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PCR #95. (Vol. 3, No. 3) This edition is for the week of January 14--20, 2002.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello gang! Some news and notes, a few passings on, some movie notes and I'm pissed again. Shall we begin?

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So, President Bush had a little encounter with a pretzel this past weekend and passed out due to a choking fit. Bizarre, you may think, but actually quite common. Actually, a couple years ago I was attending the ShoWest convention in Las Vegas when my drink "went down the wrong pipe," as my mom used to say. I remember coughing quite violently and then next thing I new I was being helped up off of the floor. I felt fine, maybe a little light headed, but nothing serious. When I returned home I spoke to my doctor during a regular appointment. He didn't say anything about a nerve to the heart, but he did tell me that sometimes when you cough very hard you put pressure on your carotid artery in your neck. This closes off the blood flow to the brain and causes you to faint. (So that's what happens. I had a near-miss fainting spell with this chest infection I recently suffered.---Nolan) Lots of medical news this week...........

I can remember being 16 years old and staying the night at Matt's house. In the morning he swore to me that I snored like a bear. Of course, I didn't believe him. Not even when he produced a crudely-made tape of my supposed rumblings. Fast-forward 25 years to the very unflattering photo that accompanies these writings. (Heeey! It's the only one I have....and I gave you have a plaque!---Nolan) I'm sure the first thing you think is, "Wow............who put the beard on the basketball?" I mean, when I joined the service and they shaved my head I could have passed for Curly Howard from the Three Stooges. Years later, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, which explains a lot about my snoring (yes, I admit it...........I snore!) This week, researchers at Case Western Reserve University have determined that people with round heads have a greater risk of chronic snoring and apnea due to a narrower airway. So there! I'm not a freak! One thought tho.............how do you think Charlie Brown's wife sleeps at night?

Thanks for the note on the "Back to the Future" trilogy on DVD, Matt. My only hope is that they will include the Eric Stoltz version that was filmed first. Just think, if Spielberg had liked the film with Stoltz, Michael J. Fox would only be known to the world as "Teen Wolf."

This past season, Matt and I entered a Fantasy Football league and I basically got my ass kicked. I figured Matt had humiliated me enough (spank boy!) so I chose not to comment. Congratulations to him.............the check is in the mail...........NOT! (Ah! So that's what that was about.---Nolan)
   Best of luck to Tony Dungy, the only coach with a WINNING RECORD in the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He basically got hosed by the Glazer family, which, I hope Matt remembers, I predicted would happen when they bought the team. The Glazers had tried to get an expansion franchise for Baltimore when I lived there............and they talked a good game. They spoke of tradition and the Colts and Johnny Unitas. Then they bought the Bucs and abandoned Baltimore like a crack baby at the hospital. I'm sure Coach Dungy will turn up again. He's far too talented to be out of the game for long. And BILL PARCELS!! Hell, Keyshawn couldn't play for the Tuna when he coached the Jets................he sure isn't going to want to play for him now!

Before I touch on a couple current obituaries, I must apologize for missing one of the biggest of the past year. Actually, I did have it in my notes but, as most of my notes consist of scribblings on napkins, scratch paper and the such that I accumulate during the week, I obviously misplaced it.
   SAMUEL Z. ARKOFF: The founder of American International Pictures, which produced films from "Earth vs the Spider" to "Black Sunday" (the early 1960's film, not the Robert Shaw/Bruce Dern film). He was referred to as the "King of the Drive In," but I can remember him keeping the Twin Bays 4 packed with such fare as "Kingdom of the Spiders" and "The Island of Dr. Moreau." His impact was so great that the Zucker brothers immortalized him in their film "Kentucky Fried Movie" by having all of their "coming attractions" announced as "Samuel R. Bronkowitz presents!"
   BILL McCUTCHEON, a versatile actor who won a Tony Award for his performance in the 1988 Broadway revival of "Anything Goes," passed away this week at age 77. McCutcheon was also known for playing Uncle Wally on "Sesame Street" and for the 1964 movie "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians." In other news, this marks the 3rd time the above Santa Claus extravaganza has been mentioned in my rants. Weird, isn't it.
   TED DEMME, who's most recent film, "Blow," was one of my best film choices last year, passed away after collapsing while participating in a celebrity basketball game. The nephew of Oscar winning director, Jonathan Demme ("Silence of the Lambs"), Demme was 38. The cause of death has not been determined.

Jason Mewes, whose portrayal of stoner Jay in a series of Kevin Smith films, is being sought by the New Jersey State Police for violating his probation on drug charges. Mewes pleaded guilty in February 2000 for heroin possession. He was sentenced to two years probation, community service, a fine and suspension of his driver's license. He has missed two mandatory meetings with his probation officer, and an APB for his arrest has been issued. If you see Jason, please tell him to call home!

At first, I almost thought I was reading the National Lampoon when I heard that N*Sync was going to appear in the next "Star Wars" film. Luckily, Joey Fatone was recently quoted as saying that because so many people complained, the boys will end up on the cutting room floor. Word is that if Lance Bass appeared in the film the character of C-3PO would appear less gay. Perhaps Backstreet Boy Nick Carter can get tossed out of a cantina along with Jar Jar Binks!

Oscar nominations are not due to be announced until February 12th. However, the following films are listed as the contenders for the Best Visual Effects Oscar: A,.I. Artificial Intellegence, Black Hawk Down, Cats and Dogs, The Fast and the Furious, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Jurassic Park III, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Pearl Harbor. The list will be narrowed to three nominees come Oscar night. My choices: "Potter," "JP3" and "Rings," with "Pearl Harbor" a close fourth.

In the decade of the 1970's, I can remember seeing a TOTAL of FOUR sequels: "Godfather 2," "French Connection 2," "Exorcist 2" and "Jaws 2." There were also three films in the James Bond series. And, I just remembered "The Other Side of the Mountain 2." So off the top of my head, there were EIGHT SEQUELS in ten years. The year 2002 has SEVENTEEN planned. At least. SEVENTEEN!!! Who says there are no original ideas anymore?

Lisa Beamer, the widow of my personal hero, Todd Beamer, gave birth to a healthy girl recently. The child was named Morgan Kay Beamer. Morgan was Todd Beamer's middle name.

I can't believe that "American Taliban" John Walker is not going to be tried for treason. According to the law, you can only be tried for treason if, a) you confess to it or b) two separate witnesses testify against you. So far, Walker has confessed to meeting Osama bin Laden, being aware that terrorist attacks were imminent on our nation, being asked to conduct operations against the United States and knowing more attacks are scheduled. What more do we need? Apparently his maximum punishment is life in prison. Hopefully one of his prison mates will stick a sharpened toothbrush handle in his neck shortly after sentencing.

Late Wednesday evening, Producer Chris Carter announced that "The X-Files" will end this May after completing its ninth season. The show has suffered declining ratings since star David Duchovny left last year. The series will conclude with episode # 201.

Well, that's it for this week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova