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PCR #349. (Vol. 7, No. 48) This edition is for the week of November 27--December 3, 2006.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! Sorry for the delay. Mother nature decided to drop 9 inches of snow in my backyard. Shall we begin?

Thanks For The Memories....Denis Lebrun, The Man Who Never Existed....The Aftermath  by Will Moriaty
"The Fountain"  by Mike Smith
The Tampa Film Network Meeting for November  by Nolan B. Canova
Recent Stuff....Flying While Muslim....What A Coinkydink....Play Ball....Down On Main Street.... My Favorite Films, Part 48: "Unforgiven"  by Mike Smith
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Loved ED Tucker's piece with the great Wizard of Gore. And let me add my thanks to the piece Will Moriaty did this week on Dennis LeBrun. As a teenager, I knew Dennis from his local comic strip, "Aw Heck" and his work on the menus at "Pop and Sons." I did notice recently that his name had been removed from the daily comics when I scanned "Blondie." I hope his work does get the recognition it so rightly deserves and soon.

That is the charge that six Muslim imams are claiming against US Airways after they were removed from a flight because of their suspicious behavior. The six claim they were unfairly singled out because of their religion. The airline sad they were bumped off of the flight because of their suspicious actions:

  • They were overheard praying very loudly in the terminal. Lot's of "Allah, Allah."
  • They were overheard by passengers and crew members cursing the US's involvement in Iraq.

    While on board, they

  • Took it upon themselves to switch their seat assignments (2 in first class, 2 in the middle of the plane and 2 in the rear). The airline recognized this as repositioning themselves in the way the 9/11 terrorists had seated themselves.
  • Three of the men asked for seatbelt extensions, but none of them would be classified as "large," needing them to ensure their safety on board.

    While on board, the airline discovered

  • The seatbelt extensions were laid on the floor of the plane, near the imams' feet
  • The group had only bought one way tickets
  • The group had no checked luggage. Sound suspicious? If not, then you're probably one of the imams!

    Hoping to clarify the matter, O.J. Simpson has made it clear that the book he was trying to peddle was written by a ghostwriter. However, Simpson adds, that what the man wrote was so close to being accurate that "Maybe he did it." Yuck. Yuck, Yuck.

    Congratulations to first time baseball Hall of Fame nominees Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn. There are locks for induction this year. Also on the list is the recently shamed Mark McGwire, a one-time lock whose refusal to answer Congress this past spring regarding his use or non-use of enhancement drugs.has put him on the no list of fans and voters alike. In a recent poll of eligible voters, Big Mac only garnered about 20% of the needed 75% support. As someone who was in Busch Stadium in St. Louis the night McGwire broke Roger Maris' season long home run record I must admit that I'm torn on this matter. The supplements McGwire said he was taking weren't banned by baseball in 1998 and if that's all he took, then he belongs in the hall of fame. However, if he used steroids as former teammate and fellow first time nominee Jose Canseco has claimed, then he's outa there!

    Can't wait to head out Saturday evening to attend a concert by the great Bob Seger. It's been almost 10 years since he last toured and Kansas City is the 11th show in his 21 city schedule. Look for a possible review next week.

    Starring: Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman and Richard Harris
    Directed by: Clint Eastwood

    FIRST SEEN: York Road Cinema, Baltimore, Maryland
    FAVORITE LINE: "You better bury Ned right. Better not go cutting up nor otherwise harm no whores. Or I'll come back and kill every one of you sons of bitches!"
    FAVORITE SCENE: Will Munny faces down with Little Bill.

  • Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor (Hackman) and Film Editing. Academy award nominations for Best Actor (Eastwood), Art Direction/Set Decoration, Cinematography, Sound, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.
  • BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor (Hackman). BAFTA Nominations for Best Film, Direction, Cinematography, Screenplay (Original), Sound.
  • Director's Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.
  • Golden Globe Awards for Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Hackman). Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Screenplay.
  • Kansas City Film Critic's Circle Awards for Best Picture (tied with "The Player"), Director and Supporting Actor (Hackman).
  • Writer's Guild of America nomination for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

    As a filmmaker, Clint Eastwood had a great deal with Warner Brothers. Do one for us and we'll let you do one for you. In layman's terms, for every "Dirty Harry" film, or movies with similar themes, Clint could tackle a project close to his heart. The studio made money with "Firefox," "Sudden Impact" and "Heartbreak Ridge" and let Clint earn his autuer' cred with films like "Honkytonk Man," "Bronco Billy" and "White Hunter, Black Heart." To reward him for delivering "The Rookie," Warner's funded a little western script that Eastwood had been holding on to for almost two decades.

    The film tells the story of William Munny, once a feared killer now settled down with his family. But after his wife passes, he learns that a large reward has been offered to anyone who can come to the town of Big Whiskey and avenge the disfiguring of a prostitute. Will teams up with his old friend, Ned, and a young man who calls himself the Schofield Kid and together they plot their course of action.

    The main trait of a great filmmaker is to know when the material is right. Not only the actual story but when it's time to tackle it. Stephen Spielberg waited many years before he finally filmed "Schindler's List." The same is true for Clint Eastwood and "Unforgiven." Twenty years ago, Eastwood would have been at the height of his career and not had the experiences he did in the early 1990s. Now old and wise, Eastwood takes the time to not only make a film he believes in but one that will finally earn him the recognition he had worked so long for.

    Ever the gentleman and team player, Eastwood thanked Warner Brothers for their support of the film even though they dumped it on the release schedule at the beginning of August with almost no publicity. In fact, it wasn't until the critics awards started coming fast and furious that the film company paid attention.

    Next week I'm joined by "Groundhog Day" fan Dana Goudreault when we celebrate romance and Christmas in "Love Actually."

    Well, that's it. 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.