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PCR #261. (Vol. 6, No. 12) This edition is for the week of March 21--27, 2005.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! I'm in the process of moving so it's a short one this week. Shall we begin?

"Guess Who"
 by Mike Smith
"American Pie", I Love You!..."The Ring Two" Number One
 by Andy Lalino
The Ring Two....The Human Race, #1
 by John Lewis
U.S. Air-O-Gance....Mummy-Fication....More Horror Masters
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Another List....As Seen In 3D....Passing On....Jaws: The Story, Part 11
 by Mike Smith
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This week, "Q" magazine, England's version of "Rolling Stone," polled their editors and writers on their choices for the top 100 Guitar songs ever released. Among the selections:

  • 100. "Crazy Horses" by the Osmonds.
  • 43. "Layla" by Derik and the Dominoes
I would have thought "Layla" would have placed MUCH higher. The highest ranking Eric Clapton song was Cream's "Sunshine of Your Life" which came in at #19. Still, it's nice to see the Osmonds on the same list as Clapton. Here are the top 10:

1) 'Purple Haze' - JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE (1967)

2) 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' - The Rolling Stones (1968)

3) 'Whole Lotta Love' - LED ZEPPELIN (1969)

4) 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' - NIRVANA (1991)

5) 'Helter Skelter' - The Beatles (1968)

6) 'Sweet Child O'Mine' - GUNS N' ROSE (1987)

7) 'Won't Get Fooled Again' - The Who (1971)

8) 'Seven Army Nation' - THE WHITE STRIPES (2003)

9) 'You Really Got Me' - THE KINKS (1964)

10) 'I Am The Resurrection' - THE STONE ROSES (1989)

In reading the criteria I'm assuming that only songs released as singles were eligible for this list. Because of its length, "Stairway to Heaven" was never released as a single. "Helter Skelter" was released as a single in the UK.

This past week at the annual ShoWest convention for theatre owners in Las Vegas, George Lucas screened the opening few minutes of "Episode III." Referring to it as "'Titanic' in space," Lucas stressed the dark mood of the film, comparing it to "The Empire Strikes Back." He later related that, due to new technology, he is toying with the idea of releasing the original "Star Wars" (Episode IV for those of you who are into Roman numerals) in 3D in early 2007. Not to be undone, Universal announced that they may do the same with "Jaws." Apparently the new process does not require the viewer to wear the typical 3D glasses.

Bobby Short
, a three-time Grammy nominee who played piano in the bar at New York City's Carlisle Hotel for decades, died this week at the age of 80. Cause of death was not certain. Known for his love for the work of such classic composers as Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, the Gershwins and others.
John DeLorean, a former General Motors executive who held more then 100 patents for his designs, died this past Saturday from complications from a recently suffered stroke. He was 80. Named chief engineer at GM's Pontiac division, he introduced both the GTO (which I once owned) and the Firebird. He was named head of the division in 1965. He took over the Chevrolet division in 1969 and was rumored to be the next president of GM. Instead, in April 1972 he resigned from the company. He later related that "I realized I would never be happy in the headquarters environment. I wasn't a team player." In 1973, he set up a group of companies to design, manufacture and market a new sports car. That car, appropriately called the DeLorean, is best remembered as the time-traveling vehicle used by Marty McFly in the "Back to the Future" film series. DeLorean was also infamous for his apparent attempt to buy cocaine from an FBI agent. Even though the transaction was caught on videotape - with DeLorean proclaiming the drug to be "better than gold" - he was acquitted of the drug and conspiracy charges lodged against him.

While the mechanical shark is getting used to the water, let's take a closer look at the main actors in the cast.

Roy Scheider was born in Orange, New Jersey. Heavy as a child due to a battle with rheumatic fever, when he was well enough he through himself into the ocean and swam off the extra weight. He also took up boxing, competing in the local Golden Gloves competition. After studying drama at Franklin and Marshall College, he joined the US Air Force. Upon his discharge, he headed to New York City, where he was soon appearing in productions of the New York Shakespeare Festival. He soon won an Obie (off Broadway) award for his performance in the play, "Steven D." In 1962 he made his film debut in the horror film, "Curse of the Living Corpse." He worked successfully through the 60s in both film and television. In 1971 he earned the rare distinction of supporting both Best Actor and Actress Oscar winners with roles in "The French Connection" and "Klute." For his work in "The French Connection" Scheider received his first Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor. After losing the role of Father Karras in "The Exorcist" to Jason Miller, Scheider appeared in "The Seven Ups." His next role would make him a household name overnight. As Chief of Police Martin Brody in "Jaws," Scheider was the character audiences most identified with - the everyman who must rise above his own fears for the good of others. After "Jaws," Scheider appeared in "Marathon Man" and then reunited with "French Connection" director William Friedkin for "Sorcerer." Scheider was next cast as Michael in Michael Cimino's "The Deer Hunter." However, due to "creative differences" he left the project. In order to fulfill his contract with Universal, Scheider agreed to star in the sequel, "Jaws 2." He followed that box office hit with a Hitchcockian thriller, "Last Embrace." He then replaced "Jaws" co-star Richard Dreyfuss and stepped into the role of Joe Gideon in Bob Fosse's autobiographical film, "All That Jazz." For his work in this film, Scheider earned a must deserved Oscar nomination as Best Actor. In the 1980s he appeared in such box office hits as "Blue Thunder," "Still of the Night" and "2010." In 1993, he starred in Steven Spielberg's "SeaQuest DSV" on television. Still working in his 70s, Scheider lives on Long Island with his second wife, Brenda, and their two children, Christian and Molly. He also has a daughter, Maxamillia, from his first marriage to Cynthia, a film editor.

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.