July 2013

The Castle of Cagliostro (8/10)

I was familiar with about the first fifteen minutes of this movie from the old laser disc video game, Cliffhanger. I always preferredCliffhanger to Dragon's Lair because you were given move hints on screen. Anyhow, it turns out that Stern just used footage from this Miyazaki film and shoehorned a game on top of it. The movie is actually really good and doesn't have the heavy-handed back-to-nature message of Miyazaki's more recent films. It's just lots of action and well-paced fun.

Darksiders on PC (7/10)

Darksiders Hero Shot

Darksiders is a game that is utterly derivative of Zelda. You are tasked with exploring various "castles," each of which gives you a new power that will open up new areas on the map. Some of these new powers include Link's hookshot, Eopna the horse (named Ruin here), a magic musical instrument, double jump, and the Portal gun is thrown in for good measure. However, unlike a Zelda, this game is supposed to be dark and edgy. It's kinda like a modern superhero movie where they try to make a kids' franchise dark and brooding. I can't wait for the reimagining of The Wonder Twins.

Profile: The Ultimate Sparks Collection by Sparks (10/10)

Format: 
CD

This two-disc compilation was my introduction to 70s era Sparks. It covers their best songs all the way from their inception as the band Halfnelson through Interior Design. With the exception of maybe one or two tracks, every song in this collection is great and I would recommend this as a starting point for anyone wanting to find our more about this fantastic band.

Exotic Creatures of the Deep by Sparks (8/10)

Format: 
CD

I wasn't sure what to think of this album when I first listened to it. It feels more like a straightforward rock album than their last two with their weird, off-kilter arrangements. But, now a few years away from its release, this CD has grown on me. The album starts off strong, but somewhere near the last third of the CD tracks like "Lighten Up, Morrissey" and "Photoshop" start to drag the album down. Thankfully, the album closes with the excellent, "Likeable" which redeems it.

Graveyard Disturbance (5/10)

Graveyard Disturbance is a silly, made-for-TV quality horror film from Lamberto Bava, and it's surprisingly bloodless considering the director. At times the dialogue becomes self-aware and there's the potential for some good horror-comedy moments, but this is mostly squandered. There is some 80s cheese appeal here and the monster makeup is pretty solid. Unfortunately, the monsters don't do anything in this except walk around and then sit at a dinner table.

Baby Shark's Showdown at Chigger Flats by Robert Fate (9/10)

Another enjoyable story filled with shooting, kicking and revenge. This story is much more straightforward than others in the series, but it jam-packed with enough action and tension that I didn't really care that there wasn't much mystery to it.