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

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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

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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

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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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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

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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

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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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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

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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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STAR WARS: EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE

Poffy The Cucumber

A Legend Begins… from the middle… Even if you don’t read comics, you know Superman; even if you don’t rock and roll all night, you know KISS; even if you’re an atheist, you know Jesus; even if you’ve never watched STAR WARS, you know Darth Vader. These elements of pop culture have so imbibed themselves into the vocabulary of our … Read More

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THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY

Poffy The Cucumber

Mining the Diary, Missing the Madman. Douglas Adams did not live to see his wondrous literary creation, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, made into this feature film. Maybe that’s fortunate. Each individual component of this movie is well done, from Garth Jennings‘ direction, to the astoundingly creative set design (all the good guys sport spherical décor, the bad guys, … Read More

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THE FIFTH ELEMENT

Poffy The Cucumber

Slammin’, Glammin’ and Hammin’. THE FIFTH ELEMENT has spawned so many negative reviews (even whilst admitting to enjoying it) that I get the feeling critics are jealous that Euros can pull off an action blockbuster with as much brainless flair as Americans – with twice the guilty pleasure. In a future society realized in eye-fatiguing detail by writer/director Luc Besson, … Read More

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2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

Poffy The Cucumber

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

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GALAXY QUEST

Poffy The Cucumber

No Dreck on This Trek. In its swinging skewering of that TV series which featured that Vulcan guy and that Overacting guy, GALAXY QUEST is everything that the SCARY MOVIE franchise is not: well-produced, well-written, well-acted – and funny. Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) is the ex-captain of a television starship not unlike that one that boldly goes where no man has … Read More

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MISSION TO MARS

Poffy The Cucumber

Mission To Farce. MISSION TO MARS stands every bit as tall as CAPRICORN ONE in the Ignorant Space Movie category, exhibiting so many misdemeanors, misrepresentations, misapplied physics laws, mistaken facts, missteps, mysterious logic, and misapprehension of spacefaring dialect that one wonders which second-grader took three months off school to helm it. Brian de Palma – the dark force behind 1983’s … Read More

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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

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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

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APOLLO 13

Poffy The Cucumber

The Greatest Successful Failure of all Time. O, swear not by the moon, the fickle moon, the inconstant moon… — Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet.” As I watch Ron Howard‘s APOLLO 13, I smell that familiar kerosene funk in the air: solid rocket boosters firing, RP-1 propellant and liquid hydrogen surging, flux capacitor giga-watting – yes, it’s the Tom Hanks Oscar-Machine … Read More

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STAR WARS: EPISODE III – REVENGE OF THE SITH

Poffy The Cucumber

It had to happen. There had to come something in this world to contest Episode II’s mind-numbing thoughtlessness and ineffectualness – behold, George Lucas gives us Episode III. You might want to brave the queues and watch the movie BEFORE reading this article. (I went on a Tuesday afternoon and the theatre was only a quarter full with doinks, dorks, … Read More

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SPACE COWBOYS

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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

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