BLEED 2016

Poffy The Cucumber

Bleedin’ ‘orrible. BLEED opens with the hallmarks of a well-constructed thriller – in 1979, a young girl with a rune-like birthmark is hunted in a small American town for being able to talk to ghosts; in the present day, a pregnant woman with the same birthmark moves to that town. As a child, she and her twin brother regularly saw … Read More

13 CAMERAS

Poffy The Cucumber

He sees you when you’re sleeping; he knows when you’re awake… His carriage tilts forward when he waddles like a human-hippo hybrid, his breathing labored, his face the pallor of a fetid corpse, his loose-lipped maw hanging open in licentious drool, his stench overwhelming; he looks like the missing link between Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon Man. And he’s watching you. But … Read More

EMELIE

Poffy The Cucumber

Babysitter bitter. The babysitter showing the kids a VHS sex tape of their parents is not the true crime here – it’s that the parents are still using VHS tapes in 2016! Babysitter thrillers are kinda like romantic comedies, in that there is only one objective; with romcoms, it’s pairing the two leads; with babysitter thrillers, it’s killing the kids. … Read More

SATANIC

Poffy The Cucumber

Millennial Belial. In this road trip chiller, four annoying Millennials visit satanic sites in LA. They’re so preppie and goth and YOLO that we hope they get killed. And Satan answers our prayers. The premise for SATANIC is not bad: skeptical kids seeking occult excitement because duh find themselves terrorized by unseen forces that drag them one by one into … Read More

THE MONSTER 2016

Poffy The Cucumber

Tropes on a Forest Road. Mother and daughter on road trip. Breakdown on deserted road. Monster attack. That’s about it in THE MONSTER, an average thriller that ambitiously tries to be more than the B-movie it is. Zoe Kazan is a white trash alcoholic single mom, and Ella Ballentine is disenchanted teen daughter Lizzy. As if sensing the minimal substance … Read More

THE FREDDIE MERCURY STORY: WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER?

Poffy The Cucumber

Fantastic Gigs and Frightful Wigs. I don’t have any aspirations to live to 70. I’ve lived a full life and if I’m dead tomorrow, I don’t give a damn! I really have, y’know, done it all. — Freddie Mercury. Firstly, the title is all wrong. THE FREDDIE MERCURY STORY: WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER? is not a biopic about Freddie … Read More

LION

Poffy The Cucumber

White Lion. Separated from his mother in India at 5 years old, adopted by an Australian couple and raised in Tasmania, Saroo Brierley, 25 years later, tracks down his biological mother in India through the magic of Google Earth. And a privileged white lifestyle. Taking nothing away from the inspiring effort of Saroo and the overwhelming poignancy of his quest, … Read More

SHIN GODZILLA

Poffy The Cucumber

Renaissance Zilla. Written like a bullet train, directed like a fighter pilot, SHIN GODZILLA is the most compelling Godzilla film since the original 1954 Ishiro Honda production, GOJIRA! Considering there have been 32 Godzilla films since that first dambuster (34 if you count the American remakes GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS and GODZILLA 1985), I realize what a killa zilla … Read More

BARRY

Poffy The Cucumber

Waking from daddy daydreams. Young Obama! BARRY shows us the future 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, landing in New York as a hopeful college student in search of himself. And some ill manky-g. This remarkable leader, this orator, this first “black” president, will surely have countless other biographies in store, not least for dragging America out of … Read More

THE FOUNDER 2016

Poffy The Cucumber

The Ham-Burglar. THE FOUNDER, the story of how Ray Kroc stole the McDonald’s brand out from under its actual founders and turned it into the biggest fast food chain on the globe, is simultaneously inspiring and horrifying – like a meal from McDonald’s. Written by Robert Siegel (based on the amazing true story) and directed like a lean burger by … Read More

DON’T THINK TWICE

Poffy The Cucumber

Double-thinking the clever-clever. …your 20s were all about hope, and your 30s is all about how dumb it was to hope… — Chris Gethard, DON’T THINK TWICE DON’T LOOK BACK is the story of six fast friends chasing the dream together in a New York improv comedy troupe called The Commune, giving their all to make it. And then – … Read More

DOCTOR STRANGE 2016

Poffy The Cucumber

Doctoral Architectural Procedural. If you like architectural special effects, DOCTOR STRANGE is the movie for YOU. Having purchased the building-bending app from INCEPTION, director Scott Derrickson plugs it in and goes on a two-hour coffee break while skyscrapers fold on top of one another, streets turn into Rubik’s cubes, and right angles become three-dimensional Escher-esque imbroglios. Then he emails the … Read More

FINDING DORY

Poffy The Cucumber

FINDING DORY is lost at sea. She worked so well as a supporting character in FINDING NEMO (2003) that Pixar spins off Dory’s origin story in FINDING DORY – and only ends up highlighting what a horrifying brain disease she suffers from. Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), a blue tang fish with short term memory loss, first appeared in the … Read More

KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS

Poffy The Cucumber

Deus Ex Magica. Arbitrary magic. The last resort of bad storytelling. When Magic has no limits, when it works here but doesn’t work there, when it is employed as deus ex machina here, then forgotten there, just throw out the story and start again, because you’ve obviously written yourself into an illogical corner – and now you get to call … Read More

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Poffy The Cucumber

Star Wars 3.5: Martyrs’ Crossing. It’s always the rogue that excites us… ROGUE ONE: A STARS WARS STORY is the bad boy of the STAR WARS universe. He turns up in his black charger with the heavy metal blaring and he makes our panties moist. Easily boasting the best production values of all the eight STAR WARS films to date, … Read More

THE YOUNG MESSIAH

Poffy The Cucumber

The Cramming Chronicle. He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy! — MONTY PYTHON’S THE LIFE OF BRIAN. And yea, 6,000 years ago, God did create the Earth. It took him two days, for he was a lazy god. And lo, Adam and Eve did eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, … Read More

BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN

Poffy The Cucumber

Beware the Stupidman. BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN is not sure whether it wants to be a documentary about two Wisconsin girls attempting murder, or a horror movie about a creature that might be real. The girls (12-year-olds Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser) are obviously mentally unbalanced when they claim they tried to murder their 12-year-old friend in 2014 to appease an … Read More

HAIL, CAESAR!

Poffy The Cucumber

Would that it were so sequitur. Maybe the fault is mine. Maybe I just don’t “get” the Coen Brothers’ vision of the world’s randomness and disjointedness, but here’s another of their writer-director efforts where I just can’t see the point, unless it’s to make George Clooney look like a lovable buffoon again. Or to watch Channing Tatum dance. In both … Read More

RACE 2016

Poffy The Cucumber

The Race-ist. Isn’t there a punchline that goes, “faster than Jesse Owens at a Klan rally”? And there’s BLAZING SADDLES, when African-American Cleavon Little, discovered hiding under a klansman hood declares, “And now for my next impression: Jesse Owens!” – and runs like the devil. Point being: African-American Olympic sprinter Jesse Owens has entered Western vernacular for his race-ISM, and … Read More

ARRIVAL 2016

Poffy The Cucumber

Mind Encounters of the Close Kind. Unless I’m mistaken, she’s stuck in a time-loop, where extra-terrestrials, having arrived, affect her past, present and future… How do we say Hello? And how do we tell the stupid people of Earth to butt out of the conversation? ARRIVAL is an intelligent science fiction Möbius strip that speculates on the first contact between … Read More