garofalo
Bill Maher

Rating:
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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
This documentary explores the history and common use of the last taboo word in the English language. Or at least the one that doesn’t start with C or N…
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Filmmaker Steve Anderson's f*ck-fueled f*cktacular takes a look at the proliferation (and subsequently diminished impact) and etymology of what has become one of the most common curse words (it is apparently NOT an acronym, despite what urban legend says). The majority of info and opinion comes from interviews with a variety of comedians, actors, writers, producers, critics, politicians and random spokespeople for “moral correctness”.

There are no real surprises here, since you know precisely what side of the f*ckline you’ll find people like Kevin Smith, Ice-T, Ron Jeremy and the late Hunter S. Thompson: holding the complete opposite viewpoint from Christian singer Pat Boone, Republican Alan Keyes and “Miss Manners” Judith Martin. Veteran newsman Sam Donaldson offers some rational insight, but these interviews are, much like the film itself, interesting and engaging without much relevatory content.

F*UCK delves into the history and usage of the word in music, film, television, comedy (including an appropriate segment on Lenny Bruce), sports, war, religion, politics and perhaps most importantly, pop culture itself -- it does focus mostly on American society, although I’m reasonably certain the term is globally recognized and utilized. Much like love, beer and/or a killer body, it's something that crosses language barriers.

And much like the recent documentary THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED, the film illustrates the curious censorship chasm between violence and anything with sexual connotations. It does eventually take a distinct anti-Bush bias, but some of the ammunition is difficult to dodge if the statistics are accurate (such as FCC indecency complaints -- most from the supposedly partisan Parents Television Council -- going from the hundreds to the millions since the overtly religious administration took power).

THE EXTRAS
There’s a commentary track by director Steve Anderson, but since 90% of the film is a commentary of sorts, this seems a bit superfluous. More valuable are the deleted scenes and extended interviews, particularly for fans of Thompson and porn star Tera Patrick (separately, thank the gods). There’s also a counter that can be turned on during the film to keep track of how many times the word is used.

Also included are other interviews, with filmmaker Anderson, and animator Bill Plympton, who provides the film’s cartoon interstitials. On top of that are the Theatrical Trailer and a trailer gallery featuring SHORTBUS, FARCE OF THE PENGUINS and THE ARISTOCRATS. A robust amount of f*cking extras, all in all.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
F*CK offers a provocative, if decidedly superficial, examination of the “despicable” phrase that many people in the current generation now use like any common part of their vocabulary. But the film’s most entertaining moments may actually be the animated transitions and the impressive collection of the word’s most infamous utterances.
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