Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Monday, October 27th, 2008

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No one can read Persepolis and tell me that “sequential art” (as some call comics) is not its own sui generis art form.

Persepolis is warm and touching and enlightening and everything else that everyone says about it. Yes, yes, I recommend it – it is very good. I question if it is truly great, though. Frankly, the story peters out as Marji gets older. The long stretch in Vienna is far less engaging than anything going on in Tehran. But what can you do – this is her life, that’s the whole point, and if that’s what happened, that’s what happened.

I’m on board for whatever Satrapi does next. We have the Persepolis DVD here, but I wanted to wait til I read this til I cracked that open. I’ll be checking it out soon.

Transformers (2007), Michael Bay, D

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, October 27th, 2008

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I watched this about a year ago and really disliked it then, too. But I watched it again for two reasons. One, I recently spoke with the screenwriters, Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman about their script for Star Trek and they were really cool. And I dug Eagle Eye also. The other reason, surprisingly, is that MY PARENTS liked Transformers. Yeah, I know.

But it is awful. It’s about trucks.

Investigations, VOY 2

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Monday, October 27th, 2008

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First: yes, this is the one where (then) Crown Prince Abdullah of Jordan shows up as an extra. That’s him up there. Awesome.

Second: Neelix! UGH! I can’t effing take it anymore!! Surely Neelix is more annoying than Jar-Jar Binks.

This is a good episode, with all kinds of Kazon-Nistri action and the continuation of the Seska arc….but it is frickin’ ruined by all the gosh durned Neelix!! He has a talk show?!?! Who in the hell thought this was a good idea!?!

Also: I like that Paris’ recent dickishness was just a ruse to get him to leave and have that be buyable to the on board mole, but I don’t believe that Janeway and Tuvok (and Paris) wouldn’t let Chakotay in on it. I mean, *I* wouldn’t want to tell Chakotay either (because I dislike him almost as much as Neelix) but, still, seems to me like as a Maquis he could fake being angry…..

Lifesigns, VOY 2

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Monday, October 27th, 2008

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You must never, ever allow this thought into your mind: “But that makes no sense!” Because, let’s face it, The Doctor? His whole character doesn’t fly. I don’t buy holo-technology. So can a holo-Vidiian be created out of the thoughts or a real life Phage-infected one? Sure, why not? And would a “programmed” Emergency Holographic Medical Program allow itself to adapt so much to its surroundings that its “growth” (in this case, falling in love) allow it to act at a less-than-best performance rate? BUZZZZZ! No: Asimov wouldn’t have that. Nor do I. I get that he’s saucy to allow Terrans to react to him as a real person – but I part company there.

Nevertheless, this is a sweet episode. I do enjoy The Doctor.

Shadows and Light

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Monday, October 27th, 2008

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Joni Mitchell – electric guitar, vocals
Pat Metheny – lead guitar
Jaco Pastorius – bass
Don Alias – drums
Lyle Mays – keyboards
Michael Brecker – saxophone
The Persuasions – backing vocals on “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” & “Shadows and Light”
Andy Johns – engineer

Downtown
My darling dimestore thief
In the war of independence
Rock n roll rang sweet as victory
Under neon signs
A girl was in bloom
And a woman was fading
In a suburban room
I said, take me to the dance
Do you want to dance?
I love to dance
And I told him, they dont take chances
They seem so removed from romance
Theyve been broken in churches and schools
And molded to middle class circumstance
And we were rolling, rolling, rock n rolling

Downtown
The dance halls and cafes
Feel so wild you could break somebodys heart
Just doing the latest dance craze
Gail and louise
In those push-up brassieres
Tight dresses and rhinestone rings
Drinking up the bands beers
Young love was kissing under bridges
Kissing in cars, kissing in cafes
And we were walking down main street
Kisses like bright flags hung on holidays
In france they kiss on main street
Amour, mama, not cheap display
And we were rolling, rolling, rock n rolling

Downtown
In the pinball arcade
With his head full of pool hall pitches
And songs from the hit parade
Hed be singing bye, bye, love
While hes racking up his free play
Let those rock n roll choir boys
Come and carry us away
Sometimes chickie had the car
Or ron had a car
Or lead foot melvin with his hot-wire head
Wed all go looking for a party
Looking to raise jesus up from the dead
And Id be kissing in the back seat
Thrilling to the brando-like things that he said
And wed be rolling, rolling, rock n rolling

30 Rock, Season 2, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

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I don’t know if the second season had the same oomph that the first one did, but I will say this: I’ve never seen a bad episode of 30 Rock and there’s usually one moment per episode where something so unexpected and hilarious happens that I have to rewind the DVD and play it six times. Sometimes, there’s more than one per episode.

Frankly, 30 Rock and Battlestar Galactica are the only uncancelled TV shows currently in existence I actually care about seeing more of. And The McLaughlin Group, of course.

Oh, and here’s how you know that Tina Fey is a comic genius: her commentary tracks are absolutely insufferable. A rambling, unfunny mess. We made it through about two minutes before we had to shut it off. All the best comics were either a bore in real life (or a jerk.) This is proven.

Buddy Rich vs Eddie Shaughnessy on the Johnny Carson Program

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

God, if only TV were like this today.

Taxi To The Dark Side (2007), Alex Gibney, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

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I saw this weeks ago. It’s damned depressing. A good primer, though, on all that’s wrong with power systems and probably should be seen by everyone. A very much clear-headed version of Errol Morris’ Standard Operating Procedure, which may be a better film, even though this telling is more cogent.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Peter Jackson, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

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Giant elephants with spiked tusks! Giant spiders with pointy things set on stun. Giant eagles. Awesome awesome awesome.

There’s, like, three too many battle scenes though. Who can take all these battles? And how is it that in the middle of the battle Gandalf has time to go in the Citadel and settle family scores (with bearded humans that are impossible to tell apart) and yet the battle still rages on outside?

I do respect any movie that has five distinct endings and a silent montage of giggly halflings flopping around in bed together (as Ian McKellan smiles and leers in the b.g.)

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), Peter Jackson, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

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Don’t get me wrong. I like bit battle sequences. And I like looking at Orcs and Balrogs and Wargs and what have you. I just don’t know what this movie is about. My complaints:

First of all – who are all these *new* people? I’m already 3 hours into this tale – you are gonna’ put all these new characters in my face? I can take the digital ones (yay Smeagol and double triple yay the Ents!!!) but who are all these Men?

It’s funny, but it is because of one of the Men that I dug up these films again. I wanted to see what Karl Urban (the new Dr. McCoy) was all about because he looks so awesome in the new Trek pics. Anyway, he plays some longhair on a horse who yells a lot.

There’s a giant battle in this movie, but it all feels like filler. Why aren’t we watching Frodo. Follow Frodo. He’s the story. The rest (even though Legolas and Gimli are cool) isn’t important.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (2001), Peter Jackson, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

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You may call me crazy, but this is my favorite of the three films. I feel that it has the best pacing, has the most interesting “cinematic tricks” going on, and I can tell who all the characters are. Once we go to Rohan and Gondor, sorry, I’m lost. Fellowship looks fantastic and almost every scene is an absolute delight.

Star Trek: The Kobayashi Maru

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

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A shuttle accident leaves Kirk, McCoy, Sulu, Chekov an Scotty with nothing but time. What better to do than reminisce about the last time they were faced with a no-win scenario….their Kobayashi Maru test from back at the Academy.

McCoy (who’s never heard of the durn thing – this is set between TMP and TWOK, when McCoy would later ask Spock what he “thought of his performance” during his Saavik-induced death scene) drinks these stories up. And some are good. Scotty’s and Sulu’s are anyway. Chekov’s is awful (sorry, Pavel) and Kirk’s is cool but underwhelming.

Anyway, this is good, goofy, light reading and I’ll be damned if Rozger makes me feel bad for looking at it in the morning’s on the subway. I just don’t have the mindpower to read anything else pre-coffee in the AM. It’s this or The Post, I swear.

Accession, DS9 4

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

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This episode has the potential to be really awesome, what with all the talk of Sisko being Emissary (which is interesting) but it ends with a deus ex machina that doesn’t quite sell for me. And, frankly, if the visiting dude just “goes back to his time” doesn’t that eff with the timeline a bit? Seems more like a Voyager finish to me. And the O’Brien and Bashir bromance doesn’t need further explanation. We get it.

Bar Association, DS9 4

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

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Rom and Leeta (hey! Leeta’s back!) form a Union against the unfair labor practices in Quark’s Bar. I’m always a sucker for a Ferengi story and this is a good one. B-Story of Worf deciding to move his quarters to the Defiant is fun, too.

Adam Levbarg, World Traveler

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Dig this video about my friend Adam. I swear this is the best video you’ll see about traveling with type 1 Diabetes.

W. (2008), Oliver Stone, C-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, October 16th, 2008

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A quagmire with no exit strategy.

(I actually have a lot of opinion about this movie – I plan to post a more sincere review at UGO if I can clear my busy schedule.)

Vieux Farka Toure at the Palais Montcalm

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Thursday, October 16th, 2008

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…will forever rank in the top 10 of all concerts I’ve been to.

His CD, which is awesome, doesn’t give you the slightest shred of the intensity of this guy’s live performance.

He was happy to be in Quebec and be able to speak French. Therefore, other than “Ca Va Bien?” I wasn’t able to make out what he was saying.

But I did get my photo with the man.

Honeymoon Photos

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Thursday, October 16th, 2008

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Go here for a first batch of pics.

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