The Front (1976), Martin Ritt, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, April 29th, 2005

It’s amazing — Woody Allen can actually act! Yes, he’s his persona has just been grafted onto a somewhat serious story. . .but tell me the hearing room scene at the end isn’t actually tense? Another great scene is Zero Mostel losing his cool at the Catskills Hotel. Wasn’t planning on watching this, but it was on TV and I couldn’t turn away.

Seriously, Don’t Panic

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Thursday, April 28th, 2005

Iwontpanic.jpg

I don’t know about you but I was very concerned that “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” film was going to suck. I elected not to read the review, but did catch the phrase “hugely likable” in Manohla Dargis’ opening sentence. That’s enough for me. Brew me up a couple of Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters and start up the Heart of Gold!!!

Tom Jones (1963), Tony Richardson, C

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, April 28th, 2005

Not as good as you remember it.

Vampire’s Kiss (1989), Robert Bierman, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

At first I was thinking this was a good movie being marred by an awful performance by Nicolas Cage. Then I realized that Cage is brilliant in this film, it’s just that the story is asinine. Worth seeing, though. Also, great footage of late 80s lower Manhattan. And it is all so reminiscent of a time when we were willing to love a movie just ’cause it was “independent.”

Splotches

Jordan | Out & About | Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

I didn’t plan it, but I wound up on the roof of the Met today, the opening day for Sol Lewitt’s site-specific Splotches. It (or they) is (or are) awesome. The Diane Arbus exhibit is fine, I guess. I’m sick of circus freaks. I got caught up in the Medaeval section. Only two more headphone rentals and I get one free!

I Lost On Jeopardy, Baby.

Jordan | E-motions | Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

No — I didn’t even lose, ’cause I didn’t even make the first cut. Out of a room of 60, 7 passed the test. I was not one of ‘em. I got most of the questions (sigh, answers) but had a meltdown at the anagram stuff. Never was good at those. And this: Had a complete mental breakdown and couldn’t come up with the name John Grisham. I know, I know. . .

Blogging Head

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

I know I am extremely out of the loop here, but I just discovered David Byrne’s blog. I’ve been a tremendous fan of Byrne for most of my life. I have all of his albums, even his soundtracks and other odds and ends. And I once was on an airplane with him. Coming back from Madrid, he was in first class. It made me feel good because if the plane went down I would’ve been killed on “the plane with the guy who sings ‘Same As It Ever Was.’” He also had the same backpack as me — same brand I should say, different color. He’ll be playing a pay-gig at Summerstage. $37. Probably worth the dough. Ann & I saw him in, oh, early 2002? Something like that. I’ve seen him many times, but was, alas, too young to see him with Talking Heads.

Why I Don’t Go To The Tribeca Film Festival

Jordan | E-motions | Monday, April 25th, 2005

1 – All the good shows sell out, or you have to get a standby ticket.
2 – (And this is the real reason) Any film showing here that is worth seeing will eventually get a New York run of its own, even if only 7 nights at the Pioneer.
3 – There is the risk of a Q & A session.
4 – It is in Tribeca.

Horse Power

Jordan | E-motions | Monday, April 25th, 2005

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The highlight of the seder didn’t happen until the next day’s leftovers. It was me, a box of matzos, a fork, and a jar of horseradish. At first it just affects your nose, your sinuses. But cumulatively it starts in on your lungs. Eventually, you just start coughing. It is awesome.

Women In Comfortable Shoes

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Monday, April 25th, 2005

This, I think, falls under the dictionary definition of insanity.

Halfway Crucified

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

the dan.jpg

Hoops McCann of the Steely Dan Digest (yes, I read the Steely Dan Digest) reminds us that it is the 30th anniversary of Katy Lied.

Here’s how one member remembers it:
Anyway, when I think of Katy Lied, I think of a general feel-good
record..at a time when I needed to feel good. 1974 for all of us had
been a disaster..the gas crisis..Watergate..and it was a hellish year for
me personally. I was dealing with abusive parents & unsympathetic friends
and still living in Los Angeles, even though I knew I’d soon be out of
there!! I moved to San Diego & started college
at San Diego State in 1975. It was so nice to kick back in 1975 with the
strains of Bad Sneakers playin in the background…laughin at the
frozen rain..honey when they gonna send me home? God..I hope never!! hehehe

Happy Pesach!!!!!

Jordan | E-motions | Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

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If you hold your nose it won’t taste so bad.

Maria’s Lovers (1984), Andrei Konchalovsky, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

A very odd film that I’m perhaps giving an inflated grade. I must say that I was taken with its originality, although the pacing and flow is more like an old novel than a modern film. John Savage basically reprises his role from “The Deer Hunter” (this film, too, is set in industrial Pennsylvania) and we spend two hours focused on his dick. The more in love he is with his wife, the striking Nastassja Kinski, the more he is unable to perform as a man. Somehow a slaughterhouse with Bud Cort and Keith Carradine and a guitar get into the mix. Unique, un-boring, but kinda annoying. Ann didn’t like it at all.

The Shop Around The Corner (1940), Ernst Lubitsch, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, April 22nd, 2005

A very clever, very entertaining celebration of middle class values.

Stalker (1979), Andrei Tarkovsky, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, April 21st, 2005

If I were a pharmaceutical enthusiast, I would make this high on my list. This definitely has that “beamed down from some greater intelligence” feel to it. Sort’ve a cross between “The Wizard of Oz,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Wings of Desire” and Tarkovsky’s earlier “Solaris.” A writer and a scientist want to enter The Zone, an area blocked off by armed forces that may or may not contain a room which may or may not contain a meteor which may or may not fufill your deepest fantasy (which you may or may not even know about.) To navigate the Zone you need a Stalker — and the Stalker in our story is a nervous, sickly man who kinda resembles Mike White. They enter the Zone pretty quickly and. . .well. . .once they are in the Zone . . . things start happening. The Zone is a living thing (if you believe in the Zone at all) and the shortest distance to get anywhere is not a straight line. And the Zone is very wet. And there is cool music in the Zone. And a lot of sloooooow tracking shots. The Zone is awesome. The film was shot (on multiple stocks) in the wet fog of Estonia. . .and it sure works.

Look At Me (2005), Agnès Jaoui, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, April 21st, 2005

Perfectly observed character-driven story, and perhaps the best detailed work I’ve ever seen on the art of sycophancy. Nobody is 100% good or bad – though you certainly are rooting for the ignored teenage girl who just wants 15 minutes of her father’s time. The father, played by Jean-Pierre Bacri, is the French equivalent of Michael Ironside. I liked this even more than Jaoui’s first film “The Taste of Others.” And that’s saying something.

Justice Scalia, Do You Sodomize Your Wife?

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

The spirit of Stuttering John is alive and well.

What A Pair Of Molars

Jordan | E-motions | Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

There is nothing as masculine as refusing novocaine during a cavity filling. I’m ready to go kick some ass.

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