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

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MATCH POINT

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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

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PLAY MISTY FOR ME

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A Legend’s Misty Origin. In 1971, 41-year-old Clint Eastwood confidently flaunts his directing debut with PLAY MISTY FOR ME – at an age when most actors these days are contemplating which reality show to make asses of themselves on. Already known as a bankable actor for his Sergio Leone DOLLAR trilogy and a flurry of westerns and war movies, this … Read More

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LADY IN THE WATER

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Part real. Part fable. All Night. In his book, On Directing Film, David Mamet says of movies, “it’s all make-believe. The question is, how good is the make-believe going to be?” M. Night Shyamalan‘s LADY IN THE WATER is truly what it sells itself as – a bedtime story; make-believe of the highest order, taken with a generous pinch of … Read More

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ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

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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

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THE INTERPRETER

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Lost In Translation. If you care about whether burnt-out political insurrectionists from fictitious African countries are assassinated or not, this slow-moving thriller is for you. Otherwise, you will watch THE INTERPRETER with one question dogging your suspension of disbelief: “How does a startlingly luminous beauty like Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) avoid being flirted with by every single male she comes … Read More

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UNITED 93

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United They Fall. Oh, stop whining! UNITED 93 was bound to bring out the bitch in politically-gutless 2006 America: any issue that invokes the oh-so-hip splash-appellation “9-11” is like a hog call to every uninformed swine with two cents worth of a knee-jerk conspiracy theory. But beyond the whines of “too soon” and “disrespect” and “exploitation” is the sheer raw … Read More

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THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

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The Teen Model Effect. As far as I can gather from THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT’s totally illogical storyline, a teen model time travels backwards to rectify sins of the past so that in the “present” he can hook up with another teen model. Noble? No. Hot? Definitely. The Teen Model Effect: When a teen model flaps his arms in China, it … Read More

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MUNICH

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An Ingenious Fantasy by a Fantasy Genius. MUNICH is not about Munich. Nor is it about events which followed the massacre of Israeli athletes. It is about Steven Spielberg’s ego. And how far into Audacious he can drive it without becoming Oliver Stone. The tagline boasts, “The world was watching in 1972 as 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the … Read More

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WHITE NOISE

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Shite Noise. Not only in peasant homes, but also in city skyscrapers, there lives alongside the twentieth century the thirteenth. A hundred million people use electricity and still believe in the magic powers of signs and exorcisms… Movie stars go to mediums. Aviators who pilot miraculous mechanisms created by man’s genius wear amulets on their sweaters. What inexhaustible reserves they … Read More

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DERAILED

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Hitchcock Lite Meets Noir-ish Dark. Beware of goddesses offering to pay your train fare. A caveat unheeded, when the goddess in question is Jennifer Aniston. I am, after all, only a man. And, like every other full-blooded, able-membered man on earth, whenever I look at Jennifer Aniston, I can only think of One Thing: Brad Pitt. And how I’d like … Read More

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FLIGHTPLAN

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Plight Planning. BOARDING OUR FLIGHT: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen; our FLIGHTPLAN for this journey involves aircraft designer Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster), whose life in Europe has been jarred to a halt by the accidental death of her husband (she swears he “fell,” not jumped), prompting her to return to the United States with her six-year-old daughter, Julia (a somber … Read More

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A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

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When the Evil Twin Piques. Director David Cronenberg assails his audience with A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, surface “pulp thriller,” with an undercurrent of vigilantism, Darwinism and Plot Conveniences. A simplistic tale which careens against the cerebral precepts of Survival of the Fittest, Natural Selection and Freudian sublimation. (Any more big words, or are we done for the day?…) Loosely screenplayed … Read More

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APOLLO 13

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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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IDENTITY

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Identity Cleft. More than a murder mystery. More than a psychological thriller. More than a horror movie. IDENTITY is its own special slice of crazy. With most viewers being either misled by this movie’s similarities to Agatha Christie’s TEN LITTLE INDIANS, or just pompously broadcasting their knowledge IDENTITY was inspired by it, they missed the point this was not a “murder mystery” per … Read More

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THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS

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There Were Giants In Those Days – and Harryhausen was the largest! His name was synonymous with SPECTACLE. View any movie from the 50s or 60s with a gigantic, roaring, pseudo-prehistoric, collateral-damaging monster and you were probably watching one of Ray Harryhausen’s herky-jerky children of fantastic plastic. Just as Ed Wood is The King of B-Movie Schlock, as Alfred Hitchcock … Read More

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HANNIBAL

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A few nights ago I accidentally watched HANNIBAL on cable. Surfing with the alien, my remote became my god, channeling for high-grade sewage, while I helplessly stood by and made bagels. (Cream cheese, m’dear?) Settling unnervingly on the couch with kippers and chardonnay, I found I had lost my towel. And the movie only made matters worse… Julianne Moore played … Read More

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