POINT BREAK

Poffy The Cucumber

Keanu and Patrick’s Excellent Adventure. Dudes, dial the overacting down to a 7. In POINT BREAK, Patrick Swayze is Bodhi, a surfing bankrobber – or is that a bankrobbing surfer? – on the Los Angeles coast. Keanu Reeves is FBI undercover agent, Johnny Utah (I know, you can’t even think that name without overacting), hot on the tight tail of … Read More

PINEAPPLE EXPRESS

Poffy The Cucumber

The Fast Track to Brotherly J. Well, it in’t MIDNIGHT EXPRESS. Welcome to the new edge of comedy. There’s something very brave about Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen films – how they eschew Hollywood protocol and make their leading men (their male leads) each other’s love interest! Not gay. Love, you prurient, fundamentalist bigots. Two men who can swear eternal love for … Read More

THE POKER CLUB

Poffy The Cucumber

Poker Haunt Us. Four friends in a weekly poker game. A burglar breaks in. They kill him. It looks bad (they tied his hands; he tried to escape and one of them baseball-batted him). They don’t report it and dump the body. Then things get really bad. From a novel by Ed Gorman, Johnathon Schaech produces, co-screenplays and stars in … Read More

PEARL HARBOR

Poffy The Cucumber

Pearl Before Swine. In garish detail and stunning investigative probing, PEARL HARBOR digs deep below the surface of the gasoline embargoes and jingoistic fomenting and reveals exactly what this WWII conflict was all about – the love triangle between three young American Models. You see, Ben loves Kate. And Kate loves Ben. But Ben’s best friend, Josh, also likes Kate. … Read More

PATHS OF GLORY

Poffy The Cucumber

Paths of Gory. When it comes to dying for your country, it’s better not to die at all. — Lewis Ayres, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. The quote from ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT may be misconstrued. If there really was such a thing as “dying for your country,” it would be stupid enough, but no one ever really … Read More

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

Poffy The Cucumber

The Bashin’ of The Christ. Yeah, this is what all those other Jesus movies have been missing – the TORTURE. If you’re gonna bash Jesus, you might as well bash him right. Okay, send me your hate mail and get it over with. But Mel, not me, does more bashing of your effeminate savior than every other Jesus movie in … Read More

THE PROPOSITION

Poffy The Cucumber

Brutal, Bloody, Beautiful. In 1800’s Australia, somewhere in the rugged skeleton colonies of New South Wales, police trooper Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) puts this proposition to Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce, greasier and grimier than he was in THE HARD WORD, 2002 – if that’s even possible): Kill your older brother to save your younger from the noose. THE PROPOSITION is … Read More

PI

Poffy The Cucumber

Uneasy as Pi. There is something genius lurking its way to the surface in Darren Aronofsky’s PI – but it gets sidetracked with hallucinatory drugs. An indie film through and through, filmed in startling, scratchy black and white, with reasonably poor performances from everyone except the two leads – Sean Gullette and Mark Margolis (forever Alberto the assassin from SCARFACE, … Read More

PRESTO

Poffy The Cucumber

Funny Hunger. A magician, his magic top hat and his desperately cute and hungry rabbit. PRESTO is a Pixar featurette before WALL-E and has brought back the classically hilarious “short,” popularized by Warner Bros. and Bugs Bunny cartoons all those decades ago. Presto the Magician is onstage for his act, but his rabbit wants to be fed, so refuses to … Read More

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END

Poffy The Cucumber

Jack-ing the Sparrow. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END: a whole lotta something that ends up a whole lotta nothing. Director Gore Verbinski puts so much effort into this summer blockbuster that it boggles the rational part of the brain – look at that cinematography, look at that set dressing, look at that costuming and attention to detail on … Read More

PHENOMENON

Poffy The Cucumber

Battlefield Iowa. Long before John Travolta and Forest Whitaker turn Earth into a battlefield for L. Ron Hubbard in BATTLEFIELD EARTH, the Psychlos envoy (Travolta and his mildly-retarded lieutenant, Whitaker) inhabit a small midwestern American town, pretending to be human, in PHENOMENON. On his 37th birthday, Travolta sees lights in the sky – L. Ron Hubbard beaming down brain juice … Read More

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

Poffy The Cucumber

Dispiritying, Disheartenying, Distressying. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS needs to take a Prozac. Relentlessly depressing, director Gabriele Muccino’s first English feature film is Inspired by a True Story – which only inspires nausea with their ubiquity these days – and though its intent is to be a “feel-good” movie, it goes awry in its execution, paying such sadistic detail to every … Read More

THE PRESTIGE

Poffy The Cucumber

Nolan’s Real Magic. Godard’s Dictum: The cinema is truth 24 frames per second. Rejoinder: The cinema is illusion, is lying 24 frames per second. THE PRESTIGE is everything THE ILLUSIONIST wanted to be – and claimed to be in its trailers – an unholy tale of a magician seeking arcane Real Magic. Overarching the magic, a tale of two men … Read More

PLAY MISTY FOR ME

Poffy The Cucumber

A Legend’s Misty Origin. In 1971, 41-year-old Clint Eastwood confidently flaunts his directing debut with PLAY MISTY FOR ME – at an age when most actors these days are contemplating which reality show to make asses of themselves on. Already known as a bankable actor for his Sergio Leone DOLLAR trilogy and a flurry of westerns and war movies, this … Read More

A PERFECT WORLD

Poffy The Cucumber

A Perfect Vision of an Imperfect World. Nature versus nurture. Fathers versus sons. Justice versus The Law. T-bones versus tater tots. The power of Clint Eastwood’s films has always come from Eastwood’s bravado in addressing moral ambiguity. (Even his death-dealing avenger films – the DOLLAR trilogy, JOSEY WALES, the DIRTY HARRY series, etc. – are so powerful not because of … Read More

PEOPLE I KNOW

Poffy The Cucumber

Who You Don’t Know Could Kill You. Something happens after the first hour of PEOPLE I KNOW – it gets interesting. Up to that point, with Al Pacino playing lapdog to Ryan O’Neal, the startlingly beautiful Téa Leoni as an emotionally bereft television starlet, and a smattering of good actors in great roles, PEOPLE I KNOW seemed to stagger the … Read More

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST

Poffy The Cucumber

Captain Jack will get you high tonight… PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST is pure ham and cheese. Lots of sauce. Lots of dressing. Hold the onions. Director Gore Verbinski‘s sequel to his PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL (2003) is a spectacle to behold, a hedonistic bombast of swashbuckling high-sea hijinks, sun-seared tropical environs, … Read More

THE PEACEMAKER

Poffy The Cucumber

The Cheesemaker. Infuriatingly predictable and wholly uninvolving, THE PEACEMAKER finds George Clooney in classic head-waggling mode (as Army Intelligence Officer Devoe – hey! I bought his record, Whip It!) and Nicole Kidman in severe-skirted secretary mode (as White House Liaison, Julia Kelly), saving White America from nuke-thieving Russkies who intend to blow up Manhattan. In movies of this ilk, the … Read More

THE PERFECT SCORE

Poffy The Cucumber

Plan Teen From Outer Space. The specter of Jerry Falwell and the misnomered Moral Majority loom large over THE PERFECT SCORE, a quarter-witted tale of half-witted “teens” who steal the answers to an SAT test, then choose not to use those answers, when they realize their motivations for stealing were simply due to bad screenwriting. It all seemed to be … Read More

PLANET OF THE APES 2001

Poffy The Cucumber

Monkey Pee, Monkey Poo. It’s Marky Mark’s PLANET OF THE APES! Viewing this Tim Burton 2001 remake of the 1968 Franklin J. Schaffner/Charlton Heston classic is much like visiting any given zoo: that ubiquitous whiff of feces on the air… 1st Scene: Chimpnaut blunders space-vehicle simulation, proving he’s not that smart from the outset. Marky Mark appears in shot without his characteristic … Read More