Month: March 2011

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

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...

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I Want To Go Home (1989), Alain Resnais

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...

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Batman Beyond: The Heart of the Matter

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...

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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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