POF Archive: October 2013

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Crime Wave (8/10)

A noir crime film from 1954 that features a young Charles Bronson (credited as Charles Buchinsky) as the heavy in a group of three escaped cons. They leap through some gaping plot holes to enlist a former inmate buddy (who just wants settle down with his wife and make good) into their plot to pull off the ultimate bank robbery. Despite the logical flaws in the story, this was quite an entertaining film with a touch of realism at times and cartoonish characterization at other moments.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 10/29/2013 - 20:09

Halloween Movie Nights Part II

I managed to watch a couple more Halloween themed films this weekend. This included another Fulci film,  A Lizard in a Woman's Skin, which I rank as his best along side The Beyond. Unlike most of his other work, this one is tightly plotted and suspenseful. It features a bunch of deranged hippies, surreal dream sequences, a fantastic Morricone score and a compelling performance by David Horowitz of TV's Fight Back:

Crimefighting David Horowitz

I got the entire family to watch the "Drop of Water" segment from Black Sabbath. This is Mario Bava at his best with loads of colored lights, sets that look like renaissance paintings and a super creepy corpse. I like the rest of the film too, but the slow pacing probably wouldn't have kept the attention of the crowd that evening.

Darksiders II on PC (8/10)

Darksiders II

The first Darksiders was a blatant rip-off of (some might say "homage to") the The Legend of Zelda. While it maintains much of that formula, the sequel feels a little more like its own thing. There's more of an emphasis on acrobatic platforming complete with pillar jumping, vaults, wall-running and... er... okay it's a rip-off of Prince of Persia this time, but who cares, it's a formula that works!

The game keeps pushing you along from one puzzle room to the next and along the way you earn more and more advanced tools for passing obstacles. There's still the pop gun, portal gun and hookshot…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 10/22/2013 - 22:29

Halloween Movie Nights

Each year around this time I always tell myself that I am going to watch a different horror movie every night in the lead-up to Halloween. I never seem to get around to it and end up cramming two or three films in at the last minute’usually Halloween evening while the rest of the family is out trick or treating. Well, this year I have managed to be a little more on top of things. Especially now since we have a DVD-ready laptop positioned in front of my treadmill. There's nothing like a bit of Fulci close-up gore to motivate the fat burning.

Speaking of which, this evening I completed Zombi 2 which I gave a rather terse review some time ago. I forgot just how creepy the zombies are in that film. It's very bleak and dread-filled and has some really gross and disturbing effects. Modern zombie…

Copper Blue
Sugar - CD (8/10)

I've never really liked most of Bob Mould's solo efforts (and later-era Hüsker Dü for that matter). I thought Black Sheets of Rain was utter crap and had no intention of ever buying another Mould record but then Copper Blue came along and and he redeemed himself. The songs (at least the first two-thirds of them) are energetic and filled with hooks. As an added bonus, the drums don't sound like they were recorded in a drain pipe. 

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 10/17/2013 - 12:20

Strongbad's Cool Game for Attractive People on PC (6/10)

Strongbad's Cool Game for Attractive People

This game has been on my back burner for quite some time now. I play a little here and a little there, but it never really got its hooks in me. This was Telltale's first foray into episodic point-and-click adventure games and it shows. There is no over-arching story to tie the episodes together, solving the puzzles is mostly just a matter of clicking on everything in your inventory and they threw in a bunch of item collection nonsense to make up for the limited gameplay options.

If you are a fan of the web cartoon it's worth playing if only because it is probably the last we will see of…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 10/08/2013 - 22:33

Astral Astronauts
Spoozys - CD (9/10)

Spoozys were one of the half dozen or so Japanese bands I saw perform at Japan Nite 2001. Spoozy were my favorite act the evening, followed by The Polysics and then maybe Lolita 18. Spoozys sound a lot like a halfway point between Man or Astroman? and The Polysics. New wave surfy guitar, mixed with synthesizers and looped drums. Oh, and spacesuits.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 10/08/2013 - 16:05

Amazing Grace
Spiritualized - CD (6/10)

Apparently, the idea with this record was that Spiritualized would reign in the huge arrangements and get back to basics. Well that really didn't work. The first few songs on this disc are pretty bad. They are just poorly executed rock songs with unnecessary distortion on vocals and other annoyances. However, the songs "Lord Let it Rain on Me" and "The Ballad of Richie Lee" are good enough to keep from getting rid of this album.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 10/01/2013 - 18:41