Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009), Paul Weitz, D+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, June 27th, 2010

cirquedufreak
It’s as if it goes out of its way to be bad. Alarming.

The Joker’s Asylum II: The Mad Hatter

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, June 27th, 2010

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I do not make a habit of reviewing single issue comics. This is for a number of reasons – mostly because it takes about five minutes to read most single issues, and reporting on something so (let’s face it) insubstantial as that for this blog would start a precedent I don’t think I could handle.

Still, though, a special shout out must be given to this one-shot that came out two weeks ago. It is one of five in the second round of stories told from the Joker’s POV about some of Gotham’s most notorious villains. Other recent entires have been on Killer Croc and Harley Quinn (both pretty good) and the Riddler (which stank.)

The one of the Mad Hatter, however, is the type of comic you can hold up as Exhibit A if you ever get in a bar fight with some snob who wants to argue that comics aren’t a true, intelligent art forum.

It is strangely and beautifully drawn, truly surreal and absolutely creepy. It’s just about The Mad Hatter being obsessive and murderous and is very light on plot, but it is quite shocking in its delivery. I strongly recommend checking it out even if you don’t know jack about Batman or what’s going on in the DC Universe. It may’ve been conceived as just filler material for the shelves, but it is five minutes worth of brilliance.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Steven Spielberg, A+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, June 27th, 2010

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When you’ve see a movie enough times – especially a great movie – you start to really peel away the onion and get to the bottom of why the movie works so well.

CE3K is, I feel, the finest film about the compulsive nature of faith. And since its sci-fi nature has an inherent secular quality to it, it is a useful tool, I think, to help atheists understand why believers will always be impervious to logic.

And the lights are really pretty.

Lebanon (2010), Samuel Moaz, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, June 27th, 2010

LEBANON

One of the best, unrepentant anti-war films since, well, All Quiet on the Western Front. Somewhat devastating. I’ll write more about it (and you’ll hear more about it) as it gets close to its release.

Knight and Day (2010), James Mangold, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, June 27th, 2010

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Even thought no one saw this, I enjoyed it. Quite a bit, in fact. You should read my Knight and Day review at UGO for more info.

Last Man Standing (1996), Walter Hill, D+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, June 20th, 2010

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Tremendously disappointing. I knew there was a reason I never saw this. There are a dozen serious problems with this movie, starting with Bruce Willis being woefully miscast.

Good one to watch on mute, tho.

Top 10 Season Two

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, June 20th, 2010

top102

So here is further evidence that when I get into something, I really get into something.

Not collected in any paperback are four issues of a halted “Season Two” of Top 10 and one Special Issue.

It’s definitely the least interesting Top 10 out there. Even the non-Alan Moore “Beyond the Farthest Precinct” collection has the signature frakked-up sci fi element. This plays it much more like a straight police procedural.

The good news is that there is less fancy stuff to get between you and the characters you now love – so it is fun. (As is a B-story about a hero who is caught “crossover dressing” by his wife and takes a weekend retreat with the Premise Keepers to find his origin story. Comics fans will never stop slapping their knees at that shit.)

This is for the few diehards out there. Worth reading if you qualify, but not for the general audience.

Jonah Hex (2010), Jimmy Hayward, D-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, June 20th, 2010

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Jonah Mess.
Dear Lord, what a piece of shit. Read my review at UGO.com.

Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, June 20th, 2010

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I adore Alan Moore’s Top 10, its prequels and sidequels, so how could I not read an authorized sequel, even if Moore himself didn’t write it?

Beyond the Farthest Precinct, set five years after we’ve last looked in on Neopolis is. . . .good. It’s good. It doesn’t sing with the unmistakable Alan Moore brilliance, but it is good.

Certainly the love for references and visual Easter eggs continues. There are just as many here as in classic Top 10. The characters don’t really ring quite as true, though. You can definitely tell something is missing. Still, though, a fun time, and worth checking out if you are already a fan.

Toy Story 3 (2010), Lee Unkrich, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, June 20th, 2010

lotso504

Yeah, I fell for it. It’s that good. Or maybe I just like Lots-o-Huggin’ Bear.

Read my review at UGO and also check out my much-discussed “radical interpretations of Toy Story 3” piece.

La Jetee (1962), Chris Marker, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

lajette1

Far be it from me to review a short film (ew) but since this is one of the few ones everyone’s seen I thought it was okay.

Haven’t watched this for years and it has only gotten better with time.

Ostensibly a science-fiction film, but with such surface ties to that world. It is a really beautiful exploration of memory, desire, fate. . .all those very European Art House ideas of this specific time. Also: do you recall that there’s actually one moment that is a moving image, not a still?!

So glad I own this on DVD – plan to rewatch Sans Soliel again real soon, too.

The Expanse, ENT 2

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

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Season 2 ends with its 9/11 parallel and mission statement for the future. Exploration is out, search and destroy (and defend) is in.

This episode is very plot heavy and keeps a brisk pace. The performances are pretty solid. Gets ya ready for Season 3.

Bounty, ENT 2

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

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Tellarites! Yes! And they are being jerks! (Plus added fan service with the return of Duras) And Archer being cunning in his escape.

But never mind all that – a parasite sets T’Pol into Pon Faar. As if the show didn’t hypersexualize her enough – here she is, covered in sweat in her undergarments, literally begging Phlox for some Denobulan love. It’s a little ridiculous. But who can deny it isn’t entertaining? (You also get to see Jolene Blalock yell and shout and cry and do some very sharp physical comedy. Who knew she could act?)

Wins all around.

First Flight, ENT 2

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

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Prequel to a prequel, eh?

Enterprise gets all The Right Stuff on us. Mostly good, though not since the glory days of TOS do we really get a sense that this show can sometimes be low-budget. (This is a polite way of me saying the local bar set looks like something from a community college TV station.)

Regeneration, ENT 2

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

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The Borg are back in town!

You’d think I’d like this, but the fact that Archer & co. running into the Borg (and learning that Zefram Cochrane spoke about them) and Picard Starfleet not having a clue about ‘em til Q just irked me. (Yeah, I know, they never said their names, but still. . . )

Cogenitor, ENT 2

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

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Enterprise’s first episode to take a page out of DS9′s book and zig when you think it will zag and end on a darker than dark matter note.

A multi-gendered species keeps a small percentage of their population as indentured servants. Is it right? Trip Tucker says Heck No, but who asked him?

The Breach, ENT 2

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

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Trip leads a group to go exploring caves – while Phlox has to explore his own heart!!

No, not really . . .just another episode about prejudice.

Horizon, ENT 2

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

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Life aboard a cargo ship. A Mayweather episode. Fumf. All this did was remind me how awesome of a book Chasm City was.

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