Robert Wm. Gomez's

August 2016

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newly (8/10)


Well, Gene Wilder died a this week so it's fitting that the next CD in my queue would be the Willy Wonka soundtrack. Gen X'ers are filled with tons of nostalgia over this movie and the songs therein, but can any of us sing a single line from "Cheer Up Charlie?" Nope. That song is trash that nobody remembers. The rest of the CD is filled with gems like "Candy Man"—a personal favorite because it is my go-to karaoke track. Also, there's quite a bit of film dialogue between songs, which is always a plus for me.

Radiant Historia on Nintendo DS (8/10)

Radiant Historia Box ArtI bought Radiant Historia based on its reputation as one of, if not THE best RPG on the Nintendo DS. Well, it's a JRPG so take that praise with a grain of salt. In fact, when I first got it, I manged to clock about 20 hours but eventually got distracted by other games. It's easy to lose focus from this extremely text-heavy game. Once again, many clicks are wasted on redundant "..." dialogue boxes and the accompanying, un-skippable "..." word bubble animations. So, it took four years and a fun romp through Etrian Odyssey for me to muster the energy to attempt another play through. Rather than pick up where I left off, trying to remember the convoluted plot up to that point, I started anew. During this run I would try my darndest to differentiate between all the cutesy anime characters and not lose focus.

The main touted selling point of Radiant Historia usually is its complex time-travelling plot. At first, being able to redo past events to alter the current ones is an nice mechanism. However, once you are deep into the game and there are dozens of points to which you need to return again and again, it becomes a drag and a nuisance. For me it didn't help that there seemingly was no way to skip the endless cut-scenes (I discovered it's the "start" button about 30 hours in). Despite the grandiose concept, there isn't that much in terms of branching story lines that would, like a Telltale game, lead to a unique game for each player.

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (7/10)

Amazon recommended this movie to me probably because I have watched a lot of Kung-Fu movies lately? I think we can relax about the singularity and A.I. for the time being. Turns out the computer who picked this one is a moron. Not that this is a bad movie, it's just a little weak on the Kung-Fu. What it does have is a stereotypical indie film look and feel. There are lots of overly-long shots that linger on compositions that, no doubt, the director thought were gaze-worthy. If that's what you need to do to get to feature-length, fine.

The Mist (6/10)

I knew most of the story of The Mist from an abridged book an tape that we listened to as kids on some long car trip. Like a lot of Stephen King stories, it's a dumb concept that, when made into a film, depends more on the directing than the plot. Fortunately, this movie does the clichéd apocalypse survivor thing pretty well. Take a bunch of folks from all walks of life, trap them together, and watch as they devolve into anarchy as the looming threat grows. The pacing is good but the CGI monsters are terrible and that ending...