I always enjoy putting together the comics where Tom enacts some kind letter-writing campaign. Not only for the anachronistic joy of longhand letter-writing in the age of e-mail, but because there is typically a child-like innocence to his requests. I think as I go on, I make these sessions more and more child-like, as evident by Tom’s slumped over the table posture in the third panel.

As for Rambo, what can I say? I’ve been sold. I’m excited to see this movie. You can thank the take-no-prisoners trailer for that.

Of course, it’s very possible that I will be screwed by this. The Alien vs. Predator: Requiem trailer was awesome, too – and look where that got me.

I don’t think anyone would ever confuse the Rambo movies for being plot-motivated. They’ve always been about brutality and ingenuity in combat. There’s very little to say about Rambo except he’s always pissed off and looks good without a shirt on.

To that end, I should be just as opposed to Sylvester Stallone revisiting the character as I was when he put on the gloves for Rocky Balboa.

But I don’t know. This time, it’s different…

Maybe my heart has softened somewhat, but I’m much more enamored by Stallone for refusing to let the fact that he’s 62 prevent him from doing these movies. I mean, action films are a young man’s game. He’s basically giving the middle finger to that and I kind of respect him for it!

When you think about the fact that between the Rocky and Rambo movies, Stallone’s marquee value alone continues to propel the franchises, it makes the producers of other long standing franchises like James Bond look like they’re asleep at the switch. I mean, there have been four actors to have played Bond since Stallone first played Rambo. They haven’t turned the character over to some younger actor. Stallone IS Rambo. No one else can play him. That’s saying something.

So kudos, Mr. Stallone. I’m giving you a pass on Rambo. Even though I know it will probably suck, even though Rocky Balboa is probably the better film and my stubborn attitude about baby boomers refusing to lay down and let the next generation through prevented me from seeing it, you’ve earned my respect.

Incidentally, for those of you wondering about the punchline to today’s comic, Over The Top is probably the best “worst” Stallone film ever made. The movie’s tagline alone sells it – “His name is Hawk. He’s fighting for his son.”


Okay, let me spell it out a little bit more. Stallone plays a big-rig trucker who tries to reconnect with his son after his ex-wife, the boy’s mother passes away. Of course the kid is a brat who has been pampered by his mother’s rich family. Stallone is going to show this kid what’s-what and how to stand up for himself… (wait for it) THROUGH COMPETITIVE ARM-WRESTLING!

Best awesomely bad movie ever. Netflix it now.

So if Stallone is revisiting Rocky and Rambo, I demand to see a follow up to Over The Top. Your FANS demand it, Sly!

At any rate, that’s all I have for now. I know I promised you some reactions to the Oscar announcements on Wednesday and I didn’t get to them. But I guess it’s because I haven’t fully digested them yet.

I can give you the high-level overview, though. I was really surprised that Juno was nominated for Best Picture. Not that it isn’t a good movie, but what about Zodiac or The Assassination of Jesse James? I was pleased to see that Ratatouille was nominated for Best Animated Feature, but was shocked to also see it nominated for Best Original Screenplay. Incidentally, I think it’s a crock that Surf’s Up was nominated in the Animated Feature category while The Simpsons Movie was totally snubbed.

Beyond that… I don’t know. Not too many surprised. The most nominations were split between There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men. No real surprises there.

I guess it’s hard to get my hopes up about the Oscars when we don’t know if there will even be a televised broadcast to get wrapped up in. I didn’t mind when the writer’s strike put the kibosh on The Golden Globes. I don’t care what the Hollywood Foreign Press has to say anyway. But the Oscars hit a little closer to home. So I guess I’m just shielding myself from the eventual let down if the show doesn’t happen.

I probably need more time to think about it, but that’s all I have for now. I hope everyone has a great weekend! See you here on Monday!

↓ Transcript
Dear Mr. Stallone, let me preface this letter by saying I was not a fan of your idea to revisit the character of Rocky Balboa.

… but I am curiously anticipating the new Rambo movie. I can respect your refusal to let your age define the limit of your characters.

In fact, I encourage you to explore this further! Surely there are other film franchises worth revisiting.

For example, when can we expect to see “Over the Top 2?” Sincerely, Tom