GODZILLA: CITY ON THE EDGE OF BATTLE

Poffy The Cucumber

Godzilla the McGuffin. Never in the history of Godzilla films (excepting the 1954 original) have humans had such an integral and compelling role in a Godzilla film, as they do in GODZILLA: CITY ON THE EDGE OF BATTLE. For the second time in Earth history, we’re watching a Godzilla film for the fates of the people! CITY picks up exactly … Read More

BIRD BOX

Poffy The Cucumber

What You Don’t See… sure can bird you. BIRD BOX is the movie M. Night Shyamalan tried to make with THE HAPPENING. When an unseen entity causes people to kill themselves, a lone woman and two kids brave the rapids to a refugee destination. Blindfolded. The hook in this compelling thriller is so audacious it works: “something” that can’t be … Read More

AQUAMAN 2018

Poffy The Cucumber

Will make you wet. AQUAMAN graduates to jewel of the DC Comics universe, as it finds a perfect mix of action, humor, sex and surf. An American screenwriter’s dream come true, for its fishy foreshadowing and porpoiseful payoffs (couldn’t resist!); an origin story and a high sea adventure, an undersea war and a touching family redemption. It’s got everything, from … Read More

ROMA

Poffy The Cucumber

Interesting Boredom. ROMA will bore you to death. Unless you pretend to like it because film critics say you should. ROMA is excellent filmmaking, controlled and economical, with creative direction, powerful performances and a tragic story. And it won the 2019 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Yet it’s like watching Mexican paint dry. The story is quite simple: In … Read More

MALICIOUS 2018

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Para-psychosis, para-demons and para-actors. After a miscarriage, a woman and her husband have visions of that dead baby daughter, who appears to them at various ages, with malicious intent. MALICIOUS follows young couple Adam (blank-faced Josh Stewart) and heavily-pregnant Lisa (glorious Bojana Novakovic) as they move into their new home in the country (capacious and multi-storied, with a lack of … Read More

MALEVOLENT 2018

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The ghosts ain’t the things to be afraid of… MALEVOLENT has one heart-wrenching scene that puts it above most other ghost-hunter thrillers: a young woman who can see ghosts of the dead has just escaped from a torture chamber, where she was locked with her brother. As they escape, they are separated. As she stumbles down the road, away from … Read More

ADAM SANDLER: 100% FRESH

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Fresh – if you’re 12. Adam Sandler used to be a funny standup comedian. I used to love that unsure persona, and the sudden left turns in his gags. This was way back before most of you Adam Sandler fans were Adam Sandler fans (circa 1990). Then came SNL (1990-1995), and numerous movies, some good, most bad; a handful of … Read More

BEFORE I WAKE

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When dreams come true – run! A couple discovers their adopted 7-year-old boy has dreams that become real. Which means his nightmares do too… BEFORE I WAKE is a solid supernatural thriller, involving young couple Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane) adopting enigmatic orphan Cody (Jacob Tremblay), after their own 7-year-old son Sean (Antonio Romero) has died in a … Read More

VICE 2018

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The Fat Face of Evil.  Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role. — Christian Bale, on winning Best Actor Golden Globes, for the role of Dick Cheney. VICE is the story of Dick Cheney, following his rise from hell into the White House as George W. Bush’s vice president. Christian Bale is Cheney, … Read More

THE MULE 2018

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Riches and Redemption on the Cocaine Superhighway. Family’s the most important thing. Don’t do what I did. I put work in front of family. I thought it was more important to be somebody out there, than the failure I was in my own home. I was a terrible father, a terrible husband. I blew my chance. I didn’t deserve forgiveness. … Read More

SPRINGSTEEN ON BROADWAY

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Springsteen does Dean Martin. In SPRINGSTEEN ON BROADWAY, Robert De Niro talks about his music, his life, his family, his—no wait, that’s Bruce Springsteen. That’s Bruce Springsteen? Call up your mental image of The Boss, from whichever period blows your skirt up: the youthful, scraggly-bearded troubadour, the 80’s rocker with the bandanna and sleeveless denim jacket, the elder statesman on … Read More

A STAR IS BORN 2018

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It’s all about Who You Nose. We may not be known as The Greatest Generation, but this fourth filmic iteration of A STAR IS BORN, for our generation, is surely the greatest. 42 years after the 1976 version, Bradley Cooper co-writes the movie, directs, stars, plays guitar, plays piano, sings, co-writes the songs, and co-produces… A STAR IS BORN all … Read More

FIRST MAN

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First Maudlin Man. That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for Mankind. — Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11, June 1969. FIRST MAN is a strange piece of dramatic fiction. Not a biopic; not a historical document. Following Neil Armstrong on his pioneering Apollo 11 Moon landing, instead of a science-driven, or politics-driven docudrama, movie attempts to find an emotional … Read More

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

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The Good, The Bad and the Freddie. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? — Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” We may well apply the first lines of Queen’s magnum opus Bohemian Rhapsody to the movie encomium of the same name. There is some biography in BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (“the real life”), yet much dramatic license (“just fantasy”), with particular focus … Read More

EXTINCTION 2018

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When A-Actors B-Film. A working class family man is plagued by dreams of alien invasion. One day, his dreams come true. And the question becomes: Can he access those prescient dreams to navigate his family to safety? Then we find out his question was answered – in his past! Movie Maniacs say Wha–? Set in the near future, EXTINCTION is … Read More

BLACKKKLANSMAN

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Afro-Con Ameri-Klan. All the scientists who worked in and for Germany in the 1930s lived to regret that they directly helped a sociopath like Hitler harm millions of people. Let us not repeat the same mistakes over and over again. ― Piero Scaruffi, software consultant, lecturer, publisher. There’s that CHAPPELLE’S SHOW sketch of the blind black Klansman who didn’t know … Read More

BRAIN ON FIRE

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Mind Over Mind. BRAIN ON FIRE recounts a true tale of terror – journalist Susannah Cahalan’s battle against Anti-NMDA-Receptor AutoImmune Encephalitis; when your body’s immune system attacks your brain. What a thing! One might be inclined to say, That’s insane! Doesn’t your brain control your immune system? An attack on the citadel by its own populace! It’s unfortunate that such … Read More

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

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Quantum Cop-Out! ANT-MAN AND THE WASP cops out on its grandest concept – the quantum realm! In ANT-MAN (2015), Dr. Hank Pym warned Ant-Man not to turn off his regulator, for fear of shrinking too small and entering the Quantum Realm, “…where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant as you shrink for all eternity.” The key phrase – … Read More

THE WEEK OF

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Everything happening with Nothing going on. In the contrived farce THE WEEK OF, Adam Sandler is Kenny Lustig, a middle class father struggling to cope with the details and cost of hosting his daughter’s wedding, and Chris Rock is Dr. Kirby Cordice, the rich father of the groom, whose help Kenny declines. Longtime collaborators Sandler and director Robert Smigel seem … Read More

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

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Oh Han, where did you Kessel Run to? What we do in life – echoes in eternity. — Russell Crowe as Maximus, GLADIATOR Just how did Han Solo come by his beloved Millennium Falcon? (He told us in Episode IV he won it gambling.) And how did he get his trusty blaster? (Uh, I guess he either bought it, stole … Read More