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PCR #229. (Vol. 5, No. 33) This edition is for the week of August 9--15, 2004.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! Some news, notes and a big Happy Birthday to the boss! Shall we begin?

Book Review: “Florida's Miracle Strip: From Redneck Riviera to Emerald Coast” by Tim Hollis
 by Will Moriaty
 by Mike Smith
Headline '89: "Grindhouse Cinema Fans Storm Tampa Theater"
 by Andy Lalino
Happy Birthday, Nolan!....Doom 3, It Was Worth The Wait
  by Vinnie Blesi
Tampa Comic & Toy Convention
 by Brandon Jones
In Honor of the Nol-Meister....Bush Speak
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Happy Birthday....Movie Lines....Movie News....Next, Please....Passing On....Meet The Beatles, Part 29
 by Mike Smith
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OK, so Matt wrote this real cool poem which would kick the ass of anything I tried to write. So I guess I'll just be the mushy guy here. I was interviewed for the upcoming [Tampa Tribune] article on Nolan and the PCR and during the questioning I brought up the subject of friendship. I commented that we all have friends throughout our lives, but it's rare that we have the opportunity to keep the same friends for more then 25 years. I've been blessed by having several (Scott G, Corey, John Hooper, Rick Sousa). I don't include Matt because he's my brother. And I told the reporter that I've known no one in my life who has the drive, talent and compassion as does Nolan. Ironically, he shares the same birthday as Bert Lahr, Danny Bonaduce and Fidel Castro. He certainly has the compassion of the Cowardly Lion and the drive to lead like Castro. Not sure what Danny Bonaduce has to do with it, unless you channel Danny Partridge, which would speak for Nolan's musical ability. OK, I know I'm reaching here now. Sorry. I hope this article is just the beginning of great birthday wishes come true. Again, I thank you sincerely for the weekly honor of being a part of the PCR and I hope we're still doing this 49 years from now. I love you, buddy! (Thank you, Mike, that means a lot! --Nolan)

Thanks to everyone who sent in their favorite lines. Glad to see that many of us are big "Full Metal Jacket" fans.

"Nip/Tuck" star Julian McMahon has been cast as Dr. Doom in the upcoming "Fantastic Four" movie.

Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg are shelving upcoming projects to begin work on a new version of H.G. Welles' "War of the Worlds." Cruise was preparing for "Mission: Impossible 3," but has time now because the project is without a director. Spielberg was reportedly preparing a film about the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre.

President Bush may want to look for another pal to run the CIA. In footage shot for, but not included in, "Fahrenheit 9/11," [Porter] Goss is interviewed by Michael Moore. Asked about returning to the agency he once worked for, Goss replies, "I couldn't get a job with the CIA today. I'm not qualified.........the things you need to have I don't have." Among his deficiencies he lists lack of language skills and computer savvy.

Lost two famous names this week:
Fay Wray, best known as the beauty who triumphed over the beast in the original "King Kong," died this week at the age of 96. Born Vina Fay Wray in Alberta, Canada, Wray and her family moved to Los Angeles when she was young. By the age of 16 she was appearing as an extra in early films and graduated to small roles in a series of Westerns produced by Universal. In 1926, she was one of thirteen young women (along with Janet Gaynor and Mary Astor) who were chosen as the best candidates to become stars. She appeared in several smaller films and then achieved life long film immortality when she was cast as Ann Darrow in "King Kong." Remembered as Hollywood's original "scream queen," she continued acting until the late 1950's, appearing in both films and television. She also found the time to collaborate with Sinclair Lewis in writing the play, "This is the Life." She came out of retirement in 1980 to appear with Henry Fonda in the television movie, "Gideon's Trumpet." This was her last appearance. This past week, the lights of the Empire State Building were dimmed for 15 minutes in her honor.
Rick James, one of the original funk masters of music, passed away last Friday at the age of 56. At press time, cause of death is still being reported as natural causes. Born James A. Johnson in Buffalo on February 1, 1948, James followed his musical talents to Canada. There he became lead singer of a band called the Mynabirds, which featured an unknown guitarist named Neil Young. In November 1981, he sang the song, "Super Freak" on "Saturday Night Live." That song, and it's follow up hit, "Give It To Me Baby," established James as the king of funk. Sadly, he fell under the influence of drugs and ended up serving 15 months in prison for assaulting a woman at his home. In the early days of music sampling, he successfully sued M.C. Hammer, who used the hook from "Super Freak" for his hit song, "U Can't Touch This." Finding new popularity due to comedian Dave Chappelle's impression of him, James showed a sense of humor by appearing along Chappelle on his show. He also played himself in the "Chef Aid" episode of "South Park." Among his writing credits was the song "Party All The Time," which was a dance hit for comedian Eddie Murphy. He appeared with Murphy in the 1999 film, "Life."

August 13, 1968 - The Beatles celebrate Nolan's 13th birthday by "Sexy Sadie" and "Yer Blues" for the White Album. If you play "Yer Blues" backwards, you can hear John Lennon say, "Happy Birthday, Nolan old pal. If we can't get Clapton we're calling you!"

Well, that's it 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.