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PCR #303. (Vol. 7, No. 2) This edition is for the week of January 9--15, 2006.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! A quick one this week. Shall we begin?

La Floridiana Lite: Florida Tidbits. More Names of Counties. Charlie Carlson Update.  by William Moriaty
"Hostel"  by Mike Smith
The Case of Blight on Tampa, or Where is the Public Art?  by Vinnie Blesi
A Million Half-Truths  by Mike "Deadguy" Scott
The Coffeehouse/Tampa Film Review  by Mark Terry
The Cost of "Freedom"  Dylan Jones
Rex's Rant: Abramoff....Pat Robertson....Howard Stern...."Hostel"  by Nick King
Birthday Boy....The Rondos Are Here!!!...Does Jesus Christ Exist  by Matt Drinnenberg
Dedicated To....Passing On....Speaking of Baseball....My Favorite Films--Chapter 2  by Mike Smith
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Click for larger picture and verseAs I mentioned recently, I've been in Kansas for 10 years. One of the first promotions I proposed was showing the annual Academy Awards on the big screen in the theatre, turning a night usually spent in front of the television into a night out on the town. When it was approved, it was decided that the event would also help sponsor a worthy organization. I was told that one of the managers in the company, Dave Millett, had an eight year old son, Patrick, who suffered from a strain of muscular dystrophy that affected children and it was suggested that the Parent Project, an organization that helps these children, be our chosen organization. I had the good fortune to work with Dave for a couple of years and even the greater fortune to meet and know Pat. He was a frequent visitor to the theatre (he loved movies). On Oscar night, he would arrive early and make his award choices. He was often recognized during the event and was featured on the nightly news. He always greeted me with a quick hello and a smile. You sometimes read stories about children who have dealt with adversities, and when they are talked about it's always mentioned that they never complained about their situation. Patrick was one of those children. The wheelchair he was confined to, as well as the illness that put him in it, could not take his spirit. Sadly, Patrick passed away recently at the age of 18. Though he will surely be missed by those who loved him, the memories he gave us will never be forgotten. It is with those memories that I dedicate this issue to him.

Very sorry to hear of the passing of Lou Rawls. I really can't add much to what Nolan said on the home page except that Frank Sinatra once said that Rawls had "the best chops in the business." Also sad to report the passing of Rod Dedeaux, long time baseball coach of the University of Southern California at the age of 91. In his career, Dedeaux coached many a future major leaguer, including one of my all time favorites, Fred Lynn. His USC teams won 11 NCAA baseball championships. He also served as the technical advisor for the film "A League of Their Own."

Congratulations to Bruce Sutter, who FINALLY was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame after 13 years on the ballot. Maybe the relievers are finally getting their due. Keep your fingers crossed for next years when hopefully the Veterans Committee will elect another Cub, Ron Santo. Will be a nice trip for me next July to see Ronnie go into the Hall with certain lock Cal Ripken, Jr..

Chapter 2 in this series deals with a film that I consider as ground-breaking as most fans consider the same year's "Pulp Fiction," "Clerks." The rundown:

Starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson and Jason Mewes
Directed by: Kevin Smith

FIRST SEEN: Dupont Circle Cinema, Washington D.C.
FAVORITE LINE: "I'm not even supposed to be here today!"
FAVORITE SCENE: Randal and Dante discuss whether or not the Stormtroopers on the Death star were independent contractors.

  • Award of the Youth and the Mercedes-Benz Award at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • Audience Award at the Deauville Film Festival
  • Filmmaker's Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival.

    Click on images for larger versions.
    I was very fortunate when I worked in the theatres in that many of the people I worked with were big movie fans as well. One of my projectionists, Matt Singleton, had heard about this film called "Clerks" and insisted that a group of us go see it. As it wasn't playing anywhere in Baltimore, we headed down to the nation's capital. After it was over, we all marveled at the fact that this was the kind of film that WE would make if we could. Yes, it was funny, but it was more then funny. The characters were just like us. Bitching about work and always talking about movies. Dante', called in on his day off, constantly complaining that he wasn't supposed to be working. Randall, finding reason after reason NOT to open the video store, and then getting into arguments with customers when he does. And of course, the ultimate slackers, Jay and Silent Bob. When the script to "Clerks" was published, I immediately ordered a copy. In the order letter I mentioned that, from the "salsa shark" scene that he must be a "Jaws" fan. Kevin signed the script and added his own personal favorite "Jaws" line in the inscription. Years later I attended the digital premier of "Dogma," and got to meet Kevin in his comic book store in Red Bank, NJ. We talked about his films and, of course, "Jaws." It could have been an outtake from "Clerks." Smith's original ending had Dante' getting shot by a robber, thus making it the ultimate irony because he WASN'T supposed to be there. Wisely, he ended the film with Randall's words, "You're closed." Smith's next film is a continuation of the "Clerks" story, entitled "The Passion of the Clerks." I can't wait!

    Next week I'll be commenting on the very prophetic film, "Network."

    Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!

    "Mike's Rant" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith.  Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.