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Paradise Lost, DS9 4

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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Part II of this cautionary tale – only Sisko sees this Reichstag Fire for what it is. And once he recognizes his own complicity he FIGHTS for what’s RIGHT! Or else, the terrorists (I mean shape-shifters) win. Can you believe this came out over a decade ago? The time’s they’re not a-changin’.

This episode and its predecessor beat the pants off of Revenge of the Sith.

Homefront, DS9 4

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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Shape-shifters! They’re everywhere! Check the shoes! Check the gumbo! SHAPE-SHIFTERS!

Our Man Bashir, DS9 4

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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DS9 goes Bond. I’m not going to say I didn’t enjoy this episode, ’cause I did….but it is damned asinine. Fun, but embarrassing. I kinda wished Ann didn’t witness me watching this.

Resistance, VOY 2

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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With no Starbases or established trading posts in the Delta Quadrant, Voyager must acquire its needed power supplies any way it can, even on alien black markets. A deal goes south and Torres and Tuvok find themselves political prisoners. Janeway winds up with Joel Grey – a crazy (or is he?) former resistance fighter looking for one last chance to free his wife. Does Janeway take advantage of his delusional state (he thinks she’s his lost/dead daughter) to help free her crew?

I can not tell a lie, this episode is actually rather touching. Voyager isn’t a disaster after all.

The Sword of Kahless, DS9 4

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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Koloth and Kang may have fallen but Kor lives! And now he and Worf and Dax are on their greatest adventure – searching for the Shroud of Tur– I mean, the Sword of Kahless! So long as that little snot nose from the House of Duras doesn’t foil their plans!

Now, you’d think I’d go bananas for this as I do so love Klingon episodes (as well as episodes that reward you for being a multi-series viewer, as this one does in many ways) but I can not deny that the chase aspect of this is kinda dopey and I really REALLY have problems with the ending. Kinda out of character for everyone involved. If Picard was there, he’d've figured a way to at least put the sword in a museum.

Casino Royale (2006), Martin Campbell, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

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The first 48 minutes of this are insanely good. Heavy parkour action sequences, dizzying car chases, all kinds of crazy shit. The remaining sixteen hours drag a bit.

It’s a little startling – I just discovered that the last Bond movie I’d seen in its entirety was in 1987 when I went with my mother to see The Living Daylights. I was unimpressed with Timothy Dalton and when Remington Steele was the next batch I never once bothered.

Daniel Craig is a good choice, but I admit that I miss Q and Moneypenny and Sean Connery and/or Roger Moore running around an underground bunker.

Casino Royale isn’t bad, but for replay value stick with the ’67 version with Woody in it!

Chicago 10 (2007), Brett Morgen, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, September 1st, 2008

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A pretty damned good rendering. A little basic, perhaps, but I have to accept that not everyone is familiar with the ins and outs of this story. All the major players are there and big big big props for not one not two but THREE appearances by Bob Fass. (Jeers, though, for the exclusion of Abbie Hoffman’s line to the judge: A shonda for the goyim, Julie.)

Here’s Abbie 12 years later in some footage I’ve never seen before.

(BTW – I should tell you about how I accidentally wandered into David Dellenger’s memorial service at St. John the Divine.)

Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars – The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh Vol. 2

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Monday, September 1st, 2008

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Volume 2 picks up exactly where Volume One ended and is just as good. It may even be a little better, as none of the actual warfare actually goes down in Volume One. If you want some Mantleban action, Volume Two is for you.

Shall I divulge some secrets of the Eugenics Wars? Here goes: unlike The Clone Wars, these were not massive-scale wars fought on an open battlefield. These were clandestine operations, often masquerading as world events (like any of us really understood that shit that went down in Serbia….) The Eugenics Wars were jiu-jistsu-like moves happening by a small group of powerful individuals, kept always in check by Gary Seven, his cat and Teri Garr. Indeed, Roberta Lincoln is the real star of these stories – the Salieri to Khan’s Mozart. Kinda.

Volume Two ends with the launch of the Botany Bay. Greg Cox’s next massive tome fills in the gap between Space Seed and The Wrath Of… – I can’t see myself not loving it.

(Oh – there’s a Fantasy Island joke in here that is quite choice. See? Trekkies do have a sense of humor.)

The Big Lebowski (1998), Coen Bros., A+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, September 1st, 2008

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I recently got the 10 year anniversary of this DVD, which is exactly like the first release of this DVD except it has some dumbass special features that don’t really involve the Coens and aren’t really worth your time. Have you noticed that, like, DVD extras really aren’t all that exciting any more? Once in a while I’ll listen to a commentary track, but other than that, it just feels like the extras are commercials to get the DVD you are already watching, you know? Anyway, all the Dude ever wanted was his rug back.

Vietnam: A Television History (1983), Multiple Directors, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, September 1st, 2008

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This massive 13 hour post-mortem of the then-still-quite-recent Vietnam tragedy was controversial as hell when it first came out. And I can see why – this film did indeed act as something of the accepted, official story of what the hell actually happened over there. Most of the major players, from McNamara, Dean Rusk, Westmoreland, old French Generals and surviving members of both the South and North Vietnamese governments are willing to go on the record. The most memorable stories, though, come from the foot soldiers on both side.

As a body of work, one can only be awed at this thing. (However I’ve come to admit that I’ll never truly be able to follow all the different coups and power shifts among the South Vietnamese government – indeed, that was part of the CIA’s problem right there!) Available via Netflix.

The Mindscape of Alan Moore (2008), Dez Vylenz, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, September 1st, 2008

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I went to college right before the Internet. As I was going out, it was coming in. Some freaks communicated by email, others talked to one another on Usenet, but as far as resources like a “website” for counter-culture ideas, nothing existed. We traded in zines, pamphlets, books published by a small press.

I bring this up because the low-budget interview-based documentary The Mindscape of Alan Moore, despite making its appearance on the festival circuit in 2003 and release to DVD now, reminds me of that earlier age.

The film consists of Alan Moore, the bearded man from North England with more than a passing resemblance to Ian Anderson, rambling about his perception of the world. It starts out fairly mundane – he’s not very keen on corporations – and ends with concepts of Space/Time collapsing in on itself, reducing all of human existence (which is just one soul) into vapor. Or something. Trust me, it all makes sense along the way.

Listening to Alan Moore philosophize is like a welcome trip back to the dorm – opening up doors to rooms of thought that have been cooped up too long in my straight-laced, reactionary and uptight existence. He may sound like a lunatic at times, but he’s far out.

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