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Films watched 11/23 – 11/27

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Wild Grass (2010), Alain Resnais, C-

Hugo (2011), Martin Scorsese, A-

A Time For Drunken Horses (2000), Bahman Ghobadi, B+

Incubus (1966), Leslie Steves, B-

The Artist Review

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, November 27th, 2011

“It wasn’t until a good thirty minutes into The Artist that I realized this was neither an homage or a post-modern genre scramble to an artistic form that’s been gone for 80-something years. This was, with only the smallest of dismissible instances, the genuine article. The Artist, if you didn’t know, is an upbeat, “Golden Days of Hollywood” silent film and it is adorable.”

Read the rest of my review at

One Trek Mind: Make It A Trek-sgiving!

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman,The Star Trek Project | Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011


“We Star Trek fans may celebrate the Talaxian holiday of Prixin of exclaim “Peldor joi!” during the Bajoran Gratitude Festival, but the fact remains that most of our family and friends are Terran. This means it is time, once again, for Thanksgiving.”

Head to to continue reading….

One Trek Mind: 10 Least Threatening Star Trek Villains

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal,The Star Trek Project | Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011


“When Captain Kirk declared “risk is our business” in the season-two TOS episode “Return to Tomorrow” yes, he was discussing the nobler aspects of human potential. But he was also talking about big, nasty, oftentimes hairy space creatures that could turn your internal organs into chunky tomato soup with a glance. The strange, new worlds of Star Trek have some of the best villains in science fiction, but with all that infinite diversity in infinite combinations come a few that no amount of disbelief suspension can make scary. Here, then, are the 10 Least Threatening Star Trek Villains.”

Head to to continue.

The Descendants – Review at

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal,Tales Of Hoffman | Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

“The Descendants opens with a snapshot of the sublime. A beautiful woman is shown in close-up, coasting along in a motorboat on a summer day. If Merriam-Webster needed a photo to accompany their definition of “content,” this would more than suffice. After a fade to black, director Alexander Payne slowly begins to reveal the human drama beneath this one perfect moment in time.”

Click here to continue reading……

Recent Films (Nov 23)

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

A good run these last few days.

THE IRON GIANT (1999), Brad Bird, B+

THE MUPPETS (2011), James Bobin, B

TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY (2011), Tomas Alfredson, A- (review link forthcoming)

SHAME (2011), Steve McQueen, B+ (review link forthcoming)

THE ARTIST (2011), Michel Hazanavicius, A- (review link forthcoming)

A SEPARATION (2011), Asghar Farhadi, A- (review link forthcoming) (probably)

WOODY ALLEN: A DOCUMENTARY (2011), Robert B. Weide, B+

TITAN A.E. (2000), Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, B+

Changes to

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

To the four readers of this blog:

Time has caught up with us.

Blogging is done. It is an antiquated form of communication. And now that Facebook has (or is about to) do away with the auto-feeding of new posts as “notes,” continuing to write here in the manner I’ve done since November of 2004 would be a waste of time.

There will still be updates, and they will come in three forms.

The first, and more frequent, will be the record-keeping of movies I’ve watched. Not to seem snobbish about it, but I’m doing it for me. I find it quite handy to take notes on what I’ve seen. I used the search function on JH.c more than you might think if I can’t remember the name of a movie, but I know generally *when* I saw it.

But I doubt I will search for great images or write more than a letter grade. I may even bundle the entries under “Films I saw this week, Nov 23,” that sort of thing.

The second will be links to articles I have published out there on the web. Again, I know I am writing to a very small, perhaps even non-existent audience, but having this record will be helpful for me.

Thirdly, and this is conjecture, there may be a handful of longform articles I want to write that I can’t find any placement for. These will not be “blog posts,” these will be actual articles. I doubt they will be frequent, but they may live here.

Also, the Star Trek Project will forever live – I’ll continue that each time I read a new Star Trek book.

Okay, signing off. It’s been real. And to paraphrase Bob Dylan, “it ain’t dead, it’s asleep.”

Energized – Edward M. Lerner

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

analog-june2011AFF Jul-Aug 2011 Cover #1analogcover911-2AFF OCT 2011

With the purchase of my Kindle I subscribed to one of the three great SF pulp publications of yore: Analog Science Fiction and Fact.

I do not read them cover to cover, but each month I find at least one story I love and two I find “of some merit.” The editorials and nonfiction are a glimpse into a fascinating world and the “Science Fact” article is always a crap shoot.

Starting in summer ASFF started serializing a near-future novel, Energized, that is soon to be published in book form. I lapped it up and loved all but the fourth and final chunk.

Set after the Crudetastrophe, which makes our current energy woes seem like a trifle, the story takes a reasonable if not slightly paranoid view of what would happen if Russia had control of all the oil and the US was fighting a zealous group of domestic terrorists called “resetters.”

Fortune orbits our way in the form of a meteor that, if manipulated, can aid in beaming down pure waves of solar energy. Valuable to business, but dangerous in the wrong hands.

It’s a decent set-up, but really a terrific playpen in which to describe a world (not! that! far! from! our! own!) that is crippled by energy and environmental concerns. It’s hard to say just where Lerner himself falls on the political spectrum. Our hero has no time for those that stand in the way of progress, but considering the way he describes the potential bursting out of NASA agents and other scientists it is easy to see why.

Should you find yourself with some of these flimsy, odd-shaped magazines in your hand on a long flight, you may want to poke around. I’ll be curious to see what kind of attention Energized gets when it makes its broader release.

Into the Abyss (2011), Werner Herzog, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, November 15th, 2011


My first published film review post-UGO is over at
Go there to read it (I say many poignant and clever things, I swear.)

Immortals (2011), Tarsem, C-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

It takes a movie like Immortals to make you realize what a masterpiece 300 is.

Play Time (1967), Jacques Tati, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, November 15th, 2011


Eet eez about LIFE!

Time Piece (1965), Jim Henson, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, November 15th, 2011


I don’t normally blog about shorts, but not every short has music produced by Rudy Van Gelder. How can something be this playful and this subversive?

Scanners (1981), David Cronenberg, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Tuesday, November 15th, 2011


I love this movie. When you watch it enough it takes on dreamlike properties. Not just the music (and dubbed dialogue) but the obtuse logic. It is one of the great examples of something that makes sense if you don’t think about it too much. (Word is the film was rushed into production to take advantage of tax incentives and written by DC in the early morning prior to each day’s filming.) I’ve even grown to love the horrendous acting by Stephen Lack. What would be gained my *NOT* having him speak his lines like a wide-eyed ten year old?

I pull this one out when it is 1 am and I don’t quite want to go to sleep yet.

Modern Times (1936), Charles Chaplin, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011


Only The Great Dictator tops it in my opinion. (City Lights, I just can’t handle some of your schmaltz.)

Rather than trying to find anything new about this movie, let’s just revel in just how attractive and (ahem) modern Paulette Goddard looks in this pic. She’s supposed to be dressed like a waterfront street rat, but she looks like Brandeis student in conservative dress to me. Actresses from the 30s usually look to old fashioned to have instinctual appeal for me, but I put PG (and Ginger Rogers, for that matter) in a different camp.

Lost in America (1985), Albert Brooks, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011


A bit of a masterpiece.

An observant friend pointed out that one of this movie’s chief characteristics is that it never actually. . .starts. Much like the lives these characters are living, it is all about “what’s gonna be.” Then things don’t really work and they (in the case of the motor home) pull the plug.

Death As A Way Of Life – David Grossman

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011


I’m thrilled to know about this book simply so I can point to it to prove that, yes, you can support Israel but also be a Leftist.

Grossman’s essays chronicle ten years of living in Jerusalem from 1992 to 2002. (He’s a novelist, so these published dispatches represent something of a side gig.) We start with the signing of the Oslo Accord, the make our way to the assassination of Rabin, Barak and Arafat in Camp David, Sharon on the Temple Mount, the second Intifada, 9/11 and various incursions and disengagements from the settlements.

In other words: all the hits.

Throughout it all, Grossman makes the same point: can’t everyone see this is crazy, and they only way out is a real peace agreement? He also tosses in the occasional “well, what do you expect? These things take time!”

He’s quick to point fingers in both directions and concludes with a depressing-as-hell epiphany at a symposium with Protestant and Catholic Irish leaders. They realized that the fighting simply had to stop. Of course, they fought for six centuries. The Jews and Arabs in this region have only been fighting for one. Oy vey.

Captain America Corps

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011


All the known Captains America (and some hitherto unknown) join forces in a pocket universe to right the timeline. Don’t they always?

It’s goofy pulp stuff with Tony Stark’s brain in a vat, the Ameridroid, Cosmic Cubes and panels that look like Escher paintings. A fun mini-series. Really fun.

When will Kiyoshi Morales, the giant Commander A who reports to a Muslim-American General reappear I wonder?

The Red Wing

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011


The best thing I can say about Jonathan Hickman’s 4-issue indie comic about total war, time travel, multiverses and paradoxes is that the minute I finished it I went back and read the whole thing again. Yes, partially because I was a little confused, but also because the story (and the art!) was so cool.

Check this one out immediately if you are a hard SF nerd.

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