DAVE CHAPPELLE: STICKS & STONES

Poffy The Cucumber

Breaking Bones. I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray But when I woke up this mornin’ could’ve sworn it was Judgment Day. The sky was all purple, there were people runnin’ everywhere Tryin’ to run from the destruction, you know I didn’t even care… — “1999,” Prince. Dave Chappelle calls the world a bunch … Read More

LONDON HAS FALLEN

Poffy The Cucumber

Secret Service Superman. LONDON HAS FALLEN follows in the same vein as its predecessor, OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN – a gritty actioner that puts the American president in peril, so his bromantic bodyguard can save him. The terrorists are winning again. Movie opens on a Middle Eastern wedding party near Pakistan, which is blown sky-high by an American missile, taking the … Read More

DAVE CHAPPELLE: DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS

Poffy The Cucumber

Dave: Swoll.0 Bigger and badder than THE AGE OF SPIN, Dave Chappelle’s second stand-up show in this two-fer Netflix presentation, DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS, finds him more at ease and hitting more knockouts and home runs than in Part 1. (Or is this Part 1? I guess director Stan Latham felt that TEXAS had the more powerful vibe, … Read More

DAVE CHAPPELLE: THE AGE OF SPIN

Poffy The Cucumber

The Original Angster. Comedy icon Dave Chappelle returns to the standup arena after a decade, to prove he’s everything that the legends say he is. Is he? Like any icon who disappears from the scene (for any reason, up to and including death), Dave’s legend has outpaced his reality. So AGE OF SPIN seems like it starts slow – but … Read More

NOW YOU SEE ME

Poffy The Cucumber

The closer you look, the less you’ll care… Magician J. Daniel Atlas has a slogan: “The closer you look – the less you’ll see.” Uh, no, I’m actually seeing right into your cliché-riddled screenplay, and your swooping camera moves to misdirect me means that you know that I know what you don’t want me to know… Four smug magicians use … Read More

TRANSCENDENCE

Poffy The Cucumber

Blandcendence. Johnny versus JARVIS in a battle to the terabyte. Johnny Depp is artificial intelligence scientist Will Caster, who is on the verge of creating the ultimate A.I. computer, when he is gunned down by an anti-tech extremist. Before Will dies, his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and their scientist best friend Max (Paul Bettany aka Iron Man’s Computer J.A.R.V.I.S.) transfer … Read More

TED 2

Poffy The Cucumber

Teddy Fuxspin. That dirt-talkin’ beer-drinkin’ pot-smokin’ bad boy bear is back in TED 2 – badder, bolder, drunker and… seriouser? Seth MacFarlane makes the sequel to his R-rated TED (2012) even more R-rated. My biggest fear with this followup to the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever was that the studio would castrate raconteur MacFarlane; that someone would wear him down with … Read More

OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN

Poffy The Cucumber

DIE HARD in the White House. OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN but don’t worry – John McClane is there to– I mean, Gerard Butler is there to pick it back up again. North Korean terrorists take over the White House, and Secret Service Black Ops Special Forces Seal Team Ninja Mission Impossible Flames-Comin-Out-De-Side Agent Gerard Butler is the fly in the ointment, … Read More

THE LEGO MOVIE

Poffy The Cucumber

Will knock your block off! THE LEGO MOVIE is a maximus overload of cinematic revelry; a riotous brick house of bedazzlement. Action, spectacle, romance, cultural refs, fueled by goodness and badness and cuteness. And millions and millions of Lego bricks. Emmett Brickowski (voice of Chris Pratt) is a little Lego man, with perfect Lego hair, living in a perfect Lego … Read More

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Poffy The Cucumber

Darkest Knight. 60 years ago writer-director Christopher Nolan would have been one of the premier exponents of film noir. Conceptually and cinematically, his DARK KNIGHT trilogy is one of the most somber excursions into dual personality crises, moral relativism, vigilantism and nihilism. And Batman would have been Humphrey Bogart. “Here’s lookin’ at you, Gotham…” Just as dour as Bogart, Christian … Read More

OBLIVION

Poffy The Cucumber

Oblivious to its progenitors? Up here in space / I’m looking down on you. My lasers trace / Everything you do. You think you’ve private lives – think nothing of the kind. There is no true escape – I’m watching all the time. I’m made of metal My circuits gleam. I am perpetual I keep the country clean. — Judas … Read More

DREAMCATCHER

Poffy The Cucumber

Same Shit Different Director. So why is it that films made from Stephen King’s stories turn out, for the most part, to be movies that look as if they’d been chiseled out of Silly Putty by escapees from the Home For the Terminally Inept? — Harlan Ellison, Oct 1984, “In Which We Scuffle Through The Embers” (Magazine of S&SF). DREAMCATCHER … Read More

RED

Poffy The Cucumber

Red-Blooded American Funtime. A shoot-em-up, rock-em sock-em age-fest. RED is Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman; they’re ex-CIA, Retired Extremely Dangerous. You betcha – each of these operatives could wipe out whole cities: Willis with his arctic cool, Malko with his leering morbidity, Helen Mirren with her sexagenarian sexiness and Morgan Freeman with his pompous voiceover. The … 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

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

THE MAIDEN HEIST

Poffy The Cucumber

The Passion of The Heist. A quaint little heist comedy, with a nifty romantic resolution, THE MAIDEN HEIST stars Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken and William H. Macy as security guards at a Boston art museum, so enamored with certain art pieces that when those pieces are sold to a European museum, they decide to steal the pieces for themselves and … Read More

AMISTAD

Poffy The Cucumber

Re-educating the slaves of perception. AMISTAD, one of the modern hammers to beat Whitey upside the head for his past, present and future racism. No metaphors, no allegories, no analogies – this is straight up, in-ya-face, naked mea culpa racism for all the world to be ashamed of.Director Steven Spielberg’s powerful, insightful AMISTAD suffers from the usual problem associated with “Based … Read More

GONE BABY GONE

Poffy The Cucumber

View to a Hammock. Casey Affleck (Ben’s bro) stars in this controlled, sober, slightly disturbing thriller. From a novel by Dennis Lehane, Ben Affleck makes gravy in his directorial debut, about a redneck daughter’s kidnapping on the mean streets of Boston. And how his sleepwalking brother saves the day. Surrounded by intrigue and Ed Harris as a detective and Morgan … Read More

THE BUCKET LIST

Poffy The Cucumber

Kicking it Old School. Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson go on a green screen tour of the world. In Irving Stone’s novel about Freud, Passions of the Mind, there’s a line about, “… a time in a man’s life when he stops trying to live and starts trying not to die.”THE BUCKET LIST is about having turned that corner of … Read More

THE DARK KNIGHT

Poffy The Cucumber

Do not go gentle into that good knight… Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. – Dylan Thomas If Batman is the untamed world, The Joker is the unbalanced world. THE DARK KNIGHT tells us humanity lives somewhere in between. … Read More