STAR WARS: EPISODE V – THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Poffy The Cucumber

Empirical Satirical. Why is THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, the first of the STAR WARS sequels/prequels, the best of the STAR WARS franchise? Why did it cause such a disturbance in our pants? I considered long and hard and watched it again to assure myself that it was not just our collective imagination. It’s not. Collective imagination, that is. And it … Read More

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PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END

Poffy The Cucumber

Jack-ing the Sparrow. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END: a whole lotta something that ends up a whole lotta nothing. Director Gore Verbinski puts so much effort into this summer blockbuster that it boggles the rational part of the brain – look at that cinematography, look at that set dressing, look at that costuming and attention to detail on … Read More

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SPIDER-MAN 3

Poffy The Cucumber

Really Swingin’. What an adventure! SPIDER-MAN 3 is a swingin’ soiree; a chill-er thriller ladykiller that tops both its previous incarnations with smooth-headed, web-spangling adventure and vibrant, flesh-colored emotion. Heroes tainted by evil, villains infused with poignancy, lovers circling in triangles and Topher Grace as the meanest metrosexual this side of AMERICAN IDOL. Writer-director Sam Raimi bats it out of … Read More

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STAR WARS: EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE

Poffy The Cucumber

A Legend Begins… from the middle… Even if you don’t read comics, you know Superman; even if you don’t rock and roll all night, you know KISS; even if you’re an atheist, you know Jesus; even if you’ve never watched STAR WARS, you know Darth Vader. These elements of pop culture have so imbibed themselves into the vocabulary of our … Read More

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JURASSIC PARK

Poffy The Cucumber

Dino Mighty. DINOSAURS! No, not “unbelievable” and “incredible” – on the contrary, director Steven Spielberg and his special effects team do such a mighty job recreating extinct saurians that they are altogether BELIEVABLE and CREDIBLE! Spielberg is the visionary who brought us JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK – JURASSIC PARK is his … Read More

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THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY

Poffy The Cucumber

Mining the Diary, Missing the Madman. Douglas Adams did not live to see his wondrous literary creation, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, made into this feature film. Maybe that’s fortunate. Each individual component of this movie is well done, from Garth Jennings‘ direction, to the astoundingly creative set design (all the good guys sport spherical décor, the bad guys, … Read More

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SUPERMAN II

Poffy The Cucumber

It’s a bird. It’s plain. It’s not super, man. “KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!” Could that possibly be the cheesiest line in cinematic history? Yes. Yes, it could; most certainly aided by the level of fruitage employed by Terence Stamp as the imperious General Zod, resplendent in black, pseudo-leather, thigh-high disco boots and heavier eyeliner than Avril Lavigne. Director Richard Donner filmed … Read More

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PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST

Poffy The Cucumber

Captain Jack will get you high tonight… PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST is pure ham and cheese. Lots of sauce. Lots of dressing. Hold the onions. Director Gore Verbinski‘s sequel to his PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL (2003) is a spectacle to behold, a hedonistic bombast of swashbuckling high-sea hijinks, sun-seared tropical environs, … Read More

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SUPERMAN

Poffy The Cucumber

One Part Steel, Two Parts Cheese. This movie did for Superman what KING OF KINGS did for Jesus – burned an iconic image of a fictional god into world consciousness. And the Word was made Flesh. And the Flesh was Christopher Reeve. So unknown at the time of his casting that he might as well have been from Krypton, Reeve … Read More

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THE FIFTH ELEMENT

Poffy The Cucumber

Slammin’, Glammin’ and Hammin’. THE FIFTH ELEMENT has spawned so many negative reviews (even whilst admitting to enjoying it) that I get the feeling critics are jealous that Euros can pull off an action blockbuster with as much brainless flair as Americans – with twice the guilty pleasure. In a future society realized in eye-fatiguing detail by writer/director Luc Besson, … Read More

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2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

Poffy The Cucumber

Also sprach Kubrick und Clarke. Long before Douglas Adams, in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke tackle Life, the Universe and Everything. The result? Monolithic! A movie where everything exciting happens in the human mind. No aliens blasting at each other as if they were cowboys from 1870 Earth, or rocketsleds blaring loudly in space and … Read More

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GALAXY QUEST

Poffy The Cucumber

No Dreck on This Trek. In its swinging skewering of that TV series which featured that Vulcan guy and that Overacting guy, GALAXY QUEST is everything that the SCARY MOVIE franchise is not: well-produced, well-written, well-acted – and funny. Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) is the ex-captain of a television starship not unlike that one that boldly goes where no man has … Read More

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MISSION TO MARS

Poffy The Cucumber

Mission To Farce. MISSION TO MARS stands every bit as tall as CAPRICORN ONE in the Ignorant Space Movie category, exhibiting so many misdemeanors, misrepresentations, misapplied physics laws, mistaken facts, missteps, mysterious logic, and misapprehension of spacefaring dialect that one wonders which second-grader took three months off school to helm it. Brian de Palma – the dark force behind 1983’s … Read More

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CROCODILE DUNDEE

Poffy The Cucumber

From Barbecued Shrimps to New York Pimps and Boyfriend Wimps. Growing up in Australia, I knew of Paul Hogan since the mid ’70s. A regular face on Australian TV with his reasonably funny PAUL HOGAN SHOW, he was the paragon of the ocker Everyman. (“Ocker” is an uncultivated Australian; one of low social caste, revealed through their broad accent and … Read More

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TITANIC

Poffy The Cucumber

The King Of The World meets The Bitch Of The Sea. Let’s get one thing straight before we embark on this perilous journey into Hollywood History: the only “truth” in this movie is that the RMS Titanic did sink in April 1912 and that Leonardo DiCaprio is prettier than Kate Winslet. Everything else in James Cameron’s TITANIC is marshmallow fancy. … Read More

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KING KONG

Poffy The Cucumber

The King Is Dead! Long Live The King! There must be a country song that goes – How can something so good become something so bad? Unleashed on an unsuspecting Depression-era American public when “talkies” were not yet five years old, with old Masters like Chaplin still releasing silent films and heroes like Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy and John Wayne … Read More

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KING KONG 2005

Poffy The Cucumber

Yes! We Have No Bananas! Pure entertainment. Twenty-five hairy-bottomed, big-dumb-galoot feet of it. And nothing else. Despite the ubiquitous refrain of beauty and beast subtexts and alienation metaphors and caveats against taming nature, searching for deeper meaning within this wholly implausible tale will only lead to senseless cavil and being considered the big ponce for taking it so seriously in … Read More

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CAST AWAY

Poffy The Cucumber

A Breath Of Fresh Island Air. Chuck Noland (plump Tom Hanks), inextricably married to his time-sensitive, nerve-fraying job as a FedEx consultant, rather than to his quietly-suffering fiancé Kelly (Helen Hunt), finds himself suddenly and unceremoniously negated from Civilization’s jetstream when a plane crash leaves him Stranded On A Desert Island. CAST AWAY seems to be nothing new: we’ve seen … Read More

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HIGHLANDER

Poffy The Cucumber

Sharp as a Katana, Breezy as a Kilt. There is an important scene missing in the American cut of HIGHLANDER: During World War II, MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) finds an orphaned little girl hiding amongst ruins. When a Nazi guns them down, his body shields hers, absorbing the bullets, and they both fall. In answer to her amazed, “You’re still alive?”, … Read More

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HELLBOY

Poffy The Cucumber

Hell-Freed but Earth-Bound. They say he’s from Hell – now is that the Christian version or the ancient Jewish version? Or the Greek version, or Nordic, or Moslem? Why, there are as many versions of Hell as demons from there. But enough about George Bush Junior. HELLBOY is a classic example of hype over-riding content. I am as big a … Read More

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