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50/50 (2011), Jonathan Levine, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, September 29th, 2011


Chuckles n’ chemo.
A terrific movie. Here’s my review on

Fantastic Fest 2011

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, September 28th, 2011


As with other festivals I went to this year (see Sundance 2011 and South By Southwest 2011) I’m not going to have a post for each film. But here’s a thumbnail of what I saw.

Sennentutchi, Michael Steiner, B-
Invasion of Alien Bikini, Young-Do Ho, B
Extraterrestrial, Nacho Vigalondo, B
Manborg, Steven Kostanki, B+
Summerland, Grimur Hakonarson, B
A Lonely Place To Die, Julian Gibley, B+
Aardvark, Kitau Sakurai, B
Karate Robo Zaborgar, Noburo Iguchi, B
Knuckle, Ian Palmer, A-
You’re Next, Adam Wingard, A
Bullhead, Michael Roskum, A-
Milocrorze: A Love Story, Yoshimasa Ishibashi, A
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, Jose Padilha, C+
Underwater Love, Shinki Imakoma, A-
The Squad, James Osorio Marquez, C-
Clown, Mikkel Norgaard, A-

Moneyball (2011), Bennett Miller, C

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, September 28th, 2011


Oh, God, what a bore.
My review.

Melancholia (2011), Lars von Trier, ?

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, September 28th, 2011


I’m such a wimp – I can’t take a position on Melancholia. I both hate it and love it. I’m still thinking about it. Normally that’s a sign that “well, something’s there, so it must be partially good.” But in this case, part of the thing that I’m still thinking about is that I can’t tell if it is bullshit or not. I usually like Lars’ stuff, but he’s been slipping of late, and I . . .I just don’t know what I think about this one.

More to come.

The Works of John Leguizamo (1993-2002), Various, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, September 28th, 2011


This boxed set starts out more like theater – with costumes and pregnant pauses – and ends like standup. The gold, though, are the voices. JL is a master of creating a whole character from just a few utterances of a funny voice.

Drive (2011), Nicolas Winding Refn, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, September 28th, 2011


I never linked to my review of Drive. Well, now that you’ve already seen it, here’s my take.

RKO 281 (1999), Benjamin Ross, B

Jordan | Uncategorized | Sunday, September 11th, 2011


I’ll call this movie more interesting that good. I give it tremendous props for getting very “granular” about the innovations that happened on Citizen Kane’s set. This was made just when HBO was about to make the leap from cable TV to cultural leader – it’s a little bit better than a made-for-cable movie, but still, you can tell, it’s just a little shy from being a *real* movie. Schrieber, as always, is great.

Contagion (2011), Steven Soderbergh, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, September 11th, 2011


A disaster picture shot through the Soderbergh lens. A massive achievement – and so, so good.
Please read my full review at

Warrior (2011), Gavin O’Connor, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, September 11th, 2011


Best book-on-tape related drunken freakout on film, ever.
Please read my review at

Astoria Transfer 9/10

Jordan | Astoria Transfer | Sunday, September 11th, 2011


Rolling Stones – Goats Head Soup
Pink Floyd -Delicate Sound of Thunder 2 disc set
The Clash – London Calling
Carole King – Tapesty
Mark Haney – Aim For The Roses – The Ken Carter Story (I don’t know what this is)
The Kinks – Kink Kronikles 2 disc set
The Louvin Brothers – Satan is Real
Rolling Stones – December’s Children (and Everbody’s)
Depeche Mode – Violater
David Bowie – Changesbowie
Beck – Sea Change
Art Farmer and Benny Golson – Meet the Jazztet
Bang on a Can – Terry Riley in C
Mark Knopfler – Golden Heart
The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
kd lang – Invincible Summer
Bill Frisell – Richter 8585
Stevie Wonder – Innervisions
Daniel Lanois – Here Is What Is
Stevie Wonder – Talking Book
Jeff Wayne – The War of the Worlds 2 disc set
Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Ragged Glory (yes! yes! yes!)
Northern Lights & Vassar Clements – Three Live August Nights
Igor Stravinsky – Petrouchka & le Sacre du Printemps
The Marshall Tucker Band – Greatest Hits
Bill Evans & Jim Hall – Undercurrent
The Replacements – Pleased to Meet Me
Beck – Odelay
Vieux Farka Toure
Lehaka Tsliley Haud
Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Beatles – Revolver
Beatles – Past Masters Volume One
Beatles – Abbey Road
Sly and the Family Stone – Anthology
Kathy McCarty – Sorry Entertainer
Meat Puppets II
Mecca Bodega – Rhythm Rail
Eno/Cale – Wrong Way Up
Phish – Hampton Comes Alive – Disc 4
Sam & Dave – The Very Best of Sam & Dave
Dixie Dregs – The Best of Dixie Dregs
Rush – Chronicles 2 disc set
Pat Metheny – Trio 99 —>00 (masterpiece)
Willie Nelson – Teatro
Trilok Gurtu – Kathak
Grateful Dead – Without a Net 2 disc set
Lambchop – Nixon
Bob Dylan – Street Legal
Jean-Michel Pilc Trio – Welcome Home
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
The Minus 5 – Let The War Against Music Begin
The Band – Northern Lights – Southern Cross
Bauhaus – 1979-1983
Daniel Brodsky – All Quiet in Gallatin
R.E.M. – Monster
Me, Myself & Irene – Soundtrack

Astoria Transfer – 9/9/2011

Jordan | Astoria Transfer | Friday, September 9th, 2011


I’d say we’re about halfway – maybe more than halfway – through the “recent pulls” pile before we can get into the bulk of the collection, which is alphabetized. Onward!

Bud Powell – Live at the Blue Note Cafe, Paris 1961
Bud Powell – The Amazing Bud Powell – Time Waits
Stephen Burns – Teleman for Trumpet
John Zorn – Zevulun
Richard Thompson – Dream Attic
Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – Painted From Memory
Robert Cray – Shame + A Sin
Randy Newman – Harps and Angels
Bud Powell – Piano Interpretations + Blues in the Closet
Bud Powell – The Amazing Bud Powell Volume 1
John McLaughlin – The Heart of Things, Live in Paris
Bud Powell – The Amazing Bud Powell Volume 3 – Bud!
Bill Frisell – The Intercontinentals
Ozone Quartet – Nocturne
Lounge Lizards – Live in Berlin 1991, Volume 2
The Schramms – Dizzy Spell
Maynard Freguson –
Bill Frisell – The Willies
Ornette Coleman – The Complete Science Fiction Sessions 2 dic set
Dmitri Shostakovich – Cello Concerto No 1 – Han-na Chang
Pat Metheny Group – The Way Up
Neil Young – Fork in the Road
Spoon – Telephono
Frank Zappa – 200 Motels – Disc 1
ProjeKCt Two – Space Groove
Bud Powell – Bud Plays Bird
Hole – Celebrity Skin
Laura Nyro and Labelle – Gonna Take A Miracle
On – Shifting Skin
Lounge Lizards – Live in Berlin 1991, Volume 1
Neil Young – Living With War
Analog Africa No. 3 – African Scream Contest
Bud Powell – The Amazing Bud Powell – The Scene Changes
Return to Forever – The Anthology 2 disc set
Daniel Lanois – Shine
Adrian Belew – Desire of the Rhino King
Vangelis – The Bounty 2 disc set
Bud Powell – The Amazing Bud Powell Volume 2
Saint-Saens – Symphony No 2
A Date With John Waters
ELO’s Greatest Hits
Pat Metheny – One Quiet Night
Oum Koulthoum – Inta Omri
Bombay Dub Orchestra – 3 Cities
Bill Frisell with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones
Kansas – Vinyl Confessions
The Dark Knight – Original Motion Picture Score
Ben Folds – Way To Normal
Bill Evans – Empathy + A Simple Matter of Conviction
Downy Mildew – Slow Sky
Merle Haggard – I Am What I Am
The Jazz Mandolin Project – Tour de Flux
Mark Knopfler – Get Lucky
Aris San – Boumpam
The Loveliest Opera Melodies of Mozart, Puccini & Verdi
Inerpol – Our Love To Admire

Brian Greene – The Elegant Universe

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Monday, September 5th, 2011


For months I slowly chipped away at this book. I read 100% of it. I understood (and I’ll be generous with myself) 40% of it. And I’m smart! I can only imagine if the common man were to pick this up. And yet this book was WRITTEN for the common man!! I think it is time to quote Homer Simpson and say “there’s so much I *don’t* know about astrophysics!!”

Jokes aside, hats off to Greene for taking impossible-to-understand concepts and getting them across 40% of the way. It starts with Einstein and relativity, then quantum mechanics, then presents the eternal paradox between the two. Obviously the solution is vibrating, amorphous string existing in eleven dimensions (and potentially “out of time.”) Sure.

It was an interesting reading experience. Each chapter starts off like a fresh leaf, eases in with some common sense, then eventually goes batshit off the rails trying to get you to visualize a fourth physical dimension. (To which I say “Calabi-Yau? Calabi wow!”)

I came away from this book knowing this: if Superstring theorists really do discover the Theory of Everything, it won’t mean a damn thing to anyone because no one will be able to understand the principles that got them there. Still, I like the idea (put forward by some respected scientists) that black holes are actually Big Bangs leading to other Universes. And that *that* Universe is basically the “child” with *some* of the characteristics of its parent universe – e.g. this one. That’s some pure Star Trek shit right there.

Firefox (1982), Clint Eastwood, C

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, September 5th, 2011


Surprisingly, I’ve never seen this, despite being somewhat aware of it for most of my life. It is quite poor, however there is a detached cool to the earlier, Cold War spy sequences that has a slight Day of the Jackal quality to them. In time it becomes clear that this movie is just poorly patched-together garbage that has the logic of a half-remembered dream.

Astoria Transfer – 9/5/11

Jordan | Astoria Transfer | Monday, September 5th, 2011


The CDs I transfered to digital files today:

Wes Montgomery – So Much Guitar
Bill Frisell – Beautiful Dreamer
Whip It – Music From The Original Soundtrack
Moondog – More Moondog
Moondog (1969 collection)
Moondog & the London Saxophonic – Sax Pax For A Sax (yes!!!)
Brad Mehldau Trio – House on Hill
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Catch a Fire
Bob Dylan – Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol 8 – Rare and Unreleased 1989 -2006 2 discs
David Ford – Let The Hard Times Roll (I have no idea who or what this is.)
Joni Mitchell – Blue
Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Live at the Fillmore East March 6 & 7 1970 (I totally forgot I owned this)
Django Reinhardt – The Art of the Jazz Guitar
Kansas – Audio-Visions
Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Bright Moments 2 disc set
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Natty Dread
Randy Newman – Sail Away
Watchmen – Original Motion Picture Score (Tyler Bates)
Bill Evans – Further Conversations With Myself
Erroll Garner – Concert by the Sea
Bill Frisell – Music for the films of Buster Keaton
Saint-Saens – The Complete Etudes
Oscar Peterson – Exclusively For My Friends 4 disc set
WA Mozart – Divermenti – 5 disc set
Gotan Project – Lunatico
Chet Baker – My Funny Valentine – 10 Disc Set
Terminator Salvation Original Soundtrack – Danny Elfman
Daniel Lanois – Acadie
Daniel Lanois – For The Beauty of Wynona
Al Di Meola – Kiss My Axe
Laura Nyro – Eli & the 13th Confession
Laura Nyro – New York Tendaberry
Jazz Passengers – In Love (wow, this one does NOT hold up!)
ProjeKCt Two – Space Vector
Chet Atkins & Mark Knopfler – Neck and Neck (masterpiece!!)
Elvis Costello and the Attractions – Get Happy!!! (another masterpiece!!!)
The Bill Evans Trio – At the Village Vanguard (and another masterpiece!)
Lee Morgan – Charisma
Steely Dan – Two Aganst Nature
Edgar Meyer – Bach Unaccompanied – Cello Suites
Suresh Wadkar – Morning Chants – Shri Ganesha
Sarah Vaughan – Finest Hour
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers at Birdland – Ugetsu
New Order – Get Ready
Bud Powell – Jazz Giant
Ray Charles/The Count Basie Orchestra – Ray Sings Basie Swings (this is a bobo album made posthumously in the studio – I bought it by accident.)
Jose Rouse – 1972
Talking Heads – Sand in the Vaseline 2 disc set
In The Name of Love – Africa Celebrates U2 (not as lame as it sounds)
NRBQ at Yankee Stadium
The Beatles – Beatles for Sale
Robbie Robertson – Contact From The Underworld of Redboy (awful)
Blood, Sweat & Tears
Blood, Sweat & Tears – 3
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Confrontation
Brahms – The Hungarian Dances

Astoria Transfer – 9/4/11

Jordan | Astoria Transfer | Monday, September 5th, 2011

So I’ve done it. I’ve bought a 1 TB drive and I’m going to dub all my CDs to digital files. Then I’m gonna toss (donate, most likely) 90% of my CDs.

I don’t know how many I have. I’d say around 3500. During most of the 1990s I was an avid collector and for a few years I was receiving discs as promos. I did a severe slimming down a few years ago (an entire suitcases’ worth of discs out of their jewel cases and in thin sleeves) and that hardly made a dent. The problem is this: with so many discs, I don’t listen to any.

So here’s how you’ll help. The act of transference is a tedious one, but I figure if I list what I transfer each day it will be kinda fun.

The bulk of my collection is alphabetized – but before we can get to that (and that part will be fun) I have a giant Comic-Con bag filled with stuff I’ve pulled recently. This plus another “assorted” shelf will be the first to go.

Here’s what I dubbed last night:

Dire Straits – Communique (strange the first thing I dub should be such a random, middling CD. However, I recently bought it used – six bucks – and that’s why it is at the top of the pile.)
Randy Newman – Good Old Boys (one of my all time faves. It’s unlikely I’ll ever part with this physical disc.)
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Rastaman Vibration
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Uprising
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Survival (why in the world do I have so many Bob Marley discs? And I know I have more! I’ll donate them to the first coed I see.)
Charlie Haden/Hank Jones – Steal Away: Spirituals, Hymns and Folk Songs
The Minit Records Story 2 disc set
Grant Green – Matador
Prem Joshua – Yatri (great Indian techno music like you hear at Seva on 30th Ave.)
Old 97′s – Satellite Rides
Giuseppe Verdi – Preludes & Overtures (Ricardo Muti)
The Tradition of Gregorian Chant – 4 disc set (when the hell did I buy this? This might be something I borrowed and never returned.)
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out
The Beatles – Rubber Soul
The Dixie Hummingbirds – Thank You For One More Day – the 70th Anniversary of the Dixie Hummingbirds
Gerry Mulligan/Paul Desmond Quartet
Bela Fleck & Edgar Meyer – Music For Two
The Specials – The Singles Collection
John Coltrane – Blue Trane
Popul Vuh – Einsjager & Siebenjager
Mose Allison – Your Mind Is On Vacation (try finding this disc on Grooveshark! You can’t!!)
Grateful Dead (untitled 1971)
Van Morrison – Hymns to the Silence 2 disc set
Until the End of the World Soundtrack
Bill Evans – Conversations with Myself
Full Up: More Hits From Studio One (this disc is staying – it is great in the car.)
Ein Straussfest II (Cincinnati Pops Orchestra)
Squeeze – 45s and Under
John Zorn – Issachar (this is one of his listenable albums – it is a string trio playing Semitic tunes)
Philip Glass – Einstein on the Beach – 3 disc set
Philip Glass – Satyagraha – 3 disc set

Another Year (2010), Mike Leigh, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, September 5th, 2011


Nobody makes Mike Leigh movies quite like Mike Leigh.
Another Year? Another one.

The Debt (2011), John Madden, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, September 5th, 2011


Oy, this cold war. . .it’s so drafty!
If the film snapped about 20 minutes before the projectionist told us it was beyond repair and we should all go home, I’d be telling you that The Debt is one of the best movies of the year. Alas, the ending does a good job of ruining much of the film’s potency. Still, it’s not bad.

Read my full review (loaded with Zionist wordplay!) at

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