FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS

Poffy The Cucumber

Raising Glory: the sham behind the glam. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. – Reporter, THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE (1962). Director Clint Eastwood‘s waving-flag film is, ironically and thankfully, the farthest from a Flag Waving maroon-necker as a post 9-11 American movie can be. When I learned of this film’s production last year, I admit to … Read More

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ALL THE KING’S MEN 2006

Poffy The Cucumber

…couldn’t put this movie together again. At least Sean Penn doesn’t use ALL THE KING’S MEN as another vehicle to showcase his talent for crying on cue. With a down-home accent that needs subtitles more desperately than Mel Gibson’s ocker in MAD MAX needed overdubbing, Penn plays Louisiana politician Willie Stark, a rambunctious gadfly who attempts to usurp power from … Read More

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WORLD TRADE CENTER

Poffy The Cucumber

A Date With Density. The pitch: Two men get trapped in a mine shaft. Nothing happens. Then they get rescued. The end. The suits harrumph: where’s the drama? The screenwriter and her agent scramble: well, we flash back to generic good times with families and watch the trapped guys banally discuss heroism and loyalty and STARSKY AND HUTCH. The suits … Read More

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FLIGHT 93

Poffy The Cucumber

Flight of Fancy. Note to director Peter Markle: if you’re going to create a tribute to nobodies who become somebodies due to an airline tragedy, if you’re going to grease the wheels of racism and jingoism with agitprop, if you’re hoping to effectively manipulate and exploit the charged emotions of a nation’s populace – don’t use a toy plane for … Read More

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UNITED 93

Poffy The Cucumber

United They Fall. Oh, stop whining! UNITED 93 was bound to bring out the bitch in politically-gutless 2006 America: any issue that invokes the oh-so-hip splash-appellation “9-11” is like a hog call to every uninformed swine with two cents worth of a knee-jerk conspiracy theory. But beyond the whines of “too soon” and “disrespect” and “exploitation” is the sheer raw … Read More

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MUNICH

Poffy The Cucumber

An Ingenious Fantasy by a Fantasy Genius. MUNICH is not about Munich. Nor is it about events which followed the massacre of Israeli athletes. It is about Steven Spielberg’s ego. And how far into Audacious he can drive it without becoming Oliver Stone. The tagline boasts, “The world was watching in 1972 as 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the … Read More

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INHERIT THE WIND

Poffy The Cucumber

…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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THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Poffy The Cucumber

Masterpiece of a Masterpiece. Stupendous over-acting from both Rex Harrison and Our Man Charlton is the saving grace of director Carol Reed‘s lavish THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY, which threatens to bog itself sermonizing over religion and art, set in an epoch seemingly dominated by both, The Renaissance. Adapted from a slice of Irving Stone‘s book of the same name, … Read More

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APOLLO 13

Poffy The Cucumber

The Greatest Successful Failure of all Time. O, swear not by the moon, the fickle moon, the inconstant moon… — Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet.” As I watch Ron Howard‘s APOLLO 13, I smell that familiar kerosene funk in the air: solid rocket boosters firing, RP-1 propellant and liquid hydrogen surging, flux capacitor giga-watting – yes, it’s the Tom Hanks Oscar-Machine … Read More

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WE WERE SOLDIERS

Poffy The Cucumber

We Were Soldiers, In A Plotless Movie. Like the Viet Nam war, WE WERE SOLDIERS has no plot. And like the Viet Nam war, the movie drones on incessantly with half of America saluting it and the other half protesting that it should be ended. The number of isolated incidents Hollywood can potentially mine for movies about WWII or Viet … Read More

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