INDEPENDENCE DAY

Poffy The Cucumber

The Arrogance of Independence. The most likely circumstance is that extraterrestrial beings will look nothing like any organisms or machines familiar to us. Extraterrestrials will be the product of billions of years of independent biological evolution, by small steps, each involving a series of tiny mutational accidents, on planets with very different environments from those that characterize Earth. — Carl … Read More

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INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS 1978

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Communist Plants in Skeletal Pants. Not the original movie, but probably the best. Director Philip Kaufman’s 1978 INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS remakes Don Siegel’s 1956 movie of the same name, from the 1955 book by Jack Finney. And it is terrifying: Jeff Goldblum’s scarecrow-skinny xylophone ribcage, Donald Sutherland’s style-less white-fro, Veronica Cartwright’s pre-ALIEN whining – oh, and some spores … Read More

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INTO THE WILD

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Northern Over-Exposure. The question will always be: Once you get INTO THE WILD, what do you do there? Of all the people to ask this pertinent, profound question – it is Vince Vaughn. From the book of the same name by Jon Krakauer (who also wrote Into Thin Air), Sean Penn directs Emile Hirsch as Christopher Johnson McCandless (Feb 1968 – … Read More

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IMAGINE ME AND YOU

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Love at First Dyke. He loves her, but she loves… her. Following on the heels of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (Sep 2005) and TRANSAMERICA (Dec 2005) comes this syrupy, thoughtless, fad-awful debacle of lesbian love, IMAGINE ME AND YOU (the moanful title congruent with the lack of imagination displayed in the movie). Rachel (Piper Perabo) is married to Heck (Matthew Goode, bringing … Read More

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IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH

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Into the Valley of Death… ‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’ Was there a man dismay’d ? Not tho’ the soldier knew Some one had blunder’d: Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do & die, Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. — “The Charge of The Light Brigade,” Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The … Read More

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I AM LEGEND

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Will Smith Saves The World – Again… Everyone on Earth is dead – but they left the CGI running. Will Smith is the “last man on Earth,” Robert Neville, tooling through abandoned, overgrown New York City streets, hunting antelope in a red sports car. It is the near future and a plague/virus has taken down humanity – not again! – … Read More

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INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL

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Crystal Numbskull and the Kingdom of the Buttoned Shirt. In the movie posters, his shirt isn’t unbuttoned as low as it used to be. Good call. Man-essence might have been replaced by man-boob. Indiana Jones … is back? Well… 65 year-old Harrison Ford (Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr.) and 62 year-old Steven (I’ve-got-a-golden-ticket) Spielberg and 64 year-old George (Franchise Botcher) Lucas … Read More

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THE INCREDIBLE HULK

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Hulk Movie – Smash! Don’t make him… hungry! You wouldn’t like him when he’s hungry… Bill Bixby’s infamous caveat, once again comically bastardized. In Ang Lee’s HULK (2003), Eric Bana delivered it in Spanish at movie’s end; now in 2008, Edward Norton delivers pidgin Portuguese – badly. Neither a sequel nor an origin tale, THE INCREDIBLE HULK is an adrenalized … Read More

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IRON MAN

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Man of Steel, Ethics of Plastic. IRON MAN is a steel-belted planet-crusher of a film; alloy feet on the ground, red-and-gold armor streaking for sub-orbital skies. Based in a reality close to current, like the shrapnel lodged in Tony Stark’s chest, we feel it close to our heart… technology, physics, corporate backbiting, intimate asides… and a self-made hero that speaks … Read More

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THE INCREDIBLES

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Puts the “in” credible. In every review of THE INCREDIBLES it has become a refrain: “This movie could have worked as well in real life.” Big Bob Parr (voice of Craig T. Nelson) is a cone-shaped mountain of a guy, an ex-superhero doing time as a layperson in a world gone small – from his office cubicle to his aspirations. … Read More

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INVINCIBLE

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Vince-ible. …really wasn’t all that good a movie – but he looked hot in it. — my female friend. Pretty much sums up the Mark Wahlberg vehicle, INVINCIBLE. Written like a Runaway Cliché by Brad Gann and directed well by Ericson Core, INVINCIBLE is the usual “Inspired by a True Story” film that is itself geared to inspire. Grimace. Though … Read More

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THE ILLUSIONIST

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The Distractionist. In a movie about misdirection, the opulent production design, set decoration and sumptuous cinematography of THE ILLUSIONIST serves to misdirect the audience into believing that there is something more profound at stake than the Getting of Panty.I can pinpoint exactly where THE ILLUSIONIST loses its footing: during afterglow, Eisenheim the Illusionist tells Duchess Sophie, “The only mystery I … Read More

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AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

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Sunshine Superman. We’re gonna die. That seems to be the main thrust of Al Gore‘s symposium on sunshine and line graphs. Woiking that Power Point mean machine like a Marketing Manager Gone Wild, the man who used to be “the next President of the United States” assails us with facts, figures and forecasts in AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, outlining possibly the … Read More

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THE INTERPRETER

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Lost In Translation. If you care about whether burnt-out political insurrectionists from fictitious African countries are assassinated or not, this slow-moving thriller is for you. Otherwise, you will watch THE INTERPRETER with one question dogging your suspension of disbelief: “How does a startlingly luminous beauty like Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) avoid being flirted with by every single male she comes … Read More

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INSIDE MAN

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The Heistman Cometh. INSIDE MAN opens with Clive Owen, as Dalton Russell, in hard close-up, warning us to listen to every word he says, because he’ll only say it once. (As George McFly might say, I don’t think I can handle that kind of pressure.) Dalton goes on to boast of his Perfect Heist; we know he speaks truth because … Read More

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IN GOOD COMPANY

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Team Mediocrity. One day Topher Grace will learn that “acting” is not “behaving like you’re making one big apology.” Playing Carter Duryea (a character as solid as a bowel movement after drinking month-old milk), fragile Topher assumes a Sales Head position over a company’s long-time Sales Head, Dan Foreman (Foreman – get it? Oh, Irony! Thy untamed Mistress!) – played … Read More

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INHERIT THE WIND

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…And the Wind Cries Jesus. He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind; And the foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. — Proverbs 11:29 Video stores in Kansas must have burned their copies of INHERIT THE WIND. (Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.) Back when fundamentalist Christians used to carpet-hymn the … Read More

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I, ROBOT

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I, Gamebot. I, Human, even whilst viewing the first trailers of I, ROBOT, knew that They, 20th Century Fox, were destined to make Film, Botch-up. Sure enough, this movie bytes! Pounding home the sordid fact that Big Studios – as cookie-cutter idioms unto themselves – must morph any greed-driven, blockbuster-bent story from cerebral concept to popcorn-glutton whiz-bangery, I, ROBOT is … Read More

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INTERSECTION

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Gere Up For Double The Love. Whadaya know: if you’re skidding headlong into a death-tastic car accident, and you happen to be Richard Gere, your life does flash before your eyes – well, your love life, at least. If you’re Richard Gere. INTERSECTION is almost a Chick-Flick version of MEMENTO, as Vincent (Gere) reminiscences back through his life of juggling … Read More

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INTOLERABLE CRUELTY

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Surprisingly Tolerable. George Clooney hasn’t been this funny since he was Batman. Playing smitten lawyer Miles Massey with the graceful aplomb of a suave Jerry Lewis, Clooney takes his pretty-boy image on a fringe journey of impeccable comedic exactitude in INTOLERABLE CRUELTY, pursuing gold-digging ice-queen, Marilyn (Catherine Zeta-Jones playing her usual arrogant C-Word to the hilt). Eschewing “romantic comedy” cliché … Read More

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