SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

Poffy The Cucumber

Couldn’t find the silver lining. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is a teachable moment in filmic history. They showed us how to cure bipolar disease. You just need to get laid! Two damaged people Meet Cute. They pretend to hate each other. By movie’s end, they love each other, which apparently means they’re not damaged anymore. Yay. All it took was sex. SILVER … Read More

ALIEN

Poffy The Cucumber

A Little Extra Extra-Terrestrial. The slogan for ALIEN is embedded in pop culture: “In space, no one can hear you scream.” Even so, there’s an awful lot of screaming going on… A deep space mining crew investigates a distress signal from an unchartered planet, and inadvertently takes onboard a malignant alien life form. What could possibly happen next, but grisly … Read More

THE LONGEST DAY

Poffy The Cucumber

The Longest Fey. A German soldier tells his commander “Some sort of rubber dummies have been dropped by parachute!” – and he wasn’t talking about the Americans. THE LONGEST DAY has the distinction of revealing many interesting World War II tactics even to jaded modern, post-RYAN audiences. Such as the British dropping 3-foot-high dummies as night decoys, made to shoot … Read More

ZERO DARK THIRTY

Poffy The Cucumber

Zero Dork Skirty. Not exactly propaganda, not exactly lies, not exactly conspiracy theory. ZERO DARK THIRTY, the story about the American hunt for Osama bin Laden, is maybe a touch of all three… According to real life grunts, the title ZERO DARK THIRTY is bollocks. The military pronounce the “zero” as “oh”; and it doesn’t mean 12:30 a.m. (as the … Read More

SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME

Poffy The Cucumber

The Passion of the Goombah. If you can get past Paul Newman’s insufferable “schoolyard Italian” SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME is… well, it’s still pretty mediocre. It’s a tribute to boxing legend Rocky Graziano, his street youth, his thug life, his Army AWOL, his boxing career under the name “Graziano” (real name Thomas Rocco Barbella), his insipid love life with … Read More

ARGO

Poffy The Cucumber

The Year of Living Hollywoodly. When your facial hair says yes and your fashion sense says no – that’s ARGO. Ben Affleck does battle with his beard for top billing as CIA “exfiltration” expert Tony Mendez, trying to extract six American fugitives from Iran during a political insurgency. (When is there NOT a political insurgency in Iran? Can someone call … Read More

NETWORK

Poffy The Cucumber

Don’t get mad – get a News Show. A washed-up newscaster (Peter Finch) is about to be fired from a television network for being over the hill and losing ratings. Until he does something that shocks the network executives, forces the viewing public to take notice, and rockets his ratings. He starts telling the truth. Sidney Lumet’s NETWORK is a … Read More

TORA! TORA! TORA!

Poffy The Cucumber

Rising Sun over Despising Sam. Next to Viet Nam, Pearl Harbor must be one of the most shameful failures in American military history. We can understand why the American meme has been twisted into “surprise attack by the Japanese”; otherwise, how was the vaunted United States war machine caught with its pants so low around its ankles? TORA! TORA! TORA! … Read More

ARTHUR

Poffy The Cucumber

Little Boy Booze. The breezy, boozy tale of a wealthy enabled young man who can’t do without money – until he realizes that money can’t buy him what he really can’t do without. Back when being just a millionaire was sufficient enough to be an absolute arsehole, ARTHUR hits the screen with the impact of passing out and whacking your … Read More

THE KING’S SPEECH

Poffy The Cucumber

A Royale with cheese. So the British Royals are ordained by God, eh? God moving in yet another mysterious way by “blessing” King George VI with a chronic stammer… Ergo, no God – or God’s an asshole. THE KING’S SPEECH is a fascinating insight into a non-publicized corner of English Royal history, revealing a sordid truth deeper than the question … Read More

RAY

Poffy The Cucumber

Tragedy and Triumph on the Cliché Superhighway. A talented superstar like Ray Charles deserves every bit of tribute he receives, so the makers of RAY can be forgiven for their “good intent” (tempered by their desire for profit, of course), but in crafting this ostensible monument to the blind blues-gospel pianist, they step knee deep in every cliché created by … Read More

THE FIGHTER

Poffy The Cucumber

Trailer Trash Writ Glorious. In the first three minutes of THE FIGHTER, we realize that Christian Bale should not have won that Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in this film. He should have won for Best ACTOR. Yes, we know the technical definitions of “main,” “major,” and “supporting” characters – but really! Bale’s Herculean immersion into his wild-eyed character … Read More

HIGH NOON

Poffy The Cucumber

Man-Tales of the Old West. HIGH NOON is about being a Man. Surrounded by wussies and pussies. Gary Cooper is Marshall Will Kane, well-loved lawman of a small Western town, marrying his petite blond Quaker bride (Grace Kelly). At his new wife’s behest, he is leaving his tin star behind for a life of rousing inventorying in a General Store. … Read More

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

Poffy The Cucumber

Madness disguised by innocence and mind-blowing cartooning. Like all women, the insecure queen has self esteem issues, constantly chittering about being the “fairest one of all.” And she is also a shapeshifter. Excuse me for nitpicking, but if you can shapeshift, why not transmute into a more beautiful woman? But then she still has to contend with the fickleness of … Read More

WALL STREET

Poffy The Cucumber

Up against The Wall. Veteran stockbroker Gordon Gekko wakes upstart stockbroker Bud Fox in the middle of the night with a phone call, to remind him the Hong Kong markets are open: “Money never sleeps, pal!” WALL STREET is a powerful albeit slightly cheesy look at the inside of insider trading. Co-writer/ director Oliver Stone, with his characteristic insider knowledge … Read More

THE ABYSS

Poffy The Cucumber

Underwater Flying Objects. He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. — Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146 (1886). James Cameron‘s parable about humans in an alien environment (at the bottom of the sea) close-encountering … Read More

THE WIZARD OF OZ

Poffy The Cucumber

The Wizarding World of Non-Oz-Sense. It’s Judy Garland’s first ever head trip! A victim of prescribed, mind-altering drugs later in her career, maybe she was just trying to recreate her glory days in THE WIZARD OF OZ? It was 1939 and the Hollywood studio system was churning out so many “musicals” that singing irrelevantly amidst the storyline had become not … Read More

GOOD WILL HUNTING

Poffy The Cucumber

Beautiful mind versus beautiful beard. All hail the *intelligent* screenplay! GOOD WILL HUNTING pairs “Bahston” boys Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in their first, and arguably most powerful, bromance to date (excepting maybe their turns as marauding angels in Kevin Smith’s DOGMA); written by Damon and Affleck, who deserve every inch of their little gold man (Best Screenplay 1998), a … Read More

INCEPTION

Poffy The Cucumber

Dreaming in Black and Baby Blue. Who was it that said, “Leo is soooo dreamy”? Everyone. So what’s all the fuss over INCEPTION? It’s Leo being dreamy; that is, appearing in people’s dreams. And hasn’t Leo appeared in ALL our dreams at some point? Ahem! Onward… Written, produced and directed by Christopher Nolan, INCEPTION proves once again that while everyone … Read More

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST

Poffy The Cucumber

One Cuckoo in Charge of the Rest. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, the story of one sane man’s carousel ride through an insane asylum, is one of the foremost statements on mankind’s descent into madness. Not because of the unbalanced patients – because of the unbalanced staff. Terrifying, poignant, gut-wrenching, from the acclaimed book by Ken Kesey (who hated … Read More