THE GREAT HOUDINI

Poffy The Cucumber

The Great Snore-dini. The great magician, escapist and mysteriarch, Harry Houdini (1874-1926), lived such a storied life that it is impossible to capture any semblance of it in the fleeting medium of the feature film. The best we can hope for is Tony Curtis flashing a winning smile or for Johnny Depp to flash a winning bangle, and to then … Read More

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BIGFOOT 2012

Poffy The Cucumber

Big Foot In Mouth. Greg Brady and Danny Partridge face off in a battle over BIGFOOT! The horror, the unmitigated horror – of watching Danny Bonaduce (aka Danny Partridge) trying to find a facial expression besides Douche No. 3. He’s Harley Anderson, a radio talk-show host who clears 50 acres of forest to hold a rock festival. Barry Williams (aka … Read More

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DENNIS MILLER: AMERICA 180°

Poffy The Cucumber

The Comedian Formerly Known As Dennis Miller. Dennis Miller is smart. I used to record THE DENNIS MILLER SHOW on VHS (that’s an olden-days DVR, chillun) and marvel at the way his mind spiraled headlong into esoteric references to rail against ignorance. In his 2014 standup special, AMERICA 180 DEGRESS (a one hour routine, filmed in Irvine), Miller is now … Read More

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WHY WE DID IT

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Illicit President, Illicit War. The short answer: Oil. The long answer: Oil, money, prostitutes. First of all: Who’s “we,” sucka? WHY WE DID IT, an MSBNC documentary, narrated by master journalist Rachel Maddow, details the deep background on why president George W. Bush and his slavemaster VP Dick Cheney took the United States to war in Iraq in 2003 under … Read More

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MOTHMAN

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Like a Moth to a Lame… In MOTHMAN, the eponymous man-moth returns to the small town of Point Pleasant to avenge a murder that has gone unpunished. And all cheap special effects break loose. A group of Point Pleasant teens accidentally kill one of their own on a camping trip. Instead of alerting the authorities to what was a prank … Read More

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COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY

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Starstuff Redux. COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY is the 2014 “reboot” to Carl Sagan’s 1980 monument, COSMOS. Producers include Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan, and FAMILY GUY Seth McFarlane; narrated by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. 1. Standing Up In The Cosmos 2. Some Of The Things That Molecules Do 3. When Knowledge Conquered Fear 4. A Sky Full Of Ghosts 5. Hiding … Read More

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COSMOS 2014: EPISODE 2

Poffy The Cucumber

COSMOS continues treading H2O. COSMOS: A SPACE-TIME ODYSSEY is an ambitious venture, treading in the footsteps of gods, attempting to explain Life, the Universe and Everything, while retaining a connectivity between the farthest galaxy, the smallest microbe, and you and I. The opening montage says it all, with its morphing images of a chasm into an eye, a spiral galaxy … Read More

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COSMOS 2014: EPISODE 1

Poffy The Cucumber

COSMOS Lite for the generation of attention-deficit gamesters. They call COSMOS: A SPACE-TIME ODYSSEY a reboot (which is a fad term for movie properties rehashed due to lack of original scripts, brand recognition and merchandising venality). So this update of ever-changing scientific information is most decidedly not a reboot, but a new introduction to the same old information about Life, … Read More

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REVIEW

Poffy The Cucumber

REVIEW in need of review (of its soon-to-be lost financing, soon-to-be fired employees and cancellation policies). I wonder if Andrew Daly realizes he is as funny as a dick rash. Thankfully, his new TV series, REVIEW, is as painfully devoid of humor as he is, and will be gone long before my dick rash. Daly plays a “life reviewer” – … Read More

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CHRIS ROCK: BIGGER AND BLACKER

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The Biggest and Blackest! The shot across the bow was BRING THE PAIN (HBO, 1996). A rising comedian then, now Chris Rock has honed his standup act to a knife-keen incisiveness in his third HBO Special, BIGGER AND BLACKER. On the famed Apollo stage in Harlem, New York, attired in shiny black leather, Rock paces like a jungle cat, spitting … Read More

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DUEL

Poffy The Cucumber

The Original Road Warrior. One car. One truck. One highway. One big problem! DUEL is the zenith of simplicity, effectiveness, suspense: a trucker, on a whim, goes after a lone car in this chase movie of the decade, if not the millennium. We’ve reached an era in moviemaking history where car chases have become passe; the drum solos of movies. … Read More

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FEYNMAN: THE CHALLENGER

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A Smart Guy for Dumb People. A scientist at the opening of FEYNMAN: THE CHALLENGER describes Richard P. Feynman: “He was physics with a human face”; able to transform the esoteric worlds of theoretical physics into lay speak. In other words, A Smart Guy for Dumb People. He was a roarer, a rogerer, a gorger and a puker. And a … Read More

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THE CHALLENGER DISASTER

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Hubris Greed Politics vs. Genius. For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. — Richard Feynman, “Report to Congress on Challenger Investigation 1986.” Indepth chronicle of Dr. Richard Feynman’s investigation into the Space Shuttle Challenger’s 1986 explosion. When I first heard about the TV movie, THE CHALLENGER DISASTER, I shrugged it off, … Read More

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BILL COSBY: FAR FROM FINISHED

Poffy The Cucumber

Far From Funny. What most vexes me about Bill Cosby is not his refusal to use profanity – but his holier-than-thou attitude towards people who do. And that’s everyone else. It has become such an obsession with him that he opens his latest comedy special, FAR FROM FINISHED, whining about the fact that he doesn’t swear and other comedians do. … Read More

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GAME CHANGE

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The Rise and Fall of Stupid. The news is no longer meant to be important. It’s just entertainment. — Steve Schmidt, McCain-Palin senior advisor. I don’t think much of Julianne Moore as an actress. And I despise Sarah Palin as a politician and human being. But Julianne Moore playing Sarah Palin? Priceless! In the HBO movie, GAME CHANGE, Moore gives … Read More

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SHARKNADO

Poffy The Cucumber

Shark Sandwich. The human race is not worth saving. I’m sure of that now. Not just because SHARKNADO was made in the first place – a non-budget TV movie on the SyFy Channel about sharks being swept up in a tornado and raining down on Los Angeles – but that it somehow spiked in Tweets one night and cable news … Read More

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MR BLUE SKY: THE STORY OF JEFF LYNNE & ELO

Poffy The Cucumber

Into The Blue… MR BLUE SKY documents the career and works of singer, songwriter, producer, guitarist, vocalist, keyboardist, control freak, all-round nice guy, and (according to Paul McCartney) total twat – Jeff Lynne. Lynne has always been one of the most underrated musicians in the world, and one of the most unassuming. With this documentary from veteran musicologist Martyn Atkins, … Read More

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RICHARD PRYOR: OMIT THE LOGIC

Poffy The Cucumber

Bigger, Blacker, Badder and Drunker. Was Richard Pryor the first Black Comedian? Yes, there was Cosby before him, but Bill Cosby – even though technically a black man – was a white comedian. Prior to Eddie, Martin, Morgan, Sinbad, Tucker, Rock – there was Pryor. RICHARD PRYOR: OMIT THE LOGIC is a 2013 retrospective of the hard life and harder … Read More

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THE 99 PERCENT

Poffy The Cucumber

When Lambs Become Lions. There’s an old proverb attributed to the Chinese, “May you live in interesting times.” It’s not a blessing, it’s a curse. Yet there’s a certain “blessing” to being privy to these historical times: I have lived to see the event that exacerbated America’s racism – 9/11; the man who changed the way the world communicated – … Read More

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THE CLIMATE REALITY PROJECT

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The Krypton Syndrome. As he did in AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (2006), Al Gore talks up a storm. About storms. And droughts. And melting ice caps, and raging fires; THE CLIMATE REALITY PROJECT outlines the global climate shift exacerbated by what 1960’s science fiction films might have called “Mankind tampering in God’s domain.” But something has changed in the, uh, “climate” … Read More

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