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PCR #314. (Vol. 7, No. 13) This edition is for the week of March 27--April 2, 2006.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello gang! I've been non stop this week, but I can't miss our weekly meeting. Shall we begin?

"Basic Instinct 2"  by Mike Smith
Live Evil In Production  by Mark Terry
Family Guy....Bury Bonds....Root Root Root For The Home Team....You Must Supply Your Own Cape!...Passing On....My Favorite Films -- Part 13: "A League of Their Own  by Mike Smith
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Here is the latest update on my family: In between my move (thankfully FINALLY over), I spent many long hours on the phone with my new brothers and sisters. My new sister, Debbie (a few years older and full of investigative intuition), tracked down the man whose name is listed on my birth certificate as my father. He and I spoke for quite a while on the phone the other day and shared stories of the past. It was a very friendly conversation and I hope we get to do it again very soon.

Major League kudos to Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who has ordered an investigation into the alleged use of steroids by several major league players, including San Francisco cry-baby Barry Bonds. Bonds, who has been implicated as a major user of the illegal performance enhancing drugs, recently lost a motion to stop the publication of the book that details his alleged steroid use because of the source material it obtained (grand jury testimony, etc). Funny, he's not suing because he says the book is wrong, just that some of the facts were obtained secretly. Fans and supporters of Bonds are crying racism, saying that Major League Baseball is trying to keep Bonds from breaking the all-time home run record. Let's see - Major League Baseball is trying to keep a black man from breaking a record currently held by a black man. Maybe it's just me, but I don't see it.

Once again, it's time for baseball! (Yay!) There is plenty of room on the Baltimore Orioles' band wagon this spring, so hop on board.

And please root for my Maryland Terrapins as they start the Final Four in women's basketball. Fear the turtle!

Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee and the Sci-Fi Channel are looking for a new superhero to appear in a new reality television series, "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?" Finalists who design their own superhero will be moved into a secret lair and try to impress viewers that they are worthy of being featured in a comic book to be created by Lee. Those of you with a cowl or two hanging in your closet should visit www.whowantstobeasuperhero.com. Good luck.

Cindy Walker
, legendary songwriter whose work was recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley to Bing Crosby, passed away this week at the age of 87. An inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1997, Walker's best known song was probably "You Don't Know Me."
Richard Fleischer, director of such fanboy favorite films as "Fantastic Voyage," "Soylent Green" and "Conan the Destroyer" died last Saturday at the age of 89. Following in the footsteps of his father, Max, and uncles Dave and Louis, Fleischer also directed "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Tora! Tora! Tora!," "The Boston Strangler" and "Mandingo."
Buck Owens, who with his red, white and blue guitar helped introduce millions of people to country music thanks to television's "Hee Haw," also died last Saturday at his home in Bakersfield, California. Cause of death was given as heart failure. He was 76. With 19 number one country hits in the 1960s, Owens and his backup band, the Buckaroos, toured the country and played kick ass country and western music. His 1963 hit, "Act Naturally," was introduced to a new generation of fans when Beatle drummer Ringo Starr appropriated it for his solo number during tours. He later re-recorded the song as a duet with Starr. For almost 20 years, he and Roy Clark "picked and grinned" their way into America's homes by providing the musical memories of a generation. Among his other hits: "Together Again," "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail" and "Streets of Bakersfield."

Starring: Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Jon Lovitz and Tom Hanks
Directed by: Penny Marshall

FIRST SEEN: Westview Theatre, Baltimore, Maryland
FAVORITE LINE: "There's no crying in baseball!!"
FAVORITE SCENE: Hanks leads the team in prayer, thanking God for, among other things, the waitress he met the night before.

  • Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress, Comedy or Musical (Davis) and Best Original Song, "This Used to Be My Playground," by Madonna and Shep Pettibone.

    Based on the real life All American Girls Baseball League, "A League of Their Own" told the story of how America continued it's love affair with the national pastime when many of the stars of the day went off to war during World War 2. Davis and Petty star as two girls who are recruited to play in the newly formed league and slowly earn the fan's respect with their hard play. The film marked a return, of sorts, for Tom Hanks, who had been blasted previously by critics for his "mis-casting" in "The Bonfire of the Vanities." As team manager Jimmy Dugan (loosely based on real life Hall of Famer Jimmy Foxx), Hanks work signaled a return to the great character roles that had made him a star in the first place. The film also boasts one of Madonna's better film performances and even pokes fun at the Material Girl's image when she's asked if there are men in the country that hadn't seen her bosom. Striving for reality, director Marshall made sure that her cast could also play the game, with legendary college coach Rod Dedeaux leading the actors during baseball boot camp. Hilarious supporting work by Lovitz, Rosie O' Donnel, Bill Pullman and Penny Marshall's film director brother, Gary, make the film worth watching. Marshall even finds room for two of her "Laverne and Shirley" co-stars, Eddie Mekka and David L. Landers.

    Next week I'll be celebrating April Fool's the best way I know how when I highlight "Jaws the Revenge."

    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.