Month: January 2010

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), Tay Garnett, B

This “B” might be a little low considering the classic title, but this is actually one of the dopier, far-fetched film noirs. There are a million noirs I like better, that don’t have such absurd gaps in logic and common sense. Still, though, there are pleasures to be found – particularly in the two lawyer roles by Leon Ames and Hume Cronyn. One can also find a lot of inspiration for the Coens’ fantastic The Man Who Wasn’t There in this film. I have a hunch both the original novel and the 80s Rafelson version with Nicholson and a David Mamet script are worth looking...

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Green Lantern: Ganthet’s Tale

Larry Niven and John Byrne join forces for some truly insane, time-paradox, theory of relativity quoting nerd-ass shit Green Lantern fun. Ganthet appears to a strangely bummin-around-the-house Hal Jordan and takes him to Ireland to hunt for Leprechauns. Then, into the reaches of outer space to prevent something in the past that, if I’m understanding it correctly, is important to do and fail in order to insure that it happens. Or something. Like I say, it’s pretty out-there deep SF nerdass shit. Also, Jordan uses the power of redshifting light while moving at relative speed to engage the power of yellow. I’m pretty sure the math works. Not sure Alan Scott would approve,...

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Star Trek: The Modala Imperative

A TOS/TNG crossover never got the big screen justice it deserved, so that’s why books like this will always have value. A twin set of four issue stores, the first a TOS tale set just as Chekov comes aboard and takes his first away mission. The second, scripted by my old chum Peter David, brings Admiral McCoy and Ambassador Spock aboard the NCC-1701-D for an orgy of fan service. Dear God, PAD, the bukkake-like lengths of fan-wank on display in these (highly entertaining) four issues would keep anyone sticky for...

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Hausu (1977), Nobuhiko Obayashi, B+

A movie ridiculous enough for one of its lead characters to stop in the middle of anything and say, “This is ridiculous.” A cult classic has to earn that title and Hausu does this by being genuinely fun, absurd and representative of truly misguided, misplaced effort. Hausu definitely has a look, and while I’d be hard-pressed to actually explain everything I saw (why did Mr. Togo become a giant heap of bananas?) I can say I had a wonderful time watching it...

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Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn

This is not quite as slick as the recent Rebirth or First Flight Hal Jordan origin tales – and certainly not as nerdy – but it is straightforward and good. And anything Green Lantern is inherently nerdy. Join Hal as he zips through space to Oa to fight Legion and question the ethics of the Guardians. The artwork is pretty good for 1991, too. They say this this is the book Martin Campbell is cribbing from for his movie next year. We could do a lot...

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Batman: The Man Who Laughs

Ed Brubaker’s kinda-sorta follow up to Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke is a fast-paced and exciting Batman tale – but nothing truly striking. The second half of this book, a Detective Comics run called “Made of Wood” is far more entertaining, bringing Bruce Wayne alongside a somewhat out-of-time first Green Lantern Alan...

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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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