ROCKETMAN 2019

Poffy The Cucumber

Tripping the Bitch Fantastic! It’s that floating thing. At the Troubadour. That’s what sells ROCKETMAN, a “musical fantasy” of Elton John’s rise to stardom. That metaphorical moment when time stops, and artist and crowd levitate in slow motion simpatico. It’s happened to me. And if you are a performer, it’s happened to you, once, twice, maybe three times in your … Read More

CONVERSATIONS WITH A KILLER: THE TED BUNDY TAPES

Poffy The Cucumber

Extremely Wickedly Good. CONVERSATIONS WITH A KILLER: THE TED BUNDY TAPES is a well-produced documentary about the serial killer who was as pretty as the asses of the 20-year-old girls he sunk his teeth into. Too soon?… BUNDY TAPES wins on every level, because it is just that! Ted Bundy – the psychopath himself – speaking on cassette recordings made … Read More

EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE

Poffy The Cucumber

Extremely Ripped, Shockingly Misguided and Pointless. EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE follows a short period in serial murderer Ted Bundy’s life, as told exclusively from his naïve girlfriend’s point of view. Meaning it tells us nothing. And the movie follows that old gambit of casting a lovable star in the role of a heinous human being (a la Brolin … Read More

THE DIRT 2019

Poffy The Cucumber

THE DIRT – is a load of CRAP! Maybe a quarter of it happened, and not like this… — Logan, LOGAN. THE DIRT opens with a title card: “This story is true.” Fuck off. In this paean to rock band Mötley Crüe (remember when umlauts made everything evil?), every detail, every anecdote, every song and character and drug-fueled escapade is … Read More

VICE 2018

Poffy The Cucumber

The Fat Face of Evil.  Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role. — Christian Bale, on winning Best Actor Golden Globes, for the role of Dick Cheney. VICE is the story of Dick Cheney, following his rise from hell into the White House as George W. Bush’s vice president. Christian Bale is Cheney, … Read More

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

Poffy The Cucumber

The Good, The Bad and the Freddie. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? — Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” We may well apply the first lines of Queen’s magnum opus Bohemian Rhapsody to the movie encomium of the same name. There is some biography in BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (“the real life”), yet much dramatic license (“just fantasy”), with particular focus … Read More

RUDY: THE RUDY GIULIANI STORY

Poffy The Cucumber

A Scene, a Policy, and 9/11. Rudy Giuliani – there’s only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, a verb and 9/11.” — Joe Biden, Democratic Candidate for President, 2008. In 2008, Joe Biden would aptly describe Rudy Giuliani’s tactics for his presidential candidacy. And this 2003 film, RUDY: THE RUDY GIULIANI STORY, does exactly the same: a … Read More

BARRY

Poffy The Cucumber

Waking from daddy daydreams. Young Obama! BARRY shows us the future 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, landing in New York as a hopeful college student in search of himself. And some ill manky-g. This remarkable leader, this orator, this first “black” president, will surely have countless other biographies in store, not least for dragging America out of … Read More

JOY 2015

Poffy The Cucumber

A mess that needs to be Miracle Mopped! After the confusing marketing campaign, we were left wondering what JOY was actually about? Hmm, from the trailers, seems like she has a dead-end job, her father hates her husband, she’s walking determinedly in the snow, she’s firing a shotgun, she’s cutting her hair, a funeral, a wedding, a business, cops, kissing, … Read More

WE ARE TWISTED FUCKING SISTER!

Poffy The Cucumber

Fifteen Twisted Minutes. Sure they suck, but they’re gonna sell a lot of records! — Phil Carson, Atlantic Records, Europe. From the outset, I am a card-carrying Sick Motherfucking Friend of Twister Sister. So the rock doc WE ARE TWISTED FUCKING SISTER! holds some resonance for me, and fills in many Scenes Missing in this hard rock band’s long haul … Read More

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

Poffy The Cucumber

A Very, Very Brief History of Hawking. My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all. — Stephen Hawking. The brilliant English cosmologist Stephen Hawking appears as a B-character in the movie about his life, while his first wife Jane hijacks the narrative in THE … Read More

STEVE JOBS

Poffy The Cucumber

Nerd against Geek in a battle to the Steve. STEVE JOBS is a savage attack dog of a movie. Like Steve Jobs. Each scene slams into us like shrapnel: overlapping intelligent dialogue, fever pitch arguments, soul-breaking philosophies, walk-and-talk business decisions, with flashbacks as savage as the writing, smash-cut into the smallest interstices, rather than drawn-out exposition. After viewing STEVE JOBS, … Read More

WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. JAMES J. BULGER

Poffy The Cucumber

Criminal cops and collusion as black as Whitey. …all involved in this circle of shit in South Boston… — Steve Davis, brother of Victim Debra Davis. Documentary about the most notorious organized crime gang in South Boston in the mid-1970s – the FBI. Oh, and James “Whitey” Bulger’s peripheral involvement with them. WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. JAMES J. … Read More

BLACK MASS

Poffy The Cucumber

In the Name of da Fahder, da Son, and da Hollywood Spirit… The thing is… you’ve got the wrong Bad Guy. BLACK MASS is supposedly a tale about “the most violent criminal South Boston has ever known.” But when all the slogans say this, they’re looking at James “Whitey” Bulger. Even whilst adding that Bulger worked hand-in-glove with the corrupt … Read More

LIFE ITSELF

Poffy The Cucumber

The 24-frames-per-second Life. He is the Soldier of Cinema… — Werner Herzog, filmmaker. LIFE ITSELF documents the storied life and tragic death of Roger Ebert (1942-2013, aged 70), the world’s most famous film critic. Roger Ebert excelled at something that everyone thinks they can do, but which no one did better. A staff writer and editor for various papers as … Read More

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON

Poffy The Cucumber

Attitude Adjustaz. I don’t know anything about hip hop but I know this is special. — Interscope Records rep. Admittedly, rock and roll is my forte, though it might come as a surprise to many that I’ve done innumerable studio sessions with hip hop acts. Around 1992, I was tracking in a Hawthorne studio with rap group after rap group, … Read More

JOBS

Poffy The Cucumber

Dude, Where’s My Computer? An uninspiring movie about an inspiring innovator, JOBS is a schmaltzy biopic of Apple Computer’s pioneering founder and edge-of-science-fiction visionary, Steven Paul Jobs (1955-2011). JOBS (written by Matt Whiteley and directed by Joshua Michael Stern) turns the life of this driven inventor madman thinking machine into a soppy three-act melodrama that hits all the requisite Hollywood … Read More

HOUDINI 2014

Poffy The Cucumber

The trick is not to fall asleep… Uh-oh, narration. Uh-oh, magic. Uh-oh…. HOUDINI. Adrien Brody stars (narrating interminably) as Harry Houdini, the greatest magician in history. But from this biopic, you’d never guess it. Upfront, Houdini is a god among men; an icon, innovator, pioneer, legend. And Adrien Brody, a fine actor, does his best with what he’s given to … Read More

THE GREAT HOUDINI

Poffy The Cucumber

The Great Snore-dini. The great magician, escapist and mysteriarch, Harry Houdini (1874-1926), lived such a storied life that it is impossible to capture any semblance of it in the fleeting medium of the feature film. The best we can hope for is Tony Curtis flashing a winning smile or for Johnny Depp to flash a winning bangle, and to then … Read More

MITT

Poffy The Cucumber

On Planet Mitt, no one can hear you fake-laugh… Not everybody is comfortable with the idea that politics is a guilty addiction. But it is. They are addicts, and they are guilty and they do lie and cheat and steal – like all junkies. And when they get in a frenzy, they will sacrifice anything and everybody to feed their … Read More