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"The Cosmic Muffin"....Sole Surviving Boeing 307....Clyde and Niki Butcher's Labor Day Gala 2003
by Will Moriaty
"The Medallion"
by Mike Smith
"Football for the Sensitive Types"...."Happy TV!"...."Couch Potato Picks"
by Vinnie Blesi
"Remembering River Phoenix"
by Ashley Lauren
The Golden Ticket....Smell That?....Too Much Time On Her Hands....Is It My Breath?....What!! No Mike Post?
 by Mike Smith

Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2003!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fourth calendar year!
Number 178  (Vol. 4, No. 34). This edition is for the week of August 18--24, 2003.


Still another face-lift?
• Real Premonition casting call
• Having a Gay Old Time, revisited

Well, you can please some of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can never please ALL of the people ALL of the time! Apologies to Honest Abe for me changing "fool" to "please", but I feel the sentiment is definitely transferrable.

I appreciate the support most of you have given me since the site redesign, but frankly, it just wasn't working for a lot of folks, and most distressingly, it just wasn't working for me, either. Oh, the part about streamlining the operation was very successful. But the aesthetic simplifications left some pining for the old PCR. I'm sorry to say, altho I miss some of it too, there just weren't---and aren't---enough hours in the week to keep that version up. As long-time readers have no doubt noticed my struggle to bring the PCR and the disparate entities that make up the Crazed Fanboy empire into the new millenium has been a difficult one. Particularly when I decided to try to make it, well, profitable. And I blame myself getting lost in the web magic of producing the PCR on a weekly basis for not being nearly aggressive enough in business matters. That's got to change.

You've no doubt noticed I've refurbushed this homepage yet again. This was the direct result of a conference I had with William Moriaty and Terence Nuzum over the last few days regarding aesthetics and performance. It is absolutely paramount that I/we be taken seriously as a web journal and web presence in general if we are going to grow into new areas. This does not mean we can't have a sense of humor or that we are suddenly obssessed with a business-only attitude. I hate that. I hate when I see it on other web sites. You know, the "we-only-see-the-world-in-black-and-white-mostly-black-so-we-don't-inject-fun-on-our-pages-because-we're-serious-and-serious-means-humorless-and-we're-serious-about-being-humorless-because-we're-serious..." So, this is the compromise. Basically a return to the PCR we all know and love, but simplified greatly yet still tightly integrated into the CF empire as a whole. The starfield I created and tried so desperately to keep had to be shoved down under the PCR. Also, the different navigation bar items, once stuffed together up top, are now broken up and scattered around. I don't think this will negatively impact visit rates to those links, at least I hope not. I already like this version a lot better.

"Real Premonition" casting call.
Real Premonition group
Casting officials at the Vinoy, from left: Ziad Ahmed, Zakaria Karrakcho, Kevin Bangos, Mark Nash, Tina Frankl, and John Matheny. Camera-shy director Steve Peña opted out of this photo-op.

The beautiful and historic Renaissance-Vinoy resort hotel in St. Pete provided a wonderful backdrop to Will's and my activities Sunday as we took up an offer to be present at the casting call for "Real Premonition", a crime-thriller being filmed by co-producers Steve Peña and Mark Nash, and directed by Peña.

As described by Peña, the plot involves "a gentleman who travels here from Morocco, becomes a victim of circumstance, and those circumstances lead him to the mob life". The movie is being filmed here and on location in Morocco.

Michael Albano was first through the door after we found our seats and we remained silent as he read for the part of "Tony" (see PCR 127 for a pic of Mike at Joel Wynkoop's birthday party and film premiere. In fact, I think Steve Peña might've been there too). Interestingly, first Mike had to read a card that said "Name, contact info, and permission to film you". Everyone trying out had to start their take with these answers.

After Mike finished, Brian Christian, Kevin Bangos, Preston Walden, and finally Gus Perez read for the same part and other parts (with character names like "Tony", "Slick" and "Greg", and the generic "Hispanic 1"). Gus has been featured in PCR many times, and was named a "Florida Folk Hero" early on by staff writer and my partner in this venture, William Moriaty. The Vanoy

Reading opposite all the actors was co-producer Mark Nash. Mark has been featured in PCR many times, most notably as a guest with Gus Perez on my old public access show, The World of Nolan, but also in various film reviews (Raging Bells, Forbidden Tango).

Joel D. Wynkoop is a regular on many of their films, and he did try out for this one, but we just missed him by about 20 minutes.

Pictured at right is the beautiful Renaissance-Vinoy where the casting call took place. Very atmospheric and exquisitely-appointed, this hotel dates from the '20s.

We wish the cast and crew the best of luck on this project and look forward to reviewing the premiere!

Gay Old Time revisited
I only go where angels fear to tread very rarely in these pages, but I in PCR #176, I commented that I thought a child of 14 could not possibly determine s/he was gay already (re: the all-gay high school set to open in New York this Fall). Altho the only bonafide letter-to-the-editor I got on this was from Ashley Lauren, many of the rest of you either phoned or verbally communciated your disagreement. That is, that one "knows" they're different from very early on. That's not what my issue was with. The point I was trying to make is that one may "know" one's different, but not exactly why. And until actual sex takes place one can't know for sure. I've heard from way too many school-age "experimenters" that tried it and didn't like it to agree that what any child thinks s/he is and what they actually are are frequently two different things. That said, I do find it disturbing that a school needed to be established with a theme built entirely around a teen's version of sexual identity as a priority.

Letters to the Editor--click image

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"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" is ©2003 by Michael A. Smith    "Ashley's Hollywood" is ©2003 by Ashley Lauren Lewis    "Creature's Corner" is ©2003 by John Lewis    "Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2003 by Vinnie Blesi    "Murder on the Woo Woo Express" is ©2003 by Patty G. Henderson     All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova    
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