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Now in our fifth calendar year!
PCR # 209  (Vol. 5, No. 13)  This edition is for the week of March 22--28, 2004.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
The Cashin' of The Christ

Commentary by:
Michael A. Smith

On "The Passion" and its unexpected windfall

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

A special commentary on The Passion of the Christ
 by Mike Smith
"Dawn of the Dead"  by ED Tucker
There and Back Again: The Pivotal Year of 1987
 by Andy Lalino
The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien's Legacy
 by Nick King
Dawn of the Dead....The Passion of the Christ....Comics  by John Lewis
What In The Name Of God...?
 by Matt Drinnenberg
The Passion Of The Python....I Love Rock And Roll....Andy Says....Check Your Calendars....Me And The Lord (with book excerpt)....Meet The Beatles, Part 10
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
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This week features a special commentary by Mike Smith on this extremely controversial topic. He will return to regular movie reviews next week. ---Nolan

Wow! What a difference a month makes. It was one month ago that the film all of the so called experts were scoffing at, The Passion of the Christ, opened to business not only unexpected, but unprepared for. In its first week of release, the film pulled in almost $120 million, numbers usually reserved for the latest Star Wars or Matrix chapter, not a blood-soaked depiction of the last hours of Jesus Christ. According to the old saying, "money talks, cow dung walks." Director Mel Gibson invested $30 million of his own money to make a film he felt strongly about. Behind his back, and in public, Gibson was ridiculed by many of the power brokers in Hollywood. None of the major studios would release his film and many executives stated that they would never work with Gibson again. But now, with the money talking (the film has earned almost $300 million dollars in NORTH AMERICA ALONE and currently ranks as the 12th MOST POPULAR FILM OF ALL TIME! With the film due to open across the rest of the world in the next month), it is a conservative estimate that Gibson stands to make no less then $350 million dollars. $350 MILLION DOLLARS! From a project all of the "smart" people said was doomed to fail. Once again, the money is talking. Gibson is now beating off with a stick the various studios that want to be part of the deal when The Passion of the Christ is released on video and DVD.

Like most films these days, The Passion of the Christ is being marketed. The books, the soundtrack CD, these are expected. And Gibson has authorized the marketing of certain pieces of jewelry, among them bracelets, key chains and, of course, the nail on a necklace. But a quick check on Ebay shows over 1200 items purportedly related to the film. Among them: belt buckles, money clips, bookmarks, prayer cards (in English and Aramaic) and address labels. Talk about getting the mailman's attention: your address neatly printed next to a ghastly image of Jim Caviezel, his bloody head ringed with a crown of thorns. Did I say a crown of thorns? Wow, there are no less then 20 "authentic" crowns available, several with the added BUY IT NOW feature so you won't have to wait. Sadly, I'm betting that all of those crowns will sell, only to be replaced by another 20. Yes, the money is talking, But it smells like it's walking.

This week's movie commentary on "The Passion of the Christ" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2004, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.