SAW IV

Poffy The Cucumber

Fourth Time’s the Harm. Jigsaw is dead. Lying naked on an autopsy slab. Skull being sawed open by morticians, brain being pried loose from its succulent base, ribcage spread wide, slippery organs removed (I’d love to know what surgeons think of this authentic-looking scene) – but wait! In his stomach – a micro-cassette tape! Not foreseeing that Radio Shack would … Read More

3 RING CIRCUS

Poffy The Cucumber

Circus of Pain. In the first film appearance of Martin and Lewis, 1949’s MY FRIEND IRMA, Jerry Lewis was “written in” as a sidekick to Dean Martin’s character, who was integral to the plot. 5 years and 11 films later, now Dean is the fifth wheel in 3 RING CIRCUS. Jerry is Jerome “Jerry” Hotchkiss, and Dean is Pete Nelson, … Read More

JUMPING JACKS

Poffy The Cucumber

Jumping to Contusions. JUMPING JACKS marks the third time Martin and Lewis have been in the military. Army, Navy, now Paratroopers. Through an identity mixup, civilian Hap Smith (Jerry Lewis) finds himself in the paratroopers with his old nightclub partner, private Chick Allen (Dean Martin); though Chick tries to protect Hap from the authorities and discovery, he finds that Hap … Read More

THAT’S MY BOY

Poffy The Cucumber

Not Letting The Apple Fall Far… Following in the wake of their soporific debut (AT WAR WITH THE ARMY, Jan 1951), Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis prove themselves a formidable film comedy duo in THAT’S MY BOY, an original film written for them, which showcases their talents as actors and comedians. Junior Jackson (Lewis) is the sickly son of legendary … Read More

CASPER

Poffy The Cucumber

Ghostly Brio. He’s the friendliest ghost you know. No, not Patrick Swayze – Casper, The Friendly Ghost. Though grownups might / Look at him with fright / The children all love him so. After innumerable comics, television shows and theater shorts, Casper makes the spirited leap to full-length feature film in CASPER, a live-action adventure melded with excellent 3D animation. … Read More

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 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

STAR TREK: INSURRECTION

Poffy The Cucumber

Insert Erection! The dancing! The singing! The bearded guy in the bathtub! Are we on a star trek or a pride parade?! STAR TREK: INSURRECTION is another example of an excellent idea – and I’m not being sarcastic! – ruined by small screen sensibilities and mediocre production values. The very first TREK movie, STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (1979), also … Read More

FAST & FURIOUS 6

Poffy The Cucumber

The Faster the Stupider. Even if the car-porn franchise FAST AND FURIOUS is not your cup of transmission oil, you’ve gotta admit, the movies are some of the best exponents of their gearhead genre. FAST & FURIOUS 6 reunites Dom Toretto’s gang of gearheads against a Euro mercenary intent on stealing some military McGuffin that would make it easier for … Read More

DESPICABLE ME 2

Poffy The Cucumber

Ain’t Quite Despicable. And that’s not good. Is it?… Ex-supervillain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), now a family man with three adopted daughters and a host of minions to provide for, is called into service by the Anti-Villain League to help track down a new supervillain. The original 2010 animated feature DESPICABLE ME hit the world like a cute and … Read More

THE HANGOVER PART 3

Poffy The Cucumber

Waking from Itself. THE HANGOVER PART III wipes the slate clean. A brand new comedy with the same beloved characters; focus shifted, personalities disordered, breasts augmented. Sexpot, Dork and Clueless on another wild ride, with Evil Sprite in tow. Except this time, the evil sprite, Mr. Chow, is inadvertently the leading man! And the least likely of the “Wolf Pack” … Read More

MR. RIGHT

Poffy The Cucumber

Ms. Overcute Overdone. Anna Kendrick overacts and Sam Rockwell tae-kwon-dances his way through MR. RIGHT, a breezy black comedy about a lonely girl (Kendrick) who falls for a hitman (Rockwell) who has turned over a new leaf and is on a mission to whack every person who hires him for a job rather than the target. After an unconvincing breakup … Read More

THE 33

Poffy The Cucumber

Deep, dark and whitewashed. 33 men trapped in a mine, arguing over food, water, and who gets to negotiate the book deal. THE 33, a dramatization of the Chilean mine disaster of 2010, is a dichotomy of empathy and outrage. The pendulum swings hard both ways; firstly at the outrage of a mining corporation that would think so little of … Read More

MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN

Poffy The Cucumber

Frankenstein’s Mobster. MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN has the reputation for following its infamous source material closely – Mary Shelley’s groundbreaking 1818 novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The fact that it follows the book only barely, and the fact that people yet put on airs when lauding the movie as authentic shows how much people actually read. Kenneth Branagh directs and … Read More

GHOSTBUSTERS II

Poffy The Cucumber

Why am I drippings with poo? A river of slime threatens New York and brings the Ghostbusters out of retirement. Any excuse to touch tips again… GHOSTBUSTERS II finds original Ghostbusters Ray Stanz (Dan Aykroyd), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) reluctantly re-donning the taupe onesies and re-shouldering those unnecessarily heavy ecto-gun backpacks to save New York … Read More

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

Poffy The Cucumber

Darwin: Resurrection In Blue. The all-powerful First Mutant called Apocalypse wakes from a 5,000-year hibernation, ready to spread democracy American style – which means doing everything HIS way. He enhances all mutants’ powers, he razes Auschwitz, he destroys all the world’s nuclear weapons, and he intends to wipe out homo sapiens. I don’t see a problem with any of this. … Read More

GRUDGE MATCH

Poffy The Cucumber

Raging Rocky. It’s Rocky versus Raging Bull in a battle to the retirement community. It’s old versus older in a rampage to the replaced hip… Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro square off as old – and I do mean old – boxing rivals who ended their careers unbeaten, except by each other – once each! Now, thirty years later, … Read More

THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE

Poffy The Cucumber

Angry Birds so Roundy Roundy. A flock of flightless birds on an isolated island has their eggs stolen by a group of pigs. The birds angrily get their eggs back before the pigs can make an omelet. Shakespeare this ain’t. THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE is the animated cartoon based on the “most downloaded freemium game series of all time,” Angry … 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

FANTASTIC FOUR 2015

Poffy The Cucumber

Mo’ dark, mo’ fantastic. I honestly don’t see the problem with the maligned 2015 reboot FANTASTIC FOUR, the dark rendition of Marvel’s longest-running superhero team (first published 1961). Good acting, strong themes (involving family, alienation and teamwork), and an eerie discomfiture surrounding the unearthly “powers” of the protagonists, rather than blind, childish, do-gooder acceptance. And featuring the barbecue-rib guy from … Read More