Month: June 2004

Sorcerer (1977), William Friedkin, C+

Friedkin was famously quoted as telling Henri-Georges Clouzot that he wanted to do a remake of his favorite film The Wages of Fear that would be inferior to the original. He suceeded. He didn’t make an awful film; there are many remarkable sequences. But this film lacks the sharp charactirizations (although it spends 45 minutes showing convoluted backstory unseesn in the French version) and white-knuckle suspense the setting deserves. Friedkin’s version, with its multimillion dollar budget, has flabbergasting photography and great montages. Plus, a neato Tangerine Dream score. I’m glad I saw this important, noble failure of 1970s...

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What A World of Merriment Their Melody Foretells

Keeping time, time, time/With a sort of Runic rhyme From the tintinnabulation/That so musically wells Hats off to Wren Britton and the gift he gave Ann last week: the swinginest alarm clock ever. Not only is it sleek and light, but it can wake you up to three different kinds of cathedral bells. AND it can drift you off to sleep with the sounds off the ocean, a babbling brook, or a riiibbiting...

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The Terminal (2004), Steven Spielberg, B-

I am being very generous with my grade. Here’s why: I enjoyed this. I enjoyed this bad movie. This movie is 100% implausible; the characters are either unmotivated and underwritten or their plot points are jammed in with the subtlety of an offshore oil rig. That said, when you are in each scene it is good fun to watch. Kinda like watching an old movie on TV and thinking, “boy, this is corny, but it’s how they did it back then.” Also, there’s a fine line between verisimilitude and ungodly product...

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The Patron Saint of Zeppole

The annual San Antonio Abate hit my block this week. I did a pretty good job of avoiding the assholes that run the stands and the trash that are drawn to it. But, alas, on its final night my insatiable desire for fried spheres of dough caked in powdered sugar won out and I made a quick pilgrimage. Here’s the thing about zeppole: there’s no other food that gives me heartburn as I am actually eating it. I go on a zeppole bender once a year — when these yamheads have their parade in my front yard. Thank God it is only once a year. Anyway, the first photo is from my window, the rest are down in the...

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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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