The Danny Mixon Quartet at the Zebra Room at the Lenox Lounge

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Sunday, July 31st, 2011

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Some of the most fiery and consistently engaging, fun live jazz piano I’ve ever seen performed – and I’ve seen a lot of the legends.
Mixon plays locally quite a bit, so catch his show.

Jez Jerzy (2011), Rafal Skarzycki & Tomek Lesniak, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, July 31st, 2011

jez jerzy

I hate to say anything as simplistic as Ralph Bakshi goes to Warsaw. . . but, well, imagine Ralph Bakshi gone to Warsaw.

An oversexed hedgehog gets cloned and turned into a national sex symbol, leg-humper, public-and flatulator and target of neo-Nazis.

What can I say? It speaks to me.

The Smurfs (2011), Raja Gosnell, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, July 31st, 2011

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In some circles I’m the maniac who liked The Smurfs. Whatever. Put aside your cynicism and enjoy this a-Vilanch of a plucky gay romp.
Read more about my thoughts on The Smurfs at UGO.com.

Cowboys & Aliens (2011), Jon Favreau, C

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, July 31st, 2011

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Not a disaster, but sure as hell not good.
Please read my review at UGO.com to find out the how and why.

Batman: Year One (2011), Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, July 31st, 2011

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I saw this during San Diego Comic-Con, so maybe the hysteria of the event might have gotten to me. Be that as it may, there are sequences in this, the latest DC Animated Original Movie, that work better than in Nolan’s Batman Begins.

Read my review from the Con here at UGO.com (please.)

And Jim Gordon rules.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Joe Johnston, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, July 31st, 2011

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The first half is absolutely fantastic, almost pitch-perfect. The second half wanes a tad, but there are some ripping montages in there. Surprising, from the director of Hidalgo.

Where the hell did this Hayley Atwell person come from and can she stay?

The Captains (2011), William Shatner, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, July 31st, 2011

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If you get Epix (and if you live in New York or Los Angeles, you surely don’t) you have the opportunity to watch this absurd vanity project from a man who knows no limits, William Shatner.
Please, please do me a favor and read my full review at UGO.com. It will explain just what the hell is going on here.

Topsy-Turvy (1999), Mike Leigh, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, July 17th, 2011

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This might be Mike Leigh’s most widely respected films, and while I enjoyed it, I place it nowhere near the top of his resume.

It is certainly watchable and droll (and loaded with ‘that guys’ – Lucius Vorenus! GOLLUM!) but other than showing us what fun it is to be in the theater, I found it a wee bit pointless. And shapeless.

Funny, though, and certainly worth your time, but hardly the masterpiece I was expecting. (Stick with The Last Metro for backstage drama.)

Eastbound and Down, Season 1, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, July 17th, 2011

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When my father was introducing me to the world of comedy, he said you don’t need to curse to be funny. Turn on any cable comedy jam and 75% of it will be unfunny dudes using swears as a crutch, hiding their unoriginal ideas or bland personas behind shock value.

And then out of nowhere comes Danny McBride and Kenny Powers. Profanity is the clay from which he molds his art. No one cusses (and, since he’s Southern, I’m pretty sure he cusses) quite like Danny McBride. And when he’s not cussing, he’s still hysterical. He’s one of those people who are just blessed with some strange gift – all he has to do is just stand there and he’ll be hilarious.

Luckily he doesn’t just stand there – there’s a pretty engaging “anti-Sitcom” going on in Eastbound & Down, yet another HBO show about a desperate man surrounded by assholes and creeps. I’m late to this one, but it is absolute perfection. I watched all of Season 1 in one evening, and have tremendous respect for its creators who manage to dodge cliche (both of a Sitcom and redneck manner) while still keeping the eye on the joke ball.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011), David Yates, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, July 17th, 2011

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Thank God this is all over.
Read my honest (and still mostly-positive) review over at UGO.

Green Lantern: War of the Green Lanterns

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

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So the Brightest Day was something of an anticlimax after Blackest Night, let’s be honest. It was a wise decision to take the 3 Green Lantern books and use the run-up to the “New 52″ as a quick and dirty mini-series.

The 10 issues of “War of the Green Lanterns” flowed nicely between the three and had many exciting moments. It also looked GORGEOUS. As is what is beginning to feel like standard operating procedure, the ending seemed to come out of nowhere – and while it makes a great cliffhanger, I can’t help but feel, once again, that all this cool shit flying out of these books isn’t all to well thought out in advance.

Savages (1972), James Ivory, W

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

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Merchant-Ivory meets Bunuel by way of National Lampoon (Michael O’Donoghue?) meets a bissell Warhol Factory meets a little. . . .oh Lord. . . .yes, it is a fascinating curio, but it is virtually unwatchable. I tried, oh, how I tried.

Ironclad (2011), Jonathan English, C-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

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Not even the camp of seeing Paul Giamatti as the King of England or the bloodlust of watching men get axed in half (and in half again!) can save this turkey.

Rango (2011), Gore Verbinski, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

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Loved it even more than the first time. A true piece of work. Without question one of the 5 best movies of the year.

Release (2010), Bill Morrison and Vijay Iyer, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

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It’s no joke when I call this one of the best film experiences of the summer.

A site-specific experimental film at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, this is newsreel translated from Martian.

Shown in a hot, cave-like cell adjacent to the plush Roaring Twenties-like room that once housed Al Capone, this manipulated found footage of the famous prisoner’s psyche-out release plays itself out like a Michael Snow film scored by Steve Reich.

It drove some of the tourists mad – they weren’t bored, they were angry – because the mirror image and expanding loop toyed with their expectations. Just when you think you are going to see something, the rug gets pulled out from under you and you have to start from the beginning again. Only after time do you realize that your “beginning” keeps changing, too.

I’m sure this all makes very little sense – so maybe it makes more sense to hear from the filmmakers themselves.

Horrible Bosses (2011), Seth Gordon, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

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Funny, very funny.
Read my review over at UGO.com.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), Michael Bay, C-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

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Wow, I forgot to link to this from my blog. Shows you what I think of it.
Please read my review at UGO.com. I think I have some decent things to say about it.

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