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Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2003!
This week's
Movie Review
Digital Divide
Ashley's Hollywood
Plastic People
Creature's Corner
Splash Page
Mike's Rant

On the CF Homepage:
Florida Filmmaker Update

New Schlockarama! --
"Nude On The Moon"

  Number 163  (Vol. 4, No. 19). This edition is for the week of May 5--11, 2003.

Growth Spurt

Like I've said so many times in the past, this publishing "business" is a peak-and-valley affair: there may be weeks with virtually no communication from the outside world, then, BOOM, seems like everyone and their Aunt Petunia wants to come aboard. Well, THAT'S GREAT when that happens, and I'm doing my best to accomodate everybody because I am grateful.

On the heels of Ashley's Lauren's ribald success, her old man, my old friend and colleague, John Lewis has contributed his first column in two years: The Creature's Corner. Will it last? Who knows. But I'm hoping seeing his new graphic will encourage John to write more regularly.

And speaking of Ashley, two years ago her column ended with a promise to update our readers on the status of the rock band The Misfits. After announcing it, she and John disappeared off the face of the earth for an extended period (I've had to get used to things like that in my life). Ash makes good on her old promise, however, with this very issue of Ashley's Hollywood!

So, I'm sitting there minding my own business last Friday morning, pecking away at the computer as usual, when who calls out of the blue but Valrico filmmaker Brandon Jones (CLIPS productions) and, after a brief chat, offers to come pick me up to go see "X-2: X-Men United"! As fast as I can say "yes" he's practically in the driveway, and we go see the flick which I review, along with Mike Smith, in this issue. So anyway, Brandon and I are talking on the way over and he bowls me over with another offer: to write a comics-oriented column for the PCR! Man, what great luck I'm having. "Sure," I say, "start immediately." So he did.

Clearwater filmmaker Andy Lalino has written in some interesting follow-up information pertaining to the Tambay Film Fest. Please check out his letter in this issue's Lettercol, below. Thanks, Andy!

IN THE NEWS This will be kind of a quick glance because of time pressures this week, but to mention a few: A billion US dollars in Iraq?? On the heels of the announcement of finding $600 million US dollars in the underground bunkers in Iraq comes the news that a billion was moved out of the country just before the war. That kind of loot can buy a lot of weapons and a lot of silence. By the way, last I heard, no "weapons of mass destruction"--the point of the whole war supposedly--have been found yet. The Space Shuttle a victim of foam insulation after all?? If I heard that right, the first instinct of most ground observers turned out to win the deciding vote: that loose piece of foam insulation, seen falling into the wing in videos of the launch have officially been blamed for the break-up and destruction of the Columbia. Killer tornadoes tear up the midwest. The count varies, but more than 50 documented tornadoes have left a path of total destruction not seen in decades throughout the midwest just in the last few days, with more strong weather on the way. Some of these folks are rebuilding for the second or even third time. With level 3 and 4-type twisters predicted, I thnk it's time for some to relocate. Florida boys imitate MTV's "Jackass" with nearly fatal results. This is local, but I didn't catch what city, sorry. Two or theree teenagers, trying to imitate what they see on MTV's "Jackass" took to jumping off higher and higher buildings, mostly falling into shrubbery, before someone had the brilliant idea of diving off a 5-story building into a swimming pool. If you've seen the video, you know what happened: the first boy made it, but the second didn't quite jump far enough and glanced the edge of the pool breaking several bones before falling in. He's expected to recover eventually, but he's pretty messed up right now. I wish the very best and a speedy recovery for this adventurous if foolish young man, and will only admonish him to the extent of saying "kid, these are not the kind of people who deserve your emulation." 90 degree-temps finally return to Tampa. Whew. And how. I thought this winter would never end! Cold front after cold front right up until a week ago, damn near. Summer's here and I'm very glad---my favorite season, always has been.

CINCO DE MAYO reminds me that I have once again overlooked an important friend's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Stephen Beasley, 46, whose birthday is the aforementioned Spanish Holiday.

La Floridiana
This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty

On vacation until next week.

Ashley Lauren's Hollywood
This week's issue
Hollywood by Ashley Lauren

Splash Page
This week's issue
Splash Page by Brandon Jones
A new column featuring commentary on comics and the movies. CHECK IT OUT!

Matt's Rail
This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg

No column this week

Movie Reviewmovie review
This Week's Movie Review:

"X-2: X-Men United"  reviewed by Michael Smith w/ add'l comentary by Nolan Canova

The Digital Divide
This week's issue
The Digital Divide by Terence Nuzum
Cat Power: You Are Free
Cursive: The Ugly Organ

Mad Matt
This week's issue
Mad Matt's Plastic People by Matt Cerrato

Sideshow Toys
THE EVIL DEAD! Good Ash, Evil Ash.

Creature's Corner
This week's issue
Creature's Corner by John Lewis
New column, likely a one-off, featuring Ashley's father John, an old colleague of mine waxing nostalgic about horror, comics and the movies.... ................Click here for more.

Mike's RantMike's Rant
This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith
I'M FREE!!........PICTURE YOURSELF........WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE SNAKES!?........ SAILING ON........REALITY TV?........ ................Click here for more.

Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.
Thanks for the retrospective on the TamBay Film Festival (Yessir-ee, sir! That happened last issue--Nolan). Personally, I wasn't able to attend it this year due to the fact that the movie Terence Nuzum thinks I promote too much on your site is busily in post-production. I know a few of the filmmakers and films involved in the competition this year, Chris Woods' "Bleed" among them, and also Wild Heart Films' "All the World" (which I have seen the trailer for), "B-Movie: The Making of Farmhouse Massacre" (go Vito!) and Greg Rivera's serialized horror short "The Uninvited" (which, like "Bleed", was another Saints & Sinners award-winner). The TamBay Film Festival has grown in popularity over the years, and boasts a fine selection of cinema this year. Sounds like all had a good time; wish I could have gone. Now onward to Saints & Sinners III (May 31st)!

Since the topic of horror hosts surfaces frequently on PCR, I wanted to let readers know about a great show on in the early morning hours on Saturday - "Off Beat Cinema". OBC features not a horror host, but three coffee shop (The Hungry Ear) beatniks (Bird, Maxwell Truth, and Zelda) who show ultra-cool, daddy-O hip late-nite flicks, such as "The Woman and the Monster" (aka "The 4-Sided Triangle"), "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (the original), "Prehistoric Women", "Phantom from 10,000 Leagues", "Son of Godzilla", "Reefer Madness", "Dracula and His Vampire Brides" just to name some. Pretty impressive, huh?

The show originates from Buffalo, NY(!), and the beatnik segments are taped in B&W. Sometimes they have cool special guests on, such as 10,000 Maniacs (minus Natalie Merchant) who did a great cover of Roxy's "More Than This" live on the show, which was breathtaking. If you like jazz, OBC features lots of it.

In a day and age where the old horror host concept is barely hanging on, OBC is a satisfying homage, and a successful one at that. It can be seen on WTSP here locally. Write WTSP and thank them for airing OBC (I did) and let them know how much you dig the show.

- Andy Lalino

Thanks for the great tip, Andy! I'll be lurking for that! I didn't even realize they were still on (I've had to work at those hours for years). ---Nolan

Admist the great PCR controversy, I hope that Ashley finds great support and encouragement. Don't most of us learn and excel after receiving the intense critiques of our work? From Matt to Lalino and Terence, her work has become an iconic topic on the PCR - especially after one issue. While I'd rather hear more about Zeta's smoking during pregnancy than blowing smoke up our ass about her "award-winning" performance in "Chicago." But, hey, I just don't like her or her body of work. Do I need the "Enquirer" approach to Hollywood activities instead of the update on latest movies in development - No. I much rather get my news of Kevin Smith being brought in to clean-up "Scary Movie 3" than read about Michael Jackson.

That was her first issue. She has since delivered much better editorial: Roy Scheider is awesome, BTW. Good luck and keep growing.

Reply to [Andy] Lalino:
While CGI and the "Legally Blonde" genre has developed recently, remember we had to sit through "Grease 2", "Footloose", "Staying Alive", the careers of Patrick Dempsey, Robert Downey Jr. (pre-rehab), Andrew McCarthy to get the "Breakfast Club", "Annie Hall" experiences. "Rambo" and "Rocky" sequels rotated with the horror slashers that still go on today (i.e. "Freddy vs. Jason" --due in August). I guess genre movies are one thing, but the classics are just that - classic. No one expected Spielberg to pull together a timeless flick that starred a metal shark that sank on command or a little serial epic that culminated with a space fight above a bunch of bastardized model kits exploding. Well, ask Brad Pitt or Leonardo Di Caprio (amongst others) if the Wachowski Brothers know what they're talking about.

Why is there such crap out there and why will it continue...well, to quote Bob McKenzie "...This movie was shot in 3B - three beers - and it looks good, eh?" Everything is liked and disliked by somebody - Just ask Ashley.

Brandon Jones

And thank you, sir, for a fine contribution to the discussion! --Nolan

To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

"Mike's Rant" is ©2003 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2003 by Matthew Drinnenberg    "La Floridiana" is ©2003 by William Moriaty    This week's movie review of "X-2: X-Men United" is ©2003 by Michael A. Smith    "Mad Matt's Plastic People" is ©2003 by Matt Cerrato    "Ashley Lauren's Hollywood" is ©2003 by Ashley Lauren Lewis    "Creature's Corner" is ©2003 by John Lewis    "Splash Page" is ©2003 by Brandon Jones    Add'l thanks to Andy Lalino and Brandon Jones for their input in "Letters"      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova

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