Robert Wm. Gomez's

Terminator Salvation (6/10)

For the first 20 minutes or so I couldn't see why this film got such bad reviews. I was really enjoying it. And then they introduce the "love interest" and the story starts to focus on the jaded sci-fi trope of the robot who thinks he's a man. There are plot holes galore and editing jumps that feel like place holders for commercials. We don't care about the new terminator, all we want to see is the story of John Conner and Kyle Reese. At the very least, there are enough nods to fanboys to keep it watchable until the end (the digital surprise cameo is jaw-dropping).

Adobe Contribute Is No Longer My Friend

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Adobe. Some of their products are great—Photoshop is a verb these days for good reason—but, they have also released some of the most disappointing software I have ever used. Encore, their DVD authoring program, will crash anytime you try to do anything with even a moderate degree of complexity. Dreamweaver will give you cryptic JavaScript errors out of the blue, when you are not actively editing anything. Heck, everyone knows Acrobat is a bloated resource hog.

Mirror's Edge on PC (9/10)

Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge is another free-running inspired game like Assassin's Creed. But unlike Assassin's Creed, the acrobatic roof running is actually an integral part of the game mechanics and fun. With its puzzle-based level design, this game has much more in common with Portal than anything else.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (8/10)

The series chugs along. Number three is still the best movie of the series, but this one performs as expected. The kids in secondary roles are all growing up to be weird looking young adults who have yet to master their craft.

Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies by C. S. Forrester (6/10)

I was disappointed when I came to the realization that this was more of a collection of short stories rather than a full novel. The tales aren't bad, but I would have preferred a much more grandiose story arc to end of the Hornblower series.

Lord Hornblower by C. S. Forrester (7/10)

Starts out nicely with Hornblower sent off to deal with a mutinous crew and keeps up the pace for about half of the book. Things begin to slow down near the end when the war with the end of the Napoleonic wars. Although, the return of some old firends from previous books is a welcome turn. So far, the initial trilogy of Hornblower novels are looking like the high point in the series.

Commodore Hornblower by C. S. Forrester (6/10)

A disappointing follow-up to the last Hornblower novel. This one has Hornblower in Russia helping out during the siege of Riga. Maybe a little too much politics for my taste.

The Jesus Lizard Reunion Show

David Yow at Metro, Chicago Nov. 2009 This weekend, I actually left the house to see live music that wasn't Nonagon. Thanks to John H., I got offered to see The Jesus Lizard at Metro. The Jesus Lizard is one of those bands that, during the nineties, I saw at least half-a-dozen times. Their music basically became the blueprint for much of the stuff we wrote in Der Lugomen.

Time for the Stars by Robert A. Heinlein (7/10)

A fairly good sci-fi novel about a pair of telepathic twins separated when one goes off to survey new worlds in a near-light speed starship. Although somewhat dated in it's writing style, the book does a good job describing how near-light speed travel would affect the aging of the twin in space compared with the one on earth.

AMC's The Prisoner Remake

I just finished watching all six episodes of AMC's remake of The Prisoner and I guess I shouldn't have expected much. How could you possibly redo one of the most unique and thought provoking television series without disappointing those of us who idolize the original? After seeing some early teaser featurettes on AMC's Web site I started to get high hopes for this. I mean, Gandalf as No. 2! And look at this awesome still:

Jesus is about to get crushed by a gargantuan pilates ball! If this series had consisted entirely of No. 6 being chased by rovers I would have been satisfied. Instead we get a confusing mess of mumbled dialog, uninformative flashbacks, more mumbled dialog and 3 or 4 schmaltzy love story plot lines. The rovers have about 15 seconds of total screen time over the course of the entire mini-series.

Assassin's Creed on PC (6/10)

One of the many exciting sit and watch missions in Assassin's Creed

Pictured above is one of the many exciting "sit and watch some guys talk" missions from the PC game Assassin's Creed: Director's Cut. Yup. Your goal on these quests is to find some guys, sit on a bench, and listen to them. No this isn't a Wii Fit balance game, it's Assassin's Creed!

The Devil Rides Out (6/10)

This is another film that just begs for more creepy atmosphere. As it is, it feels too much like a stage play with sparse and fake looking interiors and performances that scream, "Acting!" This is too bad, because there aren't enough devil movies around. The story is good and this film's monsters are well done but are shot in such a drab, TV movie manner than any impact is lost.