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PCR #357. (Vol. 8, No. 4) This edition is for the week of January 22--28, 2007.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! Sorry again for the delay this week. The next two weeks will find me competing heavily in trivia contests. Our team came in second this past Thursday evening, 1001 points to 1000. But, considering our team consisted of three members and the winning team had nine to pick answers from, I'm not complaining. Shall we begin?

"Smokin' Aces"  by Mike Smith
Oscar Nominations: Reaction  by Mike Smith
The Tampa Film Review: A Retrospective  by Paul Guzzo
Ordinary World....How About that Jackie Earle Haley?!?  by Andy Lalino
Sniff Sniff....Love That JEH!...They Can't All Be Winners....Da Bears....American Idol....Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 4: John Cazale  by Mike Smith
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Do I smell sulfur? President Bush stopped by a hospital here that is within a couple miles of my home. I was going to invite him to dinner but it was trivia night. For the record, I did NOT smell sulfur.

Let me second Andy Lalino's elation over the Academy Award nomination bestowed on Jackie Earle Haley this week. I had actually tried to contact him for an interview early in 2006 at his video production offices in Texas but was told he was doing a film. Hopefully this nomination will put him back on screen full time.

The anti-Oscars, better known as the Golden Raspberry Awards, also announced their nominations for the past year. The nominees for Worse Picture of 2006: "Basic Instinct 2," "Little Man," "Lady in the Water," "BloodRayne" and "The Wicker Man."

Here's a hypothetical question for you. Imagine that the police get a tip, raid your home and find three rifles, three handguns and over 500 rounds of ammunition. Because you didn't have the proper licenses, you get charged with 10 counts of firearms possession. Add to this a trip the night after you're arrested to a local club. While hanging with your "boys" shots are fired and you're best friend is killed. Because of these two events, and the fact that you have been arrested three times in the past eighteen months, you are put on house arrest. Sounds pretty rough, doesn't it? Well, not if you're Tank Johnson of the Chicago Bears. This week a local judge allowed Johnson to go to Miami next weekend so he can play in the Super Bowl. The judge did tell Johnson that he needed to stay out of trouble or "dire consequences will result." Let's see, you're facing 10 federal charges and your best friend was just murdered but you can go play football because it's your job. Sounds like the judge has money on the game.

After two weeks of tryouts, many people are taking "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell to task for comments they feel are too "mean." Boo hoo! I will admit that sometimes I'll think someone did a good job and they don't get chosen. Hey, that happens. I'd like to think I can carry a tune even though I was once told that I "couldn't play the radio." And though I have been playing the radio since I was a small boy, I would never audition for the show because I KNOW I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH! What gets me are the people that have appeared on the show who are absolutely HORRIBLE and then start blubbering when they are dismissed. Hello? Have you ever heard yourself sing? Are you sure your friends weren't being sarcastic when they said "Bob. You really SHOULD audition for 'American Idol'?' There were a couple of disillusioned people that I honestly think were there on a lark. The one person who really got under my skin was the singer/dancer/juggler who, after being turned down, exploded into tears and wailed like his parents had just died. Wake up, buddy. As Randy Jackson would say, "you suck, dawg!"


WHERE YOU MIGHT KNOW HIM FROM: "The Godfather" trilogy, "The Deer Hunter"


  • 1976 Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for "Dog Day Afternoon."

    Known more for his stage work (he won Obie Awards for his off-Broadway work in "The Indian Wants the Bronx" and "The Line"), John Cazale holds an incredible distinction in Hollywood in that all five feature films that he appeared in (actually six if you count his flashback scenes in "The Godfather Part III") were nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. A childhood friend of Al Pacino, it was this friendship that caused him to be cast as middle brother Fredo Corleone in "The Godfather," which won the Oscar for Best Picture. In 1974 he appeared in two films which were both directed by Francis Ford Coppola: "The Godfather Part II" and "The Conversation." Both were nominated for the Big Prize, with "Godfather Part II" winning Best Picture. The next year he teamed up with Pacino again for the true bank robbery tale, "Dog Day Afternoon."

    In 1977, Cazale was approached by director Michael Cimino to appear in "The Deer Hunter." Cazale brought his young girlfriend, Meryl Streep, to the set and she was cast in the film as well. Prior to shooting Cazale informed director Michael Cimino that he was dying of cancer. Because of this, most of Cazale's scenes were shot first, prior to the disease taking over. Cazale's cancer was kept a secret to most people on the set and from the film's producers, who wanted to fire Cazale once they learned of the illness. Thankfully cooler heads, and Streep's threat to walk off the set, prevailed and Cazale was permitted to create another indelible screen character. Cazale died on March 12, 1978 at the age of 42. In recognition of his stage work, a theatre off-Broadway was named the McGinn/Cazale Theatre and is located on Broadway and 76th street.

    Next week, I'll take a look at one of the screen's ultimate bad guys, William Smith.

    Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!

    "Mike's Rant" is ©2007 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 ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.