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

GONE BABY GONE

Poffy The Cucumber

View to a Hammock. Casey Affleck (Ben’s bro) stars in this controlled, sober, slightly disturbing thriller. From a novel by Dennis Lehane, Ben Affleck makes gravy in his directorial debut, about a redneck daughter’s kidnapping on the mean streets of Boston. And how his sleepwalking brother saves the day. Surrounded by intrigue and Ed Harris as a detective and Morgan … Read More

LIONS FOR LAMBS

Poffy The Cucumber

Roaring Thunder for Republican Muttonheads. Lest we forget: Robert Redford once brought down Satan Nixon in ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN; in LIONS FOR LAMBS, he goes for the neck-wattle of Demon W. Bush. Razor-sharp writing, controlled direction, magnificent performances, LIONS FOR LAMBS is a wake up call to America – wake up and smell the lunatic euphemisms the Republican administration … Read More

AVPR: ALIENS VS. PREDATOR REQUIEM

Poffy The Cucumber

Requiem for a Dweeb. Hundreds of Aliens. One Predator. No actors. The splash-slogans on the DVD packaging of ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM scream at us louder than the Predator’s roar: “More Blood… More Guts… More Gore!” Pretty much guarantees a maximum rating of five cucumbers out of ten – if everything else is top-notch. Everything else is not. Sucking never hurt so … Read More

IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH

Poffy The Cucumber

Into the Valley of Death… ‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’ Was there a man dismay’d ? Not tho’ the soldier knew Some one had blunder’d: Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do & die, Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. — “The Charge of The Light Brigade,” Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The … Read More

HOT ROD

Poffy The Cucumber

Snot Rod. Here’s one you can watch with a straight face, with a script so bad, even Will Ferrell wouldn’t be in it. There are two laughs in HOT ROD. 1. The Punch-Dance. Stunt rider Rod “needs to go to his quiet place” and before anyone can say Kevin Bacon, he is footloosing a passionate, overwrought bodyswerve to the strains … Read More

I AM LEGEND

Poffy The Cucumber

Will Smith Saves The World – Again… Everyone on Earth is dead – but they left the CGI running. Will Smith is the “last man on Earth,” Robert Neville, tooling through abandoned, overgrown New York City streets, hunting antelope in a red sports car. It is the near future and a plague/virus has taken down humanity – not again! – … Read More

THE BRAVE ONE

Poffy The Cucumber

Sexy Bronson. Yes, they deserve to die – and I hope they burn in hell! – Samuel L. Jackson, A TIME TO KILL. In THE BRAVE ONE, Jodie Foster is Erica Bain, a New York resident with an independent radio talk show, happily engaged to a young doctor (Naveen Andrews, a Londoner, with Indian ethnicity). One night, walking in Central … Read More

BALLS OF FURY

Poffy The Cucumber

Kung Fu Ping Pong Panda. BALLS OF FURY is not about ping pong. It’s about Being a Man. It’s about Honor. It’s about uplifting the Human Spirit with–ah, who am I kidding? It IS about ping pong. Starring Dan Fogler, George Lopez, Maggie Q, and the guy who does the second best Christopher Walken impersonation in the world – Christopher … Read More

THE KITE RUNNER

Poffy The Cucumber

A Wimp’s Tale. I know I’ll get lambasted for approaching this movie from a less-than-arty-farty angle, but just because a film is in a foreign language (Dari with English subtitles), and thematically covers honor, justice, manhood, and involves child-rape, terrorism and kite-flying in the Middle East – doesn’t mean it should automatically be discussed in hushed, honorary whispers. THE KITE … Read More

GHOST RIDER

Poffy The Cucumber

Queasy Rider. If there’s another word for idiocy, I think that word is GHOST RIDER. Sloppy editing, juvenile direction and idiotic writing make this the number one feel-retarded movie of the year. And Nicolas Cage in eternal mourning-faced mode as the Ghost Rider doesn’t help any. He is stunt biker, Johnny Blaze, employed by the devil (Peter Fonda, embarrassing himself) … Read More

TRANSFORMERS

Poffy The Cucumber

More Than Meets The Eye-Strain. The CGI prowess in the movie TRANSFORMERS almost makes us forget that this film is for people who still play with action figures.Directed by Michael Bay and his motion-sickness cameras, this overwrought production revolves around the All Spark, a mechanical-mystical cube that has knotted the steel knickers of two races of giant robots engaged in … Read More

WILD HOGS

Poffy The Cucumber

On The Road To Nowhere. There is only one good thing in WILD HOGS: Peter Fonda. And he’s a cameo ten minutes before the end. Naif director Walt Becker helms this listless, laughless tale of four suburban friends pushing middle-age crisis who hit the open road as wannabe bikers to taste “freedom” and come smack up against real bikers and … Read More

BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE

Poffy The Cucumber

Bury the Truth of Wounded Knee. I shall not be there. I shall rise and pass. Bury my heart at Wounded Knee. — Stephen Vincent Benét, “American Names.” The Wounded Knee Massacre (aka The Battle at Wounded Knee Creek) was the last major armed conflict of what americans term the “Indian Wars” of the late nineteenth century. BURY MY HEART … Read More

BREACH

Poffy The Cucumber

Scapegoat for a far more evil government. The tagline of BREACH squeals: “Inspired by the true story of the greatest security breach in U.S. history.” I find that hard to believe. For many reasons, the most compelling being the current Amerikan political environment: by 2007, the United States was staggering, knees buckling under the killing burden of a patently criminal … Read More

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Poffy The Cucumber

New Killer. Old Hairstyle. Quietude. West Texas veldt. 1980. A lone gunman (Josh Brolin) hunting game comes upon a slaughter scene: a handful of Mexicans dead in their clustered cars on the barren plain. The gunman follows a blood trail to another dead man clutching a leather briefcase stuffed to the seams with cash.Does he walk away? Does he call … Read More

SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

Poffy The Cucumber

Slashing Singing Scissorhands. Edward Scissorhands is all grown up! Never more apparent than when Johnny Depp (as the eponymous demon barber, Sweeney Todd) holds aloft a gleaming razor and boldly affirms in song: “At last! My right arm is complete again!” (My Friends.) Violent, gruesome, blackly hilarious, deliriously entertaining, director Tim Burton’s vision of SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF … Read More

BEOWULF

Poffy The Cucumber

So Close… Yet So Beowulf. “I am Beowulf!” yells Beowulf. Five minutes later, he full-throats again, “I am Beowulf!” for those arriving late, we presume… Divebombing into a raging sea of serpents, sword slashing on bloodied sinew, warrior man-meat glistening with sev– “I am Beowulf!” – Okay dude, now you’re just feeding some deep-rooted insecurity complex… “Beowulf” is the oldest … Read More

AMERICAN GANGSTER

Poffy The Cucumber

Smooth Criminal. Whadaya know – Crime DOES pay! Or so it seems at the conclusion of AMERICAN GANGSTER, when a career gangster and a struggling cop are laffing it up in a montage, collaborating to bring down the gangster’s empire. Now why would they be doing that? I’ll get to that subtle mismanaged message in a moment. Hmm, a movie … Read More

RENDITION

Poffy The Cucumber

Lessons in Amerikan Euphemism. THE LIE: “America doesn’t torture.” THE PLOT: CIA authorizes kidnapping and torture of a suspected terrorist in a misguided attempt to thwart further terrorism. THE EUPHEMISM: “extraordinary rendition.” THE TRUTH: America DOES torture. All my life I’ve regarded the word “rendition” to mean “the act of rendering.” So how the hell does it come to mean … Read More