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 Not a biopic; not a historical document.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

Poffy The Cucumber

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

THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS

Poffy The Cucumber

A Bridge Too Roar. In 1898 Kenya, the construction site of a railway bridge over the Tsavo River is terrorized by two man-eating lions so vicious and elusive they become known as THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS. Lt. Col. John Paterson (Val Kilmer, high off TOMBSTONE and BATMAN FOREVER) is sent to the stricken Uganda-Mombasa Railway work site (by financier … Read More

THE REVENANT

Poffy The Cucumber

Revenge served cooooold… Think of the coldest pain you’ve ever felt. The most painful cold, biting into your delicate earlobes, torturing your dead toes, eating into your fingers; no feeling, no hope, no vestige of pumping blood. Now multiply it by Leonardo DiCaprio in a bear rug. In the stark survivalist thriller THE REVENANT, Leo is tracker Hugh Glass, a … Read More

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

Poffy The Cucumber

A Very, Very Brief History of Hawking. My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all. — Stephen Hawking. The brilliant English cosmologist Stephen Hawking appears as a B-character in the movie about his life, while his first wife Jane hijacks the narrative in THE … Read More

THE HATEFUL EIGHT

Poffy The Cucumber

Eight is Enough to fill our hearts with dingus. THE THING meets CAPTAIN RON. And all Snake Plissken breaks loose. Wyoming. Post-Civil War. At a snowbound outpost, eight strangers must survive the stormy night. And each other. Writer-director Quentin Tarantino‘s THE HATEFUL EIGHT is a slow burn; a firecracker waiting to be ignited in a nunnery. Unlike many of his … Read More

SPECTRE

Poffy The Cucumber

Same old Bond! What did you ex-spectre? James Bond 007 discovers the looming nemesis dogging his every move since he was in spy-nappies; the criminal organization for expensive suits and limited edition sportscars – SPECTRE! Daniel Craig, in his fourth outing as James Bond, looks old and makes me tired. French flamehair Léa Seydoux is Madeleine Swann, resident Bond Girl … Read More

SPOTLIGHT

Poffy The Cucumber

Pederast Priests and The Coverup That Rocked a Religion. What other business could you be in where your company gets caught running a child sex ring since forever, and you still keep your customers? — Bill Maher, REEL TIME, March 2013. If only the movie SPOTLIGHT was called BUSTING RAPIST PRIESTS, maybe it would be better served by its title. … Read More