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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 475  (Vol. 10, No. 18). This edition is for the week of April 27--May 3, 2009.

"X-Men Origins: Wolverine"
FX 2009: Another View
State of the Nation, Inaugural Column
Priced Out Of The Business .... What The Hell Happened In One Year? .... Gruden Hasnít Left .... Sprung! .... Canít Get It Straight .... Nfl Draft Goes Primetime? .... Itís Not A National Championship .... r
I Didn't Catch The Name .... Passing On .... So Proud .... Boldly Going .... Last Week .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2...

Transitions
Goodbye, Hello, Indie Film News
Goodbye, Splash Page, Hello, State of the Nation
Goodbye, GeoCities
Just a Reminder....
Readers Comments

I hardly know where to start. Lots of stops, starts, returns and transitions this week. While the rest of the country ponders the swine flu outbreak and NYCity "photo-ops" involving jumbo jets (and justifiably so), the following is what's on my mind at the present moment....

MAY BIRTHDAYS
Jason Liquori, May 4. 38 yrs.
Steve Beasley, May 5. 52 yrs.
Chris Woods, May 11. 36 yrs.
Terence Nuzum, May 19. 30 yrs.
GOODBYE, HELLO, INDIE FILM NEWS
It was announced to me last week in a personal email that long-time PCR staff writer and Tampa indie film enthusiast Paul Guzzo will no longer be able to continue with Indie Film News as his book-writing and various other projects has consumed all his time. Of course, along with this goes Filmlook, Paul's 2-year old PCR column that doucumented his thoughts on film and other topics.

Days later, Lisa Scherer Ciurro (FANGRRL) contacted me with a proposal to take over Indie Film News herself, since she and Paul share many of the same contacts in the local film scene. I jumped at the idea and Paul gave his blessing. So....starting with next week's issue of PCR, Paul Guzzo's Indie Film News will be cleverly retitled to reflect its new editor. I thank Lisa for doing this to support the film community and continuing Paul Guzzo's work in promoting the Tampa film scene in her own way.

Of course, we will miss Paul in these corridors, but wish the best of luck in his current endeavors! We still plan on seeing him in our regular social gatherings so he hopefully doesn't become a stranger!

GOODBYE SPLASH PAGE, HELLO STATE OF THE NATION
OK, before you all send me email corrections, yes, I know I officially buried Brandon Jones' Splash Page many years ago, but I bring it up here for a reason. Splash Page focused on comics, movies, and general fanboy news topics. It was a personal favorite.

Brandon, once a regular PCR columnist with the aforementioned Splash Page, has contented himself these past few years on the Message Board with (to me) fairly groundbreaking hijinks, tackling subjects everywhere from Andy Lalino's chrono-phobia (is that a decently coined term for "fear of the present"?) to movie reviews to American politics of the heaviest kind.

Brandon has increasingly focused on that last subject, American politics, for years now, and recently, I think, he felt he'd outgrown the Message Board. With a touch of irony, the answer was to return to PCR with a regular column and higher visibility. That column is State of the Nation which begins with this issue of PCR and will feature both politics and pop culture commentary. In fact, this issue's State of the Nation starts with comics commentary, some of which was inspired by our reviews of F/X Con (last week's issue). Following that is his view of where we are in politics at the moment. NOTE: I realize the juxtaposition of gentle topics like comics pricing next to hard-hitting topics like the Economic Stimulus is going to be jarring to many readers, but it's where Brandon's head is at right now. NOTE #2: While I'm enthusiastic in welcoming him back to the PCR fold, please note Brandon's political views do not necessarily reflect the views of any of the staff of PCR or Crazed Fanboy. Good luck, Bran!

GOODBYE, GEOCITIES
I just got a note on this this morning (April 29). Looooong-time readers may remember our first regular movie reviewer was not Mike Smith, but a friend of Mike's, a teenager who worked at same theater Mike did. His name was Brandon Herring, the only PCR staffer I never met face-to-face. Mr. Herring also started a movie review website (I did a banner graphic for) hosted on Yahoo's GeoCities servers. Along the way he signed up for a WebRing newsletter that somehow wound up in my email box over the years and I never cancelled. I dunno, it reminded me of earlier, simpler times and I'd glance it over when it came in.

This morning's WebRing newsletter stated that Yahoo is closing GeoCities later this year, possibly at the end of summer. That gives anyone and everyone who has had a website hosted with them time to move their sites before it goes dark. In fact, the WebRing people have started a hosting service to do this for free. It's the end of an era, but a light at the end of the tunnel for GeoCities supporters (if memory serves, at one time Matt Drinnenberg's "Masters of Horror" site was on GeoCities).

You all may remember last October when I wrote about AOL's Hometown webhosting service going dark. I had my first websites there, including the first two years of Nolan's Pop Culture Review! Of course, they were all moved to CrazedFanboy.com years ago.

I speculate that the economic downturn will result in many more formerly free services going belly-up or converting to a fee-based model.

JUST A REMINDER....

  • Last week's FANGRRL column by Lisa Scherer Ciurro had technical problems that prevented upload of Lisa's photos from the F/X Con until just before archiving. The problem is fixed now, so please re-visit this issue to view the photos as intended.
  • Mike Smith's Movie Review column will be delayed until Thursday night due to studio restrictions regarding "Wolverine".


    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.

    pink lady [04-05-2009 20:30] 
    grease 2 is te best!!!!!!! we going back to skhool!
    Wolverine [04-05-2009 18:14] 
    Look, let's stop wasting time debating my movie and move on to more important matters ... such as what you all bought at the last convention!!!
    J.MILLER2 [04-05-2009 10:44] 
    "thats fine and I understand that you all just enjoyed it to enjoy it as non thinking entertainment value"

    Do people even know why they go to the movies anymore?..Whats the point in waisting 2 hours in a dark room for $10 watching something you care absolutely nothing about with no future replay value that will be disposable as soon as the next retarded movie comes out...Why not sit at home and just enjoy free porn...I'd argue the plot and acting may even better there also...
    Terence [04-05-2009 10:29] 
    "I liked the movie a lot and agree with your assessment -- and your rating -- of it. I know absolutely nothing about the comics, and I've seen all the X-Men movies but don't remember them (sorry Terence) -- so I watched the movie from that vantage point, so to speak."


    Mike and Lisa: thats fine and I understand that you all just enjoyed it to enjoy it as non thinking entertainment value but that doesn't make the movie and its problems ok. its coming off from a previous series of films plus billing itself as a prequel to that series and then what does it do? it throws all that continuity out the window. it's not a responsible or good film. I feel the need to bring this up and to condridict Mikes review not cus Im being a jerk but because this is a fanboy site and as such we should be complaining about this movie.
    Wolverine Lover Lisa [04-05-2009 10:09] 
    Mike -- I missed the chance to comment on your write up of Grease 2 last week, so I'll spare you my rant about why it bugs me so much but yet I love it, and just say "good job". I pulled my Grease 2 soundtrack out this weekend to listen to, which was fun.

    Re: your Wolverine review -- I think perhaps you gave away a little too much of the plot? I generally don't read reviews until after I've seen a movie for that reason, and I'm glad I didn't read yours beforehand 'cause I like not knowing what's gonna happen. I liked the movie a lot and agree with your assessment -- and your rating -- of it. I know absolutely nothing about the comics, and I've seen all the X-Men movies but don't remember them (sorry Terence) -- so I watched the movie from that vantage point, so to speak.
    ED [04-05-2009 10:06] 
    Lisa - you and I talked about a lot of things at FX and you were going a mile a minute on some of them. I just relayed the story the way I thought I heard it.
    Just Plain Lisa [04-05-2009 09:54] 
    Brandon -- Welcome back! I'm not familiar with Splash Page (I hadn't yet discovered CFB back then) but am looking forward to reading your new column. I probably won't understand or enjoy much of it, because I've chosen to stay plugged into the Matrix, but I'm looking forward to reading it nonetheless. (Might even learn something -- stranger things have happened.)

    ED -- I liked your photo essay, but I can't take credit for coming up with that idea. I remember us talking about photos at FX -- 'cause when you said you usually have more photos than text I made a joke about my always having more text than photos because I'm a terrible photographer -- but I don't remember making that suggestion. I feel weird about taking credit for something that I didn't do, so I just wanted to let you know. Thanks, though; and again, I enjoyed your column.
    Painkiller Petrey [04-05-2009 01:56] 
    I guess it comes as no surprise that BDDFH is my highest ranking seller amongst my DVD inventory!
    Spock [03-05-2009 19:06] 
    Star Trek is pretty much going against canon. There are over three decades of Star Trek rules set in stone, and director JJ Abrams doesn't know anything about what has been established. I can see a strong backlash among the fans. I hope this blasphemy fails, and they can go on to a movie that builds on what has already been established.
    Star Trek needed original stories. The series kept on recycling the same tired stories over and over again. It didn't need a reboot.
    Terence [03-05-2009 08:40] 
    Star Trek is going to be crap.It's destroying continuity and is a cheap marketing ploy. Mike is already praising it. so confusing,
    Terence [03-05-2009 08:37] 
    there is only one five star movie and Black Devil Doll is it haha
    ED [03-05-2009 08:18] 
    Mike - I remember when Life of Brian was originally released. I was in the 8th grade at the time and it was covered as one of our current event subjects by the teacher. It caused a pretty major controversy and was condemned by the Catholic church as sacrolige as I recall. It was until a few years later that I got to see it on cable when one of the movie channels had a Python month (it was also my first chance to see The Rutles). Granted it was touchy subject matter but I don't think there are any thirty seconds of the entire film that do not make it clear it is intended as a spoof. I always felt Holy Grail was the better film but Brian certainly delivers on the laughs.
    J.MILLER [03-05-2009 07:33] 
    Tez---You're handing out 5 star reviews a little to liberally...Shouldnt those be reserved for classics?
    ED [03-05-2009 07:24] 
    Mike - the noses had me almost laughing out load in the end confrontation where they seemed to change from shot to shot! The tinkering may have fit the plot situation but I don't think it justified the end result of elminating the entire original series. That came off as a cheat to keep a loose base structure of the original (and recognizable to target audiences) characters and then do whatever they want with them without having to deal with any established continuity (which slaps veteran fans of the series in the face for having followed it all these years). Basicly now that Roddenberry is gone, Star Trek has fallen victim to modern Hollywood.
    Michael [03-05-2009 06:45] 
    ED, hope you enjoyed "Trek." I found it to be well done and didn't mind too much with the tinkering, since it fit the plot situation. I did pick up on the noses, but it didn't detract me from thinking that Quinto kid can act. I need to check out "Heroes."
    Chris Woods [02-05-2009 16:46] 
    Terence - Awesome review on Black Devil Doll from Hell. Can't wait to see this movie.
    ED [02-05-2009 12:27] 
    Oh, and before there were red shirts, there were red suits!
    ED [02-05-2009 12:27] 
    Well I just got back from seeing the new Star Trek and it was a very mixed bag of reactions from the group I was with. I think this is going to prove to be a very polarizing film for fans of the classic series because it pretty much eliminates everything before TNG. It was a bold move to say the least and that is all I am going to say plot wise. Look for Kirk to be the first man to tell Sulu to "pull my chute". Also, pay very close attention to Spock noses throughout the film and watch for the CGI nose battle at the end!
    Terence [01-05-2009 21:40] 
    I see where your angle is Mike but it amazes me how they think that people will forget X2 so easily. i mean this isnt the the 1930s anymore where you have to see a movie while its in the theatre and never again and only go on what you remember. we have home videos now and im sure most people that are going to see this own X2 and will be dissapointed.
    Michael [01-05-2009 21:16] 
    T, as I've said many times before, my knowledge of comic book history ends with knowing the secret identities of Batman, Superman and Spiderman. As someone who is not versed in X-men lore, I found the story intriguing and the acting and action excellent. I've also caught hell in the past from fans of the Harry Potter books because of some plot twist left out or character portrayed incorrectly. As Nolan states, I go into a film hoping to be entertained. If I am, I'm positive about the film. If not, I'm not. T-minus 11 hours and 15 minutes from seeing "Star Trek." Now this is a series, and saga, I have followed since sitting at the base of my father's recliner in 1966 so I will have a lot of preconceptions of what to expect. I won't say much about your "past war" comment so as not to act as a "spoiler" but I do agree with you it would have been nice to see more.
    Nolan [01-05-2009 15:14] 
    Hopefully I'll get to Wolverine this weekend and see for myself what's going on. I've rarely seen such a divisive movie. Critics either love it or hate it, depending on what they went in expecting.

    I respect anything Mike Smith does, of course. He has a decent track record of predicting what typical movie fans might like, if not necessarily comics fans. That's his job.

    I've kept a little distance from the fan buzz and bootleg version of this film, trying to see it without prejudice, but it's been challenging to say the least.
    Terence [01-05-2009 14:53] 
    Mike I know I have disagreed with most of your movie reviews but this one takes the cake. Its nothing like the comic character, it wastes a opportunity to show him in all those cool past wars, and most importantly most most most importantly it trashes the continuity of X2. yet as long as it has action and good acting by Hugh Jackman it's a three star movie? i just dont get you sometimes. just like X-Men Last Stand (which you even more confusingly gave three stars also) it craps on the great story and characterizations that Bryan Singer set up with the first two movies. why doesnt that matter to you? dont you expect more from movies than that? just wondering im not trying to lambast you publicly but you know when something riles me up and is damn frustrating I vent.
    Xcited Paul Guzzo [01-05-2009 07:52] 
    Welp, one of my friends watched Wolverine online last night and loved it ... so I will go see it this weekend and report back with the official Paul Guzzo statement.
    Brandon [01-05-2009 02:58] 
    Ed, thanks for the kind words. I totally forgot Final Crisis since I had abandoned ridiculous market ploy. I agree with your assessment and reiterate that everything is setup to sell trade paperbacks.
    Nestea [30-04-2009 20:37] 
    sorry meant to say, I look forward to teabagging with you!
    Nestea [30-04-2009 20:34] 
    Great column Brandon. Look forward to teabagging you on July 4th.
    ED [30-04-2009 18:53] 
    Donovan - just saw your comments, thanks and glad to know you are doing OK. Send me your address in Korea and I will get your check in the mail LOL!
    Steve \"Old Man\" Beasley [30-04-2009 18:44] 
    Sh!t! I'm the oldest MF'er on this months birthday list! Wouldn't ya just know it? Damn, Damn, Damn!
    J.MILLER [30-04-2009 18:04] 
    Doesnt this new and improved Sabretooth throw off the continuity of the first X-Men movie or is this one of those re-imagining things where we are just expected to pretend something doesnt exist?
    ED [30-04-2009 17:29] 
    Ter - Wolverine was pretty bad. This is supposed to be his origin, not his origin plus the introduction to a bunch of new X-Men plus the formation of the X-Men plus the introduction of other Marvel franchise characters. For some reason, many recent superhero films seem to think they have to have four other movies being set up in the current film or it isn't any good. I am no expert on Marvel comics but the origin of Wolverine seems to be more than enough story to fill up one film to me. This was much more "what can we set up and spin off" than it was an origin story.
    Donovan [30-04-2009 16:51] 
    I'm very greatful for the Ed Tucker editorial on FX this year because I am abroad I couldn't make this years show. I was also very pleased that he had a second part showing many different pictures and wrote more indepth about what and who was there. I'm always glad that I have visited fanboy due to Mr. Tuckers view points and entertaining articals. Keep up the good interviews and editorials! Donovan out!
    Terence [30-04-2009 13:54] 
    Wolverine sounds terrible. the whole flashbacks he has of him in the different wars are reduced to the credits backgrounds. lame. also there are many times where they just throw out the continuity from X-Men 2. Howard Stern obviously needs to reread his comics.
    ED [30-04-2009 10:52] 
    Welcome back Brandon! I echo your sentiments on the recent trends in comic mega-series. As a DC fan, I was very dissappointed in Infinite Crisis and even more so with the supposed Final Crisis. It seems to all be about the number of issues sold these days rather than the stories.
    Paul Guzzo [30-04-2009 10:51] 
    Howard Stern declared Wolverine is better than Iron Man ... for those who don't know, Stern can go toe to toe with anyone in terms of comic nerdiness.
    Rick D [30-04-2009 08:50] 
    Since when is waterboarding not torture and since when is decapitation torture? decapitation is murder not torture.
    ED [30-04-2009 07:12] 
    No problem Rick. The commentary part was all last issue which is why I put a link at the top for that. I do like your Power Point idea though. I may save that for some future use. Thanks.
    Rick D [30-04-2009 06:47] 
    Sorry I was confused. It did say "photo essay" but it was all photos, so I thought there was more commentary that may have been missing.
    ED [30-04-2009 04:49] 
    Rick - as the paragraph at the begining of this week's Retrorama stated, it is just a pictorial of FX. Nothing has been omitted and I apologize if that was not made clear.
    Rick D [30-04-2009 04:39] 
    Is something wrong with Retrorama? It's as though the article isn't there and the Power Point of Slideshow of the Fx Con is clogging up the entire page.

    Thanks though. Great site.
    FuriousD [30-04-2009 03:46] 
    Have those damn kids gotten off your lawn yet?
    Retired Paul Guzzo [29-04-2009 17:45] 
    I'm living in an assisted living home now!
    [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    "Retrorama" is ©2009 by ED Tucker "State of the Nation" is ©2009 by Brandon Jones    "Growing Up Fanboy" is ©2009 by Chris Woods    "FANGRRL" is ©2009 by Lisa Scherer Ciurro    "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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