THE MULE 2018

Poffy The Cucumber

Riches and Redemption on the Cocaine Superhighway. Family’s the most important thing. Don’t do what I did. I put work in front of family. I thought it was more important to be somebody out there, than the failure I was in my own home. I was a terrible father, a terrible husband. I blew my chance. I didn’t deserve forgiveness. … Read More

REEL INJUN

Poffy The Cucumber

ON IRON HORSE HE RIDES…

Red Film over White Eyes. …and they weren’t even Indians. We called them that by accident – and we still call them that! Like, we knew in a month that it wasn’t “Indians” – but we just don’t give a shit. We never correct it!… — Louie C.K., LIVE AT THE BEACON THEATER, 2011. Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond dismounts the … Read More

AMERICAN SNIPER

Poffy The Cucumber

The Sheepdog Cometh. Clint Eastwood directs Bradley Cooper as AMERICAN SNIPER Chris Kyle in a heroic story about a decidedly unheroic slimeball. They call Chris Kyle America’s Greatest Sniper, racking up over 160 confirmed kills over four tours in Iraq. Kyle, a Navy SEAL, who supposedly adheres to a much higher code of honor than us regular cucumbers, self-effacingly claims … Read More

REVENGE OF THE CREATURE

Poffy The Cucumber

Bad Moviemakers Strike Again. There’s not much “revenge” in REVENGE OF THE CREATURE, except maybe the filmmakers’ revenge on clear-thinking movie viewers. Scientists led by John Agar capture the CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and bring him to civilization to “train” him. And kill him. Called the “Gill Man” by the tourists and sightseers that call themselves “scientists,” the creature … Read More

TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE

Poffy The Cucumber

Trouble With The Script. Hold up a mirror to Brad Pitt’s MONEYBALL, you get Clint Eastwood’s TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE. MONEYBALL (2011) told us the best way to draft major league baseball players is to study their stats on a computer and not rely on the disdainful opinions of crotchety old men. TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE tells us that despite … Read More

HEREAFTER

Poffy The Cucumber

Ghost stories for the sensible. HEREAFTER, produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, is a pondering of What’s Next from three very different human perspectives. Clint Eastwood is at that age when we would all be inclined to ponder the possibility of a Hereafter, a Life after Death (by definition, an impossibility, but for many otherwise clear-thinking humans, this paradox makes … Read More

THE BEGUILED

Poffy The Cucumber

…like a woman scorned. And another… and another… and another… Estrogen overload! Clint Eastwood fights for his life behind enemy lines! Yes, he’s trapped in a school full of women! BEGUILED finds wounded Union soldier John McBurney (Eastwood) seeking refuge at a Confederate home for girls, led by spinster Martha (Geraldine Page), who, against her better judgment, tends to his … Read More

ABSOLUTE POWER

Poffy The Cucumber

Thieves in the Temple. In ABSOLUTE POWER, Clint Eastwood is super thief Luther Whitney, robbing a mansion when he is interrupted by two lovers entering the room. Luther takes cover and witnesses rough foreplay, until the man gets too rough for the woman and she retaliates by trying to stab him. The man, pinned on the floor, cries, “Help! Help!” … Read More

DIRTY HARRY

Poffy The Cucumber

Justice is DIRTY. You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk? — Harry Callahan, DIRTY HARRY. And a screen icon is scarred onto the face of filmdom. And the Earth is once again salted with the man-nectar of masculinity. DIRTY HARRY is about a cop who takes the law into his own hands. … Read More

JOE KIDD

Poffy The Cucumber

Totally Kidd-ing. There are a lot of interesting things about JOE KIDD, the least being the movie itself. This is Clint Eastwood at the peak of his early stardom: ruggedly handsome, aquiline nose, velvet rasp, thick shock of dirty blonde receding hair, three-day growth to emulate Leone’s Italian spaghettis that made him famous, wisecracking and head-cracking all over the New … Read More

MILLION DOLLAR BABY

Poffy The Cucumber

Punch drunk love. Clint Eastwood‘s magnificent tone-poem of determination, redemption, salvation, loyalty, guilt… oh, and there’s some boxing and stuff… MILLION DOLLAR BABY is as much a “boxing movie” as UNFORGIVEN is a “cowboy movie.” That is to say, not at all. (Simpletons: “Say wha–?”) Sure, Clint plays a boxing trainer, Frankie Dunn, in a boxing gym, surrounded by boxers … Read More

BLOOD WORK

Poffy The Cucumber

Anemic Harry. If Dirty Harry was a heart transplant patient. In BLOOD WORK, Clint Eastwood is FBI detective Terry McCaleb, who suffers a heart attack chasing down a thief. Forced to retire after a heart transplant operation, he is approached by the transplant donor’s sister, Graciella (Wanda De Jesús) who tells him his donor was a murder victim. She wants … Read More

TRUE CRIME

Poffy The Cucumber

The true crime is this movie’s shallowness. TRUE CRIME has the potential to be a powerful thought experiment, exploring the psychology behind the perception of what True Crime truly is. Aside from implicit racism, no real issues are broached in this dialog-driven Clint Eastwood actioner. From an Andrew Klaven novel, TRUE CRIME is merely the tale of a wrongly-convicted murderer … Read More

THE GAUNTLET

Poffy The Cucumber

Bullets over Fraud Way. Clint Eastwood takes the bus to work. THE GAUNTLET is a ludicrous, riotous, guilty pleasure, Eastwood at the helm as director and star, doing all those outlandish things only Clint Eastwood can get away with in a Clint Eastwood Movie. Clint is Ben Shockley (cool name, huh?), a hard-drinking, unreliable Phoenix cop, who must escort “a … Read More

CHANGELING

Poffy The Cucumber

Conspiracy Sneerly. CHANGELING is based on a true story, but I think it’s fiction. I mean, come on – Angelina Jolie with only ONE child? Clint Eastwood directs Jolie as Christine Collins, a working, single mother in 1928 Los Angeles, who comes home one day to find her son, Walter (Gattlin Griffith) missing. As unbelievable as it sounds, the police … Read More

FIREFOX

Poffy The Cucumber

Foxy Harry. If you don’t know Clint, don’t start here. FIREFOX is a dark horse in the Clint canon. It’s him all right, pulling all the Clint faces, slamming the same Clint right hooks – but the movie just lacks grip. Start with the seminal Clint (Leone’s DOLLAR trilogy), the early period Clint (HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER), mid-period Clint (EVERY WHICH … Read More

GRAN TORINO

Poffy The Cucumber

The Enforcer in the ‘burbs. It’s not a Dirty Harry film… But someone forgot to tell Clint Eastwood. Clint Eastwood carries around so much Legend with him that no matter how he approaches a character, we view him through the prism of his inimitable Avenger archetypes. He was Dirty Harry in only five of his nearly 60 starring films (DIRTY … Read More

ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN

Poffy The Cucumber

ANY WHICH WAY is a “Right Turn, Clyde!” “Right turn, Clyde!” – and the orangutan’s fist shoots out the passenger window, impacting anyone dumb enough to have their face there. It’s just one of many running gags in this inexplicable, fuzzy film. ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN (sequel to EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE) opens with an illegal street fight, … Read More

HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER

Poffy The Cucumber

High Pains Grifter. John Wayne didn’t like HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER and let me know it. He wrote me a letter putting it down, saying it was not The West. I was trying to get away from what he and Gary Cooper and others had done. — Clint Eastwood. Dee Barton’s ominous score heralds an angel of death materializing from the … Read More

LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA

Poffy The Cucumber

The Devil wears Red, White and Blue. Kurosawa could not have done it better. Promethean director Clint Eastwood‘s LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, followup to his daring FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, is culturally, philosophically and artistically one of the great Japanese films. Made In America. Unlike FLAGS, this Iwo Jima tale has nothing to do with Joe Rosenthal‘s photograph, instead told … Read More