Month: March 2012

Films Watched 2/29 – 3/16

Intruders (2012), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, C- Detatchment (2012), Tony Kaye, D- John Carter (2012), Andrew Stanton, B+ Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2012), Mark and Jay Duplass, A- We Have A Pope (2012), Nanni Moretti, C I Served The King of England (2006), Jiri Menzel, B The Good Soldier Schweik (1956), Karel Stekly, B Lockout (2012), James Mather and Stephe St. Leger,...

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Julian Schnabel’s Forgotten Rock Album

Sit down, kids, and I’ll tell you a tale. The year was 1993 and Julian Schnabel was getting tired of smashing plates. But before he became a painter turned (really good) filmmaker, he tried his hand at being a painter turned (really awful) singer. This is the lead-off track from his album “Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud,” which Island Records released two years after the recording. For God knows what reason, I bought a copy. Maybe I just wanted a CD with a giant purple phallus in my collection. “She’s Dancing, He’s Dreaming” is the best song on the album, and, frankly, isn’t THAT terrible for the first three minutes. The production by Bill Laswell has a vaguely U2-ish vibe. The song was written by Brian Kelly and Pat Place (don’t know much about them) and the lyrics are by Kelly and Schnabel. The drums are Anton Fier, bass Bill Laswell, organ Bernie Worrell, guitar Buckethead. Yeah, I know, a pretty incredible line-up. I imagine they were all extremely well paid. The problem is the singing. At first you think that he may be able to pull it off as a “this is how an honest man sings” type thing. But not quite. Then you think, maybe it’s simply an “unusual” voice like a Van Dyke Parks or Biff Rose. But then those strained notes come in at...

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Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days by Alastair Reynolds

I had an unexpected reaction to this collection of two Revelation Space novellas. I thought I would like the one that helped flesh out the Universe more, but I wound up just digging the one that was all plot plot plot. The first half – Diamond Dogs – is a marvelous story about a dangerous puzzle. Great characters, vivid imagery, good examination of the post-human qualities of the RS world. Turquoise Days seems really promising – a further examination of the Pattern Jugglers. Unfortunately the characters and the conflicts didn’t really connect with me. (Enjoyed knowing more about the Pattern Jugglers,...

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Films Watched 2/18 – 2/29

21 Jump Street (2012), Phil Lord and Chris Miller, B The Turin Horse (2012), Bela Tarr, B+ Safe (2012), Boaz Yakin, B- Wanderlust (2012), David Wain, B- Friends With Kids (2012), Jennifer Westfeldt, B+ Mirror, Mirror (2012), Tarsem, B Star Trek: Generations (1994), David Carson, B+ Space Truckers (1996), Stuart Gordon,...

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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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