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The Second Part of Summer, 2014

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal,Tales Of Hoffman | Sunday, September 28th, 2014

I reviewed a whole boatload of movies this summer. Most of those links are highlighted (in lime green!) under the “Films Seen” links below.

But here are some links of non-review work I did that I’m proud of that went live since the last time I’ve done a wrap-up like this. This is all from after my trip to the Jerusalem Film Festival (and here’s another opportunity to read about that at Indiewire winkyface.)

For I wrote an Oral History of Galaxy Quest.

For The Guardian I did my best to explain What The Hell Fantastic Fest Is All About. Also, I wrote about Lincoln Center’s Far Out Foreign Language Sci-Fi Series. Lastly, I wrote a fairly lengthy profile of Jessica Chastain. She was very nice.

For I hung out with André Gregory and Wallace Shawn. I also used what little power I could to help a documentary about Moondog make its Kickstarter goal. I also had a nice schmooze with Carol Liefer.

I also did a tiny but of party reporting for the New York Daily News at the Toronto Film Festival. (You can read that here and here . And as “additional reporting by” here, here and here.

A li’l something on ScreenCrush listing the 18 Most Awesome Thomas Pynchon Character Names.

And finally, a re-cap from my time at the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas over at my beloved

This Week In Hoffman

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Monday, July 21st, 2014


(This is my new thing, where each week I link out to stuff that has published that’s worth some of your time.)

An unusual week, as I was in Jerusalem for the Jerusalem Film Festival. I was also there just as Hamas really started amping up its rocket attacks and Israel responded with its military. I don’t write about politics and I don’t have the energy to get into it right now, but if we’re friends and you want my opinion on all this, let’s get a beer. A lot of people don’t know the historical context. I do and I’m not afraid to enlighten you, but not right now – it’s Sunday night and I’m tired.

Anyway, for Indiewire, I wrote a piece about being a journalist at the fest during this curious time. You can read that here.

For Times of Israel I wrote about some of the films appearing there. (I saw more than I wrote about, but I didn’t want to mention the shitty ones, thinking they’d never ever be seen again. Jokes on me, though, as one of the dreadful pictures, Princess, actually won an award. There’s no accounting for taste.) Anyway, some of these movies should really be on your radar and you can read the piece here.

I also interviewed the filmmaker Shira Geffen. She’s the co-director of the Cannes hit Jellyfish from a few years ago, and has a new one called Self-Made. I reviewed Self-Made in Vanity Fair (and you can read that here) but my review, which is topical and, at times, funny, is on Times of Israel and you can read that here.

Unrelated to the Jerusalem Film Festival, but also for Times of Israel, I interviewed Steven Pressman, the author and filmmaker behind 50 Children, a fascinating look at two Americans who smuggled children out of Vienna during WWII. Our conversation goes to some unexpected places, including the rather remarkable upswing in European anti-Semitism. You can read that here.

I also reviewed two crappy sequels for the New York Daily News. They were Planes: Fire and Rescue and The Purge: Anarchy. As bad as they were, they aren’t nearly as bad as Deliver Us From Evil. You can read my review of that infuriating piece of garbage at the Guardian.

Why Does Bill Hader Look Like He Wants To Murder Me In This Picture?

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Friday, January 10th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 3.39.03 PM

Because he’s standing there with a dummy who thinks it’s cool to make jokes about people dying in a natural disaster.

But, let’s back it up a bit.

I used to do a lot more celebrity interviews than I do now. Now it’s a once in a while thing, and usually they are over the phone or in a quiet office somewhere. Last July 2013 I went old school and made a return to the “press lines” and red carpet world during San Diego Comic-Con.

Among those I spoke to was Bill Hader. Nice chap, very funny, and promoting his then forthcoming picture “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2.”

What you get at these things are a few minutes to give a comedian like Hader a set-up for him to make a funny retort that’ll cut well. This interview was going fine, except for the fact that the room we were in (stashed in the back of an enormous Hilton hotel) was very loud.

So, we’re talking about the Foodimals in the “Cloudy” films, and how giant cheeseburger monsters are chasing children around. Hader and I are zipping back and forth about the threats posed by scientifically modified foods and I say “wow – looks like this movie is worse than Monsanto!”

That’s funny if you get it, admittedly baffling if you don’t. But it comes off as very poor taste if, due to the chaos of the very loud room, you hear the word “Monsanto” as “Monsoon.”

You see, just a few days earlier, there had been massive, deadly flooding in China.

The image you see above, which a certain friend of mine likes to put on Twitter (and who has a big Hawkeye Pierce-style retaliatory practical joke coming his way when he least expects it,) is Hader trying to understand why I would joke about something like this.

Hader did the right thing, by basically saying, “too soon,” and following it up with “that’s not funny, people died.”

I kinda panicked, worried that, I dunno, maybe some new crop of Monsanto-produced tomatoes killed a guy and I didn’t hear about it.

Anyway, the interview ended on a professional note (and this was all cut out of the finished video piece), Hader shook my hand and split, and then one of his handlers came over and asked “what the hell was that all about?”

He and I quickly figured out the misunderstanding (Hader was “down the line” with other interviewers) and the air was cleared in about five minutes.

But we still have this moment of pure (albeit misinterpreted) disgust aimed at me to preserve for all eternity. And now whenever you see me you can say “that’s not funny, people died.”

This Week In Hoffman, Issue #1

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Sunday, January 5th, 2014


Something I should be doing, but I do not do, is use this blog to link to all my published work out there on the web.

As of eighteen seconds ago I’ve decided this will be my 2014 resolution.

If I update this on Sunday nights, looking back at the past week, it won’t become too difficult. I hope. Anyway, let’s try it.

This past week – the first week of 2014 – I didn’t publish all that much.

At ScreenCrush you can read my Most Anticipated Films of 2014.

At you can read The Wolf of Hollywood: Martin Scorsese Is No Stranger to Controversy.

At you can read One Trek Mind: Benjamin Sisko – Son of a God?

And at the Times of Israel you can read my weekly Chosen Films column, which includes the 5 Best Jewish Moments in Movies for 2013.

I might be forgetting something, but if I did it can’t be too important.

Recent Articles

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Friday, May 25th, 2012


There was a time when I linked everything I wrote from this blog. That time is long gone. But here’s some stuff I did recently you may want to check out.

My interview with Jurgen Fauth about his fantastic book KINO is over at Badass Digest.

The 10 Most Awesome Faster-Than-Light Systems of Travel in Science Fiction (or whatever the hell I called this thing) is over at Popular Mechanics.

My salute to the finale of Star Trek: Voyager is at

My list of best pets on Star Trek is over at

A list of fun, dopey movie gadgets is at

A behind-the-scenes look at how film festivals give awards is at

The best “New Hollywood” movies you probably haven’t seen is over at

Recent Links

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Wednesday, January 18th, 2012


There’ve been some new, fun things that I’ve written for various outlets that you may want to check out.

Firstly, my review of WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN is over at
It’s a great movie, and not quite what you expect.

I have a new column over at MTV’s NEXT MOVIE called Planet Fanboy. It’ll go live every Thursday, kinda in the middle of the day. The first one is a welcome post and the second one is how you should prepare for the first half of 2012.

Lastly, things continue to heat up at One Trek Mind. I’m very proud of the one I wrote for Friday the 13th of Freakiest Star Trek moments. But you should also check out the rundown of Strong Female Characters, Best DS9 Supporting Players, Best Trek Food and Best Trek Drink.

Butt Numb a Thon 2012

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Tuesday, December 13th, 2011


What is Butt Numb a Thon?
Read my report on

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….

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……

George Hoffman Performs “Misty” in a Private Recital, Misgav Am, Israel, October 2010

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

About a year ago my father revisited the kibbutz where he met my mother in 1962. Much had changed, a lot remained the same – like this barely-surviving piano. According to oft-repeated tales, he performed a much lauded concert for the young workers and citizen soldiers back in the day. Here’s how it sounded last year.

Asinine Press Release of the day 4/14

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Martha Stewart tells Cindi Leive that she wants to get engaged on today’s The Martha Stewart Show

On today’s edition of THE MARTHA STEWART SHOW (Hallmark Channel, 10 AM ET/9 AM C – same day encore airing, 2 PM ET/next day airing, 1 PM ET), Glamour editor-in-chief, Cindi Leive, joined Martha in the kitchen to prepare the legendary recipe credited for 72 documented engagements, Roasted Engagement Chicken, which has also served as the inspiration behind Cindi’s new cookbook, 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know, Engagement Chicken and 99 Other Fabulous Dishes to Get You Everything You Want in Life. Martha revealed her ulterior motive to making this savory meal that has been served by many woman hoping their beaus will pop the question when she said “I want to get engaged, I want to make this chicken!”

Full soundbites are provided below and attached is a photo of Martha and Cindi from today’s show. Credit: David Steele/The Martha Stewart Show. If I can be of any additional assistance, please be in touch. Additional photos are available upon request.


Executive Assistant to [Redacted]




Mummenschanz at the Skirball Center

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Sunday, January 2nd, 2011


The true win of Mummenschanz was about half-way through when I stopped trying to figure out how the hell they were doing that?

The closing “number,” an unending showdown of face-changing with self-manipulated clay was like a Bill Plympton cartoon come to life. Truly one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

There are still some shows left!!!!!!

Vertigo Shots

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Saturday, April 25th, 2009


What is a Vertigo shot? Also known as a dolly zoom, this is when a camera physically moves on track inward (or outward) while a zoom lens counters this move at the same speed. This creates a distortive effect, where a subject in focus will look the same, but the background will change in size.

Read More. . .

David Byrne – Songs of Byrne & Eno at Radio City Music Hall

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear,Tales Of Hoffman | Sunday, March 1st, 2009


I’ve seen David Byrne live a zillion times but I’ve never seen him play the stuff I love the most. Until now. “The Great Curve” live? He probably hasn’t done that since Adrian Belew and Bernie Worrell were in the touring band. Has “Help Me Somebody” ever been played live??

I’m still kinda getting my head around this show and its awesome, clever choreography – one of the best concerts I’ve seen in my entire life.

There are some awesome pics at Brooklyn Vegan. Jon Pareles in the New York Times must have been at some other show, as he panned it and, therefore, is an idiot. Further proof that print is dead! I further resolve never to buy a newspaper again (not that I’ve paid for a paper in years.)

Top Worf Moments

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman,The Star Trek Project | Thursday, February 5th, 2009


I’ve had to do some shady assignments at the shop that I’m not too proud of. But I’ll be immune to that for at least six months thanks to this masterpiece.

I can’t remember when I’ve been so proud.

Enjoy the Top Worf Moments.

More Honeymoon Pictures

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Saturday, November 1st, 2008


….are at my so-unused-I-forgot-I-had-it Flickr page.

Go here

Honeymoon Photos

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Thursday, October 16th, 2008


Go here for a first batch of pics.

Ann In The Clouds

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Sunday, October 5th, 2008

photographed at L’Astral Dans Le Concorde, Quebec City, Sept 30, 2008


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