Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ Get Happy!! The Album I Can’t Stop Listening To

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Friday, August 31st, 2007

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I’ve owned this album for ten years, maybe more. I’ve always liked it. About two months ago I started playing it again frequently. About one month ago I’ve started listening to it twice a day, sometimes more. (At work, I spend much of my time with headphones on.) What is it about this little Irish pipsqueak’s twenty-seven year old collection of faux R&B classics?

The Host, TNG 4

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Friday, August 31st, 2007

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Trills are introduced to the world of Trek and they just may be more trouble than they’re worth. So much isn’t explained about their world here (wait til DS9) but the overall concept is pretty cool. A dual-life form of symbiote and host – kind’ve a Dr. Who thing, but the host (I guess) is a real person first. Anyway, gay rights activists were offended by this episode and they had a right to be. Dr. Crusher is willing to go to bed with Riker (whom she thinks of like a brother) but kiss a girl? No way.

A real problem: and this happens from time to time — the LA surfer dude phenomenon. Was every casting person on vacation when they put out the call for Odan? Ridiculously bad.

Half A Life, TNG 4

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Friday, August 31st, 2007

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Lwaxanna Troi is back and she is as annoying as ever. This time she lucks into a neat episode. It is basically a mix between Sunshine (trying to restart a dying sun) and Logan’s Run (“Renew! Renew!”) Charles Emerson Winchester stars as the scientist with a date at Dr. Kervorkian’s. The ending is surprising. Well done.

The Drumhead, TNG 4

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Friday, August 31st, 2007

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Sometimes I just wanna tell Picard to STFU. He’s never survive against the Cylons with his attitude, I tell ya that much. Well… turns out he’s right. We have rushed to judgement. But pretty strange that the Warp core just happens to go kablooie while there is also a Klingon feeling info to the Romulans on board. Pretty strange. . .

BloodRayne (2006), Uwe Boll, D-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, August 31st, 2007

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I hate to jump on the “Uwe Boll is the world’s worst filmmaker” bandwagon. . .but. . .Uwe Boll is (one of) the world’s worst filmmaker(s).

My favorite was right before the closing credits, when the hero closes her eyes to “remember her journey” I suppose — and we see different takes of shots from the movie. As if there was a mandate that no footage go to waste. Anyway, if you thought the blood shot out funny in 300, you really owe it to yourself to see this. For shame Ben Kingsley. For shame.

The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007), Andrew Dominik, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, August 31st, 2007

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Before anything: Roger Deakins. Quite possibly most exciting, expressive cinematographer working today. He may be, in this film, too good. There were some scenes where I was so enraptured by the visual appeal of this movie that I forgot to listen to the dialogue. Seriously. A scene happened in the back of a general store – and the lighting, the framing, the smoke trailing up through the moustaches were so awesome I didn’t hear anything – and later I realized this was an important scene. Many shots are vignetted with old timey out-of-focus ireses that just never get tiresome.

A great movie. Basically GoodFellas out west. Many people will name check Terence Malick when they see this, but that is false. Malick’s films are in love with their environment – this film is filled with a dark, slow rage. Brad Pitt’s performance is terrific, but the real stand out is Casey Affleck. He is absolutely superb. As is the original score by (?) Nick Cave. I was also fond of the Ken Burns-esque voice over shtick. A long movie, but the extended epilogue was so fascinating I wanted more. Lord knows how the general public will react to this movie, but considering how brooding westerns are just about my favorite things on earth, I am quite taken with this film.

Body/Antibody gets its first review

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Thursday, August 30th, 2007

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 And I dare say it is a good review. Check it out for yourself.  And send Dave Jaffer a box of candy.

Gabagool!

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

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Mike Dawson and Chris Radtke’s now-defunct indie comic “Gabagool!” is the funniest shit you’ll ever read in one sitting on the subway. Vile, crude, raunchy and, more times than not, far more clever than it appears on the surface, this is now the stock response when people ask me what my favorite comic book is.

Le Temps du Loup (2003), Michael Haneke, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

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What’s up with Michael Haneke? He is one depressing dude. I gotta give this movie props because it is horrible and vile, but it isn’t disgusting on a visual level. It woulda been easy for him to just shock shock shock but, I’m guessing, that after The Piano Teacher (which, now that time has passed, I realize deserves far higher than a B+) and Funny Games he decided that off-screen might be best. A quiet, painterly movie about war, apocalypse, chaos and death. A little cold, a little slow, maybe even dull here and there, but fascinating.

Gamera: Super Monster (1980), Noriaki Yuasa, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

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How can you dislike a movie wherein a little boy (with voice dubbed by a grown woman squeaking loudly) shouts out: “You’re a bad spacewoman! You don’t even look happy when Gamera wins each time!”

An assemblage of old Gamera footage with something resembling a plot. I think it goes – a Star Wars destroyer wants to take over the Earth, so it sends a woman with a radioactive watch to Earth to act as some sort of press liason for giant monsters. But three be-spandexed women in a Masda dealership tug on their ears, jump in a cat-travel box inside their minivan and become “spacewomen.” Then a little boy sings. Oh — and then Gamera, the giant turtle, fights.

Fucking awesome.

QPid, TNG 4

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

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This episode trades in on a LOT of good will. Because it is, as the thirteen year old boy in me says, gay. Q is back and so is Picard’s booty call from Risa, Vash. Q, in an effort to do something (who can remember) puts into play an elaborate Robin Hood scenario. Oy. It gets such high marks because, dammit, I have so much invested in these characters that seeing them in such goofy fish-out-of-water scenarios is ALWAYS going to be a win. Dumbass episode.

Top 11 Blondes

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Saturday, August 25th, 2007

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Today’s fun link to UGO is a Hats Off To Blondes. What group will be next? All of ‘em, eventually. Anyway, the list is entertaining.

Michael Clayton (2007), Tony Gilroy, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, August 25th, 2007

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My date felt differently, but I enjoyed this high-pressure corporate drama. I also enjoyed K Street, so what do I know? Listen: anything with Sydney Pollack in a supporting role HAS to be good. George Clooney appears in something of an anti-Danny Ocean role. He’s a “fixer” for a powerful law firm, but turns out he’s really just a working class schnook with problems. Casting is perfect all along – Tilda Swinton as the evil exec and many fresh faces as the Irish family back in Queens. The ending, albeit fun, is a little pat – as is Tom Wilkinson’s Network-esque flip out – but that didn’t bother me too much. I liked it despite the script problems. Maybe I just like staring at Clooney. He’s dreamy. (Top job cinematography all around – opening montage and monologue is a future classic.)

Free Enterprise (1998), Robert Meyer Burnett, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, August 25th, 2007

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Accept this as praise: this doesn’t feel like a movie, it feels like hanging out with your friends. It’s one of those strange phenonmenons that I haven’t seen this before. There are so many mysteries in the Universe. Burnett has a hip web page.

22 Pieces of Flair

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

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Two pretty entertaining pieces have gone up at UGO.  The Top 11 Classy Assassins (which I did not write) and the Top 11 Uses of Classic Rock in Cinema (which I did.)

Please read both over and over again and then send to your workmates and make them do the same.  We’re all in this together.

Pathfinder (2007), Marcus Nispel, D-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

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How can a movie with so many beheadings and so many giant, horned helmets be so joyless?

I am ready to accept bad acting, accents, dialogue, mismatched actions scenes spliced together hoping no one would notice. . . .but boring? Unforgiveable. Makes you realize just how good 300 is.

Only the helmets keep this from getting the full-on F.

Red Eye (2005), Wes Craven, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

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Turns out everyone who gave this a good review when it came out wasn’t on crack. It is good, dopey fun. Fast paced, just a little bit clever, funny when it needs to be and under 90 minutes. Way to go. Rachel McAdams holds her own with an impossible role – esp. since Craven chose to shoot most of it in close-up. After this and Sunshine I guess I am officially a Cillian Murphy fan. Go know.

Body/Antibody is 3 for 3!

Jordan | E-motions,No News Is Good News,Tales Of Hoffman | Monday, August 20th, 2007

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I believe that when God invented the blog His primary reason was so that independent filmmakers could crow about their moderate success. To that end, I would like to congratulate Mr. Kerry Douglas Dye, Mr. Robert Gomes, Ms. Leslie Kendall, Mr. Raoul Germain and myself for being prized with the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

I still think awards for films are a dumb idea. . .for established filmmakers. For we insurgents still struggling to get our voices heard, they are a blessing.

For those keeping score, this is award #5 at our third fest. The biggie is in 2 weeks, though — Montreal. We’re not in competish (dastardly French!) but we’re hoping we get reviewed. If anyone knows anybody we could bribe to make that happen, please get in touch.

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