Here's hoping our esteemed editor is feeling better after his recent spill. I can remember when I was in high school and I rode my bike downtown. I was going across the bridge over the river (between the University of Tampa and downtown proper), carrying a small box of material for a display I was doing. I want to say the bridge was on Kennedy (my apologies to readers not in Tampa who have no idea what I'm talking about). Denny's on the right, the Tampa Tribune further down. Anyway, I had to reposition the box so for a few moments I didn't have my hands on the handle bars. I did fine until my tires hit the metal grates of the bridge. Whoops! Talk about road rash! Glad it wasn't more serious, buddy!
AND YOUR POINT IS?
Ever since 1998 I have been an active buyer and seller on Ebay. I'm happy that my feedback is in the high 500's and that my rating is a perfect 100%. However, this almost changed recently thanks to the idiots at the Lenexa, Kansas post office. I would estimate that I've probably mailed out 600 packages in my Ebay career. 599 of them went out courtesy of the Leavenworth, Kansas post office and were received quickly by their recipient. On November 9, because I was in the area, I sent the other out, via Priority Mail, in Lenexa. This past week I received an email from the addressee, stating that the package had not arrived yet. I asked her to wait until the end of the weekend and, if it hadn't arrived, to let me know and I would issue her a refund. Well, no package as of this Monday so I gave her the refund and headed to Lenexa. When I finally spoke to the local postmaster I explained the situation, exactly like I did here, even using the 600 package reasoning. I was given the following explanations for why my package didn't arrive:
1. I addressed it wrong (nope, I told him I always double check the mailing address)
2. It could still be addressed wrong and the return address could have been wrong. (nope again - see # 1 above. Plus I use preprinted return address labels - which remarkably bear the same address I live at!)
3. Maybe it's sitting on a sorting machine that is currently shut off. When it gets used again it will show up. (that's reassuring. I'm always positive when the word "if" is used).
4. Maybe it got chewed up, presumably by a sorting machine that wasn't shut off.(well, that's encouraging)
5. Maybe the recipient is lying (Yeah, I've dealt with this person for years and, in the holiday spirit, they decided to rip me off for nine bucks!)
6. Maybe the package was delivered but the recipients husband/wife/kids/dog/cat/fish put it up on a shelf somewhere. (now I think he's reaching)
Anyway, I felt my answers to his suggestions were pretty reasonable. He then asked me if I had paid for "Delivery Confirmation." I told him no, never have (unless asked by the recipient). "Well, sir, if you don't pay for delivery confirmation you really can expect us to be responsible, can you?" (I swear, this is an exact quote. I looked at the woman behind me and her face proved to me that I had actually heard this). Excuse me? "If you don't pay for us to confirm delivery we really can't guarantee delivery." (another quote, this time causing other people in line to raise their eyebrows.) "So," I asked him, "it's pretty senseless for all of us here to be sending things through the mail?" He just shrugged. Maybe when they get that rate increase they want next year they'll find my package. He did give me hope by offering me a form to fill out, telling me that unless I could provide a precise description of the contents it was pretty much a waste of time. The form will be sent to the Dead Letter office in St Paul, Minnesota, where I'm guessing someone smarter then this clown is now looking at my package and wondering why it's there.
On the home page, Nolan mentioned Matt could show up this week with a piece on "King Kong." He's still busting his ass at work, plus dealing with some notice of his CD. My understanding is that he's waiting for Peter Jackson's film to open before he returns. He is supposed to send in a note to the principal but if he doesn't, he'll be back soon.
Mike Brady said this to his son, Greg, after he bought a piece of shit car on "The Brady Bunch." My dad used to tell me, "Don't do what I do, do what I say." Actually, Woody Allen said it better: "Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach, teach gym." Former FEMA director Michael Brown, whose handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster has to be on the top of Barbara Walter's "Fuck Up Of The Year" list, has announced that he is starting a disaster preparedness consulting firm. Brown said that his firm will stress to clients the need to "take inventory" of what is going on during a disaster so they will be able to answer questions while avoiding the appearance of being unaware. Brown did admit that, while mistakes MAY have been made, it's important to know that he had been planning to quit the agency before Katrina hit. Well, I feel better.
AND SO IT BEGINS
There's no turning back now. Television actor Milo Ventimiglia has been signed to play Rocky, Jr. in "Rocky Balboa." Star Sylvester Stallone's son, Sage, played the part in "Rocky V," but is apparently too busy being a director just like dad and can't take the job. For you trivia fans, Rocky's real name is Robert Balboa.
IT'S ABOUT FRICKIN' TIME
It seemed like it took forever, but this week Lynyrd Skynyrd was FINALLY elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The southern rock band will be inducted March 13, 2006 along with Black Sabbath, Miles Davis, the Sex Pistols and Blondie. Congratulations to you all.
This week Major League Baseball released the nominees for the Hall of Fame. I don't have a vote, but if I did you'd see these guys enshrined: Albert Belle (yeah, a pain in the ass but a hell of a player), Bert Blyleven, Dave Concepcion, Andre Dawson, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Jim Rice and Bruce Sutter. These guys dominated the game during their career. Tampa native Dwight "Doc" Gooden is a first year nominee but he smoked his chance away years ago.
As the PCR was being put to bed last Friday, word spread that Pat Morita had passed away. Beloved by my generation as restaurant owner Arnold on TV's "Happy Days," Morita gained a new group of fans as the wise Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid" films. Born in California, Morita and his family were interred in a Japanese-American camp during World War II. Tired of his work as a computer programmer in the early 1960s, Morita quit and entered the world of stand up comedy. Billed as the "hip Nip," Morita's act caught the attention of Hollywood. He appeared in such films as "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and "Midway." His popularity on "Happy Days" led to his own shown, "Mr. T and Tina." In 1984, billed as Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita, he appeared as the kind karate instructor alongside Ralph Machio in "The Karate Kid." His performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He appeared in three other "Karate Kid" films and was also the voice of the Emperor in both "Mulan" and it's video sequel. He will appear posthumously in three films next year. Mr. Morita died of natural causes in Las Vegas. He was 73.
Stan Berenstain, who, with his wife, Jan, created the popular Berenstain Bears children's book series, died this past Saturday at the age of 82. The couple began their careers as writers for the "All in the Family" cartoon series that appeared in McCall's and Good Housekeeping magazines. They wrote a humor book in 1962 and were introduced to their editor, Ted Geisel. Geisel, better known to the word as Dr Seuss, suggested they write for children. The rest is history. Jan Berenstain and their sons, Leo and Michael, will continue to write and illustrate the series.
Gopal Vinayak Godse, the last living conspirator in the assassination of Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi, died this week at the age of 78. He was part of the group that attacked Gandhi on January 30, 1948.
Last week I gave a sneak peek of next year's serial, which will consist of some of my favorite films. I thought that inviting readers to share their thoughts on the films as well would be a nice twist. That being said, here is the list of films I will cover, along with the issue date they will be covered in. An asterisk next to the title means I already have a contributor:
|1/6||THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY|
|2/3|| GROUNDHOG DAY*|
|2/10|| A HARD DAY'S NIGHT|
|2/17|| DO THE RIGHT THING|
|2/24|| TAXI DRIVER|
|3/3|| THE EXORCIST*|
|3/10|| BOOGIE NIGHTS|
|3/17|| FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH|
|3/24|| SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT*|
|3/31|| A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN|
|4/1|| JAWS: THE REVENGE*|
|4/22|| FIELD OF DREAMS|
|4/29|| CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE 3RD KIND*|
|5/5|| E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL|
|5/12|| SLAP SHOT|
|5/19|| STAR WARS|
|5/26|| GONE WITH THE WIND*|
|6/2|| ROCKY *|
|6/16|| JAWS 2*|
|6/23|| BULL DURHAM|
|6/30|| PULP FICTION|
|7/7|| BACK TO THE FUTURE|
|7/14|| JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR|
|7/21|| THE GODFATHER|
|7/28|| L.A. CONFIDENTIAL|
|8/4|| THE DEEP|
|8/11|| MAJOR LEAGUE|
|8/18|| BLAZING SADDLES|
|9/8|| SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE*|
|9/22|| YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN|
|9/29|| TRUE ROMANCE|
|10/6|| THE BREAKFAST CLUB|
|10/13|| AMERICAN GRAFFITI|
|10/20|| USED CARS*|
|10/27|| HALLOWEEN *|
|11/3|| ANNIE HALL|
|11/10|| ALL THAT JAZZ|
|11/24|| THE WIZARD OF OZ|
|12/8|| LOVE ACTUALLY|
|12/22|| A CHRISTMAS STORY|
|12/29|| DIE HARD*|
As you can see, a pretty diverse list. There were so many films I had to leave off but I just went through my film collection randomly and picked the ones that caught my eye first. There is a semblance of some order in a few of the selections ("Halloween" around Halloween, "Star Wars" and "Back to the Future" close to their release dates, as is "Grease" and "Jaws 2."
So, if you see something you'd enjoy commenting on, please let us know. I'm NOT looking for a review. I want to know why you enjoy the film: favorite part, favorite lines, favorite memories.
THE STORY OF JAWS - PART 45
In the 30 years since its release, "Jaws" has become one of the most influential films of all time. It has been used to parody politicians or to make light of a bad situation. The film's music is recognized throughout the world, as is the classic image of the shark rising to meet it's victim. Many of today's filmmakers were inspired by the movie and have included homages to "Jaws" in their own work. I sat down and quickly came up with some:
1. Susan Backlinie on the submarine in "1941."
2. The Candy Bar scene in "Caddyshack."
3. The opening of "Airplane 2"
4. The pool scene with Michael J. Fox and his "aunt" in "The Secret of My Success."
5. Using a chip to make a "salsa shark" in "Clerks"
6. Characters named Quint and Brody, plus the fact that one of the characters wanted to get married at the "Jaws" ride in "Mallrats."
7. The scar comparison scene in "Chasing Amy"
8. The front of the studio golf cart painted like the shark's jaws in "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back."
9. The characters Kintner and Watkins in "Open Water."
10. Emilio Estevez and Richard Dreyfuss playing a movie association game in "Stakeout"
11. Dozens of episodes of "The Simpsons," including one where Homer confesses his sins, which include "coveting the wife from "Jaws 2."
12. The holographic shark display in 'Back to the Future II" for "Jaws 19" I believe.
13. The shark named "Bruce" in "Finding Nemo"
14. The license plate seen in "Shark Tale"
15. The framed movie poster on the wall of Billy Mack's manager in "Love, Actually."
16. A hilarious 10-minute-plus sketch that aired on "The Carol Burnett" show which I have somewhere on tape.
I knew there were more so this week I turned to the faithful fans that contribute their thoughts daily to the jawsmovie.com web site. I promised them a moment of fame if they could add any I had missed. They didn't let me down. So, much thanks to: Johnny Walker Red, Jaws 19, Mary Ellen Moffett, John in Maine, Amity Island, Carrie, Shaun, Daz Da Man, Wullie, Shark Maniac X 2, Dave P in CT, Lon, Greg, Bow Legged Brody, Chet, Chiptooth and Fish Girl for pointing out tributes to "Jaws" in:
"Cujo," "Jaws 2" (duh), "Deep Blue Sea," "Hysterical," "War of the Worlds," "Anaconda," "Tremors," "Kind Cobra" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street." Also mentioned was the television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." and, of course, the hilarious "Land Shark" skits on "Saturday Night Live." Here's some more trivia for you: It's no secret that Kevin Smith is a major "Jaws" fan. As I mentioned above, most of his films have some type of "Jaws" mention in them. In fact, when I asked him to sign my copy of the "Clerks" script, I mentioned to him my love of the film. Under his signature he wrote, "...anyway, we delivered the bomb." I had the opportunity to meet with Kevin the day after I saw "Dogma" and I asked him why there was no "Jaws" tribute in the film. He told me that there was but that it had been cut for time. The scene takes place towards the end of the film when the group meet in the church office with George Carlin's Cardinal Glick. While the others are talking, Jay (Jason Mewes) takes Glick's rather large pointy hat and begins moving it along in the air like a fin.
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.