Month: January 2008

Timescape, TNG 6

TNG plays to its strengths and goes for the mindfucker. This one is such a mindfucker the Romulans are good guys! Did you know that if your subspace bubble is tight enough around your body that when you slip out of phase with the time-space continuum you can get a nitrogen narcosis? It’s just like a scuba diver! Anyway, this episode is nuts but, I believe, it all actually makes sense….so long as you can conceive of multiple dimensions, super string theory and quantum singularities. It’s just like a scuba...

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Eastern Promises (2007), David Cronenberg, A

As I suspected it might be, Eastern Promises is much better the second time. Not only do you get to watch the whole thing knowing “the twist” (although Ann, hats off to her, guessed it about thirty minutes in, whereas I was full-on surprised in those last ten minutes the first go-round) but there is a lot of subtle stuff that flew right past me the first time. I’m guessing that’s because I was just so taken in by the detail of the world and the performances. But how’s this: maybe Kirill is actually gay and in love with Nikolai? There is a lot of circumstantial evidence to support this. Also: notice there are slightly distorting uses of short lenses in the close-ups of Naomi Watts, but not so much on the other characters. What’s up with that? I’m thinkin’ this movie is in the process of being robbed this awards...

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Second Chances, TNG 6

A lot of people who feel the need to “defend” sci-fi with that old song about being able to look at deep philosophical issues head-on under the safe storytelling umbrella of action could use this episode as exhibit A? To what extent is our personality derived from the sum of our experiences? What aspects of our character is innate in us, regardless of what fate has handed us? Can we still be presently in love with someone from our past? This is all heavy shit. Luckily, it can all be examined due to a kooky transporter mishap and a duplicated (and marooned) Riker back on the Enterprise and running around in a yellow...

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The Oyster Bar, Grand Central Terminal – Officially My Favorite Spot In New York

The thing that kills me about the Oyster Bar is that it is an functional anachronism. Rows of jam packed luncheon counters, a goodly percentage of the patrons not tourists, or lovesick nostalgic New Yorkers – rather EATERS. And eaters of the weird, slobbery peasant food of yesteryear. For those of you who feel overwhelmed and have never actually gone inside: don’t let the prices on the posted menu stickershock you away. Go in and order the chowder or the oyster stew or the oyster pan roast (which is basically the oyster stew over whitebread – it is fantastic.) That plus the free rolls is more than enough for lunch. Maybe get one or two oysters a la carte for kicks. Just pick ’em at random – I always do. I usually go with places I’ve actually been to. Though I’ve heard that the further north up the east coast you go the “brinier” they are. Similarly, west coast oysters are supposed to be “creamier” the further up you go. Whatever – they are just a) snotty, slimy vessels for horseradish and vinegar and b) awesome forkfulls of New York history (and the only thing it is socially acceptable to eat while it is still...

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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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