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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2009!
   Assistant Editor / Co-Moderator:  Terence Nuzum                       HOME      ARCHIVES
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our tenth calendar year!
Number 459  (Vol. 10, No. 2). This edition is for the week of January 5--11, 2009.

"Gran Torino"
2008 Was A Year to Forget, But--December was a Month to Remember!
Welcome 2009 and 1969 Revisited!

WPIX Channel 11
Today It's Your Birthday .... Christmas Bounty .... Football Playoffs .... o
Enough Already I Beg You .... I Said Enough! .... Stop It! Stop It! .... If You Can't Beat 'em .... Passing On .... The Best Of 2008 .... And The Winner Is .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2... n
Week Two
The Final Tampa Film Review: Reactions
The Final Tampa Film Review
They're Talking About Us
Root Canal

OK, pretty lame for the "headline" of the second week of the new year, but it's all that came to me at the moment.


The Final Tampa Film Review: Reactions
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, JANUARY 10, 2009

This is being posted the next day after the final TFR, its 5-year anniversary.

GREAT SHOW, Paul! Had a really good time. It was a pleasure to see the previous classics along with some new material (I'd never seen Todd Thompson's Time & Again --great flick).

I like how Wynkoop snuck in two flicks for the price of one by embedding Something For The TFR inside his new tribute -- but what the hell, I got my name mentioned more times in five minutes than anywhere previously, hahaha!! So I can't be too cross with him. Funny stuff.

Honored that young Garrett Brown and his mom made it out to the show. What a talent he is! 16 years old and had the audience in the palm of his hand -- again -- with his claymation horror short The Last One.

This was my first time ever inside The Italian Club -- nice place, great theater. Kinda reminds me of The Cuban Club, which shouldn't be too surprising, they were probably built about the same time.

I had at least ten people come up to me and ask, "So, what are you going to do now?" Hahaha. No life without TFR, right? I gave them all the same pat answer, "Well, I reckon I'll retire to a park bench somewhere and play checkers with the other old retired film reviewers..." HAha.

In reality, of course, I always have PCR to keep me occupied, and I'll continue my web development projects.

Anyway, that's the long and short of it. Again, great time, and I hope to see everybody again somewhere, sometime soon.

I'll be writing up a more thorough review in next week's PCR, natch.

A Message Board thread has already been started on this topic


The Final Tampa Film Review
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, JANUARY 9, 2009

I'm glad this story has been vigorously promoted locally and I apologize for being a little slow in posting this myself (horrible week), but I couldn't let it slide by and say nothing.

The FINAL Tampa Film Review (TFR) hosted by Pete and Paul Guzzo is tonight(!!), Friday, January 9 from 8 – 10 p.m. at the Italian Club, 1731 East Seventh Ave. Everyone's invited, the event is FREE and OPEN to the public.

The Italian Club invites everyone to join them at their weekly happy hour prior to the TFR. Happy hour begins at 6 p.m. The happy hour features a $10 buffet and drink specials.

Cigar City Magazine for sponsoring the event for which we're all grateful.

The final TFR will showcase some of the BEST short films made here in Tampa Bay that we have shown since the TFR’s inception in January 2004.

Every month for the past five years, TFR has showcased films produced by Tampa filmmakers. The fact that the Guzzo Bros have been able to fill so many months of programming with locally produced films is a testament to the talent in the Tampa Bay area. We hope everyone can come out and support the final installment of this event.

January’s lineup is:

Gunn Highway by Stefan Abbott (Vino-Figueroa) – Looks can be deceiving. Just because someone looks one way on the outside, doesn’t mean they look the same on the inside.

To Live Is To Die by Chris Woods: A group of college students are asked to share non-fictional stories in the writing class. Strangely enough the authors fall victim to their own tales.

Tale of Two Meagans by Fred Zara: Confident science major Mark Jarvis has never encountered a problem he couldn't solve through cool-headed analysis. But when he falls head-over-heels in love with two women of equal-but-opposite appeal, the cocky whiz kid finds himself faced with the impossible task of having to choose just one.

Mexican Sky by Ken Collins: A mouthy career criminal takes a sheriff and his deputy hostage in their own squad car in a desperate attempt to flee across the Mexican border.

Time & Again by Todd Thompson: Steve Peters has found a way to control time, but how can he cheat death if fate has a mind of his own?

The Last One by Garrett Brown: Stop-motion claymation about a slacker who gets into in a horrific car crash and wakes to a surreal world where all perception is skewed.

A special tribute to the TFR by Joel Wynkoop.

More details can be found in this week's Indie Film News by Paul Guzzo.

A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM NOLAN B. CANOVA --
It has been my singular honor to attend and review these monthly gatherings for the past five years. In all that time, I've only missed two, and those due to illness. Even then, I sent someone to cover it for me (Chris Woods in both instances) so there would be no interruption in our coverage.

Although the TFR had very little competition (too much work! Haha) and fewer pretenders to the throne, there was only one TFR. It was special and unique and will be sorely missed.

I will be there tonight to watch the films and I will celebrate five great years afterwards with any other attendees who care to join. After tonight, however, my "career" as a reviewer of local films is likely to close along with the Tampa Film Review. Except for some ties I have left with the Gasparilla Film Festival (which I'm still taking seriously, if you're reading this, Eric!), I will turn my attention to other matters.

Why, dear reader? If you've been following PCR these past few weeks, you no doubt encountered my year-end two-parter called "The Tampa Film Scene: Mission Accomplished?". In it, I detailed the long and torturously slow climb the West-Central Florida film scene has made from near complete obscurity to being a recognized player on the national stage. For that we're all very proud. There is also a darker side neither the Guzzo Bros nor I will miss, mostly having to do with ego battles. That goes with the territory, as I said in the two-parter.

There are many people responsible for the positive local scene development over the past ten years or so, all named in those PCR issues. As one event would stumble and fall, another would take its place, then another. In January of 2004, at the lowest point in local film scene action in years, the Tampa Film Review was created and single-handedly reinvented the approach to local exhibition working with next to nothing. I was there at the beginning and I am blessed to have been credited as part of a very special team that helped reinvigorate the "Tampa film scene" by simply following-up with published film reviews. Now we have a world class film festival located right here (Gasparilla Film Fest) and many, many avenues of exhibition on a smaller scale that did not exist prior to TFR.

To Paul & Pete Guzzo: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. You did it. We did it. Now, it's up to the next "generation" to keep it going. To those who follow, know that we will always be close by, watching in awe and wonder at your creations.

---Nolan B. Canova


They're Talking About Us
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, JANUARY 6, 2009

While surfing the 'net the other day, the boys of PCR found a small cache of other websites who've mentioned us in their pages, but more intriguingly, discussed us on their message boards. These appear to be legit sites, not flamers or haters. They respect the source material, it's not all positive feedback, there's some criticism, but nothing untoward. I am thrilled at this development.

This may not come as a surprise to some of you, but for some reason, it does me. Before now, all I knew for absolute sure was that ED Tucker and Will Moriaty were our link-monsters to other websites. And I also knew some of our excellent search-engine results were due to being linked all over the place, especially ED Tucker-wise (Creature Feature and Disney material), Will Moriaty (Florida history/nostalgia/airliners), Mike Smith (movies, movies everywhere), and, if I may, yours truly, mostly for indie film stuff (reviews and the like).

I know others enjoy searching for themselves on the internet, but I very rarely bother to do so. That said, Terence and John unearthed a few gems I'd like to share:

(To be clear, the bullet point links in bold are the websites in question. The links inside the descriptions reference the original articles being commented on.)

  • Ever Wonder The Real Reason For Losing 20K.
    LaughingPlace.com references and comments on ED Tucker's exposé on the 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Disney ride. Next to The Lost Interview of Dr. Paul Bearer, among Ed's most popular features ever.

  • Comments On This [Nuclear Prevention] Article?
    The Final Phase Forum started a thread entirely and solely to discuss George Roth's 2006 article on the Prevention of Accidental Nuclear War and includes references to my personal feedback on our Message Board(!). George has been alerted, but has lost his internet access. We're trying to figure a way for him to respond.

  • Dead Actor Kills In The Dark Knight.
    Radar Online, a pop culture and movie website, lists among its quoted critics our own Mike Smith for his review of The Dark Knight. What makes it more complimentary is he's listed up there with The Village Voice, The New York Post, The Washington Post, and USA Today! Congrats, Mike.
  • Ray Dennis Steckler Interview Commentary
    RiffTrax Round Table started this thread entirely and solely to discuss ED Tucker's exclusive interview with Ray Dennis Steckler, one of our earliest ground-breakers. From the text, I gather this is an offshoot of an earlier forum dedicated to Mystery Science Theater 3000, but that's just me speculating. ED's turned out to be quite the lightning rod for controversy, haha.

    HONORABLE MENTIONS... (all Terence-related, haha)

  • Facets MultiMedia description of Black Christmas links Terence Nuzum's History of Slasher Films in the "Related Links" section at bottom.
  • The Zombie Movie Database list among its numbers Terence Nuzum's 28-minute A Pound of Flesh. Produced at Tampa's Public Access in 1998, funnily, it's Terence's least-favorite of all his films, but the best-selling (yes, it's on DVD). If memory serves, the movie critic who gave it the glowing review featured bought this from Terence personally.
  • On author Steve Niles website is a link to Terence's review of his book "Savage Membrane". Apparently, Steve's updated his website and taken off the older review links (Ter's was from 2002), but this page came up in a search anyway.

    I'm sure there are plenty of others, some we've spotlighted before, many are yet undiscovered. Just glad to know we're making a little difference in our corner of the universe, and on occasion, stirring some debate.


    Root Canal
    POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, JANUARY 6, 2009

    I'm currently recovering from my first-ever root canal procedure, which was performed Monday. While I was pleasantly surprised to discover a less harrowing and much less painful experience awaited me than I had been led to believe in the distant past (where it could take, literally, all day), it was still, you know, a job. But, a brief job (about an hour!), and, man, am I glad to be free from abcess pain! Naturally, X-Rays turned up a second site that is on the verge of root canal readiness.

    Before you write me, yes, I brush regularly, but I've never been much of a floss man. I am, however, grateful for modern progress: after I left the Endodontist (a new dental career subdivision, I think, never heard of one or been to one before this year), I felt like I had been in a Star Trek episode what with all the computers and hi-tech equipment surrounding me.

    I know your next question, and, yes, the dental insurance I have through 7-Eleven is what made all this possible.


    Readers' Comments

    The Readers' Comments section for this issue of PCR is now closed. To continue to interact, please use the Message Board or write a Letter to the Editor! The comments below are listed starting with the most recent. Thank you.

    Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
    Terence [12-01-2009 18:45] 
    Chris- wow sounds like WPIX was sorta like our channel 44 only maybe better! but ya didnt have Paul Bearer!! yeah i also remember when theyd play Halloween in network tv and it had the additional scenes. i remember tracking down a bootleg vhs that had those scenes edited into the theatrical R rated cut. of course now a decade later you can get that version on DVD. in fact its the only version i watch. the scenes with Loomis in the hospital talking to a young Michael are essential.
    29 (or 39?) and holding Lisa C. [10-01-2009 21:30] 
    Happy birthday Matt!
    Michael [10-01-2009 11:13] 
    T, the fist bump is the new hand shake. And if it's good enough for Spiderman it damn well better be good enough for Abe Lincoln.

    ED, Chris, Will - as always great work. You boys are keeping me up later and later rewriting stuff so I don't look like the PCR village idiot.

    Matt - mostly good picks for once, except the Ravens are going to kick some Panther ass (i did live in Baltimore for 13 years and since the Bucs aren't in it I have to throw my allegiance somewhere). How do you think the Cowboys will do? What's that? They aren't playing? Somewhere T.O. is crying!

    One more: SHE LOVES ME LIKE BARACK by Paul Simon
    ED [10-01-2009 07:51] 
    Great find Lonnie. Here is the link: http://fangoria.com/features/21-fearful-features/9 79-rip-ray-dennis-steckler.html
    Lonnie Dohlen [10-01-2009 07:32]  
    Nolan & Ed,there is a Tribute to Ray Dennis Steckler from:Fangoriaonline.com.
    ED [10-01-2009 04:53] 
    Mike - don't forget The Muppets doing Oh Ba Ma Nah (Doot Do Do Do Do)!
    Terence [10-01-2009 04:16] 
    Mike- fist bump? please.
    Chris Woods [09-01-2009 13:48] 
    ED, I'm sorry to hear about Ray Steckler as well. Just like you were saying in your article how we lost so many last year, 2009 starts off with another cult favorite passing away. Also, I'm glad you enjoyed the WPIX article. It was a very cool channel that all kids and adults watched for years.

    Paul, That's awesome news about the second book. Congrats! Also cool news about the interview with the Ghost Hunters and congrats again on the articles on TFR.

    Nolan, good write up on the TFR. I'll miss the TFR as well and have many great memories from the event. I'll also miss reviewing film from there. Tonight should be fun.

    Also I want to second that I would like to see Something for the TFR, which is one of the best comedies to play there and a Wynkoop classic.

    TV Star Paul Guzzo [09-01-2009 13:02] 
    I was just interviewed for Ghost Hunters look into Ybor - giving history on the area. Hopefully I make the cut.
    ED [09-01-2009 11:06] 
    MT - The funeral is 3PM on Sunday (1/11) at the Palms Morturay on Eastern. If you want to know anything else just E-mail me here.
    Nolan [09-01-2009 09:46] 
    ED, I'm so sorry to hear about Ray Steckler. R.I.P., indeed. I'm glad you got to interview him before he passed away. We've lost a classic cult figure.
    Lonnie Dohlen [09-01-2009 09:34]  
    Nolan,if you get an Answering Machine,make sure it's a GE.They're the best.
    ED [09-01-2009 09:22] 
    RIP - Ray Dennis Steckler. He passed away in a Las Vegas hospital Wednesday night from heart problems. He would have been 71 on January 25. I had been hearing rumors since last night but didn't want to post anything until I could confirm and I could not find an obituary online. I just got off the phone with Ted Mikels. Ray was a really nice guy and he will be missed.
    Terence [09-01-2009 08:53] 
    A special tribute to the TFR by Joel Wynkoop.


    um this better be Something For The TFR. this isnt a night for new films. this is the best of.
    Nolan [09-01-2009 08:47] 
    WOW, Paul that's really something. No longer with La Gaceta? End of an era, man. But if you're concentrating on books and they're paying off, what the hell, GO for it!

    Ahem...well, apparently, you already are going for it. Congratulations!

    And now can we expect you at Nina O's?
    The Ninja Paul Guzzo [09-01-2009 08:33] 
    Well, I have a one millionth-degree black belt, so I am my own security force!

    I am looking forward to fading into the background for a while and having no one know who the Guzzo Brothers are, though.

    Now, bigger news - As of January 16 I am no longer an employee of La Gaceta. I have been commissioned for a new book when the Greco book is complete. There was no way I could do both books and work fulltime, and the commission on the second should get me through the year, so I took thye plunge and decided to spend the next year on the books and nothing else, and then figure out what next from there. I am very excited to have such an opportunity and will tell more about the new book when I get to it - never jinx yourself by talking too much!

    And, yes, this is why I have been so absent from Nina O's this year ... been saving pennies in case a rainy day comes this year that my book commissions can't handle.
    Nolan [09-01-2009 08:02] 
    Congratulations, Paul!

    And Happy Birthday to the Mattster!, Hey, send in a Rail someday, let me know you still care! Haha.
    Special Agent Puff Chrissy [09-01-2009 07:35] 
    Now that you are a famous public figure, Guzzo, have you considered getting some security? If I were you, I'd never leave the house alone. Especially when walking the mean streets of Ybor.
    The Historian Paul Guzzo [09-01-2009 06:48] 
    I am being interviewed for Ghost Hunters today ... they are filming in Ybor and needed to interview a historian. No guarantee I will make the episode of course, but it should still be cool. And, NO, I don't get to watch the investigation. I'm just the nerd with the historical facts.
    ED [09-01-2009 06:27] 
    Neat article Chris and very reminiscent of our own WTOG 44 (which was chanel 11 on cable where I grew up watching it in Ocala) right down to many of the same movies and TV series. I remember being torn in the summers between going outside to play in the mornings or staying in to watch Popeye and Ultraman on 44 (Ultraman usually won). Now I seldom even turn the TV on before 8PM. Even though we had far fewer channels back then it sure does seem like we had a lot more good stuff to watch.
    Steve [09-01-2009 02:27] 
    Actually, the stoned comment was intended for Mr. Guzzo.

    You haven't been seriously stoned since 1976 at that Who concert at Tampa Stadium, Mr. Canova...as far as I know. ;)
    Nolan [09-01-2009 01:37] 
    No, I don't think so. Might've been asleep. DAMN I need to get an answering machine!
    Steve [08-01-2009 19:19] 
    You weren't stoned?
    Nolan [08-01-2009 16:39] 
    Oh, I see what's happening. You guys' links aren't working because, for some reason, when you posted, an extra space crept into the URL.

    Try these:
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/article960526.ece
    http://tampa.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=596974

    Yes, I'm glad to see Joe and Lisa in the story, too. Paul, is this the St. Pete writer I was supposed to talk to? If so, I never got the call---or didn't recognize the Caller ID, one of the two. Sorry I missed out.
    William [08-01-2009 16:06]  
    I liked the photo of Paul and Pete in the St. Pete Times.

    See if this URL gets ya there:

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/ar ticle960526.ece

    Lisa: It was neat seeing you mentionmed along with Joe davison!
    Chris Woods [08-01-2009 15:37] 
    The links didn't work for me either, but if you search Tampa Film Review on the Tampabay.com you'll find the article. Very good article guys, it's cool that they covered it. I'll have to check out the Creative Loafing one.
    The Idiot Paul Guzzo [08-01-2009 08:51] 
    Hmm... welp, then just pick up the St. Pete Times' City Times section tomorrow ... the one nice thing about no more TFR will be there will not be any reason to photograph me anymore ... christ I always look stoned in photos.
    Nolan [08-01-2009 08:33] 
    Paul -- Neither of the links you posted appear to be valid, I keep getting error messages. Anyone else having this problem?

    I DID see the Creative Loafing article in the actual publication, though -- I think on page 2, the Tampa Film Review's final meeting coverage occupies the whole lower half of the page!
    The Infamous Paul Guzzo [08-01-2009 08:11] 
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/articl e960526.ece
    http://tampa.creativeloafing.com/gyro base/Content?oid=596974
    Video Game Guru Paul Guzzo [07-01-2009 05:34] 
    I think when you google my name this website is THE or one of the first to come up.
    ED [07-01-2009 03:25] 
    Brandon - I am thick skinned about it and not upset at all. As I said in the previous post I find these comments laughable. I was trying to illustrate just exactly how laughable. I apologize if I came across as unduely hositile in making that point.
    Michael [06-01-2009 22:05] 
    Boss, hope the choppers are feeling better. I just had a tooth pulled and my teeth deep cleaned a couple of weeks ago and had to deal with Laurence Olivier. Glad your experience was better. So nice to see that other publications recognize our work. The Washington Post? USA Today? Me? "KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!" :-) Early birthday greetings to the Mattster. Soon to be 48 (and old) like me!
    Brandon [06-01-2009 19:34] 
    Wow Ed, get some thicker skin. I thought the article hit some points and doesn't really effect your article at all.

    Funny having critics attacking critics especially if their critique is being criticized.
    ED [06-01-2009 18:26] 
    I would never take any critisism on one of my articles seriously unless it came from the source or was followed by see my article on ..... or read my column about..... to see how it's done properly. It's a hell of a lot easier to critize someone else for doing something than to get off your ass and do it yourself.

    It also amazes me how hatefull some of these people can get towards a certain individual, film, television show, or whatever. It's fine if you don't like something but what is the point in trying to discredit anyone else who does? That's like going to a resturaunt and yelling at people who go to the salad bar all night just because you don't like squash!
    Terence [06-01-2009 16:43] 
    i wonder how many more links there are to this site that cant be found easily on search engines. if we have learned anything its Roth is not the respected nuclear physicist he claimed to be, Ed needs to use proper commas, and I should never make a zombie movie again haha just kidding guys. obviously the articles are good or they wouldnt be talking about them for pages upon pages. someone is always gonna criticize something. thats just how people are. i guess in this business as they say ya just deal with it.
    Chris Woods [06-01-2009 16:08] 
    Nolan, hope your feeling better from the Root Canal. Glad to hear it wasn't as bad as you thought. It's good to hear the word is getting out about the site and it being mentioned on other web sites.
    Nolan [06-01-2009 14:46] 
    ED: Exactly. Good for laughs. The only source material they quote is from here, it's amazing how much mileage they got out of it. Particularly with you and Roth, you got whole threads devoted to you, haha.

    Puff and Paul: Are you scoffing, sirs? It sounds like you're scoffing, you scoffing scofflaws!

    To Everyone, re: Root Canal: Thanks, I appreciate your comments and support.
    ED [06-01-2009 14:05] 
    Nolan - I did know about those links (and a few others) referencing my material. I get the occasional E-mail asking for permission to quote my material or asking me for a unique quote for something specific. It always amuses me how a lot of these board posters are so quick to critisize something and yet never quote their sources to prove their points. 98% of what spout are opinions and yet they cling to them as though they are life altering irrevokable facts. They are good for a laugh though and I am glad it has brought traffic to this site.
    Temporarily Theatreless Petrey [06-01-2009 12:05] 
    Glad to hear the RC went good Nolan. A trip to the dentist is pretty painless these days. It's the getting there and thinking about it that pains me the most. But I follow a simple rule. If the teeth aren't visible (like in the front) I tell them to rip 'em and strip 'em, ha ha!
    Paul Guzzo [06-01-2009 11:26] 
    I google myself at least once, sometimes twice a day ... I find I google myself better than other's can google me.
    matthew [06-01-2009 10:49] 
    so nolan, i guess its true what they say....

    'oh thank heaven, for 7-eleven'
    Italian Style Puff Chrissy [06-01-2009 09:17] 
    You finally Googled yourself? Good for you. It's amazing all the things you can discover when you Google yourself. And good luck on your dental adventures.
    [31-12-1969 16:00] 
    End of Comments    


  • "Mike's Rant" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2009 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith    "FANGRRL" is ©2009 by Lisa Ciurro    "La Floridiana" is ©2009 by William Moriaty    "Retrorama" is ©2009 by ED Tucker    "Growing Up Fanboy" is ©2009 by Chris Woods    "Sports Talk" is ©2009 by Chris Munger      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova    
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