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PCR #252. (Vol. 6, No. 3) This edition is for the week of January 17--23, 2005.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! Just a couple of notes this week. Shall we begin?

"Hotel Rwanda"
 by Mike Smith
Class is In! "Student of the Unusual" - An Interview with Student Body President Terry Cronin!
 by Andy Lalino
Martin Luther King Day
 by Clayton Smith
The Not-So Astonishing X-Men....Punk Update....Movie Updates....Couple of Notes
 by Brandon Jones
King Kong 2005....Jim Warren On The Move....Football Prognosticator....Up This Week?
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Snow....Happy Birthday....Movie Notes....Oscar Time....Jaws: The Story, Part 2
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2005
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Archives 2001
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Yes, Brandon, I, too, remember the day it snowed in Tampa (Re: "Splash Page", this issue. ---N). Of course, having spent the first 14 years of my life living in the north, it was the last thing I wanted to see. I remember a bunch of us leaving Plant High and going down to the golf course where the snow had stuck to the ground. I also remember that the picture in the paper the next day, and on the evening news, was of a snow covered windshield with "TAMPA" written on it.

This past January 11th, my friend Rick Barron turned 40. This past weekend I flew back to Baltimore to help friends and family celebrate the big day with a surprise party to top them all. Having been instrumental in his 30th celebration I certainly couldn't miss number 40. Rick is already anticipating #50. Of course, the surprise will be that no one will remember and he will celebrate alone!

Did you ever wonder what happened to Travis Bickle after "Taxi Driver?" Well, me neither. However, Robert DeNiro has expressed an interest in telling us. According to DeNiro, he and director Martin Scorsese have chatted about revisiting the characters from the 1976 film. Personally, I'd think that after you took Cybil Sheppard to a porno movie, shaved your head, tried to assassinate a presidential candidate and saved the 14-year-old girl you were crushing on by killing her pimp and everyone else around her that your life would be pretty boring after that.

As Nolan mentioned on the homepage, congrats to Stan Lee on his legal victory. The man deserves to reap the benefits of his creation.

Speaking of Spider-Man, two-time Academy Award winning screenwriter Alvin Sargent, who penned "Spider-Man 2," has been hired to write "Spider-Man 3."

Steven Fry has joined Martin Freeman, John Malkovich and Mos Def in the cast of the upcoming "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Fry will be the voice of the Guide.

This coming Tuesday marks the day Academy Award nominations will be announced. I'll have my picks into Nolan on Monday night. Check in next week to see how I did as well as my thoughts on this year's nominees.

Peter Benchley
"Jaws" author Peter Benchley not only co-authored the screenplay but had a small role in the film as a television reporter.
Classic Jaws poster
Universal played up the image of the hardbook version of the novel in its advertising campaign, giving the shark teeth and making the swimmer noticeably naked.
Having secured the rights to the novel, producers Richard Zanuck and David Brown sit down with author Peter Benchley to interview prospective directors. Brown is convinced that a "trained" shark can be used, which Benchley immediately points out is impossible. A director is hired. In his book, Brown refuses to name the director because he doesn't want to embarrass him. In pre-production meetings, the director keeps referring to the shark as "the whale," which drives Benchley crazy. With time running out to start filming before a possible Screen Actor's Guild strike, Zanuck and Brown turn to 26-year-old Steven Spielberg. They had just produced his first feature film, "The Sugarland Express," and were very comfortable in working with him. Spielberg seems to "get" the idea of the film and Benchley is generally pleased with his hiring. Next step: finding the cast.

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

"Mike's Rant" is ©2005 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 ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.