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Star Trek: Alien Spotlight 2

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Sunday, December 26th, 2010


The second collection of one-shots focused on a particular species, Alien Spotlight 2 isn’t quite as flawless as the first one, but does feature some fun stuff.

The Cardassian entry is tied directly to goings-on in the “Season 8″ DS9 novels and, as such, I didn’t quite know what was going on. (Though it was nice to see my old friends Garak and Kira again.)

The Klingon entry offers some really nice insight into the life of Kang – perhaps the most famous Klingon of all after Worf. The Q and Romluan entries are fine, and the Tribbles one is kinda idiotic, but points for trying.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Space Between

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Sunday, December 26th, 2010


Any and all complaints about The Space Between must be muted. This was IDW’s first mission into Trek comics, and the overall work they’ve been doing since then (2007) has been phenomenal.

While the ongoing series of the Peter David years is fun, the small-arcs coming out of IDW have, for the most part, been great.

This collection seems, at first, unconnected. Simple stories from throughout the NCC-1701-D’s travels. Riker with no beard. Sick Bay run by Dr. Pulaski. Then, at the end, we realize there has been a connecting thread – and one that goes pretty deep into Sector 31.

Hats off to deep cuts like Quatrotriticale grain and the NX-02′s shuttle pods.

Black Widow: Kiss or Kill

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, December 26th, 2010


The only Marvel comic I read with any regularity is Black Widow, and this is for obvious reasons. Busty redhead killing Russian robots in the snow. Duh.

The “Kiss or Kill” arc is some decent 007-ish spy stuff, as Black Widow must defend a journalist/son-of-influential-dead-Senator from nefarious forces and himself. Pursuing them is Fatale who, it later is determined, is actually on their side, kinda. . .

It ends with everyone having to change clothes in a luxurious hotel. Hey, I didn’t write it!

Black Widow: The Name of the Rose

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, December 26th, 2010


The recent, um, performance (yeah, that’s it) of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in Iron Man 2 had me, naturally, interested in the character.

This tale, which I saw elsewhere aptly described as Black Widow’s version of Hush has her breaking ties with everyone to save her own skin. As such, she has to fight baddies all throughout exotic places in Europe, but always with flaming red hair and a tight black outfit.

Batman Beyond: Hush Beyond

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, December 26th, 2010


A reasonably decent 6-issue arc that revives Terry McGinnis as tomorrow’s Batman that. . . .looks EFFING AMAZING.

After a quick intro that includes a run-in with Spellbinder and a polite rejection to join the JLA, McGinnis and the aged Bruce Wayne discover, somehow, that someone is acting a lot like Hush and attacking Bats’ former foes.

All fingers point to (a similarly aged) Dick Grayson, but, wouldn’t you know it, there’s a twist.

This is all secondary to how cool everything looks, particularly Catwoman. Comics are a visual medium, first and foremost.

Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come Vol. 1-3

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Saturday, December 25th, 2010


These three trades form a quasi-sequel to the Kingdom Come story (which I have not read), but also a continuation of the post-Crisis JSA series (which I have.) What you’ve got here is some really nifty Multiverse-bending, in-depth looks into some of the cooler, less discussed characters (Starman, Damage, Liberty Belle, Citizen Steel, Mr. Terrific) and, I’ll be damned, some actual interesting theological questions.

Plus: Power Girl on Power Girl fights. Pages and pages of ‘em.

It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002), Kirk R. Thatcher, D+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, December 25th, 2010


Yow. This is horrible! It almost ruined Christmas!

Not funny, rushed, sloppy. One or two zings, tops. Garbage. A shondah.

Mulberry Street (2007), Jim Mickle, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, December 25th, 2010


Not a particularly interesting story, but it has the distinctive charm of old school low budget New York filmmaking. A nostalgic trip, perhaps, that may not mean much to people who’ve put their time in wiggling a boom through an East Village apartment, but it touched me a little.

Actually, one thing I really dug was the feeling of camaraderie one gets from Manhattan walk ups. There’s some truth in that. And I imagine a rat-borne zombie infection would only add to that.

Silverado (1985), Lawrence Kasdan, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, December 25th, 2010


Forgive me, as I know this is a classic, and there certainly is a lot to love about this movie, but I gotta be honest – about 3/4s of the way through it fizzles and runs out of gas.

Ironically, much of its charm is based on it remaining character-based, and not so plot-heavy. And while the characters, and performances, are all pretty nifty, it hits you like a ton of bricks by the end that you’ve been digging the actual scenes, but they don’t add up to anything. For such a long movie, the final showdown should have you on the edge of your seat, not checking your watch.

Still, though, some fun Western moments and God bless Scott Glenn.

No Country For Old Men (2007), Joel and Ethan Coen, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, December 23rd, 2010


Watched this one again, to compare with True Grit. In actuality, the film it is most like is Blood Simple, and not just because of Texas.

It nails the nightmarish dread of ever-increasing complication, confusion and ultimate overwhelming nature of a bad situation. A tad violent, perhaps, but I’m not alone in loving it.

The Illusionists (2010), Sylvain Chomet, C+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, December 23rd, 2010


Kinda romantic, kinda charming. . .but not enough.

Read my full review.

Gulliver’s Travels (2010), Rob Letterman, D+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, December 23rd, 2010



Read my full review.

True Grit (2010), Joel and Ethan Coen, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, December 23rd, 2010


I liked this just as much the second time. You can read my full review here.

Or, watch this dopey video.

Star Trek: Vanguard: Reap the Whirlwind

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Monday, December 20th, 2010


(Just because I’m done with the shows doesn’t mean the Star Trek Project can’t march on!)

Book 3 of the Vanguard Series and now the shit is really starting to hit the fan.

All of the enigmas of the first two books are coming to light. The Tholians and their special relationship to the Godlike Shedai. The myriad Federation characters aboard and docking at Starbase 47 are (if they’ve survived) in place now for what looks like an ultimate showdown both within and without. (And if this isn’t all leading to the Genesis Device, I don’t know what is.)

There are a lot of characters here, including one of the best drawn Vulcans ever, T’Prinn. She suffers from Val’reth – a horrible living death, due to the invasive katra of her dead betrothed that she killed during koon-ut-kalif-ee.

I’m also very fond of the drunken space pirate Cervantes Quinn, and not just for all the easter egg Rush references that surround him.

Trash Humpers (2010), Harmony Korine, D-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, December 19th, 2010



(and I’ve liked his other films.)

The Quiet Earth (1985), Geoff Murphy, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, December 19th, 2010


“I wouldn’t sleep with you if you were the last man on Earth” takes on a whole new meaning in this film.

This is a great character-driven sci-fi with cool tech, great scenes and just enough sense to provide a thoroughly realized mythos.

Fantasia 2000 (1999), Multiple Directors, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, December 19th, 2010


The introductory live action sequences have a faint whiff of modern Disney lameness, but, for the most part, this is a true sequel to the original Fantasia.

I’m on the fence if including the original Sorcerer’s Apprentice bit is a good idea. It’s fun to see it again, but with a 75 minute running time I’d like as much new material as possible.

Some of the computer animation in 2 of the sequences are showing their age, but for the most part the animation is great The Donald Duck/Noah’s Ark/Pomp and Circumstance thing is great, the associative Beethoven’s 5th is a trip, the jazzy Hirschfeld-inspired Rhapsody in Blue is rock solid and all the stops are pulled out for an epic Firebird Suite.

You can find all of this on YouTube, but don’t be a douche. See this on Blu-ray.

Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everyone Talking About Him?) (2010), John Schenfeld, C

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, December 18th, 2010


Andy Warhol said that in the future everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes. He forgot to add that every famous person would also have a feature-length doc made about them.

This is yet another one.

The music is good.

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