Star Trek: Romulans: Pawns of War

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Thursday, March 25th, 2010

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Yes!

All of John Byrne’s Romulan tales from the last three years (plus a new one, showing the Balance of Terror from the ROMULANS’ POINT OF VIEW!) are gathered in one awesome spot.

Essential expanded universe reading!

Three frickin cheers to IDW for sticking with this long, drawn-out tale for nearly 4 years and putting it all in one awesome place.

The Human Centipede (2010), Tom Six, C+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, March 25th, 2010

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Yeah, probably the less I write about this one the better.

I will say, though, that there are one or two moments that are undeniably well done.

The Secret of Her Eyes (2009), Juan Jose Campanella, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, March 25th, 2010

secretintheireyes

A pretty damned terrific episode of Law and Order. Forget that the mystery aspect is good, but the characters are fascinating. It is a poetic look at a procedural – much like Zodiac, in how an unsolved crime can tear someone apart. Great supporting players, too. But the real win is the shocking long take at the film’s center.

I’ll be doing an in depth piece about this sequence on UGO next week – but when this film comes out in a few weeks, it is worth the price of admission alone.

Bad Marie, Marcy Dermansky

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Thursday, March 25th, 2010

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This might sound simple, or obvious, but it is true: there’s an easy way to tell if a book is good. If you zip through it in undisturbed sessions and are done before you even realize, it is good. I’d been schlepping around a brick of a novel that I thought I was liking, but then I opened this up for kicks and next thing I knew, before I got up to pee or get a glass of water, I was on page 59.

Bad Marie, which’ll be in bookstores in mid-June, is the story of a woman of questionable ethics and responsibility. In real life, you’d hate her – but the world seen through her eyes makes her behavior strangely sympathetic. . .and appealing. There is something liberating in being with someone who is being bad – so reading this book is kinda like going out and getting drunk and doing things you aren’t supposed to do. It is probably very good for your mental hygiene to take this sort of trip once in a while.

Read this book when it comes out!! Highly recommended!!

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, March 21st, 2010

green lantern recharge

This can act as Exhibit A when I argue that Green Lantern is actually nerdier than Star Trek.

A lattice of subspace networking is leading Interstellar spiders directly to the Guardians of the Universe’s power source. Yeah, deal with it. All four Green Lanterns of Earth are ultimately called in to aid, but not before Killowog and some noobs (like alien medical hottie Soranik Natu) get in on the action. Oh, and Black Holes, too.

Unthinkable (2010), Gregor Jordan, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, March 21st, 2010

UnthinkablePoster

A political theory argument played out on the stage – kinda like 24 meets an Ethics 101 class.

While some of the staging and dialogue (“it’s all been leading up to this!!”) is a tad on the nose, anyone who likes to ponder big “what is moral?” questions will sink their teeth into this movie.

Fermat’s Room (2009), Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopena, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, March 21st, 2010

fermats-room-one

Call it “El Cube!”

Four Spanish math geniuses find themselves in a room, solving puzzles for their very life!

It’s preposterous, but, somehow, it kinda works. There’s a twist, of course, and another twist and the next thing you know the movie is over and you are looking up Goldbach’s Conjecture on Wikipedia.

Stupid, but fun.

We Live in Public (2009), Ondi Timoner, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, March 21st, 2010

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Another topic I never want to see another documentary about is the early Internet prognosticator.

This documentary, however, is very well made. It is edge-of-your-seat filmmaking, taken from hours of video of nothing but people picking the lint out of their navel.

Give it a few hours and the effect will wear off. . . and everything that’s been presented to you as shocking revelation will seem incredibly obvious.

Maybe it’s just because I was around during the 1990s dotcom shenanigans, but I feel like this movie coulda been made a hundred different ways and, with the same editing and music, would seem equally “important.”

Trumbo (2008), Peter Askin, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, March 21st, 2010

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Just like you, I am sick to death about bio docs about famous artists made under the auspices of their children. There has been a tidal wave of these films, really, and it must freaking stop.

This one, though, I can’t deny, is actually pretty good. Because the star of the film is Dalton Trumbo’s writing – his letters, especially, read in monologue form by great actors like David Strathairn and Liam Neeson and others. So there.

Buy me a beer, though, and we’ll argue if the Hollywood blacklist actually took anyone’s first amendment rights from anyone. Where is it in the constitution that states that everyone has the right to make motion pictures distributed by for-profit organizations?

Easy Rider (1969), Dennis Hopper, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, March 21st, 2010

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I don’t know that there’s ever been a more accidental classic than this. Or, more like “cultural milestone by default.”

The truth is they were just very lucky. I could have just as well been another movie that defined the generation – but it went to this one.

A lot of it, though, is good. It’s the editing, really, that does it. And Hopper’s performance. He’s good. Peter Fonda, of course, is a joke, but Nicholson’s a bit of a joke, too.

Call me a snob, but I much prefer The Last Movie, but I’m not gonna’ crap all over this. It may be projection of all our parts, but there is something special about this movie, man.

The Lord of the Rings (1978), Ralph Bakshi, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, March 21st, 2010

lord_of_the_rings

So flawed. But yet, at times, so good.

It’s just too much movie for one movie – even if it is just barely half of the LOTR story.

There are a few moments of character development, however, that I think are handled better here than in Jackson’s trilogy. The formation of the Fellowship, for example.

But the dialogue, for the most part, sounds like Bible verses. Ultimately, this is an exhausting affair, even if I dig the rotoscoping and some of the painterly backgrounds.

Ninja Assassin (2009), James McTeigue, C

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, March 21st, 2010

SCREEN_ninja_assassin_t_w480

The pre-title sequence is shockingly gory.

The rest is straightforward, even a little dull. I can’t deny I may’ve slept through a non-fight scene here and there.

Crazies

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, March 21st, 2010

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While I may have been a little carried away with my “A-” grade, I very much enjoyed Breck Eisner’s Crazies.

There is a four-issue comic that was collecting dust on my desk that I found actually did a good job of reminding me that, dammit, I liked this flick.

What’s funny is that the comic rounds out some of the story elements in the film that seemed glossed over. Which means they knew when their script was skipping over stuff (like why those guys in the pickup were killing people, or why there was a not-quite-dead guy with a sewn mouth in the hospital.) I like the fact that at some point after the final cut someone said, “we’ll stick that in a comic too explain it.”

I hope this becomes the new default instead of “we’ll put it in the DVD.”

Choke (2008), Clark Gregg, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, March 18th, 2010

choke

I’ve never seen a film worse served by inappropriate music cues. I mean – what they hell were they thinking? Take a dark, psychological, humorous cri de coeur and make it sound like American Pie 12?

Sam Rockwell does his best here – only I kinda know a guy like this guy and by association I was kinda grossed out.

I definitely enjoyed watching this film and feel I got something out of it – but I don’t really recommend it to most people, if that makes any sense.

My Darling Clementine (1946), John Ford, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, March 18th, 2010

my_darling_clementine_1946

We all love revisionist Westerns, but if it weren’t for square jaw pictures like this there’d be nothing to revise.

I went on a Wyatt Earp/Doc Holliday bender many years back (I can think of this and three other pics I saw of the top of my head) and I remember liking it a whole lot better that first time. Here it just seemed a little bit. . .ordinary.

I know, I’ve just offended everyone and lost gobs of credibility, but there it is.

Toy Story (1995), John Lasseter, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, March 18th, 2010

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Nonstop zings. A classic.

Avatar: The Last Airbender, Season 1, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, March 18th, 2010

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For a guy who just doesn’t “get” Anime, I am 100% in love with Airbender.

It is exciting, funny, visually impressive and loaded with a rich mythos. And Appa the Sky Bison is one of the greatest, most lovable characters ever. Ever!

There’s something here for everyone, indeed, this might be the most crowd-pleasing show I’ve ever seen. If M. Night doesn’t screw up the movie version, it could be the next Star Wars.

I’m watching the second season slowly because I don’t want it to end.

Rogue Planet, ENT 1

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Thursday, March 18th, 2010

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292px-Dakalan_centipede

With no Prime Directive no one’s gonna’ tell Captain Archer not to monkey with the hunting practices of a race that wants to kill sentient, shapeshifting thought-readers on a planet of endless night hurtling through space on an orbit-free course. So score one for tough-guy environmentalism.

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