Robert Wm. Gomez's

November 2010

Hercules Against the Barbarians (5/10)

How's this for a novel concept: the reason Poles were able to defend their realm against the invading armies of Genghis Khan was that they had the super-human help of Hercules! This is one weird movie. Seing a muscle-bound man in a tiny loin cloth thing fighting alongside crusades era knights is quite jarring, as is the cast of burly white men playing the Mogol Asians. There is a great Hercules vs. rubber crocodile scene.

9th Company (7/10)

This is nothing you haven't seen a hundred times before in war movies. The Russian perspective of Afganistan is a bit of a change though.

Dario Argento's Phantom of the Opera (4/10)

After watching this, I think I am pretty close to having seen all of Argento's films. I held off on this one for so long because I had heard it was bad. The DVD cover doesn't help the cause either. Yes, it's pretty bad (the cover and the movie). Although, I don't think it is quite as bad as Trauma. The plot is incoherent (honestly, it's downright stupid) even for an Argento movie. It just makes no sense at all. Well, I guess the cinematography is kinda pretty and I think Julian Sands' hair will haunt my dreams forever.

Best Worst Movie (8/10)

I've written about Troll 2 here before. Basically, Troll 2 is the epitome of a so-bad-it's-good movie. Best Worst Movie is a documentary that follows several of the principle actors and the director to explore how, after finding out the film has reached cult status, the movie has effected their lives.

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (9/10)

My post-Game of Thrones decent into pure phantasy nerdom continues with the Mistborn trilogy. This first book in the series is a well-plotted story and has some pretty memorable characters. The prose can be a bit mediocre or, at least, strangely repetitive at times—the characters all seem to be able to "raise an eyebrow" when they are thinking. Independent eyebrow control must be a high-level magick skill. However, overall it kept me interested throughout and it seemed to tie up loose ends nicely at the end.

"I Need a Vacation" by Jim Bakus

This is the b-side of Jim Bakus' "Delicious" single from my not-so-vast record collection. The a-side is legendary, the b-side is still pretty good to.

Rock Stardom for Dumbshits by Phantom Surfers, The (8/10)

Leave it to The Phantom Surfers to release an instrumental surf record without any music, singing, talking or audio of any kind. I believe in some higher circles of society these types of records are called books, but what do I know. Rock Stardom for Dumbshits presents itself as a step-by-step guide to making it in the music industry. Bands are offered advice on how to sell-out and compromise everything they believe in for the near-impossible chance of making a living as a rock musician. Of course, it's all a big goof! This is The Phantom Surfers after all.

When You Were a Tadpole and I Was a Fish by Martin Gardner (5/10)

Martin Gardner died around the time this book was released. Like many of his books, it compiles articles and essays that he has written over the years. This volume lacks much of the consistency of his other books. As usual, he still manages to hit some of this favorite topics: mathematics, pseudo-science, religion, and his overly-enthusiastic love of G.K. Chesterson. Personally, I think he is at his best when he is looking for paradoxes and puzzles within the framework of these broader areas of interest.

Friday Foster (4/10)

You know you are in trouble when the most convincing performance in your film is by Isaac from The Love Boat. Despite the skin and swears, this is a made-for-TV quality blaxploitation film. It is uncommonly low on action, and the acting and dialogue is painful. Even Eartha Kitt disappoints.