THOR: RAGNAROK

Poffy The Cucumber

Comedy of Errors. THOR: RAGNAROK finds almighty Asgard, the Realm of the Gods, annihilated, as foretold by prophecy older than time. Oh, and Thor becomes a standup comedian. Bathos, noun: an abrupt and often ludicrous transition from the elevated to the ordinary; the sudden appearance of the commonplace in otherwise elevated matter or style. — Google dictionary. In the most … Read More

THE MARTIAN

Poffy The Cucumber

Home Alone 6: Kevin on Mars. Well, he’s not really a Martian. He’s an Earthling. And he’s overstaying his visit on Mars without a Green Card. Stranded, with not enough supplies to survive until the next crew arrives, astronaut Mark Watley quips: “I’m gonna have to Science the shit out of this!” THE MARTIAN is a striking, intelligent film, from … Read More

INTERSTELLAR

Poffy The Cucumber

Odyssey Three: When Surfer Dudes Boldly Go… In his 2014 Oscar speech, Matthew McConaughey told us his hero was “himself, in ten years’ time.” Everyone thought he was a narcissistic jackass. Until INTERSTELLAR, when he travels to the future through a wrinkle in time and meets – himself! Standing lofty on the shoulders of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and CONTACT, … Read More

ELYSIUM

Poffy The Cucumber

Paradise by the Gashed Gored Light. Elysium (Elysian Fields), Greek mythology: 1) Paradise reserved for heroes to whom the gods had granted immortality. Separate from the realm of Hades, admission was initially reserved for mortals related to the gods. Later, it expanded to include those chosen by the gods, the righteous and heroic. 2) a state or place of perfect … 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 ADJUSTMENT BUREAU

Poffy The Cucumber

The Unbearable Rightness of Being. They make sure the world is running to The Plan. They’re THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU and they’re watching Matt Damon’s every move. And adjusting it. All while wearing bad hats. Damon is Congressman David Norris, on a campaign engine steaming to the White House. Then he meets a girl. From Helen of Troy to the chick … Read More

GOOD WILL HUNTING

Poffy The Cucumber

Beautiful mind versus beautiful beard. All hail the *intelligent* screenplay! GOOD WILL HUNTING pairs “Bahston” boys Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in their first, and arguably most powerful, bromance to date (excepting maybe their turns as marauding angels in Kevin Smith’s DOGMA); written by Damon and Affleck, who deserve every inch of their little gold man (Best Screenplay 1998), a … 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

INVICTUS

Poffy The Cucumber

Pigskin Parable. Morgan Freeman gets South Africa to cheer together in a funny accent. INVICTUS follows South African president Nelson Mandela (Freeman) in 1995 as he fanatically throws his support behind the national rugby team, the Springboks, using them as a symbol to unify his nation riven by apartheid. It was a long shot, to be sure; he placed his … Read More

TRUE GRIT 2010

Poffy The Cucumber

From Duke to Dude. They went and done it! Remade TRUE GRIT (1969). I can understand how John Wayne purists would blanch at any actor attempting his legendary dirt-talkin’, eye-patched, whiskey-guzzlin’, six-shootin’ role as Marshal Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn. It’s like remaking DIRTY HARRY without Clint Eastwood. But they went and done it anyways! And like one of those rare … Read More

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN

Poffy The Cucumber

A Spielberg fantasy done horribly right. What if the United States Military actually possessed a shred of decency and humanity? Shyeh! What if. In SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, the people who type the “Sorry Your Son’s Dead” letters for the Warmongers Who Send Sons Off To Die notice that three letters are addressed to the Ryan family of Anytown USA. Seems … Read More

THE INFORMANT

Poffy The Cucumber

A little less corn, a little more syrup. From its ugly orange posters to its silly, misleading theatrical trailers, everything about THE INFORMANT is an exercise in bad marketing. Supposedly based on a true story, Matt Damon is Mark Whitacre, a VP at the agricultural corporation Archer Daniels Midland in Decatur, IL, who agrees to turn informant for the FBI … Read More

THE BOURNE SUPREMACY

Poffy The Cucumber

Bourne Again. In THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, Matt Damon IS (still) Jason Bourne. The superspy from THE BOURNE IDENTITY (2002) is STILL on the lam, from the people who STILL want him dead – his ex-employers STILL at the CIA. Even though they’ve almost forgotten him at the opening of this movie, he lays low in India with his Euro chick, … Read More

THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM

Poffy The Cucumber

Badass Bourne becomes Mild Matty. There’s that SOUTH PARK episode (Red Man’s Greed) with the Native Americans named Runs With Premise and Premise Wearing Thin. If THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (2004) was Runs With Premise, then THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM is Premise Wearing Thin. Another karate chop to the Spock Nerve, another car chase through crowded streets with no liability insurance, another … Read More

THE BOURNE IDENTITY

Poffy The Cucumber

Bourne To Do It. Batman and Steven Segal had a baby, and his name is Jason Bourne. At least, he thinks that’s his name. After being pulled unconscious from a European ocean, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon, with that overly concerned look on his face that signifies he’s Acting) awakens with a head-throbbing case of Selective Amnesia in THE BOURNE IDENTITY. … 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

THE DEPARTED

Poffy The Cucumber

Martin Scorsese’s Badfellas. Cops who are robbers. Robbers who are cops. And a hip hop star synonymous with exposed underpants who steals the show. A welcome return to form for the premier gangster movie-maker, Martin Scorsese, who bats one outa the park with THE DEPARTED. Ferociously funny, doggedly compelling, a tour de force of gritty production, tightly-wound storyline, sneeringly salty … 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

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

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