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Suspiria (1977), Dario Argento, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, October 31st, 2004

If you like this sort of thing, than this is the one to see. What sort of thing? Marajuana-friendly, plot-free supernatural horror film with horrible acting yet outrageous lighting, sets, garish prog-rock and colors colors colors. While watching this a small part of me is thinking “this is retarded” but most of me is thinking “this looks so frickin’ cool.” You make up your own mind.

Late Smash

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Saturday, October 30th, 2004

Maybe you heard about Smashing Pumpkins’ unlreleased album. It actually kicks ass. I’m only 4 years late.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Irvin Kershner, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, October 29th, 2004

The few gaffes of Episode IV are cleared up here and the result is a slam dunk. The comedy actually works, the timing is crisp, hell, there’s even a good performance out of Mark Hamill (though I still like Chewbacca best.) (Two questions this time, though. One — how is it that the THREE different big ass bad guy ships can’t track the Millenium Falcon on radar when it is stuck to the side of one of ‘em? I’ll buy that the one it’s stuck to won’t catch it, but the others? Two — The Millenium Falcon sneaks away with the trash (and what is that trash, really?) but Boba Fett is smart enough to hide himself with that trash to track the Falcon down. Fett has basically outsmarted Han Solo. Fine. So now he’s following Han Solo to Cloud City. How is it that, as Lando Calrissian says, the Imperial Forces get there before the Millenium Falcon does? Especially considering that we see the giant ships zip away at light speed after they dump out the trash? It just doesn’t add up.)

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), George Lucas, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, October 29th, 2004

Very entertaining. Occasional moments of dreadful dialogue and some clunky pacing, plus some choppy acting by Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. Is this to emulate Saturday serials or because Lucas is a dolt? The world will never know. I like Chewbacca best. (Also — what really was on Alderaan? Is it a peaceful planet with no weapons as Leia says? If so, why are Luke and Obi-Wan bringing R2-D2 there? There must’ve been *some* rebel base there of some sort.) (Also also — you may as well mark me down as another of those people who is less-than-impressed with the “Special Edition” of this film. I’d never seen the new changes before and they kinda blow. The digital effects look dreadful. Oddly enough the one visual flaw from the original, the little box of light around the bad guy space ships during the Han & Luke shoot ‘em up toward the end, remains intact.)

Hey, Bud, Let’s Party!

Jordan | The Jake Files | Wednesday, October 27th, 2004

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Jake gets into the Hawaiian shirt thing early.

Comes In Threes?

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Wednesday, October 27th, 2004

Sharon’s rollback in Gaza, the death of Arafat and a possible Kerry victory could be the magic potion of substantial change Israel and Palestine needs.

The Mummy (1932), Karl Freund, D

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, October 26th, 2004

Watch this and YOU’LL want to sleep for three thousand years! Some of these old Universal horror films are still spooky fun (like the orig. “Frankenstein” pictures) but this one, like the orig. “Dracula,” is a bore.

Shaun of the Dead (2004), Edgar Wright, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, October 24th, 2004

Yes! Awesome! From the opening pre-title use of The Specials’ “Ghost Town” I knew we were in for a good ride. My only complaint is the five minutes in the third act when there’s some actual tragedy. I applaud the film for getting me to care about the characters — but this is a FUN movie, and I don’t want anything sad to happen in it! Anyway, the performances are fantastic and the storyline is filled with very entertaining little hurdles. If you don’t like this movie, you have real issues. (Though not as many issues as the crying kids who were dragged to this movie by their parents today at the Kaufman Astoria — I keep forgetting that you can’t can’t can’t go to this theater on weekends without expecting some hardcore ghetto activity.) I don’t want to give away the ending, but the musical montage in the pub toward the end is to an all time SS Fun favorite (you may recall a singalong in New Orleans I wrote about) which both delighted and enraged me. Delighted me because it was brilliant, enraged me because now I can’t use that song for something some day. Oh, and, yes, if you like Romero films there are a lot of little in jokes, too.

Milli Vanilli Redux

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, October 24th, 2004

The best part about Ashley Simpson getting caught last night on SNL (and you can watch the video off a link from Drudge) is that you can tell the band is kinda cracking up. They have that look of “oh, fuck, we’re unemployed again!” The little Irish jig Ashey does is pretty priceless, too. What’s best is that up until this morning I don’t think I knew who she was.

Is It Rolling, Bob?

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, October 24th, 2004

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Just like old Saxophone Joe
When he’s got the hogshead up on his toe
Oh me, oh my
Love that country pie.

Listen to the fiddler play
When he’s playin’ ’til the break of day
Oh me, oh my
Love that country pie.

Raspberry, strawberry, lemon and lime
What do I care ?
Blueberry, apple, cherry, pumpkin and plum
Call me for dinner, honey, I’ll be there.

Saddle me up on my big white goose
Tie me on ‘er turn her loose
Oh me, oh my
Love that country pie.

I don’t need much and that ain’t no lie
Ain’t runnin’ any race
Give to me my country pie
I won’t throw it up in anybody’s face.

Shake me up that old peach tree
Little Jack Horner’s got nothin’ on me
Oh me, oh my
Love that country pie.

The Hawk Is Out

Jordan | Out & About | Sunday, October 24th, 2004

Color me a putz — I left my camera at home. Still, we saw some remarkable fall foliage at the State Line Lookout and at historic Bear Mountain. Plus, we saw some pretty kick ass hawks. Or were they falcons? Well, as one man we met put it, they had wings and claws and that’s good enough for us!

Afterwards we inadvertantly took the long way home, driving through, among other such places, Sleepy Hollow. I must be honest I started making “oooooooooooooh!” sounds like a dopey 9 year old when we drove past the spoooooooooky Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. You can rest assured that they’re gettin’ ready for Halloween.

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Spooooooooooooooooooooooky!

Love and Death (and Pizza)

Jordan | Out & About | Sunday, October 24th, 2004

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ddp2_1.jpgclick for program

After a fan-friggin’-tastic medium sausage and mushroom pie at V & T’s pizza on the Upper West Side (it’s thinner than most pizza, but thicker than most brick oven “thin crust”!) we wandered across the street to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. We were looking for the peacocks that live in the back (they do!) but we wound up at Dave Dellinger’s memorial service.

Punch-Drunk Love (2002), P. T. Anderson, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, October 23rd, 2004

No one was more surprised than I how much I liked this much maligned film. Some of the criticisms are true — there’s hardly any there there. It’s a tiny movie and the squandering of Emily Watson’s talent is nearly criminal. Perhaps Anderson felt that hiring a great actress excused him from actually having to write a character. However, Adam Sandler’s bursts of childish anger is absoultely striking as is the Rothko-like use of light leaks in the cinematography. And the way the sisters curse Sandler out like they are all still 12 years old is hysterical and very true to life. (How many people do you know that’ve never really grown up when they are with their family?) There’s a wonderful dreamlike surreal quality to the whole project. . .just not one of those epic dreams that you wake up from and say “I gotta write a movie about that!”

The Fly (1986), David Cronenberg, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, October 23rd, 2004

Eeeeeeew! Bluuuuuuck! Graaaaaaak! But not just fingernail pus squirting out at the bathroom mirror money shots or regurgitation bile melting feet and hands. Also there is a true tragic love story. When Brundlefly discovers Ronnie’s plan to have an abortion there is, amazingly, real feeling in the scene. Cronenberg’s ability to play these scenes straight, yet still frightening, is remarkable. Also — Goldblum’s ranting pre-metamorphosis monologues (“Drink deep, or taste not, the plasma spring! Y’see what I’m sayin?”) are an absolute riot and, perhaps, the greatest examples of the Cronenbergian “is he kidding or does he actually take this seriously” phenomenon. Plus, there’s no good guy or bad guy. . .yet the movie was still a hit. Go figure.

Who Knew?

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Friday, October 22nd, 2004
Kerry
You preferred Kerry’s statements 100% of the time

Voting purely on the issues you should vote Kerry

Who would you vote for if you voted on the issues?

Find out now!

Love and Death (1975), Woody Allen, A+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, October 22nd, 2004

Woody’s funniest, indeed, pound for pound this movie may have more laughs packed into it than any other film ever made. That includes Duck Soup, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Airplane!, all the others. Also — you can still see Woody perfecting his film persona here, but still heavily cribbing from Groucho, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Bob Hope and, once or twice, Chico. Even Diane Keaton pulls out a few Groucho moments. This is meant as a compliment. Anyway, it’s insane fun even if you don’t know anything about Russian literature, which I certainly didn’t when I first saw this at the age of 11. Wheat! I’m dead they’re talkin’ about wheat!!

Lola Montes (1955), Max Ophus, C-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, October 22nd, 2004

When the only thing that’s keeping you awake through a movie is its clever framing device you know you have a problem. This was on the “suggested viewing” list for, I presume, various feminist theory reasons back during freshman year, and, while I can’t deny it may be fertile ground for some essays, it is also a potent cure for insomnia.

Raaaaaaaaawr!!!

Jordan | Out & About | Thursday, October 21st, 2004

This is where I will be on Saturday (or Sunday, depending on which day has better weather.) Or, maybe I will be here.

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