Month: March 2009

Burn! (1969), Gillo Pontecorvo, A-

Like Peckinpah’s Major Dundee, this one is way ahead of its time. Marlon Brando is an agent provocateur sent to a fictional Caribbean island to rile up the slave population and overthrow the current Portuguese puppet regime and help put up a new, independent puppet regime that is more open to trade with the British. When the rebels go a little too far, Brando must go back (on behalf of a “sugar concern” backed by the Crown) and get shit in line. It is a fascinating performance because there’s never an instant you doubt he’ll stray from his mission, even though he knows precisely what this course of action will lead to. I have a hunch this film was a major influence in how Soderbergh mapped out Che. It’s amazing to think that so much of the cruelty that’s happened in this hemisphere derives from a desire to sweeten...

Read More

Punisher: War Zone (2008), Lexi Alexander, D

Eegads. People warned me this movie was bad, but I didn’t think it would be quite this bad. If it were ultraviolent and giddy and fun, then maybe. But it is just ultraviolent and idiotic. Exploding faces and dinnerware through trachea get shock points, sure, but neon churches just look like a Madonna video. So much talent gone to waste! Dominic West is a great actor, I know it, but his performance here is just absurd. I watched 5 minutes of the behind the scenes and saw the makeup guys and the effects guys and it all made me so sad. Thumbs way friggin...

Read More

Prey, VOY 4

Those friggin Hirogen are back. And they are mid-hunt of (quiver) Species 8472!! Now one of those buggers in on Deck 11, making everything all Aliens (and forcing Seven of Nine to get into one of those First Contact space suits meaning we can’t ogle her be-spandexed arse the whole time!) Turns out ol 8472 just wants go home, but Seven of Nine disobeys direct orders and condemns it to death back on the Hirogen ship. Aw, smack! Janeway does not like...

Read More

One Little Ship, DS9 6

Ha! Trek goes Fantastic Voyage. The Jem’Hadar take over the Defiant whilst crazy miniaturization proceedings are going on. So O’Brein, Dax and Bashir have to save the day any tiny way they can!! This episode is so fucking cool. And could also work as a decent entry for a...

Read More

Far Beyond the Stars, DS9 6

Trek salutes the Golden Age of Sci-Fi (which plenty of in-jokes to go round) in this “old timey” flashback kinda episode which doesn’t do much to move the overarching story arc forward, but acts as a nice “why we are here” type thing. Avery Brooks practically swallows whole tables and couches of scenery, but it still comes together...

Read More

Hunters, VOY 4

1/2 Remember that communications array from Message in a Bottle? Turns out the owners aren’t all that cool. They won’t even allow the crew of Voyager time to download all the letters back from the Alpha Quadrant. Jerks. Anyway, Janeway received a ‘Dear Jane’ letter, meaning she now has no excuse not to schtupp...

Read More


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.

Follow me on Twitter