INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS 1978

Poffy The Cucumber

Communist Plants in Skeletal Pants. Not the original movie, but probably the best. Director Philip Kaufman’s 1978 INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS remakes Don Siegel’s 1956 movie of the same name, from the 1955 book by Jack Finney. And it is terrifying: Jeff Goldblum’s scarecrow-skinny xylophone ribcage, Donald Sutherland’s style-less white-fro, Veronica Cartwright’s pre-ALIEN whining – oh, and some spores … 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

ALTERED STATES

Poffy The Cucumber

LSD Trip for Intelligentsia. In ALTERED STATES, Eddie (William Hurt) and Arthur (Bob Balaban) are two university scientists experimenting on human regression (mentally reverting to a primitive state) using an isolation tank and sensational drugs, with Blair Brown (the Rene Russo of her day) as Eddie’s supportive yet doubting wife. Back in the day when university professors could drop LSD … Read More

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 2008

Poffy The Cucumber

Hitting Bottom. Boy’s Movie. In 3D. Serves its purpose of getting thirteen-year-old boys interested in slim blond girls with indeterminate Euro accents and tennis-ball ta-tas. Brendan Fraser has some nice ta-tas too. All that sweaty tight t-shirt adventure with the Running and Screaming and CGI completely outa control. It’s been decades since I’ve read Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center … Read More

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL 2008

Poffy The Cucumber

The Day Keanu’s Face Muscles Stood Still. Keanu Reeves elevates his One Facial Expression Method to new levels of expressionlessness in this wooden remake of the 1951 film. Though excellent concepts are broached in both THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL films (1951 and 2008 versions), both films are ruined by their gutless denouements, failing to follow through on their … Read More

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL

Poffy The Cucumber

The Film that Moved the Earth. In 1951, in the shadow of the Cold War, in the grip of McCarthyism, as America slid into the Atomic Age, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL was just another stanky B-Movie science fiction thriller with a sanctimonious message of the human race on the edge of doom. Somehow, it rose above the engine … Read More

AVPR: ALIENS VS. PREDATOR REQUIEM

Poffy The Cucumber

Requiem for a Dweeb. Hundreds of Aliens. One Predator. No actors. The splash-slogans on the DVD packaging of ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM scream at us louder than the Predator’s roar: “More Blood… More Guts… More Gore!” Pretty much guarantees a maximum rating of five cucumbers out of ten – if everything else is top-notch. Everything else is not. Sucking never hurt so … Read More

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

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

WAR OF THE WORLDS 2005

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Spielberg and Cruise: Reign of the Smugs. One good thing can be said about the alien attack in WAR OF THE WORLDS – at least it achieved the mission impossible of wiping that insufferable smirk off Tom Cruise’s face. Steven Spielberg wields this remake of H.G. Wells’ 1898 classic tale like Mel Gibson wielded his recounting of the peacenik crucified … Read More

JURASSIC PARK

Poffy The Cucumber

Dino Mighty. DINOSAURS! No, not “unbelievable” and “incredible” – on the contrary, director Steven Spielberg and his special effects team do such a mighty job recreating extinct saurians that they are altogether BELIEVABLE and CREDIBLE! Spielberg is the visionary who brought us JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK – JURASSIC PARK is his … Read More

CHILDREN OF MEN

Poffy The Cucumber

Brave New Future Shocker. If there is a Best Badass Tough Guy Overcoat category, Clive Owen should sweep the field. In CHILDREN OF MEN, a refreshingly original drama, Owen pecks at a few fashion police warnings (jeans and cardigan, flip-flops, shoeless, office guy couture), but it is only when he dons that long, black overcoat that he actually gets something … Read More

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

Poffy The Cucumber

ETERNAL shines, then dims. Darkness piled upon darkness, steeped in disturbing dissonance; a glutting, suffocating despair; a stultifying of the spirit and a crippling of the ego. No way out, no way out… no, not the movie – my last relationship. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND opens with a disoriented Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) wondering how he sustained a … Read More

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

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Also sprach Kubrick und Clarke. Long before Douglas Adams, in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke tackle Life, the Universe and Everything. The result? Monolithic! A movie where everything exciting happens in the human mind. No aliens blasting at each other as if they were cowboys from 1870 Earth, or rocketsleds blaring loudly in space and … Read More

2010: ODYSSEY TWO

Poffy The Cucumber

A Midget in the Footsteps of Giants. No one said it would be easy. Following in the mythic footsteps of Stanley Kubrick and equally legendary Arthur C. Clarke. Maybe it was this inimitable pedigree that gave lowly Peter Hyams the impetus to craft such a reasonably watchable sequel to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. A tension-filled space trek where we laugh … Read More

I, ROBOT

Poffy The Cucumber

I, Gamebot. I, Human, even whilst viewing the first trailers of I, ROBOT, knew that They, 20th Century Fox, were destined to make Film, Botch-up. Sure enough, this movie bytes! Pounding home the sordid fact that Big Studios – as cookie-cutter idioms unto themselves – must morph any greed-driven, blockbuster-bent story from cerebral concept to popcorn-glutton whiz-bangery, I, ROBOT is … Read More

CONTACT

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Buried within The Message from Vega – The Message from Sagan. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND needed updating. CONTACT is that update. Though it may never attain the lofty heights of commercialism that CLOSE ENCOUNTERS enjoyed, CONTACT is, in fact, a more intelligent vision of extra-terrestrial communication with our outer-spiral-arm planet. Jodie Foster is SETI maverick, Ellie Arroway, who … Read More

CAPRICORN ONE

Poffy The Cucumber

Idiotic fodder for Moon Landing conspiracy theorist idiots. As a child in Australia, I remember seeing posters for CAPRICORN ONE: the visage of the lone, space-suited astronaut, movie title scrawled across his glare-shield. Something foreboding and sobering about that poster had me believing (as I attained full cucumberhood) that the film was one of the all-time greats, placed alongside A … Read More

THE CORE

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Anthropocentric Spin. I want to hurt this movie. Like it hurt me. THE CORE opens with a Peter Gallagher clone sans Eyebrows dropping dead at a board meeting – so begins a series of events that establish the Earth’s core has inexplicably stopped spinning, causing electromagnetic anomalies. So scientists must drill down and re-start the spin with The Universal Solvent … Read More

SPACE COWBOYS

Poffy The Cucumber

American Hero Sandwich. There is a rare breed of animal in the world, outside any established morality, divorced from mundane reality, mythically above many of its technically superior kin; that animal is – The Clint Eastwood Movie. Clint Eastwood is an American Hero. And Clint Eastwood Movies deal with the nature of Heroism. SPACE COWBOYS is a Clint Eastwood Movie, … Read More