POF Archive: August 2020

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

Nick the Sting (6/10)

A small-time crook is accused of a crime he didn't commit. He then spends the rest of the movie getting back at the men who done him wrong. No this isn't quite a revenge film. It's more like an long episode of Candid Camera in which Nick sets up elaborate pranks to thwart his enemies. The tone is appropriately lighthearted but it doesn't quite play as a comedy and, despite a couple foot chases, doesn't quite play as a crime thriller either.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 08/31/2020 - 14:08

Nightmare Castle (7/10)

Black and white Gothic horror with Barbara Steele in a dual role as blonde lady and brunette lady. I didn't mind most of the film, but the story is chock full of holes and forgotten plot points. Steele looks as anorexic as ever. The movie redeems itself in the last ten minutes with some good makeup effects. Apparently, The Misfits' "Hybrid Moments" is based on this?

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 08/23/2020 - 22:48

The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization by Arthur Herman (7/10)

This is yet another summation of Western philosophical thought. In this case it's presented as a perpetual oscillation between the spiritual ideas of Plato and the rational ideas of Aristotle.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 08/23/2020 - 10:45

Tacoma on PC (6/10)

Tacoma

Yet another walking simulator, but this time it's in space! So, technically it's a floating simulator. The gimmick here is that you can watch past events happen via holographic recordings. You follow the various characters as they walk around talking, and then meet other characters in conversation. Then you rewind and watch the other characters from their angle. It actually is very interesting way of telling a story. It's just not a game.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 08/20/2020 - 21:36

Pillars of Eternity on PC (5/10)

Talk to the beast

I think it's time I finally accept the fact that I don't really like Infinity Engine style games anymore. I really like the idea of them: controlling a party of adventurers, exploring richly detailed worlds, and freezable real-time strategy combat. But the last few I have played have been bogged down in convoluted fantasy storylines that never grab my attention. Pillars' story isn't that complicated, but it just lacks focus. I never cared why I was getting visions and the main villain is a dud. Because of Kickstarter funding, the world is riddled with insipid and unnecessary vignettes that…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 08/19/2020 - 19:26

Dr. Goldfoot & The Girl Bombs (3/10)

Mario Bava at his absolute worst. There is so much lost in translation and editing that this is barely a movie. Apparently there is an Italian version which is a bit more well put together but features more of the worst part of this version: the annoying Italian slapstick duo. The only saving grace are the few scenes where Vincent Price breaks the fourth wall. Otherwise a complete stinker.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 08/17/2020 - 16:41

Hexen: Shadow of the Serpent Riders on MS-DOS (8/10)

Hexen lizrard thing

Hexen was another mid-nineties FPS that, I swear, I played the demo of several times but never played the full game. I only seemed to remember that first level with its stained glass windows and melee combat. It takes quite some time before you get a ranged weapon and that's probably why I never felt the incentive to continue much farther than the initial levels. You need to give this one some time before it starts to click.

Blarg! Guts! I loved the 90s!

The level design is pretty great. Each section of the game is organized around a hub world. You can then move between the various sub levels in search of keys…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sat, 08/08/2020 - 20:11

Alien Portrait

How to paint in public This one started off as a painting I made at one of those "pour and paint" wine bars. I pretty quickly sloshed it together using grade-school quality acrylic paints. It wasn't horrible but just felt sloppy to me. The painting languished on a shelf in my house for a couple of years until I was mildly inspired to try painting again after watching a cheesy how to oil paint fantasy art program.

I borrowed a bunch of my wife's acrylic paints and went over everything again, adding detail and color. I then added a bunch of varnish over the whole thing so it began to look almost like an oil…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 08/02/2020 - 10:56