THUNDERBALL

Poffy The Cucumber

Thunder-belles and Shirtless Sean! I lost track of how many women James Bond bangs in this movie. Is that why they call it THUNDERBALL? Truly, THUNDERBALL features the best-looking collective female cast of any Bond adventure! And there is not one standout beauty – they’re all stunners! The Blond Nurse, The Sisterly Agent, The Villain’s Naif, and The Redhead Slut. … Read More

GOLDFINGER

Poffy The Cucumber

BUTTERFINGER, or, The Case For Firing 007. There are two mentions of “008” in GOLDFINGER. Are we being reminded of James Bond 007 being dispensable? Or is it because in this third outing (from the 7th Bond novel by Ian Fleming), Bond keeps proving how terrible he is at his job? Consider, from this film: how easy it is to … Read More

1917

Poffy The Cucumber

The one-take war. War! Huah! Good God y’all! What is it good for?! Absolutely Oscar! GALLIPOLI meets SAVING PRIVATE RYAN in the Newest Generation’s gritty war film, “1917.” (The year people started to realize Archduke Ferdinand probably wasn’t worth all this bone and blood sausage.) World War I (a rare topic, as most modern war movies cover WWII onwards). Two … Read More

BLADE RUNNER 2049

Poffy The Cucumber

I’m too sexy for my existential crisis. He’s a BLADE RUNNER in 2049. And he’s a Replicant – a robot that resembles humans. And he hunts older-model Replicants that are not as gorgeous as him. And – unlike the last guy – he’s terrific at his job! Ryan Gosling is Agent K, a Nexus-9 Replicant, the newest products of the … Read More

JOKER 2019

Poffy The Cucumber

Wanna know how I got these (O)scars?… Joaquin Phoenix is unpredictable, funny, disturbing, and when you meet him, he might just kill you. In JOKER, he won the 2020 Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Actor… But was he really acting? JOKER, like STEPHEN KING’S IT, shows clowns for what they really are: insecure, unbalanced, traumatized sociopaths. Again, was Joaquin … Read More

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

Poffy The Cucumber

A kinetic new vision for the next generation of man-spider fans. Much like THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE is simultaneously ensconced in, and standing apart from, the Cinematic Universe its titular character inhabits, roaming freely in any entertaining direction it fancies, combining, referencing and cross-pollinating canon from its 56-year spectrum of spider-comics and spider-movie lore. As if … Read More

THE PIANIST 2002

Poffy The Cucumber

Szpilman’s Liszt. THE PIANIST follows Jewish concert pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman as he hides out from Nazis during the invasion of Poland. It’s not a story about heroes, rather, the story of a Polish man who avoided being one. And lived to play another day. 1939. Wladyslaw “Wladek” Szpilman (Adrien Brody), whom many contend was “the most accomplished pianist in Poland, … 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

VICE 2018

Poffy The Cucumber

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

FIRST MAN

Poffy The Cucumber

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

Poffy The Cucumber

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

BLACKKKLANSMAN

Poffy The Cucumber

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

BLACK PANTHER

Poffy The Cucumber

Black EmPantherment. “Millions of years ago,” Movie narrates to us, “a special effects meteorite made of vibranium – the strongest substance in the universe – struck the special effects continent of Africa. Five special effects arms rise from the soil to represent the Five Tribes that would form the special effects country of Wakanda. A special effects panther god named … Read More

DARKEST HOUR

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Fight For Your Right – to Dunkirk! He mobilized the English language, and sent it into battle. — Edward R. Murrow. (Accredited to Lord Halifax in DARKEST HOUR.) Oldman does Churchill! The greatest actor of our generation plays the greatest orator of the greatest generation. DARKEST HOUR follows newly-elected British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) through Britain’s darkest hour … Read More

THE SHAPE OF WATER

Poffy The Cucumber

Interspecies Love and the Balls it Requires. Like the aqua spawn of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and Abe Sapien from HELLBOY, our collective consciousness accepts the “Gill Man” as a species; a familiar alien entity in our science fiction. Yet in Guillermo del Toro’s unique THE SHAPE OF WATER, the Gill Man has transcended the species demarcation and … Read More

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

Poffy The Cucumber

Signage Pwnage. After a murder investigation goes cold, the mother of the murdered girl purchases advertising on THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI to turn up the heat on the local sheriff, by reminding the town of his neglect: RAPED WHILE DYING AND STILL NO ARRESTS? HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY? It’s not a murder mystery, it’s not a cop drama, it’s … Read More

DUNKIRK 2017

Poffy The Cucumber

Song for the Unsung. A high-pitched drone of violins imperceptibly morphs into the far-off air-scream of a diving German fighter plane. From the expanse of grey sky, a jot of shrill steel, growing into an engine roar, swelling into machine gun slaughter over a beach where 400,000 Allied soldiers huddle, stranded by circumstance, packed like lemmings, waiting for deliverance on … Read More

THE CIRCUS

Poffy The Cucumber

Character Balancing Act. The Little Tramp joins THE CIRCUS. A whirlwind story that finds Little Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) visiting a circus and, via a chase involving a pickpocket, being hired as a clown, finding love, learning to walk tightrope, losing love, and eventually leaving the circus in a bittersweet finale. Written, directed and produced by Charlie Chaplin, THE CIRCUS is … Read More

ROCKY

Poffy The Cucumber

The Underdog that became a Stallion. That epic fanfare, a giant name floats across screen – ROCKY. Movie opens in elation, as we fly with Bill Conti’s soon-to-be-immortal theme, Gonna Fly Now, and then suddenly comes crashing to Earth– — a small-time boxing match, a pudgy, young and decidedly graceless boxer belts it out with a bigger truck of a … 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