Robert Wm. Gomez's

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.

Beneath a Steel Sky on MS-DOS (5/10)

Beneath a Steel Sky

I think this is considered by many to be one of the best point and click adventure games of the early nineties. I can see why people remember it fondly. The cyberpunk setting is unique (if you don't count Neuromancer or just about every CD-ROM title from the same era), the production is impressive, and the game is massive for a point and click. At the time of this writing it is still offered as a free game on GOG.com. Unfortunately, I felt it to be a bit too oblique and meandering.

Liberalism by Ludwig von Mises (6/10)

Short overview of the basics of classical liberalism with nary a reference to praxeology.

Serious Sam 2 on PC (6/10)

Serious Sam 2

The original Serious Sam became an unexpected hit when it received the approval of Old Man Murray. While other games were trying to be dark and mature, Serious Sam reveled in pure, goofy run-and-gun action. It was like Duke Nukem if it was made by a backwoods folk artist. This sequel is somewhat of a technological upgrade, but the art design still looks like the work of someone just learning how to use 3-D Studio Max, and that is the game's charm. The enemies range from run-of-the-mill space marines to exploding clowns to giant cigar smoking mechanical T-rexes.