Thursday, April 30, 2009

80's Trash of the Week: Bloodsport

You are nex!
You break my record, now I break you, like I break your friend.

I like to know how to say "Hello," "cheers," and "screw you" in every language. But in Belgian I only know how to say four words: Jean-Claude Van Damme. Which means "cheesy spinning kick split monster," and Bloodsport is where I first learned to say it. Van Damme had been in the awful Sho Kosugi vehicle Black Eagle as a Russian assassin, but Bloodsport is where he spun onto the martial arts movie scene. Slightly less intelligible than Schwarzenegger but with plenty of fight cred, his eagerness to do his trademark splits at every opportunity made him a hit with the '80s ladies as well as their beaus, who were amazed that someone with a French accent could kick so much ass.
The story as such is this- as a young boy Frank Dux gets caught fiddling with a neighbor's samurai sword, and to pay penance, becomes his student- if only to be a punching bag for the man's young son. He stole from the wrong guy- Tanaka, a ninjutsu sensei and keeper of the secret death move, the Dim Mak. Through an extended montage we watch him learn to do splits while suspended by ropes, to catch goldfish with his bare hands, and to serve tea blindfolded. And this makes him the greatest fighter of all time.
Frank Dux- pronounced "dukes"- wants to fight in "the Kumite," which means "the sparring" in Japanese. It is held in Hong Kong, and is a secret underground fight club where practitioners of all the deadly arts converge to pit their skills against each other in battles to the death. On ths bus he meets Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds, a brawling biker also there for the "secret" Kumite, which everyone seems to know about. There's even a blonde reporter using her sly investigative skills at the hotel bars, asking every tough guy where the Kumite is.
The path they follow through the underground to the Kumite matches is like the famous long take in Goodfellas where they enter the Copa, except there are lots of cuts, no one says anything, and I think they walk through the same hallway three times. To prove that this round-eye devil has really been trained by Tanaka, Van Damme must show them the fabled "death touch." The Dim Mak or "death touch" is changed from the classic kung fu move to a sort of Tetris brick-breaker maneuver. It's closer to dim sum than Dim Mak. But who cares, all you have to do is see JCVD's crazy brickbreaking face to know this movie is going to be awesome.
Bolo Yeung always plays the bad guy, Chong Li, but he gets more lines here than he usually does.. He's most famous for being the huge opponent of Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon, and here he gets to say all the best lines. He's also the one guy who can look crazier than Van Damme, as evidenced in this freeze-frame:

We get a lot of bloody fights, including one where a rapey Arab gets his gold tooth knocked out, which is scooped up by a scurrying Asian fellow. There's an African guy fighting "monkey style" which sort of looks like capoiera, except really offensive. The two cops following Dux to stop him from competing- including a young Forrest Whitaker- eat something at a restaurant that makes a dog whimper.

But racism was all in good fun in the '80s! This movie isn't about that, it's about seeing karate vs. boxing. Prior to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Bloodsport was the only way to decide which martial art could kick the ass of all others. And the answer was Van Damme ninjutsu. As the competitors are winnowed down- either whupped by honorable white folk or cruel Asians who kill you for the bloodlusty crowd- we get to see Ogre be a complete idiot and turn his back on Chong Li after knocking him down. Slowly the inevitable match between Dux and the murderous champion arrives, and the final fight is a glorious example of '80s chop socky.
They say that the movie languished for 2 years until Van Damme helped them re-cut the film; I'd love to see the original version! When evil Chong Li blinds Dux, it takes him so long to remember all that blindfighting training we watched in the montage that I like to think it originally took him 2o minutes of getting his ass kicked before he realized he can fight blindfolded. There's another slow motion shot where he windmills his leg like Popeye winding up a punch.
The movie is also controversial because it is supposedly "based on true events," as reported in its end credits:

This motion picture is based upon true events in the life of Frank W. Dux.
From 1975 to 1980 Frank W. Dux fought 329 matches. He retired undefeated
as the World Heavy Weight Full Contact Kumite Champion.
Mr. Dux still holds four world records:
Fastest Knockout - 3.2 seconds
Fastest Punch with a Knockout - .42 seconds
Fastest Kick with a Knockout - 72 mph
Most Consecutive Knockouts in a Single Tournament - 56
Subsequently Mr. Dux founded the first American Ninjitsu System. Dux-Ryu.
The 80s were the prime time for bullshido, and even Soldier of Fortune went after Dux for his claims of secret military service. Who knows? Here's an incredibly lengthy article on it. A 72mph kick? I guess there was a cop with a radar gun in the ring. It all sounds very impressive, and we all wanted to be ninjas after watching it. Personally, I think the movie is better as the insane fantasy it is, where if Americans travel to exotic lands they can fight to the death in Kumite, or wind up as victims in Hostel. Foreign places were scary in the '80s! Bloodsport is an original, maybe it's awful it many ways but it is unique, and a must for martial arts fans.

Beers Required to Enjoy: 2
Could it be remade today? It should be. Over and over.
Quotability Rating: mild
Cheese Factor: Jean-Claude Van Edam
High Points: Fights
Low Point: yellow peril crap
Gratuitous Boobies: We was robbed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ten Favorite Movie Characters Meme

I didn't get tagged in this because I smell and have no friends, but I'm doing it anyway. These are in no particular order because this isn't MySpace.

10. Ripley

Sigourney Weaver owned this role even in Alien, long before she hopped in a powerloader and growled, "Get away from her, you bitch!" In fact, as great as she is in Aliens, Ripley is a more appealing character in the first one. She's resourceful but still emotional, and while she's a tall drink of water she'd still be easy on the eyes, especially after hypersleep. She can handle a flamethrower in a pinch, and doesn't mind blowing up billion dollar star freighters to get the job done. My management style is based on Ripley.

9. Elwood P. Dowd
Sure, he's best friends with a six foot invisible rabbit named Harvey, but Elwood is just an all around nice guy. Always ready for a drink, he's as friendly as they come, and realizes it's better to be pleasant than clever in the long run. You can be pleasant about being clever; no one cares how clever you are, but how pleasant you are makes a big difference in how you get along. That's Elwood's lesson, and it's a good one.

8. Thulsa Doom
You gotta have a villain in here somewhere. This was a tough one, because he's not really all that charismatic. Hannibal Lecter is an easy one to pick; you never think he'd find YOU rude and eat your thymus glands in brown butter, do you? But Clarice Starling is the only person who's safe from his fork. With Thulsa, you know where you stand. Either you worship him, or you are an infidel defiler who will drown in lakes of blood. I'd rather know if I'm going to drown in a lake of blood up front. He's great even when Conan the Barbarian cuts his head off and throws it down the stairs.

7. John Matrix
The greatest action hero of all time. Yep, even though he was only in Commando. He's smart, he's strong, he never misses, and he can jam a steam pipe through your fake chain mail sweater and out your spine. And deliver snappy one-liners the entire time! As long as you're not a mercenary tough or a mall cop, or get in his way of rescuing "Chenny," he'll be on your side. Right? ... RIGHT!

6. Indiana Jones
I have to admit, even after the crappy fourth movie, Indy will always be great. He's unstoppable, he has unshakeable moral foundations, and he's cool even when he's bumbling. What makes Indy so great? When hes about to do something crazy, he looks scared. He's as incredulous as we are when he jumps on the front of a truck. But he does it, because it must be done! It helps that he's afraid of snakes. It makes him human. John Matrix would bite the head off that snake and make a garrote out of it.

5. Otto
Kevin Kline is one of the funniest guys around, but after the excellent Dave I think he got a little soft. When he was a jerk, he was even funnier. Otto of A Fish Called Wanda is one of the greatest inept villains of all time- a true vulgarian who thinks central tenet of Buddhism is "every man for himself," who's not afraid to sneak a gun into an airport or try unprepared sushi. He really made this movie, and he had a lot of talented company.

4. MacReady
Why this Kurt Russell role over Snake Plissken, the ultimate badass? Because he's a regular guy who saves humanity when thrust into impossible circumstances against an otherworldly foe. You can see a bit of Snake in this character but he's always believable, and like all heroes, he's afraid of what he has to do, but he does it anyway. When he's not saving the world he just wants to fly his chopper and smoke dope in his shed.

3. Bart
As a relatively unknown actor, how do you walk into a role written by and for Richard Pryor, the biggest black comedian of the time? Ask Cleavon Little. It amazed me that his career fizzled after Blazing Saddles, he was so entertaining. He had small roles as DJs in FM and Vanishing Point but never one as big as this. Bart is funny, cool, yet has just enough self-doubt to be a likeable guy. He can fool the man with shuck 'n jive, seduce Lili Von Schtupp, and even talk the Waco Kid out of drinking himself to death. Just remember than 19 is his limit on schnitzengruben. Bitte, baby.

2. George & Marion Kerby
A high school pal of mine was obsessed with Topper but it took many years for me to watch it and see what the big deal was. Cary Grant has always been the perfect gentleman, but it's tough to pick one role. I'm not sure I'd want to be haunted by this couple, but I'd rather party with them than Nick & Nora Charles any day.

1. Helen Tasker
This was a tough one. I went through all the women characters of cinema who made me feel like a naughty little boy, from Linda Fiorentino and Kathleen Turner's femme fatales to bubbly Geena Davis, Marlena Dietrich and Rita Hayworth... and it came down to, who could I live with? Most of them would probably kill me for my cash, but Helen was a faithful wife who wanted a little excitement. And when it came time to serve her country, she did a hell of a striptease, and bashed someone's head in with a phone. Plus, I had a crush on her since Trading Places. I guess it says a lot that in True Lies I'm ogling a funny redhead with some meat on her bones when Tia Carrera is in it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Thriller: They Call Her One Eye

I'll cry when I'm done killin'
Thriller: A Cruel Picture was recommended by Moon in the Gutter, a fine movie blog. It's Swedesploitation- a Swedish revenge picture, about a girl who was rendered mute by a sexual assault at a young age, who undergoes even more horrors in early womanhood, and wreaks her justice upon those who have wronged her. She cannot scream for vengeance, but she sure can inflict it.
Never get in a car with a guy named Tony

A very matter of fact depiction of what would have been called "white slavery" in the '70s, young Madeleine misses her bus, takes a ride with a handsome cad in a sportscar, has a drink and wakes up shot full of heroin and forced to sign a contract that makes her a whore. Our mute heroine is played by the innocent darling Chrisina Lindberg- a gorgeous pin-up girl ubiquitous in the '70s- a feisty yet naive brunette who is soon entrapped in a hell of addiction and debasement. She claws the face of her first john, and Tony brutally maims her to break her spirit, cutting her eye out with a scalpel. According to IMDb the shot was done with a corpse, and it's easily one of the most disturbing eye shots you'll see this side of Un Chien Andalou.
From then on "One-Eye" performs with a pink eye patch, servicing her customers silently to feed her addiction. The film proceeds with a minimalist neorealism, as One-Eye meets fellow enslaved prostitutes like Sally, who tells of her plan to save enough to flee to Switzerland to a rehab clinic. Eventually One-Eye manages to return home to her parents- who have killed themselves in their grief over her disappearance. Soon after, she spends her money on lessons in karate, shooting and stunt driving, in preparation for her revenge. This is interspersed with her sex work- johns such as a twisted photographer, a sadistic woman who wants to dominate her, and hardcore scenes with a beefy ape impaling her to disturbing synth tracks- a descent into madness.
Her revenge is a slow-motion death dance as she shotguns and kicks her way through johns, pimps, and police. Most impressive was a punch that spewed a laser whip of bright red blood from the victim's mouth, as if he had a chameleon tongue. When the time comes, she changes into a black eyepatch and dons a long black coat- in fashion way before The Matrix and steals a police car, straight out of Vice City. It reminded me more of El Topo (full review) than anything else, though it lacks the obvious symbolism. Bright red blood, stylized death dealt without excitement. One-Eye's silence becomes evocative as she quietly mows through her victims and coldly serves an unimaginable, fairy-story torture on her pimp, showing that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it pull a man's head off. Or can you?
The film was brilliant to me in its Michael Haneke-esque indictment of the viewer, taking a Penthouse and Playboy centerfold, making her a mute sex assault victim and a maimed prostitute, and making us watch her in hardcore sex scenes. It certainly drained the eroticism out of seeing her gorgeous body, whether that was director Bo Arne Vibenius's intention or not. According to his bio, he wanted to make a sleazy picture to recoup the losses from his previous film and made an unlikely hit. It's arthouse meets grindhouse, and just as disturbing today.

And you're damn right, after the cut there are some NSFW photos of Ms. Christina Lindberg's lovely breasts. The hardcore stuff? It's on DVD, buy it ya prevert.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Counting Down the Zeroes: Spirited Away

This post is part of Film for the Soul's excellent Counting Down the Zeroes project, reviewing the great films of the past decade.

One more thing to thank Pixar for is helping get Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli some respect in the States. I've been a fan since I saw Nausicaa presented at a science fiction convention in the early '90s; back then was only available on a bootleg VHS with subtitles created by American fans who learned Japanese. Later I saw Princess Mononoke at an Asian Cultural Center in Minneapolis, dubbed for American release. So I thought it was wonderful when in 2003 he won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature with Spirited Away.

Princess Mononoke was the general American public's introduction to Miyazaki, and it is practically an action film, with a war between nature and a village of gunmakers; it's an easy sell. Spirited Away is a disturbing fairy tale about a young girl kidnapped and enslaved by a witch. Instead of an action film we get an Alice in Wonderland set in a strange fairy tale world sprung from Miyazaki's imagination, melding all sorts of folklore.
It is the tale of Chihiro, a young girl who is moving to a new town with her parents. She is angry at leaving home, and sits petulantly in the back of the car. Her father takes a deep forest road, and they come upon an abandoned amusement park. As they explore, her parents find a room laden with delicious food, and begin eating ravenously. Chihiro senses that something is off, and does not eat; she comes upon a boy named Haku, who warns her to leave with her parents, but it is too late. Her parents have begun turning into pigs, and there is no return. They have entered the land of spirits, and cannot escape.
Rather disturbing, isn't it? No more than a fairy tale, and that's what this is. Chihiro follows Haku, who wants to protect her, but soon she is in the thrall of the witch Yubaba, a wizened old woman of bizarre proportions. Her parents are soon in Yubaba's pigsty and Chihiro must find a way to free them and escape; her only choice is to work for the witch, at her bath house, where all the spirits come to get clean. From there on, we follow the naive yet plucky Chihiro as she works off her debt in the spirit world, making friends and learning the secrets of Haku and Yubaba.
The world is one of mystery and wonder, rooted in mundane work life. Another worker named Lin takes her under her wing- she's one of the few humans there- and teaches her the ropes. They toil together scrubbing the baths, which are visited by frog men, dragons and "stink spirits." Some are the spirits of rivers and trees, in other guises; others are pure mystery, such as a cloaked, silent figure in Noh mask who seems a little too friendly and generous. Chihiro learns that Haku is also bound to Yubaba, and hopes to free him as well someday.
The story is slowly paced, but there is always something fantastic going on. The characters are full and believable, whether they are witches or drudges. And as always, the beautiful animation of Studio Ghibli is the backdrop. We see oriental dragons have dogfights in the sky against swarms of paper birds cutting them to ribbons; a spidery man with a dozen gangly limbs operating a coal furnace fed by a tiny army of dust motes; and parades of all kinds of spirits and fantastic creatures as they walk across the bridge to town.
The world has the same grip that the creations of Jim Henson and Terry Gilliam, and it's not all fun and games. Yubaba takes Chihiro's name as collateral, and renames her "Sen," as it capturing her soul. A ravenous spirit begins luring the bath house workers with gold nuggets and swallowing them whole. And Yubaba's minions include a trio of bouncing, grunting, bearded disembodied heads and a beastly enormous baby she dotes over. We get a real sense of danger for little Sen, no matter how resourceful she is.
Spirited Away is more than a coming of age folk tale about a spoiled child forced to grow up in a strange world. In part, the bath house is a token from old Japanese culture, "the good old days." In 2001 when this was made, Japan was undergoing its own economic crisis, and a yearning for the simplicity of old abounded. The familiar Miyazaki nods to nature are subtle, but there; we see a polluted river spirit fly free, once it is freed of the garbage weighing it down. The punishment for the gluttonous parents is obvious; we have grown fat and need to tighten our belts. So in some ways, it is just as poignant for America now as it was for Japan eight years ago.
But lessons aside, this is a great story; at just over two hours, it never drags or feels indulgent. It envelops you, like a good fantasy should. There are mistakes and redemption; people of compassion and greed, selfish vampires, gluttons and the reward of earnest hard work, pride in doing the right thing, and forgiveness for trespasses. We dive deep into a strange yet familiar world, and meet fantastic and interesting characters. We even see someone eat a dried lizard, who makes it look so tasty you wish you could have a nibble.
Spirited Away is the perfect marriage of the more energetic Princess Mononoke and the children's fairy tale of My Neighbor Totoro, that can be enjoyed by everybody. And while Ghibli has made better films- Grave of the Fireflies and Only Yesterday are truly great movies- this is a favorite, and one of the great animated films. You can watch it subtitled, or with the excellent English dub that was released by Disney in 2003. When you see the wonder of WALL-E, know that it stands on Chihiro's little shoulders.

Disney's Trailer for the film.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The LAMMY Awards

The Large Association of Movie Blogs is having their yearly ceremony awarding its bloggers in the categories of Best Blog, Best blog theme, funniest blogger, and so on. If you're a movie blogger, it's a great community to join. If you're a reader, check out the 275 blogs comprising it- many of my favorites are in the "movie blogs" and "further reading" side bars to your lower left and right, but there are many more to choose from. You'll never want for good reading.

Here's my ad banner begging for votes. Yes, Firecracker is a graphic designer and would make me a banner that looks great, but I made this with dry macaroni, paste and boogers. That's how I roll.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Arnold Project #10: The Villain

Blazing Saddles it ain't! Also known as Cactus Jack, The Villain stars Kirk Douglas as the titular bad guy who can't do anything right; Arnie plays the Handsome Stranger, with a seven-shot six-shooter, and Ann-Margret is Charming Jones. But they might as well be Wile E. Coyote, because that's the kind of movie this is- a live action cartoon that just can't get it right, despite the cast.
You know, the kind of movie where the Villain talks to his horse and it listens, sort of. Cactus Jack figures out what bad guys do by reading a pulp book, and everyone has a theme song. That worked in Cat Ballou but not so much here. The busty damsel Charming is tasked by her prospectin' pappy to pick up a loan to expand his mine, Handsome is hired to protect her, and Cactus Jack is given a deal by Jack Elam's crooked banker- make sure Charming doesn't get home with the money.
Set in Monument Valley, we get a gorgeous backdrop for Kirk Douglas mugging and goofing around, trying his Acme tricks to catch Handsome and Charming. They even use classic Looney Tune sound effects for stuff like the boulder that lands on him. Handsome Stranger (yes, that's his real name) is terminally naive, and it's painful to watch after Arnie's award-winning debut in Stay Hungry (full review). Sure, it's a farce, but they aim really low in this one.
The best part are all the cameos, most notably Paul Lynde in his final role as Chief N-n-n-ervous Elk, and seeing Kirk Douglas in all sorts of ridiculous get-ups as he tries to trick Arnie and Ann-Margret. His shiftless horse "Whiskey" is pretty amusing too. The gags are really repetitive- usually involving Kirk Douglas being dragged by a rope and falling off a cliff- but some are inspired. It's a bit disappointing from stuntman director Hal Needham, who gave us Smokey and the Bandit. Then again he also gave us Megaforce.

Overall, The Villain isn't that bad, and you see Arnold really trying to play an oaf when he'd rather be ravishing Ann-Margret. The problem is that the movie goes halfway- Cactus Jack is a walking cartoon, who bounces around on the rooftops after Charming smooches him, but those scenes are few and far between. They even re-enact the classic Tex Avery "paint a tunnel in the mountain" gag, which doesn't work when you can see the paint on the rocks. Though I give Douglas credit for walking face first into that wall so convincingly.
The most memorable part remained Paul Lynde's final role as Chief Nervous Elk, which he dived into with relish. He's the only guy who gets any barely risque jokes. This one's more for Kirk Douglas fans than Arnie fans, but it's still good viewing if you want a dose of '70s nostalgia.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

fellow follows

New followers this week, welcome aboard- we've got:

Big Monster Cinema - There are many horror movie blogs out there, but I was immediately snagged when I saw reviews of The Wrestler, Flight of the Navigator and The Deer Hunter- good taste, and worth reading.

The Retroist - I love me some nostalgia and the Retroist deals it in spades with Atari 2600 games, cartoons, movies, old advertising... there's always something interesting to watch or read here, and he posts often.

Jay from The Sexy Armpit: A Whiff of New Jersey Pop Culture. Us Jersey guys have to stick together, and this is the best Jersey blog I've yet read. Whether he's reviewing the Toxic Avenger musical or digging up facts you'd never dream of, I've enjoyed reading this one for a while.

Good bloggers all, thanks for reading Pluck You, Too!

Young Einstein

After spending three hours watching Australia, I decided to watch an Aussie movie from the '80s I remember enjoying- Young Einstein, where comedian Yahoo Serious decides to steal some of Paul Hogan's didgeridoo thunder and make a silly spoof of the lives of Albert Einstein and Madame Curie. Einstein didn't just come up with the theory of relativity, he also invented beer, rock 'n roll, and surfing. It's pretty stupid, but entertaining in the same way corny Cheech and Chong movies are.

Discovering gravity

Young Albert Einstein is a gangly, likeable fellow whose hair looks like he humped a light socket. He hails from Tasmania, where his family harvests and lives entirely on apples. A little in joke there, Tasmania is a big apple producer. His father fends off the Tasmanian devils, who look a lot like the Warner Brothers cartoon character. Albert's first scientific discovery is putting the first bubbles in beer, by splitting the beer atom. E=mc2, or "emc," makes his father urge him to leave Tasmania for the mainland, and he undergoes a montage through snow, jungle and other unlikely locales.
Splitting the beer atom

He finally comes along an abandoned rail line, and waits by a skeleton holding a timetable until a train carrying Marie Curie, and patent officer Preston Preston- a stereotypical effete British snob- going to Sydney arrives. Preston immediately steals "Emc" and tries to peddle it to another brewing company, but Albert is already applying his theory to music. He needs to jolt acoustic music to light speed, and electrifies a hopped up violin into the first electric guitar.
Working at the patent office

Part of the fun is just in the backgrounds. There are kangaroos and wallabies everywhere, even on the campus of Sydney U. Which also has a sheep farming department, and flocks of them barge around like the cattle in Blazing Saddles town of Rock Ridge. The movie is very charming and silly, and has a great soundtrack of '80s Aussie rock interspersed with motifs of "Waltzing Matilda," "Wild Colonial Boy," and "Powerhouse." Mme. Curie speaks in an endearingly ridiculous French accent, Albert wears clodhopper boots, and overall shorts.
Tasmanian devil

Marie Curie (a delightfully cute Odile Le Clezio) is smitten by Albert's quirky earnest genius, even though he lives in a brothel he thinks is a hotel. This irks Preston Preston, who not only wants to steal Al's ideas, but also his girl. So he has him tossed in the loony bin, in the Mad Scientists Ward. He languishes there with the madman, finetuning his theory while the kitchen bakes kittens into pies, until Marie sneaks in to rescue him, and challenge him into fighting back against Preston Preston. With his mastery of the electric violin, he is able to blast his way out with rock 'n roll, in time to save the kittens of course.
Hotter than radium

He takes Marie to the Scientist Academy Award Ceremony in Paris, where Preston is demonstrating his enormous atomic brewing reactor. Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud and his overbearing mom, the Wright Brothers- who knew Orville was black?- and others are present, and when Preston activates the reactor, it is of course an atomic bomb- so there's only one way to drain the power- by inventing rock 'n roll! This gives Yahoo Serious another chance to get in full blackface, and somehow not be terribly offensive.
Rock 'n roll saves the world

First time director-actor-writer Yahoo Serious does a fine job, with silly homages to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly among other things. It's a quietly funny movie that dips into cartoonish humor when it needs to. The movie is never boring, and remains amusing 20 years later. It looks like they had a lot of fun making it, with lots of self-effacing gags and a Tall Tale feel throughout. Young Einstein is the kind of silly movie everywhere in the '80s, and rare today. It made Yahoo Serious a brief star in the U.S., he even interviewed himself on 60 Minutes, though he only had 15.

Beers Required to Enjoy: 2 (with bubbles)
Could it be remade today? no way
Quotability Rating: decent
Cheese Factor: Roaring Forties Blue (the only Australian cheese I know of, and it's a good one)
High Points: Inventing beer, surfing & rock 'n roll
Low Point: a bit slow to start, but always fun
Gratuitous Boobies: Marie Curie in her undiewear

disclaimers of legal bull shitte

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All writing © 2011 Thomas Pluck and may only be reprinted with express written permission of the author. You may link to pages at will. If you wish to repost anything on your website you must contact Thomas Pluck using the contact form. Thank you for your cooperation. -Robocop