LOST IN SPACE 1998

Poffy The Cucumber

Lost In Act Three. LOST IN SPACE blasts off as a well-produced science fiction adventure, then gets lost loster than its lostest characters. Brought to the big screen from the 1965 TV series, LOST IN SPACE captures much of the dynamics between all the characters originally created by Irwin Allen; it updates the tech, the spaceship, the production value; it … Read More

DARKEST HOUR

Poffy The Cucumber

Fight For Your Right – to Dunkirk! He mobilized the English language, and sent it into battle. — Edward R. Murrow. (Accredited to Lord Halifax in DARKEST HOUR.) Oldman does Churchill! The greatest actor of our generation plays the greatest orator of the greatest generation. DARKEST HOUR follows newly-elected British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) through Britain’s darkest hour … Read More

ROBOCOP 2014

Poffy The Cucumber

Being more Man than Machine? There’s an app for that… A cop transformed into a cyborg fights for control of his free will over the corporation that controls his unthinking, emotionless mind. Uh, so it’s about ALL cops then? No, only ones who behave like ROBOCOP. Oh, so it’s about ALL cops then?… 2028 Detroit. When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) … Read More

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Poffy The Cucumber

This is the Dawning of the Age of A-Hairy-Ass… How embarrassing! Conquered by people who don’t wear pants. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES starts exactly where RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2011) left off, with a killer virus spreading via a world map, extinguishing the human species except for a few pockets of immunes. 8 years … Read More

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX

Poffy The Cucumber

Order off the Menu. Nothing’s pulling the carriage, Harry. It’s pulling itself, like always… — Hermione, ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX reminds us of how Jor-El’s warnings to Krypton’s elders went unheeded, and how Krypton paid the price. In PHOENIX, the demon wizard Voldemort is back – but no one believes the people … Read More

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE

Poffy The Cucumber

Goblet-de-gook. HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE continues the disjointed adventure of the world’s most famous boy wizard; not so much a feature film as a laundry list of tasks performed by two-dimensional characters, told with no logic, less motivation and lots and lots of not very special effects. It’s Magic! That’s great! Fuck you! It surely seems like … Read More

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN

Poffy The Cucumber

Azkabana-fo-fana. Harry Potter’s getting on to “that age.” At the opening of HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, we meet him in bed under the blankets, playing with his wand. And Hermione is – how shall I say this without sounding as perverse as the rest of you who deny you’re looking? – budding… And Ron is still a … Read More

AIR FORCE ONE

Poffy The Cucumber

Air Force Dumb. Russians hijack the American President’s plane, AIR FORCE ONE! Oh my! Whatever is going to happen now? Can I have a serving of foregone conclusion with my helping of blockbuster actioner? Two great actors. One dumbass movie. Harrison Ford is American President James Marshall (because the name President Privileged Whiteman was taken), and Gary Oldman is Russian … Read More

LEON

Poffy The Cucumber

Angel and the Bad Man. If cuteness has a forbidden name – then, oh Christ! It must be Natalie Portman! If loving this 12-year-old is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. Or in jail. LÉON (aka THE PROFESSIONAL) is writer-director Luc Besson‘s masterpiece. For its poignant paintings of shadowy souls in conflict with themselves and each other; for its dynamite … Read More

JFK

Poffy The Cucumber

Conspiracy Clearly. To sin by silence when we should protest, makes cowards out of men. –Ella Wheeler Wilcox. When it comes to 9-11, or John F. Kennedy, or Jesus Christ, no one cares what you think. They know what they know. And no one’s gonna tell ’em otherwise. Oliver Stone doesn’t care what you think. He directs JFK with the … Read More

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Poffy The Cucumber

Darkest Knight. 60 years ago writer-director Christopher Nolan would have been one of the premier exponents of film noir. Conceptually and cinematically, his DARK KNIGHT trilogy is one of the most somber excursions into dual personality crises, moral relativism, vigilantism and nihilism. And Batman would have been Humphrey Bogart. “Here’s lookin’ at you, Gotham…” Just as dour as Bogart, Christian … Read More

RED RIDING HOOD

Poffy The Cucumber

Lycan-nope. My, what big eyes Amanda Seyfried has! RED RIDING HOOD is a reimagining of the children’s tale about the talking wolf that eats grandmother. What better way to represent an anthropomorphized lupine than making it – a WEREWOLF? As this mysterious werewolf stalks a medieval village, we constantly ask ourselves, “Why don’t I feel any foreboding or tension? Why … Read More

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA

Poffy The Cucumber

Delicious, with a hint of sour Keanu. In BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, Gary Oldman shows us what acting IS and Keanu Reeves shows us what acting ISN’T. We all know the concept of Dracula; it is in our – ahem – bloodstreams, but in cinema, we rarely see Dracula’s origins. Director Francis Ford Coppolla opens the movie with the event that … Read More

PLANET 51

Poffy The Cucumber

He who sips from many cups, drinks from none. The imitative art is an inferior who marries an inferior and has inferior offspring. — Plato, The Republic, Book X. Wow! A movie with NO original ideas! PLANET 51 is a glop of as many nudge-nudge wink-wink cultural references as cartoonly possible in an uninvolving 91-minute chase movie. Set on an … Read More

TRUE ROMANCE

Poffy The Cucumber

Delicious Vicious, Frantic Romantic. A brazen thug-fest, played like an adventure story for boys. Tony Scott (TOP GUN, DAYS OF THUNDER) directs TRUE ROMANCE, but it’s got Quentin Tarantino‘s stank all over it – delicious dialogue juggled with vicious gun play. Though Tarantino is listed only as “writer,” TRUE ROMANCE seems to be the middle child of what could be … Read More

THE BOOK OF ELI

Poffy The Cucumber

When Gunslingers Get Religion. Comes a time when you’re just sick of the descriptor “post-apocalyptic.” What happened to simply, “The Near Future” and letting our imaginations extrapolate on what blasted the hell out of Middle America? (Could it have been those religious fanatics with the Weapons of Mass Destruction – you know, the American government?) So in THE BOOK OF … Read More

THE BACKWOODS

Poffy The Cucumber

Even in Spain, there’s a Deep South. Shades of STRAW DOGS and dabbles in DELIVERANCE, THE BACKWOODS is an exploration of deep south justice – in Spain. Two Brits with their European wives holiday in the backwoods of Spain, Paul and Isabel (Gary Oldman and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón), and Norman and Lucy (Paddy Considine and Virginie Ledoyen). The two men go … Read More

THE DARK KNIGHT

Poffy The Cucumber

Do not go gentle into that good knight… Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. – Dylan Thomas If Batman is the untamed world, The Joker is the unbalanced world. THE DARK KNIGHT tells us humanity lives somewhere in between. … Read More

THE FIFTH ELEMENT

Poffy The Cucumber

Slammin’, Glammin’ and Hammin’. THE FIFTH ELEMENT has spawned so many negative reviews (even whilst admitting to enjoying it) that I get the feeling critics are jealous that Euros can pull off an action blockbuster with as much brainless flair as Americans – with twice the guilty pleasure. In a future society realized in eye-fatiguing detail by writer/director Luc Besson, … Read More

BATMAN BEGINS

Poffy The Cucumber

Dark Knight Reconstructionist Theory. Droves of bats against an ocher sunset, teasing out the infamous Bat Logo on the sky with their swarming bodies; the first five seconds of BATMAN BEGINS are scintillating. Then it just keeps getting better. If there is bedrock truth in the axiom, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” then surely the inverse is also … Read More