SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

Poffy The Cucumber

Oh Han, where did you Kessel Run to? What we do in life – echoes in eternity. — Russell Crowe as Maximus, GLADIATOR Just how did Han Solo come by his beloved Millennium Falcon? (He told us in Episode IV he won it gambling.) And how did he get his trusty blaster? (Uh, I guess he either bought it, stole … Read More

NOW YOU SEE ME

Poffy The Cucumber

The closer you look, the less you’ll care… Magician J. Daniel Atlas has a slogan: “The closer you look – the less you’ll see.” Uh, no, I’m actually seeing right into your cliché-riddled screenplay, and your swooping camera moves to misdirect me means that you know that I know what you don’t want me to know… Four smug magicians use … Read More

PARKER

Poffy The Cucumber

Easy revenge, hard injuries. He’s Jason Statham. He beats people up. As usual. But in PARKER, what isn’t so usual is that Statham, in the title role, actually gets hurt while beating people up. Like “real life” hurt. Hurt bad. That’s the best element in this stock actioner where Mr. Statham (THE MECHANIC 2011) and director Taylor Hackford (RAY) take … Read More

THE NUT JOB

Poffy The Cucumber

Nutless. A group of woodland creatures tries to infiltrate a nut shop and heist its nuts for the winter after their supply in the park is accidentally blown up. Uncute, unlovable animal characters populate THE NUT JOB, an animated feature that aims for excitement, romance and danger and never pulls off any of it as successfully as the uncute unlovable … Read More

OCEAN’S 11

Poffy The Cucumber

Koo-Koo Eleven. They’re not master thieves – they’re ex-paratroopers. And they’re going to rob five Las Vegas casinos. Koo-koo, baby! Frank Sinatra is Danny Ocean in OCEAN’S 11, a breezy heist flick that is too cool for its own Camel filtered cigarette, too slick for its own Brylcreemed pompadour, too koo-koo kutchoo for its own swingin’ hep cats. Like his … Read More

HENRY’S CRIME

Poffy The Cucumber

Even-keeled heel steals. He did the time for a bank robbery he didn’t commit. Now that he’s out, he’s really gonna rob that bank. Nice Concept. Might look implausible if the actors don’t tread delicately with utmost conviction. Or unless you can find an actor that stands outside the field of acting altogether and can retain a blank poker face … Read More

THE HARD WORD

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Brother Hood. At long last, an Australian crime actioner with all the guts and grit of any British or American film of this genre. THE HARD WORD is brutally raw and raunchy, pulsing with a truly Aussie spirit and a DownUnda cheekiness. There is much subtext of honor among thieves, mateship and family – nothing we haven’t seen before in … Read More

ABSOLUTE POWER

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Thieves in the Temple. In ABSOLUTE POWER, Clint Eastwood is super thief Luther Whitney, robbing a mansion when he is interrupted by two lovers entering the room. Luther takes cover and witnesses rough foreplay, until the man gets too rough for the woman and she retaliates by trying to stab him. The man, pinned on the floor, cries, “Help! Help!” … Read More

THE LADYKILLERS 2004

Poffy The Cucumber

Killer me saucy. A farcical heist movie, with quirky characters, sharp, dark storyline and dialogue so delicious you can feed your cat with it. It’s not describing a suave Bond-type; the title of this movie is literal – but easier said than done. THE LADYKILLERS follows confidence man Professor G.H. Dorr (Tom Hanks in the sauciest, most enunciated performance of … Read More

THREE KINGS

Poffy The Cucumber

KELLY’S HEROES without the ragtag. War is not just Hell. In THREE KINGS, it is confusing as Hell. Four American soldiers behind enemy lines on a mission; they’re not here to win a battle, they’re here to rob a bank. If the plot sounds familiar, it is KELLY’S HEROES for the morally ambiguous generation. THREE KINGS is a stunning, ferocious … Read More

THE MAIDEN HEIST

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The Passion of The Heist. A quaint little heist comedy, with a nifty romantic resolution, THE MAIDEN HEIST stars Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken and William H. Macy as security guards at a Boston art museum, so enamored with certain art pieces that when those pieces are sold to a European museum, they decide to steal the pieces for themselves and … Read More

DIE HARD

Poffy The Cucumber

An Action Hero is Born Hard. You know that irritating cliche: “rip-roaring rollercoaster ride”? Invented here: DIE HARD. The original and best. Action movie that carved a template for action movies – back in the day when even white guys could be terrorists. This close to being a pissant B-Action-Movie, DIE HARD is where TV’s smarmy David Addison transitioned to … Read More

BAD SANTA

Poffy The Cucumber

I Didn’t Shit Right For a Week. So filthy. So disgusting. So irreverent… So funny. Billy Bob Thornton gives new meaning to “Santa Claus is coming to town” as a drunken, lecherous, foul-mouthed thief posing as a department store Santa with his accomplice elf (little person, Tony Cox), only to rob each store that employs them. BAD SANTA is THE … Read More

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD

Poffy The Cucumber

Doing the business on the family business. “May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.” That old Irish saying warns that you can fool yourself into believing you’re in gravy, until Reality mops the floor with you. Walking a fine line between pulp noir and terrifying reality, BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD succeeds … Read More

21

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Counting to Dumb. In this vacuous drama supposedly based on a true story, Old Hand (Kevin Spacey) teaches Teen Models (Kate Bosworth, Aaron Yoo, Liza Lapira, Jacob Pitts) to count cards and take on Vegas. Happens that Old Hand is college professor Micky Rosa, and his Teen Models are his students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. I don’t … Read More

CRIMINAL

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Innocent Until Proven Guilty Pleasure. Honor among thieves? I don’t think so! Well-dressed and well-spoken grifter, Richard (John C. Reilly), rescues inexperienced, young Spanish con artist, Rodrigo (Diego Luna) from an arrest, taking the supposedly-inexperienced youngster under his wing, at first for small cons, and then for a giant con that suddenly falls into his lap. Ah yes, but who … Read More

OCEAN’S THIRTEEN

Poffy The Cucumber

Lucky Number Thirteen. Like a rehabilitated version of its two retarded brothers, OCEAN’S THIRTEEN is still eye-candy (primary colors and insatiable set dressing screams at us within the opening five minutes), it is still big band bop underscoring a lavish, hedonist production, it is still man-toys squirming their taut butts through unutterably outlandish scenarios – but this time ‘round, the … Read More

LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS

Poffy The Cucumber

LOCK, STOCK comes at us with two smoking barrels. “Right! Let’s sort the buyers from the spyers, the needy from the greedy and those who love me from the ones who don’t…” Bacon (Jason Statham) and Eddie (Nick Moran) work a street crowd with their hot merchandise. Cops. They flee. When the film suddenly crashes into super-slomo, and a hard, … Read More

KELLY’S HEROES

Poffy The Cucumber

From Zeroes to Heroes. World War II. A small troop of American soldiers surrounds the German-occupied French village of Claremont, closing in slowly over the rooftops and through the ruins. Thirty miles behind enemy lines, isolated from their own army, one Sherman tank their only armored support against three superior German Tiger tanks, they’re not here to fight a battle. … Read More

FUN WITH DICK AND JANE 2005

Poffy The Cucumber

Not Much Fun with Dick and Jane. To say that Adam Sandler is turning into a mediocre actor is a compliment of the highest order. To say the same thing about Jim Carrey is a tragedy for American Cinema. Not exactly a “boring” movie – but FUN WITH DICK AND JANE 2005 (remade from the 1977 movie of the same … Read More