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PCR #307. (Vol. 7, No. 6) This edition is for the week of February 6--12, 2006.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! A lot going on this week so let's not dawdle. Shall we begin?

La Floridiana Lite: Upcoming Events  by Will Moriaty
"Firewall"  by Mike Smith
Don't Cry. Steelers are World Champions.  by Mark Terry
Make Up Your Mind....Thank God I'm Losing My Hair....Congrats....Passing On....My Favorite Films--Chapter 6  by Mike Smith
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Let me get this straight. Some Danish newspaper publishes a cartoon depicting Mohammed with a bomb in his Turban and Islamic people start RIOTING?? A little over-reaction, wouldn't you say? But I'm confused. Apparently there is a contest in Iran for newspapers to publish the most outrageous cartoon depicting the Holocaust. Yet, if I recall, the President of Iran recently declared that the Holocaust never took place. So you can win a big prize by creating a cartoon mocking an event that didn't happen hoping to rile up people who, in your opinion, really shouldn't be riled because the cartoon is mocking something that never happened? Sorry. I lost myself there, too.

It's been a little over 3 years since I lamented the fact that Vidal Sassoon had stopped making the brand of shampoo I had been using since I was in my early 20s. I did follow through on my thoughts and scoured the drug stores and Walmarts to buy all I could hoard. Well, I'm sad to report that I am down to my last 1/2 bottle. Curious, I checked on Ebay to see it anyone was selling it and actually found one auction for two bottles. Unfortunately, I didn't buy it since the winning bid was $67.50! For two bottles of shampoo. Wonder if Pert is any good?

To the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Told you.

As Nolan mentioned on the home page, Al Lewis passed away this week at the age of 95. Probably best remembered as Grandpa on the television series, "The Munsters," Lewis led quite an exciting life both on and off camera. Born Albert Meister in April 1910, Lewis tried many professions before concentrating on acting, from working in a circus to teaching school. In the 1950s he appeared on several television shows and then landed the role of Officer Leo Schnauser in "Car 54 Where Are You?" He later reprised the role in the movie version 40 years later. In the 1960s he re-teamed with his "Car 54" co-star Fred Gwynne in "The Munsters." After the series ended he continued to appear as "Grandpa" in other shows and at appearances. He opened a restaurant in New York City which he named "Grandpas," and garnered over 50,000 votes when he ran for Governor of New York on the Green Party ticket in 1998. Very outspoken and never one to censor himself, Lewis was a favorite guest of Howard Stern. As much as I loved him as Grandpa, my favorite role was as the Judge in "Used Cars." When he was accused of being on the take, he replied "for uttering those contemptuous remarks in my presence, I'm going to have your balls in a sling!"

Starring: George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Wilfred Brambell
Directed by: Richard Lester

FIRST SEEN: Towson Cinema, Towson, Maryland
FAVORITE LINE: "He's very clean."
FAVORITE SCENE: A conversation on the steps between Lennon and a woman who is convinced that he is "him." As he departs, Lennon remarks "she looks more like him then I do.".

  • Academy Award nominations for Alun Owen (Best Original Screenplay) and George Martin (Best Music: Scoring of music, adaptation or treatment.
  • BAFTA nomination to Harrison, Lennon, McCartney and Starr as most promising newcomers to leading film role.

    When MTV hit the airwaves, it was often hailed as an original new voice, blending music and film. But it wasn't original. You could look back to television's Monkees, whose performances during the show could be described as "videos." But even the Monkees weren't the first. This time the evolutionary trail leads back to 1964. Originally conceived to take advantage of the Beatles' popularity (like with many of Elvis Presley's films, the studio thought that a quickie film with musical stars was money in the bank), the film actually ended up capturing a part of the lads the public never saw. Alun Owen was hired to write the film and spent many hours with the Fab Four, using many of their own expressions in the script. The Beatles were big fans of Peter Sellers and his early film, "The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film," which had been directed by Richard Lester. When asked if they had any idea who should direct the film, they immediately suggested Lester. Basically the story of the Beatles' everyday lives, the film is best remembered for it's many scenes of the band having an adventure (getting on a helicopter, running from fans, etc) backed by songs. The film earned some great reviews, with critics commenting on how natural they appeared on film. The script is very witty, with the band delivering lines as if they did it every day. Harrison replies "Arthur" when asked what he calls his haircut. Lennon shows his sly wit when he holds a bottle of Coca Cola under his nose and "sniffs." And of course, there is Brambell, who plays McCartney's grandfather. Not only is he funny but, as many of the characters proclaim, "he's very clean." Lester also directed the Beatles second film, "HELP," as well as "Superman II and III," "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum," "The Ritz," "Robin and Marian" and "The Three Musketeers" (as well as the "Four Musketeers."). A couple cool notes: Harrison met his first wife, Patty Boyd, on the set. She was his makeup assistant. Phil Collins claims he was one of the kids during the final "concert" scene, which takes place during a television performance.

    Next week I'll introduce you to Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing."

    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.