THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD

Poffy The Cucumber

The Shooting of an Olde Worlde Epic by a New World Filmmaker. This classical western draws us into 1800s Americana so richly that we feel our teeth rotting from lack of dentistry not invented yet. Written and directed by Andrew Dominik (from a book by Ron Hansen), THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD is a study … Read More

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SAW

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To Die For. It’s all about the story, innit? SAW dives into its second act in its first minute: Two men in a subterranean TRAINSPOTTING bathroom, chained by their ankles to steel pipes at opposite ends of the room. A dead man lies in a pool of blood on the floor; in his hands, a gun and microcassette player. The … Read More

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FROST/NIXON

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and the Truth shall set you bleed… Peace/War. Life/Death. Truth/Lies. Frost/Nixon. Based on Peter Morgan’s stage play of the same name, from the stunning real life interviews that ex-president Richard M. Nixon granted British television host, David Frost in 1977, Ron Howard‘s compelling FROST/NIXON does what Oliver Stone’s milky W. never could – it gets the job done.What job is … Read More

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AUSTRALIA

Poffy The Cucumber

Epic Saddlebag Superhero. Being a son of Australia, this movie was calling to my blood. I had to watch it, right? I had to know it, feel it, taste it. And report back on whether it hides behind the faux-Aussie Outback Steakhouse jive, or whether it truly captures the wild frontier Dreamtime spirit of Downunda; the vast ochre countryscapes, the … Read More

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REDACTED

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Hell on Earth, overlorded by Satan Bush. Iraq calls America The Great Satan. REDACTED shows us why. Written and directed by Brian de Palma, we follow a small cadre of American troops for a few explosive havoc days of rape and murder in Samara, Iraq. Based on a real account of the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Samara girl, … Read More

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STOP-LOSS

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Nothing Stops the Loss. “FUCK THE PRESIDENT!” I didn’t say it. Ryan Phillippe did. In its stunning 37th minute, STOP-LOSS gets raw as Staff Sergeant Brandon King (Phillippe) protests being “stop-lossed” – involuntarily deployed again after his voluntary service to the U.S. military has ended. The Stop-Loss program is exactly what it sounds like: a fine print clause in military … Read More

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RECOUNT

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Stealing the World with Hanging Chad. Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything. – Josef Stalin. RECOUNT is another nail in the “democracy” coffin. Even for those who detest politics, this movie unfolds like a thriller rather than a dusty legal doc. Surely no one in Amerika believes the lie of “One Man One Vote”? … Read More

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PRESTO

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Funny Hunger. A magician, his magic top hat and his desperately cute and hungry rabbit. PRESTO is a Pixar featurette before WALL-E and has brought back the classically hilarious “short,” popularized by Warner Bros. and Bugs Bunny cartoons all those decades ago. Presto the Magician is onstage for his act, but his rabbit wants to be fed, so refuses to … Read More

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WALL-E

Poffy The Cucumber

Domo Arigato, Mr Roboto! Earth. 700 years in the desolate future. A small robot that looks like E.T. crossed with the Mars Rover Sojourner blissfully rolls along on little tank treads, compacting trash into cubes that he builds into towering trash skyscrapers. He is a Waste Allocation Load Lifter, Earth class – WALL-E. Humankind has abandoned the ravaged Earth, leaving … Read More

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TOMBSTONE

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When The West Was Huckleberry. The PULP FICTION of westerns, with its vivid dialogue and firestorm set pieces, TOMBSTONE roars like a stallion on steel hooves, in a hail of Peacemaker gunfire and very real handlebar moustachios. TOMBSTONE is another retelling of the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, but presented in such an epic, revisionist manner that the ill-fated … Read More

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ALIENS

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The Warrior/Goddess Dichotomy and the Eternal Feminine. ALIENS! Leaping, screeching, hissing, grabbing – hellish armies of H.R. Giger’s inscrutable extra-terrestrial life forms, swarming killing machines going elongated-head to jar-head with the United States Marines (Roger Ramjet Space Division, Glib Company). Writer-Director James Cameron helms this sequel to one of the landmark space/horror films of our time, ALIEN (1979). And it … Read More

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NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

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New Killer. Old Hairstyle. Quietude. West Texas veldt. 1980. A lone gunman (Josh Brolin) hunting game comes upon a slaughter scene: a handful of Mexicans dead in their clustered pickup trucks on the barren plain, massive heroin blocks untouched in the bed of one truck. The gunman follows a blood trail to another dead man clutching a leather briefcase stuffed … Read More

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SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET

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Slashing Singing Scissorhands. Edward Scissorhands is all grown up! Never more apparent than when Johnny Depp (as the eponymous demon barber, Sweeney Todd) holds aloft a gleaming razor and boldly affirms in song: “At last! My right arm is complete again!” (My Friends.) Violent, gruesome, blackly hilarious, deliriously entertaining, director Tim Burton’s vision of SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF … Read More

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RENDITION

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Lessons in Amerikan Euphemism. THE LIE: “America doesn’t torture.” THE PLOT: CIA authorizes kidnapping and torture of a suspected terrorist in a misguided attempt to thwart further terrorism. THE EUPHEMISM: “extraordinary rendition.” THE TRUTH: America DOES torture. All my life I’ve regarded the word “rendition” to mean “the act of rendering.” So how the hell does it come to mean … Read More

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RICHARD PRYOR: LIVE IN CONCERT

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Pryor Offense. Like Richard Pryor, let’s get straight to the point: if you are a spineless, politically-correct, programmed W.A.S.P. drogue who quails at the words motherfucker, shit, or nigger, keep pretending there’s nothing beyond your Disney Gold Membership Pass and stay away from this movie. In this modern era of hack comedians packing concert halls like rockstars (John Pinette, Paula … Read More

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JARHEAD

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JARHEAD is the new JACKET. Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy. — Henry Kissinger. “Every war is different. Every war is the same.” Kubrick’s FULL METAL JACKET (1987) followed U.S. Marines from boot camp to Viet Nam. Director Sam Mendes keeps the formula and updates the war in JARHEAD (to the … Read More

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THE INCREDIBLES

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Puts the “in” credible. In every review of THE INCREDIBLES it has become a refrain: “This movie could have worked as well in real life.” Big Bob Parr (voice of Craig T. Nelson) is a cone-shaped mountain of a guy, an ex-superhero doing time as a layperson in a world gone small – from his office cubicle to his aspirations. … Read More

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STAR WARS: EPISODE V – THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Poffy The Cucumber

Empirical Satirical. Why is THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, the first of the STAR WARS sequels/prequels, the best of the STAR WARS franchise? Why did it cause such a disturbance in our pants? I considered long and hard and watched it again to assure myself that it was not just our collective imagination. It’s not. Collective imagination, that is. And it … Read More

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THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND

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While watching this movie, comparison between the mad past President of Uganda and the mad current President of America becomes unavoidable. This review somehow skews into that of full-blooded political rant somewhere east of crazy town, where Cheney and Rice enjoy peaceful Middle Eastern town strolls with John McCain in Kevlar vests. Apologies. – Poffy the Cucumber. Acid Reign. No … Read More

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SPIDER-MAN 3

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Really Swingin’. What an adventure! SPIDER-MAN 3 is a swingin’ soiree; a chill-er thriller ladykiller that tops both its previous incarnations with smooth-headed, web-spangling adventure and vibrant, flesh-colored emotion. Heroes tainted by evil, villains infused with poignancy, lovers circling in triangles and Topher Grace as the meanest metrosexual this side of AMERICAN IDOL. Co-writer/director Sam Raimi bats it out of … Read More

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