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PCR #276. (Vol. 6, No. 27) This edition is for the week of July 4--10, 2005.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! I apologize for this week's tardiness. But, as another group of cowards attack freedom the show must still go on. Shall we begin?

"King of the Corner"
 by Mike Smith
"Live 8"--What A Sad, Sorry, Rotten Joke
 by Andy Lalino
 by John Lewis
London Bombings....Masters of Horror Update
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Cowards....Did You Say Eddie?...Blondie!!!..Passing On....The Juice Is Still Loose....Jaws: The Story, Part 24
 by Mike Smith
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I had so many random thoughts as I was preparing my notes for this week's rant but now I can only think of two words: FUCK YOU! The brainwashed idiots that continue to kill innocent people in the name of God have once again done nothing but strengthen the resolve of the free world to hunt them down. Your crimes are bad enough, but the fact that you feel the need to invoke God's name is downright repugnant. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those lost and injured. Regular readers know that one of my JawsFest roommates, Eddie McCormack, lives in England. There were many nervous hours here until another friend reached him by phone and assured us of his safety. Please take time this week to say a prayer for those affected by this week's attacks. Thanks.

Speaking of my mate from Liverpool, I received this week a photo of "the gang" at JawsFest. What makes this photo special, not only because it captures a bunch of "Jaws" geeks in top form, is that is was taken by Ms. Kirsty Henshaw, the daughter of the late Craig Kingsbury, who played fisherman Ben Gardner in "Jaws." From left to right: me, Jim Beller (known to all of us as "JimmyJawz"), Chris Goudreault, his father, Dana, Eddie McCormack and my railing partner, Matt. I actually like THIS photo of me. I may have to ask the boss to use it at the top of the page. (Oh, sure, it's got half your face covered up! --N)

This Sunday many of your local comic strips will feature tributes honoring the 75th Anniversary of the popular strip, "Blondie." Most of you know that the strip is currently drawn by PCR pal Denis Lebrun. Enjoy!

We lost a few more memories this week:
Ernest Lehman, Oscar-winning screenwriter of some of the most popular films of all time, passed away earlier this week after a long illness. He was 89. A six time Best Screenplay nominee, Lehman wrote or co-wrote such classics as "Sabrina," "The King and I," "North by Northwest," "West Side Story," "The Sound of Music" and "Black Sunday." He won 5 Best Screenplay awards from the Writer's Guild of America and was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2001.
June Haver, who went from a convent to be a star in many 1940s musicals, died of respiratory failure at 79. The star of such films as "Three Little Girls in Blue" and "Oh, You Beautiful Doll," Haver never became comfortable with the idea of the pin up era, though she was often compared with Betty Grable. In 1954 she married Fred MacMurray. They remained married until his death in 1991.
Renaldo "Obie" Benson, a founding member of the Four Tops, died last Friday of lung cancer. He was 69. Of the original group, only Levi Stubbs and Abdul "Duke" Fakir survive. Fans of the Motown Sound will remember the Tops for such hits as "Baby I Need Your Loving," "I Can't Help Myself" and "Reach Out (I'll Be There)."
Luther Vandross also passed this past weekend from complications of a stroke he suffered in April 2003. He was 54. A much sought after song-writer and backup singer in the 1970s, Vandross co-wrote the David Bowie hit, "Fame." He can also be heard on the song "Young Americans." His last album, "Dance With My Father," released a few weeks after his stroke, earned Vandross 4 Grammys.

This past Monday, police were called to the Miami home of O.J. Simpson to investigate an altercation that escalated into Simpson's ex girlfriend attacking him. A friend of Simpson's told police "I just want to say that through it all, O.J. was not violent at all." He also quoted Simpson as saying, "Good thing the cops showed up or someone could have cut that bitches head off!"

I thought I'd devote this chapter to the phenomenon that was "Jaws." The film opened on 409 screens on June 20, 1975 and took in almost $7 million opening weekend. That's 7 MILLION DOLLARS at a top ticket price of $2.50. That averages out to almost $18,000 per screen. As an example, "Batman Begins" opened on 3838 screens and barely averaged $12,000 per screen. At it's popularity height, "Jaws" maxed out at 675 screens. It made almost $70 million in it's first month and was the first film to hit the then impossible $100 million mark. These days popular films make that much in two weeks. After it's run "Jaws" ended up making $260 million dollars at the US box office and another $210 million around the world. It currently ranks as the 43rd most popular film of all time, with all of the films ahead of it having been released AFTER 1975. The next film on the list to be released before "Jaws" is "Gone With the Wind," which comes in at #70. Pretty impressive!

Well, that's all for now. Have a great (and safe) 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.