Robert Wm. Gomez's

October 2019

Solo (6/10)

Well, at least it wasn't embarrassing. The movie exists as yet another way to try to give backstory to throwaway comments from the original films. The plot itself kind of kills Han's story arc in Star Wars and establishes him as a guy who was always good. Despite this and the abundance of fake video-game action sequences, I was mindlessly entertained.

Dolemite Is My Name (6/10)

Entertaining but hollow biopic about the early days of Rudy Ray More as played by Eddie Murphy. It's hard to see Eddie as anyone but Eddie Murphy. Also suffers from the usual Hollywood over-simplification of creative endeavors where the artist gets an idea and minutes later they are performing the final product that we are all familiar with (remember that scene in The Doors where the keyboardist comes up with  the main riff "Light My Fire" after noodling for two seconds).

Millennium Actress (7/10)

The follow-up to Perfect Blue is downright whimsical compared to its predecessor. There are still more grown-up themes than your typical anime, but, instead of knife murders and nudity, it's all about aging and unrealized dreams of one's youth. The main character is an elderly actress who is recounting her life to a pair of goofy documentary filmmakers. The film plays fast and loose with reality as movie roles are blended with real life.

Bone Tomahawk (9/10)

Western with a twist that shows its hand in the first frame of the movie but you very quickly forget about it as the characters are introduced. Then that final act.... yeesh. Filled with interesting dialogue and heroes you actually want to root for.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (8/10)

If you read this Web site with any regularity (in reality that means nobody), you know that I am not a fan of superhero movies. The whole concept of superheroes is corny and when they try to make them serious it's just lame. Treating the subject as a kid-friendly fare is a much better approach, especially since Spider-Verse goes full-on animation. The exaggerated fantasy style just works (despite the annoying, intentional low-frame rate). In the end, it's just another origin story but with a comical, meta sensibility.

Voices from Beyond (5/10)

Well, you can generally count on Lucio Fulci for at least one fun scene in any movie he creates. The majority of Voices from Beyond is a dull murder mystery in which you get voice over from the deceased (not unlike Short Night of the Glass Dolls).  The guy who's murdered immediately comes off as a bit of a jerk, so you don't care about the murderer at all. The only good parts are some inserts of a decaying corpse and a character getting a plate of eyeballs.

Rosemary's Baby (8/10)

This is always getting cited as one of the best horror movies ever made. I was not impressed. Yes, it's a good movie as far as the story and acting goes, but it has a silly, lighthearted tone to it that negates any sense of terror or tension.

Metro 2033 Redux on PC (6/10)

Roar!

There was some sort of nuclear apocalypse and the citizens of Moscow were forced to live in the city's subway tunnels. Of course the world is now filled with irradiated monsters. Yet, the humans are still fighting wars with other humans in the tunnels because sci-fi writers can't comprehend that people might actually co-operate in dire circumstances. For some reason you are tasked with saving your station from impending doom and thus begins you journey down the rails to find help. Your job will be difficult, not because of tough choices and insurmountable odds, rather because everything is brown and hard to see in the dark. Oh, and you need to keep changing you gas mask filters every three minutes.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris on PC (8/10)

LASER Lara!!!

This is the sequel to Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Like its predecessor, this is an isometric puzzle platform game combined with a twin-stick shooter. It's fast and fun and pretty casual feeling. I don't remember if this was a part of the first game, but they are really pushing the multi-player game-play and I have no idea how that would work. This seems perfectly fine as a single-player experience.

The Ettin - Wood Engraving

This wood engraving is based off of the drawing I created for the Kickstarter game Nox Archaist. It was engraved in to an old block of end-grain maple. The process started by transferring the ink drawing to the block using acetone and a laser printout. This seemed to work remarkably well. It held up despite my ink wash on top of it and my hands rubbing against it during cutting.

This is what the block looked like when I first inked it up:

Ip Man (7/10)

This is the "true story" of Bruce Lee's teacher, Ip Man. The WWII setting gives it some gravitas as characters live under the rule of the invading Japanese army. Stripped of the setting it is a standard kung-fu movie about fighters wanting to be the master. The choreography is very well done but you never feel like Ip Man is ever in any real danger.

C.H.U.D. (7/10)

More 80s horror catch-up for me. I wasn't sure if this movie was so well known merely for it's clever acronym title or if was legitimately good. I wouldn't call it a classic but it does do several things right. First, the script does a great job in weaving together the various characters' plot lines together.