PATHS OF GLORY

Poffy The Cucumber

Paths of Gory. When it comes to dying for your country, it’s better not to die at all. — Lewis Ayres, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. The quote from ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT may be misconstrued. If there really was such a thing as “dying for your country,” it would be stupid enough, but no one ever really … Read More

REQUIEM FOR A DREAM

Poffy The Cucumber

Heroes for a Loser Class. If you’ve never done hard drugs before, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM will make sure you don’t. If you’ve puked your guts out over your bed, stayed unwashed for a month straight, and sold your mother’s TV for a fix, well, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM is like last Wednesday. To say Darren Aronofsky‘s unflinching mind-bender is … Read More

SIGNS

Poffy The Cucumber

Cream of the Crop Circles. SIGNS is a storytelling masterpiece from writer-director, M. Night Shyamalan; a master moviemaker’s layered mosaic of fear, faith, family – and alien invasion. Don’t let the “alien” thing throw you – like every Night thriller, SIGNS is not of the Running and Screaming stripe, rather, a beautifully crafted lesson in film “making”; creative angles, smart … Read More

WATCHMEN

Poffy The Cucumber

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair! And the fanboys whine like bitches. The “unfilmable” graphic novel, WATCHMEN – has been filmed! Cry the beloved comicbook and let slip the dogs of nihilism. WATCHMEN is epic and sexy and bloody; sensual and visceral and brutal; more than a comicbook, more than a messianic cry of madness; flamboyant costumed heroes, … Read More

THE PROPOSITION

Poffy The Cucumber

Brutal, Bloody, Beautiful. In 1800’s Australia, somewhere in the rugged skeleton colonies of New South Wales, police trooper Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) puts this proposition to Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce, greasier and grimier than he was in THE HARD WORD, 2002 – if that’s even possible): Kill your older brother to save your younger from the noose. THE PROPOSITION is … Read More

THE WRESTLER

Poffy The Cucumber

Emotional Pounding. Well I’m frustrated, outdated, I really wanna be over-rated. I’m a finder and I’m a keeper; I’m not a loser and I ain’t no weeper. I got the boys to make a noise Won’t ever let up – Hope it annoys you! Join the pack, feel the crack! Well now you’re here – There’s no way back! — … Read More

ZOOLANDER

Poffy The Cucumber

A Stiller Thriller. Did you ever think that there was more to life than being really really really ridiculously good-looking? – Derek Zoolander. ZOOLANDER (directed by Ben Stiller, co-written by Ben Stiller, starring Ben Stiller) is Ben Stiller’s best film. Ever. Did I mention Ben Stiller? Written by Stiller, Drake Sather and John Hamburg, ZOOLANDER follows Stiller, as the eponymous … Read More

LIONS FOR LAMBS

Poffy The Cucumber

Roaring Thunder for Republican Muttonheads. Lest we forget: Robert Redford once brought down Satan Nixon in ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN; in LIONS FOR LAMBS, he goes for the neck-wattle of Demon W. Bush. Razor-sharp writing, controlled direction, magnificent performances, LIONS FOR LAMBS is a wake up call to America – wake up and smell the lunatic euphemisms the Republican administration … Read More

IRON MAN

Poffy The Cucumber

Man of Steel, Ethics of Plastic. IRON MAN is a steel-belted planet-crusher of a film; alloy feet on the ground, red-and-gold armor streaking for sub-orbital skies. Based in a reality close to current, like the shrapnel lodged in Tony Stark’s chest, we feel it close to our heart… technology, physics, corporate backbiting, intimate asides… and a self-made hero that speaks … Read More

HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER

Poffy The Cucumber

High Pains Grifter. John Wayne didn’t like HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER and let me know it. He wrote me a letter putting it down, saying it was not The West. I was trying to get away from what he and Gary Cooper and others had done. — Clint Eastwood. Dee Barton’s ominous score heralds an angel of death materializing from the … Read More

AMERICA: FREEDOM TO FASCISM

Poffy The Cucumber

American Dream-mare. Michael Moore wishes he could go this deep. Income tax is illegal. It’s not a radical battle cry – it’s the Constitution. Now that you can’t un-know that fact, life is going to get real scary… In the documentary AMERICA: FREEDOM TO FASCISM, film-maker Aaron Russo (producer behind THE ROSE and TRADING PLACES), goes on a quest to … Read More

SICKO

Poffy The Cucumber

After years of research (during the past two weeks) and experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs (mainly on other people), I have returned from the edge of time slightly drunk and bearing in my green man-purse a tale of unkempt horror. Michael Moore, free thinker, bids us think freer. Time is ripe for revolution. But – if the actions of the biased, … Read More

GALLIPOLI

Poffy The Cucumber

Military Unintelligence. Peter Weir’s stirring anti-war epic, GALLIPOLI, has a heart as large as Western Australia, a sweep as wide as its blue-chiseled skies and – Mel Gibson’s naked 24-year-old bottom. GALLIPOLI is not about Gallipoli. The botched Australian and New Zealand Armed Corp (ANZAC) landing at that Turkish beach in 1915 is merely the backdrop to Weir’s wondrous character … Read More

THE TRUMAN SHOW

Poffy The Cucumber

Masterpiece in a Microcosm. Jim Carrey is overdue being lauded as one of the Great American Actors. THE TRUMAN SHOW is his calling card into that exclusive club. Written by Andrew Niccol (GATTACA, 1997) in an audacious fit of prescience, Truman Burbank (Carrey) is an unsuspecting pawn in the most ambitious reality show ever conceived, THE TRUMAN SHOW: while the … Read More

THE PRESTIGE

Poffy The Cucumber

Nolan’s Real Magic. Godard’s Dictum: The cinema is truth 24 frames per second. Rejoinder: The cinema is illusion, is lying 24 frames per second. THE PRESTIGE is everything THE ILLUSIONIST wanted to be – and claimed to be in its trailers – an unholy tale of a magician seeking arcane Real Magic. Overarching the magic, a tale of two men … Read More

MEMENTO

Poffy The Cucumber

The Reverse Genius Principle. 9) And that’s when we realize we could never be sure of anything to begin with. 8) When Leonard eventually thinks he has found his wife’s killer, eleventh-hour reveals shock us with the possibility that his whole crisis may be nothing more than delusion. 7) Editing MEMENTO must have been like navigating inside Las Vegas hotels with … Read More

FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS

Poffy The Cucumber

Raising Glory: the sham behind the glam. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. – Reporter, THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE (1962). Director Clint Eastwood‘s waving-flag film is, ironically and thankfully, the farthest from a Flag Waving maroon-necker as a post 9-11 American movie can be. When I learned of this film’s production last year, I admit to … 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

MATCH POINT

Poffy The Cucumber

Unmatched. There is such a brilliant hook in Woody Allen‘s MATCH POINT that to say anything about it would ruin its impact. So I’m going to anyway. It’s the woman in me. Writer-director Allen leans so heavily on the tennis idiom (from opening the film with a tennis analogy dependent on luck – a ball nicking the top edge of … Read More

A PERFECT WORLD

Poffy The Cucumber

A Perfect Vision of an Imperfect World. Nature versus nurture. Fathers versus sons. Justice versus The Law. T-bones versus tater tots. The power of Clint Eastwood’s films has always come from Eastwood’s bravado in addressing moral ambiguity. (Even his death-dealing avenger films – the DOLLAR trilogy, JOSEY WALES, the DIRTY HARRY series, etc. – are so powerful not because of … Read More