HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY

Poffy The Cucumber

Hell-Tilt With The Wheels Comin’ Off. PAN’S LABYRINTH smashed up against the Cantina Sequence from STAR WARS and Guillermo del Toro rode that bad boy all the way to a town called HELLBOY. In HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY, writer-director del Toro has concreted his gleaming vision, found his devil stride, piling spectacle upon wonder upon bombastic fantastic. From Mike … Read More

HANCOCK

Poffy The Cucumber

Upping the Ante on Anti-Heroes. Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane!… It’s a drunk. Mr. Fourth-of-July-Blockbuster (Will Smith) is HANCOCK (named after the epithet for signatures), endowed with all the powers of SUPERMAN, sans the gay … Read More

THE HAPPENING

Poffy The Cucumber

Nothing Happening. M. Night Shyamalan is a film-making genius. Okay, that’s outa the way, now to THE HAPPENING – one of M. Night Shyamalan’s best comedies. (Because if you don’t laugh at Zooey Deschanel’s “indicating” method of “acting” you must attend the same inept acting classes she does.) In Shyamalan’s latest producer-writer-director effort, people of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard suddenly … Read More

HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER

Poffy The Cucumber

High Pains Grifter. John Wayne didn’t like HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER and let me know it. He wrote me a letter putting it down, saying it was not The West. I was trying to get away from what he and Gary Cooper and others had done. — Clint Eastwood. Dee Barton’s ominous score heralds an angel of death materializing from the … Read More

THE HOAX

Poffy The Cucumber

The Barbaric Yawp of the Lunatic Fringe. In 1970, author Clifford Irving fooled all of the people some of the time when he produced the autobiography of one of the world’s most intriguing recluses, Howard Hughes. Like all great hoaxes, it eventually served him better than the truth. And like all movies “based on true stories,” we approach cautiously where … Read More

HOT FUZZ

Poffy The Cucumber

Buzz Fuzz. In 2004, the zombie comedy (“zomedy”?), SHAUN OF THE DEAD, hit us like a shovel to the face. HOT FUZZ is like that same shovel – to the bollocks. Harder, heavier, grittier and gruesomer than SHAUN, Brit import HOT FUZZ throws down action badder than Hollywood’s baddest bad boys – and it’s a comedy. The same team that … Read More

HITCH

Poffy The Cucumber

Hitch Cock. This film needs a brain-frying dose of Tom Leykis (radio “professor” with strict set of dating tenets – “Leykis 101”: “Never spend more than $40 on dates; Three-date limit until tail; Never sleepover at your place; No gifts ever to booty calls and women you date; Do not change who you are for a woman; No weekend dates … Read More

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

HOLLYWOODLAND

Poffy The Cucumber

As Powerful as a Locomotive. The posters to HOLLYWOODLAND do nothing to alert us to the movie’s startling subject matter – Ben Affleck in red grandma-panties. Set in 1959, tracing the ripples in pop culture following the mysterious death of TV’s most famous Superman, George Reeves, writer Paul Bernbaum and director Allen Coulter (THE SOPRANOS, SEX AND THE CITY) embark … Read More

A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

Poffy The Cucumber

When the Evil Twin Piques. Director David Cronenberg assails his audience with A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, surface “pulp thriller,” with an undercurrent of vigilantism, Darwinism and Plot Conveniences. A simplistic tale which careens against the cerebral precepts of Survival of the Fittest, Natural Selection and Freudian sublimation. (Any more big words, or are we done for the day?…) Loosely screenplayed … Read More

HULK

Poffy The Cucumber

Shrek On Steroids. Despite the disconcerting fact that the HULK does in fact look like a juiced Shrek, this is not as bad a film as its detractors would have us believe. With the masterful Ang Lee in the director’s chair, the blame for this production’s lack of luster must surely be placed on the shoulders of others. Even though … Read More

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

HOUSE OF THE DEAD

Poffy The Cucumber

Laid up and drugged out, as a kidney stone wended its merry way through my scarred urinary tract, with ab-so-lute-ly nothing better to do than let the painkillers swoon me into semi-oblivion, I happened to catch this movie on cable. I wouldn’t want anyone to think that I paid to view it in a cinema, or rented it, or – … Read More

HIGHLANDER III: THE SORCERER

Poffy The Cucumber

There Can Be Only One… er-Three…uh- Seven? Twenty?.. I dunno, does 43 sound about right?… HIGHLANDER III: THE SORCERER should heed its own slogan: “There can be only one.” There should have been only one – one HIGHLANDER film, that is. Each sequel drives another vapid nail into the bottomless coffin that has become the HIGHLANDER franchise. HIGHLANDER was a … Read More

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

HANNIBAL

Poffy The Cucumber

A few nights ago I accidentally watched HANNIBAL on cable. Surfing with the alien, my remote became my god, channeling for high-grade sewage, while I helplessly stood by and made bagels. (Cream cheese, m’dear?) Settling unnervingly on the couch with kippers and chardonnay, I found I had lost my towel. And the movie only made matters worse… Julianne Moore played … Read More