Month: August 2009

The Machinist (2004), Brad Anderson, B+

There is a lot to like in The Machinist – I was particularly taken with the attention to (ahem) mis-en-scene – lots to chew on and lots to keep you guessing and hooked into its somewhat ridiculous story. Christian Bale is great, as is the always wonderful Michael Ironside. Really well shot, nice Bernard Herrmann-esque score. A real humdinger of a...

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Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War Vol 1 & Vol 2

There’s nothing like a Multiverse in danger. The four Earth-based Green Lanterns (in conjunction with a pair of emoting rogue Guardians) take an amended Book of Oa and defend us all against a fascist band of fearmongerers. Sinestro, along with a giant yellow space war-city, Cyborg-Superman, Superman Prime and others face down the Green Lantern Corps (who have a giant sentient planet ready to do battle against a yellow sentient city.) But can they face down the personification of Fear in the sharp-toothed, quasi-lizardlike Parallax? The comics of the Green Lantern Corps are some NERD ASS SHIT. You need to run fast and loose with multiverses, anti-matter Universes, sectors, quadrants, sentient bacteria, crazy-ass looking aliens. . . .and some of the pages are so chock full of space-ray SF that the art is one blur of green & yellow headache. The storytelling is amateurish, but fundamentally, this is all pretty freakin’...

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Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), Quentin Tarantino, C+

Here’s a dirty secret – I never saw Kill Bill Vol. 2 before. I was so unimpressed by Vol. 1 at the time I just skipped this. But my enjoyment of Inglourious Basterds got my interest back up. My problem is this: this movie (and its predecessor) aren’t movies – they are just samples of other movies. Not a prob for something short, like Death Proof, which I enjoyed, but at four hours, it is insane. This is Tarantino at his absolute...

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Swamp Thing: Dark Genesis

Oh Swamp Thing, you are so misunderstood! This collection, featuring the original Swamp Thing 8-page story and the first 10 issues, offers a nice origin story, some good whacked-out pseudo-science action, a run-in with Batman and lots of moss-covered mucking about. Plus the Un-Men. If I were a betting man, I’d guess that Hoffman is about to do a deep dive on Swamp...

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Batman: City of Crime

I’ve read many Batman collections and this – a collection of David Lapham’s Detective Comics run from the late 1990s – is the best non-Frank Miller one I’ve put my mitts on. It’s a pretty thick tome, and while it manages to include some greats of the rogue’s gallery, it sticks pretty close to its unique vision. Gotham itself is the enemy – and its description of corruption in the very makeup of the geography is just plain awesome. Highly...

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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.

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