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Demon Seed (1977), Donald Cammell, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, December 30th, 2003

or, Anal Probe: The Movie! Imagine a monster movie where the monster is an Inranet! An Intranet who’s horny! This late 70s “heavy” sci-fi flick ought to appeal to the folks that like creepy Cronenberg films as well as episodes where Data longs for emotions. The script is ever-so-slightly tongue-in-cheek and the video effects have an agreeable, nostalgic look. Very inspired by the paperback cover of M. Crichton’s “The Terminal Man” in my opinion. Julie Christie pulls off a very difficult performance, playing opposite, mostly, an empty wheelchair and a pair of white View-Finder goggles. Don’t look for this one on DVD — Kerry & I had to schlep to the Walter Reade Theatre for a 16mm projection. [But it was there that we learned that the Walter Reade Theatre and the Walter Reed Hospital were named after different people.]

Best of ’03

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear,Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, December 28th, 2003

Albums:

Bronze — Gillian Welch “Soul Journey”
Silver — Josh Rouse “1972″
Gold — Steely Dan “Everything Must Go”

Movies (requisite disclaimers about not seeing everything yet):

11) Intolerable Cruelty
10) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
9) City of God
8) Lost in Translation
7) Winged Migration
6) Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines
5) The Weather Underground
4) Open Range
3) School of Rock
2) Elephant
1) Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

A Zed and Two Noughts (1985), Peter Greenaway, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, December 28th, 2003

“Dead Ringers” meets “Crash” meets “Cremaster 3″ meets “Stuck On You.” If I had to pick Greenaway’s main flaw it’s that he doesn’t leave well enough alone. There’s so much technique that any identification with the characters are impossible. In fact, my largest takeaway from this film was to further recognize how talented David Cronenberg is. This film swims in the same plasma pool as much of Cronenberg’s work, yet one never achieves the level of understanding or sympathy even the most difficult of Cronenberg’s work. Part of this is technical: one must wait for twenty-five minutes before seeing even a medium shot in “A Zed and Two Noughts.” There are no close-ups in the film. (Except for those of time-lapsed rotting animal corpses. And there are many.) I give the film mad props, though, for dealing with fascinating themes (even if they ultimately fail to gel at the end) and for just not letting up. “A Zed and Two Noughts” can stay on the same shelf as “Raising Arizona,” “Annie Hall” and Emir Kustarica’s “Underground” in terms of whiz-bang fast openings.

The Freaks Come Out At Night

Jordan | Out & About | Sunday, December 28th, 2003

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The Fog of War (2003), Errol Morris, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, December 27th, 2003

Really good, if you like this sort of thing. I like this sort of thing. Glad to see Errol use some restraint in his technique. You can still tell this is “an Errol Morris film” from just about any 3-second clip, but it isn’t quite so overboard as was his last effort, “Mr. Death.”

My Roommate

Jordan | Goober | Saturday, December 27th, 2003

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The Crush (1967), Ermanno Olmi, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, December 26th, 2003

Very sweet 50 minute film about a romantic 15 yr old caught without a date on New Year’s Eve. I bet our friend Wes Anderson took a look at this before “Rushmore.” A nice bonus on the “Il Posto” DVD.

Il Posto (1961), Ermanno Olmi, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, December 26th, 2003

Not “Il Postino.” One of the most engaging movies about boredom that I’d ever seen. Top notch. Would make an interesting double feature with Milos Forman’s “Loves of a Blonde.” It’s kinda the same story in reverse.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947), George Seaton, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, December 25th, 2003

Truly one of the sweetest movies I’ve ever seen. With some occasional zinger dialogue to boot.

Power Ballads Vol. I

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Thursday, December 25th, 2003

If you run into me in the next few days, there’s a good chance I’ll be giving you a copy of this.

MAN it was hard whittling this down to 80 minutes.

There’s not a one on here that I don’t enjoy un-ironically.

1 I Canít Go For That, Hall & Oates
2 Iím Not In Love, 10cc
3 Babe, Styx
4 All Out of Love, Air Supply
5 Life on Mars, David Bowie
6 Without You, Harry Nilsson
7 Your Kiss Is On My List, Hall & Oates
8 How Deep Is Your Love? Bee Gees
9 You Make My Dreams Come True, Hall & Oates
10 Donít Stop Believiní, Journey
11 All By Myself, Eric Carmen
12 Keep On Loving You, REO Speedwagon
13 The Search Is Over, Survivor
14 Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, Air Supply
15 Canít Fight This Feeling Anymore, REO Speedwagon
16 Faithfully, Journey
17 Separate Ways (Worlds Apart), Journey
18 Save Me, Queen
19 Open Arms, Journey

I can’t resist. . .

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Thursday, December 25th, 2003

I like to tell people my first concert was Elvis Costello, my first tape I didn’t “share with my sister” was Led Zeppelin “IV” and that the first band I collected as a band was Van Halen. This is all true, but lucky for me ’cause it still sounds kinda cool. (It took a while for “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” but I knew it would come around.)

But the truth of the matter is — and it took the filesharing program of LimeWire to remind me of this — that the first band I was obsessed with as a youth was Hall & Oates.

I remember “Kiss Is On My List” rocking my 5 year old world back in the day. And what was funny was that H&O had so many hits, I thought *every* good song was by them. (I still remember my sister betting me a thousand dollars that “Keep On Loving You” was by REO Speedwagon, not H&O.)

Anyway, as far as I am concerened, H&O are still fan-fucking-tastic.

Grumble

Jordan | E-motions | Thursday, December 25th, 2003

I scanned all kinds of fun pictures of me and Ann and me and Baby Jake and all kinds of good stuff, but I don’t know how to shrink them down to a size normal enough for email or the SS Fun.

I might have instructions for my scanner somewhere but. . .that’ll take a while to find.

Dumb and Dumber (1994), The Farrelly Brothers, C

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, December 24th, 2003

There’s a funny reason I rented this. (No, I’ve never seen it before — not even bits on TV. Don’t ask how.) Recently Ann & I caught “Stuck On You” and I remain somewhat taken with just how truly sweet it was. I felt the same way about “Outside Providence.” I’ve long been a fan of “Kingpin” and while “Me, Myself & Irene” (which I caught most of with Schmit and Bryan Riss on TV) was asinine it had a glorious “we’ll do anything for a laugh” quality. I skipped “Dumb & Dumber” while it was conquering the world because this was at the apex of my designed negelct of anything that was too popular. Junior year in college, ya see. For the same reason, I’ve never seen “Forest Gump” (although I have caught a little bit on TV and recognize I ain’t missing much.

Anyway, about a week ago I’m taking a nap at 3 pm — standard routine. I’ve got the radio tuned to WNYC and Terry Gross is interviewing the Farrelly Brothers. I don’t know how many of you have ever fallen asleep while talk radio is on, but it REALLY affects your subconscious. Anyway, the Farrellys are talking about their “craft” and in my semi-state of consciousness I’m listening in like it’s a fireside chat with Leonardo da Vinci. I’m like, These Guys Are Geniuses! Why am I just discovering this now!! Gross plays a clip from “Dumb and Dumber” and, in my quasi-dream, I’m laughing until I am crying. I wake up and put “D&D” at the top of my Netflix queue.

It’s not that funny.

Albright & Havel

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Wednesday, December 24th, 2003

I wonder if Lou Reed performed this one that night at the Knitting Factory when Vaclav Havel told Madeline Albright to shut up about policy and dance.

Power Trip (2003), Paul Devlin, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, December 24th, 2003

Oy. Be glad you don’t live in Georgia. Georgia the country — although I’ve been to Atlanta and it ain’t that great there, either. A mostly fascinating look at power dynamics (literally) in the former Soviet Union. Who knew the Geddy Lee of Rush was the chief project manager for Tiblisi?

Not Too Esoteric Mix 12/23/03

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

1 George & Her Rival, Elvis Costello (1991)
2 Brooklyn, Steely Dan (1972)
3 The Last Mall, Steely Dan (2003)
4 Sweetheart Like You, Bob Dylan (1983)
5 Alisonís Uncle, Cannonball Adderly (1958)
6 Train in the Distance, Paul Simon (1983)
7 Something So Right, Paul Simon (1973)
8 She Knows, Richard Manuel (1986)
9 Funeral Song, Dave Schramm (1999)
10 Bring ĎEm All In, Mike Scott (1995)
11 Torn in Two, the Schramms (2000)
12 Cantina, Richard Davies (1997)
13 Your Molecular Structure, Mose Allison (1976)
14 Hitch Hike, the Rolling Stones (1965)
15 Rip This Join, the Rolling Stones (1972)
16 Ainít Too Proud to Beg, the Rolling Stones (1974)
17 Iím All Right, the Rolling Stones (1965)
18 Memo From Turner, the Rolling Stones (1970)
19 Alice Mae, RL Burnside (2001)
20 Brooklyn (demo), Walter Becker & Donald Fagen (unk.)

7th Street (2003), Josh Pais, C+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

Gentrification: The Movie! This shoestring doc won’t much interest anyone who doesn’t live in NYC.

An Actual Conversation

Jordan | Out & About | Monday, December 22nd, 2003

between Ann & me just a few minutes ago:

Kerry wept during Big Fish? But he’s like Spock? Kerry would play Spock. And you (Jordan) would play Scotty.
And you (Ann) would play Bones McCoy.
And John Schmit would be Kirk.
And Kim would be Uhura, because she can get sassy and has the boot-ay.
And Jurgen would be Checkov. Cause he’s from closer to Russia than we are.
And Jason would be Sulu. Cause he’s soft spoken and athletic.

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