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PCR #341. (Vol. 7, No. 40) This edition is for the week of October 2--8, 2006.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! What in the hell are they putting in the water in Congress? Shall we begin?

Drqaggin' On: DragonCon '06  by ED Tucker
"The Departed"  by Mike Smith
Fall...AFM Time  by Mark Terry
Halloween Monster Mayhem Contest....Is Bush Anti-American?...Republican Homos  by Matt Drinnenberg
Excuses, Excuses....Funny Book Movies....My Favorite Films, Part 40: "The Breakfast Club"  by Mike Smith
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When I was a young boy my father would discipline me with a belt. I smoked cigarettes for a week in ninth grade. I got high on more then one occasion in Mark Goshen's garage while in high school (actually, several contributors to the PCR, both past and present, can use the last sentence in the first person). And though I really don't drink alcohol that often these days, I did attend my share of keg parties in high school. I'm just getting all of this out in the open in case one day I'm caught sending explicit text messages to sixteen year old boys like Mark Foley did. The story barely breaks when his lawyer comes forward and says Foley's in alcohol rehab. The booze made him do it. AND, his priest molested him. God made him do it. AND, he's gay. I like how his mouthpiece was quick to point out that Foley was not a pedophile. Which I would agree with. To me a pedophile is someone that molests little children, say 11 and under. Apparently Foley likes them fresh out of middle school. There are many people coming forward now claiming they had suspicions about Foley for years. My source tells me that Dennis Hastert first learned of Foley's inclinations when he requested the personalized congressional license plate ILVBOYZ.

Robert Downey, Jr. has been signed to play the title role in the upcoming film, "Iron Man." Already penciled in for a May 2008 release, the film will be directed by Jon Favreau.

Looks like Johnny Storm will have a girlfriend in the next installment of the Fantastic Four. Beau Garrett has joined the original cast for the upcoming "Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer." Andre Braugher will also appear in the film as a general bent on capturing the Silver Surfer.

Starring: Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy
Directed by: John Hughes

FIRST SEEN: Northpoint 4 Theatre, Baltimore, Maryland
FAVORITE LINE: "Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns!"
FAVORITE SCENE: John Bender crawls along the ceiling.

Recently, Entertainment Weekly magazine named "The Breakfast Club" the best movie about high school ever. I would think that, since most of the people that work for EW are probably in their 30s and that the film came out in 1985 that it was certainly the film they would most relate to. Having endured high school in the mid-1970s, the film I most relate to is "Dazed and Confused." Still, "The Breakfast Club" is one of my favorite films and that's why it is included here. In the 1980s writer/director John Hughes could do no wrong, especially when it came to teenage angst. I find it amazing that a man in his mid-30s was able to capture the lives of teenagers so accurately. "Sixteen Candles," "Weird Science," "Pretty in Pink," and "Ferris Buehler's Day Off" are just a few of the films he created that rang true with the young people that went to see them. That Hughes hasn't made a film in fifteen years is almost criminal.

"The Breakfast Club" is the story of five different students who are assigned Saturday detention at their high school. The group is made up of the standard cliques: the athlete, the princess, the brain, the criminal and the basket case. As played by, respectively, Estevez, Ringwald, Hall, Nelson and Sheedy, each one emerges from the ordeal intact and with a sense of pride in their station at school. While everyone in the movie gives a great performance, the stand out is Judd Nelson. As John Bender, the tough guy with a chip on his leather clad shoulder, Nelson chews the scenery and becomes the focal point of every scene he's in. My favorite scene, of Bender crawling along the ceiling, telling himself a joke that has no punch line, is an example of Nelson's ability to make Bender likeable, even when you shouldn't. The late Paul Gleason gives a memorable performance as Mr. Vernon, the teacher who has summoned them to school that morning. Whether he's investigating a "ruckus" or delivering my favorite line, his character is the perfect foil to the five students. The film is perfectly summed up in a letter they write in response to Vernon's asking them to tell him who they think they are: "You see us as you want to see us. In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain; and an athlete; and a basket case; a princess; and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club."

Next week I'll look back at when George Lucas made good films with "American Graffiti".

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.