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!

Jodorowsky's Dune (6/10)

Although the subject matter is interesting, I didn't get much out of the documentary that I didn't already know from the trailer. The film follows the doomed pre-production of a 70's version of Dune. It consists mainly of anecdotes about how each of the creative people behind the production was recruited by the director and inspired by his crazy vision. The film's thesis is that this would have been one of the most remarkable films of all time, but it just felt like it would have been a typical 70's scifi preach-fest with trippy design.

Hell's Ground (7/10)

Mondo Macabro has been pretty consistent in their DVD releases. Lots of trashy and weird genre films from outside of Europe and America. While technically not a Mondo Macabro DVD release, Hell's Ground was co-produced by them. It has a lot of the trademarks of one of their films: gore, low-budget production and groovy world music.

Falling Up the Stairs by James Lileks (7/10)

I know Lileks mostly as a humorous conservative commentator and a connoisseur of cheesy 50's pop culture. I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. Fortunately, the book leans more on the humor side of his writing than the politics. Politics come mostly in the form of the main antagonists being a group of PETA-like activists, but, for the most part, this is the story of a small town news reporter trying to regain his bearings after losing his girlfriend and his job.

Red Barked Tree by Wire (10/10)

Format: CD

It took a while warm up to this record. Not nearly as aggressive sounding as the most of post-2000's Wire, Red Barked Tree's songs are much more well-thought out and structured. "Adapt" has a great dreamy quality, "Clay" feels like a lost track from Chairs Missing and "Bad Worn Thing" is probably my favorite song on this disc. Excellent.

Object 47 by Wire (9/10)

Format: CD

While it starts out on a high note with "One of Us," Object 47 doesn't quite live up to the promise of Read & Burn 03. The songs are pretty conventional and lack that touch of "art rock" which made Wire so unique. But still, this is, by just about any measure, more exciting than most of the rock that is churned out these days.

O.K. Connery (5/10)

This mediocre Eurospy movie is based entirely around the stunt casting of Sean Connery's younger brother Neil in the title role. It has some style and a fun title song but the film is mostly just plods along from one silly plot point (can-can girls overtaking a military caravan!) to another (deadly, unstoppable hypnotism). The few highlights in the film include a raid with the heroes dressed in overalls and a bazooka and knife wielding nun.

Drupal, Pathologic and Corrupted URLs

I've been having some technincal issues with this site lately. Strange links to content within the site have been appearing at random. I would insert a hyperlink to an archived post and then, days later, I would come back to see that the URL has been rewritten with a random sub-domain prefix. My domain would appear as www.wqw.robertgomez.org or similar.

Deadlier Than the Male (8/10)

Besides maybe Danger Diabolik, I haven't seen many "Eurospy" movies—cheap, Bond knock-offs produced in Europe in the sixties. Surprising, this movie was rather good. It's funny, exciting and looks great. This is not just a spoof of Bond, but takes itself rather seriously despite the lighthearted tone. How can you complain about a movie in which the main baddie is a cigar-based assassination happy Elke Sommer.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (9/10)

The final film in of The Hobbit trilogy is an improvement over the second movie. While it is still a bit heavy-handed with the CGI, there are fewer eye-rolling, physics-defying action sequences. It may have also helped that I watched this one in 3-D. The 3-D really gives the digital characters an added bit of weight and presence when sharing the screen with flesh-and-prosthetic actors. The first third of the movie is really just tying up plot lines from Smaug (the whole Gandalf vs.

Gemini Rue on PC (8/10)

Gemini Rue - Rainy Street

Gemini Rue is another enjoyable point-and-click adventure from Wadjet Eye that has a sci-fi noir theme. Having gotten used to the click for any action mechanism of other Wadjet games, I was a little thrown off by the strange "actions" pop-up interface. You click on a hot-spot and then have to chose whether to use your eyes, hands, mouth or foot. I eventually got used to it, but the few times I was stuck in the game, it was because I forgot I had a "foot" action that I could use.

Cold Sweat (6/10)

This is an hour and a half of Charles Bronson being an unflinching tough guy. Seems Charles' old war-prison buddies caught up with him as he was trying to make a new life for himself as a boat captain in the South of France. Besides a long car chase near the end, this isn't the most action-packed action movie. I think it is most noteworthy for James Mason's horrible American accent. Still, I do love watching Bronson do his thing. (Watch it online)

The Three Languages of Politics by Arnold Kling (9/10)

Essential reading for understanding that people who might disagree with politically are not evil or stupid, they are just speaking a different political language. This is the guidebook for engaging in civil political discourse without the silly hyperbole and hatred that permeates political discourse within new media. In the book, Kling separates political ideology into three different axes: "oppressors vs. oppressed" progressives, "barbarians vs. civilization" conservatives, and "coercion vs. freedom" libertarians.

Read & Burn 03 by Wire (10/10)

Format: CD

The third Read & Burn EP is the best of the lot. The band has moved beyond simply revisiting their punk roots. Now that they have that out of their system, synthesizers are beginning to creep back into the mix and there is far less yelling. These are good things.

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (9/10)

This is a Stephen Chow kung-fu film through and through. There's the standard wire-fu action and stunts, lots of humor, a couple of song and dance numbers and lots of terrible CGI. Although it's not quite as good as Kung-Fu Hustle or Shaolin Soccer, I'm rating it pretty high for its amazing opening set piece. If you can ignore the fake-looking digital effects, it's an unrivaled heart-stopping twenty minutes of excitement and energy.

Something in the Shadows by Vin Packer (8/10)

I really do like Vin Packer's pulp thrillers. This book continues her knack for creating conflicted and dark characters who never seem to be able to catch a break. A brainy writer seeks revenge after his cat is killed by a motorist. The suspected motorist is the new doctor in town who has a past he wants to forget. These stories always are are a little lacking in terms of plotting and resolution but they do a great job in showing the depths to which people will sink.

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