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.

The House with the Laughing Windows (5/10)

I think I have a bias against films where the protagonist has a beard, unless said film contains magic and elves. Seriously, can you think of a good movie with a bearded hero... okay Planet of the Apes, but besides that? I found this film to be very dull and completely lacking in suspense. Sure, there are some visually interesting moments near the end, but the plot is predictable and you will know whodunnit very quickly. With some better pacing and more atmosphere this could have been much better.

Rec (8/10)

Another shaky handheld camera horror movie ala Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield. This style is getting a little old now, but this film manages to deliver the clichés in an effective manner.  Rec still has its share of motion sickness moments and obligatory annoying screaming characters but the ending works very well.

Conan the Barbarian (7/10)

Back when I was a kid I had seen Conan the Barbarian sequel Conan the Destroyer at least half-a-dozen times. It was rated PG and was one of those movies that played all the time on HBO (when they weren't playing Mickey and Maude). In fact, I just watched it the other night with my six-year-old who is terrified of Disney cartoons and even she seemed to like it. Surprisingly, I had never seen the original movie, which I have always assumed was much better.

What Am I Listening To?

Although I tend to not promote these reviews to the front page, I have been semi-regularly posting mini music reviews of all my CDs as I go through my collection alphabetically. Check them out! This is a continuation of a project I started nearly two years ago on the previous version of this site... I have too many CDs.

The Big Doll House (5/10)

The Big Doll House is a 70s women-in-prison film which featured Pam Grier in more of a supporting role. The film is fairly trashy (as one might expect) but it was on the dull side. The acting is really bad. I mean REALLY bad... to the point of seeming like it was intentional. You know it's pretty bad when Harry the fruit cart guy is the most convincing performance.

Fallout 3 on PC (9/10)

Fallout 1 and 2 are two of my favorite computer games. Those games had a great style to them, engaging post-apocalyptic story lines and a great turn-based combat system.

Apple II: Running Your Favorite Software from the Past

I recently have been on a bit of an Apple II retro-computing kick. There was so much great software for the Apple 2 and I have many-a-fond memories of games like Karateka, Star Blazer and Ultima. In the early eighties my dad bought a Apple ][+ and this is where I learned the ins and outs of programming. In fact, I have posted a few of my better creations on this very web site (check out Dippy Golf and Malfunction).

Braid on PC (10/10)

 Braid got a lot of critical praise when it was released for Xbox. When it went on sale for the PC on Steam for $4.99, I immediately grabbed it.

Coffy (7/10)

Another Pam Grier blaxploitation film cut from the same cloth as Foxy Brown. This one is not as well paced or structured but it still satisfies. The overall revenge story works well and ends appropriately, however, there are several plot points introduced at the beginning which get lost in the mix much to the film's detriment.

Flying Colours by C.S. Forester (9/10)

Another great Hornblower tale. The action picks up right at the end of the previous book and keeps going all the way to the immensely satisfying ending. Most of this story takes place on dry land, and, unlike the earlier books, you get a closer look at some of the other secondary characters like Bush and Brown.

Foxy Brown (8/10)

This is the first film I am watching in my Pam Grier film fest and it's a good one. There plenty of over-the-top violence and action. The film is nicely paced for what is essentially a standard B-movie. There are points in the film where you are thinking, "They aren't going to go there are they? ...oh yes, they are!"

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