Robert Wm. Gomez's

Mission: Impossible - Fallout (8/10)

Pretty much a direct continuation of he previous film in the series. Lots of stunts, yadda yadda. Good twists and turns, and a return of characters not really seen since 3. These all sort of run into each other at this point, but they are all very good popcorn films.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (8/10)

In the first ten minutes of Rogue Nation we have Tom Cruise hanging from the fuselage on an airplane on takeoff. The movie manages to keep up the pace from there. On top of it all there's a decent villain. I think I liked this better than Ghost Protocol.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (7/10)

Okay, here we go to the un-numbered M:I sequels. This one was directed by The Iron Giant's Brad Bird. The intro credits are the only clue as to Bird's animation roots. The rest is high energy chases, escapes and heists. The plot and characterization are irrelevant and the real reason to watch is the crazy, non-apparent-CGI stuntwork. Tom Cruise hanging from Burj Khalifa is this installment's crazy Tom Cruise moment.

Mission: Impossible III (8/10)

Everyone says that these Mission: Impossible movies are some of the best contemporary action movies around (besides Fury Road), so I decided to have a little marathon this week. I remember thinking the first movie was just okay. I also remember wanting to see the second one because John Woo directed it. I don't think I ever saw 2, but no matter. I will start with 3. It is a solid action movie built around 3 or 4 heist set-pieces.

The Monster Project (7/10)

Yet another found footage horror film with all the shaky camera cliches you'd expect. Despite this, I rather enjoyed it for what it was. It's not as deeply horrific the way Blair Witch was. The scares come mostly as loud, predictable jumps-scares. But the premise is good (taping a reality show about people who claim to be monsters), they managed to develop the characters a bit, and the first-person action works quite well.

The Mighty Peking Man (6/10)

Shaw Brothers attempt at a giant monster movie is pretty corny. Normally I enjoy garbage movie like this, but this one didn't really pique my interest. It's a rehash of the King Kong story and the monster is just too close to a guy in a cheap gorilla suit (with the exception of a few creep facial close-ups).

Cursed Mountain on Nintendo Wii (7/10)

Cursed Mountain Limited EditionThis "limited edition" version was one of the first games I bought for the Wii. It's been sitting on my stack of unplayed games since June of 2011. At the time, I didn't know anything about it beside the fact that it was really cheap (Amazon order history says it was $8.99!). It comes in a tin case (like Metroid Trilogy) and includes with a DVD and CD soundtrack. Turns out, I shouldn't have put it off for so long and it's actually a decent game.

Okay, it's decent by Wii standards. That means the usual control annoyances, bland graphics and simple story-lines. What it has going for it is a unique game world and premise. You play a mountaineer in the Himalayas on a quest to find his lost brother who disappeared in a search for a mystical artifact.

The Gay Detective by Lou Rand (7/10)

A short, fun read with a simple plot and one-dimensional characters, but that should go without saying for just about any vintage pulp from the same era. This exists mostly as an window into how outsiders might have viewed early 60s gay subculture at the time. To keep it safe, most of the risque moments in the story are strictly of a hetero variety. Kudos to the author for inventing several dozen unique ways to use the word "gay" as a descriptor throughout the book.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (4/10)

Apparently everything is going to kill us. There are a handful of insights among the doom and gloom, but mostly this is a litany of sci-fi catastrophes. Catastrophes that will probably never happen because these sorts of predictions never do. Time exists and humans adapt. Besides, never trust an author who attributes just about every issue to living in a post Trump/Brexit world of uncertainty.

Wolfenstein 3D on MS-DOS (6/10)

Wolfenstein 3D

As with most of the great shareware titles of the 90s, I played the free episode of Wolfenstein 3D a gazillion times but never bothered to buy the complete package. Once again with thanks to GOG.com I have been able to finally complete in its entirety. This is the progenitor of first-person shooters and the basic game mechanics are still pretty solid. Its main problem is that of repetitiveness. There are only four kinds of enemies to fight. That isn't including the bosses at the end of every episode which all have a unique sprite and some even have an elaborate death sequence:

Wolfenstein Death Cam

But even those bosses all kinda fight in the same manner.