PCR's past banners
Now in our seventh calendar year!

PCR #317. (Vol. 7, No. 16) This edition is for the week of April 17--23, 2006.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello gang! A few notes and a photo 45 years in the making! Shall we begin?

American Dreamz  by Mike Smith
For Immediate Release....Citizen X Hero of the Week....Quote of the Week....Civil War in Iraq. Move On, People, Nothing To See Here!  by Vinnie Blesi
The Guzzos in Hollywood....Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team....Hot Female Teachers Having Sex With Male Students...."Clash of the Titans" and Ray Harryhausen  by Mark Terry
Reunited.... Stunned .... TomKitten .... My Favorite Films -- Part 16: "Field of Dreams"  by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2006
Archives 2005
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
Email PCR

REUNITED (and it feels SO good)
As you may have read last week, this past holiday weekend I journeyed to the great state of Minnesota to finally meet many of the brothers and sisters from my birth mother. I've tried for several days to put the journey into words but still can't find the right ones. I'll have a full recap next week, I promise, but I thought that I would share a photo from the trip. Allow me to introduce the Gammellos: Left to right: Jim, Debbie, Dino, Joe, me, Kelly and Nick. Unable to attend as they are in other parts of the country: Anthony, Terri, Rocco and Kimberley. More next week.

Gammello family reunion

Today I attended a screening of the upcoming film, "United 93." Let me just say that it is going to take me the next few days to decide how to review it as the subject and aftermath are still so very fresh in my, and the countries', minds.

Congrats to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes on the birth of their daughter, Suri. The baby was born as I predicted last year, a week before the opening of "Mission: Impossible: III." And yes, the studio sent out a note so all of those colons ARE correct. In a great bit of irony, Cruise's nemesis, Brooke Shields, also gave birth to a daughter on the same day and, in fact, in the same hospital. Movie geeks like me will remember that Tom Cruise first appeared on the big screen in "Endless Love"......starring Brooke Shields! Small world.

Starring: Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Burt Lancaster.
Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson

FIRST SEEN: UA Golden Ring Mall Cinema, Baltimore, Maryland
FAVORITE LINE: "Ty Cobb wanted to play, but none of us could stand the son-of-a-bitch when we were alive, so we told him to stick it!"
FAVORITE SCENE: The final scene (I won't give it away in case someone reading this hasn't seen it)

  • Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Musical Score (James Horner)
  • Director's Guild of America nomination for Best Director
  • Writer's Guild of American nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Grammy Award nomination for Best Instrumental Original Score for Motion Pictures or Television (James Horner)

    There is no greater bond between a father and his son then the game of baseball. Speaking from personal experience, some of my greatest memories are my son, Phillip, and I doing something baseball related. Whether it's going to see the Orioles play, watching him play in high school and college, coaching him in American Legion ball or simply just having a catch, that time shared is most special. "Field of Dreams" takes that passion and puts it on a larger stage, making the love of the game a major part in what one son learns is redemption.

    The story of an Iowa farmer who one day, when he hears a voice tell him, "if you build it, they will come," plows under his crop and erects a baseball field, "Field of Dreams" captures the effect that baseball has on us all as America's pastime. When "Shoeless" Joe Jackson appears out of the corn, the field begins to resemble a heavenly hall of fame on earth. Even the players who find themselves playing on the diamond (Gil Hodges, Mel Ott, etc) find themselves constantly asking, "Is this Heaven?" only to be told, "no, it's Iowa!" The film is a living testament to the great game of baseball, highlighted by a passionate speech delivered near the end by James Earl Jones. "The one constant" in America, he states, "has been baseball!"

    The cast is perfect, with Kevin Costner giving one of his best performances ever. Amy Madigan is perfectly cast as his wife while James Earl Jones lends importance to the role of a writer loosely based on the very reclusive J.D. Salenger. Ray Liotta is a fine Joe Jackson, even though he bats right handed in the film (Jackson was a lefty). In his last film, Burt Lancaster is touching as the former ballplayer now small town doctor Archibald "Moonlight" Graham. And, yes, there WAS an Archie "Moonlight" Graham who played ball in the early 1900s. Fans of the film can travel to Dyersville, Iowa and actually play a game on the field. A few years ago, my son and I went up to Dyersville and walked onto the field. It was chilly out so we were the only ones there. I can still picture it in my mind like it happened yesterday, he and I not saying a word, having a catch.

    Next week I'll look at Steven Spielberg's second best film, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

    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.