POF Archive: March 2010

I have been writing this drivel for decades. Browse through my archives by clicking the links below.

Gamer (5/10)

I can't believe this is not a SciFi Channel movie. It's okay, I guess, but the film tries too hard to be a Paul Verhoeven satire and mostly falls flat. Too much stupid 00's shaky cam crap in lieu of actual action.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sat, 03/27/2010 - 13:21

Booth Concept - Immersion

This is an illustration that I created a while ago for a company that was developing medical technology. The illustration is one of a series of maybe 3 or 4 that I made as concepts for a possible trade show booth. This one was going to use a virtual reality "cave" to allow a user to view microbes in 3-D. In the process of creating this proposal we got to try out the VR Cave at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Unfortunately, the client never ended up using any of our concepts.

The original illustration actually featured two users:

Illustration - Booth Concept Immersion Variation

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 03/26/2010 - 14:48

Booth Concept - Terminator

This is an illustration that I created a while ago for a company that was developing medical technology. The illustration is one of a series of maybe 3 or 4 that I made as concepts for a possible trade show booth. This one was going to use a virtual reality "cave" to simulate battling microbes. In the process of creating this proposal we got to try out the VR Cave at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Unfortunately, the client never ended up using any of our concepts.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 03/26/2010 - 14:37

Teabagger / Teabaggee

I have never been in much for political protesting, rallies and the like. About the closest I have ever come to partaking in a political march was two-mile "fun run" in Wildlife Prairie Park back when I was 13 or so. These days, however, I find myself sympathizing quite a bit with the Tea Party movement. Although it is mostly a conservative and libertarian movement, the basic theme of limited goverment and fiscal responsibility is a constant, and they seem to be committed to calling out big government politicians on both sides of the aisle.

It pains me when I hear my more liberal friends and family members go off on the movement. This ranges from the lefty catch-all of calling anyone who disagrees with them a fascist, to pointing out the one less-than-moron in the crowd of thousands who decided to draw a Hitler mustache on a xerox of the president, to spewing the ever-so-clever insult, "Teabaggers!"

Macchie Solari
Ennio Morricone - CD (9/10)

This is another solid release in Digitmovies series of giallo soundtracks. The record is comprised, for the most part, of Morricone's experimental soundscapes’many of which are laid over a bass groove or drumbeat. Very cool. I especially like Edda D'Orso's moaning and whimpering vocals. This disc will have you on edge. The noise is bookended by the starkly contrasting and wonderfully mellow title track.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 03/25/2010 - 19:28

Planet Pimp Comment Thread

Planet Pimp Postcard

In case you haven't noticed, I maintain a little site that pays homage to Planet Pimp Records, the greatest record label ever. That site, unlike this one, is not built on a fancy content management system so visitors have no way to leave comments for others to read. In order to fix this, I've created this page as the official comment area for my unofficial Planet Pimp tribute site. So CLICK HERE to start commentating commentators!

I also have an RSS feed set up for just this comment thread.

Moon (9/10)

Finally a sci-fi movie that isn't all about special effects (although there are plenty subtle effects to be seen here). The premise of the movie reveals itself as a plot twist early on in the movie. Without spoiling anything, it is the sort of "what if" sci-fi premise that geeks love. On top of this, add some great characters and very good acting and you have a wonderfully compelling film.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 03/19/2010 - 19:51

Made From Technetium
Man or Astroman? - CD (10/10)

The band's second Touch 'n' Go release is one of their best. For the most part, they have abandoned their surf rock roots for a decidedly more indy-rock meets new wave feel. The emphasis here is not so much on twang as it is on getting their guitars to make otherworldly sounds.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 03/17/2010 - 23:04

L'Ultimo Treno Della Notte
Ennio Morricone - CD (8/10)

Yet another cool Italian movie soundtrack from Cinevox! The title track features Demis Roussos of Aphrodite's Child(!) on vocals. His warbley stylings don't quite fit here. Fortunately the rest of the album picks up after the cheesy opener. The instrumentation features the actual sounds of trains, a train-like drum machine beat and harmonicas mimicing the sound of train whistles. What's not to like about that?

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 03/17/2010 - 12:46

Doom 3 on PC (8/10)

Darkness and Demons... It's Doom 3!

No that isn't a black square you are looking at above. It's a  screenshot. A screenshot from Doom 3. Forget story and inventive game play, Doom 3 is all about mood lighting. And by "mood lighting" I mean darkness. Lots and lots of darkness... and shooting things.

The original Doom is a classic. I look at it as the pinnacle of the arcade-style shooter. When games were all about insane difficulty and scoring points. In some respects Doom 3 maintains much of the same feel of the original: lots of jump scares and monsters tucked away in places that make little sense in terms of real-world design…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 03/17/2010 - 11:26

Live Transmissions From Uranus
Man... or Astroman? - CD (7/10)

MorA? had a tendency to re-release songs over-and-over during their early years. This live album is yet another collection of songs I already own, except that they are live. Man... or Astroman? shows were always great (I think I saw them like six times), but the appeal was usually in the theatrics and, to a lesser extent, the goofy banter. You don't get the visual theatrics here, but there a little sampling of Coco's banter.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 03/12/2010 - 09:37

La Donna Domenica
Ennio Morricone - CD (9/10)

Another great soundtrack re-release from Cinevox. The pieces start mellow and gradually build in tension without quite reaching the beautiful noise-experimentalism of Morricone's giallo recordings. This score is very similar to Indagine Su Un Cittadino Al Di Soppra Di Ogni Sopsetto in both style and in the use of multiple variations on a very limited assortment of musical themes. La Donna Domenica, thankfully, is not quite as repetitive as Indagnine.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 03/11/2010 - 11:46

Jade Empire on PC (7/10)

Jade Empire Screenshot

It's been quite a while since I have been able to make myself play another BioWare Game. I really liked the Baldur's Gate games, but Neverwinter Nights left such an awful taste in my mouth that I have been avoiding their titles ever since. I only decided to give Jade Empire a try after playing Fallout 3 which had revived some of my faith in RPG style games.

Thankfully, Jade Empire steers clear of the swords and sorcery setting and simplifies a lot of the horrible, number-based statistics that Neverwinter used to describe every object in the game. Also, I had heard the combat had a more of a…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 03/10/2010 - 11:46

The Maltese Falcon (9/10)

Although the plot seems to bounce around from time to time, this is about as hardboiled as hardboiled detective films get. It's filled with tough guy attitude that you can't really pull off in films these days without some crappy slow-motion explosion/CGI camera spin/sunglasses removal/camera sneer shot.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 03/09/2010 - 22:51

District 9 (8/10)

A good well-paced sci-fi action movie. Didn't quite live up to the the hype and is mostly noteworthy because of the South African setting and gritty documentary style. In hindsight, it's just a rehash of movies like Enemy Mine  or even Dances With Wolves.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 03/07/2010 - 10:23

Troll 2 (5/10)

Yes, it's as bad as you've heard. Definately falls under the "so bad it's good" category. I would recommend watching this, but only with a group of like-minded, cheese-loving  people and, preferably, with a constant flow of alcohol.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 03/07/2010 - 10:15

Dummy Image Bookmarklet

This afternoon I came up with a handy little bookmarklet (or favlet) that uses the site dummyimage.com to create a place holder graphic. Simply drag the following link to the button bar of your browser:

Dummy Image

When you click the bookmark it will prompt you to input image dimensions. Use the format, WIDTHxHEIGHT (for example 640x480) and a new window should open up with a downloadable GIF with those exact dimensions.

Copyright and YouTube

I just noticed today that a video I had posted in YouTube was just blocked in the U.S. because of some music I used in the background. Specifically, they blocked my PC Transporter video that I used to demo some hardware I was selling on eBay. The video is pretty mundane, but I used a Señor Coconut track in the background along with various beeps and noises from the Apple ][gs. Come on, who is going to download the song with all sorts of disk drive noises on top of it?