WORLD WAR Z

Poffy The Cucumber

World War ZGI. The first interesting zombie movie ever made in the history of cinema! I hate zombie movies. Tedious, repetitive, unimaginative. Shuffle, grab, shoot, run, shuffle, grab, shoot, run, block doorway with hands grabbing through gap. Repeat. Okay okay, I get it! Discounting well-made black comedies (SHAUN OF THE DEAD, WARM BODIES, ZOMBIELAND), zombie movies that take themselves seriously … Read More

12 YEARS A SLAVE

Poffy The Cucumber

Twelve Thousand Years A Slave… and Counting… 12 YEARS A SLAVE is a great movie on its surface, is a horrible story when viewed in context of American history and is unspeakably terrifying when placed against the larger sociological canvas. I’ll explain all this in a moment if you’ll just stop fussing about the n-word… on the surface 12 YEARS … Read More

FIGHT CLUB

Poffy The Cucumber

Fight is Right. This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time. –Tyler Durden, FIGHT CLUB. First rule of FIGHT CLUB: You do NOT talk about Fight Club. So I’m gonna get my head kicked in for writing this. Because I’m also breaking the Second Rule of Fight Club: Do NOT talk about Fight Club. Don’t tell … Read More

KILLING THEM SOFTLY

Poffy The Cucumber

The Capitalism of Killing. KILLING THEM SOFTLY opens with scarring sound design and disturbing images of debris-strewn streets, and then launches into the poetry of small time hood-speak. (Mobalogue? Gangsternacular?) Writer-director Andrew Dominik (ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES, 2007) approaches an excellence in his writing and direction that is the closest thing to Tarantino without actually lazily copying him, as this … Read More

MONEYBALL

Poffy The Cucumber

When Statistics Became Sexy. Brad Pitt ends MONEYBALL with, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?” which is ironic, because he just spent the whole movie deconstructing The Great American Pastime’s romanticism with “sabermetrics” (a clinical mathematical process that focuses purely on statistics to choose players), wheeling and dealing at the highest levels of the baseball industry with wrath-of-God … Read More

12 MONKEYS

Poffy The Cucumber

BACK TO THE FUTURE by way of BRAZIL. Like BACK TO THE FUTURE II with Biff in charge forever. Another Terry Gilliam dystopian vision, 12 MONKEYS (inspired by French short film LA JETÉE and modeled after Gilliam’s own inimitable BRAZIL), is a claustrophobic, strangling, time-paradox action stunner; like all Gilliam’s films, it’s also completely off the rails. A subterranean Orwellian … Read More

TRUE ROMANCE

Poffy The Cucumber

Delicious Vicious, Frantic Romantic. A brazen thug-fest, played like an adventure story for boys. Tony Scott (TOP GUN, DAYS OF THUNDER) directs TRUE ROMANCE, but it’s got Quentin Tarantino‘s stank all over it – delicious dialogue juggled with vicious gun play. Though Tarantino is listed only as “writer,” TRUE ROMANCE seems to be the middle child of what could be … Read More

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

Poffy The Cucumber

Gloriously Bastardly. Quentin Tarantino loves cinema. Even the characters in his movies talk cinema. And the ones who aren’t talking cinema still seem to realize they’re in a damn fine piece of it. And the major plot point of Tarantino’s latest cinematic masterpiece, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, revolves around the screening of a movie! Tarantino knows cinema so intimately, he smashes a … Read More

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

Poffy The Cucumber

Youth is wasted on the Pitt. For the longest time, I held off on watching this movie because I thought it would be as depressing as rain on a Monday morning. I was wrong. It’s worse; like seeing police lights in your rearview mirror, like finding your lover in bed with someone else, like watching an AMERICAN IDOL winner attempt … Read More

BURN AFTER READING

Poffy The Cucumber

Guy Ritchie without the Two Smoking Barrels. At times funny, at times frenetic, at times foolish, BURN AFTER READING is mostly a lost opportunity with a great ensemble cast. Brad Pitt is a goofball Valley Boy (ten years too old for the role), saying “shit” to his heart’s content, as John Malkovich is a recently-fired CIA agent (perfect for the … Read More

THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD

Poffy The Cucumber

The Shooting of an Olde Worlde Epic by a New World Filmmaker. This classical western draws us into 1800s Americana so richly that we feel our teeth rotting from lack of dentistry not invented yet. Written and directed by Andrew Dominik (from a book by Ron Hansen), THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD is a study … Read More

MR AND MRS SMITH

Poffy The Cucumber

Emasculation Proclamation. Almost – but not quite – Bennifer. Idiotically tagged “Brangelina,” the publicity-romance dream team of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie explode in popcorn bedlam in MR. AND MRS. SMITH, as married super spies who are unaware that each other is a spy. …Real pros. Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to popcorn and die – … Read More

OCEAN’S THIRTEEN

Poffy The Cucumber

Lucky Number Thirteen. Like a rehabilitated version of its two retarded brothers, OCEAN’S THIRTEEN is still eye-candy (primary colors and insatiable set dressing screams at us within the opening five minutes), it is still big band bop underscoring a lavish, hedonist production, it is still man-toys squirming their taut butts through unutterably outlandish scenarios – but this time ‘round, the … Read More

BABEL

Poffy The Cucumber

Babel-icious. Four stories about miscommunication intertwine, spanning continents, cultures, cityscapes and chicks without panties. BABEL is an exhausting, challenging movie, a masterpiece of construction from writer/director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu; a tale of alienation amongst the throng, of chest-grabbing desperation and fear and isolation – emotionally defibrillating your brain. You come away from BABEL nauseous. That’s what makes it so rewarding. … Read More

SNATCH

Poffy The Cucumber

SNATCH will grab. Released on the heels of his stylish, dangerous LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, SNATCH simultaneously solidified the grit-edged, flamethrower directorial style of Guy Ritchie, even as it launched Jason Statham into his TRANSPORTER leading man roles; heralded an altogether explosive performance from Alan Ford as Brick Top; proved yet again the go-to value of Rade Sherbedgia … Read More

OCEAN’S TWELVE

Poffy The Cucumber

“1 Louder” Than Ocean’s Eleven. Sesame Street is having an aneurysm over this movie’s slogan: “Twelve is the new Eleven.” Having nailed the formula down pat with OCEAN’S ELEVEN – ridiculously implausible action and pulp coincidences, snide and smarmy rock soundtrack (evoking a Guy Ritchie élan), smash-cuts and wobbling steadicams, overlapping, smartass dialogue, and A-List megastars glutting all 70 millimeters … Read More

TROY

Poffy The Cucumber

The Achilliad. All bronzed bicep, leonine mane and CG soldiery, TROY is a glut-fest of regal posturing and battle-flavored man-stench. Coax golden-skinned, Bally-gymed Brad Pitt into a taut-buttocked mini-skirt for your movie, and Homer’s Iliad be damned. Compressing the backstory of the ten-year siege of Troy into one week, all deities, dogma and details are eschewed for ant-battles between computer … Read More

OCEAN’S ELEVEN

Poffy The Cucumber

Whatchoo talkin ’bout, Cheadle? As the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (and every other provincial, back-slapping institution for the purveyance of “arts”) quite often does, another faux-prestigious award needs to be invented for the sole purpose of giving it to just one guy: The Most Embarrassing Fake British Accent Of All Time – awarded to Don Cheadle in … Read More