MIDSOMMAR 2019

Poffy The Cucumber

Ain’t no cure for the Sommartime Blues. MIDSOMMAR will break you. Five college kids travel to Sweden for a midsummer festival. Oops! It’s a pagan cult. A good way to get yourself killed. Or to break up with your boyfriend.  – – – – S P O I L E R S – – – – – You have been … Read More

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THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

Poffy The Cucumber

Far East becomes Old West. John Sturges remakes Akira Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI as a western, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Katanas become guns, samurai become gunslingers, Far East becomes Old West. A small Mexican farming village, tired of being ransacked annually by a marauder and his henchmen, hire seven gunslingers to repel them. Soon enough, the villagers realize meeting violence with violence … Read More

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MALICIOUS 2018

Poffy The Cucumber

Para-psychosis, para-demons and para-actors. After a miscarriage, a woman and her husband have visions of that dead baby daughter, who appears to them at various ages, with malicious intent. MALICIOUS follows young couple Adam (blank-faced Josh Stewart) and heavily-pregnant Lisa (glorious Bojana Novakovic) as they move into their new home in the country (capacious and multi-storied, with a lack of … Read More

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MALEVOLENT 2018

Poffy The Cucumber

The ghosts ain’t the things to be afraid of… MALEVOLENT has one heart-wrenching scene that puts it above most other ghost-hunter thrillers: a young woman who can see ghosts of the dead has just escaped from a torture chamber, where she was locked with her brother. As they escape, they are separated. As she stumbles down the road, away from … Read More

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THE MONSTER 2016

Poffy The Cucumber

Tropes on a Forest Road. Mother and daughter on road trip. Breakdown on deserted road. Monster attack. That’s about it in THE MONSTER, an average thriller that ambitiously tries to be more than the B-movie it is. Zoe Kazan is a white trash alcoholic single mom, and Ella Ballentine is disenchanted teen daughter Lizzy. As if sensing the minimal substance … Read More

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THE MULE 2018

Poffy The Cucumber

Riches and Redemption on the Cocaine Superhighway. Family’s the most important thing. Don’t do what I did. I put work in front of family. I thought it was more important to be somebody out there, than the failure I was in my own home. I was a terrible father, a terrible husband. I blew my chance. I didn’t deserve forgiveness. … Read More

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MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT

Poffy The Cucumber

People Shooting Other People from Offscreen. (ALTERNATE TITLE: Adventures Of The World’s Most Expensive Stuntman.) Tom Cruise skydives. Tom Cruise fights in a toilet. Tom Cruise rides a motorbike through Paris. Tom Cruise jumps across rooftops. Tom Cruise climbs a rope to a flying helicopter. Tom Cruise flies a helicopter while fighting. Tom Cruise dangles from a cliff… Y’know, I … Read More

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MONEY FROM HOME

Poffy The Cucumber

Martin and Lewis on the money! Honey-Talk Nelson (Dean Martin) is in deep to the mob. To make good on his debt, he is ordered to “fix” a horserace so that the favorite loses. He enlists the aid of his innocent veterinarian cousin Virgil (Jerry Lewis) to dope the favorite, but then falls for the horse’s owner, whilst Virgil falls … Read More

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MY FRIEND IRMA GOES WEST

Poffy The Cucumber

B-characters Bedazzle in B-movie. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis once again make a B-movie watchable. But only just. In MY FRIEND IRMA GOES WEST, the gang from the first IRMA aim for Hollywood, end up in Las Vegas, and are still barely watchable. Honestly, I don’t know why Paramount Studios insisted on a sequel to the execrable MY FRIEND IRMA … Read More

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MY FRIEND IRMA

Poffy The Cucumber

Big things have small beginnings… “and introducing Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis” Thus it begins; with an innocuous “and introducing” credit in MY FRIEND IRMA – the comet-across-the-skies film career of the comedy team known as Martin & Lewis. Dean Martin (born 1917; 32 years old at the time) and Jerry Lewis (born 1926; a strapping 23 years old, nine … Read More

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MEET THE BLACKS

Poffy The Cucumber

Purge-atory. If you haven’t seen the murderous 2013 thriller THE PURGE, then the premise of the screwball comedy MEET THE BLACKS will be even less funny than it already is. A nuveau-riche African-American family from the mean streets of Chicago moves into a snotty white neighborhood in Beverly Hills, just as the annual Purge takes place. THE PURGE – the … Read More

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MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE

Poffy The Cucumber

Cruisin’ for a Contusion. Tom Cruise is espionage agent Ethan Hunt, in the big screen reboot of the 1966 television series, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, who has to go rogue against his own agency to weed out a mole. But the agency thinks it’s him! (I don’t blame them – with that insufferable smirk and that mole-ish snout of his.) Nonetheless, man-toy … Read More

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MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III

Poffy The Cucumber

The Running Spy. Running. If you like running, you’ll love MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III. Because that’s all that Tom Cruise seems to be doing in it. Besides running, Cruise is also being IMF espionage agent Ethan Hunt. (When he tells someone that IMF stands for “Impossible Missions Force,” we realize how ridiculous it sounds, and why everybody’s trying to kill him). … Read More

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MALEFICENT

Poffy The Cucumber

Malevolent CGI and Magnificent Stupidity. MALEFICENT is the story of Sleeping Beauty. Told from the point of view of the evil fairy. And you know what? She’s not evil. First of all, I think this movie is trying to hurt our corneas. Does the CGI have to cover every single color in the visible light and ultraviolent spectrum so loudly? … Read More

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MR. RIGHT

Poffy The Cucumber

Ms. Overcute Overdone. Anna Kendrick overacts and Sam Rockwell tae-kwon-dances his way through MR. RIGHT, a breezy black comedy about a lonely girl (Kendrick) who falls for a hitman (Rockwell) who has turned over a new leaf and is on a mission to whack every person who hires him for a job rather than the target. After an unconvincing breakup … Read More

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THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN 2016

Poffy The Cucumber

The Magnificent Minorities. Denzel Washington leads his black, brown, red and yellow gunslingers in cleaning up the Old West. Kinda like how black, brown, red and yellow people are still cleaning up the Modern Alt-West. In THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, director Antoine Fuqua, praying at the altar of Kurosawa, Leone and Eastwood, crafts a majestic modern take on this paean to … Read More

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MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN

Poffy The Cucumber

Frankenstein’s Mobster. MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN has the reputation for following its infamous source material closely – Mary Shelley’s groundbreaking 1818 novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The fact that it follows the book only barely, and the fact that people yet put on airs when lauding the movie as authentic shows how much people actually read. Kenneth Branagh directs and … Read More

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MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS

Poffy The Cucumber

Out of the maze, and out of ideas. Well, there’s no maze, no scorch and no trials. Why then, is this movie called MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS? This movie’s predecessor, THE MAZE RUNNER (2014), had an interesting hook – the Maze itself, which held our heroes trapped within it; the all-consuming sinister element of the story. In this sequel, … Read More

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MAGIC MIKE XXL

Poffy The Cucumber

Man-Sized Boredom. Male stripper road trip! It might be a draw to the female contingent looking for abs of steel and g-stringed butts a-glisten with strawberry body oil, but heterosexual gentlemen will find more interest in watching paint drying on a wet plank than trying to stay awake for the soporific meanderings in MAGIC MIKE XXL. Channing returns to shake … Read More

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THE MAZE RUNNER

Poffy The Cucumber

This is how we Pac Man now. Sometimes the simplest ideas make the best movies (SAW, BURIED, MISERY, ALIEN). But sometimes the simplest ideas are just simple ideas. Emphasis on simple. THE MAZE RUNNER strands a teen dream amongst a community of other teen dreams and watches him cause havoc amongst the hierarchy with his plans to escape this perfectly … Read More

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