THE EQUALIZER 2014

Poffy The Cucumber

The Black TAKEN, featuring Home Depot Man. A retired black ops hitman, trying to blend into quiet suburban life by being a clerk at a hardware store, must use his “particular set of skills” to help a prostitute with a heart of gold. THE EQUALIZER (based loosely on the 1985 TV series of the same name, starring Edward Woodward) might … Read More

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN 2016

Poffy The Cucumber

The Magnificent Minorities. Denzel Washington leads his black, brown, red and yellow gunslingers in cleaning up the Old West. Kinda like how black, brown, red and yellow people are still cleaning up the Modern Alt-West. In THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, director Antoine Fuqua, praying at the altar of Kurosawa, Leone and Eastwood, crafts a majestic modern take on this paean to … Read More

FLIGHT

Poffy The Cucumber

A career ruined by alcohol, a movie ruined by Alcoholics Anonymous. FLIGHT opens with a tit, a drink, a smoke and a bump. This movie is gonna be… Absolutely Awesome! Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) wakes in a hotel room with a solid “9” (Nadine Velazquez), who nonchalantly goes about nakedly lighting a cig and finding her clothes. Whip answers his … Read More

UNSTOPPABLE

Poffy The Cucumber

Train-ing Day. “In training they just give you an ‘F.’ Out here you get killed!” — Denzel in UNSTOPPABLE. Didn’t Denzel say that in his Oscar-winning TRAINING DAY? Same thing applies here in UNSTOPPABLE, a kinetic, racing steel headrush about an out-of-control, unmanned freight train a half-mile long, loaded with explosives, headed for the city of Pennsylvania. And only Denzel … Read More

CRY FREEDOM

Poffy The Cucumber

Slaving for Freedom. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine. –Obi-Wan to Darth Vader in STAR WARS. Another man of peace killed by men of ignorance. CRY FREEDOM stars Denzel Washington as Steve Biko, the black South African anti-apartheid insurrectionist of the 1960s and 70s (a contemporary of Mandela’s, imprisoned on Robben … Read More

COURAGE UNDER FIRE

Poffy The Cucumber

Gutless Under Cliché. Yes, I know it’s trying to be inspiring and heroic and poignant, but COURAGE UNDER FIRE is one of the most blatantly gutless movies ever made. About a soldier investigating whether a downed female United States helicopter pilot in Desert Storm deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor. So I ask you: in which universe will America ever … Read More

PHILADELPHIA

Poffy The Cucumber

Lawyers cutting back door deals. Let’s face it – Tom Hanks probably caught AIDS at that BACHELOR PARTY. In PHILADELPHIA, Hanks is Andrew Beckett, a young gay lawyer (not pejoratively, as in “all lawyers are gay” – literally). His life is good; his law firm entrusts him with a primo case and brings him into the bigwig fold of Conservative … Read More

THE BOOK OF ELI

Poffy The Cucumber

When Gunslingers Get Religion. Comes a time when you’re just sick of the descriptor “post-apocalyptic.” What happened to simply, “The Near Future” and letting our imaginations extrapolate on what blasted the hell out of Middle America? (Could it have been those religious fanatics with the Weapons of Mass Destruction – you know, the American government?) So in THE BOOK OF … Read More

THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 2009

Poffy The Cucumber

Rocking the remake rails. An organized gang of criminals led by Ryder (John Travolta) takes hostage a New York subway train, and train dispatcher Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) must talk them down. Brian Helgeland screenwrites and Tony Scott (TOP GUN, TRUE ROMANCE, MAN ON FIRE) directs this remake of the 1974 film of the same name, THE TAKING OF PELHAM … 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

AMERICAN GANGSTER

Poffy The Cucumber

Smooth Criminal. Whadaya know – Crime DOES pay! Or so it seems at the conclusion of AMERICAN GANGSTER, when a career gangster and a struggling cop are laffing it up in a montage, collaborating to bring down the gangster’s empire. Now why would they be doing that? I’ll get to that subtle mismanaged message in a moment. Hmm, a movie … Read More

INSIDE MAN

Poffy The Cucumber

The Heistman Cometh. INSIDE MAN opens with Clive Owen, as Dalton Russell, in hard close-up, warning us to listen to every word he says, because he’ll only say it once. (As George McFly might say, I don’t think I can handle that kind of pressure.) Dalton goes on to boast of his Perfect Heist; we know he speaks truth because … Read More