Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our seventh calendar year!
Number 337 (Vol. 7, No. 36). This edition is for the week of September 4--10, 2006.
|THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEW|
by Michael A. Smith
"Little Miss Sunshine"
|MY MIDDLE TOE|
by Mark Terry
by Will Moriaty
Labor Day Magic 2006
|The next Tampa Film Review, presented by 1 Day Films, will be held on Friday, September 8 from 8 – 10 p.m. at International Bazaar, located at 1600 E. Eighth Ave. in the Centro Ybor Complex. Tampa Film Reviews is a monthly showcase of local independent films and is held every second Friday of the month and is free. Visit www.thetampafilmreview.com for more information.|
Crocodile Hunter Down
Steve Irwin, Dead at 44. I overcame the temptation to title this PCR issue "Crikey!" or some such obvious thing despite the fact that 9 out of 10 other publications are doing it (or maybe because they're doing it). To me, it injects too much levity into a somber matter. TV's Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, died last weekend after being pierced through the heart by the barb of a stingray while skin-diving off the coast of Australia. Batt Reef, to be exact, off the remote coast of northeastern Queensland state. He was filming a special for his daughter.
His infectious enthusiasm for getting close to wild animals, mixed with his ebullient personality and thick Australian accent endeared him to millions of fans over many years. The sad irony is that he was killed by a sea creature normally thought fairly placid, and an injury normally not fatal (although extremely painful).
Several versions of the story have surfaced already. The latest that seems solid goes like this: while following a "fleet" of stingrays, swimming close behind, one creature turned and, flattened against Steve's chest, let loose its poisonous barb into his ribcage and, with eerie precision, directly into his heart. According to witnesses (and the film which captured all this) Irwin actually managed to remove the dart from his chest before he collapsed. Medical crews pronounced him dead at the scene.
Curiously, on the day it happened, many internet news sources chose to label the incident "Crocodile Hunter Death Caught on Tape!", but there was no video provided. Not that that's a bad thing.
Which brings up a morose question: should the recording of Irwin's death be released to the media? Already, Irwin's close friends and family have called for it to be destroyed. I respect their wishes in this matter. Though the morbidly curious would be disappointed, I doubt the film ever surfaces legitimately. I'd wager one of those notorious death-oriented websites will get their hands on it eventually.
The government of Australia offered the Irwin family a state funeral for their favorite son. It was respectfully declined. According to Steve's father, Steve considered himself "an ordinary bloke" who wouldn't want such pomp-and-circumstance over his death.
The world has lost a true hero, teacher, and memorable personality, who in 44 short years managed to entertain and educate millions of people. He will be sorely missed.
One last thought: I haven't been reporting all that many passings here on the front page this year, leaving it mostly to the more able Mike Smith (of The Rant, who I'm sure will have more to say about the career of Steve Irwin later in the week). The passing last week of beloved actor Glenn Ford at the age of 90 was the most recent example. I wouldn't want anyone to think I overlooked it or thought it unworthy of mention. But it's curious how even the death of that towering figure didn't result in the outpouring of grief, world-wide, that has been displayed towards "an ordinary bloke" from Australia who had a way with animals.
Be sure to read ED Tucker's newest surprise in this week's Lettercol!