JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

Poffy The Cucumber

Fallen Franchise. Why do we watch “dinosaur movies”? Well, for the DINOSAURS, of course! In that respect, JURASSIC PARK: FALLEN KINGDOM is at the top of the heap, with the best dinosaurs that 2018 CGI technology can render, hands down. With every roar, every stomp, every quivering of their neck wattles, we don’t doubt these prehistoric animals are more real … Read More

GERTIE THE DINOSAUR

Poffy The Cucumber

Prehistoric Precursor. The first Cartoon, Movie Maniacs! GERTIE THE DINOSAUR is an animated, silent, black-and-white short film, written, produced, directed and animated by cartoonist Winsor McCay, and for its innovation, ingenuity and primacy, we forgive it for its many shortcomings. The story is brutally banal: A man makes a bet that he can animate a dinosaur, shows off the results … Read More

THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT

Poffy The Cucumber

Doug versus dinos, in a battle to the rubber suit! During World War I, German and British sailors onboard a U-boat encounter a prehistoric land where every dinosaur is trying to kill them – even the herbivores. THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT works reasonably as a war actioner in its first act, then forgets its war story to focus on … Read More

THE BEAST OF HOLLOW MOUNTAIN

Poffy The Cucumber

Rex Mex. Cowboys and dinosaurs! In a small Mexican town, a square-jawed American cattle rancher with a suitably steel-chested name (Guy Madison as Jimmy) puts the moves on Sarita (Patricia Medina), the whitest Mexican girl in town, who happens to be betrothed to powerful Mexican cattle owner Enrique (Eduardo Noriega – not the modern Spanish dreamboat, the old Mexican actor). … Read More

THE LOST WORLD 1925

Poffy The Cucumber

In the beginning, God said, Let there be Willis… Eight years before Willis O’Brien brought KING KONG (1933) to life with his brilliant stop-motion animation, he used that innovative technique on his very first feature, THE LOST WORLD (1925), a silent movie based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s book (released 1912), in which scientists discover prehistoric animals on an Amazonian … Read More

DINOSAUR 13

Poffy The Cucumber

Queen of the Tyrant Lizards. A Tyrannosaur named Sue. A government doing the same thing. When paleontologist Peter Larson unearthed the most complete tyrannosaur skeleton in history in the South Dakota badlands in 1990, little did he know he was also uncovering the worst part of human nature. After the team of Peter, his brother Neal, Terry Wentz and Sue … Read More

JURASSIC WORLD

Poffy The Cucumber

Indominus Wrecks. Raptor wrangler Owen says it perfectly, when Jurassic World supervisor Claire tells him they’ve created a new dinosaur artificially, “Corporate felt genetic modification would up the wow factor.” Owen replies, “They’re dinosaurs – wow enough.” In trying to flex their rex, JURASSIC WORLD jumps the shark. Owen’s summation is the perfect metaphor for this movie. The original Crichton-penned/Spielberg-directed … Read More

KING KONG LIVES

Poffy The Cucumber

If by “Lives” you mean “Dies.” King Kong dies in more ways than one. Dying is easy, making rubber suits look authentic is hard. Emboldened, we presume, by the cult status of the GODZILLA franchise, the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group suits up an American actor in an ape suit for KING KONG LIVES, a direct sequel to KING KONG 1976. … Read More

LAND OF THE LOST 2009

Poffy The Cucumber

Bland of the Lost. I’ve pretty much had it waiting for Will Ferrell to make another funny movie. The last one was ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY (2004), although I admit I have not seen his TV special, YOU’RE WELCOME AMERICA: A FINAL NIGHT WITH GEORGE W. BUSH (I’ve always liked his Dubya). LAND OF THE LOST, a movie … Read More

JURASSIC PARK THE LOST WORLD

Poffy The Cucumber

Boring Roaring. Unnecessary. That’s the word that comes to mind during Steven Spielberg’s THE LOST WORLD JURASSIC PARK, the insipid followup to his mighty JURASSIC PARK (1993). In a fit of George Lucas-oid storytelling (i.e. Making It Up As He Goes Along), we are reintroduced to Hammond (Richard Attenborough, usually a paragon of filmic integrity, probably filling this pedestrian cameo … Read More

THE LOST WORLD 1960

Poffy The Cucumber

Stay Lost. Dinosaurs! Uh, no, just komodos and iguanas with horns and spikes duct-taped to them…. Didn’t matter when you were ten. And THE LOST WORLD (the second film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1912 novel) is definitely FOR ten-year-olds, seemingly made BY ten-year-olds. Been decades since I read the book, but screenwriter-director Irwin Allen takes Conan Doyle’s exciting meat … Read More

JURASSIC PARK III

Poffy The Cucumber

Excitement replaced by Excrement. After Charles Darwin, Richard Owen, Louis Leakey, E.O. Wilson, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, Robert Bakker, Jack Horner and thousands of other anthropologists and paleontologists whose names we shall sadly never know, broke their backs formulating the knowledge that allowed us to comprehend evolution and the Dinosauria… JURASSIC PARK III takes those decades of learning – … Read More

A SOUND OF THUNDER

Poffy The Cucumber

A Sound of Chunder. A Sound of Thunder. One of the greatest short stories ever written. By one of the grandest Grand Masters of Fantasy, Ray Bradbury. A SOUND OF THUNDER. Vomitous movie. In Bradbury’s science fiction short story, a company called Time Safari offers big game hunters the opportunity to go back in time and kill dinosaurs. Rule Number … Read More

ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS

Poffy The Cucumber

On its merry way to extinction… Part road movie, part dinosaur actioner, and fully gushing with family values, ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS is the third and most spectacular in the ICE AGE series – and probably the least interesting. If you’re not as tired of these characters as I am, you’ll enjoy Manny the Mammoth (Ray Romano), Sid … Read More

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 2008

Poffy The Cucumber

Hitting Bottom. Boy’s Movie. In 3D. Serves its purpose of getting thirteen-year-old boys interested in slim blond girls with indeterminate Euro accents and tennis-ball ta-tas. Brendan Fraser has some nice ta-tas too. All that sweaty tight t-shirt adventure with the Running and Screaming and CGI completely outa control. It’s been decades since I’ve read Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center … Read More

KING KONG 1976

Poffy The Cucumber

Ape-tastrophe! In any Ape Movie, the quality of the movie is entirely dependent on the Ape Effects: the original KING KONG (1933) was a revolution in stop-motion special effects; MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949) continued that legacy; 1968’s PLANET OF THE APES boasted state-of-the-art creature makeup coupled with attentive simian performances; GREYSTOKE (1984) pushed the limits of performance and makeup with … Read More

JURASSIC PARK

Poffy The Cucumber

Dino Mighty. DINOSAURS! No, not “unbelievable” and “incredible” – on the contrary, director Steven Spielberg and his special effects team do such a mighty job recreating extinct saurians that they are altogether BELIEVABLE and CREDIBLE! Spielberg is the visionary who brought us JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK – JURASSIC PARK is his … Read More

KING KONG

Poffy The Cucumber

The King Is Dead! Long Live The King! There must be a country song that goes – How can something so good become something so bad? Unleashed on an unsuspecting Depression-era American public when “talkies” were not yet five years old, with old Masters like Chaplin still releasing silent films and heroes like Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy and John Wayne … Read More

KING KONG 2005

Poffy The Cucumber

Yes! We Have No Bananas! Pure entertainment. Twenty-five hairy-bottomed, big-dumb-galoot feet of it. And nothing else. Despite the ubiquitous refrain of beauty and beast subtexts and alienation metaphors and caveats against taming nature, searching for deeper meaning within this wholly implausible tale will only lead to senseless cavil and being considered the big ponce for taking it so seriously in … Read More

THE VALLEY OF GWANGI

Poffy The Cucumber

That Old Black Magic Called – Dynamation. Sunday afternoon, 12 years old, television in brightly sunlit family room, ice cream with a big spoon – any wonder that this film is a cult classic, when these are the types of memories it conjures? In the old Mexican west, cowboys discover living dinosaurs in a lost valley and bring an allosaur … Read More