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Now in our eighth calendar year!

PCR #384. (Vol. 8, No. 31) This edition is for the week of July 30--August 5, 2007.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! I swear that I sent this out Thursday evening but the wacky world of computers appears to have played a trick on me. Either that or someone is using a similar email address to the boss! Anyway, enjoy: Hello, gang! SURPRISE! It's Friday and I'm here. Some major passing ons this week. Please keep the victims of the bridge collapse in Minnesota in your prayers. Shall we begin?

"The Simpsons Movie"  by Mike Smith
Stan Ridgway in Concert - July 29th, 2007 .... Remembering Ingmar Bergman and Laszlo Kovacs  by Andy Lalino
Welcome to Retrorama!  by ED Tucker
Book Review: Resurrection Angel by William Mize  by Lisa Ciurro
Art House Sorrow .... Ironic .... Geeks Rejoice .... Nice Timing....Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 26: Steve Guttenberg  by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
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There really isn't anything I can add to Nolan's Main Page piece on the death of Tom Snyder. I, too, remember Snyder's NBC show with fondness. One distinct memory was watching him interview Charles Manson while on my honeymoon in Tampa. I can still remember that Manson refused to sit, lest he look dominant to a standing Snyder. Great stuff.

This week the film world lost two legitimate masters:

Ingmar Bergman, Swedish filmmaker whose work influenced many of his American counterparts, most notably Woody Allen, died this week in his native land. He had just celebrated his 89th birthday two weeks earlier. The five time married director was noted for his mixture of drama and comedy in his films. Though he never won a competitive Academy Award in nine nominations, he did direct three films which won the Best Foreign Film Award: "Through A Glass Darkly," "The Virgin Spring" and "Fanny and Alexander."

While the cinema was mourning Mr. Bergman, word came that Michelangelo Antonioni who, along with Fedrico Fellini, was considered the master of Italian cinema, had also passed away at the age of 94. Probably best known in America for "Blow Up," "Zabriskie Point" and "The Passenger," Antonioni was really a film maker for hire, often staging his productions in countries as diverse as France and China. He received two Academy Award nominations for his screenplay and direction of "Blow Up," and in 1995 was presented an honorary Oscar by his "The Passenger" star, Jack Nicholson.

Have you ever wondered why God often sends his children to ironic deaths? I guess for my death to be ironic I would have to be eaten by a shark. Jim Fixx, who really started the health craze when he wrote a book about running died of a heart attack. Brought on after a long jog. Dar Robinson, a great stuntman who performed some of the greatest stunts ever caught on film, died while goofing around on a motorcycle. He rode to close to the edge of a cliff, the ground went out from under him and dddddooooowwwwwnnnnn he went. I mention these past cases because this week God added another one to the list. Michael Reardon, who insisted on climbing the highest peaks wearing only sticky soled shoes, was killed this week in Ireland. After finishing a climb off the coast of the Emerald Isle, he stood on a ledge 15 feet above the ocean to admire the view. Suddenly a huge wave swept up and took him out to sea. He was 42.

The highlight of the recent Comic Con in San Diego took place during a live feed from the set of "Indy 4." With quite some fanfare, director Steven Spielberg introduced a director's chair. The name on the chair: Karen Allen. Woo Hoo! Marion Ravenswood returns!

Have to give a special "nice going, dick head" to President Bush this week. After calling a special press conference to talk about the bridge tragedy in Minnesota, ol' Dubya manged to segue into a rant about how the Democrats haven't sent him a spending bill for Iraq recently. Kind of like, "Wow, this bridge has really fallen apart. Which reminds me about Iraq..." Prick.


WHERE YOU KNOW HIM FROM: "Police Academy," "Cocoon"

I first discovered Steve Guttenberg while working as an usher at Twin Bays 4 in Tampa. We played all of the crap put out by Crown International and one week we got a fairly decent comedy called "The Chicken Chronicles." Funny stuff indeed. After the film opened I saw him on "The Tonight Show" and was amazed to hear that, though his family wanted him to be a dentist, he had gone to California, snuck onto the Universal lot and set up in an abandoned office. If I remember the story right, it was several weeks before he was found out. A small role in "The Boys From Brazil" followed, as well as a major role in the Village People film, "Can't Stop the Music." After appearing in some great television films, he hit the jackpot with a role in Barry Levinson's film, "Diner." As a young man so obsessed with the Baltimore Colts that he gives his fianceé a quiz the night before the wedding, he gives a break out performance. In 1984 he starred as Carey Mahoney, the worst recruit at the "Police Academy." He also starred in the first three sequels in the series. Sequels were no stranger to Guttenberg, who has also starred in "Cocoon" and its sequel as well as "Three Men and a Baby" and its follow-up. Though he did not appear in "Short Circuit 2," a cardboard image of him does appear in the film. Splitting time equally with Hollywood and Broadway, Guttenberg continues to work steadily, mostly in independent features and on television. He recently had a starring role in the television version of "The Poseidon Adventure."

Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. Nice to be back on schedule. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.