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PCR #176. (Vol. 4, No. 32) This edition is for the week of August 4--10, 2003.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! A couple lists, some news and notes, Ah-nold runs for GOV and I sound off on Kobe. Shall we begin?

"A Tale of Two Cities: St. Petersburg and Tampa - - A Bay Separating A Gulf of Differences, PART 2"
by Will Moriaty
by Mike Smith
"The Return of Bruce Banner", "ZD TV, where are you now?" "26 Things"
by Vinnie B.
News topics, television, movies, One-shots, The Slush Pile
 by Brandon Jones
"Celebrities Uncensored"
 by Ashley Lauren
"Green Fire" and "Club Dead" reviewed
 by Teri Davis & Patty G. Henderson
 by John Lewis
Whatchoo talkin' about Arnold....Kobe and Mike....Hurray For Me....List #1....List #2....Hey, It Could Be About Me....Movie Notes
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
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After talking about it for the last 20 years or so, Arnold Schwarzenegger officially declared himself a candidate for Governor of the state of California. Among others seeking enough support to run: Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, pint size security guard Gary Coleman and the pride of Tampa's own H.B. Plant High School, the fruit smashing comedian Gallagher (Class of 65 for those who want to know). With his wife a member of the most influential Democratic family in this country, the Terminating Republican certainly has his work cut out for him.

I have, until now, stayed away from the whole Kobe Bryant situation. However, two events this evening have made me wonder what makes people think. First was television coverage of Bryant entering court in Colorado to the deafening cheers of onlookers. Then later, the ovation Bryant received accepting his Best Male Athlete award at the Teen Choice awards ceremony. After the lengthy applause had died down, Bryant went into a well rehearsed speech full of cliche's like "dark clouds above" and "sunny days ahead." And of course, the was the obligatory "I want to thank my wife" comment which drew even more applause. Also much hyped in the media this week was Mike Tyson filing for bankruptcy. These two athletes made me think. Years ago, Mike Tyson was fighting these same charges. And while Bryant is getting cheered, nobody stood up for Tyson. The facts: Tyson is in Indiana attending a beauty pageant. He invites a contestant to go out with him. They do some clubbing and a little smooching and she willingly goes back to his room with him. What happened next only the two of them know. Bryant is in Colorado getting surgery. He gets hungry and calls for room service at his hotel. His meal is delivered by the hotel's 19-year-old concierge. THE CONCIERGE?? I'm not a big user of room service but believe me, the few times I've used it, I never had the concierge bring me my hamburger! I usually end up with the busboy. Anyway, she shows up with dinner. He invites her in. What happened next only the two of them know. When the Bryant incident was first made public, he held a press conference and told the reporters "you all know me." Now to me, who doesn't know Bryant, it sounded like he was saying "you all know me and you know I would never cheat on my wife." I mean, this isn't a surly, mean, out of control boxer. This is the man who went from high school to the NBA, who sells us Sprite and Big Macs. Of course, later, after he's charged, the first thing he does is admit he did cheat on her. It's amazing how many people found it so easy to believe that Mike Tyson was guilty. And even more so how many people believe Bryant is innocent. Of course the news now is that Bryant just bought a $4 million ring for his wife. "You all know me," Bryant says. Sadly, Kobe, yes we do.

This past Sunday I was elated to learn that I had been elected as a member of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle. This honor was based on the reviews that I write for the Leavenworth Times as well as for my work here on the PCR. A very grateful thank you to our editor-in-chief, Nolan B. Canova, for giving me the opportunity to obtain this honor. Interested readers can click here: Film Critic's Circle of Kansas City to see the club's web site.
(Congratulations Mike, I think I can speak on behalf of the whole staff here at CF/PCR when I say we're extremely proud of you for having received this honor. And I am always giddy with glee when the PCR helps anybody to do anything or get anywhere! Remember you can mail any forthcoming free DVDs to either my home address or PO Box. Terence and I are already arguing over who keeps the horror movies.---Nolan)

This week, the Animal Planet channel ran his list of the top 50 Animal Characters to appear on television. The top 10:

10. Gentle Ben - the bear that made Clint Howard a star
9. Morris the Cat - 9 Lives spokes-cat
8. Trigger - Roy Rogers' horse
7. Arnold the Pig - smartest member of the Ziffel family on "Green Acres"
6. Snoopy - Flying ace extraordinaire!
5. Eddie - the dog from "Frasier"
4. Mr. Ed- but of course, of course
3. Flipper - sadly was caught in tuna net and was canned. Fed to #9 above.
2. Kermit - made it look easy being green
1. Lassie - the only dog who could bark "Timmy fell down a well" and be understood!
I have no idea why club leader Mickey Mouse isn't listed.

This week, Sports Illustrated did a list of the top 50 Sports Movies. I was very surprised that I agreed with many on the list:

10. When We Were Kings - documentary on the Ali/Foreman "Rumble in the Jungle"
9. Chariots of Fire - beat out "Raiders of the Lost Ark" for Best Picture
8. Breaking Away - enjoyable film and the last time I can remember seeing Jackie Earle Haley on screen.
7. Olympia - documentary on the 1936 Berlin Olympics
My choices instead of the above would have been:
10. A League of Their Own - Ladies play baseball while the boys are off to war.
9. Caddyshack - One of the funniest movies EVER
8. Field of Dreams - I dare anyone who's ever had a catch with their dad not to cry at the end. Took my son, Phillip, to the field in Iowa and had a catch. Cried.
7. The Bad News Bears - VERY non-p/c for it's time and the first time I can remember seeing Jackie Earle Haley on screen.
The rest of the way, we agree:
6. Hoosiers - Gene Hackman and Indiana basketball. True story makes me cry.
5. Slap Shot - more profanity then a David Mamet play. And the Hanson brothers!
4. Hoop Dreams - great documentary. Should be required viewing for every kid, black or white, who thinks they've got game.
3. Raging Bull - deservedly considered the greatest film of the 1980s
2. Rocky - the little movie that could. Made cheaply so it could be used as the second feature on drive-in twin bills it went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture of 1976.
1. Bull Durham - Before he became full of himself, Kevin Costner was a team player and brought life to the minor leagues.
This week singer Carly Simon offered up at a charity auction the identity of the subject she wrote the song, "You're So Vain" about. For 30 years, rumored subjects included Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, Cat Stevens, Kris Kristofferson and new husband James Taylor. I always figured that since Jagger sang back up on the song (and doesn't sing "I'm so vain") that it wasn't him. And I didn't see Stevens or Kristofferson wearing hats and scarves, let alone owning a race horse. So my choice was always Beatty. Wednesday night, former NBC big shot Dick Ebersole paid $25,000 to find out who. As part of the deal, Ebersole is allowed to tell one other person. However, he and that person must sign an affidavit stating that they will not tell anyone else. He was allowed to report that the person had an "E" in their name.

In other news, Toni Tenille reported that it was me she was singing about when she wrote "Do It To Me One More Time."

Had an opportunity this week to view a rough cut of the upcoming Jack Black comedy, "School of Rock." Anyone who has EVER appreciated rock and roll will enjoy this one. As of now, it is scheduled to be released in October.

I recently noted that Tim Burton was considering Michael Keaton or Christopher Walken to play Willy Wonka. Now I understand that Johnny Depp has thrown his top hat into the mix.

According to the videoeta.com web site, "The Dukes of Hazzard" movie is on its way. Rumor has Ashton Kutcher and Paul Walker cast as the Duke boys, with Britney Spears as cousin Daisy. And, to make it appealing to urban audiences, Anthony Anderson is being considered for the role of Boss Hogg. Other suggestions to avoid controversies: changing the name of the car (the General Lee) and removing the confederate flag on the hood. Perhaps they can get James Earl Jones to play Uncle Jesse?

Well, that's it for now. Don't forget to check out my interview with the great Luke Ski! Have a great week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2003 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.