JACK REACHER

Poffy The Cucumber

Reaching For Grate-ness. The name is from a series of books by author Jim Grant (pseudonym Lee Child); even so, casting Tom Cruise as a character called JACK REACHER is just asking for the inevitable gay gags, like Jack Reacharound. And what kind of epicness was Grant aiming for anyway? Did he want big chords every time someone said the … Read More

NETWORK

Poffy The Cucumber

Don’t get mad – get a News Show. A washed-up newscaster (Peter Finch) is about to be fired from a television network for being over the hill and losing ratings. Until he does something that shocks the network executives, forces the viewing public to take notice, and rockets his ratings. He starts telling the truth. Sidney Lumet’s NETWORK is a … Read More

FOUR CHRISTMASES

Poffy The Cucumber

Four times the noxious. FOUR CHRISTMASES would be nothing without Jon Favreau dry-humping Vince Vaughn‘s twisted arm. Best part of the movie. I laughed out loud. Then the movie kept going. Unfortunately. In this uneven comedy, Brad (Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) are a boisterous, adventurous young couple who studiously avoid visiting their dysfunctional families every christmas, opting to take … Read More

TRUE GRIT

Poffy The Cucumber

Flight of The Rooster. No one should go to the movies unless they believe in heroes. — John Wayne. Ironic that John Wayne should talk of heroes when his most iconic role, that of Rooster Cogburn in TRUE GRIT, is anti-hero, taking The Duke beyond his safety zone of pure-hearted, white-hatted, virginal good guy-ism and into the dark realm of … Read More

A CIVIL ACTION

Poffy The Cucumber

Justice IS blind – so can’t see Truth. In movies, the good guys always seem to win court cases. Over an ingratiating orchestra swell, no less. But in reality, good or bad has nothing to do with the outcome of court cases. It’s how you play the game. If you can afford to be in the game in the first … Read More

THE ROAD

Poffy The Cucumber

A Tale of No Cities. In a post-holocaust world, a father and son fend for survival, staying on the move for food, shelter, and the endless quest for a MAD MAX Trilogy Boxed Set. “In a moment the world changed forever.” More of an exposition than a slogan. It gets us on THE ROAD without having to explain why. We … Read More

CRAZY HEART

Poffy The Cucumber

The Dude Abides. We meet Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) getting out of his van after a long drive, his belt buckle and fly undone; he pulls a plastic bottle out of his car and empties the pee. It’s The Dude! The star of THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998) brings his Dudeness to CRAZY HEART, the tale of a country music singer-songwriter. … Read More

JOE KIDD

Poffy The Cucumber

Totally Kidd-ing. There are a lot of interesting things about JOE KIDD, the least being the movie itself. This is Clint Eastwood at the peak of his early stardom: ruggedly handsome, aquiline nose, velvet rasp, thick shock of dirty blonde receding hair, three-day growth to emulate Leone’s Italian spaghettis that made him famous, wisecracking and head-cracking all over the New … Read More

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Poffy The Cucumber

To Live and Die in Americana. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD opens with a female narrator describing the small town she was raised in, her poetic drawl and the lilt of her language dropping us smack in 1933 Alabammy – “recently told we had nothing to fear but fear itself” – just after the crash heralding the Great Depression; you know, … Read More

DEEP IMPACT

Poffy The Cucumber

Deep Hurting. DEEP IMPACT is one of those movies where you just know that at some point, someone is going to shout “Get the hell outa there!” long after it’s too late the get the hell outa there. Sure enough, someone does. Trouble is, that someone is The Legend Robert Duvall… oh, ye gods! Did he need the money that … Read More

PHENOMENON

Poffy The Cucumber

Battlefield Iowa. Long before John Travolta and Forest Whitaker turn Earth into a battlefield for L. Ron Hubbard in BATTLEFIELD EARTH, the Psychlos envoy (Travolta and his mildly-retarded lieutenant, Whitaker) inhabit a small midwestern American town, pretending to be human, in PHENOMENON. On his 37th birthday, Travolta sees lights in the sky – L. Ron Hubbard beaming down brain juice … Read More

KICKING AND SCREAMING

Poffy The Cucumber

Aiming Low, Scoring Lower. KICKING AND SCREAMING is simply a Disney Message waiting to happen. Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) coaches a little league soccer team of shiftless misfits against his super-competitive dad, Buck (Robert Duvall), whose team is top dog. As counter-intuitive as it may seem in pitting Duvall against Ferrell as rival coaches, think how absolutely ludicrous it is … Read More

THANK YOU FOR SMOKING

Poffy The Cucumber

Black Lung Satire. Aaron Eckhart has always deserved to play a role as ferociously incisive as this. THANK YOU FOR SMOKING fleshes his latent silver-tongued devil in the form of Nick Naylor, a spokesman for Big Tobacco; the type of guy who could sell ice to Eskimos in winter. Movie opens with Nick on one of those daytime talk shows … Read More

THE GODFATHER

Poffy The Cucumber

The Godfather Of Them All. It has been over three decades since its birth, yet THE GODFATHER reigns as the yardstick by which all other gangster movies are brutally scrutinized. From the magnificent acting, to the studied direction, to the 1940s era backdrop, to the sweep of the epic storytelling (which takes us from the sprawling dark corridors of New … Read More