THE CHANGE-UP

Poffy The Cucumber

Another change-up, another plage-up. How many times have we seen this movie? THE CHANGE-UP is the latest mystical body-switching movie from the venal plagiarists in the Hollywood Cookie Cutter Industrial Complex who have the audacity to call themselves writers. At least it’s funny. Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) and Dave (Jason Bateman) are best friends but lead diametrically opposite lifestyles – Mitch … Read More

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

Poffy The Cucumber

Red, White and Boob. In World War II, a patriotic American weakling, Steve Rogers, is injected with a top secret military serum to become a super soldier. Yes, it’s Captain America! The red, white and blue avenger, in the best comicbook movie of the decade – and by that I mean, it’s lightweight and predictable and aimed at twelve-year-olds. CAPTAIN … Read More

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CITY LIGHTS

Poffy The Cucumber

To be a Saint in the City. Is CITY LIGHTS Charlie Chaplin’s best movie? Film historian Robert Osborne thinks so. Osborne makes this clear while co-hosting Turner Classic Movies with Alec Baldwin, while pooh-poohing Baldwin’s assertion that Chaplin is a direct linear ancestor to Jerry Lewis and Jim Carrey. Poor Alec was taken aback when Osborne crawled all over him … Read More

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THE CLIMATE REALITY PROJECT

Poffy The Cucumber

The Krypton Syndrome. As he did in AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (2006), Al Gore talks up a storm. About storms. And droughts. And melting ice caps, and raging fires; THE CLIMATE REALITY PROJECT outlines the global climate shift exacerbated by what 1960’s science fiction films might have called “Mankind tampering in God’s domain.” But something has changed in the, uh, “climate” … Read More

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COSMOS

Poffy The Cucumber

The real Encyclopaedia Galactica. KNOWLEDGE! Not just physics, not just astronomy, not just biology, or philosophy or mathematics; knowledge from every strand of human endeavor. Astronomer Carl Sagan ties it all together in an immense library of congress called COSMOS. First broadcast on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 1980, to date COSMOS is still the most widely watched PBS television … Read More

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THE CRAZIES 2010

Poffy The Cucumber

Crazy like a pox. Remake of the 1973 George A. Romero movie of the same name, THE CRAZIES is a simple, shallow, well-made thriller. A virus drives the people of a bucolic Midwestern town crazy and they start killing people. I don’t mean to nitpick, but killing is kinda natural for a species that kills to eat, to mate, to … Read More

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CONAN THE BARBARIAN

Poffy The Cucumber

Save a Barbaric Yawp for me. CONAN THE BARBARIAN opens with a Nietzsche title card: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Oh, so it’s a focus on the philosophical struggle of mankind. Well, actually it’s more a focus on the “kill” and “stronger” bits. For an action-adventure fantasy epic, CONAN THE BARBARIAN sure is painfully slow, padded … Read More

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CRY FREEDOM

Poffy The Cucumber

Slaving for Freedom. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine. –Obi-Wan to Darth Vader in STAR WARS. Another man of peace killed by men of ignorance. CRY FREEDOM stars Denzel Washington as Steve Biko, the black South African anti-apartheid insurrectionist of the 1960s and 70s (a contemporary of Mandela’s, imprisoned on Robben … Read More

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COURAGE UNDER FIRE

Poffy The Cucumber

Gutless Under Cliché. Yes, I know it’s trying to be inspiring and heroic and poignant, but COURAGE UNDER FIRE is one of the most blatantly gutless movies ever made. About a soldier investigating whether a downed female United States helicopter pilot in Desert Storm deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor. So I ask you: in which universe will America ever … Read More

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CHAPLIN

Poffy The Cucumber

The Man, The Myth, the Trousers. Robert Downey Jr. runs around like a madman, knocks things over and falls down a lot. (Cocaine’s a helluva drug.) And in CHAPLIN, he gets to do all that without being arrested… Baron Dickie Attenborough‘s CHAPLIN is a towering tribute to one of the pioneers of the motion picture industry – Charlie Chaplin, not … Read More

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CLASS ACTION

Poffy The Cucumber

Class with a capital L. CLASS ACTION is an interesting twist on courtroom drama. It contains all the unrealistic courtroom shouting and eleventh-hour reveals, but our attention is more focused on the drama between the father and daughter attorneys on opposing sides of the case. Gene Hackman is lawyer Jedediah Ward, representing a group of people in a class action … Read More

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CREATION

Poffy The Cucumber

And Darwin said, “Let there be light!” And there was light. When a library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn’t anger me. – Mark Twain, Feb 1907. The battle between Good (intelligence) and Evil … Read More

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A CIVIL ACTION

Poffy The Cucumber

Justice IS blind – so can’t see Truth. In movies, the good guys always seem to win court cases. Over an ingratiating orchestra swell, no less. But in reality, good or bad has nothing to do with the outcome of court cases. It’s how you play the game. If you can afford to be in the game in the first … Read More

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CYRUS

Poffy The Cucumber

Hell hath no fury like an Oedipal Complex scorned. Jonah Hill hasn’t been taking his Oedipal Complex pills! Don’t you hate it when the funniest parts are all in the trailers? ALL in the trailers. CYRUS is told in 1 minute and 30 seconds: Lonely John (John C. Reilly) meets fun chick Molly (Marisa Tomei) at a party; she is … Read More

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CHICKEN RUN

Poffy The Cucumber

Eggs over easy. THE GREAT ESCAPE meets KFC. Creator Nick Park brings his WALLACE AND GROMIT stop-motion skills to the chicken coop, with CHICKEN RUN, a cutesy claymation adventure set in a British farmyard where a group of chickens are trying to escape Tweedy’s Farm, whose owner has just purchased a pie-making machine that makes… chicken pies! The chickens enlist … Read More

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CRAZY HEART

Poffy The Cucumber

The Dude Abides. We meet Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) getting out of his van after a long drive, his belt buckle and fly undone; he pulls a plastic bottle out of his car and empties the pee. It’s The Dude! The star of THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998) brings his Dudeness to CRAZY HEART, the tale of a country music singer-songwriter. … Read More

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CLASH OF THE TITANS 2010

Poffy The Cucumber

Hash of the Titans. Liam Neeson and Sam Worthington try to out-act special effects. Fail. 16-year-old boys rejoice. Mankind tries to live without deities. Fail. Churches rejoice. CLASH OF THE TITANS is written for 16-year-old boys, to be enjoyed exclusively by 16-year-old boys. Hell, I loved the 1981 original film starring Harry Hamlin and Burgess Meredith. When I was 16. … Read More

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CADDYSHACK

Poffy The Cucumber

No follow through. Yes, I know CADDYSHACK has entered the vernacular as a comedy classic, but it’s about as boring as watching golf. And whadaya know? – It’s about watching golf! Directed by Harold Ramis, written by Brian Doyle-Murray, Ramis and Douglas Kenney, starring Chevy Chase as a smart-mouthing rich golfer, Bill Murray as a harelipped groundskeeper, Rodney Dangerfield as … Read More

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THE CHANGELING

Poffy The Cucumber

Haunting in Every Way. THE CHANGELING is one of the great classic haunted house stories, and arguably the last of its kind of supernatural thrillers. Here you will find all the classic ingredients that went into the best horror stories that ever made you brown your pants as a kid. George C. Scott is composer John Russell, who suffers the … Read More

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CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY

Poffy The Cucumber

Too Big To Nail. Corruption is our protection. Corruption keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why you and I are prancing around in here instead of fighting over scraps of meat out in the streets. Corruption is why we win. — Bob Baer’s SYRIANA (2005). It’s not just about Too Big To Fail – it’s about betting on failing. … Read More

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