PCR past banners Now in our sixth calendar year
PCR #252  (Vol. 6 No. 3)  This edition is for the week of January 17--23, 2005.

"Hotel Rwanda"
 by Mike Smith
Class is In! "Student of the Unusual" - An Interview with Student Body President Terry Cronin!
 by Andy Lalino
Martin Luther King Day
 by Clayton Smith
The Not-So Astonishing X-Men....Punk Update....Movie Updates....Couple of Notes
 by Brandon Jones
King Kong 2005....Jim Warren On The Move....Football Prognosticator....Up This Week?
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Snow....Happy Birthday....Movie Notes....Oscar Time....Jaws: The Story, Part 2
 by Mike Smith
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The Not-So “Astonishing X-Men”

I know X-fans are fanatical, hence the term “fan” but come on. Writer Joss Whedon and John Cassiday perpetuate Marvel’s recycling of their universe to spoon feed us the same stuff over and over.

First off, don’t get fooled by Cassaday’s work, the art is awesome and the covers are alluring. Likewise, if you’re not up to date or haven’t an X-issue in awhile, then you’re going to enjoy the series.

But it's the same ‘ole crap!

It even starts off with the X-cliché of “changes at the Xavier Institute” because we all know, there hasn’t been changes in atleast, a month or two. We’ve got to deal with the latest in Cyclops’ love life, a characteristic fight between Wolverine and Cyclops – they’re even back in spandex.

The story revolves around the cure for the mutant gene. Yes, the muties are still struggling to fit in.

Kitty Pryde becomes the star of the story. Fighting with Emma Frost and her dealings with the resurrected Colossus. For those of you who didn’t know, yes Colossus is long gone, well was, what a mess.

In the '90s we were offered a new X—title, simply called X-Men. The uneventful series exists today as The New X-Men, but those early issues were bleak. Multiple covers lured in collectors to buy another X-issue. How is Astonishing any different? I don’t find it to be. The return of Colossus is a focal point, but should be scoffed out by readers not praised.

The trade paperback will (or already has) hit stands so I’ll give it another go, but it’s like praising “Scream 2.”

Punk update

Randy Moss defenders need to take a closer look. Last PCR, Mike Smith gave an overview of Moss’ recent actions. Later Moss received his fine and had these comments in the parking lot after practice:

Asked if he was upset about the fine: “No, it ain’t sh*t.. Ain’t nothing but 10 grand. What’s 10 grand to me. What’s 10 grand if you’re rich? It ain’t sh*t. Next time I might shake my…”

You get the point.

"That's Randy," said center Matt Birk, one of the Vikings' leaders. "You take the good with the bad."

Sorry Matt, just not worth it for me. Moss is rebel pushing the boundries of entertainment or “just trying to get attention”. No, he’s an arrogant ass and represents to punk-ass attitude that is spreading through sports like a disease.

Movie updates

“Hide and Seek”, “Cursed”, “Boogeyman”, “The Ring Two”, hmmm – who cares, especially when they’re PG-13, I know I don’t. Let’s save the talk for the message board.

More classic rip-offs for a new generation: Hollywood will continue its thoughtless and usually effortless recycling of someone else’s work to perpetuate box office grosses. “House of Wax”, based on the 1953 Vincent Price classic (yes, I know it was a re-make itself of the Michael Curtiz 1933 film “Mystery of the Was Museum” which I haven’t seen), is slated for an April 29th release. Newcomer Jaume Collet-Serra will be directing the likes of Ellisha Cuthbert (TV series “24”, “Old School”, Jared Padalecki (“Flight of the Phoenix”, “TV’s “Gilmore Girls”, and Paris Hilton (well, she has that popular sex tape she made) --told you Hollywood doesn’t take this seriously.

“The Amityville Horror” may still make the April release date. This is sort of a sacred cow for me, much like “The Exorcist”, in that, there can never be a remake. Details are sketchy but I did catch Sheldon Turner’s name as working on the script as he is the remake of “The Longest Yard.” Good, bad, I just don’t know. In Hollywood, it’s not about the sacred cow, it’s about the cash cow.

Frank Miller gave us graphic violence and nudity, so what will Hollywood give us in “Sin City” due on April 1st. Likewise, how will audiences respond? Miller wrote the screenplay as has included Robert Rodriguez to direct one of the segments. The cast includes Michael Clark Duncan, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Brittany Murphy, Josh Hartnett, Nick Stahl and so many more. This is the one to watch in the vein of “Pulp Fiction.” Sin City is violent and the police are worse than the criminals. Miller deserves his chance, so maybe the “Daredevil” and “Elektra” films were worth it.

“V for Vendetta” based on the works of Alan Moore and written by Andy and Larry Wachowski. This will be the directional debut of James McTeigue, who worked as the 1st AD on the Matrix trilogy with the Wachowskis as well as the two latter “Star Wars” prequels.

Natalie Portman signs on as the lead, Evey Hammond with production to start in March. The release date moves around, but expect late 2005 or early 2006.

“Constantine” – as in John Constantine from the DC/Vertigo comic Hellblazer. If you recall “Hellboy” was listed as “H-boy” on some boards, so I guess the studio wanted to avoid that, which is not a lame as casting Keanu Reeves. Another feature debut of a director, Francis Lawrence, and the film has landed in the armpit of release dates (mid-Feb) so don’t expect much. The movie will based on the “Dangerous Habits” story from the Alan Moore comic. The mystical, supernatural aspects of the story will get me in the seats, but I’ll expect Hollywood to muck up Moore’s work.

“Iron Man”: still no director or lead actor. Talks of Tom Cruise as Tony Stark are still swirling, but nothing concrete. Stark, an alcoholic, is a great role for comic lover Nicolas Cage, but that doesn’t seem likely. The release date is still November of this year – not going to happen.

Couple of notes

Frankly O’Hara, I don’t give a damn. Last week I criticized the ignorant writers who vote in Baseball’s Hall of Fame balloting. So, fittingly, the AP voted for NFL’s MVP and Peyton Manning received all of the first place votes, except one. Mike O’Hara, who covers the Detroit Lions, said Michael Vick is more valuable to the Atlanta Falcons that Peyton Manning is to the Colts.

Bottom line, Manning broke Dan Marino’s twenty-year-old touchdown record and Steve Young’s passer rating record. Vick is the best player on EA Sport’s Madden NFL, but on the actual field, Manning was the best player this year.

I can’t seem to find out if O’Hara voted for Babe Ruth or Cy Young.

Congrats to the Gaither High School band. They’ll be the only Florida band in playing at the Inauguration festivities.

January 19, 1977. Do you remember? 28 years ago I SNOWED in Florida! No, I hadn’t migrated south yet, but the legacy of this event is mammoth. Everyone I’ve met who lived through (what I’ve called) “The flurry of ’77” has a story.

I won’t spoil Nolan’s, which is awesome, but my wife refers to the mudballs that her brother made and tossed at everyone. I’d love to hear about yours.

"Splash Page" is ©2005 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 ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.