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Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night, DS9 6

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Wednesday, April 29th, 2009



Kira learns the truth about her mother and Gul Dukat during the Occupation.

Heavily referenced in the great Terok Nor book trilogy. Anything about Kira’s backstory is endlessly fascinating. Well done.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Gavin Hood, C-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, April 29th, 2009


Good lord.

Full review tomorrow on UGO.

The Brothers Bloom (2009), Rian Johnson, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, April 29th, 2009


Sometimes when a movie is so *almost* good it is worse that if it was just bad, you know?

There are so many wonderful little touches in The Brothers Bloom. But all the precious moments in the world can’t make up for an obtuse script and a central caper that is uninteresting.

Strangely, I recommend this movie to everyone. Just be ready to be somewhat disappointed.

Bottle Shock (2009), Randall Miller, D

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, April 27th, 2009


Take that, you lousy frogs! Our devil-may-care attitude, golden locks and proclivity for the sciences will shit all over your traditions.

I know a man who has spent years going through every Trek episode and comic has no business scoffing at other peoples’ hobbies but, hey, folks: it’s a fucking drink! Spike some Welch’s with vodka if you REALLY want a kick.

Bad movie.

Chris Pine was okay, I suppose.

Read Keith Uhlich’s well-written review if you want a more mature take on the whole thing.

Hobson’s Choice (1954), David Lean, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, April 26th, 2009


There are a lot of solid zings in Hobson’s Choice but some of the plot and much of the dialogue seems dated even for 1954.

One of these days I need to do a a solid run on Charles Laughton movies. I’ve never seen him be anything but absolutely fantastic on screen.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Battle Within

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Sunday, April 26th, 2009


The previous TNG collection, The Hero Factor, was an abomination of bad art, dumbass stories and lame Mary Sue characters.

The first part of this collected run fares no better (although the 10 foot Data at least looks gay enough to be entertaining), but gathers steam with that well worn Trek fiction trope, the Captain’s court martial! Turns out there is a facsimile NCC-1701-D out there and it is killing people left and right. There’s even a little bit of a twist when we learn that the bad guy is actually a morphing “creature.” Shades of Squire of Gothos when we learn he’s just “having fun,” but, hey, whaddya gonna do?

Martyrs (2009), Pascal Laugier, D

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, April 26th, 2009


Martyrs is a laughable film whose only value is that it has a bit of a stream-of-consciousness narrative. You’d never expect its tale of two frightened girls at the orphanage would lead you to a cult of old people who rip the flesh off of young girls in an effort to get them to commune with the afterlife in order to discover if they need to worry about an eternal reward. While this last act twist is, I agree, novel, it is self-defeating. If you are so worried about meeting God, why don’t you just go to confession, instead of kidnapping and brutalizing people?

Anyway, proving that not all French cinema is cigarettes, coffee and Marxism, Martyrs is vile, painful and disgusting, but even that gets boring after a while. Laugier may know how to pour on the ketchup, but his directing style seems to be, “Yell! Now yell more. More yelling! Yell again!”

If you read sites like Bloody-Disgusting, Dread Central and FearNet, Pascal Laugier is the second coming. (Of the splatter sites, ShockTilYouDrop is the lone voice of dissent.) I watched this because there is quite a buzz about how boundary-pushing the movie is, and because Laugier is remaking Hellraiser. Yes, it makes Saw look like Toy Story and the unpredictability of the script is, if you want to be generous, notable – or it could just be the dude doesn’t know how to write. Either way, if you feel the need to martyr yourself, go right ahead.

Halloween (2007), Rob Zombie, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, April 26th, 2009


I am not, nor have I ever been, a real big fan of horror films. I find that I like reading, discussing and thinking about horror movies more than I actually like watching them. Most of the time they are just flat out retarded. I’ve often felt that, by and large, the horror genre is the “special ed” of the filmmaking craft. The writers and directors who couldn’t achieve in other filmmaking styles sink to the bottom. (With a million exceptions that there’s no reason for me to list here.)

One horror film I absolutely love, though, is John Carpenter’s Halloween. Why? Because it oozes craft. Should you ever get a chance to see it in a theater, you will see that it is one of the most visceral examples of visual storytelling. It doesn’t rely (too much) of revolting gore, but gets all of its really great moments out of camera movement, framing and editing.

Surprisingly, Rob Zombie’s version has craft coming out the wazoo, too. The film is wonderfully shot and, the real shocker, some of the performances are good and many scenes are well directed. (And the masks! Awesome.) My problems with the film are more of a prudish nature.

The gore is absolutely disgusting. Carpenter’s Halloween is fun. Zombie’s is brutal and painful to watch. Furthermore, the new twist he puts on the film, giving Michael “The Boogey Man” Myers a backstory, adds and unwelcome element of moral ambiguity. One can’t help but feel the film is rooting for Michael as he so horribly bashes skulls with aluminum bats. And for this I truly question if le cinema du Zombie isn’t a bane on our society’s morals. I rarely endorse anything even slightly resembling censorship . . .but what “good” does this movie bring to the world? (Hell, it isn’t even original – it is a remake!)

As cinematic craft, it is very, very well done. The rest just gross and makes me uncomfortable.

The Killing Game Part II, VOY 4

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Sunday, April 26th, 2009


After the dumb-assedness of the first episode, the stakes just get raised to full, unbridled idiocy. This is Voyager at its worst and makes me question how I’ll ever complete The Star Trek Project.

The Killing Game, VOY 4

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Sunday, April 26th, 2009



The Hirogen have taken over Voyager and are using the Holodeck as a “Most Dangerous Game”-style killing dome. Only the crew doesn’t know it! (They think it is WWII.)

Kinda dumb.

Dragonslayer (1981), Matthew Robbins, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, April 25th, 2009


I re-watched this in 2005 and kinda shit on it. . . yet I find myself frequently thinking about this movie.

Re-rented it on Netflix and liked it much more.

I like how mirthless it is. It is very dry, very direct. Minimal dilaogue, no booming British voice over narration. Almost has a 1970s auteur feel to it. (Almost.)

Plot is standard, but maybe that is the strength. . .there is no b.s. in this story and, for 1981, the effects are fantastic. It hardly looks dated at all. Most SF/Fantasy fans are familiar with this movie, but no one champions it. I will rally for that cause.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Hero Factor

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, April 25th, 2009


Oy. An early TNG comics collection with some lousy art (Troi looks like she has Downs syndrome and Worf looks like Godzilla) and some heavy Mary Sue action going on.

Only recommended for you psychotic fellow completists.

Star Trek (2009), J.J. Abrams, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, April 25th, 2009


As of now it is an A-. I’ll be seeing it twice more before the official release. We’ll see if my tune changes.

Anyway, I shit out a lot of reviews, but I actually put some thought and care into the one I wrote for Trek.

Check it out at UGO.

Black Dynamite (2009), Scott Sanders, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, April 25th, 2009


Fiendish Dr. Wu, you done fu*ked up!

If the image of a fight-ready Michael Jai White, biceps and pectorals bursting at the very seams of his smooth skin, barking the above dialogue at an aged Asian man in robe and ridiculous facial hair doesn’t make you chuckle just a little bit, perhaps it is best you steer clear of Black Dynamite. If you revel just a tiny bit in the “blaxploitation” genre, then Black Dynamite is a sweet stew of shut-yo’-mouth that’ll keep you loaded with glee for its perfectly apt 90 minute running time.

More at UGO.

Vertigo Shots

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Saturday, April 25th, 2009


What is a Vertigo shot? Also known as a dolly zoom, this is when a camera physically moves on track inward (or outward) while a zoom lens counters this move at the same speed. This creates a distortive effect, where a subject in focus will look the same, but the background will change in size.

Read More. . .

Battle For Terra (2009), Aristomenis Tsirbas, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009


Against all odds, there are still things worth recommending about this mess of a movie. Some of the animation is fantastic, the space ships are truly cool and hats off to any kid-centric film with this much moral ambiguity. But, holy shit, the dialogue and (some of) the voice performances are flat-out awful. This movie will disappear from theaters quickly and in a two years or so hardcore sci-fi nerds will start sprouting up championing this as one that was overlooked.

Adoration (2009), Atom Egoyan, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, April 21st, 2009


This is just the sort of mental masturbation that I enjoy. Lots of people making platitudes about right and wrong.

When George Romero doesn’t understand how the Internet works in Diary of the Dead it is embarrassing. When Egoyan does the same thing, it is symbolic.

A tightly spun yarn that we discover, after much searching, is about an orphaned kid trying to learn more about his parents, also manages to be one of the angriest post-Shock and Awe movies ever made. The writing is quite sharp and the performances are solid. Things get a tiny bit cutesy and overly clever at the end, but, hey, that was the filmmaker’s choice. It changes things more to “fable,” I suppose.

I put this on par with Speaking Parts or Exotica, but not quite The Sweet Hereafter.

High Noon (1952), Fred Zinnemann, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, April 21st, 2009


If you want to, you can read acres of pages concerning the political and philosophical subtext of High Noon. Or, you can groove on the flawless visual storytelling.

The recently released Lionsgate DVD transfer is a gorgeous, polished-silver transfer. I’ve seen High Noon many times and catch something new each time. The writing is crystal, the performances are dynamite, and the whole thing is over in around 90 minutes. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

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