THE SHAPE OF WATER

Poffy The Cucumber

Interspecies Love and the Balls it Requires. Like the aqua spawn of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and Abe Sapien from HELLBOY, our collective consciousness accepts the “Gill Man” as a species; a familiar alien entity in our science fiction. Yet in Guillermo del Toro’s unique THE SHAPE OF WATER, the Gill Man has transcended the species demarcation and … Read More

KONG: SKULL ISLAND

Poffy The Cucumber

Ape-ocalypse Now… Reboot. Gorilla style. In a cold open, two pilots – an American and Japanese – crash-land on a deserted Pacific island. It is 1944. They try to kill each other, in a foot chase that leads to a mountain ledge. As they grapple, something… YUGE… rises from below. A gorilla! No, not just a gorilla – a GORIL-LIL-LIL-LIL-LA! … Read More

WHITE HOUSE DOWN

Poffy The Cucumber

DIE HARDER in the White House with a Vengeance. WHITE HOUSE DOWN (released June 2013) was sold as the “comedic” version of OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (March 2013). Is that why we’re laughing AT it? Not that we can even differentiate them; both are the same level of serious, and the same height of stupidity. With the exact same outcome – … Read More

JACK REACHER

Poffy The Cucumber

Reaching For Grate-ness. The name is from a series of books by author Jim Grant (pseudonym Lee Child); even so, casting Tom Cruise as a character called JACK REACHER is just asking for the inevitable gay gags, like Jack Reacharound. And what kind of epicness was Grant aiming for anyway? Did he want big chords every time someone said the … Read More

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS

Poffy The Cucumber

A Hip New Reason for Tired Old Slayings. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is about four painfully pretty college kids (and one Shaggy) being slasher-slain by zombies at said cabin. Seen it all before, right? But there’s a twist: the cabin is a front for a religious cult, who are in the business of luring college kids to this technologically … Read More

KILLING THEM SOFTLY

Poffy The Cucumber

The Capitalism of Killing. KILLING THEM SOFTLY opens with scarring sound design and disturbing images of debris-strewn streets, and then launches into the poetry of small time hood-speak. (Mobalogue? Gangsternacular?) Writer-director Andrew Dominik (ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES, 2007) approaches an excellence in his writing and direction that is the closest thing to Tarantino without actually lazily copying him, as this … Read More

DEAR JOHN

Poffy The Cucumber

Dear John, I never want to see you again. Who knew dating was so frickin’ BORING?! DEAR JON is a weepy date movie, where army guy Brick Rockchest (Channing Tatum, champion mumbler) meets beach chick Blondie Cocktease (Amanda Seyfried) and they bore us going on talk-dates. Then they get caught in the rain and kiss. Then they have a beach … Read More

ABSOLUTE POWER

Poffy The Cucumber

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

STEP BROTHERS

Poffy The Cucumber

Steps in it. Will Ferrell as Adam Sandler and John C. Reilly as a funny Will Ferrell. Both 40 going on 14. Both thrown together as step brothers when their single parents (Richard Jenkins and Mary Steenburgen) marry; set in their ways, yet forced to share the same house, they must somehow find a way to co-exist – or this … Read More

BURN AFTER READING

Poffy The Cucumber

Guy Ritchie without the Two Smoking Barrels. At times funny, at times frenetic, at times foolish, BURN AFTER READING is mostly a lost opportunity with a great ensemble cast. Brad Pitt is a goofball Valley Boy (ten years too old for the role), saying “shit” to his heart’s content, as John Malkovich is a recently-fired CIA agent (perfect for the … Read More

THE KINGDOM

Poffy The Cucumber

My Kingdom for a (war)horse… If LIONS FOR LAMBS was the cerebral, intelligent take on the Iraq War, THE KINGDOM is the action-packed, piss-your-pants rejoinder – both written by Matthew Michael Carnahan (who should probably be investigated by the CIA for all the inside information he brings to these military stories). Peter Berg starred in LIONS as a strong, sure … 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

THE IMPOSTORS

Poffy The Cucumber

The Genuine Article. After his magnificent, offbeat BIG NIGHT, writer-director Stanley Tucci reunites that movie’s cast (including Tony Shalhoub, Isabella Rossellini, Alison Janney, Campbell Scott, Oliver Platt, to name a few) in another offbeat triumph. Intentionally played as an hommage to slapstick and farce, THE IMPOSTORS finds two over-zealous, out-of-work actors, Arthur and Maurice (Tucci and Platt) offending an overrated … Read More

THE CORE

Poffy The Cucumber

Anthropocentric Spin. I want to hurt this movie. Like it hurt me. THE CORE opens with a Peter Gallagher clone sans Eyebrows dropping dead at a board meeting – so begins a series of events that establish the Earth’s core has inexplicably stopped spinning, causing electromagnetic anomalies. So scientists must drill down and re-start the spin with The Universal Solvent … Read More

ME, MYSELF AND IRENE

Poffy The Cucumber

So Much Effort, So Little Movie. Jim Carrey in another 10-star performance. Alas, for a mere 6-star movie. Where one has come to expect simply another mugging, scenery-chewing turn from Jim Carrey, in ME, MYSELF AND IRENE he surprises elegantly with his controlled portrayal of amiable Charlie Baileygates, a disrespected Rhode Island police officer whose retention of insults, barbs, put-downs … Read More