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2001: A Space Oddysey (1968), Stanley Kubrick, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

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Here you are, sir. Main level, please.

Spock’s World – Diane Duane

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Monday, December 29th, 2008

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Considered one of the richer Trek novels – this 1988 tome is, indeed, a fun place to romp around in.

The A-story is a little far-fetched: the Vulcans are voting on whether or not to leave the Federation. Certain folks are called in to testify. Kirk-Spock-Bones, of course, but also Sarek, who we get to know more in this story than in anything up until his appearances in TNG

Sprinkled between chapters are tales from the birth of Spock’s planet of Vulcan. We see it before it is dried into a desert. We see the oft-mentioned centuries of brutal conflict. We witness the birth and rise of Surak, founder of modern Vulcan thought and proponent of cthia and Kolinar.

We also see a very excited writer itching to share her insights about Usenet. Eh, who can blame her. Much of the writing is quite good (by the standards given by these books at this time) and if you were to pick up a first Trek novel you could do a lot worse than this one.

By Inferno’s Light, DS9 5

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Monday, December 29th, 2008

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Oh my Christ – the Cardassians have joined the Dominion? Gul Dukat is now ruler of Cardassia? The Klingons resign Khitomer….and bring the (sit down for this one) Romulans with them?

Begun the Dominion Wars have.

Unity, VOY 3

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Monday, December 29th, 2008

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Holy Christ, the Borg are back. And when they disconnect they become – formerly assimilated Federation folk from Wolf 359? Mind-screwer, that is.

A planet of reformed Borg now want back in to the Hive Mind before old ethnic tensions tear them apart. It’s like voting to renounce elections. Far out.

In Purgatory’s Shadow, DS9 5

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Monday, December 29th, 2008

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Omigod omigod omigod. First, Martok is still alive. Second, Tain is Garak’s father. Third, Bashir has been replaced with a Changeling. WHAT? And there’s, like, 15 other awesome things happening here. Head asplode in awesome Ron D. Moore episode with shades of the forthcoming BSG mania in embryonic form.

Blood Fever, VOY 3

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Monday, December 29th, 2008

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The Plak-Tow raises its ugly head again. A hats off to the the original Amok Time, this time a crazed Vulcan also infects a half-Klingon.

Luckily the holodeck is there for schtupping purposes.

I don’t buy, though, that “The Doctor” has a thunderbolt idea. Isn’t the release of sexual tension one of the unspoken uses of the holodeck? On DS9, Quark doesn’t even mince words about it. A bit of a disconnect here, but it is network TV…..

For The Uniform, DS9 5

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Monday, December 29th, 2008

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Sisko will catch that sunofabitch Eddington even if it means getting a little IDF on his ass. Fantastic wrap-up of the Maquis storyline.

Coda, VOY 3

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Monday, December 29th, 2008

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What at first seems like one of those time continuity loop episodes turns out to be Janeway run afoul of … death eather aliens? Or something? Either way the ghost of her Dad shows up.

The Begotten, DS9 5

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Monday, December 29th, 2008

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Kira finally pumps out the newest O’Brien as Odo and Dr. Mora try and nurse a lost, baby Changeling to health. No go on that, but at least Odo can shape shift again. Shwew!

Le Pacte Des Loupes (2001), Christophe Gans, C-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, December 26th, 2008

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The most successful fantasy epic out of Europe in the past decade and you know what? The best parts are the straight-up period costume scenes. The dawn of the age of reason and its struggles among the people and the resultant backlash in the parlors makes for good enough drama. When the wire-fu and horrid special effects start you realize (and God forgive me for saying this) just how good Michael Bay can be.

I watched the director’s cut, too, which meant the pacing is completely lopsided, a truly never-ending tale. Oh, how silly I felt when I coulda sworn we were wrapping things up and there were still 58 minutes left on the disc. What’s funny is that Ann, who was half-asleep opened her eyes, asked me what she missed and then correctly laid out all the final twists and turns before turning back in.

Paris Je T’aime (2006), Multiple Directors, C+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, December 26th, 2008

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Pleasant enough, but this should have been fantastic. Some of the episodes – like Ben Gazzara and Gena Rowlands – are pretty good. The rest not so memorable. The Coen Brothers’ 5 minutes here are more inspired than anything you’ll see in that got dang Burn After Reading. Alexander Payne’s “dumb, midwestern,” while funny, is too easy. I exect more from that dude, even in a short. The presence of fat mimes (I kid you not) makes it hard to really recommend this.

Alter Ego, VOY 3

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Friday, December 26th, 2008

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At least this episode of Voyager has the guts to say which TNG episode it cribs from.

I can’t buy into, though, the average Starfleeter’s willingness to accept a holographic person as, like, a person. Shouldn’t, like, a team of Troi’s be dispatched to everybody at their adolescence to make sure this doesn’t happen?

Oh, and it was with this episode that I realized that Garrett Wang is a shitty actor. The Internets tell me that he had a horrible flu while they were shooting this, so maybe he gets a pass.

The Spirit (2008), Frank Miller, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

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When the definitive text of whacked-out, THC-friendly, somewhat-visionary, somewhat-fringe cinema is written, there may be a chapter on eggs. On one side will be Edith Massey’s caged ovum-loving granny in John Waters’ Pink Flamingos bellowing “thank you egg-man!” and at the other end of the spectrum is Samuel L. Jackson’s mostly-immortal criminal The Octopus, an evil mastermind who reserves a special hatred for the common breakfast food going anywhere near his face.

Read the rest of my review at UGO.com.

Fair Trade, VOY 3

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

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Neelix learns that it’s always better to tell the truth. And knowing is half the battle!

The Darkness and the Light, DS9 5

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

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Base your episode on what went down during the Cardassian occupation – particularly Kira’s involvement – and you are guaranteed a great show. Knowledge of the wonderful Terok Nor series of books only helps here.

Someone is whacking surviving members of the Shakaar Cell. A very pregnant Kira must put an end to it. Another Ronald D. Moore lightning-in-a-bottle piece of perfection.

Rapture, DS9 5

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

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The Emissary has starts getting visions. Finding the Bajoran lost city of Atlantis? Good. Halting the entry of Bajor into the UFP? Bad.

Lots of mystical religious stuff in this one, but it works. I love seeing Kira around Sisko when he isn’t deflecting his role as Emissary. A none-too-subtle reference to Close Encounters in this episode.

The Wire – Season Two, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

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Season Two of The Wire kicks into high gear and, yes, is about as damned good as everyone keeps telling you it is. Frank Sobatka, pictured above, is one of the greatest fictional characters ever created.

Again, no easy answers or simple wrap-ups with this show. And no one is all good, except for Lester Freamon.

Anyway, fuckin’ Ziggy, man.

The Fountain (2006), Darren Aronofsky, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

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A movie big on themes yet crafted with brevity. One can argue as to what on screen is meant to be taken literally, but at its heart this is a meditation on the need for an acceptance of death.

Hugh Jackman is very touching in a solid performance in three different haircuts. (When he’s bald, he looks like Peter Gabriel, by the way.) Oddly enough, this tale of a man so completely in love with his wife led me to inadvertently insult mine. It’s a long story.

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