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Archives of
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
PCR Archives 2005
PCR Archives 2004
PCR Archives 2003
PCR Archives 2002
PCR Archives 2001
PCR Archives 2000
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 by Mike Smith

The March Gardening Issue
 by Vinnie Blesi

Debra Hill is Gone....Movie Are Becoming Television....Debbie Rochon and Andy
 by Andy Lalino

The Ultimate Warning....More Abuse Madness...."Revenge of the Sith" trailer
 by Brandon Jones

"The Jacket"....Lizard Battle
 by John Lewis

Winter Freeze....Woe Is Me, I Have The Bush Flu....Clint Like Flint
 by Matt Drinnenberg

OK, I'm Hooked....Movie Notes....A Great Voice Silenced....Also Leaving Us....Jaws: The Story, Part 9
 by Mike Smith

Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2005!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our sixth calendar year!
    Number 259  (Vol. 6, No. 10). This edition is for the week of March 7--13, 2005.


I hope you'll understand and forgive a slightly smaller-than-usual PCR for this week, at least as far as the headline section goes---the last three weeks here have totally kicked my ass. Above-average activity on the PCR and more hours at the hell-pit (night job) have left me drained. Very satisfied, no regrets, just very tired. Needless to say, last week's MegaCon '05/Academy Awards issue is another instant classic. I'm very happy with how that came out; I was tweaking and adjusting it right up until it went into the Archives! And thanks again to all who made it something special (both the MegaCon and the subsequent PCR issue).

Before I crawl back under the covers for some much-needed rest, there are a couple things things worth pointing out about this week.

Dan Rather Steps Down
Veteran CBS News anchorman Dan Rather is stepping down tonight (as I write this), Wednesday, March 9, 2005, or 24 years to the day when he took over for the original legendary anchorman, Walter Cronkite.

Although it's being spun as pre-planned in nature, the spectre of scandal still follows the events of last Fall when Rather and his 60 Minutes cohorts were called on the carpet for less-than-responsible reporting regarding President Bush's military record. Rather apologized on-air and shared responsibility for the mis-step, but the black-eye on CBS's credibility was hard to heal. Rather's critics are now eager to refer to his departure from the anchor chair as "retiring in disgrace" or some such thing, but it's been noted Dan isn't leaving CBS entirely, merely cutting back his presence a bit: he'll still host CBS Wednesdays and as I understand it, still be a part of 60 Minutes.

It's a shame his tenure on the CBS Nightly News is stigmatized by scandal. In his illustrious (if occasionally weird) 40-some-odd year career, he has chronicled and been at the scene of some of the most important events in American history. I hope future generations can look back and realize that.

If you have been reading the comics pages this week, in particular "Doonesbury", you'll have experienced the surreal feeling of Duke dealing with the passing of Hunter S. Thompson. Long-time comics readers know the strip's creator, Gary Trudeau, based the character of Duke on Thompson. It's Duke's first appearance in the strip following Thompson's suicide, and Gary Trudeau has noted the---and I quote Duke here---"weird kharmic shift" in the Doonesbury universe. It is a moving tribute and I applaud Gary Trudeau. Keep up the outstanding work, sir.

La Floridiana
This isn't so much about this week as what many of you may have missed last week--or the last two weeks, actually. The much-anticipated return of Will Moriaty and La Floridiana may have been slightly overshadowed by the over-the-top MegaCon coverage---a happenstance of bad timing---and therefore, possibly, under-read. By all means, if you haven't read Will's two-parter, "A Case of Microwave Mayhem or Misinformation in Northwest Florida?", Part 1 and Part 2, do yourself a favor and read this amazing and personal account of what may be one of the most important cases ever of covert government experimentation in Florida....and Will and his family were there!

Flash Fantastic
Due to my overwhelming workload this year and so many projects demanding my attention, a few special departments are running behind for which I apologize. For the first time since it started, Flash Fantastic missed its monthly window enitrely and February's issue never came out in February. Please note that February's and March's issues are now both out in a special two-in-one update! As I'm finally catching up on previous work, expect Dinosoldier and Schlockarama to both be updated by week's end. Also, the CF Fiction section is about to welcome its newest writer: Joe Davison!

Coffeehouse Film Series Review Reminder
TOO Productions presents the next Coffeehouse Film Review on Thursday, March 10 from 8 – 10 p.m. at Studio 1515, located at 1515 Seventh Avenue in Ybor City. Coffeehouse Film Reviews showcases independent films made by local filmmakers. Coffeehouse Film Reviews is held every second Thursday of the month and is free. With close to TWO hours of films this month, the show will start at 8 p.m. SHARP!

This month’s films include:
Death As A Salesman by Hocus Focus Productions (Jason Liquori): Very unlike the play with the similar title. It follows Billy "Seal the Deal" Reaper on his quest to help solve the world's overpopulation problem one useless son of a bitch at a time. Could you be talked into packing it in 30 years early? Billy's got a quick wit and he knows how to work a mark. Besides, Bob just lost his girl, his house and his job. What does he have to look forward to anyway? – 15 minutes
The Love by Richard Hunter: A young lady returns home from work to a lonely home amidst reports of local slayings. As she sleeps a figure enters her home. She awakes from a nightmare but was the figure real or dreamt. – 10 minutes
Silence in the Aisles, a short shocker by A Few Short Productions (formerly Rykar Films) will play along with other assorted mayhem by Joe DiCanio and Co.
Above, by Ben Waller. Two men find themselves talking philosophy on a park bench.
Indiana Jones and Runes of Ende by Mike Beazel: Indy searches a small island for the Runes of Ende and encounters a Nazi officer and his mercenary henchmen. After several rounds of fisticuffs, gunplay and whippage, Indy escapes with the relic. – 15 minutes
My World by K Productions. 23-minute pilot episode destined either for public access or informercial TV. Host K. MacGuinnes travels the city interviewing teachers of mind, body and spirit.

TOO Productions feels that there are very few, if any, regular outlets in the local area for local independent filmmakers to showcase their films. Hopefully, this monthly event will provide that outlet for everyone, from experienced local independent filmmakers to local college and high school filmmakers experimenting with film production for the first time. TOO Productions promises your film will be shown!
Studio 1515 is owned and operated by Walter and Sarah Romeo, who opened the coffeehouse in order to provide local artists a place to gather and share their art. Coffeehouse Film Reviews is another way to provide a showcase to local artists.
TOO Productions is looking for film submissions for future events. For more information on the event or for information on how to submit a film, email tooprod@hotmail.com or paulguzzo@hotmail.com. All genres of films are accepted – feature length, shorts, documentaries, comedy, horror, love, art, drama, foreign language, experimental etc. No pornography!

Guest Editorial
Hollywood After The Oscars    by Ashley Lauren

Its been a long time since I have graced this website with my luscious words of Hollywood gossip. After watching this year's Academy Awards, I felt the need to scribble my thoughts on the state of Hollywood.

As far as I am concerned, the Oscars were fair for once. The only award that I think was unjust was Best Picture, which should have been given to Sideways. Sideways, directed by Alexander Payne, is a brilliant film and was the only film of 2004 to be given four stars by every critic. I think that constitutes Best Picture, but hey we all knew it wasn’t going to win the coveted award because frankly it was just too small. That being said, Million Dollar Baby was the obvious choice and also a good one. Never mind the fact that Million Dollar Baby was the most depressing movie I have ever seen but it was everything that Academy Awards looks for in a Best Picture. I loved the movie but I am not sure that I love the idea that Clint Eastwood filmed it last summer and rushed to get it out in time for Oscar nominations. It seems a little cheap. The fact that it was rushed was the reason it wasn’t nominated for Best Score, it didn’t meet the deadline. It really is a moot point. It won. It was great. Moving on. The Best Actor category was fierce this year. Every single one of the nominees (Foxx, Depp, DiCaprio, Eastwood, Cheadle) were all remarkable and very deserving. I really don’t think that there was a best in this category. Any of them could have won and I would have been fine with it but since we do have to pick I think Jamie Foxx earned it. As for Best Director, Clint Eastwood was the one and only choice. I love good old Marty but The Aviator really fell short in the second half and that killed his chance at the Oscars this year. These were the only categories I really had thoughts on. The others all seemed obvious choices and not really that interesting. Morgan Freeman, love him. Hillary Swank, love her. Cate Blanchett, fantastic actress. Moving on.

The Dirt. The actual award show itself was mediocre. Personally, I liked Chris Rock. I know that I am in the minority when I say that, but he was funny and livened up the show a little. Hollywood people tend to take themselves a little too seriously and when you get someone like Rock in their who tends to yank them off their pedestals, it's controversial. I really don’t think he as mean-spirited at all, he was just telling a joke, get over it people. I do however think that he could have been more edgy but it was a channel owned by Disney, not a lot of leeway there. There were a couple things that I thought were very distasteful but it wasn’t anything that came out of Chris Rock's mouth. What was up with giving out certain awards in the back of the house?! Every single category is equally important so why should the “make-up” people, for example, have to accept their award at their seat? I thought this was very demeaning to these categories and I am surprised no one else seems to have picked up on that. It was ridiculous. The fact that Antonio Banderas was brought in to sing someone’s song that was actually there in the audience to boost ratings was also another slap in the face. Same thing went for Beyonce singing three different songs, why? It turned into the Academy Awards starring Beyonce Knowles. I didn’t like that. Over all the awards lacked big time and I really expected more from Chris Rock. I liked the winners and I wasn’t pissed off because politics played in too much but the show itself seemed to have lost its prestige and honor this year. The empty seats in the back were not something that I would have shown on TV either, but that’s just me.

E! needs to get a new host, Star Jones is the most self-loving and embarrasing host that I have ever seen do the red carpet arrivals. She asked Johnny Depp, "Do you hate Hollywood?" What a stupid question. Also, "Say something in French." That’s real professional. She tells Leonardo Dicaprio, "What is it that all the little girls would be surprised to know about you?" What little girls? He isn't the teeny-bopper icon anymore, talk to Orlando Bloom about that. She adds, "Did you become a germophobe while filming?" What kind of question is that? I really need not say anymore, her words speak for themselves.

I actually enjoyed Oprah’s show the following day better than the Academy Awards. She had her show live from the Kodak Theater and had a couple of winners on and showed back stage and everything. It was at least more entertaining.

Til next time,
Ashley Lauren

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"Mike's Rant" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2005 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2005 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2005 by Andy Lalino    "Splash Page" is ©2005 by Brandon Jones    "Creature's Corner" is ©2005 by John Lewis      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova    
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