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PCR #361. (Vol. 8, No. 8) This edition is for the week of February 19--25, 2007.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! Sincere apologies for being late this week, but my schedule is FINALLY slowing down some so I should be back to normal next week. But enough of this delay. Shall we begin?

"Pan's Lanyrinth"  by Mike Smith
Peter Straub Lecture at USF  by Andy Lalino
Couldn't She Have Entered An Ass-Kicking Contest....Britney and Anna Nicole....Sorry--Kind of....Oops....Movie Notes....DJ....Happy Birthday....Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 8: Gerrit Graham  by Mike Smith
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Start warming up the jokes. Paul McCartney's estranged wife, Heather Mills, will be one of the featured contestants next season on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." The fact that she wears a prosthetic leg apparently doesn't matter to the producers, who I'm sure expect millions of viewers to tune in to watch her fall on her ass. God knows I will. Of course, once she's voted off the show, you can expect a backlash from handicapped organizations about how she was judged unfairly. Poor Sir Paul...you surely don't deserve this.

What a circus! I'd say all they need are clowns, but I hate clowns, so I wouldn't enjoy it as much.

Though it's no big secret that the Broadway show (and now film) "Dreamgirls" was loosely based on the story of Motown records and the Supremes, the creators never acknowledged it, probably to avoid any kind of litigation. Recently, singer Smokey Robinson blasted the film as an unfair portrayal of Motown founder Berry Gordy. This caused the producers to take out an ad in the various industry publications apologizing to Gordy. So does that mean it IS based on Gordy and the Supremes? I can hear Diana Ross' lawyer on the phone already.

Remember that Van Halen tour I touted a few weeks ago? Well, according to Eddie Van Halen's new "publicist" (read - new woman), the tour has been postponed indefinitely. Tickets, which were supposed to go on sale this weekend, will not be sold. I can't WAIT for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions. I predict a brawl between Diamond Dave and Sammy the Red Rocker, with the winner getting to tour with the band.

For those of you who can't get enough of Jigsaw, "Saw IV" begins production in April for a late October release. Aaron Eckhart has signed to play District Attorney Harvey Dent in the next Batman film, "The Dark Knight." It's funny how it's always mentioned that Tommy Lee Jones played the role before but not that Billy Dee Williams originated the part in Tim Burton's "Batman." Oh yeah, Dent is also Two Face. Apparently impressed by the size of the trailer the ape got to live in during the production of "King Kong," Adrien Brody is considering taking on the role of David Banner in the next "Hulk" film.

Fans of the Boston Celtics (which include Matt and myself) were stunned to learn of the death of former player Dennis Johnson, who died after collapsing during a practice he was coaching for a developmental team. He was 52. MVP of the NBA playoffs while with Seattle in 1979, Johnson became part of the winning Celtic teams in the mid and late 1980s.

I'd like to wish a happy 50th to my former wife Marla Lybrand, who celebrates the big day on March 5th.


WHERE YOU MIGHT KNOW HIM FROM: "Phantom of the Paradise," Used Cars"

Still a common face on episodic television, Gerrit Graham got his start with appearances in two very early Brian de Palma films, "Greetings" and "Hi, Mom." It was this friendship with de Palma that led to him being cast as Beef, the outrageous musician, in "Phantom of the Paradise." Roles in films like "Demon Seed" and "Pretty Baby" kept him in the Hollywood eye and in 1979 he joined "Grease" star Stockard Channing as leads in the television series, "Just Friends." The next year saw him give my favorite performance, the overly superstitious car salesman Jeff in "Used Cars." More TV work followed, including "Dallas," "Miami Vice," "Fame" and "Sledgehammer." In 1989 he headlined the sequel to "C.H.U.D." when he played Bud Oliver in "C.H.U.D. II - Bud the Chud." More notable film roles include "This Boy's Life" and "My Girl 2." He has also done his fill of sci fi and fantasy work with appearances in series like "Lois and Clark," "Tales from the Crypt," "Star Trek" ("Voyager" and "Deep Space Nine") and "Gargoyles." He also has achieved success as a behind the scenes writer on several Disney animated productions including "The Little Mermaid." He wrote the screenplay for the Mickey Mouse starrer "The Prince and the Pauper" and is credited as the lyricist on the Grateful Dead song "Victim of the Crime."

Next week I'll take a look at a name everyone knows - John Belushi - who left us all too early 25 years ago. You may know what happened to him, but if all you've seen is "Animal House" and "The Blues Brothers," you probably don't much of the great work he did before he died.

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.