MOON

Poffy The Cucumber

Space Oddity. In 1969, two years before director Duncan Jones was born, David Bowie released the single, Space Oddity. 40 years later, Bowie’s son, Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones releases his own space oddity – the brilliant MOON, an intelligent, thoughtful, unsettling, dialogue-driven drama and the first true science fiction movie in a light year. “Commencing countdown, engines on…” This isn’t … Read More

PLANET 51

Poffy The Cucumber

He who sips from many cups, drinks from none. The imitative art is an inferior who marries an inferior and has inferior offspring. — Plato, The Republic, Book X. Wow! A movie with NO original ideas! PLANET 51 is a glop of as many nudge-nudge wink-wink cultural references as cartoonly possible in an uninvolving 91-minute chase movie. Set on an … Read More

STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY

Poffy The Cucumber

Deeper Than Deep Space. Even as STAR TREK finds its warp stride with STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, the franchise runs out of dilythium crystal. Alas, TREK VI would be the last TREK movie to feature the complete Original Cast; before the death of DeForest Kelley (1996), the death of James Doohan (2005), and the outing of George Takei … Read More

STAR TREK: GENERATIONS

Poffy The Cucumber

Generation Pap. The Death of Kirk! You know these filmmakers are going to hell for this, right? STAR TREK: GENERATIONS was meant to showcase the TREK TV spinoff, THE NEXT GENERATION; instead, the singular event on all our minds is how Kirk is going to eat it. The Original Series fans would dread the moment, yet obsessively study it with … Read More

DISTRICT 9

Poffy The Cucumber

A Closer Encounter. Cry about the simple hell people give other people–without even thinking. Cry about the hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they’re people too. — Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird. It lacks the epic majesty of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, the wonderment of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, the cloying fear of ALIEN, the … Read More

STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER

Poffy The Cucumber

The Final Affront Here. Shatner directs! Oh, what a marvelous disaster! From Shatner’s book, Star Trek Movie Memories, we read about Shatner’s grandiloquent vision for the greatest TREK adventure of all – the search for God Itself! The Final Frontier! We learn of the hordes of barbarians at the gate, of the ten Rock Men finale; of the sweeping alien … Read More

STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK

Poffy The Cucumber

The Search for Plot. The rumors of his death have been greatly exaggerated. It was a fantastic climax, bringing tears to the eyes of Terrans and Vulcans alike, as Spock bad his final farewell through perspex, busting his Live Long and Prosper sign while face to face with his lifelong friend whom he could not touch, radiation eating at his … Read More

STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE

Poffy The Cucumber

Attack of The Motionless Picture. I read Kirk’s book. Laden with anecdotes from the making of seven STAR TREK movies, William Shatner’s Star Trek Movie Memories (co-author, Chris Kenski), is – alas – light years more entertaining than the movies it describes. Shatner’s candor and dry wit propels Movie Memories like the warp drive on his vaunted Enterprise chariot. Alas, … Read More

STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

Poffy The Cucumber

Yes We Khaaaaan! Can we find anyone in the galaxy who can chew more cheese onscreen than James Tiberius Kirk? Yes We Khan! In STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, Ricardo Montalban (as Khan Noonien Singh) joins the regular cast of three actors (Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley) and four extras posing as actors (Doohan, Takei, Koenig, Nichols) in the feature … Read More

STAR WARS: EPISODE VI – RETURN OF THE JEDI

Poffy The Cucumber

The Jedi Mind(less) Trick. Another day. Another Death Star. In the last of the STAR WARS hexology, the Galactic Empire has returned with another planet-sized space station to terrorize the galaxy. And the Rebel Alliance has returned to break it. The Jedi Knights have returned as well, with Luke Skywalker continuing the legacy of the humorless old farts by dressing … Read More

STAR TREK 2009

Poffy The Cucumber

All-New, All-Improved, Same-ole Same ole. If this don’t keep the fanboys happy, nothin’ will.How do you approach a movie as sodden in mythos as the STAR TREK franchise? The approach must be as trepidatious for film makers as it is for geekboys and weekend viewers alike. Every inch of a production under the STAR TREK aegis would reek of esoterica … Read More

STAR WARS: EPISODE I – THE PHANTOM MENACE

Poffy The Cucumber

A Legend Unravels… Twenty years ago, I liked Michael Jackson. Everyone did. Twenty years ago, I liked STAR WARS. Everyone did. Look what happened to Michael Jackson. Look what happened to STAR WARS. Both these entities were done in NOT by lack of funding, backstabbing competitors or unbalanced advisors. Ironically, they brought their downfalls on themselves through a surfeit of … Read More

INDEPENDENCE DAY

Poffy The Cucumber

The Arrogance of Independence. The most likely circumstance is that extraterrestrial beings will look nothing like any organisms or machines familiar to us. Extraterrestrials will be the product of billions of years of independent biological evolution, by small steps, each involving a series of tiny mutational accidents, on planets with very different environments from those that characterize Earth. — Carl … 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

ARMAGEDDON

Poffy The Cucumber

Arma Dyin’ Here. Imagine the worst pain and suffering ever. That’s how it’s gonna feel at the end of the world, the mythical Armageddon. Coincidentally, you can feel that exact same pain and suffering by watching Michael Bay’s ARMAGEDDON. ARMAGEDDON is a painful exercise in squeezing every cliché possible into 150 minutes of swooping camera moves, slomo shots of blond … 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

RED PLANET

Poffy The Cucumber

Blue-Skying Salmon Sky. The OTHER Mission to Mars. In March 2000, Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins, under director Brian de Palma, went to Mars ignorantly. In November of that same year, Hollywood synergy (read as plagiarism) sends Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss and director Antony Hoffman to the same planet just as ignorantly, in RED PLANET. In 2050, Earth is such … Read More

STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME

Poffy The Cucumber

Camping in a Row of Future Tense. I could say this movie was “a whale of a time” but it wasn’t really. Starting with a promising premise, as the story unfolded, it quickly lost its porpoise. (Somebody slap me.) Continuing where STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK left off (sometime in the 23rd century), in STAR TREK IV: THE … Read More

ALIENS

Poffy The Cucumber

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

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