Month: June 2010

The Joker’s Asylum II: The Mad Hatter

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...

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

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...

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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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