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!


Saints Row 2 on PC (6/10)

SAints Row 2

I vowed to avoid open world games but then GOG.com goes and makes Saints Row 2 free. This series has always been an answer to the growing seriousness of the GTA franchise (GTA V was just released for free on Epic, erg!). It's unapologetically violent and filled with drugs and and mayhem. The fourth installment was able to get around the awkwardness of this by setting things in a virtual fantasy world. In this version, you are literally gunning down innocent people in a semi-realistic world and it just leaves a bad taste in the mouth. I'm no prude, but it not handled with the correct amount…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 05/17/2020 - 17:08

Machine Gun McCain (8/10)

I have owned the soundtrack to Gli Intoccabili for years. The title song is one of the best themes Ennio Morricone ever wrote, mostly because it straddles the line between cheesy and awesome. It also spoils the ending of the movie, but whatever. This is a great crime thriller that is once again about an ex-con who immediately goes on to drop the "ex" after getting out of prison. It's violent (but not bloody) and you will be wondering why you are rooting for McCain as he fire bombs a busy casino. The cast really elevates this one above your usual Italian genre picture.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 05/17/2020 - 10:16

Midsommar (7/10)

In the post Wicker Man world, I guess creepy European folk culture turned death-cult is now officially a horror sub-genre. I can't wait until there's a horror movie about killer Morris dancers. These are a lot like a PC version of an Italian cannibal movie. It's okay to be xenophobic about this culture, they're white people. In fact, they're the whitest of white people, Swedes! In Midsommar the villagers are extra-sinister and there is no mystery as to their intentions. When the main characters witness a ritual killing and don't immediately decide to leave, all bets for a sensible plot are off…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 05/13/2020 - 11:22

Caliber 9 (8/10)

Caliber 9 is a highly regarded Eurocrime thriller about an ex-con who is released from prison and everyone suspects he's still got the money from that botched job that landed him in prison. The movie contains no less than three scenes in which gangsters discretely hand a package to one another in a chain of exchanges, all of which fail. You'd think they would learn. It's mostly good but there is a side plot of two cops who constantly argue Marxist theories which have nothing to do with anything in the movie (the Marxist crap is probably why critics like this one so much).

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 05/13/2020 - 08:46

The Lighthouse (8/10)

A weird, arty film about a pair of lighthouse keepers that is reminiscent of David Lynch. I'm sure there is some grand metaphor here about death, heaven and redemption or something. I just wish the plot was more interesting. Despite the occasional creepy visual, there really is no tension here. Just two guys acting strange in glorious black and white.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 05/11/2020 - 15:39

L'assassino (7/10)

Marcello Mastroianni is an antiques dealer who is taken in by the police, accused of murdering his lover. It's not as much of a crime thriller as that description implies and is more a study of the character of a charming grifter told through a series of interrogations and subsequent flashbacks. Jazzy Piero Piccioni score and swell black and white cinematography. I love how the hard-boiled cops need to grab a manly cup o' Joe to warm up, but then are reduced to drinking from tiny Italian espresso cups like a bunch of European dandies.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 17:05

Furie (6/10)

Vietnamese martial arts picture about a female kung-fu loan collector whose daughter is kidnapped and taken to Shanghai. There are some really dumb plot points here and that's not including the overused trope of a tiny woman who can apparently beat up any six-foot navy-seal type who goes against her. The gang is stealing children to harvest their organs and the police don't want to act because they might not completely crack the whole case open. The fights are okay but it all feels a bit like a fan film compared to infinitely superior films like The Raid 2.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 05/04/2020 - 12:55

Hob on PC (8/10)

Hob Knob

Hob is from the same studio that created Torchlight and much of the same beautiful artistic style is on display here. This is pretty much a Zelda clone in which you keep clearing out dungeons in order to gain abilities that let you clear out harder dungeons. It even has nearly identical swordplay mechanics.

Like just about every "arty" indy game, Hob tries to tell its story in an obtuse way without dialogue. It works okay but the ending presents you with a hard choice. A choice which you can't freakin' understand because the entire game is spoken in Simlish. That means your final…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 04/21/2020 - 19:10

The Witch

This is another wood engraving based on an ink drawing I created for the Nox Archaist manual. This was engraved in Resingrave plastic engraving medium which offers smooth lines and pretty good control. The main problem with it is that it does not hold the ink of a layout sketch. I started this print by trying to do an acetone transfer (which worked very well on my Ettin print). The resingrave was having none of it.

Laser print transfer... FAIL!!

So, I reverted to the old standard, transfer paper and lots and lots of tracing. Then reimbursing the lines in ink (which, as mentioned earlier, will just smudge on the…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 04/17/2020 - 22:38

Bayonetta on Nintendo Wii U (6/10)

Bayonetta Box Art

The WiiU is not known for much other than being a failure. The whole two screen thing doesn't make any sense. Bayonetta is the first game I have played through on the system and is one of the few WiiU titles that was held in high regard. This game is part of a two pack that includes the sequel as well. I have only played part one.

Bayonetta is a spazzy game for spazzy people. After playing Devil May Cry 4 I was pretty sure I disliked this style of fighting game. There's just way too much going on and it feels like button mashing after a while. I was ready to give up and then things sort…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 04/14/2020 - 18:41