Month: February 2008

No Country For Old Men (2007), Coen Bros., A

As I suspected, No Country For Old Men is better the second time. Without getting so shaken around by the tension and shocks you can really study each scene. And you can also follow what the hell is going on. (Yes, the movie makes 100% sense, actually.) Any misgivings I had about it the first time are gone. This movie is hot shit and actually has a point other than being flashy entertainment. (My first...

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Prince Live at the Aladdin Las Vegas (2003), Sanaa Hamri, B

I’m not sure when it happened exactly but Prince has kinda morphed into an oldies act. That’s okay – ’cause I’m an old man. He’s still got plenty of edge, but he’s got some PBS funk with him, too. And he’s got an AWFUL video crew. Director Sanaa Hamri came damn near close to using star wipes on this concert video. Still – the jams is hot and Maceo Parker sounds damned good with Prince’s tight band. I could’ve done without the “Whole Lotta Love” cover, but everything else is...

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Rules of Acquisition, DS9 2

The return of the Grand Nagus Zek! We learn some horrible truths about the Ferengi in this episode. They treat their women worse than the Saudis do. We learn something else about Quark. He kinda has a progressive side. We also get some good Shakesperean comedy and a hint about something in the Gamma Quadrant called “The Dominion.” We also get a break from Sisko. That’s nice once in a...

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Attached, TNG 7

I like this episode because it doesn’t wuss out. Maybe it was the influence of the more realistic, grittier DS9, but it is good to hear that our friends on the Enterprise think about doing it once in a while. Picard and Dr. Crusher have doohickeys attached to them that eventually enable them to read one another’s thoughts. Comedy ensues. Also: something else: we so rarely see intraplanetary mishigoss. It is nice to think that there will still be a thing as nationalism on planets of the...

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Be Kind Rewind (2008), Michel Gondry, A

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more fun and original take on a very old movie trope – the underdog story. While it may be When We Were Kings that gets “sweded” in Be Kind Rewind, the movie is pure Rocky. Mos Def is the heir apparant to the last VHS-only story and the annoying Kramer character (Jack Black doing his thing) sets into motion a very unlikely scenario. Michel Gondry presents Passaic, New Jersey as Sesame Street – a mixed-race paradise of eager, underrepresented people bursting with creativity and discipline. I won’t deny that my eyes welled up during the world’s most low-budget (and fact-impoverished) Fats Waller documentary played on a hung bed sheet. Be Kind Rewind is a love letter to the hand-made. Cutting and pasting with scissors and glue, not hitting CTRL C and CTRL P. In Gondry’s world, the cream will rise. Quality will win. The people’s voice will be heard. O what irony to walk out of Be Kind Rewind to see Astoria’s first Applebee’s, still festooned with “Grand Opening” signs staring me in the face. Who wants to go down there to Swede one of their...

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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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