HAIL, CAESAR!

Poffy The Cucumber

Would that it were so sequitur. Maybe the fault is mine. Maybe I just don’t “get” the Coen Brothers’ vision of the world’s randomness and disjointedness, but here’s another of their writer-director efforts where I just can’t see the point, unless it’s to make George Clooney look like a lovable buffoon again. Or to watch Channing Tatum dance. In both … Read More

THE IDES OF MARCH

Poffy The Cucumber

Et Tu, Gosling? Campaigns turn our politicians into lunatics. — Tina Brown, “The Daily Beast.” THE IDES OF MARCH opens with campaign manager Steve Meyers (Ryan Gosling) at a podium, spotlit, declaring, “I’m not a Christian, I’m not an atheist. What I believe in is the Constitution of the United States of America.” He is reciting from prepared notes for … Read More

GRAVITY

Poffy The Cucumber

GRAVITY is all force, no weight. Isaac Newton can at last rest easy in the grave he’s been turning in since STAR WARS brainwashed everyone into thinking it was a space movie even whilst failing to exhibit one iota of any attribute of being in space. GRAVITY showcases Newton’s laws of gravitation and physics in magnificent ubiquity. It’s as close … Read More

THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS

Poffy The Cucumber

The Film That Stares Into Space. Your tax dollars at work. A few years ago, I read about the U.S. military exploring “paranormal combat techniques” in George W. Bush’s Fake War On Terror: using goats as test subjects, the Amerikan Military were trying to train soldiers to kill terrorists by staring at them to psychically stop their hearts. No, it’s … Read More

THE AMERICAN

Poffy The Cucumber

AMERICAN Beauty. George Clooney is THE AMERICAN. Everyone else is Euro, buttery accents and dynamite sexy. Clooney is Jack, a hitman sent to Italy by his boss Pavel (Johan Leysen) to design a high-powered rifle for a client. While Euro-ing out amongst the cobbled streets and breezy cafés, Jack falls for prostitute Clara (Violante Placido, the most naturally beautiful woman … Read More

THREE KINGS

Poffy The Cucumber

KELLY’S HEROES without the ragtag. War is not just Hell. In THREE KINGS, it is confusing as Hell. Four American soldiers behind enemy lines on a mission; they’re not here to win a battle, they’re here to rob a bank. If the plot sounds familiar, it is KELLY’S HEROES for the morally ambiguous generation. THREE KINGS is a stunning, ferocious … Read More

UP IN THE AIR

Poffy The Cucumber

Loner Class. UP IN THE AIR is that rare chick-centric movie that doesn’t make me want to vomit or slap someone. It is a story about love, but it’s not a Love Story; it’s a movie about romance, but it’s not a Romantic Movie; it takes us on a bucking and diving flight across the landscape of human emotions and … 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

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

ROCK STAR

Poffy The Cucumber

Mock Star. In ROCK STAR, Chris Cole (played sufficiently blandly by Mark Wahlberg) is a big loser with bigger hair and an even bigger voice. Through a freak turn of events he is hired by an international metal band (Steel Dragon, led by a big-haired Dominic West) and attains his dream of rock superstardom. Finding he is too vagina-whipped – … Read More

SYRIANA

Poffy The Cucumber

Oil Is Not Well. If “oily Arab” was once an insult referring to a Middle Easterner’s complexion, nowadays it should truly be considered the highest compliment, pertaining to certain Arabs (via birthright and political wolfing), controlling the fortunes of the planet Earth via oil. If there is an overarching message to this movie’s madness, it is that everyone else on … Read More

THE PEACEMAKER

Poffy The Cucumber

The Cheesemaker. Infuriatingly predictable and wholly uninvolving, THE PEACEMAKER finds George Clooney in classic head-waggling mode (as Army Intelligence Officer Devoe – hey! I bought his record, Whip It!) and Nicole Kidman in severe-skirted secretary mode (as White House Liaison, Julia Kelly), saving White America from nuke-thieving Russkies who intend to blow up Manhattan. In movies of this ilk, the … 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

INTOLERABLE CRUELTY

Poffy The Cucumber

Surprisingly Tolerable. George Clooney hasn’t been this funny since he was Batman. Playing smitten lawyer Miles Massey with the graceful aplomb of a suave Jerry Lewis, Clooney takes his pretty-boy image on a fringe journey of impeccable comedic exactitude in INTOLERABLE CRUELTY, pursuing gold-digging ice-queen, Marilyn (Catherine Zeta-Jones playing her usual arrogant C-Word to the hilt). Eschewing “romantic comedy” cliché … 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

BATMAN AND ROBIN

Poffy The Cucumber

The Battiest of them all. Why does George Clooney waggle his head like that when he talks?… And how did he infiltrate Wayne Manor’s impenetrable security system – Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Gough) – to become the next Batman? I suppose Alfred – in seeing no less than three Batmen pass through his hallowed halls (Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney), simply puts it … Read More