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

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Annex - Garfield, John (Postman Always Rings Twice, The)_07-1

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 into.

Green Lantern: Ganthet’s Tale

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, January 24th, 2010

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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, though.

Star Trek: The Modala Imperative

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Sunday, January 24th, 2010

292px-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 months.

Hausu (1977), Nobuhiko Obayashi, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, January 24th, 2010

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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 happen.

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

emeralddawn001

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 worse.

Batman: The Man Who Laughs

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

250px-Themanwholaughs

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 Scott.

Tales of the Fear Agent

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Monday, January 18th, 2010

talesofthefearagent

A mixed-bag collection of Fear Agent B-sides.

Recommended only for people who’ve read the full run (as you should!) and are itching for a little bit more.

You wanna see Heath Huston barf spider eggs, here ya go!

Allegedly, there will be a final Fear Agent arc some time this year. It’s truly a demented masterpiece of a comic.

Star Wars: Jabba The Hutt: The Art of the Deal

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Monday, January 18th, 2010

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Four extremely entertaining (and, at times, alarmingly violent) one shots about everyone’s favorite obese, interstellar thief.

There’s no shortage of gross out, as well as humor. Jabba eats his foes, slobbers when he’s nervous and even mugs to the camera once, that’s how awesome this is.

Battlestar Galactica Origins: Zarek

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Monday, January 18th, 2010

TNZarek1ReOrderCover1

I read the Baltar book and the Adama book but I inadvertently saved the best for last.

Witness his birth to struggling workers on Sagittaron, his radicalized youth, his terrorism years and lengthy prison years. Much like the show, the book in ambiguous in its portrayal. He’s sympathetic, but still a killer. Any BSG nerd should probably read this.

Battlestar Galactica Origins: Adama

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Monday, January 18th, 2010

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A surprisingly well-told tale of Adama from his early First Cylon Wars years up til his “exile” on the broken down Galactica.

See how he met Saul Tigh! See how frakked up the Bulldog incident. See how he used to know. . .Admiral Cain’s mother?

It’s fun to get a little taste of BSG again, now that it’s over. I still plan to watch the whole thing from scratch again in a few years.

Star Trek: Convergence

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear,The Star Trek Project | Monday, January 18th, 2010

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Let’s be honest – Generations just wasn’t enough K/P action.

Convergence is a fine short story that mixes an awful lot of solid fan service. You want some Captain Harriman? Some Gowron? Some Gary Freakin’ Seven? You got it.

Much like Generations, though, Kirk and Picard don’t get that much screentime, tho. Always leave ‘em wanting more, I suppose.

Top 10 Book 1

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Monday, January 18th, 2010

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Holy wow. Imagine a lighter, funnier version of Watchmen. That’s how I describe Alan Moore’s Top 10.

A parallel city where everyone is a superhero, and still needs a police force.

There are easter eggs on every page, as well as very sharply drawn characters, great dialogue and some crazy, nerd-ass-shit sci-fi concepts. The murder in the “God bar” is worthy of its own review.

I strongly recommend this to anyone looking for something thick and meaty to sink their teeth into.

Tron (1982), Steve Lisberger, A?

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, January 18th, 2010

Dumont

I’ve written about Tron a zillion times before, so I don’t know if I have the strength to give it a full go right now. But I watched it the other night when I was up late.

I recently asked Patches why we love this movie so much. His response was a good one. “It’s just really bizarre and original.” I’ll buy that.

Ice Station Zebra (1968), John Sturges, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, January 18th, 2010

ice_station_zebra

Talk about a Cold War!!!

But seriously, folks – this Channel 11 staple is one I’ve seen bits and pieces of dozens of times, but I never sat through it the whole way through without falling asleep before.

There is something incredibly relaxing about this ridiculous movie. Maybe it’s all the tele-type machines.

It’s a dumb film, but I enjoy it.

The Devil’s Candy: The Anatomy of a Hollywood Fiasco

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Saturday, January 16th, 2010

bonfire_of_the_vantities 1.preview

Anyone who has ever made a film – even a student short – needs to drop everything and read this. If for no other reason than you’ll feel better.

Author Julie Salamon found a willing participant in Brian De Palma. He allowed her unprecedented access to the mechanics of getting a movie made. Every meeting, audition, location scout, shooting day, editing, scoring, mixing, test screening and premiere. This would have been fascinating even if it was just, say, for Raising Cain or Mission to Mars. Salamon lucked out, though – the picture was the colossal once-in-a-decade flop The Bonfire of the Vanities.

If you are a fan of procedural journalism, this book reads like a thriller.

Whatever Works (2009), Woody Allen, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, January 16th, 2010

whatever-works-review-1

I was too harsh on this film. My C+ in UGO was wrong.

Come to it thinking it is a play. Then all the awkward staging is forgiven. (Also accept that Allen still thinks it is 1959 and women really behave this way.)

Allen must do what Philip Roth has done – set all his newer work in the past. Audiences will be much more forgiving to your cluelessness this way.

Still – there are yuks a’plenty in this movie. Ann liked it, too.

Breaking the Ice, ENT 1

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Saturday, January 16th, 2010

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292px-Archers_comet_Ent_TiMur

This is almost like a “second pilot” and, as such, kinda sucks.

Clearly done in an effort to let people catch up, we get to see men drill ice, eat dinner and send a letter to a 4th grade class. Zzzzzzzz.

The Andorian Incident, ENT 1

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Saturday, January 16th, 2010

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It’s fun that the Andorians are in this, but otherwise this is a something of a junky episode. And, yeah, I’m not quite digging seeing conniving Vulcans. I know it is a prequel and, therefore, the Vulcans *I* know have grown a hundred years. . . .but still. Vulcans don’t behave that way!

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