NOTHING SACRED

Poffy The Cucumber

Before Martin & Lewis – there was March & Lombard. NOTHING SACRED is the original 1937 screwball comedy that inspired the Martin and Lewis remake, LIVING IT UP in 1954. Vermont smalltown girl, Hazel Flagg (Carole Lombard, extra cute, extra red), has fatal “radium poisoning” and receives a hefty sum from her employer, with which she plans to visit New … Read More

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION

Poffy The Cucumber

Tidings of no comfort, no joy. I’ll tell you why I hate Chevy Chase. As much as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Groucho Marx and Jerry Lewis worked on honing their comedic craft, the talent-less drogue Chevy Chase has done exactly the opposite. Chase can be compared to his equally talent-less contemporary, singer Ozzy Osbourne; both Chevy and Ozzy ride the … Read More

NEIGHBORS 2014

Poffy The Cucumber

Flab versus Ab. A young married couple with a newborn are faced with a rowdy college fraternity moving in next door. And all rock hard abs break loose… well, not really, but once Zac Efron takes his shirt off, there’s really nothing left in the universe to look at. The suburban comedy NEIGHBORS finds Mac (chub Seth Rogen), improbably married … Read More

NON-STOP

Poffy The Cucumber

A particular set of thrills. An air marshal must stop a mysterious texting terrorist carrying out his threats to kill one person every 20 minutes. And sending poo emojis. The airplane thriller NON-STOP is, in fact, non-stop thrills, with Liam Neeson plying his intensity as air marshal Bill Marks (basically a reprise of his role as Bryan Mills, special forces … Read More

NOW YOU SEE ME

Poffy The Cucumber

The closer you look, the less you’ll care… Magician J. Daniel Atlas has a slogan: “The closer you look – the less you’ll see.” Uh, no, I’m actually seeing right into your cliché-riddled screenplay, and your swooping camera moves to misdirect me means that you know that I know what you don’t want me to know… Four smug magicians use … Read More

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION

Poffy The Cucumber

Road trip-up. American Humor. And if that’s not an oxymoron, then surely the phrase Comedian Chevy Chase is. NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION stars non-comedian Chase as Clark Griswold, a father determined to drive his family cross-country from Chicago to Los Angeles, to visit the famed Disneyland-type amusement park, Walley World. And all American Humor breaks loose, which means vain attempts at … Read More

THE NUT JOB

Poffy The Cucumber

Nutless. A group of woodland creatures tries to infiltrate a nut shop and heist its nuts for the winter after their supply in the park is accidentally blown up. Uncute, unlovable animal characters populate THE NUT JOB, an animated feature that aims for excitement, romance and danger and never pulls off any of it as successfully as the uncute unlovable … Read More

THE NET

Poffy The Cucumber

The Future Is Then. Back in the days when having a computer was like having a teleporter, young hacker Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock, who has a computer at her home and everything!) is sent a disk (wow! A floppy disk! This is like, too futuristic for me to handle!) with an illegal program on it that could allow access to … Read More

NOAH

Poffy The Cucumber

Dark Ark. Obsession! It’s not just a perfume. It’s all over the King James Bible. And for the first time, captured in a major motion picture that doesn’t paint a biblical figure like a cardboard cutout whimsically pimping himself out to God’s unholy will. On the strength of a “vision,” a guy builds a boat 300 cubits long (whatever that … Read More

NINE HOURS TO RAMA

Poffy The Cucumber

The Dark Side of the Horst. I see a red door and I want it painted black. –The Rolling Stones, “Paint It Black” No, it’s not a movie about Arthur C. Clarke’s enigmatic alien space station, Rendezvous With Rama, but about the assassination of Mohandas K. Gandhi (aka Mahatma Gandhi) on January 30, 1948, and his alleged last utterance upon … Read More

NETWORK

Poffy The Cucumber

Don’t get mad – get a News Show. A washed-up newscaster (Peter Finch) is about to be fired from a television network for being over the hill and losing ratings. Until he does something that shocks the network executives, forces the viewing public to take notice, and rockets his ratings. He starts telling the truth. Sidney Lumet’s NETWORK is a … Read More

NOWHERE BOY

Poffy The Cucumber

I Am The Baby Seal Jesus. It helps if you read this review with a nasal British accent. Bonus points for having a big cartoon nose. John Lennon’s high school principal tells him, “You’re going nowhere, son.” At that point, you’re meant to slap your thigh and exclaim “Hah! Little did he know!” Do you feel dirty yet? A mixture … Read More

NINE MONTHS

Poffy The Cucumber

What a miscarriage! NINE MONTHS is about an expectant couple. To borrow a tagline from a Jeff Goldblum movie: Be afraid. Be very afraid. If the inanity doesn’t kill you, the stupidity will. NINE MONTHS opens with Samuel and Rebecca (Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore) on a beach, assessing their couplehood, Samuel deciding he is happy, Rebecca intimating she is … Read More

THE NEGOTIATOR

Poffy The Cucumber

Two Wrongs making Two Rights. THE NEGOTIATOR would have scored higher Cukee ratings had it not opted for melodramatic Hollywood-speak and Samuel L. Jackson‘s penchant for delivering didactic lines as if he was Jules in PULP FICTION explaining stuff to Vincent Vega. Jackson is police hostage negotiator Danny Roman – the best at what he does – who is framed … Read More

NEXT

Poffy The Cucumber

Next To Nothing. “Here’s the thing about the future,” Nic Cage tells us at the beginning of NEXT, “every time you look at it, it changes – because you looked at it. And that changes everything else.” Oh, so it’s Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Only dumber. Cage is Cris Johnson, a Las Vegas mentalist who can see two minutes into his … Read More

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

Poffy The Cucumber

Night of the Actor’s Studio Rejects. 1968. While Kubrick unveiled 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, while Polanski birthed ROSEMARY’S BABY, while Franklin J. Schaffner unleashed PLANET OF THE APES, George A Romero, a director who couldn’t direct, got together with a bunch of actors who couldn’t act and lumbered out NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. And the world became a stupider … Read More

NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS

Poffy The Cucumber

I’m going to take a Treasure Bath! For all its contrived clue-solving and annoying coincidences and tiresome car chases, and even Nicolas Cage’s mourning face, NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS is a lot of fun. Maybe producer Jerry Bruckheimer had something to do with the fact we can hardly take a breath before the next relentless action sequence derived from … Read More

NOT EASILY BROKEN

Poffy The Cucumber

Preachy, Peachy and Screechy. Directed by the great Bill Duke (the big black guy from PREDATOR), NOT EASILY BROKEN is tailored for the black christian market like a black suit and tie is tailored for a Reservoir Dog. Dave Johnson (Morris Chestnut) is married to a screeching harridan (Taraji P. Henson), who seems to possess no redeeming qualities except two … Read More

THE NEW GUY

Poffy The Cucumber

Once a Dork… So I’m totally writers-blocked one night while trying to finish my script, SHIFTER. And I’m channel-surfing cable, my mind a blank, settling in to a long night of unproductivity, wondering fearfully – like everyone who experiences the steel wall of Writer’s Block – how I’ll ever be able to string words together again, when suddenly – THE … Read More

THE NUMBER 23

Poffy The Cucumber

The Number of the Least. It just don’t add up! Numerology – utter coincidence coupled with utter stupidity. Try telling that to the EVP fake-moon-landing 9/11-conspiracy empath-candle what’s-your-sign bible-thumping bobbleheads. When dogcatcher Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) reads a mysterious book called The Number 23, he begins to realize how much the number 23 figures in his life, from his birth … Read More