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Outrage (2009), Kirby Dick, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, May 31st, 2010

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What starts out as just a piece of (interesting) muckraking journalism slowly turns into a truly fascinating psychological inquiry: why are all the closeted homosexuals in congress actively doing all they can to squash the rights of gay Americans?

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010), Mike Newell, C+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, May 31st, 2010

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I can’t say I loved this movie.

You can read my review at UGO.

Wolf (1994), Mike Nichols, C+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, May 31st, 2010

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This movie is pretty damned good until the whole “wolfman” thing starts up.

Jack Nicholson as a sad, cuckolded, aging publicist fighting off Christopher Plummer and corporate takeover, though, is quite droll. I wish Nichols stuck with that.

Of note: every single bit player later went on to greatness. It is quite uncanny.

The Paleface (1948), Norman Z. MacLeod, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, May 31st, 2010

bob_hope1

Of all the comics Woody Allen stole from, he stole from no one more than Bob Hope. If you’ve never seen Bob Hope in action, you really owe it to yourself.

I watched this (well, most of it) with my Dad late at night a week ago and we laughed a lot then fell asleep in front of the TV.

Green Lantern: Legacy – The Last Will & Testament of Hal Jordan

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Monday, May 31st, 2010

green-lantern-legacy

This post is here for the explicit purpose of proving that I don’t just automatically like any comic/graphic novel that has the Green Lantern imprimatur.

“Legacy – the Last Will & Testament of Hal Jordan” is awful. It is meant to have some post-9/11 heft, but instead it gives credence to the (usually) ill-informed belief that if comic book writers could write real stories they wouldn’t write comic books.

Ion: The Dying Flame

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Monday, May 31st, 2010

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Call it a spin-off comic if you want, but Kyle Rayner’s adventures as “Ion” prior to the Sinestro Corps War are very engrossing, filled with color, loaded with SF imagery dripping off the page and (forgive me for saying so) a little touching.

Worth checking out for any GL fan.

Ion: The Torchbearer

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Monday, May 31st, 2010

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Graphic designer and Nine Inch Nails fan Kyle Rayner can’t get ten minutes alone at the artist colony what with a) his mother being sick and b) The Guardians having a “special assignment for him.”

Pale Rider (1985), Clint Eastwood, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, May 16th, 2010

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A straight-up Western with no bullshit. Solid as a gold nugget.

Dogora (2005), Patrice Leconte, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, May 16th, 2010

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A reasonable entry into the subgenre of non-narrative films devoted to image/montage/music that has its historic roots in Man With A Movie Camera and reached its apex with Koyaanisqatsi. Considering the specificity of this one’s location, one could call it I Am Cambodia.

The big plus here is the music. It is marvelous. The shot composition and colors and cutting are great, but it is shot on video and, well, I’m a pain in the ass when it comes to that. Also – less of a story impact than the others, if that makes sense. Still, though, worth checking out.

Bill Frisell 858 Quartet at the Village Vanguard

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, May 16th, 2010

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I saw Frisell with his cello, viola, violin backup at the Vanguard last week.

Like every time I’ve seen Frisell (this is at least the 4th) there were people who couldn’t wait to leave.

What was particularly amusing this time was that each song kinda flowed into one another, so the first opportunity to get up & go without being seen as incredibly rude wasn’t until around 45 minutes in. (Many did leave.)

I guess people buy tickets to shows without knowing what a guy sounds like. Because if you listen to and like Frisell, you would have liked this show (even if it was more “classical” than “jazz,” whatever those terms mean in this context.)

Anyway, at the end of the set I headed to the men’s room which, if you’ve been to the Vanguard, you know is kinda attached to the green room. You’ll be happy to know Frisell and company absolutely reeked of weed.

Superman Returns (2006), Bryan Singer, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, May 16th, 2010

superman_returns_poster

At the request of Matthew Patches, I watched this again. When you go into it knowing what to expect (I’ve only seen it once – 3 years ago) it makes a big difference.

Okay, it isn’t as bad as I said the first time, and if you remove it from its Bush years context there is no reason to rage against it (as Dr. Jurgen Fauth does so eloquently here.)

What you are left with is a movie that starts out really fun, maintains a level of good-enough, then really gets dull at the end. Really, once Lois Lane gets on that boat, it is all over – and there’s about 50 minutes of screentime left.

The ending is truly a problem. There’s just acres and acres of film with *no stakes*. Best is when Superman gets sick . . . .and then he GETS BETTER!!!! Shockingly bad screenwriting.

But, still, hardly a catastrophe – and Brandon Routh is kinda good.

The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966), Don Sharp, C-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Bridesoffumanchu

The Z-grade junk that fed the James Bond echo chamber is far less fun to watch in full than it is to see in clips.

Chamber of Horrors (1966), Hy Averback, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, May 16th, 2010

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A facile procedural where the investigators are a British expert in the macabre, his Spaniard-dwarf wax artisan and smiley narrator/logician chum.

This movie gets some good goofy points for having a “fright” alarm warning you when to look away and casting Trapper John from M*A*S*H as the gilded age Baltimore beat cop.

The Island (2005), Michael Bay, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, May 16th, 2010

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I’m still not sure why this movie is so reviled. There are some poor directing choices throughout (like the music, and some of the editing) but the action is great, the look is dynamite and the SF elements, while perhaps derivative, are well-sold. Maybe it was too dark for most people? I dunno. I kinda like it.

Green Lantern: Passing the Torch

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, May 16th, 2010

green-lantern-passing-the-torch

The title of this collection sounds like something epic, but, in actuality, this is just a few random GL adventures.

John Stewart is on Earth, solving crime (cameo: Alan Scott = Win!) and Kyle Rayner, post-Ion, is zipping around Oa and environs with his new Green squeeze Jade.

Best bits include a fairly standard Star Trek-y plot about the environment fighting back against settlers. . . and that environment turns out to be an amnesiac Mogo!!

(Question about Mogo. How can he travel? If he breaks his orbit, he’ll fuck up the orbit of other planets, creating a domino effect, no? Has this ever been addressed? I may have to hit some GL message boards with this one. . . )

Green Lantern: Emerald Twilight & A New Dawn

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, May 16th, 2010

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A lot of the Green Lantern mythos can be confusing (dear Lord, just imagine a time before wikis!)

This fairly recent collection of two previous independent collections (woah – confused already!) explains the “end” of Hal Jordan’s time and the origin of Kyle Rayner’s stint as the protector of Sector 2814.

Jordan’s rage-infused attack on Oa after the destruction of Coast City is, frankly, more exciting as told in flashbacks in forthcoming books than it is here (except for when he fights Kiliwog.) The Rayner stuff, however, is pretty cool. Did you know he was wearing a Nine Inch Nails T-Shirt when Ganthet be-quested him his Power Ring? (Yes, you now know one of the awesomest, geekiest bit of bar trivia in the Galaxy.)

Robin Hood (2010), Ridley Scott, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, May 16th, 2010

robin-hood-russell-crowe

Lots of people are up in arms over Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood because it isn’t what they expect a “Robin Hood movie should be.” That is a preposterous argument.

There are decent moments in this movie, but it isn’t anything worth racing out to see. If you happen to catch it, though, it isn’t the end of the world.

You can read my mixed, insightful and entertaining review on UGO.

Raging Bull (1980), Martin Scorsese, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, May 16th, 2010

raging-bull

I love this movie. It is so beautifully shot and edited and the performances are miraculous. (Cathy Moriarty is he silent scene stealer here.)

And while it lures you into a sense of pure, blissful cinema, I’m not afraid to say . . .I don’t quite understand the point of this film. Is it just, “here’s some stuff about a guy who’s a jerk and a sado-maschist?” Because it seems like so much more, but that’s all I’m really getting. Still, “big shots” over and over as Vicky kicks her heels in the pool in semi-slo-motion. Can’t beat that.

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