The story of a finely attired gringo mercenary who falls in with a group of banditos in a scheme to steal weapons and support the revolution. Definitely not the most exciting spaghetti western I have seen (what, no gun duels!). Klaus Kinsky is tragically underused and the leads are fairly wooden. It's mostly a heavy-handed attempt at lefty political nonsense... rich Americans are evil. We get it.
This Tom Cruise action film is basically Groundhog's Day meets Starship Troopers. Since Groundhog's Day there must have been half-a-dozen rip-offs on various TV shows and made for Disney Channel movies (even the excellent Run Lola Run was essentially the same concept). It's an idea that just works no matter how crappy the vehicle. Edge of Tomorrow does it better than most by constantly building on the characters and plot, and ramping up the stakes as the timeline resets itself.
Despite an exciting opening, the second book in this series is not as good as the first. The stakes aren't as high and it feels like a lot of set up for the next book.
The Witcher is a flawed but ultimately satisfying role playing game that puts you in the role of monster killing mutant named Geralt. In some aspects the game is a bit more hardcore than other recent RPGs. You need to pay close attention to dialogue as clues are not spoon-fed to you and the almighty quest arrow is somewhat deceiving.
Yo La Tengo is a band that's been around forever and is beloved by indy-rockers. They alternate between feedback-filled guitar pop and trying to sound like The Velvet Underground on the mellower tracks. I bought this because I really like the song "From a Motel 6" when I taped it off of 120 Minutes. The rest of the CD is just as good but I have never felt like seeking out other Yo La Tengo records.
Not much to say about this one other that it's a joke game. The gag is that in order to gain required abilities you need to purchase downloadable content. These abilities include moving to the left (as seen in the above screen grab) and colored text.
Brothers is a surprisingly excellent game that's filled with beautiful visual storytelling and a unique game-play mechanic that has the player controlling two characters on screen at the same time. This game requires a dual-stick controller. Each stick independently controls the movements of each the two titular brothers while the L/R triggers serve as the interact/action buttons for boys. This sounds like it would be impossible to control, but it doesn't take all that much getting used to. What it does is open up the game to all sorts of puzzle solving where the left side of your body needs to cooperate with the right to get everything working on screen.
The Back from the Grave series seeks to uncover raw sixties garage rock that has a punk-rock sensibility. It's been well over a decade since the last release and it definitely feels like the bottom of the barrel is being scraped here. There are no clear stand outs, although I tend to like the more novelty tinged tracks of earlier comps. That said, this is a solid, albeit forgettable, collection of garage rock that more than makes up for it with some great packaging recounting the stories of tracking down the records featured.
I got this CD as a gift from my brother several years ago. I understand why he got it for me. It sits firmly in the land of "emo" music that he enjoys so much and it was considered a bit of a masterpiece of its kind. I'm not so big into the whole "emo" thing. It can tend to drift a little to close to James Taylor and teary-eyed singer/songwriter folk music that I despise. However, despite being peppered with a couple sappy bro-jamz, The Meadowlands has enough standout rockers to elevate it.
A fantastic compilation 60's girl-pop songs from Italy. The highlight of the CD is the opening track "Baluba Shake." None of the other songs are quite as groovy as that opener but there's plenty to love here if your a fan of pop in the vein of Leslie Gore or Nancy Sinatra. As per usual with Ace Records, there is a thick, detailed booklet filled with info and photos.
Torchlight is a game that has been resting on my back-burner for a long, long time. I got it for something like three dollars during a Steam sale many years ago and played it off and on since. It's basically an updated version of Diablo, a game which I played through once and thought was just okay. The whole concept of hack-and-slash with the goal of loot collection just doesn't appeal to me. Without a decent story it's just mindless clicking and inventory management.
Oh sweet Shatner, this game is brutal! The Nintendo DS Giana Sisters game was a cute, simplistic and moderately challenging throwback platformer. Twisted Dreams is a relentless, brain twisting modernized update.
Absolute Polysics is Polysics at their spazziest. It was pretty jarring a first but I have come to like this record quite a bit. In addition to the speed increase there are also more blatant allusions to Devo, especially their sound from Duty Now for the Future. The guitar parts take a back seat to synths and programming which may be why I prefer this over the previous record (which seemed a little tired).
Polysics were another band (along with Lolita #18, Spoozys, Mummy the Peepshow, and Number Girl) that I saw at the excellent Japan Nite 2000 show at the Fireside Bowl. Compared to some of their other records, We Ate the Machine is far from the band's best. Only "Rocket" in on par with their best songs.
This CD compiles Link's early sixties recordings on Epic records. Half the tracks are unreleased versions of songs including alternate takes of "Comanche" and "Ain't that Lovin' you Baby." I like that they include studio chatter before a few of the songs. Stuff like, "Don't let down for God's sakes. The drive is the thing with these kids today!" This is Link in his prime and I might even prefer this over the Rhino best-of disc I posted earlier.