Coming off of FarCry 3, I really wasn't sure I wanted to commit myself to another massive open-world game, but San Andreas was there in my bin of unplayed games calling to me. The GTA formula, like war, never changes: huge open world, lots of driving, violent gangster themes and general mayhem. I really wish the stories were more compelling, but they tend to get lost in the huge scope of the game. Personally, I have no nostalgia or interest in Southern California gangsta culture and music. In light of the never-ending murder in Chicago, it's a hard sub-culture to glamorize without feeling icky. I was able to set that aside and just enjoy exploring the map and all it's diversity.
I tried very hard to like the book Naked Lunch. All the cool kids thought it was just the bee's knees. Well, when I read it, I just didn't get it. Then I read it again and it didn't get any better. A few cool vignettes that add up to a big nothing. Not surprisingly, I discovered later on that Burroughs randomly cut up his writing and arranged it into a novel. What did he expect other that complete confusion?
This classic sets itself up as a last man on Earth drama, but within five minutes kills that premise. The baddies are a set of hippy-dippy night people who offer no real threat to the protagonist yet are trying to attack him for no real reason. Of course there are lots of other people who survived Armageddon. More hippies. We must increase our numbers so we can form an organic foods co-op! Heston is always great in these early seventies films, but, man, dumb movie.
A year ago a watched the other half of this double feature film noir DVD. This second movie is much better but is based on a completely ridiculous premise. A man on the run from the mob assumes the identity of another man who looks like him. When I say "assumes" I mean it. Takes his job. Goes on the town with his wife. And nobody catches on?! Despite this, there are some clever twists and turns that keep it exciting even though everything happening is fully implausible.
Ok, my wife wanted the entire family to watch this and I fully expected to be bored by it, but, you know what, it's a really good movie. It does have some creepy undertones in the relationship between Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews. Also, I am noticing how in the movies, whenever there is an ex-nun, she is always portrayed as simply being an average girl who is good-natured, pure and that's about it. In reality, I would expect ex-nuns to be quoting scripture and being your average annoying evangelical-type most of the time.
It's hard to believe that this soundtrack won the Oscar for original score in 1979. Other than the disco beat of "The Chase," there's not much to this. In fact, a couple of the tracks, "Istanbul Blues" and the vocal version of the "Love Theme," are downright terrible. Maybe people were just impressed with the novelty of an electronic musical score? Or everyone was just on drugs back then.
My Adam Carolla film fest continues with this documentary about Paul Newman's racing career. There are no amazing revelations here except that Newman was a better racer than most of us realized. It's a pretty straightforward character study of a charming man living a charmed life.
Although I haven't written about them here, I have played through much of the first series of Bit.Trip games on the Wii. Most of those games could be classified as rhythm games with an Atari 2600 aesthetic. Beat and Runner were the stand-outs of the original six games. The former is a frantic pong-a-like and the latter is a platformer distilled to its most basic mechanics.
I used to listen to Adam Carolla's podcast pretty regularly but stopped around the time Alison Rosen was unceremoniously let go from the show. Her firing wasn't the main reason for abandoning the show, but it seemed like a good breaking point. An OCD collector's attitude and an hour-and-a-half long daily podcast make for a huge time commitment from which I needed to free myself. In any event, I still wanted to see Adam's crowd-funded movie, Road Hard. If you are familiar with Adam's rants none of the jokes or gags will surprise you.
Although a couple of the pieces on this soundtrack recording sound like they came straight from The Donna Reed Show, the overall vibe is a chill lounge groove. This is best expressed in the CD's showcase track, "Lolita Ya Ya." The album is interspersed with double entendre laced dialogue from the film, which is something I always like on soundtrack releases (i.e. Apocalypse Now).
I read this mostly because I am an admirer of Apocalypse Now. It sorta lost me by the end so I really didn't enjoy this.
The second Star Track reboot film was mindless fun. I was never bored despite the lame retread story, excessive attempts at style, and ill-advised grasps at nostalgia. Someone yells, "Khaaann!" Hardy, har. There's a lot to complain about here, but in the end I liked it despite these flaws.
This giallo has been on my must see list for a very long time. Scored by Ennio Morricone, the excellent soundtrack is probably the best part of this movie. For whatever reasons, the film has alluded me. Years past, and the DVD eventually went out of print. Having finally seen it, I can say It definitely is not worth the high price tag one sees on eBay these days. The story is deliberately confusing in the beginning. Was there a killing or not? And what's with all the mannequins?
The Amazon prime version of this movie looks like crap. I watched it anyways as part of my Mario Bava homework. I actually liked the movie more than I expected. It's not as fantastic as Hercules Unchained, but features some truly epic battle scenes. I swear they must have killed a dozen horses in the making of this film. There is also a wacky underwater battle filled with diapered Athenian men.
I have been slowly working my way through Tim Lucas's All the Colors of the Dark mega-book about Mario Bava. Whenever possible I have been trying to watch the films discussed. Caltiki wasn't directed by Bava, but features his camerawork and effects. The movie starts out rather slow with a few cool moments when the characters discover the flesh melting blob monster. Things don't pick up again until the climax when blobs rampage through miniature sets and the flamethrowers come out. Mildly fun, but nothing special.