Welcome to Pages of Fun!

This is the personal Web site of Robert Wm. Gomez. I am an artist, musician and nerd living in Chicago, Illinois who has been maintaining this site (in one form or another) since 1996. Enjoy your visit!

Midnight Express by Giorgio Moroder (6/10)

Format: CD

It's hard to believe that this soundtrack won the Oscar for original score in 1979. Other than the disco beat of "The Chase," there's not much to this. In fact, a couple of the tracks, "Istanbul Blues" and the vocal version of the "Love Theme," are downright terrible. Maybe people were just impressed with the novelty of an electronic musical score? Or everyone was just on drugs back then.

Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman (8/10)

My Adam Carolla film fest continues with this documentary about Paul Newman's racing career. There are no amazing revelations here except that Newman was a better racer than most of us realized. It's a pretty straightforward character study of a charming man living a charmed life.

Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien on PC (8/10)

Bit-Trip Runner 2

Although I haven't written about them here, I have played through much of the first series of Bit.Trip games on the Wii. Most of those games could be classified as rhythm games with an Atari 2600 aesthetic. Beat and Runner were the stand-outs of the original six games. The former is a frantic pong-a-like and the latter is a platformer distilled to its most basic mechanics.

Road Hard (7/10)

I used to listen to Adam Carolla's podcast pretty regularly but stopped around the time Alison Rosen was unceremoniously let go from the show. Her firing wasn't the main reason for abandoning the show, but it seemed like a good breaking point. An OCD collector's attitude and an hour-and-a-half long daily podcast make for a huge time commitment from which I needed to free myself. In any event, I still wanted to see Adam's crowd-funded movie, Road Hard. If you are familiar with Adam's rants none of the jokes or gags will surprise you.

Lolita by Nelson Riddle (9/10)

Format: CD

Although a couple of the pieces on this soundtrack recording sound like they came straight from The Donna Reed Show, the overall vibe is a chill lounge groove. This is best expressed in the CD's showcase track, "Lolita Ya Ya." The album is interspersed with double entendre laced dialogue from the film, which is something I always like on soundtrack releases (i.e. Apocalypse Now).

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (5/10)

I read this mostly because I am an admirer of Apocalypse Now. It sorta lost me by the end so I really didn't enjoy this.

Star Trek into Darkness (8/10)

The second Star Track reboot film was mindless fun. I was never bored despite the lame retread story, excessive attempts at style, and ill-advised grasps at nostalgia. Someone yells, "Khaaann!" Hardy, har. There's a lot to complain about here, but in the end I liked it despite these flaws.

Spasmo (6/10)

This giallo has been on my must see list for a very long time. Scored by Ennio Morricone, the excellent soundtrack is probably the best part of this movie. For whatever reasons, the film has alluded me. Years past, and the DVD eventually went out of print. Having finally seen it, I can say It definitely is not worth the high price tag one sees on eBay these days. The story is deliberately confusing in the beginning. Was there a killing or not? And what's with all the mannequins?

The Giant of Marathon (7/10)

The Amazon prime version of this movie looks like crap. I watched it anyways as part of my Mario Bava homework. I actually liked the movie more than I expected. It's not as fantastic as Hercules Unchained, but features some truly epic battle scenes. I swear they must have killed a dozen horses in the making of this film. There is also a wacky underwater battle filled with diapered Athenian men.

Caltiki, the Immortal Monster (6/10)

I have been slowly working my way through Tim Lucas's All the Colors of the Dark mega-book about Mario Bava. Whenever possible I have been trying to watch the films discussed. Caltiki wasn't directed by Bava, but features his camerawork and effects. The movie starts out rather slow with a few cool moments when the characters discover the flesh melting blob monster. Things don't pick up again until the climax when blobs rampage through miniature sets and the flamethrowers come out. Mildly fun, but nothing special.

One Million Years B.C. (6/10)

This movie is precisely as cheesy as one would expect for a low budget, mid-sixties film about bikini clad cave dwellers. My family and I found it is surprisingly entertaining.There's plenty to mock, but it's played straight and the Ray Harryhausen stop motion effects are great.

The Iron Giant by Various Artists (10/10)

Format: CD

Although it contains two selections from Michael Kamen's score, this is mostly a collection of songs featured in the animated film, The Iron Giant. The movie, at least for now, remains the last great American 2-D animated movie (even though the giant himself was a 3-D CGI model). The music featured here is mostly foot-tapping 50's rock 'n' roll tunes with a thematic focus that's mix of rocket ships and beatniks. Concerning the latter, there's a couple of cool bebop jazz numbers thrown in the mix as well.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch: Original Cast Recording by Various Artists (7/10)

Format: CD

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the greatest musical about a statutory rapist since Subway! The Musical. I saw the off Broadway production a few years after the original cast had moved on and enjoyed it enough to buy this CD. However, my appreciation for it has waned as of late. Musically it sounds like a Meatloaf album with less clever lyrics and fewer baseball announcers. That said, it has its moments. "Wicked Little Town" is fantastic and some of the punk-rock inspired tunes are pretty rockin', despite their wannabe phoniness.

Forbidden Planet by Barron, Louis and Bebe (6/10)

Format: CD

This is a weird album. It is considered to be one of, if the the first record comprised entirely of electronic sounds and instrumentation (mostly oscillators and echo loops). I found out about it years ago while reading the RE/Search book Incredibly Strange Music. The "music" consists only of various electronic bleeps and bloops with no attempt at song structure, melody or anything even remotely musical. Despite this, it makes a good CD to play in the background if you just want atmosphere. It will often go into rotation for me around Halloween.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (8/10)

Gritty crime fiction. Basically the blueprint for the entire genre. The writing and language are a tier above most of the pulp trash I've read. I wasn't blown away by the story but that's probably because this is a standard that has been repeated a zillion times afterwards.