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PCR #320. (Vol. 7, No. 19) This edition is for the week of May 8--14, 2006.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! A quick one this week so let's get started. Shall we begin?

The Florida Collectibles and Memorabilia Show....Charlie Carlson's Summer Program  by Mike Smith
"Poseidon"  by Mike Smith
Mark Terry, a Felon?  by Mark Terry
Happy Mother's Day....Cruising to #1....Oh To Work With Jackie Chan!...My Favorite Films -- Part 19: "Slap Shot"  by Mike Smith
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To everyone out in PCR land, I hope you take the time to remember your mom this weekend. This year will be extra special for me. For as long as I can remember, I've always sent cards to, and made sure I called, my mother and Matt's mother. I've already done the former and will do the latter this Sunday. I've gotten where I am today because of their love and support as well as the guidance of so many "moms" out there, including Barbara Castellano, Mary Gregory, Jan Gilbert and Dolores List. With the discovery of my birth family, I now add my birth mother, Rose Gamello, to the growing list of inspirations. Sadly, I'll never have the chance to meet her (at least not in this world) but she will always be on my mind and in my heart.

Congrats to the people behind "Mission: Impossible: 3," who saw their film earn a disappointing $48 million over the past weekend. Disappointing? According to the fat cats in Hollywood it was supposed to gross about $12 million more. Wow, when did an almost $50 million opening become a failure? It's like last year's "King Kong." It only made $200 million in the US. ONLY?? Unbelievable. And while I'm on this subject, can everyone please get off of Tom Cruise's back? Yes, I know I had a little fun at his expense with the whole TOMKAT thing, but now it's like every time you turn around the guy is getting slammed for something. Sure, I'm still upset that he broke Nicole Kidman's heart, but I'm sure I'll get over it. Hell, I'm sure SHE has. The man is not only a talented actor, he's also that rare breed of celebrity that actually cares about his fans. I mean, the guy shows up at premieres EARLY so that he can sign autographs, pose for pictures and, if you're lucky, chat with your mom on your cell phone. I'd take 10 Tom Cruise's over 1 Kevin Costner ANY day!

Chris Tucker has made nine films, some of them good ("Dead Presidents," "Jackie Brown") and some of them not so good ("Money Talks"). He was last seen on screen five years ago in "Rush Hour 2." Before that, almost eight years ago in "Rush Hour." Yes, those films made a butt load of money. Now, New Line is rumored to have agreed to pay Tucker a whopping $25 million for "Rush Hour 3." Wow! And to think, Jackie Chan thinks he's the star of the films.

Starring: Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean, Strother Martin and Lindsay Crouse
Directed by: George Roy Hill

FIRST SEEN: Britton Plaza Cinema, Tampa, Florida
FAVORITE LINE: "I want some Snatch by the pool."
FAVORITE SCENE: Ontkean's strip tease.

  • Writers Guild of America nomination for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen (Nancy Dowd)
  • Won Best Foreign Language Film awards from both the Japanese Academy and the Hochi Film Awards (those Japanese must REALLY love hockey!)

    Besides being a hilarious film, and one of the most popular sports films of all time, "Slap Shot" holds a special place in my heart because it was playing when I got my first job at a movie theatre. Audiences came in droves to see George Roy Hill's follow up to his Oscar winning "The Sting" and the Robert Redford adventure film, "The Great Waldo Pepper." However, that audience was shocked by the language used by the stars, most notably Newman, who hurls "F" bombs at a pace that would make Tony Montana blush.

    The story of a minor league hockey team that results to brawling to win games, "Slap Shot" was filmed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. I learned this from an old roommate of mine in Baltimore named Jim Marley who casually named off all of his friends that were hired to be in the film. While Newman and Ontkean were the "stars" of the film, it also launched the careers of some very talented performers, including Crouse, Jennifer Warren and, as my favorite line speaker, Brad Sullivan. Many were shocked to learn that the profanity laden script was written by a woman. Screenwriter Nancy Dowd based the film on the exploits of her brother, Ned, who played for the minor league Johnstown Jets. While she didn't win the Writer's Guild Award, the next year she won an Oscar for developing the story and script for "Coming Home." That script DID win the WGA award, but for some reason the person given story credit is not recognized for the prize.

    Of all the characters in "Slap Shot," the best remembered are the infamous Hanson brothers, a trio of kids in an adult world. Played by David Hanson and real life brothers Jeff and Steven Carlson, they were known for their love of toy race cars and starting fights. Hanson, who played pro hockey for teams including the Detroit Red Wings, was actually chosen at the last minute to play Jack Hanson when Jeff And Steven Carlson's real brother Jack was unable to do the film. Sadly, all three appeared in the straight to DVD crapfest "Slap Shot 2."

    Next week I head for a galaxy far, far away with the original "Star Wars".

    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.