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PCR #207. (Vol. 5, No. 11) This edition is for the week of March 8--14, 2004.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! A short one this week. The Masons, the Beatles and we lost some great ones this week. Shall we begin?

Katherine Leis's "Untitled DVD Project, Volume One"....Gus Perez's “Light of Blood”
 by Will Moriaty
"Secret Window"
 by Mike Smith
Goodbye Spalding and Paul....Quickie Horror Film Reviews
 by Andy Lalino
Canada's P.C. Machine....Fox News Alarmist....Satellite TV....MegaCon '04
 by Joshua Montgomery
Social Commentary....Reality Check....Life On Mars, Don't Bet On It....Movie Notes....More On Those FCC Hypocrites....Follow-up To MegaCon....Kerry Wins Florida
 by Brandon Jones
MegaCon....Think I'll Just Join The Eagles, Thank You Very Much....Moving On....Meet The Beatles, Part 8
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
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Great article on your adventures, boss. Wish I had been there with everyone.

What does it take to become a member of the secret order of Masons? Well, at the Southside Masonic Lodge in Patchogue, NY it helps to be bulletproof. This past Monday, 47 year old William James was shot in the face and killed during the initiation process when the brother who was supposed to use a hand gun loaded with blanks decided to use the one he had brought from home. Apparently a test to prove courage, James sat on a chair with a wall of tin cans all around him. The idea was to fire the gun with blanks while another member knocked the cans over with a broom stick. Police believe the incident was purely accidental. No word as to the condition of the cans.

Wow, after a few weeks of nothing, we lost three talented gentlemen this week.
SPAULDING GRAY, a writer/actor best known for his monologues about his life, was found dead this week when his body was pulled out of the East River in New York. He was 62. He had been reported missing by his family on January 10th of this year and it was feared he had taken his life. Born on June 5, 1941 in Providence, Rhode Island, Gray began his autobiographical writings at a young age. He would craft his ideas into lengthy monologues and then perform them on stage. As an actor, he appeared in such films as "The Paper," "How High" and "Kate and Leopold." Among the films made from his stage shows, the most popular was "Swimming to Cambodia," which related his experiences while making the Vietnam themed film "The Killing Fields." In 2001, he was involved in a head on car crash while vacationing in Ireland. He fell into depression afterwards and tried to jump off a bridge near his home in October 2002. He spoke often about suicide, pointing out that his own mother had taken her life.
PAUL WINFIELD, who in 1972 became only the third black actor to be nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award, passed away this past Tuesday. He was 62 years old. A close friend of Sidney Poitier, Winfield first came to national attention when he played Diahann Carroll's boyfriend on the groundbreaking television show "Julia." He began doing films after the show ended and earned his Oscar nomination for portraying the proud Southern father in the film, "Sounder." His other noted film roles include "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," "The Terminator" and "Presumed Innocent." He received an Emmy nomination in 1978 for his portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King in the mini-series, "King," and won the award in 1995 for his work on the series "Picket Fences." He is survived by a sister. His companion of 30 years, set designer Charles Gillan, passed away two years ago from a rare blood disease.
ROBERT PASTORELLI, who gained fame as housepainter Eldon on the popular "Murphy Brown" television show, was found dead in his home. Police believe the cause was an accidental drug overdose. He was 49. Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Pastorelli had planned to be a professional boxer until an auto accident on his 19th birthday changed his future. He fell into drug abuse and found that the theater was a way to keep himself clean. He moved to LA in 1982 and began appearing in such films as "Outrageous Fortune" and "Beverly Hills Cop II." He made quite an impression with a small part in "Dances With Wolves" and played the Robbie Coltraine role in the US version of the popular BBC series "Cracker." He recently completed work on "Be Cool," the sequel to "Get Shorty." In March 1999, the mother of his daughter, Charenn Jonovich, accidentally shot herself fatally. Pastorelli is survived by that daughter, 6-year-old Gianna.

March 1965. The month finds the boys having a great time in the Bahamas as they begin to shoot their second feature film, "HELP!" Their time in the sun is but a memory when they pack up for their next location: cold and snowy Austria.

Well, that's all for now. Have a great week, See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2004 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 ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.