RED EYE

Poffy The Cucumber

A Craven effort. The setup of RED EYE is thriller-worthy: a charming stranger (Cillian Murphy) insinuates himself into the good graces of a young woman traveling alone (Rachel McAdams) on a Red Eye flight from Dallas to Miami. The exposition is dynamic: because she is virtually trapped in the airplane, seated beside him, the stranger’s beguiling attitude suddenly becomes very … Read More

MADAGASCAR

Poffy The Cucumber

Mad at Gascar. Four spoiled zoo animal friends find their fantasies of living in the wild are far from ideal when they are inadvertently shipped to the jungles of Africa. Loud, slapstick, colorful and – unless you are eight – generally unfunny, MADAGASCAR is a fish-out-of-water tale gasping for air. However, the lemurs are hilarious and the penguins are priceless. … Read More

CAPOTE

Poffy The Cucumber

The movie about the book about the murders. CAPOTE, first of all, is not a biopic. It covers a short period in writer Truman Capote’s life when he immersed himself in his classic True Crime novel In Cold Blood, the first “non-fiction novel” of its kind. Published in 1965, this revolutionary book would make Capote the most famous writer in … Read More

HITCH

Poffy The Cucumber

Hitch Cock. This film needs a brain-frying dose of Tom Leykis (radio “professor” with strict set of dating tenets – “Leykis 101”: “Never spend more than $40 on dates; Three-date limit until tail; Never sleepover at your place; No gifts ever to booty calls and women you date; Do not change who you are for a woman; No weekend dates … Read More

THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY

Poffy The Cucumber

Mining the Diary, Missing the Madman. Douglas Adams did not live to see his wondrous literary creation, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, made into this feature film. Maybe that’s fortunate. Each individual component of this movie is well done, from Garth Jennings‘ direction, to the astoundingly creative set design (all the good guys sport spherical décor, the bad guys, … Read More

THE WORLD’S FASTEST INDIAN

Poffy The Cucumber

Like A Bat Out Of Invercargill… To Go Faster: that was the single-minded purpose of Herbert J. “Burt” Munro (1899 – 1978), whose life story was an “inspirational movie” just waiting to happen. The tagline boasts, “based on one hell of a true story,” justifiably it would seem, as Munro – a fearless, free-spirited New Zealand rider who broke land … Read More

KICKING AND SCREAMING

Poffy The Cucumber

Aiming Low, Scoring Lower. KICKING AND SCREAMING is simply a Disney Message waiting to happen. Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) coaches a little league soccer team of shiftless misfits against his super-competitive dad, Buck (Robert Duvall), whose team is top dog. As counter-intuitive as it may seem in pitting Duvall against Ferrell as rival coaches, think how absolutely ludicrous it is … Read More

THE INTERPRETER

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Lost In Translation. If you care about whether burnt-out political insurrectionists from fictitious African countries are assassinated or not, this slow-moving thriller is for you. Otherwise, you will watch THE INTERPRETER with one question dogging your suspension of disbelief: “How does a startlingly luminous beauty like Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) avoid being flirted with by every single male she comes … Read More

MONSTER-IN-LAW

Poffy The Cucumber

Dogwalker Meets Bitch. This movie was just as asinine when it was called MAID IN MANHATTAN. All Hollywood romantic comedies which aim their two heterosexual principals at marriage – will attain that goal. This is a scientific fact. Also a fact is that once the brain-fuzzed couple has affirmed their intentions to marry, all manner of obstacle – from plausible … Read More

CONSTANTINE

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Inconstantine. Beautifully shot in ochre tinge, evoking a mythopoeic superstructure, creative camera bespeaking thoughtful setups and engaging angles, striking cinematography accentuating iconic imagery and mellifluous art direction, it’s a pity CONSTANTINE is such an insensate, half-headed dog of a film. This movie was better when it was called THE MATRIX. Traversing between two parallel dimensions, Neo – I mean, John … Read More

FUN WITH DICK AND JANE 2005

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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

QUEEN + PAUL RODGERS: RETURN OF THE CHAMPIONS

Poffy The Cucumber

It’s A Kind Of Magic. In a perfect world, Clint Eastwood would still look like Philo Beddoe, Keith Moon would still be defenestrating televisions, and Freddie Mercury would still be overbiting into searing vocal gymnastics and producing unbounded musical masterpieces with his inimitable band. But our world is far from perfect; good things don’t last: Clyde is dead, The Who … Read More

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

Poffy The Cucumber

Brokeback Mountin’: a true American Love Story (formulaic, clichéd and dull). THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES meets The Gays of Our Lives, director Ang Lee’s BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is an ambitious yet maudlin, slightly above-average American love story. Slightly. Only American love stories have such easily-defined plot arcs; only American love stories cull the prettiest protagonists as their principals; only American … Read More

MUNICH

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An Ingenious Fantasy by a Fantasy Genius. MUNICH is not about Munich. Nor is it about events which followed the massacre of Israeli athletes. It is about Steven Spielberg’s ego. And how far into Audacious he can drive it without becoming Oliver Stone. This movie’s tagline boasts, “The world was watching in 1972 as 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at … Read More

WHITE NOISE

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Shite Noise. Not only in peasant homes, but also in city skyscrapers, there lives alongside the twentieth century the thirteenth. A hundred million people use electricity and still believe in the magic powers of signs and exorcisms… Movie stars go to mediums. Aviators who pilot miraculous mechanisms created by man’s genius wear amulets on their sweaters. What inexhaustible reserves they … Read More

SYRIANA

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Oil Is Not Well. If “oily Arab” was once an insult referring to a Middle Easterner’s complexion, nowadays it should truly be considered the highest compliment, pertaining to certain Arabs (via birthright and political wolfing), controlling the fortunes of the planet Earth via oil. If there is an overarching message to this movie’s madness, it is that everyone else on … Read More

KING KONG 2005

Poffy The Cucumber

Yes! We Have No Bananas! Pure entertainment. Twenty-five hairy-bottomed, big-dumb-galoot feet of it. And nothing else. Despite the ubiquitous refrain of beauty and beast subtexts and alienation metaphors and caveats against taming nature, searching for deeper meaning within this wholly implausible tale will only lead to senseless cavil and being considered the big ponce for taking it so seriously in … Read More

DERAILED

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Hitchcock Lite Meets Noir-ish Dark. Beware of goddesses offering to pay your train fare. A caveat unheeded, when the goddess in question is Jennifer Aniston. I am, after all, only a man. And, like every other full-blooded, able-membered man on earth, whenever I look at Jennifer Aniston, I can only think of One Thing: Brad Pitt. And how I’d like … Read More

WALK THE LINE

Poffy The Cucumber

Blues for The Man In Black. I was introduced to Johnny Cash by my older cousin, via A Boy Named Sue and Cash’s take on being led to the gallows, 25 Minutes To Go. This was before I discovered a boy named Alice (Cooper) and Led Zeppelin’s Gallows Pole, subsequently leading to deserting the previous generation’s outlaws (like Cash and … Read More

FLIGHTPLAN

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Plight Planning. BOARDING OUR FLIGHT: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen; our FLIGHTPLAN for this journey involves aircraft designer Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster), whose life in Europe has been jarred to a halt by the accidental death of her husband (she swears he “fell,” not jumped), prompting her to return to the United States with her six-year-old daughter, Julia (a somber … Read More