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!

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (8/10)

The historical fiction version of A Feast for Crows with the church versus the crown. It's a thick but quick-paced read with a lot of detailed accounts of building a cathedral and a lot of overly detailed rape scenes. Ken Follett is definitely a perv.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 07/01/2020 - 21:46

Train to Busan (7/10)

Korean fast-zombie movie that is largely bloodless but manages to remain entertaining to the end. Dad takes his daughter on a train ride to his ex-wife and, without explanation, zombies are everywhere. There's no attempt to take advantage of the train setting with awesome stunts, but, whatever, it works.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 06/29/2020 - 19:28

Bastard Swordsman (8/10)

Dueling clans seek to attain the highest level of kung-fu: silkworm style. The fighter literally shoots out webs of silk and creates a battle cocoon, but you don't get to see this until the climax. The rest of the fights aren't quite as crazy but they are overwhelmingly magical (as opposed to the grounded technique of a Gordon Liu). The flying, spinning wire-fu is the main appeal here but leaves the story and characters to be forgotten. They even drop the whole dueling clans plot-line for the last act of the picture.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 06/17/2020 - 11:09

Man and the State: The Political Philosophers by Various Authors (8/10)

A good collection of political writings spanning from Hobbes to Marx. Hobbes and Locke lay down a nice foundation for what follows. "On Liberty" remains a personal favorite for me and very applicable to today. This is the second time I've read it and I can't recommend it enough. Adam Smith was very informative and readable, but not necessarily political. Hegel was an incomprehensible word salad. "The Communist Manifesto" was okay in the early bit when he talked about all the awesome stuff the bourgeoisie created, but descends into hateful, envious and downright evil garbage pretty quickly. I…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 06/16/2020 - 16:51

Mysteries of the Unknown: Mystic Places by Time-Life Books (9/10)

So far, my favorite of the MOTU series. I think I liked this one because there is some grounding in reality. The pyramids exist, Stonehenge exists, the Nazca glyphs exist. There's quite a bit of real history here before it veers off into la la land. To be completely honest, a lot of the wacko theories about these ancient monuments are pretty fun to read about and enough of the real facts are there to let you make up your own mind. Sadly, Shirley Temple does not play a role in solving any of the ancient mysteries.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 06/05/2020 - 20:29

Fallout Tactics on PC (8/10)

Fallout Tactics

The third game in the Fallout series eschews much of its RPGness and concentrates on combat instead. I always liked the turn-based fights in the first two Fallout games, but there's something off about the way the system was implemented here. I was having the hardest time getting through the early levels and eventually gave up at one point. I finally came back to the game after having read that the way to play is to ignore the turn-based system and instead use the real-time mode instead.

Apparently, the designers all along intended this to be a real-time combat game and never really…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sat, 05/30/2020 - 17:14

The Million Eyes of Sumuru (7/10)

This movie shouldn't be as enjoyable as it was, but I found myself entertained throughout. It's basically the type of 60s film that Austin Powers was parodying. A legion of beautiful women seek world domination and it's up to two unlikely agents to thwart their plans. One of those agents is Frankie Avalon who is often making self-referencing jokes about his situation ("Is this where I am supposed to sing?"). The other hero is a middle-aged man who, despite his wrinkly face, can't keep the young girls from lusting after him. It's all goofy fun and was nice to see all the same Shaw Bros. sets…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sat, 05/30/2020 - 15:45

Demon City Shinjuku (5/10)

Why is so much anime so bad? The plot is as follows: demon destroys city in epic battle, loser's son returns to city with president's daughter, fights smaller demons, and finally fights main demon. The End. It's drawn like an anime cartoon, but that's about all this has going for it.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sat, 05/30/2020 - 15:41

Shanghai Fortress (4/10)

Alright, time to dig in to some CGI-heavy, big budget, us vs. the blue laser summer blockbuster fare from that other world superpower, China! Turns out that stealing intellectual property is no royal road to film effects that look even remotely realistic. There are better effects in a bottom-tier episode of Xena: Warrior Princess than there are in this hyperactive mess. Millions of things are flying around the screen and no way to tell what's going on at any given moment. That can be overlooked if you hinge that on an interesting story. But, no. This is beyond afternoon teen drama levels of…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 05/29/2020 - 19:30

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