PUBLIC ENEMIES

Poffy The Cucumber

Small time crooks painted larger than the criminals in any given corporation. An insipid telling of the fast life and crooked times of America’s first Public Enemy Number 1, John Dillinger. PUBLIC ENEMIES makes all the right moves, with all the right stars wearing all the right hardguy overcoats, but it somehow lacks grip. Set in the 1930’s Chicago crimewave … Read More

COLD SOULS

Poffy The Cucumber

Hauntingly hilarious. Apparently, losing your soul makes you act like William Shatner. In COLD SOULS, brilliant actor Paul Giamatti plays brilliant actor Paul Giamatti, who is so psychologically stricken playing Uncle Vanya in the Chekov play of the same name, that he stores his soul at a soul storage agency, only to have it stolen by the Russian black market. … Read More

ZOMBIELAND

Poffy The Cucumber

Fun for the whole (undead) family. ZOMBIELAND is no classic comedy like SHAUN OF THE DEAD (which it emulates in small snatches), but it still gives veteran zombie auteur George A. Romero a lesson in how to insert all that “black humor” and “satire” that he never puts into his movies yet that he is famous for. Directed by video … Read More

PLANET 51

Poffy The Cucumber

He who sips from many cups, drinks from none. The imitative art is an inferior who marries an inferior and has inferior offspring. — Plato, The Republic, Book X. Wow! A movie with NO original ideas! PLANET 51 is a glop of as many nudge-nudge wink-wink cultural references as cartoonly possible in an uninvolving 91-minute chase movie. Set on an … Read More

2012

Poffy The Cucumber

And he’ll have fun fun fun ’til his daddy takes the CG away… As disaster movies go, 2012 is definitely the big one. I mean, how do you outrun the world? An inordinately large neutrino burst from the sun causes the Earth to break, and creates much employment for special effects companies. Also, the planets in our solar system have … Read More

COUPLES RETREAT

Poffy The Cucumber

Club Med(iocre). “Holy shit – this looks like a screensaver!” That’s the funniest laugh-out-loud line in COUPLES RETREAT, delivered by Jon Favreau when the cast arrive at their paradise resort – but it also describes the energy level of this dull excursion into the high maintenance of couplehood. Three couples (Vince Vaughn and Malin Akerman, Jon Favreau and SEX AND … Read More

THE BOX

Poffy The Cucumber

Filmmaking Outside The Box. DONNIE DARKO meets INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. I put this movie into the DVD player without prior knowledge of its makers or pedigree. As I watched, I couldn’t help thinking of the two above references, with a heavy sprinkling of TWILIGHT ZONE. Lo and behold, it’s the writer-director of DARKO at the helm, Richard Kelly. … Read More

LAW ABIDING CITIZEN

Poffy The Cucumber

…and Justice for none. Just as every cop is a criminal / And all the sinners saints. As heads is tails, just call me Lucifer / ‘Cause I’m in need of some restraint… — Sympathy For The Devil, The Rolling Stones. Handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser, I see a poster for LAW ABIDING CITIZEN and overhear the … Read More

THE INFORMANT

Poffy The Cucumber

A little less corn, a little more syrup. From its ugly orange posters to its silly, misleading theatrical trailers, everything about THE INFORMANT is an exercise in bad marketing. Supposedly based on a true story, Matt Damon is Mark Whitacre, a VP at the agricultural corporation Archer Daniels Midland in Decatur, IL, who agrees to turn informant for the FBI … Read More

SURROGATES

Poffy The Cucumber

Rage Against The Machines. Into this world where we poke, surf, tweet, blog, pillow fight, laugh out loud, tend farms and build empires – all without actually DOING any of it – comes a movie showing us exactly what would happen if our computers really could poke, surf, tweet, blog, pillow fight, laugh out loud, tend farms and build empires … Read More

DOLAN’S CADILLAC

Poffy The Cucumber

The mind of Stephen King is a terrible thing to waste. The director of DOLAN’S CADILLAC, Jeff Beesley, was told by his agent, “If you can’t knock this movie outta the park, you might as well forget it – go back to pumping gas.” Uh, Jeff, I got some bad news…. From a Stephen King short story of the same … Read More

LOVE HAPPENS

Poffy The Cucumber

Shit Happens. Two blond white American upper-class people fall in love. Through all the adversity of being blond and white and American. Who coulda seen that coming? Florist Eloise (Jennifer Aniston, in continuance from ROCK STAR) and self-help guru Burke (Aaron Eckhart, in continuance from THANK YOU FOR SMOKING) Meet Cute while Burke is touring Seattle giving self-help seminars. And “love” … Read More

UP

Poffy The Cucumber

Two Thumbs UP. The madmen at Pixar once again prove themselves the best storytellers on the planet. Or off it. UP is a unique animated adventure that follows crusty retiree Carl (voiced by Ed Asner), as he uses thousands of air balloons to try to float his house to his dream location. Another humbling display of Pixar’s incredible grasp of … Read More

THE HANGOVER

Poffy The Cucumber

Vegas Knights (without amor). What happens in Vegas… uhhh, what happened in Vegas?… It’s not exactly BACHELOR PARTY (1984), but THE HANGOVER is a raunchy surprising stab at lewd, crude, nude immortality. Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) are three friends who wake up in a Vegas hotel room the night after throwing their pal (Justin … Read More

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

Poffy The Cucumber

Gloriously Bastardly. Quentin Tarantino loves cinema. Even the characters in his movies talk cinema. And the ones who aren’t talking cinema still seem to realize they’re in a damn fine piece of it. And the major plot point of Tarantino’s latest cinematic masterpiece, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, revolves around the screening of a movie! Tarantino knows cinema so intimately, he smashes a … Read More

ALL ABOUT STEVE

Poffy The Cucumber

These Boots Are Made For Stalkin.’ Sandra Bullock is sexually frustrated, lonely and crazy. Oh, and in this movie, she plays a sexually frustrated, lonely, crazy spinster named Mary Horowitz, a cruciverbalist (crossword puzzle creator) for a local paper, with a penchant for red leather fuck-me boots, so anal-retentive and uptight that when her editor tells her to be normal, … Read More

AMELIA

Poffy The Cucumber

Fly Girl. By no means boring, but by no means compelling either. Amelia Earhart’s life might have been one of wonder and adventure and romance, but in the movie AMELIA, well, she flies, she flies, she dies. The end. Hilary Swank is Amelia Earhart, a true America’s Sweetheart for her aviation feats in the late 1920s, who attempted to circumnavigate … Read More

9

Poffy The Cucumber

Sock It To Me. Sock puppet apocalypse! First, allow me to register a complaint: Tim Burton’s name is bandied about this production like it was his to bandy. Even the intriguing trailers stank of advertising Burton. Tim Burton is one of the producers and his name is for marquee strength only. “9” is solely the vision of animator-writer-director genius Shane … Read More

A PERFECT GETAWAY

Poffy The Cucumber

Sunny, with a chance of homicide. Remember when it was cool for a movie to have a twist? Even a bad twist was a Good Thing. Then M. Night Shyamalan came along and gave us The Greatest Twist Of All in THE SIXTH SENSE… and screwed it up for everyone. “Twist” has become a bad word over the last decade, … Read More

ANGELS AND DEMONS

Poffy The Cucumber

Dopey Popey. Another fine mess the Catholic Church has gotten us into! Tom Hanks returns in ANGELS & DEMONS as Robert Langdon, atheist symbologist from THE DA VINCI CODE (2006), a little trimmer, a little wiser, a little more action man and a little less Vitruvian Man. The Pope has just died and the archbishops next in line to be … Read More