Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I saw two eclipses recently. One was Twilight: Eclipse, which Firecracker had to see "because she saw the other ones." I said she was just a glutton for punishment. I saw Scary Movie 3, and had no desire to see the rest. And while I did enjoy Hellraiser, I managed to avoid most of the sequels. You know, fool me once, shame on, shame on you. Fool me you can't get fooled again.

As expected, the Twilight movie is pretty awful. A vampire whose hair and eyebrows make him look like he's a twitchy bomb technician, and a shirtless heartthrob who turns into a wolf when he backflips are both fighting over a third supernatural being, a girl born without a personality. I can forgive a lot of stupid if a movie doesn't take itself too seriously, or has some fun action scenes, but sadly this movie is as serious as cancer and about as fun to watch.

Fact: Vampires are make of petrified wood and can be broken if you're emo enough when you hit them.

But hey, it's teen twaddle, meant to teach girls to save their virginity for a weird stalker who wants to alienate her from her friends and family, so what's the harm.

The real eclipse worth seeing happened last night at 3 AM, and I set my alarm to wake up and see it. The temperature was below freezing, and I went outside to take shaky photos of a blood red moon eclipsed by the earth's shadow. According to science, this occurring on the winter solstice is truly a sign of the end times, because a black dude is President, and old white people are rising up in a wrinkly, zombie apocalypse. Except shooting them in the brain is illegal, and they can only be stopped with tax breaks for millionaires.
I have a better pic on Firecracker's camera but I left it at home. Oops. I'll add it here later. I like this one, it's all arty, like green Aurora borealis.

© 2010 Tommy Salami

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Deck Us All With Boston Charlie...

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

Don't we know archaic barrel,
Lullaby Lilla boy, Louisville Lou?
Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
Polly wolly cracker n' too-da-loo!
Hunky Dory's pop is lolly gaggin' on the wagon,
Willy, folly go through!

Donkey Bonny brays a carol,
Antelope Cantaloup, 'lope with you!
Chollie's collie barks at Barrow,
Harum scarum five alarum bung-a-loo!

Totally stolen from www.pogopossum.com the most awesomelus Pogo repository in the innernets!

My friend Liz used to call me every year and sing this to me, as we are both huge fans of Walt Kelly's Pogo, and love this goofy spoofy song. I don't have her number anymore, but I know she reads this blog sometimes. I hope she- and all of my readers- have a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season, whether you celebrate or not. Call, write, email, tweet, blog, or facebook someone you haven't seen in a while. It'll make you feel better.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Twitter Celebs

There are a lot of celebrities on Twitter. Sometimes half the news is who said what. I follow a few celebrities, and I often send them replies, as a joke, mostly. A few times I've gotten replies, most often from Jennifer Ehle (of "Pride & Prejudice" fame) Adam Richman from Man vs. Food, and a few others.

I'd say the "biggest" name who's gotten back to me is Carl Weathers, the actor from the Rocky films, Predator, Action Jackson, and of course, his unforgettable comic turn on "Arrested Development."

A while back, I wrote a post about my "uncle" Tony Maffatone, who had performed executive security for some celebrities, such as Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton. Once Stallone got on Twitter to promote The Expendables, I noticed that he responded to some of his fans, so I tried to tell him that his former bodyguard, who had done stunts and knife training for some of his films, and had a small role in Rocky IV, had died in 1999. I knew they had had a falling out of some kind. My father only knew it second hand and said that Stallone was trying to run his own security detail, but I have no confirmation of whether that is true. Tony has passed on, and I don't know how to contact his partner, known as "big Tony," and I doubt he'd want to bring up yesterday's news. Does it matter?

Well, Sly never responded to me. Not surprising. It's not something I could expect a big name star to want to talk about. I stopped following him when he started making conspiracy-minded tweets that rubbed me the wrong way. He's been MIA on Twitter now that the Expendables DVD release is over.

However, I do follow someone else on Twitter who was in a movie with my uncle Tony. Carl Weathers was in Rocky IV, too. And he'd replied to me months ago, when I made a joke about his "predator handshake" with Arnold Schwarzenegger being the manliest form of greeting ever devised. So I talked to him about Tony.

And to my surprise, he asked if I meant "big Tony" or "little Tony," as they were known, because my uncle was a diver and marathon runner, making him the skinny one. He remembered. And he said all that needed to be said, that Tony was a stand-up guy, and may he rest in peace. Carl is a nice guy, and while he's done tough guy roles almost exclusively, he does it in a way that commands respect. Apollo Creed wasn't just a champ, he was a businessman; Dillon wasn't just muscle, he was a shrewd operator. And you get that sharp intellect just from one look.

His reply took seconds, but it meant a lot to me.

I want to thank my blogger buddy Darius Whiteplume from Adventures in Nerdliness for posting his own twitter conversation with Carl, which inspired me to do this one.

© 2010 Tommy Salami

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Classy T-shirts available

Follow @tommysalami on twitter and you may wear these classy t-shirts.

Design by Firecracker.

© 2010 Tommy Salami

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Warrior's Way

There now exists a subgenre known as the Samurai Western; they were made for each other, as Kurosawa directly inspired spaghetti westerns, and now it's come back at us like a kid's boomerang in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. We've had SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO, SIX STRING SAMURAI, SHANGHAI NOON and NIGHTS, and now we get cowboys, carnies and carnage with THE WARRIOR'S WAY. Written and directed by Sngmoo Lee, who's IMDb resume includes only this film. So I'm calling him Schmoo for the entirety of his review, in case he does not actually exist.

Dong-gun Jang from the excellent Korean war flick TAE GUK GI: THE BROTHERHOOD OF WAR stars as the Yang, Greatest Swordsman of All Time Ever, as we are told in glittering Comic Sans. We see him pose dramatically after slicing apart a dozen warriors in a few seconds, and he finds the treasure they are guarding is a baby girl, the last of the enemy clan. He cannot kill her, so his assassin's guild- the Sad Flutes- vow he will die. He flees to the mythical American West, and comes upon a ghost town that a group of Carnies have chosen to build a Ferris Wheel in, hoping to lure pioneering tourists to the middle of the desert. It's like Vegas, built by extras from "Deadwood" and "Carnivale."

The movie keeps us interested by having an absurdly comic tone, from Yang carrying the baby girl like a shopping bag to how he kills innocuous-seeming bystanders, only to have assassin's weapons fall out of their hands after they collapse. There are references galore, from Lone Wolf & Cub, to John Woo, and more, but they never feel like cribbing. Yang strolls into town, Walkin' the Earth like Kane in "Kung Fu," as lone killers are wont to do. We meet Geoffrey Rush as the Town Drunk, Tony Cox as the midget ringmaster who's quick to crush someone's nuts in his hands, and Kate Bosworth as Jesse the Cowgirl from TOY STORY 2, at least at first. She manages to mellow out into less of a caricature, but still has plenty of fun with their role. Rush is very memorable as the drunk, staggering around in his pajamas and getting the best lines.
The closest you get to boobs in this R rated bloodless film.

The wild west equivalent of a post-apocalyptic wastelands motorcycle gang rides into town on horses, like they have once before; Kate has a score to settle with their leader, and Yang can't draw his blade without alerting his Sad Flutes to his whereabouts. But you know he'll have to, and thank goodness he does. That's when we get to see six guns versus samurai swords, and it's a lot of fun to watch how they make it less one-sided than it seems. The town drunk is of course a great gunslinger; they nod toward BLAZING SADDLES
some more with how they use dynamite. It's not long before blood, explosions and gunplay light up the town, and we get to settle that childhood bet, who kicks more ass? Toshiro Mifune or Clint Eastwood?

The director makes great use of his bizarre set, with merry-go-rounds and circus freaks and clowns fighting against masked marauders with a Gatling gun and ninja swordsmen. It's a lot of fun to look at when the overuse of CG doesn't get in the way. I have made peace with CG blood after @AxelleCarolyn on Twitter- better known as the smokin' hot killer Pict babe from CENTURION- told me how much money it saves independent productions. But I noticed CG cowboys climbing the Ferris Wheel, and CG swordsmen in black leather all over the place. It really stood out and made it look like anime at times, which I know the story owes a lot to, but it was very distracting from a very fun film.

3 out of 5 midgets with specially designed spiked gloves for crushing your nutsack

© 2010 Tommy Salami

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