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"Match Point"  by Mike Smith
Kong vs Kong vs Kong  by Mark Terry
Hell is War, War is Heaven...  Dylan Jones
I'm a Rondo Nominee!!!..MOH Updates....Birthday Wishes....Peter Jackson's King Kong  by Matt Drinnenberg
But First....What 'Choo Talkin' 'Bout, Ray?...Award Time....Did You Hear That Pin Drop?....Please Grow Up!...One More....Passing On....See Ya!...My Favorite Films--Chapter 3  by Mike Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2006!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our seventh calendar year!
Number 304  (Vol. 7, No. 3). This edition is for the week of January 16--22, 2006.

Spy vs Spy
  • Vampire Runs for Governor
  • Sad Passings: Shelley Winters
  • The Golden Globe Awards
  • The Tampa Film Review's Maiden Voyage
  • Well, we have a lot to talk about and I want to get to last Friday's Tampa Film Review which I am quite excited about, but first there are a few topics I just can't resist commenting on...

    Al Gore recently went on the attack and accused President Bush of outright criminal wrongdoing with the warrantless spying of innocent Americans post 9/11 in the name of the war on terror.

    The ACLU just announced they are suing the Administration for using these tactics and that the president was acting outside his authority (Bush says warants don't apply to him).

    The Repugs are countering that this is simply more hate-mongering towards Bush, that the Dems/Libs/Gore are guessing that "innocent" Americans were wiretapped, and that this is a fishing expedition to catch them in the act for the purpose of sensationalizing it.

    I've heard from all sides that wiretaps/spying/evesdropping has been done by the gov't for decades for reasons less compelling than terrorism, but that this is getting more press because of the New York Times spin from their original exposé.

    On the other hand, I'm grossly turned off that Bush feels he can do anything he wants as long as he prefaces it with that it's about the "war on terror". That's a recipe for abuse and I think it's likely innocent Amercians were spied on.

    The ACLU says the administration's defense of "external" calls made to this country being fair game are invalid if one considers calls to family members living outside the US.

  • Post your thoughts on this topic

    And you thought it was funny when former wrestler Jesse Ventura became governor of Minnesota...

    Forty-one-year-old Jonathan Sharkey entered the Minnesota gubernatorial race on Friday the 13th on the witchcraft/pagan/vampire "ticket", the first self-professed vampire to run for public office.

    Sharkey's resumé includes stints as a soldier and professional wrestler (what is it about wrestlers...?). Oh, and by the way, he regularly feeds on the blood of his pagan wife.

    Lest you think he's all fun and screams, he has a for-real platform that details his stance on serious issues like tax relief for farmers, education, crime and drugs.

    If this Satanic Dark Priest, Sanguinarian Vampyre and a Hectate Witch can get enough donations, he has a bloody good chance of winning!

    This came in last week after PCR was "put to bed": Shelley Winters, the forceful, outspoken star who graduated from blond bombshell parts to dramas, winning Academy Awards as supporting actress in "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "A Patch of Blue," and nominated for "The Poseiden Adventure", died of heart failure early Saturday at The Rehabilitation Centre of Beverly Hills. She had been hospitalized in October after suffering a heart attack. Winters was 85.

    My strongest memory of Winters was as the middle-aged Jewish lady in 1972's "The Poseiden Adventure" where, as a former swimming champ, she volunteered to rescue a drowning comrade (the "preacher" played by Gene Hackman). Her famous line, "In the water I'm a very skinny lady," was uttered before the overweight character succumbed to the trauma.

    More recently, she was featured on the sit-com "Roseanne" as Roseanne's grandmother.

    Our own Mike Smith has more to say about Shelley Winters in this week's Mike's Rant.

    I am no longer a big follower of awards shows, but in the interests of completeness and good pop culture reporting, I would be remiss to ignore this highly influential program. Following are the Golden Globe Winners for 2005. All nominations are noted with the winners highlighted:

  • Best Motion Picture Drama: Brokeback Mountain, The Constant Gardener, Good Night and Good Luck, A History of Violence, Match Point
  • Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy: Walk The Line, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Pride & Prejudice, The Producers, The Squid and The Whale
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote; Russell Crowe, Cinderella Man; Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow; Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain; David Strathairn, Good Night and Good Luck
  • Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama: Felicity Huffman, Transamerica; Maria Bello, A History of Violence; Gwyneth Paltrow, Proof; Charlize Theron, North Country; Ziyi Zhang, Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy: Joaquin Phoenix, Walk The Line; Pierce Brosnan, The Matador; Jeff Daniels, The Squid and the Whale; Johnny Depp, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Nathan Lane, The Producers; Cilian Murphy, Breakfast on Pluto
  • Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line; Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents; Keira Knightley, Pride and Prejudice; Laura Linney, The Squid and the Whale; Sarah Jessica Parker, The Family Stone
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: George Clooney, Syrianna; Matt Dillon, Crash; Will Ferrell, The Producers; Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man; Bob Hoskins, Mrs. Henderson Presents
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener; Scarlett Johansson, Match Point; Shirley MacLaine, In Her Shoes; Frances McDormand, North Country; Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain
  • Best Director: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain Woody Allen, Match Point; George Clooney, Good Night and Good Luck; Peter Jackson, King Kong; Fernando Meirelles, The Constant Gardener; Steven Spielberg, Munich

    Other Winners...

  • Best Drama TV Series: "LOST"
  • Best Actor in a Drama Series: HUGH LAURIE, "HOUSE, M.D."
  • Best Actress in a Drama Series: GEENA DAVIS, "COMMANDER AND CHIEF"
  • Best Musical or Comedy TV Series: DESPERATE HOUSVIVES
  • Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series: STEVE CARELL, "THE OFFICE"
  • Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series: MARY-LOUISE PARKER, "WEEDS"
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie: Paul Newman, Empire Falls
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie: Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy
  • Best Actress in a Drama Series: Geena Davis, Commander in Chief
  • Best Actor in a Drama Series: Hugh Laurie, House
  • Best Miniseries or TV Movie: Empire Falls
  • Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Elvis
  • Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie: S. Epatha Merkerson, Lackawanna
  • Blues Best Screenplay: Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain
  • Best Foreign Language Film: Paradise Now (Palestine)
  • Best Original Score: John Williams, Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Best Original Song: "A Love That Will Never Grow Old," Brokeback Mountain

  • Post your thoughts on this topic

    The Tampa Film Review for January
    by Nolan B. Canova

    All photos by Vinnie Blesi

    Outside the International Bazaar, yours truly (extreme left), talks with actor Robert Elfstrom (next to me), and St. Pete Times reporter Rick Gershman (right).
    Last Friday, TOO Productions/1 Day Films, headed by Peter and Paul Guzzo, unveiled the new Tampa Film Review monthly mini-film fest at the International Bazaar in Ybor City (8th Ave, El Centro Ybor).

    Long-time readers may remember the monthly coverage we gave the Guzzos in the previous incarnation of their fest, The Coffeehouse Film Review, when it was held at the Romeo Coffeehouse on 7th Avenue. Unfortunately, Walter Romeo was forced to close his coffeehouse last October due to slumping business in Ybor.

    So, fellow PCR staffers Vinnie Blesi (The Couch Potato), Terence Nuzum (The Audio Philes), and I attended the Friday the 13th affair. Arriving just about in a nick of time, and while crossing 8th Avenue, I bumped into the former webmeister of CrashTest.com and all 'round neat guy, Paul D'Angelo and his girlfriend. Paul didn't know about the film meeting, so I filled him in. Paul seemed interested, but had made other plans. Vinnie started to get a video of our conversation, but we had a terse difference of opinion on approach and the idea was dropped as time was getting short...sorry, Paul!

    Paul Guzzo, left, with Shelby McIntyre, center, and myself on the streets of Ybor City.
    Finally arriving at the International Bazaar I was greeted outside by stalwart PCR supporter and St. Pete Times reporter Rick Gershman (who has been very good to us and a terrific supporter of the arts in general) and Shelby McIntyre of Other Side Cinema. We all caught up on personal news and prepared to go inside.

    The turn-out was not bad at all, with head counts varying between 40 and 75 attendees over the space of the night. Mostly filmmakers and their groups, but many new to the Review experience as well. I was very gratified and pleased to see Tampa Film Commissioner Krista Soroka in attendance. Krista has done much already to enhance the local film scene and is very open and encouraging to all the artists in this area.

    Alrighty then....down to business....

    Robert Elfstrom, left, with 1DayFilms director, Peter Guzzo at the International Bazaar, Ybor City.
    Scenes from 1 Day Films’ new feature film, 99: The college stud made a bet four years ago that he would sleep with 100 women by the time he graduated college. With just 12 hours to go in the bet, he needs just one more girl, BUT, everyone he has ever wrong while in pursuit of 100 girls is out for revenge. Sill in the post-production phase, stars Matt Camero (A Joyce Story) and Jereme Badger (A Joyce Story, Cellphone, Sever) with a cameo by Gus Perez (Light of Blood, The Raging Bells, Brain Robbers From Outer Space). Like any of the Guzzo brothers' output, this will have a high standard of excellence. I was privy to a special screening of a rough-cut of 99 several months ago. The Guzzos had invested in a Hi-Def video camera (a Sony, I believe) and the film-like results, visuals-wise, were nothing short of mind-blowing. (The Guzzos used Hi-Def before on what has been my favorite 1DayFilm to date, The Dance, starring Robert Elfstrom.) 99 is really two movies in one: there is an entertaining subplot having to do with the outcome of a urine test to determine an inheritance! I am confident that 99 will rank as one of the Guzzo brothers' finest achievements.

    Purgatorio by Andres Yepes: Tormented by the death of his beloved wife, Don Ortega finds himself bound to the memories of his deceased love. Unable to renounce spiritually he secludes himself from the world. Consumed by his despair he becomes prisoner to his journal. Every passing page will bring you one step closer to, "PURGATORIO". A very well-crafted film, I have to confess the Spanish-language soundtrack and text-too-small-to-read English captions left me scratching my head as to what was going on. I'd love to see this again with larger captions. The credits on the final roll were also indecipherable. Pity, because the camera work and acting seemed first-rate. To his credit, filmmaker Yepes was intensely interested in everyone's feedback and took seriously any constructive criticism.

    Paul and Pete on left and right flank filmmaker Andres Yepes.
    The Whisper by Andres Yepes: In hopes of finding answers to solve his hauntingly recurring cryptic dream, a man seeks therapeutic help from Hillside Center's world renowned Dr. Smith. In a chilling psychoanalysis, Dr. Smith faces the grim reality of his patient’s secret leading to a shocking climax that will leave you breathless. NOW we're talkin'!! Same filmmaker as "Purgatorio", different results. "The Whisper" is my favorite kind of short shocker: Sucks you in with an interesting premise, good script, good acting, interesting camera work, and then subversively sneaks up on you with a great twist ending. Thoroughly enjoyable, highly recommended. A total unknown to me before, but with this kind of professionalism and attention to detail, Andres Yepes has my vote for best new discovery!

    Chip by Jeffrey Bowers: A sexual predator released from prison is implanted with a tracking chip. For the detective following him it becomes personal. The doctor that invented the chip joins chase culminating in a deadly finale. This short fun film was, undoubtedly, the surprise hit of the night! The weird thing is that it's not all that well-crafted, and is rather saddled by amateur-ish acting, script and direction, and sports a "video" look (not that that really matters; just with so many filmmakers going for that shiny "filmlook" nowadays, a video that still looks like a video--like Chip does--seems to scream "my first movie" by comparison). HOWEVER....the ideas presented were so infectious and hilarious/gruesome, and the scenes where the sexual predator got zapped in the nuts so compelling, the deficiencies were very easy to overlook. I met both the director and the actor who played the predator afterwards and was immediately taken with their good-natured humility at how well their film was received. The point is: the ideas are there. Technical things can be learned and improved over time. Despite these humble beginnings, I can't wait to see their next film!

    Hooligan's Valley by Other Side Cinema: In the world of Hooligan’s Valley our two heroes, Itchy and Lobo, will have to save the day again. In the process, they will prove that not every duo is dynamic. Other Side's Shelby McIntyre was present to introduce Holligans' Valley as, basically, a kidnap/rescue story. The funny part is this over-simplification was awkwardly uttered by Shelby as he was pulling up his zipper coming out of the bathroom and noticed the spotlight was on him, haha. Gawd, what I would've given to have a video of that. Anyway, "Hooligan's" is a 10-minute wet dream of film fandom with Mexican wrestlers, zombies, alligator men, crazed pirates chasing alligator men (Shelby), a rock 'n' roll soundtrack, a mobster midget, and, yes, even a voice-over by B-movie legend Ray Dennis Steckler! Filmed in 16mm with every attention to detail and a professional look. But WEIRD. There might be some grumbling that there wasn't much of a narrative with so much attention to ambience (which I don't think the Other Siders would deny---Shelby didn't). Mark Terry (Other Side Cinema producer and the newest columnist for PCR) was kind enough to send me a disc of Hooligan's Valley late last year, so I'd already had some time to let it sink in. I'm not sure everybody got the movie, but I liked it! A full-length version may be too much of an insider fan mind-blower. But if there's a "Chapter 2" anything like this one, I am SO there!

    "Pssst....Krista. Here comes Joe Davison. If we look away, maybe he won't see us standing here..." Krista Soroka, Tampa's Film Commissioner, and I are cornered. Seriously, she's a very lovely and compassionate person. I'm trying not to be a bad influence.
    Scenes from Icon Films feature film in progress, POP: Four outcast teenage girls kidnap a female pop star. Feeling ignored by society and sickened by pop culture, the teens plot a plan that will gain them attention by holding hostage the world's famous pop princess. The alluring Amanda Beck (Bleed) plays a dual role as a teenage fan of a pop star and the pop star herself. Since Amanda sings and plays guitar, presumably she'll do her own performing as "Kristin Hall". The two scenes shown at TFR were rough cuts with Amanda and included three other girls playing her subversive friends. The second scene was recognizable as being the basis for the trailer. Chris Woods has been tragically under-rated as a director for years (and as a webmaster, but that's another story). Formerly paired with the much more in-your-face Simon Lynx, Chris has since been content at being an enormous help to everyone else's projects (including NolanCon--again, another story). Chris, however, has stated he's ready to get back in the ring. Chris started POP with Simon Lynx and Amanda Beck a few years ago and semi-abandoned it as the primary actors re-located (Amanda's in Talahassee; Simon's in Jacksonville; co-star Tiffany is somewhere in he Carolinas). A nifty--and quite sexy---trailer was crafted which ran for two months on The World of Nolan last year. Chris decided it was time to dust off the project and revitalize it, but with so many actors' traveling expenses and the cost of a full-length picture hanging over it, Chris decided to use the two scenes as a sample for investors, and said so in his videotaped introduction to POP.

    Joe found us anyway! Hey, it's cool. Krista Soroka, yours truly, and Joe Davison (extreme right) are having a light moment with the figure on the extreme left, reporter Rick Gershman.
    Life’s a Circus by Pete Guzzo: An ordinary day in the life of two unordinary people. This is what Pete Guzzo describes as basically his first feature film "that didn't deserve to be a feature, but was". Well, I think it stands up fine as a "feature" (actually, I don't think it was more than 20 or 30 minutes long). The "unordinary people" Pete's talking about are mimes! Yes, a movie with little dialogue about how three mimes get through a typical day. You might not think it's a great concept on paper, but it's very funny in Guzzo hands! Well done, especially if it was really Pete's first film. I think I saw "Circus" the first time at a Renegade Film Festival, but can't swear to it at the moment. Liked it then, still like it now.

    After the films, general networking, interviewing and photographing ensued. Good times. Sometime around here, Joe Davison (Unearthed) seized control of the meeting (ha ha) by calling everyone's attention and announcing the start of the "Tampa Film Network". The TFN will be run by Davison and Woods with a first meeting February 1 at the Best Western Hotel on Westshore Blvd. (site of NolanCon, sniff sniff). The aim of the TFN is plain and simple: networking for mutual benefit and cooperation. Joe had something like this going in England and is endeavoring to duplicate that success here.

  • Message Board feedback on the TFR starts here.

    FILM CLIPS available soon!

  • Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
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    "Mike's Rant" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2006 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2006 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith    "Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2006 by Vinnie Blesi    "Creature's Corner" is ©2006 by John Lewis    "My Middle Toe Is Longer Than Yours" is ©2006 by Mark Terry    "The Drow" is ©2006 by Dylan Jones      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova    
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