NON-STOP

Poffy The Cucumber

A particular set of thrills. An air marshal must stop a mysterious texting terrorist carrying out his threats to kill one person every 20 minutes. And sending poo emojis. The airplane thriller NON-STOP is, in fact, non-stop thrills, with Liam Neeson plying his intensity as air marshal Bill Marks (basically a reprise of his role as Bryan Mills, special forces … Read More

RUN ALL NIGHT

Poffy The Cucumber

When street cred meets father figure. RUN ALL NIGHT is the gritty twat-eating hardass badboy movie Liam Neeson makes when he’s not making other gritty twat-eating hardass badboy movies. The difference between this and his other gritty twat-eating hardass badboy movies – is its heart. For a movie most concerned with shooting and running and trying to impress us with … Read More

TAKEN 3

Poffy The Cucumber

Someone should’ve TAKEN the director’s place. His wife is murdered. And his daughter doesn’t like the giant bear he bought for her birthday. For Liam Neeson, TAKEN 3 is just one tragedy after another. But not with his wife and daughter – with the director. It’s official: Olivier Megaton is the WORST ACTION DIRECTOR in history. He has no clue … Read More

DARKMAN

Poffy The Cucumber

Liam Neeson’s first encounter with the dark side… of acting! Back before Sam Raimi knew how to direct, and before Liam Neeson knew how to act, there was a patchy, deformed quilt of sophomoric acting and gloved-thumb editing called DARKMAN. Supposedly a “superhero” movie, now a cult film, DARKMAN has dated badly since its 1990 release (a release date that … Read More

SCHINDLER’S LIST

Poffy The Cucumber

The Ones That Got Away (alternate title in Germany?) He was German, a Nazi, a profiteer of slave labor, a philanderer, an adulterer, a confidence man and a traitor to his country. He was Oskar Schindler, who saved over 1,100 Jews from concentration camps in World War II. Reminds me of that joke “…but screw just one sheep…” in reverse. … Read More

TED 2

Poffy The Cucumber

Ted2_pic1

Teddy Fuxspin. That dirt-talkin’ beer-drinkin’ pot-smokin’ bad boy bear is back in TED 2 – badder, bolder, drunker and… seriouser? Seth MacFarlane makes the sequel to his R-rated TED (2012) even more R-rated. My biggest fear with this followup to the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever was that the studio would castrate raconteur MacFarlane; that someone would wear him down with … Read More

ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

Poffy The Cucumber

The Corporatization of Dumbification. There are a few above-average jokes in ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES, but most of them are quite average. Underpinning the plot of a TV news anchorman struggling to find meaning in his job and love life, there is the cheeky indictment of the vapid 24-hour news culture and, by association, indictment of all those responsible … 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

THE HAUNTING 1999

Poffy The Cucumber

The terror of bad direction, editing and acting. Not to be confused with THE HAUNTING OF HELL HOUSE, released in the same year, THE HAUNTING is the tiresome, overlong, yawnfest remake of the 1960 movie of the same name. The only reason it’s terrifying is that it illustrates how low the bar for horror movies has sunk. Dr. Marrow (Liam … Read More

THE LEGO MOVIE

Poffy The Cucumber

Will knock your block off! THE LEGO MOVIE is a maximus overload of cinematic revelry; a riotous brick house of bedazzlement. Action, spectacle, romance, cultural refs, fueled by goodness and badness and cuteness. And millions and millions of Lego bricks. Emmett Brickowski (voice of Chris Pratt) is a little Lego man, with perfect Lego hair, living in a perfect Lego … 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

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER

Poffy The Cucumber

Moulage of the Ripe Cheddar. THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER: where characters we care not one whit for embark on a journey we have absolute zero interest in. After two movies, author C.S. Lewis’s epic saga of the magical Narnia universe is going nowhere fabulously fast. And by that I mean, director Michael Apted (THE … Read More

TAKEN 2

Poffy The Cucumber

Istanbullshit. Great KEY & PEELE sketch where two valets who are action movie fanatics drool maniacally in their frenetic praises of Liam Neeson, calling him ‘Liam Neesons’ in TAKEN and TAKEN 2 (which they call TOOKEN and TOOKEN 2), their heads eventually exploding in fervor over Neesons and their other boy ‘Bruce Willy.’ So here we are at TOOKEN 2. … Read More

WRATH OF THE TITANS

Poffy The Cucumber

Ungodly. The legend of Perseus continues in WRATH OF THE TITANS, with the kidnapping of Zeus, the treachery of Ares, the disintegration of Poseidon, and the slaying of the Titan Kronos, just like it says in all the Greek myths…. actually, not in any Greek myths; matter of fact, I’m wondering whether the filmmakers have read even one Greek myth … Read More

THE GREY

Poffy The Cucumber

Monsters Within and Without. Liam Neeson takes the shortcut through the woods – and meets the Big Bad Wolf. THE GREY finds Neeson as a sharpshooter/hunter for an arctic oil company, keeping the feral wolves at bay from drilling sites. The opening sequence sets up what a thoughtful movie experience this will be, as Neeson shoots down a wolf in … Read More

THE A-TEAM

Poffy The Cucumber

There’s no ‘A’ in TEAM. I wrote in ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN, “There’s nothing deep here; crack a beer, strip down to your wife-beater and just enjoy it.” Ditto THE A-TEAM. More like the C+ team. The only ‘A’ in this movie is for Audacity. Or Ass – Jessica Biel’s. From the 80’s TV series of the same name, … Read More

CLASH OF THE TITANS 2010

Poffy The Cucumber

Hash of the Titans. Liam Neeson and Sam Worthington try to out-act special effects. Fail. 16-year-old boys rejoice. Mankind tries to live without deities. Fail. Churches rejoice. CLASH OF THE TITANS is written for 16-year-old boys, to be enjoyed exclusively by 16-year-old boys. Hell, I loved the 1981 original film starring Harry Hamlin and Burgess Meredith. When I was 16. … Read More

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN

Poffy The Cucumber

The Chronic Kills of Narnia: Prince Hasbeen. Has stupider become the new darker? Everyone thrills at describing how PRINCE CASPIAN, the second movie in THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series, is “darker” than its predecessor, THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE (2005). But they lost me at pasty, delicate, British kids playing pretend “warriors.” I’m just not buying any of … Read More

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

Poffy The Cucumber

The Lyin,’ the Snitch and the Whored Road. Four bloodless, pasty-white British kids on an adventure in a magical wardrobe. When I was 13, I loved the C.S. Lewis book so madly that I forced my mother to read it on the train on her way to work every day. Fast forward thirty years, I knew the film version of … Read More

TAKEN

Poffy The Cucumber

TAKEN for a thrill-ride. Liam Neeson has always stood up for what’s right (as Oskar Schindler, as Rob Roy, Michael Collins, hell, even as Qui-Gon Jinn) – but he’s never been so BADASS about it. In the European production, TAKEN, Neeson is Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA operative – he calls himself a “Preventer of Bad Things” with “a very particular … Read More