Miami Connection (7/10)

This one is mostly noteworthy for its wacky premise of new wave rock band karate masters fighting motorcycle ninjas. It's not as wild and fun as it sounds, but there is a big cheese-factor payoff in many of the scenes, especially the concert footage. Friends forever.

Spirits of the Dead (5/10)

Only the last of the three stories in this horror anthology is worth watching. It's directed by Frederico Fellini and is (no duh) quite Fellini-esque. At least I think it is. I've not seen any other of his movies, but it was very surreal and goofy. Supposedly these are all adaptations of Poe stories, but Fellini just makes his a take on stardom and the shallowness of cinema celebrity. The first segment is Jane Fonda falling in love with a horse and the second is basically a 70's let's play, watching two people play cards.

Hundra (6/10)

This third-tier fantasy movie starts out great, gets really boring, then ends on a slo-mo high note. The Morricone score hides much of the cheapness of the production, as does the cinematography and extensive use of epic slow-motion in the fight sequences. A film this low-grade probably doesn't deserve Morricone, but there he is saving the day. The lead actress is laughably bad at the acting part of her job but her stunt work is well done and fun to watch.

Life is Strange on PC (8/10)

Life is Purple

Life is Strange uses the same branching story game play as Telltale's games. The twist here is that your character has the power to reverse time and undo choices. There are a handful of puzzles that require some creative time shifting but the reality of this mechanic is that it is simply an alternative to using a quick-save.

La Tarantola Dal Ventre Nero by Ennio Morricone (8/10)

Format: 
CD

Although it contains two fantastic easy-beat Edda Dell'Orso songs, most of this is standard giallo experimentation. I also have a truncated version of this score on a two-fer CD which includes all that you really need without the repetition.

Coolidge by Amity Shlaes (6/10)

This was a fawning look at Coolidge's life and tenure as the 30th President. It was okay up to a point, but there's something about biographies that just don't click with me. No matter how interesting the person's life was (and Coolidge's was only moderately interesting), they will never match a good old fashioned fictional story.

You Can Now Buy My Art on Etsy

I've been using this Web site as a place to show and sell my art for nearly twenty years. In that time I have sold exactly zero prints. I know I haven't exactly been P.T. Barnum when it comes to self-promotion, but seriously, zero? I have even offered prints for free with no takers.

Well, today is the day that all changes. I am now selling my prints on Etsy.com! This means they'll handle the billing and shipping calculations and you can sit back, relax and send me all your money!

Hairspray (7/10)

We watched this movie because my kid was in a local production of the musical version and I wanted her to see the original. I thought it was quite good although it can't compare with John Waters' earlier movies. Yet, even though it's pretty mainstream, there was still quite a bit of demented stuff lingering throughout.

Spasmo by Ennio Morricone (8/10)

Format: 
CD

Another solid giallo score from Morricone. There are three main themes here: "Bambole", "Spasmo", and "Stress Infinito". The first is mellow and dreamy. The second darker and more mysterious. Finally, the third is about weird sounds and experimentation. If you don't mind the repetition this is a pretty good CD.

Every Man Got Dreaming by Sandoz (8/10)

Format: 
CD

When not using the Sandoz moniker to make intense dub reggae albums, Richard H. Kirk's side project sounds much like his other solo work. There are African rhythms sampled here and there, but, for the most part, this is smooth, not-quite-dancy electronica. I'm not really willing to make the commitment to get into contemporary EDM. Only collecting post-Cabaret Voltaire projects is enough for me to make a claim as to having a large electronic music collection.

My Young Auntie (7/10)

A bright and colorful comedic kung-fu movie about a young widow who was tasked with protecting a family fortune from a greedy brother. The joke is that the young girl is treated as though she is an elderly matron as she discovers the excitement of early twentieth century China. The fights were so-so despite Gordon Liu in a wig and the "jokes" didn't quite nail it for me.

The Duke of Burgundy (7/10)

The only reason I knew that this movie existed was a YouTube review of the soundtrack by Sean Rowley. The music is by a group called Cat's Eyes and it has a cool Julee Cruise vibe throughout. The film itself a slow, arty story about two women in a sort of S&M relationship. Sounds sexy right? Well, there are far more close-ups of bugs than any actual skin on the screen and I wasn't really sure if all this was supposed to be a joke.

The Greasy Strangler (8/10)

Although I was entertained for the most part, it's hard not to see that this movie desperately wants to be a John Waters film. It (fortunately) isn't as shocklingly gross as a Waters movie, but it also lacks a bit of the heart of Waters. These are just nasty characters with no humanity (or clothes). All the while it's just trying oh so hard to be a cult film. Still, it's quite funny in the exploitative way of a Tim & Eric sketch.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (8/10)

This was my first cyberpunk novel (if you don't count getting stuck in Neuromancer on the IIgs). I thought it was pretty good but the middle of the book is bogged down explaining the main motivation of the bad guys via an overly long dive into Sumerian history and biblical references that would make John Galt complain about the length.

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