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Will's Miami Madness, Part 2
 by William Moriaty

 by Mike Smith

Radio Shack Shootings and other Gateway area tragedies....Post-Halloween Blues....Steve Lillywhite reunites with U2
 by Andy Lalino

Gateway Memories....Hall Of Fame Bound....Award Season Begins....Back Where He Began....Tony The Tiger Was Busy....No Education Needed--Just Money....Sex Ed In The Comics....It Was Only Two Points....Meet The Beatles, Part 45
 by Mike Smith

Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2004!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fifth calendar year!
    Number 245  (Vol. 5, No. 49). This edition is for the week of November 29--December 5, 2004.

The end is near

WOW, is it December already?!!?! I can't believe this, the end of the year is nearly upon us. As I get older, years are flashing by at an unnervingly fast pace. Seems like only yesterday I was lamenting my birthday falling on Friday the 13th (Aug), I blink my eyes and I'm already rushing to prepare for the year-end issue of PCR! Slow down already!

I'm reminded that on the Thanksgiving issue, I never did list things I'm thankful for. Merely an oversight I now regret.

I am thankful that at 260+ pounds I still have my health, such as it is. I still have a "day" job (the notorious "hellpit of despair" I lovingly call 7-Eleven); it sucks but it pays the bills. I'm grateful for the few who trusted me with their websites (and also helped pay the bills). I'm thankful for the few friends who've stuck by my insane ass all these years. And of course...OF COURSE....I'm thankful for the success of Crazed Fanboy dotcom and all the fine folks who make it happen, 'cuz I sure don't do it alone!

This includes not only the writing staff---the most talented bunch of misfits on the planet---but the sponsors who have enough faith in me and this endeavor to contribute every month so that I might send some business their way.

The PCR staff will get their individual kudos during the year-end issue(s) when I name names and recall events. They may also want to start thinking about their year-end ideas for inclusion in that issue.

I know I will say it again when the time comes, but I hope next year will be our most rewarding and profitable one yet. I have a good feeling about it.

Another thing I forgot to mention during holiday madness and it's too important to let another second go by without telling you now: our own Mike Smith is now a featured reviewer on the wildly popular movie review website Rotten Tomatoes.com! When you visit their website and do a search for any current movie, chances are Mike's name (among others) will pop up. Even better yet, the review links right back to us! That rocks so incredibly I can't even stand it. Not only that, but last week, Mike's link appeared on the Rotten Tomatoes homepage for his review of Alexander and this week for his review of Closer! Congratulations to Mike, and thanks to him for the moxie to seek that breakthrough.

For December anyway! Check out Damage Control Online and hear some zany comedy bits from this Tampa-based troupe! I will be giving away a few of their CDs entitled "Santa's Crack" away over the next couple weeks to lucky winners---soon as I can figure out a good secret question!

I wasn't quite as enamored of this phenomenon as others were, but I should mention to mark the occasion that software developer Ken Jennings, who's won the most money in game show history and the most consecutive games of Jeopardy! (he started last June, and except for special theme shows, has appeared on all of them), finally lost last night (Tuesday) as I'm writing this. The female contestant (Nancy Zerg) who won actually covered her mouth in shock as Alex Trebek called her "The Giant Killer". Funnily enough, the Final Jeopardy question seemed like something Jennings would've known: "Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year." The question? (Jeopardy "answers" must be in the form of a question): "What is H & R Block". Jennings' result: "What is FedEx?" And with that, history was made after a 74-game winning streak. Still, he didn't do too shabby--he made off with 2 and a half million dollars. And as everyone knows, that ain't easy to do via Jeopardy!

MIKE'S MOVIE WATCH       by Michael A. Smith
The holidays are slowly approaching and once again Hollywood has a gift bag of goodies ready to deliver to your local theatres. Here is a list of the presents coming to all movie goers, naughty or nice. Please note that release dates may change on the whims of the film companies.


  • "Alexander" - Two time Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone brings his version of ancient history to the big screen. A great cast of talented actors is wasted in roles that are either over the top or horribly drawn. And did Stone really think we would accept 29-year-old Angelina Jolie as the mother of 28-year-old Colin Farrell? Oscar chances: Jared Leto stands out as Alexander's friend and confidant Hephaestion.
  • "Christmas With the Kranks" - Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis star as a couple who, when their college bound daughter informs them she won't be home for the holidays, decide to blow off the season completely. Chaos erupts when their daughter changes her plans and comes home. Based on the novel "Skipping Christmas" by John Grisham. Oscar chances: Hmmmmm, let me think..............no.


  • "Closer" - An unusual story of love, passion, betrayal and abandonment about two couples which only gets more intense when the man from one couple meets the woman from the other. Mike Nichols directs a potent cast that includes Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen. Oscar chances: Too many to name.
  • "House of Flying Daggers" - Set in ninth century China, two police deputies band together to fight the rebel bands in their province. Director Yimou Zhang is often referred to as "the Chinese Quentin Tarrentino," due to his blend of dialogue and action. Oscar chances: Like this year's release, "Hero," may have a shot at Best Foreign Film.
  • "I Am David" - Based on Anne Holm's acclaimed novel, "North to Freedom," this is the story of a 12 year old boy (Ben Tibber) who escapes a communist concentration camp and heads for Copenhagen. In his fourth film of the year, Jim Caviezel costars. Oscar chances: outstanding word of mouth from previews at various film festivals could translate to a nomination or two.


  • "Blade: Trinity" Wesley Snipes returns in this third installment of Marvel Comics' popular vampire killer. Kris Kristofferson, Jessica Biel and Parker Posey (?!) costar. Oscar chances: Hey, they didn't give one to Kristofferson for "A Star Is Born," so I'm not betting on anything here. PARKER POSEY?!


  • "Beyond the Sea" - Kevin Spacey directs and stars in this biopic about singer/actor Bobby Darin. Kate Bosworth costars as Darin's wife, Sandra Dee. Oscar chances: with two Oscars for acting already on his mantle, I never count Kevin Spacey out of the race.
  • "Ocean's Twelve" - director Steven Soderberg and the original cast return in this sequel to the popular Vegas heist film. Catherine Zeta-Jones joins George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac and the others as they travel to Europe to ply their trade. Oscar chances: Soderberg, Zeta-Jones, Damon and Roberts all have Oscars. Which is good because they won't be winning any for this one.


  • "Million Dollar Baby" - Clint Eastwood, coming off the brilliant "Mystic River," stars and directs the story about two retired boxers (Eastwood and Morgan Freeman) coming together to train a woman boxer, played by Oscar winner and former "next Karate Kid" Hillary Swank. Oscar chances: Eastwood has evolved from an acting icon into one of the most respected film makers of the last 20 years. Freeman always gives a great performance and is way overdue for the big prize.


  • "The Aviator" - Leonardo DiCaprio stars in this biography about reclusive billionaire and Hollywood big shot Howard Hughes. Cate Blanchett and Kate Beckinsale costar for director Martin Scorsese. Oscar chances: All the way around. Not since Kubrick has a director gone Oscarless with so many great films on his resume' as has Scorsese.
  • "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" - Jim Carrey (in no less then three roles) and Meryl Streep help bring the popular children's book series to the big screen. Oscar chances: Probably not.
  • "Spanglish" - Yuppies Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni hire a Mexican housekeeper (Paz Vega) and each must learn to deal with cultural and language barriers. Oscar chances: Director James L. Brooks gave us "Terms of Endearment," "Broadcast News" and "As Good As It Gets," while Sandler has proven that, with the right material, he can give a great performance.


  • "Flight of the Phoenix" - Dennis Quaid and Giovanni Ribisi star in this remake of the 1965 James Stewart/Richard Attenborough classic story about stranded oil workers trying to rebuild a plane that has crashed in the desert. Oscar chances: the original pulled down two nominations, for editing and supporting actor Ian Bannen. As much as I like Quaid, he's not Jimmy Stewart.
  • "Hotel Rwanda"- Don Cheadle and Nick Nolte star in a true-life story of a hotel manager who gave asylum to Tutsi refugees in war-torn Rwanda. Oscar chances: Cheadle is getting lots of buzz for his work in this film that has often been compared favorably to "Schindler's List."
  • "Meet the Fockers" - Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro return in this sequel to the popular comedy, "Meet the Parents." In a case of genius casting, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand play Stiller's parents. Oscar chances: DeNiro, Hoffman and Babs each have 2 Academy Awards. That should keep them happy. "Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera" - Remember back in 1990, when "Gremlins 2" featured a Gremlin in a Phantom mask? No? Well, that's how long Warner Brothers has owned the rights and tried to bring the smash Broadway musical to the big screen. Little known Gerard Butler ("Dracula 2000," "Timeline") beat out everyone from original stage Phantom Michael Crawford to John Travolta to Antonio Banderas to win the title role. Only director Joel Schumacher has been attached to the film since it's inception. Emmy Rostrum (Sean Penn's daughter in "Mystic River") and Minnie Driver costar. Oscar chances: After the success of "Chicago," musicals are hot. Other films based on Lloyd Webber's works, including "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita" have received nominations, so all bets are off.


  • "The Woodsman" - Kevin Bacon stars as a convicted pedophile who is returned to his hometown after serving 12 years in prison. Kyra Sedgwick, Bacon's wife, costars. Oscar chances: Bacon's performance is drawing raves from those who have seen the movie.


  • "Fat Albert" - Hey! Hey! Hey! Kenan Thompson stars as in this live-action comedy based on Bill Cosby's TV cartoon "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids." Oscar chances: As Mush Mouth might say, "not-a chance-a in-a hell-a."
  • "The Life Aquatic With Steve Sissou" - The people that brought you "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tannenbaums" now bring us Bill Murray as a Jacque Cousteau-type oceanographer who must deal with everything from a killer shark to his estranged son (Owen Wilson). Cate Blanchett and Anjelica Huston also star. Oscar chances: Murray once again stands out among a fine ensemble cast.


  • "A Love Song for Bobby Long" - Scarlett Johansson stars as a young woman who travels to New Orleans after the death of her mother. While there, she discovers former literature professor Long. John Travolta co-stars. Oscar chances: this film sounds a lot like "Finding Forrester," though JT is no Sean Connery.
  • "The Upside of Anger" - When her husband suddenly leaves, a mother (Joan Allen) and her four daughters turn to a family friend, a former baseball player, for help. Kevin Costner, who has made a career off of baseball, and Evan Rachel Wood also star. Oscar chances: Allen is always a solid contender and last year's "Thirteen" should have given Wood her first nomination.
  • "In Good Company" - Scarlett Johansson again, this time starring as the tennis pro daughter of demoted executive Dennis Quaid who falls in love with his new, younger boss played by Topher Grace. Oscar chances: None that I can see.
  • "The Assassination of Richard Nixon" - in the early 1970s, a deranged man named Sam Bicke tried to hijack an airplane and crash it into the White House. Oh, he was dressed as Santa Claus at the time. Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Don Cheadle star. Oscar chances: Last year's Best Actor Penn may repeat.

    Well, that's all that's scheduled as of now. I hope that Hollywood leaves you lots of presents under your tree and no lumps of coal in your stockings!

       What's better than the Wiggles? It is a Strange Agents Xmas performed live at Covivant Art Gallery Friday December 10th 2004. See the Reverend Dr. Mayhem Inc. perform such family favorites as "What Child is Dis", "Mr. Grinch", and "Jingle Hell" at this opening reception for the art exhibit, Carry On: A Covivant Retrospective, http://www.covivant.com/Covivant/upcomingframe.html
       Copies of the new DVD, A Strange Agent Xmas will be available. http://www.strangeagents.com/sastore.htm
       Covivant art Gallery is located at, 4906 N Florida Ave + Tampa, FL 33603 + 813.234.0222
       Don't forget the Strange Agent message Board is up and running at http://strangeagents.com/forum/index.php
       Register for the message board by Nov. 30th for a chance to win A Strange Agent Xmas DVD, and while you are there be sure and post your thoughts on the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich.
       www.strangeagents.com, if you dare!

    Next week: Memories of the recently destroyed Bayfront Center (St. Petersburg)!

  • Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
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    "Mike's Rant" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2004 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2004 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2004 by Andy Lalino    "Splash Page" is ©2004 by Brandon Jones      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova    
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