POF Archive: June 2018

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

Turbo Kid (7/10)

In recent years there have been several attempts at making fake 80s shows, games or movies. The best of this would be something like Stranger Things and the worst is Kung FuryTurbo Kid is somewhere in the middle. It isn't fully fueled on nostalgia and has likable characters. But there is a tinge of that weird interpretation of 80s culture that millennials often produce. The ever present neon landscape title grid is there. I don't recall seeing that ever in the 80s unless it's a play on the Night Flight logo? Stan Bush sings the title track. Seriously, he recorded one song for one movie! Just…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 06/29/2018 - 13:45

Watch Dogs on PC (6/10)

Fake Chicago

Ubisoft only knows how to make these open world games with paper-thin story lines and lots of side challenges that don't amount to much. I had already played the sequel (which I got for free) before I had played Watch Dogs (which I also got for free). Apparently, if you wait long enough, all Ubisoft games will eventually be free. I knew what to expect going into this: lots of "hacking" which consists of vaguely Pipe Dreams style puzzles or, more often, just holding down the "Q" key. My main reason for not passing on this was the prospect of exploring a virtual Chicago. Turns out in Montreal…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 06/28/2018 - 12:22

Caliban's War by James S. A. Corey (7/10)

This the second book in The Expanse series. It felt like a bit of a retread but with less interesting characters. The T.V. show is better.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 06/27/2018 - 19:09

Star Trek: 25th Anniversary on MS-DOS (7/10)

Star Track Computer Game

I remember watching my housemate play this game quite a bit back when we were in college. I don't think he had the CD-ROM version’which included voice acting from the original cast. Luckily this GOG.com version has all the recorded elements (and none of the weird DOS set up problems). Yup, there's nothing like hearing an aged, breathy-voiced DeForest Kelley read mediocre video game dialogue!

The past few months I have been in a Star Trek state of mind as I have been streaming episodes of The Next Generation. This game really seems to capture the essence of the shows. This is despite the…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:35

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (3/10)

I was hoping for another Luc Besson film at least on par with The Fifth Element, but this was terrible. It has some of the worst casting I have ever seen. The lead has an annoying surfer dude voice and his co-star is only capable of vacant stares. Terrible dialogue, wooden acting and standard clown-vomit video game style action sequences. Pretty colors though.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 06/11/2018 - 19:45

Berberian Sound Studio (6/10)

The only reason to watch this movie is to get a feel for how the sound design was created in Italian giallo movies. Unfortunately, this drifts too far into art film territory. More to confusing than entertaining. Half the dialogue is in Italian and is deliberately not subtitled in order to hammer us over the head with the disorientation that the main character is feeling. It just never went anywhere.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 06/10/2018 - 22:54

Destiny 2 on PC (6/10)

Destiny 2

I've been playing this off and on for the past few months. This is supposedly designed as a multiplayer experience and have been playing it as such. The campaign is not at all interesting narratively. It has something to do with a bad guy with a space hare lip controlling an orb thing that grants powers to the good guys. I lost interest in the first cut-scene.It's all very pointless and boring.

But the multiplayer game-play is crazy fun, right? Not exactly. The game doesn't really do anything original with its mechanics. Just a basic FPS with game modes that amount to defend this thing…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sat, 06/09/2018 - 18:45

Tomb Raider [2018] (6/10)

Definitely better than the first Tomb Raider films. This reboot seems to be using the game's reboot as inspiration. The plot is pretty bland, but enjoyed the performance of the lead actor and it avoided the horrible CGI action until the last third of the movie.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 06/08/2018 - 17:20

From Up On Poppy Hill (7/10)

A cartoon drama from Studio Ghibli about a teenage girl who misses her dead father and raises signal flags for him every morning. She gets involved with a boy who wants to save the school's club building from demolition. No moving castles here, just melodrama and possibly incest. As always, it's a stunningly beautiful animated movie, so I can't really hate on it.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 06/07/2018 - 07:47

Caged Heat (7/10)

This should be a standard Roger Corman women in prison movie, but it was directed by Jonathan Demme and supposedly stands out from other movies in the genre. I wouldn't go that far. It's about as sleazy as these films come and hits all the required check boxes. But there are quite a few long, almost arty, boring stretches at the beginning. The last act is entertaining but what would make a film like this stand out for me would be some better developed characters and maybe a few plot twists. Oh, and Pam Grier.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 06/04/2018 - 11:46

Death Wish 3 (8/10)

What seriousness there was in the first Death Wish is gone. The violence is not terribly gorey but it's ridiculous and just a joy to watch. The gangsters look straight from the cast of Breakin' or a maybe low-rent Mad Max. Nothing makes any sense and the plot is just a means to get from one shoot-out to the next.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 06/04/2018 - 11:08

Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror on PC (7/10)

What do YOU think of these panties?

This game is a bit of a mixed bag. I really like the main characters and it has some genuinely funny moments but there are weird tonal shifts. One moment characters are bloodletting themselves to please an ancient Mayan god, the next you are walking around asking people to comment on the panties you found.The big issue with most point and click adventures is whether or not the puzzles make sense. Again, Broken Sword 2 is hit or miss. When your goal was clear, the puzzles made sense and had just the right amount of challenge. But many times you were put in a situation where there were no…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sat, 06/02/2018 - 13:33