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PCR #225. (Vol. 5, No. 29) This edition is for the week of July 12--18.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang. Just a couple things this week. Shall we begin?

A Visit to the North Florida Patron Saint of Pop Culture
 by Will Moriaty
"I, Robot"
 by Mike Smith
Don't Fear "The Reaper"
 by Andy Lalino
Kerry Gets the Dead Vote....Liberal Financing....Japanese Economy Unveiled....Trickledown Economics....Column Correction
 by Vinnie Blesi
Can You Give me A Helsing Of That?....Bush Speak
 by Matt Drinnenberg
The Automobile Song....Wanted--A Director With No Vision....Passing On....Money Well Spent....Sci-Fi Dumb....Flame On....Meet The Beatles, Part 25
 by Mike Smith
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Glad to see Ken Hall was pleased with EDs answering his question. Sad to hear Ken was in Kansas and didn't call me.

Add "Charlie's Angels" director McG to the list of directors who have walked off the new "Superman" film project. McG joins Tim Burton and Brett Ratner in objecting to the way Warner Brothers wants to nickel and dime the project. McG wanted to film in New York City while the studio wanted the less expensive New Zealand.

Carlo Di Palma
, whose work for Michaelangelo Antonioni included the classic film, "Blow Up," died in Rome this week. He was 79. After a long career in Italy, he finished his career by working on 11 Woody Allen films, beginning with "Hannah and Her Sisters" in 1986.
Isabel Sanford, best known as Louise Jefferson on television's "The Jeffersons, " passed away this past week at the age of 86. A popular tv actress during the 60s (her first role was on an early episode of "Bewitched"), she made her film debut in 1969 in "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner." Stardom beckoned when she was cast as the Bunker's neighbor on "All in the Family." Her work, along with Sherman Helmsley as her husband, was rewarded in 1975 with their own show, "The Jeffersons." For 10 years the show broke new ground in showing the popularity of African-Americans on television. Ms Sanford broke new ground herself in 1981 when she became the first black actress to win the Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy.

A man recently spent $36 to purchase an old, ragged suitcase at a flea market. When he got it home, he opened it and was shocked to discover that it was full of Beatles memorabilia. Among the items found: photos, concert programs and a 4 1/2 hour reel to reel tape of John Lennon and Paul McCartney jamming! It is believed that this find could be part of the missing collection of the band's roadie, Mal Evans, who died in 1976.

This week, MSN released it's list of the 10 dumbest moments in Science Fiction cinema. The moments, and a brief reasoning, are:

  1. The Imperial Walkers in "The Empire Strikes Back." Reasoning: why would the empire use such slow, plodding machines?
  2. The aliens need a sign in "Signs." Reasoning: the aliens can travel from galaxy to galaxy but need a crop circle to lead them to their prey? In my mind, the fact that they couldn't turn a doorknob was enough for me.
  3. John Hurt has breakfast in "Alien." Reasoning: you would think that after having the facehugger on his head that someone on the ship might have wanted to examine him instead of taking him out to eat.
  4. New Terminator goes back to the same time in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." Reasoning: why not send it back to the 1800s and kill Sarah Conner's great grandmother. Would have been much easier.
  5. Will Smith uploads a virus in "Independence Day." Reasoning: bad enough he knew how to fly the ship, but to know how to use their computer??!!
  6. Dr. Brundle trys out his own machine in "The Fly." Reasoning: wasn't he smarter then that?
  7. Velociraptors are geniuses in "Jurassic Park." Reasoning: shouldn't they just be mindless eating machines?
  8. The agents keep fighting Neo in "The Matrix." Reasoning: if everything in the Matrix is real, why fight him when you can just pull the plug on his town and wipe him out with everyone else.
  9. Superman turns back time in "Superman the Movie." Reasoning: why just turn it back to save Lois. Why not go back further and stop Lex Luthor before he fires the missiles?
  10. Jodie Foster understands the alien intelligence in "Contact." Reasoning: are the mysteries of the universe really that easy to figure out?

Final casting has been announced for the "Fantastic Four" movie. Jessica Alba will play Sue Storm (Invisible Girl), "King Arthur's" Ioan Gruffudd is Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Chris Evans is Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) and Michael Chiklas is Ben Grimm (The Thing). Wonder where The Thing ranks in Chiklas' career as he's also played icons John Belushi and "Curly" Howard.

July 12, 1964 - The Beatles begin the first of five Sunday night summer concerts at the Hippodrome Theatre in Brighton. Also on the bill is a group called the Shubdubs, featuring Jimmy Nicol. When Ringo is stricken with appendicitis later in the year, Nicol; will fill in for him on the Beatles tour of northern Europe.

"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.