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Star Trek: Captain’s Log

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Thursday, March 31st, 2011

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Four one-shots from esoteric captains: Sulu, Pike, Jellico and Harriman. Yes, Harriman.

Hardcore Trekkies only, please.

Sucker Punch (2011), Zack Snyder, D+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, March 31st, 2011

sucker-punch-movie-01a-550x271
Oh, heavens me. I never linked to my review of Sucker Punch. Well, here it is. Let’s move on.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Gore Verbinski, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, March 31st, 2011

pirates-of-the-caribbean-the-curse-of-the-black-pearl-johnny-depp-knightley

I saw this once – when it came out on opening weekend. I had a real poor moviegoing experience. The audience was talkative and I think I took it out on the movie. Heck, on the franchise! (I never saw either follow-up.)

My recent love affair with Rango, however, and Matt Patches’ claim that this movie is perfect brought me back to it.

You know what? It is, indeed, pretty damned fun. Perfect? No. But good characters, zippy plot, quality laughs and a few really good action scenes. Maybe all those zillions of bought tickets weren’t in vain.

The September Issue (2009), R.J. Cutler, C-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, March 31st, 2011

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Extremely forgettable.

I Want To Go Home (1989), Alain Resnais

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, March 26th, 2011

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This is one of the strangest, in-some-ways-awful, in-some-ways-awesome movies I’ve seen in a year.

Before I get into it, let’s just list the people involved. Alain Resnais, in a creative slump similar to early 80′s Altman, directs. The script (and, indeed, the entire heart of the picture) belongs to Jules Feiffer, the kinda-funny New York cartoonist with an existential (and pseudo-intellectual) streak a mile long. Feiffer’s other scripts include Carnal Knowledge, but also Altman’s Popeye (there’s the connection!) and Little Murders, directed by Alan Arkin, who also directed the histrionic film Fire Sale, which is a lot like I Want To Go Home.

Adolf Green (yes, of Comden and Green) stands in for Feiffer as a very-American cartoonist “trapped” in France, yelling and screaming about how he can’t figure out how to use the telephones over here. He knows one setting: loud! and his line readings seem to be coming from Bob Hope’s cue cards. His suffering girlfriend is played by a half-asleep Linda Lavin and he has a distant and ashamed Francophilic daughter who looks like a man in drag.

In France he meets (of course) Gerard Depardieu, who collects artists. In the mix is Geraldine Chaplin (whose job it is to make bon mots) and John Ashton (!) who plays a boorish, Cowboy film director.

It all leads up to a drunken costume party where everybody yells and breaks things. Along the way, cartoon cats appear in thought bubbles and say allegedly funny things.

This movie is a traffic accident of epic proportions (and was a commercial disaster) – and a film I must get certain friends of mine to watch immediately.

Batman Beyond: The Heart of the Matter

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Batman_Beyond_Vol_4_1

Now that Hush redux has been put away, Terry McGinnis is ready to fight some crime, yo. Sadly, a former janitor (?) at the Watchtower has been zapped by some sort of isomer and has become MATTER MASTER. What is his first order of business? Going to the mall and taking everyone hostage – and wouldn’t ya know Terry’s family is there. He must save the day, but that means standing up his date! And it also means the pesky Justice League (featuring a future, child-like Green Lantern named Kai-Ro!) get in the way and won’t leave until he and Bruce Wayne agree to join them. Problems!

It’s a zippy 3-issue arc and part of the ongoing series that I keep trying not to read (I’m doing my best to divest myself of single issue comics – they are a pain in the ass) but the art gets me every time.

48 Hrs. (1982), Walter Hill, C

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, March 26th, 2011

48-hrs-movie-image-2

The whole world loves this movie. I find it merely average. Yes, I know there are some who claim it created a whole genre, but I don’t buy it. There were plenty of action-comedies prior to 1982, just none this successful.

Eddie Murphy’s scene in the redneck bar is terrific, but the rest is loud, needlessly vulgar, inelegant, inarticulate and even kinda bleak. So fire away at me for not being overly impressed by a classic.

Kung Fu Panda (2008), Mark Osborne and John Stevenson, C+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

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I’m not overly impressed.

It looks absolutely fantastic, but the story is a snooze and the jokes aren’t all that great. The story seems even flatter than most animated films. I had to watch this in French with English subtitles because Jack Black’s voice makes me break out into hives at this point.

300 (2007), Zack Snyder, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

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Whether intentional or not, it is a fascist masterpiece. And it only gets more relevant as time moves on. Truly groundbreaking on every level. (I love the part when the dude wishes he told his son he loved him.)

Star Trek: SCE #64 (What’s Past Book Four) – Distant Early Warning by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore

Jordan | The Star Trek Project | Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Distant_Early_Warning

The purchase of my new Amazon Kindle inspired me to sink my teeth into my first official e-book.

While this and many other SCE (Starfleet Corps of Engineers) titles have been released in omnibus editions, I zeroed in on this one for two reasons. It is a prequel of sorts to the Star Trek: Vanguard series, of which I have read the first three of (currently) five, and it is named for a Rush song.

If this is any indication of what the SCE books are like, they are zippy problem-solving tales of the biggest nerds in a nerdy Universe. (It’s no surprise these characters would be the ones for early adapters of e-books.) The ship, the Lovell, is like a flying IT department and it is pretty awesome.

Anyhow, not too much of what the Vanguard is actually like carries over from this short tale, so I would hardly call it essential. I will call it fun, however, and I read 85% of it on a flight from Dallas to Austin. . . which ain’t that long.

Big Trouble in Little China (1986), John Carpenter, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

fatheadchina

Watching The FP at South By Southwest inspired me to crack open the Blu of BTiLC I’ve had.

I can’t remember the last time I saw it from beginning to end. Frankly, I don’t know if I *ever* saw it from beginning to end. I didn’t see it in the theater, but it was on HBO non-stop when I was in middle school – I know I’ve seen all the scenes multiple times.

It’s a great delight – but I hate to ruin anyone’s childhood. . .it may not add up to as great of a film as you may’ve remembered.

South By Southwest 2011

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Attack-the-Block-1-450x298

Much like with Sundance 2011 I’m not going to make individual entries to all 26 of the films I saw, but I will link to individual reviews at UGO.com.

The Great
Attack the Block
Caves of Forgotten Dreams
Bridesmaids
Viva Riva
Weekend
Sound of My Voice
The FP

The Somewhere Between Quite Good and Halfway Decent
Source Code
Paul
The Innkeepers
Super
Little Deaths
Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times
Surrogate Valentine
Bellflower
The Beaver
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
You Instead
A Bag of Hammers
Cold Sweat
Kill List
Green

The Not So Good At All
Insidious
Taken By Storm: Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis
The Divide
Wasted on the Young

Batman Begins (2005), Christopher Nolan, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, March 6th, 2011

BBFC-27

Right now I’m experiencing a wave of Chris Nolan backlash. Maybe all he is is cool editing and music? Maybe this film simply pales in comparison to The Dark Knight? All I can say is that this isn’t nearly as gripping, either visually or dramatically, as I remember. I think I simply conflate this film with Miller’s Batman: Year One.

The Prestige (2006), Christopher Nolan, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, March 6th, 2011

theprestigepic

Fascinating! A film all about having a perfect ending that has a. . .terrible ending.

There’s a lot to like about this film, but if you don’t buy the conclusion – and I don’t – it’ll just leave you angry.

I’d never seen this before. Maybe if I revisit in a few years, knowing what to expect, I’ll have a better experience.

(BTW – I was totally cool with the Bale trick ending. It was the Jackman twist I didn’t buy, because tonally it didn’t fit. It is a cop-out.)

Rango (2011), Gore Verbinski, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, March 6th, 2011

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I really enjoyed it.

Read my full review at UGO.com.

The Adjustment Bureau (2011), George Nolfi, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, March 6th, 2011

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I enjoyed it.

Read my review at UGO.com.

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