Friday, August 1, 2014

Are You Band Enough? Music Reviews: Stan Bush's The Ultimate: Track 4: "Love Again"

Never has he seemed more human.

After 17 studio albums and more than three decades of rocking all around the world, it's comforting to know that Stan Bush doesn't yet have everything in life figured out yet. The lyrics of "Love Again" reveal that the is ennobling musician is still surprising himself after all these years. "Never thought I could love again/Never knew that my heart would mend" he croons in one of this album's rare down-tempo, catch-your-breath moments.

His journey of self discovery mirrors ours as we continue to (slowly) make our way through his latest masterpiece, savoring each song and giving it time to properly sink into our subconsciouses before spilling our hearts onto this blog, much as Stan himself spills his own heart to the new love of his life in this song.

Let's Talk About Rambo: Episode 14: Lost City of Acra

After a one-episode break, SAVAGE has moved their schemes back to India. This time, after a very brief search, they've found and conquered the Lost City of Acra and enslaved its people to dig for buried treasure.

It really didn't take them long to find the Lost City. It doesn't appear to be hidden in any way. It's clearly visible from the air. Plus a ton of people live there, and they have modern things like eyeglasses, etc. So I'm not sure how "lost" it really is.

"Get me Rambo!"
So Trautman picks up Rambo during Rambo's day off, then Rambo picks up his team during their days off. No more days off, team! Turbo is flying a plane in a stunt show at what looks to be a state fair. Rambo goes up into the tower and makes him stop the show right in the middle of his act. So many disappointed children.

Then they go pick up KAT, who is spending her leisure time blowing up buildings using a crossbow with explosive arrows.

They all get dropped off in India at a different village, which is weird, because, as I mentioned, everybody seems to already know where the Lost City is.

Rambo is sleeping on a cot in his tent that night when a young Indian man comes in and throws a monkey on Rambo's back! Rambo is quite surprised, but spends about 10 precious seconds lighting his kerosene lamp rather than trying to defend himself. Turns out the kid offers him no ill will. In fact, he wants Rambo's help! He is the son of the chief of the Lost City and his name really sounds like "Chad."

Rambo promises to help, and the next day, he joins a ranging expedition headed for the Lost City. For unknown reasons, he makes Turbo and KAT stay at the camp. But! The soldiers Rambo is with are actually agents of SAVAGE!

They try to get rid of him by attempting to lure him into natural disasters. Because for some reason they feel the need to make it look like an accident?

First they try to make a tree fall on him. Rambo easily escapes. Next they try to lure him to a jungle stream by saying "water would feel very good on the face!" Then, when he goes to put water on his face, they start a rock slide! He escapes by jumping into the pool of water.

Finally, out on the savannah, they start an elephant stampede (because every episode of a cartoon that takes place in India must somehow involve elephants)! But Rambo simply jumps on top of the elephants and rides them to safety.

Unfortunately, despite this photo's promise, he does not suplex them.
Meanwhile, in the Lost City, Gripper is serving as the slave driver. There is a subplot involving the chief becoming ill that consists entirely of Gripper saying "The chief is ill!" to Warhawk as he walks by. It is never mentioned again.

Rambo, back at camp, receives a message from Chad, who has tied a note to his monkey! The message reveals that the guys who were trying to kill Rambo are evil. Rambo is like, "no doy."

Then they all go to the Lost City early one morning, have the monkey wake up all the bad guys by making a huge racket, and quite easily defeat the forces of SAVAGE by throwing them all into a river.

Gripper tried to bake Rambo from point blank range. He failed.
Rambo surveys the city. "If there was no greed, there'd be no fighting and no war," he says, "and wouldn't that be great?" Mission complete.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Murder She Wrote Recaps: S2E3: Murder in the Afternoon

By this time, we’ve learned that to be a relative of Jessica Fletcher’s is to be a suspect-in-waiting for a future murder case. In this case, the lines between fiction and reality are blurred when Jessica’s niece, a soap opera actress who plays a serial killer, is accused of the real-life murder of the drama’s showrunner. Jess withstands the withering glares of guest star Jessica Walter while clearing her niece’s name.

Friday, July 25, 2014

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #8

John Rambo engages in a light workout outside of his mountain cabin. Once suitably warmed up, he engages in a powerlifting routine, using questionable technique.

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 13: Raid on Las Vegas.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The WCCW Report: Episode 57: Enter the Yatsu

January 1983: We kick things off this week with the debut of another mysterious and deadly competitor from the Orient: The Great Yatsu, who’s decked out in a gi (of course) and brandishes a wooden samurai practice sword. Ever notice how there are never any modern Japanese men in the world of classic pro wrestling? They’re always historical martial arts enthusiasts. Thank god they can find work somewhere, even if it’s not their home country. No wonder they’re in such a bad mood all the time, though. I would be too, if my choice of lifestyle made it impossible for me to get a job in my own home country. Kind of makes you wonder if Japanese pro wrestling leagues are full of Americans who are into flagpole sitting and swing dancing.

And what better way to welcome Yatsu to America than by putting him up against the Samoan (from Samoa!), the least dangerous opponent he could possibly fight! Announcer Bill Mercer (and Yatsu’s manager, who claims he had to spend a lot of silver bars to even get the man into the country. Visa issues, we assume) keep referring to “the dreaded” Yatsu as “The Oriental Assassin” and talking up his nefarious deeds. But judging by Yatsu’s facial expressions, body language and general temperament, he’s clearly a good natured youth who’s having the time of his life in America. You should see the joy on his face after he gently puts the Samoan away with the Million Dollar Dream (or “sleep hold,” as the always loquacious Mercer describes it). Sure, he beats the crap out of the Samoan after the match, but only after the Samoan sneakily enters his blind spot. And Yatsu clearly apologizes afterwards.

Yatsu in his later, more stoic years
Next up is an interview with David von Erich, who has apparently been out of state for the last few weeks. I didn’t notice, because the lack of his gaping void of charisma created a double negative.

Our first competitive match of the night sees Freebird Michael Hayes--the crowd is really on board with hating him by now--vs. “brass knuckles champion” Jose Lothario (which sounds impressive until you realize that you’ve never seen a brass knuckles match ever), who Mercer calls a “young man.” I know this is before the HD era, but come on, Bill! You can see the wrinkles on his face! And his male pattern baldness! The match ends when the other Freebirds come to the ring and attack Lothario to the tune of a thunderous “Go Home Freebirds!” chant from the crowd. That’s a new one.

Next: Another interview with King Kong Bundy, this one appearing to take place in a classicly styled wooden sauna. He’s got more boring stuff to say about Devastation Inc., and it’s still unclear if he and “the man” are the same person, if “the man” and “the boss” are the same person, and what the hell the point of any of this is. Interestingly, Bundy gets the manboss on the phone and introduces himself as “Kong,” so apparently that’s what he thinks his own first name is. Kong also reveals that the boss is heavy into the oil and gas industry (so...maybe it’s Ross Perot?), and may be giving Kong his own refinery by this time next year. Wonder how that worked out.

Then Bundy heads to the ring for the main event: A tag team match with he and the Great Kabuki (almost every Japanese wrestler is great!) taking on Al Madril and Bugsy McGraw. Bugsy looks like every “fun,” creepy uncle everybody ever had. I’m hoping he’ll sustain a career-ending injury soon. Or give him a refinery, too, I don’t care! Just get him off my TV!

The match happens, I guess, but I’m more impressed with the dude in the crowd wearing a Cosby sweater and a trucker cap that says “Red Neck MOTHER.” Fan of the year, for sure. And when Bundy splashes Bugsy into oblivion, that puts the cherry on top, making this one of the best episodes of WCCW yet.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Murder She Wrote Recaps: S2E2: Joshua Peabody Died Here… Possibly

As is usually the case when a construction project is underway in Cabot Cove, a dead body is found on the site. This time it’s a fully intact skeleton, which makes identification difficult, although Sheriff Amos somehow thinks it belongs to an 18th century historical figure. Luckily, when another, more flesh-covered body is later found in the same spot, Jessica doesn’t have to resort to phrenology to solve the case.