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

La Floridiana
Movie Review
Deadguy's Dementia
The Enlightenment
Matt's Rail
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 144  (Vol. 3, No. 52). This edition is for the week of December 23--31, 2002.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The year that was...

The year 2002 started with lots of hope. I was still working nights as a security guard at a local apartment complex and, on what little time I had off, was still working over at Tampa's public access TV, mostly on Malcolm Hathorne's UFOs and Metaphysics talk/interview show. The most radical redesign of this website to date was completed, and a bigger better PCR/Crazed Fanboy was aborning.

Around the end of the winter TV season, Dave Andrews and I agreed to help each other out on subsequent talk shows, each hosted by the other. The first one would be The World of Nolan. Dave would tech-direct, and his kids, Brody and Amber, and their friend Jaime (Hi-me) would be our crew. Malcolm had opted out of this arrangement and moved to a smaller studio to work pretty much solo.

I couldn't imagine how the timing would come together to create the most satisfying Spring I think I ever had! Somewhere around the end of March, I got a call from a reporter from the St. Pete Times, one Rick Gershman, who stated that when trying to find information on a neighborhood renaming project called "Sun Bay South", my website was the only one to come up in the search engines! (A similar thing happened a couple years ago, when Dawn Swire of The Sarasota Herald called to ask about an Art Bell substitute host. Very cool.) I talked to Rick at length, told him what I thought of Sun Bay South, and he said he'd like to do a follow-up article on Nolan's Pop Culture Review/Crazed Fanboy. Elated, I was eager to cooperate, of course! I then informed him of my just-started public access show. He said he'd check it out and maybe do a follow-up story on that. Fantastic.

So you're on Public Access...?
Not only did he check out the TV show, but with a veteran photographer aboard, came to the station, and documented the Viddywell Productions episode for inclusion the St. Pete Times "City Times" section. (He also saw a tape of the previous week with local actor Gus Perez, who was quoted in the article.) Filmmaker/PCR columnist Terence Nuzum, along with then-columnists Patty G. Henderson and Gary Esposito joined us on the show to discuss various aspects of independent film production. This wound up being the major focus of the article as at the time the whole Ronda Storms/White Chocolate fued was making headlines (basically a freedom-of-speech versus a conservative County Commissioner battle royale that got carried WAY too far). Although the final article's rendering bumped down the emphasis on Crazed Fanboy slightly, it was mentioned several times and enthusiastically described. It was a major honor and a highlight of my year.

The next episode was on drug legalization, the first World of Nolan to be streamed on the internet via Pot TV.net. The balance of the season saw several highlights, among them several musical acts Dave discovered, a show with all the local PCR writers, and fellow webmeisters Legion Studios; old friend, PCR columnist, and TREE Inc. president William Moriaty, who was actually the first guest of the season.

After The World of Nolan went on hiatus, it was time for me to help Dave Andrews on What's It All About? Dave's show was more issue/political-activist oriented than mine, but I was fine with that. We had plans to keep it up through the end of the year. But the whole Ronda Storms thing resulted in funding cuts for the station and our ball game went out the window. (That situation has finally been resolved in public access's favor, and I may rejoin the team down there again in 2003).

The developing Crazed Fanboy/PCR...
All along, this website was developing at an ever-growing pace as the writers were given full pages upon which to hone their chops. (In last year's PCR, all content was contained on a single, long-scrolling page.) As time went on, more and more people found out about us. As we became inter-linked to other sites, we became more communicative with those who were of our mind set.

Last June, we attended a party at the New World Brewery in Ybor City, organized by Christian Dumais of Legion Studios, we got to meet several other movers and shakers in the Tampa webring community. (Long-time readers will recall that Christian gave me my first offsite attention by interviewing me for the Legion website, a piece I'm still proud of.)

Also happening in June was a piece I wrote on Art Bell's banning of mentalist "The Amazing Kreskin" from his show forever. My friend Steve Beasley, currently living in New Zealand, fowarded the link to Art's webmaster Keith Rowland without my knowledge. Keith put the link up on ArtBell.com, which resulted in several thousand hits to Crazed Fanboy. In fact, because of the Amazing Kreskin article (which started life as an email to some UFO-fan friends!), Issue #116 remains the most hit Nolan's Pop Culture Review of All Time. (The previous record-holder was barely over a month old: Mike Smith's ahead-of-the-game review of "Attack of the Clones", the link to which was forwarded to DarkHorizons.com). The original page with our Kreskin link was located at www.artbell.com/kreskin.html. However, please note this link is only good until the end of 2002, when Art retires.

Trouble in paradise...
I had told I don't know HOW many friends at the time of the St. Pete article, "Oh sure, things are swell now....now watch me go get hit by a truck!" Well, I didn't get hit by a truck, but in the first week of August, I got hit with its economic eqivalent: I was laid off my security job I'd had for nearly 6 years. Two weeks' notice. They were signing on with a bonded Security firm as a cost-cutting measure and some kind of legal loophole thing.

I had abandoned my wreck of a car way back in February and wasn't driving anymore. I surrendered my tag and registration to the county in disgust over the cost of maintaining a car. All fine and well, as long as nothing happens to shake the boat, eh? David Andrews continued to pick me up at home to work on the public access shows, which was very generous of him. Malcolm had been doing that off and on even before that. (People can say what they want about wacky public access folk, but they've been there for me many times.)

Knocking on doors for those two weeks resulted in slammed doors as the recession had trickled down to Tampa--nobody was hiring (at least not in bike-riding distance). I was forced to sign up for Unemployment Compensation, something I've never done before. It is not much money, only basically designed to keep you from starving, I didn't see how I could keep going. In extreme depression and not knowing what I was going to do, I quit going to fan functions and I left public access. With the Crazed Fanboy empire that I have always supported by myself now in severe jeopardy, I decided to swallow my pride and ask for a job at the one place I figured they knew me, because, while I was a security guard, I took my breaks there: a corner 7-Eleven. I was hired. I'm still there. I don't like it, but I'm still there. Graveyard shift. Yeah, I know.

Oh, thank heaven....?
For months now I have been planning to write an "exposé" of life at 7-Eleven. I have now decided that it would be too similar to whining, likely come off as pathetic, and so have abandoned that notion. However, I will tell you what were the biggest surprises, both good and bad I learned about the (according to them) Number 1 convenience store in the world.
#1 Biggest misconception: That the clerks just have to worry about ringing up sales, chat with customers, then go home. OH GOD, how I wish that were true. What I learned was that you're basically a maintenance engineer and stock clerk with a minor in customer service. It's the bullshit American business model that's so embraced by corporations now. No specialists, too expensive, let the small-time clerk be responsible for EVERYTHING. Customer service is emphasized officially, don't get me wrong, but if the million-and-one things you're supposed to accomplish besides that aren't done by the end of your shift, you can be written up, disciplined, and eventually fired. Hard to clean up weekend puke in the bathroom and come out all smiles, you know? Pray you get a sympathetic work-partner. I've been fairly lucky in that regard.
Worst things about 7-Eleven: They have just as many ways to fire you as they do to hire you and both are vigorously excercised. You are under constant surveillance. This, of course, assumes you're a thief, but it also gives me the feeling nothing lasts very long. It's also a marvelous way to keep turnover high and avoid too many raises to the same people. The list of offenses over which you can be suspended or fired can fill a book. Don't even get me started on how much responsibility you have in carding minors for cigarette and alcohol sales. If there's an arrest, it's you who gets carted off. Long-timers are comparatively rare, but there are a few. If you have a good manager, like I do, it can last a real long time. The graveyard shift is scary, that never changes.
Best things about 7-Eleven: The pay is certainly competitive with similar jobs, and the benefits start WAY earlier than they did in any previous jobs I had. IF YOU CAN TAKE THE HORSESHIT, and escape being axed, it's not a bad way to go. The food is great (it really is, the hotdogs and donuts are world class), but it is NOT free to employees. The coffee is stupendous and that and soda refills are a great fringe-benefit to employees. Contrary to popular belief, the food is meticulously rotated, to guarantee freshness.
The Number 1 most often-heard thing at my 7-Eleven register, "Hang on, I think I got some change out in the car". I NEVER, in my life, saw so many people with such an aversion to carrying pocket change, but not minding making everyone wait until they go outside and check under their car seats for that missing 4 cents.
The Number 2 most often-heard thing at my 7-Eleven register, "Hey, can I use your bathroom?" Bet y'all thought that was number 1 didn't you? But no, the quest for small change still reigns supreme.
The Number 3 most often-heard thing at my 7-Eleven register, "HEY, HOW MUCH IS THIS?" As they hold up some undefinable object from clear across the store. Hilarious if it weren't so idiotic. Am I really expected to know the exact price of well over a thousand items?
The Number 1 most irritating thing to both customers and sales clerks: large bills are routinely refused. Buying a pack of cigarettes or a pack of gum with a $50 or $100 is stupid anyway. Here, we're trained to give the "Hey, we're not a bank" speech.
The Number 2 most irritating thing to both customers and sales clerks: beer curfew. In Hillsborough County, it's 3:00am. It's the law, and I cannot be bribed. (Altho it may amuse everyone to learn that recently a girl flashed her breasts at me to persuade me to sell her beer after curfew. It didn't work. My partner and I tried to find the scene on the security tape afterwards, but were unsuccessful.)

Do I miss my old security job? Oh yes! Have I tried to get another one? Can't, without a car. But, in the meantime, until the economy picks back up and the website takes off (hopefully), oh thank heaven for 7-Eleven, it'll work for now. (Note the spelling: "7-11" is incorrect, so is "7/11". It's 7, a dash, and the word "Eleven". Little behind-the-scenes for ya, folks.) And like everything else in life, it's a learning experience. I can probably put this to use in a script sometime.

The Renegades and me....
Unable to attend the first Renegade Film Festival due to the afore-mentioned unemployment interlude, I was determined to make that time back up by not missing the second Renegade: Saints & Sinners film festival held this last November (covered by my damned self in PCR #139, check it out for the full details). Gus Perez accompanied me to the festivities where I got to meet Renegade prez Rick Danford and up-and-coming filmmakers from around the area and/or see their works. Area filmmaker Andy Lalino ("Filthy") was at the event and was a great help in contributing info to that issue of PCR. Another beneficial side-effect of the coverage was being contacted by up-and-comers Jason L. Liquori (Hocus Focus Productions) and Brandon Jones (Clips Productions), these guys bear watching! Even Peter D'Alessio, who I'd known many years ago, resurfaced in a brief email exchange. (Note to Rick and Peter: definitely keep the press releases coming, I appreciate that, but hey, reply to personal emails once in a blue moon at least, willya?)

This last experience put me back on track where, ironically, it actually started for me two years ago: to promote the films, music and artworks of Florida---Central Florida especially---TAMPA, Florida extra especially! Nolan's Pop Culture Review was originally only meant to supplement the site, not take it over---not that that turned out to be a bad thing mind you, ha ha, but now it's time to refocus on getting our young talent recognized---and that is what I'll be devoting much more time and attention to in 2003.

And now, the awards....
As is traditional, I want to thank the many people who make this 'zine possible, made life a little better for me, and in most cases and in the truest sense "without whom I could not have made it".

MICHAEL A. SMITH, from the beginning, has never missed an issue of PCR, and as is traditional to honor this, sits here at the top. Mike was a letter writer in issue number one. He started The Rant a few issues later, and has never failed me. It bears repeating that for many weeks in 2000 and in some of 2001, Mike and I were IT! In other words, we were the only contributors. In the peaks and valleys of this "business", it's good to know I can rely on him. Highlights: Generally, movie news is Mike's forté, but any Academy Award issue of PCR is ramped up by his commentary. Baseball and sports commentary are always great, as are his contributions to any Top Ten list and occasional political diatribe. Late April, Mike was among the very first to see Attack of the Clones and his review of same was read 'round the world! Sometime later, Mike became a movie reviewer for a Kansas newspaper, and at the bottom of those reviews it lists him as a writer for this 'zine, where those reviews are also currently published. I'm very proud of that achievement, and Mike's columns will continue to grace us into the future.

WILLIAM MORIATY, is not only of my oldest friends, dating back to high school days, but since the first La Floridiana installment ((PCR #70), Will has never missed an issue either! Will has gained much notoriety for his marvelous Florida-centric book and movie reviews, and has received feedback from many local celebrities. Will's presence in the 'zine and on the Crazed Fanboy website has increased dramatically over the last year and a half. He started writing reviews for "Schlockarama" and is readying new columns for that now. Will and I also have attended fan functions together and is usually my co-conspirator on local independent film coverage. Other topics covered by this multi-faceted man include UFOs and the paranormal, and the flora of Florida. Highlights: I am a sucker for his paranormal stuff, but anything historical is always thoroughly reseached, and any of his "vacation shows" are always entertaining. Will recently interviewed Denis Lebrun, the artist for Blondie, and that was quite a treat, really exceptional. Will has listed his own Top Ten La Floridianas in his current column.

TERENCE NUZUM. Sigh. Terence, Terence, Terence. Terence, 23, once referred to his relationship with us as "The Sex Pistols to your Pink Floyd". Ahem, well, OK I can see that! Starting with the first "Terence's Tantrum" where Terence took Mike Smith to task for saying he "owed Billy Corgan money", Terence has been our chief rabble-rouser, not our only rabble rouser, mind you, but definitely our chief. Through his succeeding columns, "Terence's Tirade" and finally "The Enlightenment" and "Digital Divide", he has a way of really getting under your skin with his punkish no-holds-barred-I'll-be-rude-if-I-wanna-be-and-you-WILL-listen attitude. Altho he went on record as "officially" abandoning that approach by retiring the "Tirade", occasionally it still seeps into his historical writing and reviews, which is fine by me. I started a minor second career in damage contol last summer after Terence fired off a series of his inimitable replies to other websites or filmmakers who contacted him for one reason or another--that was fun. That being said, Terence's growth as a writer is incredible, his CD and album reviews on The Digital Divide are absolutely world class. Terence has a very "hands-on" feeling about this 'zine, and he became practically my assistant editor over most of the last two years. Highlights: The first one to come to mind is his ten-part History of The Blues, published earlier this year, and is a subject he feels most passionately about--it was a groundbreaker for this publication. Definitely, a hall of fame winner. His retrospectives on '70s Horror Movies and James Bond in print leap to mind as well, as well as his near-ongoing arguments about art vs commerce, mostly with Deadguy.

MATTHEW DRINNENBERG. Another old friend right there from the beginning, but whose appearances were slightly more sporadic over the years. No matter, Matt's a busy travelin' guy, and we're always grateful to have his input whenever we can get it to us. Matt was there for our "groundbreaking" musical efforts of the '70s and '80s (a more thorough history of those efforts, with music samples, is pledged by me in 2003). And he continues to threaten the world with release of his newest original songs. Highlights: Matt is unabashedly Christian, and I am a lapsed/recovered/ing Catholic, so our philisophical discussions can become most animated. Without doubt, Matt's crowning attention-getter in 2002 was his diatribe about Freemasons in government, parts one and two. I stopped it after that, because I saw it as needlessly inflammatory and getting us nowhere, to say nothing of the facts being speculative...ahem.....anyway, I digress. Matt unleashed the wrath of many letter-writers and got more letters to the editor over that column than ALL OTHER RAILS put together!

MIKE "DEADGUY" SCOTT. When we met about 8 years ago, Mike was some kid from Clearwater recruited by former Black Velvet/Blade/Labyrinth vocalist John Lewis to play bass for a possible Heavy Metal tribute band we had conspired to put together. Well, that project went nowhere, but I got to know Mike over the years and that has proven to be quite beneficial---for anything BUT music, ha ha! (As I'm writing this, I realized since those early days, we never jammed again. S'OK, my brand of old-school heavy metal was given its last rites ages ago.) Mike was riding the rising wave of the computer revolution before it was even a glint in my eye. His already-developed web design and coding skills were a major help in getting me educated in a hurry to facilitate the very pages you read here today. Mike STILL emails me with "tweaks" about any current PCR issue and was most recently responsible for getting us our first site-specific search engine, seen currently on the Archives page (Mike says he pitched this to me months ago, but I didn't know what he was talking about--sigh, if I had a nickel for every time....). Fan-wise, Mike is into anything extreme, grotesque, horrific---or extremely, grotesquely, horrific! Highlights: From past years, his battles with Terence Nuzum over "art vs commerce" are the stuff of legend. (Try starting with Issue 57's Terence's Tirade and go from there.) Other highlights are his coverage of MTV's FEAR (an installment of which is also in Issue 57), and his various movie and DVD reviews. This year, his columns have taken an even darker turn, but, ironically, his most popular "Deadguy's Dementia" was his wedding proposal story. A more thorough index of Dementia-specific back issues is under construction now.

DREW REIBER. Terence Nuzum's friend since grade school days, and recommended by same, Drew Reiber (ryhmes with "fiber") came on board last year with "Wake Up and Smell The Comics", bringing to the table an awesome reserve of fan energy, talent and KNOWLEDGE. Drew could take any comics subject in the world and wax eloquent on it. Earlier this year, Drew started The Unapologetic DVD Enthusiast, a punkish look at the new world order of video--his pronouncements so in-your-face as to get quite a few angry letters. S'OK, I'm used to angry letters! Later, Drew got some experience with promoting Marvel Comics with a few insiders, and continued to contribute to several websites. However, his attentions gradually turned to other things, so his columns' frequency diminished, and eventually Drew left his web-writing to pursue a college career. We miss him, but we wish him the very best of luck with whatever the future has in store for him, and as I always remind him: the door will always be open for you. Highlights. Any "Wake Up.." is worth a look. The first Unapologetic DVD Enthusiast is still a scary read. Terence and Drew's debate about art vs commercialism in comics (Ter does that to everybody--ha ha--but Drew gave him a good fight).

PATTY G. HENDERSON. That Patty would be included in any fan endeavor of mine is unrelated to the fact she's also Terence's aunt...for the simple reason she's talented and we belonged to the same fan clubs together before he was even born! HA ha (What the hell am I laughing about? gaawwwwwwd, I'm old....) An accomplished author, she has had books published and sold, and her latest, "The Burning of Her Sin", is doing quite well, thank you. Patty created the "Murder on the Woo Woo Express" column to review books of the murder-mystery type. The page is very popular, and has done well on the related Amazon links. Since Patty got involved with writing another novel, however, her work on Woo Woo slowed and eventually stopped. We will miss her, but, of course, wish her the best of luck on all her future projects. And what I told Brandon Herring (last year's PCR movie reviewer gone to college), and Drew Reiber (also at college) goes for Patty: the door remains open here. Personal highlight: The header graphic I did for Murder on The Woo Woo Express is a personal favorite---I'm going to hate retiring it! All of that would have been for naught, of course, had Patty not delivered an excellent column, with news, month after month.

STEPHEN R. BEASLEY. My wonder from down under. A mountain boy from Georgia transplanted to Middle-Earth, New Zealand to marry his internet sweetheart--don't get me started! Started "Beasley's Bits" for a bit, but mostly contributed great letters and occasional op-ed political columns. We often joke that this website is all his fault: in late 1999, I still wasn't showing interest in computers or websites until Steve designed up a phony homepage in MS Word that showed me what a page of mine could look like. Me: "OOooooooh...NOW I get it!!!" Highlight: Though I'm never crazy about forwarding my stuff without me knowing, Steve sneaked my Amazing Kreskin article to Art Bell, which resulted in a hitometer meltdown for which I'm eternally grateful.

I also want to thank these excellent folks: GARY C. ESPOSITO, an old fan friend, who with Terence and Patty, did The World of Nolan. Thanks Gary for "Blank Thoughts", your extrememly weird column that ran just a few issues early this year! RICHARD SOUSA. Known him since he was a kid, he's past president of the seminal sci-fi club The Andromeda Society, also a guest on The World of Nolan and frequent letter-writer/contributor to this 'zine (like the Top Ten comics). Love ya kid! Thanks for everything (we'll meet again for beers soon). VINNIE BLESI, deep roots in fandom, missing for 20 years, surfaced this year and hasn't been out of touch since, which is absolutely wonderful. Also got a lot of interesting projects of his own on the way, wait'll you see! (I'm sworn to secrecy...shhhhhh). CHRISTIAN A. DUMAIS of Legion Studios, among the newest members of this list, forced me out of my web-shell (ha ha) and made me realize there are a lot of others out there who think like us....(OH NO) He contacted me early this year, wrote great letters, interviewed me, and hasn't been out of touch since. Also was on The World of Nolan. (We'll meet again for beers soon!) SCOTT A. GILBERT funnybook artist extraordinaire, author of True Artist Tales and a contributor to this 'zine, mostly top ten lists. Also has deep roots in fandom, but very elusive in the last few years. Always good to hear from him. ANDY LALINO another new list member and local filmmaker, missing for ten years (since a shoot with Corey Castellano), suddenly surfaced last spring and hasn't been out of touch since. We wind up at many film functions together. COREY CASTELLANO, known him since he was 13, currently approaching 40, and about to take over the world of movie make-up. Unfortunately that means his family and friends almost never see him. Responsible for building the very computer I'm on right now and likely the next as well. DIANNE PHILLIPS, indy film director (Gibtown)-- thanks a whole bunch for some important head's ups over the months! I wouldn't have known stuff otherwise. John Petrey, Gus Perez, Count Poffula & Lauré (Best of the best, them),Karen Cashon, my brother Ronald, ED Tucker (The phenomenally popular Dr. Paul Bearer interviewer), Blondie artist Denis Lebrun (Thanks for the interview!), The staff of Public Access TV, David Andrews, and Malcolm Hathorne. George Streets and Tommy Crouch deserve a mention for getting me the job at 7-Eleven.

BEST:  "The World of Nolan", spring season at Tampa's public access and the attention from The St. Petersburg Times---the filmmaker's episodes had much acclaim, but Pot-TV video-streams out the marijuana-legalization episode. Legion Studios puts excerpts of their TWON episode on a CD-ROM, available on their website. Hey, when do I see residuals from all this?? Spider-Man, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and SW-Ep2: Attack of The Clones. Haven't seen Gangs of New York, but I trust Mike Smith to know it's great. Birds if Prey we hardly new ye. Good luck in The Twilight Zone. Don't know if you were Taken, but we sure were!
WORST:   TV: I don't even want to recount the number of new shows cancelled already, but whoever thought bringing back Family Affair was a good idea should be fired. American Idol failed to excite me, but whatever. Michael Jackson is still a psycho, and speaking of which, who the heck ever thought Ozzie Osbourne would head up a successful sit-com? Where, oh where, did Superman go? Winona Ryder's sticky fingers got her in quite a pickle. Enron? Enroute...to jail! Anthrax USED to be a heavy metal band. ON A PERSONAL LEVEL: The sting of copyright infringement when I discovered a Montreal website had lifted my Kreskin article word-for-word and removed my name. That has since been resolved, he's OK---but what about the next one?........Pot-TV's taking The World of Nolan marijuana-legalization episode was forgivable in that the onscreen credits remained, but it would have been nice if someone had asked me first......the ongoing threat of nuclear war by a president who wants it bad............ an economy worse than any in recent memory. It's GOTTA get better!

Whew! That was a job. SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!

La Floridiana This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
also: Will and Karen and John and Beth's Tennessee Vacation--Part Two: Snow for the Holidays ..................................Click here for more.

Movie ReviewMovie Review
This Week's Movie Review:
"Gangs of New York"

Review by Mike Smith.

Deadguy's Dementia This week's issue
Deadguy's Dementia by Michael Scott
Ehoes of Ground Zero......The continuing effects of 9/11. Recovery....the country recovers. Ambitious plans put into motion, but thwarted goals still a vexing problem. The Future....2003, the last,best hope?........ ............................Click here for more.

The Enlightenment This week's issue
The Enlightenment by Terence Nuzum

.............................................................Click here for more.

Matt's Rail This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg
IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME. I'll fight off the natural tendency I have to slam those who are trying to enforce their will of our rights as citizens to celebrate this season as we see fit and clamor towards the wondrous things that make Christmas wonderful.... ..................................Click here for more.

Mike's Rant This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith
THE YEARLY "THANK YOUs" BEGIN........GET WELL SOON........WHINE, WHINE, WHINE........ SHAMPOO WOES........BONAFIDE CLASSICS........MOVIE NOTES........MOVING ON........THE YEAR'S BEST ........GREAT LINES ..................................Click here for more.

Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.
2002:The Good,The Bad,and The Ugly.
by Richard Sousa

The Good: There were a lot of good things happening this year. I saw a lot more movies, thanks to the newly re-opened Britton Cinema down by my house in South Tampa. Some good surprises were "Undercover Brother", which was a riot, and "Secretary", which is a psycho-sexual character study (Highly recommended when it comes out on DVD). And of course, "Jackass", which to quote Thora Birch in Ghostworld: "This is so bad, it's gone past good and back to bad again." Left my job in the summer and am on a long sabbatical where I enjoy playing house-husband, acting in independent Florida films with Mark Nash, Joel D.Wyncoop, and Gus Perez, and getting a lot of projects done around our house. And of course, Pop Culture Review, my electronic "Book Nook Newsstand" (Our old hang-out--N), where I get to yak at all my old friends and new ones.

The Bad: As I'm writing this, I'm saddened by the recent news on the death of Joe Strummer from The Clash. Considered by many as "The only band that mattered", The Clash was the formative band in my last year of high school. So much so, that when Vince Blesi and I had a band a couple years later, we learned to do a kick-ass version of "Police and Thieves", and some others. Goodbye, Joe, we'll miss you.
John Entwistle, you were the Ox,man. You went too soon.
DeeDee Ramone--Another of my legends goes by the wayside.

The Ugly: This REALLY sucks. In September, I took a part-time job doing maintenence for a small, local hotel. One day, I had to clean out the jacuuzi filter in a room. I asked the manager if anyone was in there. He said no, it was after 11am check-out, he's probably gone. He called up to the room, no answer. I get the master key-card, and get to the room. The door opens a bit, and shuts on itself. I used the card again, and put a bit more arm into opening the door. I poke my head in, and I see this guy with a belt tied around his neck slide down the inside of the door, and hit the floor. He'd committed suicide. It was terrible. I hope I never see anything like that again in my life...I was so freaked out, my wife told me to quit. Back to being house-husband.

Finally: Just wanted to give big year-end shout-outs to: Nolan Canova, Will Moriaty, Mike Smith, Matt Drinnenberg, Mike "Deadguy" Scott, Terence Nuzum, Patty Henderson, Drew Reiber, Scott Gilbert, John Hooper, Corey Castellano, Gus Perez, Steve Beasley, Vince Blesi, and everyone else who makes Nolan's Pop Culture Review the media dynamo that it is.

Happy New Year to you all!
Richard Sousa

Just wanted to wish you and the staff of PCR a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Had a great, and at times bizarre, time reading all the terrestrial (and extraterrestrial) goings on of the year (and light year). Here's to hoping 2003 will be even weirder...*clink!*

- Andy Lalino

Hi -
Wasn't Dick Gautier ('Hymie the Robot' from Get Smart) also Col. Flagg on M.A.S.H. ?

Love the website.

Terry Smith

Thanks, Terry! Welcome aboard, glad to have you with us. But, no, it wasn't Dick Gautier, it was the late, great Ed Winter who played paranoid CIA officer Col. Flagg on the television series "MASH". Ed died March 8, 2001 of complications from Parkinson's disease. He was 63. ---Nolan

Attention all holiday shoppers and fellow DVD enthusiasts!

Drew Reiber here. Just in case you thought you might be getting a killer Christmas/New Years, I'm here to make sure you know what's going on.

Do not... I REPEAT... DO NOT BUY BACK TO THE FUTURE ON DVD!!!! Universal is knowingly selling defective transfers of the two sequels (Parts 2 & 3) to the consumer and will not... I REPEAT... WILL NOT REPLACE THE DISCS UNTIL LATE FEBRUARY 2003!!!

The short version, for those with a low tolerance for DVD feature babble, is that Universal misplaced the black bars ("mattes") on the movie which are intended to create a widescreen effect for your televisions. Instead of being placed at the bottom and tops of the screen, the bottom bar is placed closer to the middle of the movie image rather than the bottom through many places in discs 2 & 3. The top bar is now above the image leaving all kinds of meaningless views of the film where we shouldn't be seeing anything. Now some scenes are snipped at the bottom preventing visual gags and more. There is an example on the Home Theatre Forum message board here.

For those of us who have already bought the messed up versions, you now have to call this Universal Consumer Complaint number (888) 703-0010. You'll have to follow these bullshit instructions as well:

Universal Studios will exchange Back to the Future parts 2 and 3 for copies with the updated framing in late February 2003. You may send the DVDs back now or wait until February. Please send Back to the Future disks 2 and 3, without the case, and a letter with the following information: Name, Full Mailing Address, Daytime Phone Number, Reason for Return and Return Address. Send to:
Back to the Future DVD Returns
PO Box 224468
Dallas, Texas 75260

Yes, we have tell them what's wrong with the discs when they damn well KNOW what's wrong with them because they have to repress the whole damn series. Whatever. For those of us who bought 'em, we am fucked. For those of us still holding off for cash reasons or such, for goodness sakes... take my advice and wait until next summer or at least until you know that they've taken the bad copies off the market (which they won't do until they've sold each and every copy from the first holiday-sized batch of orders.

Buyer beware and... oh yeah... have a friggin' happy holiday.

- Drew Reiber

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