THE PIANIST 2002

Poffy The Cucumber

Szpilman’s Liszt. THE PIANIST follows Jewish concert pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman as he hides out from Nazis during the invasion of Poland. It’s not a story about heroes, rather, the story of a Polish man who avoided being one. And lived to play another day. 1939. Wladyslaw “Wladek” Szpilman (Adrien Brody), whom many contend was “the most accomplished pianist in Poland, … Read More

2 FAST 2 FURIOUS

Poffy The Cucumber

2 Fast 2 Bi-Curious. THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS was so successful that Universal Pictures had to have a sequel, so they did the smart thing and threw out all the characters from the first movie and only kept the prettiest girl for the sequel, Paul Walker. (Actually, all the characters were asked to return, but Vin Diesel turned down … Read More

RUDY: THE RUDY GIULIANI STORY

Poffy The Cucumber

A Scene, a Policy, and 9/11. Rudy Giuliani – there’s only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, a verb and 9/11.” — Joe Biden, Democratic Candidate for President, 2008. In 2008, Joe Biden would aptly describe Rudy Giuliani’s tactics for his presidential candidacy. And this 2003 film, RUDY: THE RUDY GIULIANI STORY, does exactly the same: a … Read More

THE ROOM

Poffy The Cucumber

It is not a good film! It is naaht! A scheming whore and a bad actor circle the drain in THE ROOM. Strange visitor from another planet, Tommy Wiseau writes, directs and stars in what has become infamous as “the worst movie ever made.” Johnny (Tommy Wiseau, who looks like a holdover from a Sunset Strip metal band in the … Read More

KISS | Symphony: Alive IV

Jon Dunmore

Rock and Roll Over Beethoven. ISS versus The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in a battle to the Bach. KISS Symphony: Alive IV is sold in a One-Disc or Two-Disc format, the single disc version omitting a few songs (tabulated in the sidebar). It’s a magnificent concert, hearing classic KISS juxtaposed with classical instruments! The audio is excellent, the vocals are tight, … Read More

TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES

Poffy The Cucumber

Machinery Obscenery. James Cameron had nothing to do with this film. The End. TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES stars Ah-nuld in his third appearance as the Terminator, his first role since his heart attack and last role before Governor of California. It also stars some hot chick as Robert Patrick trying to kill some guy who’s meant to be … Read More

DREAMCATCHER

Poffy The Cucumber

Same Shit Different Director. So why is it that films made from Stephen King’s stories turn out, for the most part, to be movies that look as if they’d been chiseled out of Silly Putty by escapees from the Home For the Terminally Inept? — Harlan Ellison, Oct 1984, “In Which We Scuffle Through The Embers” (Magazine of S&SF). DREAMCATCHER … Read More

11:14

Poffy The Cucumber

A Time to Ill. An ingenious tripwire thriller, where a series of unrelated events all come together in the wrong place at the wrong time – 11:14 pm. Writer-director Greg Marcks crafts 11:14 like a master weaver of spells, throwing us into compelling vignettes already in progress, in the grand tradition of Tarantino. That being said, 11:14 is reminiscent of … Read More

THE HARD WORD

Poffy The Cucumber

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

KILL BILL VOLUME 1

Poffy The Cucumber

Revenge is a Bumblebee. Revenge is a dish best served cold. — opening text, KILL BILL, VOL. 1 Something about Uma Thurman in her yellow and black top-to-toe leather, lopping limbs and severing arteries – how hot is that?! Quentin Tarantino writes and directs KILL BILL VOLUME 1, an epic masterpiece of simple brutal story, brutally vicious direction, viciously creative … Read More

SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE

Poffy The Cucumber

Something’s gotta give – Jack’s heart, Diane’s hips, or my patience. Two white, upper class American senior citizens are thrown together, hate each other, and eventually fall in love. State of romantic comedy in America… yawn. Erica (Diane Keaton) hates Harry (Jack Nicholson) because he dates her daughter (Amanda Peet), and he demeans her for being stuck-up. He owns record … Read More

UNDERWORLD

Poffy The Cucumber

Overwrought Underworld. Guns, Gore and Grrrrrls in growling leather. UNDERWORLD gives a shot in the arm, so to speak, to the vampire and werewolf iconographies, updating/reimagining both to be in an ongoing millennia-aged war that is escalating, plopping them in modern day Europe (or somewhere with underground rail transport and rain that won’t quit) with automatic weapons and computers. And … Read More

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL

Poffy The Cucumber

Shiver me fey timbers. Johnny Depp as some kind of transvestite, in a swinging, swordfighting fey-quest over the high seas of The Caribbean, with Orlando Bloom as his blacksmith girlfriend, and Geoffrey Rush as a grumpy old man in a Halloween pirate costume. Keira Knightley’s square man-jaw causes untold distraction; Jonathan Pryce gads about in a wig slightly smaller than … 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

GIGLI

Poffy The Cucumber

To tear or wear off the skin of; abrade; to condemn, decry, objurgate… GIGLI is an insult to gangsters, Italians, homosexuals, Al Pacino, lesbians, actors, retards, and even David Hasselhoff. First mistake: the movie’s name, and then having Gigli himself explain its pronunciation, like it was a running gag that was funny. Second mistake: Ben Affleck as Gigli, trying to … Read More

PEOPLE I KNOW

Poffy The Cucumber

Who You Don’t Know Could Kill You. Something happens after the first hour of PEOPLE I KNOW – it gets interesting. Up to that point, with Al Pacino playing lapdog to Ryan O’Neal, the startlingly beautiful Téa Leoni as an emotionally bereft television starlet, and a smattering of good actors in great roles, PEOPLE I KNOW seemed to stagger the … Read More

ELF

Poffy The Cucumber

Elven Hell. Will Ferrell is funny. This movie is not. In ELF, Ferrell is Buddy, a normal-sized human raised by Santa’s elves (hence, thinks himself an elf), who is sent out into the world ostensibly to find his real daddy, but in reality to get his clumsy, over-sized bollocks out of the tiny toy factory. In Christmastime New York, still … Read More

THE LAST SAMURAI

Poffy The Cucumber

Samurai Hei. I love sushi. I also love Toshiro Mifune. Guess that makes me a prime candidate for a samurai warrior – at least, that’s all it seems to take for a Westerner in this movie to wear kamishimo and wield katana. Despite that conceptual annoyance, this film does craft a sincere portrayal of an outsider undergoing an assimilation into … Read More

WRONG TURN

Poffy The Cucumber

Something’s Right About Wrong Turn. As I walked onstage at The Whiskey one night and the previous band’s singer was walking off, I jokingly said to him, “You look exactly like Jeremy Sisto!” His laughing reply, “I am!” He is as nice a guy as his roles portray him, so I stopped channel-surfing at WRONG TURN one night just to … Read More

INTOLERABLE CRUELTY

Poffy The Cucumber

Surprisingly Tolerable. George Clooney hasn’t been this funny since he was Batman. Playing smitten lawyer Miles Massey with the graceful aplomb of a suave Jerry Lewis, Clooney takes his pretty-boy image on a fringe journey of impeccable comedic exactitude in INTOLERABLE CRUELTY, pursuing gold-digging ice-queen, Marilyn (Catherine Zeta-Jones playing her usual arrogant C-Word to the hilt). Eschewing “romantic comedy” cliché … Read More