Robert Wm. Gomez's

The Wind Rises (5/10)

This has to be the worst Studio Ghibli film I've seen. Of course it's beautiful, but if it wasn't for the craftsmanship of the animation, this would a forgotten bit of melodramatic film making.

The New Right: A Journey to the Fringe of American Politics by Michael Malice (9/10)

Malice takes a break from trolling to clarify what exactly "The New Right" is. The dear readers are guided through the intellectual roots of the movement, meme culture, college campus provocateurs, and eventually to the icky, extreme fringes of the alt-right. The focus isn't so much on the personalities as it is on the ideas and factions within the movement. The only thing that seems to unite them all is a shared hatred of progressives and "The Cathedral" (the progressive strongholds within universities and the press).

John Wick: Chapter 2 (6/10)

This is about on par with the first John Wick movie. Silly, fantastical world of assassins and gangsters with over-the-top gun fights. Again, the (intentionally) unrealistic action is kinda tedious especially when compared to the Mission: Impossible films. When every shot fired is a perfectly placed head shot it's just not interesting or engaging.

Night of the Comet (7/10)

A corny, low-budget sci-fi movie that somehow I missed back in the 80s. This is the type of PG-rated horror(ish) movie that would get played over and over on cable TV (think Beastmaster). Although it has zombie-type creatures, it's not really horror. This is mostly about a couple of valley girls dealing with the end of the world. It all works surprisingly well in spite of the cheap sets, bad music and lackluster acting.

Villmark Asylum (6/10)

Norwegian horror movie about a group of scientists who go to a soon-to-be demolished hospital in the woods only to discover it hasn't quite been completely abandoned. Apparently this is a sequel? As it stands, it is an okay haunted house type story, relatively free from jump-scares and other cheap horror gimmicks.

Cut-Throats Nine (8/10)

This isn't a spaghetti western. It's a Spanish western. There has to be a name for that already: tapas western or paella western? Whichever name, it probably involves some disgusting Spanish food that's comprised mostly of fish and entrails. That would be appropriate here considering all the Fulci-style close-up gore on display here. The basic premise is a standard chain-gang on the run plot in which greed and vengeance slowly begin to cause characters to drop off. It's not quite as tense as it could be considering the gorey style.

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.