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PCR #332. (Vol. 7, No. 31) This edition is for the week of July 31--August 6, 2006.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! Don't look for "Lethal Weapon 5" anytime soon. Shall we begin?

Are Fidel Castro's Days Numbered?  by Mike Smith
"Fahrenheit 9/11", Revisited  by Nolan B. Canova
"Talladega Nights"  by Mike Smith
Is It Worth It?  by Mark Terry
I'm Back...."Superman Returns"....Oprah Runs The GOP....PJ "King Kong" Director's Cut  by Matt Drinnenberg
Wacky Mel....Movie Notes....The Countdown Begins....Never Heard of Him....My Favorite Films, Part 31: "The Deep"  by Mike Smith
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By now I'm sure everyone has heard about Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic rants during his arrest over the weekend for drunk driving. Not sure how this will effect him career wise (Hollywood is very quick to forgive when your films make $100 million). In a related story, Osama bin Laden has announced that suicide bombers will not only be greeted by 72 virgins when they get to heaven but that they will also receive a DVD boxed set of Gibson's films.

Just a few things:

  • Helena Bonham Carter has been added to the cast of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." According to Warner Brothers, Bonham Carter will play, "...Bellatrix Lestrange, Sirius Black's cousin and a Death Eater, who is one of Lord Voldemort's followers.
  • With "Rocky Balboa" almost ready for Christmas, Sylvester Stallone is scheduled to begin work on "Rambo 4" in October. Rumors have John Rambo leading a young group of soldiers on a rescue mission.
  • Oscar-nominee Heath Ledger ("Brokeback Mountain") has been signed to play the Joker opposite Christian Bale's Batman in the upcoming "The Dark Knight," to be directed once again by Christopher Nolan.
  • In 1988 Hollywood laughed at 20th Century Fox for giving television actor Bruce Willis a then unheard of $5 million to star in "Die Hard." This week, Fox announced that Willis will return as John McClane in "Live Free or Die Hard," to be directed by Len Wiseman, whose most recent film was "Underworld: Evolution." All I can say about this news is yippy kai yay, mother fucker!

    This weekend saw the induction of Bruce Sutter into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Which means that in less then six months next years inductees will be announced, including, I have no doubt, one Calvin Edward Ripken, Jr. The only thing that could top my watching Cal get inducted is if the Veteran's committee finally induct my childhood idol, Chicago Cub third baseman Ron Santo. What a great double feature that would be. Also expected to enter the Hall with Cal is Tony Gwynn. Expected to NOT enter the Hall is Mark McGwire, who a year ago would have been considered a lock. His reluctance to discuss his past at the Congressional hearings last year have hung a cloud of suspicion over Big Mac's head, a big dark one. Also eligible for the first time is Harold Baines (I'd vote for him) and Jose Canseco (no thanks, Mr. Steroid). Time to make those hotel reservations.

    Following the release of the film, "You, Me and Dupree," Donald Fagin and Walter Becker, who are collectively known as Steely Dan, repeatedly asked if the character of Dupree, a slacker living on his buddy's couch and played by Owen Wilson, was based on their song "Cousin Dupree," a song about a slacker living on his aunt's couch. This week Wilson released a statement which read, "I have never heard the song "Cousin Dupree" and I don't even know who this gentleman, Mr. Steely Dan, is. I hope this helps to clear things up and I can get back to concentrating on my new movie, "Hey 19."

    Starring: Robert Shaw, Nick Nolte, Jacqueline Bisset, Lou Gosset, Jr and Eli Wallach
    Directed by: Peter Yates

    FIRST SEEN: Austin Cinema, Tampa, Florida
    FAVORITE LINE: "...she's a stupid woman. But she's kind, you know. Quite kind. She still growing a moustache?"
    FAVORITE SCENE: Jackie Bisset on the edge of the boat in a clingy wet t-shirt (not really a stretch here considering I was 16 when I saw it).

  • Academy Awards nomination for Best Sound
  • BAFTA nomination for Best Cinematography
  • Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song - "Down Deep Inside" by John Barry and Donna Summer

    Ah, the summer of 1977. Wanting to get my math requirement out of the way before my senior year I attended summer school at Jefferson High School. Too many times than I can count, I'd get out in time to meet Matt at the Austin and we would catch "The Deep." Consisting of a story by Peter Benchley and starring Robert Shaw, it was basically a JAWS fan's wet dream, something to whet our appetite while we waited another year for "Jaws 2."

    Also starring Nick Nolte, who had zoomed to stardom the previous year in the mini series "Rich Man, Poor Man," and Jacqueline Bisset's breasts, "The Deep" told the story of a young couple diving on an old wreck who discover the treasure of another ship sunk years before in the same spot. The film is buoyed by Shaw's performance as Romer Treece, a local treasure hunter who helps Nick and Jackie out. Much has been mentioned and written about the hard time Robert Shaw gave Richard Dreyfuss on the set of JAWS. Shaw was a star and Dreyfuss was basically just starting out right after "American Graffiti." Can you imagine the way Shaw treated Nolte, a TV ACTOR? Wish I had been there. In his defense, Shaw only rode the younger actors to push them to do their best work. It also was his way of showing he acknowledged their talents. And, continuing on the JAWS relationship, Lou Gosset, Jr, who played the bad guy, Henri Cloche, would later go on to star in "Jaws 3-D."

    Fans of the book should look for the "extended" version of the film, which features almost an hour of extra footage including a prologue to the story that led off the novel. In these scenes, author Peter Benchley appears in a cameo and Colin Shaw and Peter Wallach play younger versions of their father's characters. The film made a HUGE (for 1977) $6.8 million dollars in its opening weekend and ended its US run with almost $32 million in the bank.

    Next week I get back in the baseball mood with "Major League."

    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.