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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 479  (Vol. 10, No. 22). This edition is for the week of May 25--31, 2009.

"UP"
Saturday Morning Fever: CBS 1975
Book Review: Eternally Yours by S.L. Juers
Bric-a-brac .... Buy Black & Check Your Twins .... Bs Football & Supergirl .... Chinese Gold Rush? .... No New Taxes .... Daddy's Boy .... Drop Rocks....sex Me! .... And I'm Biased?!? r
Sore As Hell .... Oh To Be 25 Again .... What's So Funny? .... This Is Pretty Funny? (the Joke, Not The Guy Being Dead) .... .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2... o

Summer Salvation?
Terminator Salvation
Shocker Toys: Katchoo
Readers Comments


TERMINATOR SALVATION
I went to this highly-anticipated sequel with PCR Youth Nation member Mason Troupe last Friday. Due to a work schedule switcheroo, however, I wasn't able to post my thoughts about it until now.

To put it simply, I was disappointed. Not that I'd necessarily turn anyone away from this film as a loud, faced-paced summer action picture, but I'd sure let them know that as a Terminator sequel, it was weak, had some pretty big script problems, and displayed inconsistencies with the original movie and its sequels. Kinda like I said about Wolverine.

"The Future Begins" the ad campaigns say, but it begins with a lot of confusion. (Mike Smith's review of the film is recommended to get the main plot elements.) CAUTION: before proceeding, there will be some mild spoilers following, some necessary to comment on the action, but nothing, hopefully, to ruin the picture for anyone still planning to see it.

There's a guy you see in the trailers for Terminator Salvation, someone John Connor (Christian Bale) must confront. It is a man who, until that moment, is unaware that he is a machine. That much you see in the trailer. What was a little disconcerting, is that upon viewing Terminator Salvation, the story turns out to be just as much about this man, Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), as it is about John Connor and the resistance. Maybe more so. So, like so many others that came before, a new character was created that was unnecessary to contrive a new storyline which was unnecessary, to create a new unnecessary subplot that added nothing to the mythos except some ham-handed soapy elements having to do with "second chances". Additionally, if you're thinking that this human-cyborg was meant to infiltrate the resistance (even that you can get from the trailer), you'd be right, but it was mishandled and made no sense. Robocop did a much better job at showing the conflict between human memory and computer programming.

The CGI effects are well done and very colorful, but that's hardly a surprise. There's a borderline rip-off of the Transformers, where larger-scale Terminators can break off into smaller machines. Odd, since a Transformers sequel is due out in just a few weeks. Also, is it me, or does the SkyNet headquarters look like Mordor (from Lord of the Rings) from a short distance? Mason and I continue to argue over whether the "cameo" by Arnold Schwarzenegger as the just-invented T-800 was partially or totally CGI (the few seconds it was on). As far as I can tell there is no cameo by Linda Hamilton. A voice recording of John's mother sounds more like the girl from The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

The movie would've been totally inaccessible to me had it not been for the presence of Christian Bale as John Connor. His intensity and screen presence tend to glue what there is of the movie together. And I liked the kid who plays Kyle Reese (same actor who played Chekov in Star Trek). The age difference between him and Connor is inconsistent with the first two movies, but he does have a passable facial and vocal resemblance to Michael Bein (the original Reese).

I won't give away the ending, except that it hints at future entries. I gather that at this point in the timelime that time-travel hasn't been invented yet by Skynet or anyone else, but it's getting closer. The Kyle Reese that falls in love with Sarah Connor's photograph is also a ways off yet.

But they'd best get on it. Terminator Salvation didn't even take the weekend as far as box office grosses, Night at the Museum 2 did. A quick fall-off with the weak word-of-mouth for T4 is virtually guaranteed. That's a shame for a franchise with such a colorful history, practically iconic ("I'll be back"). I can only hope the next chapter of the series can re-capture some of the magic of the first two films (I was not a big fan of the third one). Or else.....John Connor and company may not be back.

A Message Board thread has been started on this topic.




INDIE SPOTLIGHT SERIES 1: KATCHOO
The fine folks at Shocker Toys saw fit to send me a sample of their new line of super-hero action figures, and honored at the invitation, I shall give the sample its just due.

Shocker Toys is an independent company out of New Jersey that began in 2000 with a line of what they call a "unique hyper-articulated block action figure system known as the Shockini." Those figures, about 3 inches high, were extremely popular and regular sell-outs.

Katchoo without her weapon, still ready for action.Gun back in her hand ready to take you out.
Fast-forward a few years and they broke into the equally popular super-hero line, these figures, a wee bit taller, are based on characters from independent comics, graphic novels and the like. The Toxic Avenger and the rock band GWAR were just two out of dozens I can recall produced in the early years.

I'm happy to say that the company continues to produce an excellent product, nicely sculpted and molded figures that to these eyes indeed seem "hyper-articulated" and very realistic. One of the boxed sets of characters currently available include ShadowHawk, Scud, Kabuki, Katchoo, The Maxx (I was a big fan of his MTV series), Scud variant Sol, and ShadowHawk. These can also be purchased separately. I was presented with "Katchoo" from the comic books series "Strangers In Paradise" by Terry Moore.

Katchoo is Katina Marie Choovanski, a 26-year-old artist and wildcat featured in the comic. She comes with a gun in one hand and pink fairy "Isz" (this character comes with other heroes in the set as well). Her gun hand is detachable and interchangeable with one that is unarmed.

The figure is pretty and solid and...well, pretty solid! All articulation performed well (I don't think Isz articulates, but he's cool anyway). I had no problem switching out Katchoo's gun hand.

The dark enemy of The Maxx (he being the big purple guy in the picture at left), Mr. Gone, ships separately. A Dick Tracy figure is expected to ship in June and they're taking pre-orders for him and the second Indie Spotlight series (the first has already sold out).

The figures range in price from around $18 for single figures to around $135 and up for boxed sets. In my opinion these are recommended collectibles.

I thank Shocker Toys for the opportunity to examine the figure and learn about Shocker's company and affiliates.

For more information on Shocker Toys, please visit their website.



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.
Petrey [02-06-2009 04:45] 
This is a great website for information on lost toons and more: THE BIG CARTOON DATABASE at http://www.bcdb.com
Steve 42 tonight Beasley [02-06-2009 04:32] 
Nolan is absolutely right! I must have seen every episode.

From Wikipedia:
Klondike Kat (voiced by Mort Marshall) was a Royal Mountie cat. He was always in pursuit of Savoir-Faire (voiced by Sandy Becker), a French-Canadian mouse who constantly steals food and is known for his catch phrase, "Savoir-Faire is everywhere!"

Savoir-Faire is accompanied by his sled dog Malamutt.

Klondike Kat lives in Fort Frazzle and answers to commanding officer Major Minor (voiced by Kenny Delmar).

Klondike, though well-meaning, is naturally incompetent and usually causes more trouble than Savoir-Faire in trying to stop him ("I'll make mincemeat out of that mouse!"); yet, at the end of each episode, Klondike would "get his mouse" somehow.

Delmar also provided the voice of one of my favorite characters, Commander McBragg.
Nolan [01-06-2009 08:27] 
Since no one else addressed Mike's other question, I will: Yes, "Savoir Faire is EVERYwhere," was spoken by the nemeisis mouse in Klondike Kat.
Brandon [01-06-2009 07:21] 
Mike, you appear to not be alone in your search

http://www.tv.com/the-looney-tunes-show/ show/18884/st.-bernard-with-barrel-around-neck/top ic/8816-1258042/msgs.html
Steve Beasley [01-06-2009 04:21] 
The Looney Tunes episode is titled "Piker's Peak". Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam are competing against each other in climbing some snowy mountain in some European country. Actually, it was initially supposed to be only Sam who climbs the mountain, but Bugs joins in. Sam winds up sliding down the mountain a few times and having to restart. Everytime he restarts, a Mariachi style band winds up playing some music. At one point Sam gets caught in a avalanche of some sort and the Saint Bernard comes to rescue him. That's where the dog has the martini. When they do reach the top, Sam pushes Bugs off and he claims himself the winner of the contest and 50,000 Kronkites. Little does he know that he just climbed the Eiffel Tower.
Steve OOPS! Beasley [01-06-2009 01:56] 
The link seems to be broken so just go to Wikipedia and search: Piker's Peak
Steve \"Looney Toons\" Beasley [01-06-2009 01:54] 
Hi Mike!

This may be what you're looking for...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piker%27s_Peak
Terence [31-05-2009 16:53] 
wasnt that called "The Inch High, Private Eye"?
Michael [31-05-2009 14:51] 
Also, a question. The other night a group of us were trying to figure out the name of the cartoon series that featured a St Bernard that would always show up to help but had alcohol in the barrel he carried on his collar. I was thinking Klondike Kat but am not sure. Or the one with the mouse that used to exclaim "Savoir Faire is EVERYwhere," which might have actually been Klondike Kat. Any help?
Michael [31-05-2009 14:48] 
Just heard that Milvina Dean, last living survivor of the Titanic, has passed away at age 97. It was my extreme pleasure to meet her many years ago and I will be recounting that meeting in next week's Rant.
Terence [31-05-2009 08:28] 
it's happening.
J.MILLER [31-05-2009 05:05] 
vvvvvvvvvv wHOA Boy...This cant really be happening...
Brandon [31-05-2009 04:32] 
"UP" was fantastic. Easily best movie of summer, possibly best movie in a long while. Everyone in our group from ages 4-40 had a great time, loved it dearly.
Terence [30-05-2009 19:20] 
if we were any kind of a self respecting fanboy site it would have been Russ Meyers Up. lol
Steve Beasley [30-05-2009 17:13] 
Wow! When I saw Mike had reviewed, "UP!", I thought is was the Russ Meyer's classic. I'm so behind the times down here at the bottom of the planet! It's good to see Ratzenberger still getting roles, even if not an a par with his former "Cheers" co-star Harrelson.
Lonnie Dohlen [29-05-2009 11:15]  
Ed,Liked your article this week.The company ENTERTAINMENT RIGHTS has all of the Secrets of ISIS on DVD.
Petrey [29-05-2009 11:07] 
Warner's Archive Collection discs ARE burned DVDs.
J.MILLER2 [29-05-2009 06:39] 
T---Im aware of the films unofficial relation to Blood Feast but decided to just review it as its own film...Even though I gave it a low rating I can easily see why Drew would like it so much...Its definitly a fun movie to watch
Chris Woods [28-05-2009 20:20] 
Terence - Thanks. Raw Meat was good, but it did have some slow parts in it.

Lisa - I enjoyed your article. The book sounds good and has an interesting view on a vampire.

ED - Good write up on Saturday morning cartoons. As a kid I always looked forward to new cartoons in the fall on the big 3 networks. I remember a prime time special on NBC during the 80's to plug the new shows.
Terence [28-05-2009 08:50] 
Chris- good review of Raw Meat I thought I was the only one who appreciated it. it is slow at times for sure. really there is no suspense its almost like the director was trying to make it a drama.

John- you do know Blood Diner is a unofficial sequel to Blood Feast right? the part in the beginning where their uncle comes running in the house is supposed to take place when Ramses is being chased by police in Blood Feast. Ramses from Blood Feast is their Uncle. I just thought maybe the readers would maybe be more likely to check out the film if they knew that. good review though. Drew Rieber swears by this film he loves it so much.
Joel D. Wynkoop [27-05-2009 18:38]  
Ed,

Nice write up. Man, that brought back memories. SHAZAM/ISIS hour was great. I remember all the others too. Great read man.
ED [27-05-2009 12:12] 
Awesome site Brandon, thanks for the link. I would love to see Uncle Croc's Block again just to see if it is really as bad as I remember it being. I've seen a couple of clips on Youtube but I would prefer to see the whole show. Sc-Fi Channel had a Land of the Lost marathon this past Monday, their smartest programming move in years.
Brandon [27-05-2009 11:42] 
Ed,

Interesting article, taking me back to me childhood memories. Check out the website below, where they specialize in catagorizing those very cartoons.

http://www.tvparty.com/sat75.html
[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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