Robert Wm. Gomez's

In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks by Adam Carolla (8/10)

I decided to try this one out on a whim. I like Adam Carolla and his humor translated pretty well into book form (although I would much rather hear him tell these stories as a monologue or audiobook). I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times. He jumps from subject to subject and off into tangents so it's a good book to just pick up and read from any point.

Devil Born Without Horns by Michael A. Lucas (9/10)

Michael Lucas is best known as the schtick-loving bassist of The Phantom Surfers. This book was self-published under his own Rudos and Rubes monicker. The cover of this book makes it look like it's some sort of hard-boiled crime thriller. But, while the crime element eventually comes into play, the story mostly revolves around the protagonist's relationship with the dysfunctional employees at the high-end furniture store for which he works. The book is darkly comic and is filled with many strange and vivid characters.

Black Mama White Mama (7/10)

And here we go again with what I thought was going to be another sleazy women in prison movie. To my surprise, the prison portion of the film is only the first fifteen minutes or so. What this really is is a women on the run movie. You know the kind that got parodied in cartoons all the time where the two main characters dislike each other but happen to be chained together as they try to escape. This was another sleazefest that turned out to have a rather engaging and dark plot. The supporting cast of thugs, cops and revolutionaries add to the fun and the climax pulls no punches.

Women in Cages (6/10)

This was another grind house era women in prison movie. I suppose the twist here is that Pam Grier is the bad guy in this one. Despite the obvious sleeze factor here, I found this to actually be a rather well plotted and entertaining film. The acting is, hands down, some of the worst I have seen... And I have seen Troll 2. Nonetheless, I like this one.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (5/10)

This was a slight twist on a typical teen slasher movie. A very, very slight twist which you will see coming from a million miles away. These are some of the most grating, annoying and dumb film teenagers since Hostel. Hostel at least made you root for the frat-boys, despite their dickheadedness, with pure adrenaline infused tension. This movie just lumbers along with no suspense or horror to drive the plot along. Better casting may have made this one work, but, as it is, yawn.

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (6/10)

Once again, I am off in search of fantasy books to match the greatness of the A Song of Fire and Ice series. Amazon seemed to think this book was up to the challenge, so I decided to give it a try. While it has some of the gritty edge of Martin's books, this novel really fell short. The plot is at times very dull and lacks any sort of larger story arc that one would expect from an epic trilogy. Most of the time is spent establishing the characters.

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (5/10)

This film was next in line in my recent rash of bad movies: Troll 2... Birdemic. Unlike those Legendary crap fests, this made-for-TV feature is a little too self aware. Sure the stilted love affair between Debbie Gibson and the Japanese scientist is epic, and the submarine battles defy all logic, but there is just a general lack of enthusiasm from the cast which keeps this from being at the same level of cheese as Plan 9, Birdemic, and the like.

Whip and the Body (8/10)

I finally got around to watching this highly regarded Mario Bava film and it is definitely one of his better efforts. I am not sure I love it as much as some his other films, but his work tends to grow on me with subsequent viewings. There is a lot to like about the style in this movie. The colored lighting and mood is, as usual, fantastic. Christopher Lee's hands should get a lifetime acheivement award at the next Oscars.

Megamind (6/10)

A typical post-Shrek CGI animated feature. This was the first modern 3-D movie I have seen in the theater. 3-D doesn't add much at all except in making the glass look more realistic and substantial. The character design is awful, especially for the Megamind character himself—looks like a Star Trek alien design as imagined by an 11-year old fan. The story is cliche but entertaining. If I see another computer animated cartoon that ends with a pop song and dance number I'm throwing my 64oz drink at the projection booth.