FEYNMAN: THE CHALLENGER

Poffy The Cucumber

A Smart Guy for Dumb People. A scientist at the opening of FEYNMAN: THE CHALLENGER describes Richard P. Feynman: “He was physics with a human face”; able to transform the esoteric worlds of theoretical physics into lay speak. In other words, A Smart Guy for Dumb People. He was a roarer, a rogerer, a gorger and a puker. And a … Read More

LINCOLN

Poffy The Cucumber

When Republicans bore resemblance to the human species… A bunch of old, out-of-touch white guys babbling about slavery. The Republican Party hasn’t changed much. Well, back then, as the party of LINCOLN, they were trying to free the slaves; nowadays, they’re working to get them all back. My main question about this ambitious film is: With all the camera operators, … Read More

THE IRON LADY

Poffy The Cucumber

The Mannish, The Myth, The Legend. The Soviets dubbed British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher “Iron Lady” as an insult. Now, in a swoon of reappropriation – like headbanger, jarhead, Dead-head, gay, Yankee, Obamacare – the epithet is reclaimed as a tribute. If you watch THE IRON LADY with no prior knowledge of Margaret Thatcher’s policies, don’t worry, you’ll leave the … Read More

MR BLUE SKY: THE STORY OF JEFF LYNNE & ELO

Poffy The Cucumber

Into The Blue… MR BLUE SKY documents the career and works of singer, songwriter, producer, guitarist, vocalist, keyboardist, control freak, all-round nice guy, and (according to Paul McCartney) total twat – Jeff Lynne. Lynne has always been one of the most underrated musicians in the world, and one of the most unassuming. With this documentary from veteran musicologist Martyn Atkins, … Read More

RICHARD PRYOR: OMIT THE LOGIC

Poffy The Cucumber

Bigger, Blacker, Badder and Drunker. Was Richard Pryor the first Black Comedian? Yes, there was Cosby before him, but Bill Cosby – even though technically a black man – was a white comedian. Prior to Eddie, Martin, Morgan, Sinbad, Tucker, Rock – there was Pryor. RICHARD PRYOR: OMIT THE LOGIC is a 2013 retrospective of the hard life and harder … Read More

SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME

Poffy The Cucumber

The Passion of the Goombah. If you can get past Paul Newman’s insufferable “schoolyard Italian” SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME is… well, it’s still pretty mediocre. It’s a tribute to boxing legend Rocky Graziano, his street youth, his thug life, his Army AWOL, his boxing career under the name “Graziano” (real name Thomas Rocco Barbella), his insipid love life with … 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

RAY

Poffy The Cucumber

Tragedy and Triumph on the Cliché Superhighway. A talented superstar like Ray Charles deserves every bit of tribute he receives, so the makers of RAY can be forgiven for their “good intent” (tempered by their desire for profit, of course), but in crafting this ostensible monument to the blind blues-gospel pianist, they step knee deep in every cliché created by … Read More

THE FIGHTER

Poffy The Cucumber

Trailer Trash Writ Glorious. In the first three minutes of THE FIGHTER, we realize that Christian Bale should not have won that Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in this film. He should have won for Best ACTOR. Yes, we know the technical definitions of “main,” “major,” and “supporting” characters – but really! Bale’s Herculean immersion into his wild-eyed character … Read More

JULIE AND JULIA

Poffy The Cucumber

The Cookie Monster Cometh. Before Wolfgang Puck, before Emeril, before Iron Chef – there was Julia Child. But which came first: this American pioneer and monster of home cooking, or Monty Python’s Pepperpots? Meryl Streep (as Julia Child) ululates her way through this exceptional little quasi-biopic sounding like Graham Chapman in a dress. JULIE AND JULIA parallels Julia Child’s life … Read More

CHAPLIN

Poffy The Cucumber

The Man, The Myth, the Trousers. Robert Downey Jr. runs around like a madman, knocks things over and falls down a lot. (Cocaine’s a helluva drug.) And in CHAPLIN, he gets to do all that without being arrested… Baron Dickie Attenborough’s CHAPLIN is a towering tribute to one of the pioneers of the motion picture industry – Charlie Chaplin, not … Read More

CREATION

Poffy The Cucumber

And Darwin said, “Let there be light!” And there was light. When a library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn’t anger me. – Mark Twain, Feb 1907. The battle between Good (intelligence) and Evil … Read More

YOU DON’T KNOW JACK

Poffy The Cucumber

Terminator Salvation. Today is a good day to die. — attributed to Crazy Horse at the Battle of Little Bighorn Every day above ground is just another day above ground. — Poffy The Cucumber Idiot Sarah Palin might be inclined to call him a “Death Panel.” Doctor Jack Kevorkian. If you know the name, you know the game: euthanasia, assisted suicide, … Read More

THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON

Poffy The Cucumber

Dying is Easy, History is Hard. History tells us General George Armstrong Custer was a murderer of men, women and children, usurper of land from Native Americans, dissolute breaker of treaties, leader of drunken degenerates, and kowtower to military butchers. THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON tells us he was Errol Flynn. Flynn plays Flynn playing Custer in this reimagining … Read More

THE SOLOIST

Poffy The Cucumber

Biting The Hand That Exploits You. When movies address the supposed nobility of humanity (a fiction created by humans) we’ve got to look past the uplifting orchestration to the deep background on what is actually being sold. With THE SOLOIST, we don’t have to look too deep. It’s the story of Los Angeles newspaper columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr), … Read More

MILK

Poffy The Cucumber

Got Rights? Life really did begin at 40 for Harvey Milk. Unfortunately, it ended at 48. MILK follows the short, comet-across-the-skies career of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn), the first gay official elected to public office in the Close-minded United Hypocrite States of America. We meet Milk in the waning hours of his 39th birthday, picking up a stranger (James Franco … Read More

MALCOLM X

Poffy The Cucumber

Malcolm in the Shizzle. Before MLK, Before O, there was – X. MALCOLM X – a black brimstone messiah excoriating the white devil. Denzel Washington is Malcolm Little (whom everyone calls “Red” for his conked red hair), a petty thief, cocaine addict, prostitute peddler, dynamite swing dancer, and all-round small-time gangsta before the term was invented. During the World War … Read More

COME ON GET HAPPY: THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY STORY

Poffy The Cucumber

The Trials of Talent, The Farce of Fame (oh, spare me!). When David Cassidy complained about being exploited in the Partridge Family, just who did he think was playing the instruments and writing the songs he mimed to? Narrated by the real Danny Bonaduce (in between jail time and radio airtime, we presume), COME ON, GET HAPPY: THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY … Read More

W.

Poffy The Cucumber

Putting the W in WMD. First came RAIN MAN. Then FORREST GUMP. Now, in a long line of congenital idiots, comes W. But wait, Bushies! Do not dismiss this movie as leftie revisionist conspiracy. Director Oliver Stone‘s W. is a fair and balanced representation of America’s 43rd president, George Walker Bush. Insert joke: “which means it shows him as the … Read More

THE AVIATOR

Poffy The Cucumber

That Magnificent Man and His Flying Machines. A powerful biopic of sex, insanity and aeroplanes. In any order. Martin Scorsese directs THE AVIATOR based loosely on the life of Howard Hughes, with Leonardo DiCaprio adequately filling the shoes and flying the skies of the eccentric billionaire. (Leo’s star status slightly distracts, as does his phony accent. Jim Carrey – originally … Read More