Month: January 2011

Northlanders: The Girl in The Ice (#35 – #36)

One of my favorite things about reading Nortlanders, Brian Wood’s comics tales of the Viking Era, is that between the 8-issue arcs comes a quick 2-issue arc or a one-shot. This newest one can be summed up in about a sentence: hermit discovers body in ice, gets blamed for murder. It’s a dark tale, with drawings that are truly evocative. In a very simple, minimalist way, these microscopic works of art offer up a “You Are There” experience you’re not likely to find anywhere...

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Star Trek: Khan: Ruling in Exile

What happened after Khan, the survivors of the Botany Bay and Marla McGivers beamed down to Ceti Alpha V, but before Captain Terrell and Pavel Chekov ran afoul of the group on (what they thought was) Ceti Alpha VI? It’s a question we’ve long been asking. So much so that, a few years back, there was a novel written: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh. But expanded universes know no canon! This 4-issue comic is similar to the novel in some of the major beats, but not all. It’s a fun read for Khan fans, and also features some pretty cool art. (Marla McGivers in a flesh-colored catsuit that teeters on the edge of pornographic, for example.) This is also a good arc for folks who are only Trek fans on a surface level. Pretty much everyone knows Space Seed and TWOK,...

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Carlos (2010), Olivier Assayas, B+

With Soderbergh’s Che, Koji Wakamatsu’s United Red Army, Uli Edel’s Baader-Meinhof Complex and, heck, Spielberg’s Munich all coming out in the last 5 years, it is fair to say that, yes, armed leftist revolutionaries are quite cinematic. I’ve been a fan of this odd subgenre for quite some time (read this piece from way back in February of 1999) but only now is the rest of the world caught up with me. Assayas, a difficult filmmaker, knows how to pour on the ambience, and there are sequences in this five-and-a-half-hour mini-series that really hit it out of the park. The soundtrack of early 80s post-punk (Wire, New Order, The Feelies) is an inspired choice. The film as a whole does a fascinating job of fleshing out a lengthy wikipedia entry but, as a whole, it doesn’t quite fit together as drama. There are 101 great moments, but I can’t say that I really connected to the characters in an emotional way. The flick does get you thinking, though. Here’s a concept: we can blame the rise of fundamentalist Islam (and the terrorism that comes with it) on the end of the Cold War. I’m being very serious. The power & money in the Arab world was primarily in the hands of militant Marxist-Leninists during this time. No friend to the West, for sure, but also not the type of...

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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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