PCR past banners Now in our fifth calendar year
PCR #198  (Vol. 5, No. 2)  This edition is for the week of January 5--11, 2004.

Will and Karen's Excellent Adventure to South Florida - Part Four
 by Will Moriaty
"Big Fish"
 by Mike Smith
Introducing Oddservations .... The Year That Was: 2003
 by Andy Lalino
Farewell to Twenty-oh-three and "Hello" MMIV
 by Brandon Jones
Bill....Where Was Geddy?....Producing....Dr. Ono?....Awards And Stuff....Say It Ain't So, Pete
 by Mike Smith
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Farewell to Twenty-oh-three and "Hello" MMIV.

First, let me thank you for the kind words in the PCR and Nolan for tolerating my long absences in-between ramblings. I have too many irons in the fire and the day job has taken a toll lately. So, let’s begin with a last look at 2003:

Our military ran out of cards to capture: Are we certain we have all of the clubs? And not that the card analogy is over, will our enemies be compared to the characters from Clue or spaces on a Monopoly board? I believe Asama Bin Laden resembles Mrs. White if you shaved away that beard. Would Asama be a high priced space like Park Place or more of the Mediterranean? Afganastan is no Boardwalk and can’t be worth more than about $60.

Boxers of Briefs? Wasn’t that the essence of the Ruben or Clay fiasco? I still don’t care.

Homosexual Political Correctness? Queer is okay, especially since there’s a show named after the term, but people still debate Matt Millen’s postgame use of the word “faggot”. Maybe I’m the one that’s offended by the stereotypical, flaming homosexual who discusses drapery and food seasoning, because we know that must be the only type of homosexual man that exists. Right? Hmmm.

Aren’t we proud? R. Kelly likes kiddy porn, Pete Townshend is researching it and Michael Jackson – oh nevermind. Phil Spector, Tom Sizemore- what is wrong with you? Who the hell let Courtney Love on a plane? The Dixie Chicks didn’t know when to shut up, Pete Rose couldn’t figure out when to speak out. The Terminator is the governor but groped woman and Rush is racially insensitive and strung out on painkillers. Another year and another thousand reasons to be terrified for my children’s future.

Britney Spears gave the one-handed typists a download to remember when she tongued Madonna at the MTV awards. She’s abandoned that good-girl image I guess, because she looks like she needs a tetracycline shot on the cover of Blender. I digress.

Rage against “The Matrix” continued as the sequels baffled the populous. The Wachowski’s failed to credit their inspirations beyond religion and mythology: Dr. Who, “Neuromancer” and of course, Grant Morrison’s comics. Larry is enduring the divorce from his wife of nine years claiming that the concept for the lucrative film trilogy pre-dates their 1993 marriage. His estranged spouse, Thea Bloom, is pissed about Larry’s relationship with dominatrix Karin Windslow and has frozen his assets. Will Larry officially change his name to Lara in 2004? Will Thea Bloom own the rights to “Plastic Man”? Will Grant Morrison ever get over his fall-out with Vertigo comic’s parent company Warner Bros.?

Corporate-driven radio: There’s always a lot of buzz about the downfall of Independent Cinema and the exclusive privileges allotted to the “Hollywood” monopolies that occupy the local theaters. Don’t overlook the fact that Clear Channel or the two smaller companies (Infinity or Cox) own nearly every radio station and control the airwaves with an iron fist. Kudos to Terence’s list of Top Music of 2003, even though I’d contend that The Strokes and White Stripes put out a superior debut album. My personal favorite of 2003 is taking a re-cycled beating on the alternative stations: Audioslave (I understand if you’re sick of hearing “Like a Stone”) – this is why I prefer my CDs to radio. So, it is increasingly difficult to find cutting edge and “interesting” music these days and I’d like to credit Terence’s efforts this past year.

Top Movies of 2003: I don’t want to reiterate the lists of other columnist as I also would put “LOTR: The Return of the King” as the pinnacle of my list. No, much to the disdain of others, I’ll mention movies that I enjoyed or the kids enjoyed:

“Finding Nemo”: My fatherhood heart-strings were pulled in this cute little tale that has held up well with the repeated DVD viewings. The kids still quote many of the lines and it’s a great slap at Disney that has to renegotiate Pixar’s distribution contract.

“28 Days Later”: I loved it and praise Danny Boyle for the greatest zombie flick in about twenty years. Sorry Tom Savini, I hated the 1990 re-make – if you can call it that (That is, the remake of 1968's "Night of The Living Dead", based on very similar themes.--N).

“Kill Bill”: If you haven’t read the script (you can find it on-line now) – Volume 2 doesn’t look to disappoint.

“Spy Kids 3-D”: Atleast my kids will know what a 3-D movie is like. It was a lot better that the “Friday the 13th” or “Jaws 3” I saw.

Other notables: “Bruce Almighty” (Jim being Jim), “Love Actually” (a really good chick movie), “American Splendor” (I hope it gets some Oscar consideration).

2004 will prove to be much of the same: Expect more bands to sound like Mandy Moore or Creed and theaters will house movies with the same formula or a re-tread. What do you have to look forward to? “Harry Potter” sans the late Richard Harris and “Spider-Man 2” with Alfred Molina as Doc Ock. You’ll have to endure the sequel diarrhea: “Chasing Liberty”, “Dirty Dancing 2”, “Cody Banks 2”, “Alien vs. Predator”, and the controversial “The Passion of Christ”.

I know it’s going to be hard. “Torque” and “Chasing Liberty” can make you resent the industry long before Shyamalan’s “The Village” is released. Hang in there.

Next July boasts “Indiana Jones 4”, “Batman: Intimidation” and “Fantastic Four” and I can’t wait to see “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” and “Hellboy”.

"Splash Page" is ©2004 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 ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.