BIG NIGHT

Poffy The Cucumber

Thought for Food. Stanley Tucci outdoes himself with his directorial debut BIG NIGHT, the poignant, funny story of two Italian brothers risking it all on one feast that might save their failing Italian restaurant. Tucci is everything to BIG NIGHT. He is co-writer (with his cousin Joseph Tropiano), co-director (with Campbell Scott), and star. Even his lead character, Secondo, has … Read More

SPOTLIGHT

Poffy The Cucumber

Pederast Priests and The Coverup That Rocked a Religion. What other business could you be in where your company gets caught running a child sex ring since forever, and you still keep your customers? — Bill Maher, REEL TIME, March 2013. If only the movie SPOTLIGHT was called BUSTING RAPIST PRIESTS, maybe it would be better served by its title. … Read More

MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN

Poffy The Cucumber

A Dogsbody and his Peaboy. Thrilling adventures, comical characters and excellent animation, coupled with careless mixed messages, makes MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN a bittersweet doggie biscuit. Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell, THE SKELETON TWINS) is a Harvard graduate, an inventor, gourmand, athlete, virtuoso musician, licensed chiropractor, fencer, a Nobel Prize winner, a socialite, and advisor to heads of state … Read More

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

Poffy The Cucumber

Extinction is just a Michael Bay away. And we thought the last three TRANSFORMERS movies were stupid. Stupidity, meet TRANFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION. Ironically, this movie has helped the franchise achieve its own extinction. While a rogue Decepticon works with the American military to wipe out the last of the Autobots, an inventor reactivates a hibernating Optimus Prime – and … Read More

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

Poffy The Cucumber

Starving for ideas: Catching Cold. In THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, the two models who survived the Hunger Games last year are forced by the Capitol to go on a Tour through the 12 Districts to rub it in everyone’s faces. And our faces too. Then they just repeat the last movie. And rub that in our faces too. In … Read More

THE HUNGER GAMES

Poffy The Cucumber

The Dum-ber Games. THE HUNGER GAMES gets caught up being a kid’s actioner with a hot chick, even though it originates as a grim commentary about class warfare. With a hot chick. It’s the dystopian future. (Sheesh! Either it’s ‘apocalyptic’ or ‘dystopian’ – isn’t there ever a boring samo-samo future in mankind’s future?) And the ruling classes tyrannize the underclasses … Read More

MARGIN CALL

Poffy The Cucumber

Shark Poop Swim Eat. Beautifully staged, excellently performed and brilliantly explained, J.C. Chandor’s conference-table thriller is about the financial crash of 2008, and the 700 billion dollar American bailout that followed. But nowhere does MARGIN CALL give us a date, place or corporation name; it shows us AnyCompany, Inc., populated by AnySharks dealing with EveryOne’s money. It is a story … Read More

SWING VOTE

Poffy The Cucumber

Blockheading the vote. Plot of SWING VOTE is stupider than a session of the United States Congress: in a presidential election, citizen Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner) misses his last voting day, so his young daughter (Madeline Carroll) fraudulently casts what she believes to be his vote, but the electronic voting booth malfunctions, and due to the two candidates being in … Read More

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

Poffy The Cucumber

Red, White and Boob. In World War II, a patriotic American weakling, Steve Rogers, is injected with a top secret military serum to become a super soldier. Yes, it’s Captain America! The red, white and blue avenger, in the best comicbook movie of the decade – and by that I mean, it’s lightweight and predictable and aimed at twelve-year-olds. CAPTAIN … Read More

JULIE AND JULIA

Poffy The Cucumber

The Cookie Monster Cometh. Before Wolfgang Puck, before Emeril, before Iron Chef – there was Julia Child. But which came first: this American pioneer and monster of home cooking, or Monty Python’s Pepperpots? Meryl Streep (as Julia Child) ululates her way through this exceptional little quasi-biopic sounding like Graham Chapman in a dress. JULIE AND JULIA parallels Julia Child’s life … Read More

EASY A

Poffy The Cucumber

THE SCARLET LETTER for Generation Nerd. How quaint: Emma Stone pastes a letter ‘A’ onto her A-cups. Drawing heavily on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, EASY A brings the 17th century pariah adulteress into modern times, setting the story in an American high school, where outcast Olive (Stone) does a favor for a gay nerd at her school by pretending … Read More

THE HOAX

Poffy The Cucumber

The Barbaric Yawp of the Lunatic Fringe. In 1970, author Clifford Irving fooled all of the people some of the time when he produced the autobiography of one of the world’s most intriguing recluses, Howard Hughes. Like all great hoaxes, it eventually served him better than the truth. And like all movies “based on true stories,” we approach cautiously where … Read More

LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN

Poffy The Cucumber

Überhip Ünderworld. Embedded in the canon of hip street-thuggery, there is Scorcese’s GOODFELLAS, there is Tarantino’s PULP FICTION, there is Ritchie’s SNATCH – all periodically panned for their filmic stylings, yet garnering indirect accolades through their wealth of imitators – but if there is such a thing as “too hip,” Paul McGuigan‘s LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN would be choking on its … 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 TERMINAL

Poffy The Cucumber

In-Terminal-ble. CAST AWAY meets Perestroika in THE TERMINAL, a movie which cannot decide whether it wants to be a drama, a romantic comedy, or just a silly waste of time. Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks, sporting a darn good “Russian” inflection) alights at JFK Airport just as his (fictional) country of Krakozhia slides into a military coup. As a result, all … 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