Robert Wm. Gomez's

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.

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.