Month: April 2004

Hearts, Minds, Buttocks

These photos remind us that the spirit of Lt. Calley is alive and well in Iraq. And the muzzling of Ted Koppel reminds us that the spirit of Joeseph Goebbels is alive in America, too. Subtle fascism is still fascism. I will now pour another beer and pray that the nightmare of the Bush years end soon. Something has to be...

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Boy, this movie sure is important. That’s the number one takeaway you’ll get from watching this. “This is important.” It’s a good production, but Dustin Hoffman, when he isn’t doing comedy, annoys me pretty...

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It is getting rarer and rarer, as I get older, to just discover out of the blue a whole new universe of entertainment excitement. Either a new band, new filmmaker or, in this case, comedy team. The geniuses behind “Wet Hot American Summer” have been making short films for years — and they are all available...

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Wet Hot American Summer (2001), David Wain, A

“Fuck my cock!” A revolution in comedy. 80% meta-comedy, 15% dick & fart jokes, 5% Jewish jokes. This is the high water mark of post modern comedy. And it is fucking hilarious. What’s wierd is that it took a rekindled interest in Janeane Garafolo (due to her new liberal radio show) for me to get off my ass and rent this — especially wierd when I tell you that I actually spent 2 wet, hot ambivalent summers at the very camp this was shot at. Anyway, genius. 71% of the critics on Rotten Tomatoes panned it. Did they like Lenny Bruce or Monty Python or George Carlin or the Kids in the Hall when they first hit the scene. This movie is that...

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The Pillow Book (1997), Peter Greenaway, C+

Greenaway inadvertantly presents a perfect metaphor in this film. It is all about the wonder and power writers ascribe to caligraphy. Never do they talk about storytelling. “The Pillow Book” is beautiful to look at, but its content rings up “No Sale” on my cash register. (I don’t know where that came from, but if you like it I got more.) Stick with “A Zed and Two Noughts” or “The Cook, The Thief. . .” and hope you see the best segments on this with its sound off in a bar somewhere. (Actually, the soundtrack is really great, too. I’m off to LimeWire in an attempt to find the Chinese version of “Rose, Rose I Love You.”) (Also, with all the cool in-camera effects, the lighting, slide projection, hours & hours it musta taken to scrawl Japanese letters on Ewan MacGregor’s foreskin. . .you think any of the technicians wanted to turn to Greenaway and let him know that all their hard work was going toward something with a small kernal of a neat idea but, let’s face it, a meandering and boring-as-hell end product?) (Also, I do have a general respect for Peter Greenaway. He approaches movie making fror a perspective entirely his own. I have only seen 5 of his films and I intend, eventually, to see them...

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Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.

He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.

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