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Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2006!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our seventh calendar year!
Number 352  (Vol. 7, No. 51). This edition is for the week of December 18--24, 2006.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
PCR Xmas Party Personal Notes Website Changes The Year That Was, Part One Celebrity Passings

by William Moriaty

Harry and the Haunted Packing Plant....Merry Christmas and Happy New Year From PCR and La Floridiana

by Andy Lalino

Give the Gift of Cult Films this Year....Publix - Where Shopping Costs a Treasure .... Christmas Greeetings

by Mike Smith

"Rocky Balboa"

by Mark Terry

A Prophectic Rocky Balboa Article

by Mike Smith

Oscar News....Quite An Honor....Was "Phantom Menace" Taken?...Passing On This Week....Passing On This Year....My Favorite Films, Part 51: "A Christmas Story"

Man, I absolutely cannot get over how quickly this year flew by! So much work left to do and so little time. But, as I look over the Archives, I realize my hyper-compressed recollection of chronology is skewed because a lot happened this year. Like any year, 2006 had its pluses and minuses, but, we'll get into the Year That Was in just a minute. First things first.

Ha ha, OK, I realize now we didn't promote this nearly vigorously enough. I didn't send out individual emails, I figured a casual mention on the PCR homepage would be enough to elicit the attention it needed (from the readers who purport to be regular) to promote a turn-out at least as good as my birthday parties. ***Insert loud buzzing sound***. WRONG. Several folks I figured wouldn't miss were no-shows (and no e-mails/calls) and I'm trying not to take that personally. Two of you did contact me directly, for which I'm grateful. In any event, the small band that makes up the hard-core nerve center of PCR were indeed present and accounted for last Sunday, the 17th, and had a splendid time. William Moriaty, Terence Nuzum, Drew Reiber, Chris Woods, and yours truly dined and drank heartily at the traditional Durango Steakhouse on Westshore Blvd. A few cards and gifts were exchanged and some pictures taken.

Topics of conversation were pretty typical, with films and filmmaking high on the list and, for the first time this year, the strange happenings on the message board garnered much attention.
Left to right, Chris Woods, Drew Reiber, Terence Nuzum (behind Drew), Nolan Canova, and William Moriaty at the Dec 17th Durango Christmas dinner in a photo taken by our server. Chris Woods, left, and Drew Reiber talk movies with Will Moriaty. The always morose Terence Nuzum who never looks like he's having a good time. Faker, haha. Seriously, he's never been comfortable around cameras. William Moriaty, left, and Chris Woods listen to Drew Reiber's opinion of upcoming movies in development.
These will likely be repeated in "The Year That Was", but a few notes I wanted to spotlight separately:

  • I joined MySpace for the first time. I later created a page for my old band, Blade.
  • For the first time since owning a computer and getting online, I am no longer on a dial-up connection, having secured a DSL line last Spring. Broadband rocks.
  • I was invited to be a special guest speaker at two conventions/events. I respectfully declined both (sorry, despite my ramblings online, I usually can't think of a single interesting thing to say in person. William usually does all the talkin').
  • I made my first dramatic film in 6 years for inclusion in Milk Crate Scars.
  • Neither the website nor message board experienced a crash (yes, I know I risk jinxing that by noting it, but it is a relief).
  • Vinnie Blesi's estrangement from this website and my personal life due to his taking the message board way too seriously -- didn't see it coming and is most regrettable.

    This is an ongoing list as the makeover will take a while. Time constraints I didn't have just a few years ago continue to dog my every move as it has with virtually everyone I know. The redesign of the Crazed Fanboy homepage of 2006 over 2005 reflected my intention to be more multi-media intensive. While the infrastructure of that was successful, regular updates were too slow in coming for my satisfaction. There were simply not enough free hours in a day/week to do it all. While multi-media is still very important to me, the redesign for 2007 over 2006 will see a bit of streamlining.

  • I'm retiring the Real Server I've rented for years, and future web video will likely be encoded on Windows Media. There are several reasons for this, the most important being that the whole reason I had the special Real Server to begin with was to serve video to any connection speed, dial-up to broadband, with a single click from a single source. While that was successful and did its job very well, the much greater number of people currently on broadband has rendered the technology unnecessary (if not altogether obsolete) and the expense and maintenance no longer justifiable. While Flash video has made huge inroads on sites like You Tube and MySpace, the universal accessability of it very attractive, and the powerful scripting language basically overtaking its rivals (like Real Media), I've never been all that thrilled with the video image quality (except for the cartoons). That said, I will probably do some archiving on YouTube after video episodes play here.
  • The World of Nolan internet video series, which, unfortunately, hasn't seen a single update in 2006, will be integrated into the low-rez Nolan Webcam for the time being. Similar to TWON, it will feature me at my desk opining on news of the day and covering local events. Formerly encoded as A Real Media file, it will be produced quick-and-dirty and uploaded as a low bit-rate Windows Media file, which should be a relief to everyone who complained Real Player wasn't compatible with their system. It will also likely see an iPod version, similar to Nolan Radio. Expired episodes may be uploaded to MySpace for a time.
  • Radioactive Television is targeted as our next attempt to produce a high-quality video series, is being more aggressively developed and will, theoretically, be produced on a more regular basis. The above-mentioned output options for TWON will be followed here, too.
  • The tremendously popular Creature Feature/Dr. Paul Bearer Database is staying where it is and I swear to god it will get updated as soon as I can get to it.
  • Our database of the paranormal is targeted for expansion; logistics are being worked out.
  • Schlockarama will be discontinued and retired. It hasn't been updated in nearly 2 years and no one has the time to do it. It was intended to be our little IMDB of cult films including our personal reviews, but, again, no one has the time.
  • It is likely I'll be retiring the homepage hitcounter. It has never been understood all that well, visitors frequently mixing up hits to this page (about a thousand per week) with hits to the site (tens of thousands per week). As an example, hits to the message board alone double the totals shown on the homepage but are not counted there. The counter was installed on the homepage years ago when this website wasn't all that big and I wasn't concerned with duplicating codes on other pages. Times have changed.

    The Year That Was: 2006
    Part One
    January 1 -- June 30

    January introduced the annually refurbished Crazed Fanboy homepage, this one featuring a more multi-media intensive interface. I wouldn't know until well into 2006 how difficult it would be to maintain! Mike Smith starts his year-long series on his favorite movies of all time. The Guzzo Bros reinstitute Tampa Film Review after the Coffeehouse Film Review is forced to move. My radio hero Art Bell's beloved wife Ramona Bell fatally succumbs to an asthma attack; Art shocks the world by remarrying within weeks and moving to the Phillipines. Televangelist Pat Robertson continues to annoy and shock the world with zany political pronouncements. Movie fans are told DVDs are going to be released simultaneously with theatrical releases on some occasions. My personal computer experiences a catastrophic hard-drive failure and many critical files are lost, serving as another object lesson in the importance of back-ups. February saw another excellent article by the amazing ED Tucker on the Florida F/X Con. Vice-President Dick Cheney gets some accidental target practice in on a friend during a hunting outing. As we gear up for MegaCon, President Bush decides on the controversial move over whether to transfer Port Authority to the Arab Emirates. MegaCon 2006, not quite as bountiful as years' past for me, still provides an opportunity for special fans to come together; ED and I pontificate on what the event meant to us. Mike Smith makes his Oscar predictions which lead right into an action-packed March which starts with the 78th Academy Awards. PCR writer Vinnie Blesi writes what will be his last Couch Potato column for PCR. The next week, PCR celebrates 6 years, 7 volumes and 312 issues of fan-related online mayhem. Mike Smith discovers his birth family. Solfege Studios opens in Clearwater, Joe Davison and I attend the gala party. At the behest of some of my younger friends, I sign up for MySpace for the first time and don't live to regret it! Brandon Jones writes his last Splash Page column for 2006(?). As more personnel shuffling occurs in the nation's capital, I finally get a broadband connection (DSL) the last day of the month! April brings about the premiere of two eagerly-awaited Tampa indie films, Unearthed and 99. Vinnie starts "Citizen X" and ED Tucker straightens us out on videotape trading/collecting. As more and more personnel shift at The White House, Will Moriaty is a featured guest and sells his book "Moriaty's Florida" from his own booth at the Florida Collectibles Show; Terence, Vinnie, Hugo Morley, and I are in attendance. As we move into May and further reflections of the Collectibles Show, the year's first Tampa Giant Comic Con features Tampa Indie Fest IV, a Creature Production that would tie up the message board for months. Always looking to streamline this operation, yours truly attempts a PCR format change which alters how the homepage works for months to come; occasionally I slip back, though. As Bob Dylan celebrates his birthday and I continue to play with PCR's format, X-Men: The Last Stand tears up the box office, and I obsess over The DaVinci Code. In June we see the first gas-price hikes that will result in near scandal as prices climb to their highest ever. John Lewis writes his last Creature's Corner for 2006(?). Batwoman returns as a "lipstick lesbian" and Lisa Zubek writes two columns for PCR this month, one a pilot column called "Lisa on the Left". It lasts one issue. Will Moriaty and I take a haunted Jungle Prada tour in St. Pete. Amid scandalous but short-lived rumors than director Bryan Singer has suggested an alternate lifestyle for the Man of Steel, Superman Returns and flies into theaters to mixed reviews and comparatively lackluster business.

    MAY THEY REST IN PEACE. Among those no longer with us, January 1--June 30, 2006:
    Ramona Bell (wife of radio's Art Bell)
    Lou Rawls (singer)
    Shelly Winters (actress)
    Walter Haut (involved in the Roswell Incedent)
    Al Lewis (actor, Grandpa Munster)
    Peter Benchley (author of JAWS)
    Curt Gowdy (baseball announcer)
    William Cowsill (singer for The Cowsills)
    Don Knotts (actor)
    Darren McGavin (actor)
    Dennis Weaver (actor)
    Jack Wild ("Billy" from H. R. Pufnstuff)
    Dana Reeve (Mrs. Christopher Reeve)
    Buck Owens (country music legend)
    Richard Fleischer (director)
    Dan Curtis (director/producer)
    Lloyd Bentsen (politician)
    George Lutz (Amityville Horror homeowner)
    Paul Gleason (actor, The Breakfast Club)
    Tim Hildebrandt (artist/painter)
    Billy Preston (songwriter, performer)
    Aaron Spelling (TV producer)
    For more complete details on celebrity passings, always search Mike's Rant.

    NEXT WEEK: The Year That Was, Part 2: July Thru December! More Year-End Columns! Best ofs/Worst ofs! The Graveyard of "Fallen" Columns! My Final Thoughts For The Year!

  • 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     "La Floridiana" is ©2006 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2006; by Andy Lalino    "My Middle Toe Is Longer Than Yours" is ©2006 by Mark Terry      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova    
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