Either your browser's javascript has been disabled or it needs an update! Please re-enable your javascript program or update your browser to view this page as designed.

PCR Archives 2002
PCR Archives 2001
PCR Archives 2000
Crazed Fanboy homepage
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2002!

La Floridiana
Movie Review
WooWoo Express
Matt's Rail
Wake Up/Comics
Mike's Rant
(Links listed above indicate "final edition" status.)

Michael A. Smith's
The Omnipresent M. Smith homepage and Email                    

Matt Drinnenberg's
The Masters of Horror

Terence Nuzum's
Viddywell Productions

William Moriaty's
T.R.E.E., Inc.

Established A.D. 2000, March 19.  Now in our third calendar year!
   Number 111 (Vol. 3, No. 19). This edition is for the week of May 6--12, 2002.
"Spider-Man" weekend box-office champ!

Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's enormously popular comic-book teenage web-slinger brought-to-life has toppled opening weekend box-office records with a staggering take of $114 million. The previous record, only a few months old, was $93 million held by Harry Potter. And that one just skirted past "Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World"'s $92.7 million, which held its ground for years.

It seems business is quite brisk for fantasy, thank you very much.

The road to Spider-Man's production was hardly a quick, smooth one, however. It has a 17-year history of missed opportunities, big-time legal hassles (the morass of complications during Marvel Comics financial shuffling and multitudinous reorganizations), and bigger-than-life creative development hell. Several versions, budgets and directors have been attached to it at various times (most notably James Cameron), before Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) wound up in the director's chair. Lucky for us comics fans, he himself is a sincere fan of the character.

For the official PCR reviews of the movie posted to date, check out This week's movie review.

X-Files: Doggett's Son's case solved
X WatchEpisode review (5-5-02). Long-time fans of The X-Files know of the torture suffered by Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick) over the years regarding his inability to solve his own son's murder. Over a decade ago, the ten-year-old boy was riding his bike around the block one day and never returned. A month later his body was found in a field.

Help now arrives in the unlikely form of an intense young cadet who is interning at the FBI. He is quickly becoming known as a genious at deduction. Taking a chance, Doggett asks the young black man for help in the Luke Doggett case, hardly believing he's doing it, but strangely confident also. The cadet remarks that another murder case involving a low-level mobster currently under investigation is tied directly to Doggett's son's case.

As the investigation continues we learn that the FBI assistant director played by Cary Elwes has been on the take with the mob since at least the time of the boy's kidnapping. Unfortunately, we also learn that the brilliant young cadet with all the answers is an escaped mental patient who's been obsessed with Doggett's case.

Despite the protests of Doggett's ex-wife, agents Reyes and Scully, and the suspicion about the assistant director, Doggett persues the leads. This leads him to an encounter with that low-level mobster, who, in a dark bar, recounts the events: that the boy was kidnapped by a pedophile and sodomized in the presence of the mobster. The "businessman" (as this guy calls himself) saw the boy's possibly recognizing him a threat and solved the problem the way he knew how. He finishes his story and leaves the bar. Doggett takes out his pistol and starts after him, with homicidal rage. Cary Elwes beats him to the punch, however-- he shoots the mobster himself to head-off any blackmail attempts.

   Last week's response to Terence's (and Deadguy's?) challenge to go see "Jason X" and send in reviews was terrific: five staff writers were represented on one page. Counting Brandon Herring's review in this issue, six reviews of Jason X have arrived to date, all but one condemning it.
   "Rant" writer Mike Smith stunned everyone last week with his way-ahead-of-the-game review of "Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones", gleaned after a special exhibitor's screening of the film. According to my server's stat sheet, that one page garnered 1000 hits in three days. Credit is due to Drew Reiber and Mike for sending our link to darkhorizons.com who posted it immediately and where the majority of hits were referred from. Thanks, Garth, for the attention at DH!

La Floridiana This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
Florida's Amazing Architecture Installment #1: The Tropical Deco of Miami Beach--Part I
The Sunshine State has some of the world's most elegant, diversified and notable architecture in the world. The opulent hotels of the late 1800's and early 1900's built by Henry Flagler and Henry Plant; the historic homes and structures of St. Augustine, some dating as far back as 500 years ago; Addison Mizener; George Merrick's Coral Gables; the Cad'zan or "House of John" that was the estate of John and Mable Ringling; and the grandiose "Fountainbleau" and "Eden Roc" motels by Morris Lapidus. But in both volume and quality, nothing architecturally surpasses the Tropical Deco found in the South Miami Beach area known now as "So Be".
What is the significance of Art Deco? ........................Click here for more.

Movie ReviewMovie Review
This Week's Movie Review:
After 17 years in development hell, passing through all kinds of treatments and directors, the web-crawling wonder, Spider-Man, grows from a Marvel Comics' flagship character to a full-blown movie star with a faithful screenplay, in-your-face effects and an opening weekend record-breaking box-office take to write home about....
Review by Nolan B. Canova
Review by Michael A. Smith
Review by Brandon Herring
PLUS: Brandon Herring has the last word on "Jason X"!
.........Click here for more.

Murder on the Woo Woo Express This week's issue
Murder on the Woo Woo Express by Patty G. Henderson
All aboard for the third run! On this trip, we unwrap a new section, "Haunting News and Briefs", which will feature news flashes and events that might be of interest to readers and writers of woo woo mysteries. One of two reviewed books this month is Lillian Stewart Carl's MEMORY AND DESIRE. Lillian is a favorite with woo woo readers and she rarely disappoints. The other book is INTENT TO SELL, MARKETING THE GENRE NOVEL. Forget John Kremer. And the Ross books, too. Okay, so some of you won't want to, but INTENT TO SELL may be the only book you'll need and actually use, in the marketing and promoting of your book.... .........................Click here for more.

Matt's Rail This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg
TOP TEN TV STRIKES BACK. As stated in last week's "letters to the editor" by moi, something just didn't sit right with the Top Ten Television shows of all time as selected by the gurus at TV Guide, also stated in last week's PCR....
ALLAN IVERSON'S PITY PARTY.You just gotta love the professional athlete. Allan Iverson, basketball stud for the Philadelphia 76ers, is all upset and whining because the rumor mill is churning out that the Sixers are trying to trade him. Why would they do such a thing, you ask? Simple. You can sum up all of Iverson's comments about any given situation in one word.... .................................Click here for more.

Wake Up and Smell the Comics This week's issue
Wake Up and Smell the Comics by Drew Reiber
#16. Well, itís here. Spider-Man: The Movie debuted with a whopping $114.8 million weekend take, breaking 3 records and solidifying the concept of a comic book film as mainstream entertainment. Iím also happy to say that the critical and popular response to the film has been just as positive as its box office total.... .......................Click here for more.

Mike's Rant This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith
KICKING ASS AND TAKING NAMES........WHERE'S MY PRIZE?........NEWS AND NOTES........GET WELL SOON........ MOVING ON........HONOR WELL DESERVED........ .................................Click here for more.

Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.

Holy shit! LOL!
I'm giddy as hell!
(Re: Mike Smith's ahead-of-the-game review of "Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones" from last issue.--N) I've been downplaying the whole "approaching Star Wars" thing, because I've been dreading the possibility that Episode 2 might go the way that Episode 1 did. To be entirely honest, I was almost hoping it would never arrive because "NO new Star Wars" is better than "BAD Star Wars". A bad film hurts the overall storyline of the series, and to be honest, although I enjoyed Episode 1 a little, most of my enjoyment stemmed from the fact it was set in the "Star Wars galaxy". Contrary to popular belief, I didn't like Jar Jar or his whole friggin' tribe, I just accepted the fact that they were there for the kiddies, and I let him be.

Kudos to Mike Smith for holding back the real spoilers despite having seen the film ahead of literally millions of folks that are eagerly awaiting the chance to see it for themselves. He's gotta' be dying over there. I'm dying with the spoilers I already know that would certainly sell the film to even the CGI-haters, I can't IMAGINE what he's going thru. (Though I guess you'd have to be a series fan for it to eat at you that badly!)

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted of my chest because when Mike Smith likes a film, I take notice. He's been a reliable meter for me thus far, right down to the "Empire Strikes Back" being the best of the Star Wars films that I'VE seen thus far. Of course I gotta' say that he (and everyone else?!) missed the boat on "Jason X", but that's OK. Anyways, if Mike says Episode 2 is better than The Empire Strikes Back, then I believe him, because he's RARELY been wrong before.

Speaking of Jason X...
It seems that no one knows how to appreciate low-budget movies that KNOW they're low-budget movies, anymore. When I saw Jason X, it was in a packed theater on opening night with 90% of the audience yelling, laughing, and having a great time with the WHOLE THING. The other 10% were usused to such films, I guess, and we're probably trying to find a way out of the theater packed full of serial killers. The rest of us laughed when the film got corny, or overlooked obvious crap like a cyro-lab housing a 200+ time serial killer never being even SLIGHTLY investigated when folks (including government folks) vanish when they visited the lab under offical decree. As though everyone still working at the facilities kinda shrugged one day and said, "Well, guess the good doctor decided to go home, gee, why is the cyro-chamber door closed and steaming cold? I dunno'--I quit! BUT, be sure to keep paying power bills and stuff to ensure that the freezing process lasts for at least 450 years, despite the fact that the earth will be uninhabitable, and Jason is apparently missing.. gee where could he have gone?"

To enjoy stuff like that is an acquired ability, I guess, but I just eat that up, it's the bread and butter of the true low-budget movie lover. Just like the old sci-fi stuff were the evil "alien" in the green tights and drawn-on eyebrows sits back and denies permission to an underling that wants to press a button that will immediately destroy the Earth, by saying, "no.. not yet, I wish to play with it awhile, I always like to play with things awhile...before their annihilation." Of COURSE it's crap, but therein lies the charm.

I think perhaps the reason the film was done with such gaping and obvious flaws, was because that was the basic intent. Trash bags for airlocks? It's camp that pretends it ISN'T camp, and that's the joke! I'm surprised no one commented on the use of miniatures for the starships vs. the standard CGI stuff. I thought it was great how starships jerked along like the old-school sci-fi stuff, I was waiting for sparklers to be used as thrusters.

In any event, I'll just enjoy my Jason X, and ya'll can go enjoy raggin' on it. Your irritation with it won't hurt my interest, and my interest in it irritates you, making it all that more enjoyable for me. So bite me.

Mike [Deadguy Scott]

To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

"Mike's Rant" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2002 by Matt Drinnenberg    "La Floridiana" is ©2002 by William Moriaty    The movie reviews of "Spider-Man" are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova, Mike Smith, and Brandon Herring. This issue's review of "Jason X" is ©2002 by Brandon Herring     "Murder on the Woo Woo Express" is ©2002 by Patty G. Henderson    "Wake Up and Smell the Comics is ©2002 by Drew Reiber    Add'l thanks to Mike "Deadguy" Scott for his input in "Letters"       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 ©2002; all rights reserved.