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PCR #172  (Vol. 4, No. 27)  This edition is for the week of June 30--July 6, 2003.

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July 1st, my birthday, marks a halfway point in the year where I begin to earmark certain dates ahead. "The Matrix: Revolutions" (Nov. 5) and "LOTR: Return of the King" (Dec. 17) were long ago reserved in ink. There are new additions: Quentin Tarantinoís "Kill Bill" (Oct. 10) and "The Alamo" (Dec. 25) which promises to portray the slave trading and politics that were omitted from the John Wayne westerns.

Thereís Disneyís pathetic attempts to rejuvenate interest into their stagnant rides - "Pirates of the Caribbean" and now "The Haunted Mansion" with Eddie Murphy (Nov. 26) - movies I support financially. I donít want to see these rides get pulled like 20,000 Leagues. Suffering through "The Country Bears" with the 4-year-old is small price to pay to keep nostalgia alive. Oops, sorry Terence, I know I said the "N-word" - I meant, "to keep my memories alive."

This summer my kids will experience a movie in 3-D ("Spy Kids 3-D"), and I get more pie in "American Wedding" (Aug. 1). "The Cat in the Hat" (Nov. 21) is a little different, even from "The Grinch", because the kids have enjoyed Seuss enduring my various voices during our reading sessions. With that said, expect us to nickname the boys "Thing 1 & 2" after the viewing.

The 25th anniversary DVD of "Halloween" hits stores on August 5th with a second disc of features and a crappy "H25" logo and the long-anticipated release of "Duel" hits the shelf a week later. Amongst several TV series hitting the DVD market (including "Smallville") "Indiana Jones" sneaks into stores November 4th. By sneaks, I mean stampedes with a huge promotional campaign and a fourth disc of extras.

Networks will waste more airtime on reality shows, Iím eyeing two new twists amongst the "Reality Show Curse" as Boy Meets Boy" will feature a gay 32-year-old law firm employee sorting through straight men as well as other homosexuals and the new "Big Brother' (season four, I think) offers to add ex-lovers to the house to stir up trouble. They are becoming bigger and bigger freak-shows with the added "Springer effect."

October 20 marks the release of "The Complete Far Side", a two-volume hardback collection of all of Gary Larsonís acclaimed cartoons. (approx. 4,000) There is a forward by comedian Steve Martin and copies of complaint, fan and inquisitive letters to accompany certain panels.

Janeís Addiction releases their new album "Hypersonic" on July 22 - their first since 1990ís "Ritual de lo Habitual." Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, and Stephen Perkins return with bassist Chris Chaney. If their first single, "Just Because" is any indication - this is vintage Jane. They return to Lollapalooza for a tour this summer.

Mid-July marks the beginning of football season. Oh no, Iím not talking NCAA or the NFL - Ea Sports releases College Football, NCAA 2004! Yep, men about the globe will work to replenish that ass imprint that has vanished from their favorite chair. Fantasy Football, Madden football, pre-season - it all begins with Ea Sports.

Another Saints & Sinners Film Festival, the filming of "The Punisher", Halloween...so much more.

Weíre halfway through another year and thereís always more exciting things that fail to live up to our expectations. I can only touch on a few. Hopefully we will all find satisfaction with the end of "The Matrix" trilogy - unless another Wachowski divorce forces subsequent tales ten years from now. Itís been fun so far, but as my kids keep reminding me: "When does Santa come?" In only a few short months.


No reviews this week. Iím reading too many things at once and Iím trying to finish up some key story arcs.


More "Punisher" casting news: Ben Foster ("Six Feet Under", "Big Trouble") will play Dave, a.k.a. ĎSpacker Dave.í The script appears to be pulling heavily from the Garth Ennis run on the comic. This young punk is loyal to our hero and will provide comic relief. How great it will be to say "Spacker Dave. Spacker Dave!" Okay, maybe itís just me. "Spacker!" Sorry, Iíll stop now.

"Daredevil" corrupted Evanescence!?!? Are you kidding me? For those not familiar with the music of this melancholy Arkansas band - they are NOT a Christian band. In fact, their label has recalled Evanescence from Christian music stores. Ridiculous. I mean, just because "Bring Me to Life" from the "Daredevil" soundtrack has elevated the band from obscurity. I mean, those Christian music stores have no right of supporting the Christian music campaign of the bandís album "Fallen" which is churning out hits on local radio stations. "Iím just, like, Jesus Christ! What the fuck?" says guitarist Ben Moody in Blender magazine. See, thatíll show you - theyíre not a Christian rock band. See, heís wearing an 'Evil Dead" t-shirt and well...get those CDís out of that store - I mean, like, Christ! Like, how did they get there to begin with?

Meat Loaf Interview: In the afore-mentioned issue of Blender, Meat Loaf answers questions from its readers. We learn more about the 34 pounds of bitch tits he donned in "Fight Club", meeting Charles Manson, losing John Belushi and what itís like being dead for 40 seconds. Iím not a big Meat Loaf fan (I appreciate some of his work), but I loved this interview. Whether talking about drugs, "Bat Out of Hell", or life before and after success - he is always engaging. Check it out. The dude has met Elvis, Janis Joplin, George Bush, Bill Clinton, and was in "Rocky Horror" - I gottaí meet with this cat!

Oh yeah, Jose Canseco is still a dumbass: An obvious statement I know. He blew out his arm trying to pitch damaging his career dramatically. He was such a bad fielder that a ball bounced off his head and over the outfield wall. Recently while on house arrest, Jose pimped himself out for $600 per hour to a fan - they watched videos of Joseís homers, swam in his pool and broke out all of that championship hardware. The next week he violated probation (and house arrest) and is back in the can. Hereís the latest, he petitioning for a four-day leave to visit his wife and kids. I thought they allowed visits and isnít conjugal visits the biggest perk for life in a cage. Dammit Jose, you canít do anything right?


1602, Marvel releases the skinny on Neil Gaimanís universe set for August.

"Splash Page" is ©2003 by Brandon Jones.   Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.