Now in our eighth calendar year!|
PCR #376. (Vol. 8, No. 23) This edition is for the week of June 4--10, 2007.
Hello, gang! I've begun my 12th season of coaching baseball here in Kansas so I'll apologize in advance for the few times The Rant is late and brief. Feel free to join in with Paris Hilton and whine "It's Not Right! Shall we begin?
WHY AM I SMILING?
So happy to hear that, OJ Simpson not withstanding, money CAN'T buy you everything. Kudos to the judge who had the balls to actually follow the law and return Paris Hilton to jail to serve the remainder of her term for probation violation. The notion that she would be allowed to live at home under "house arrest" (which means she could stay at her mansion and party into the night with her friends) instead of spending her time behind bars was ludicrous to begin with. Even after she came down with a mysterious "medical problem" (which, in my opinion, was an allergic reaction to orange jump suits) and was temporarily released, I kept my fingers crossed that justice would indeed prevail. Screaming "It's Not Fair!" and calling out for her mother, Hilton was led off to jail Friday evening. I don't know what she's so worried about. It's not like she hasn't been watched taking a shower before.
THIS AND THAT
Congrats to Stan Lee, creator of seemingly EVERYTHING Marvel, who recently signed an exclusive deal with the Walt Disney Company, giving the studio first looks at any films, television shows, video games or book ideas the great man can come up with.
Sean Connery has officially declined the offer to return in the next Indiana Jones film. In a released statement, Connery said "If anything could have pulled me out of retirement, it would have been an Indiana Jones film. But in the end, retirement is just too damned much fun." John Hurt ("The Elephant Man") has joined the production in an unspecified role.
Long time fans of "Law and Order" (me included) will be pleased to see Sam Waterston's character, Jack McCoy, promoted to district attorney, replacing upcoming Presidential candidate Fred Dalton Thompson. Not sure if this will limit Waterston's screen time, as earlier DAs (Steven Hill, Diane Wiest) did not try cases.
Mark October 11 on your calendar, as this is the date previews begin for the musical production of Mel Brook's "Young Frankenstein." Directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, who won Tony awards for her work on Brook's last show, "The Producers," "Young Frankenstein" will feature songs by Brooks, who wrote both the music and lyrics. Confirmed cast members include Megan Mullally as Elizabeth, Sutton Foster as Inga and Shuler Hensley, who appeared in the recent Broadway production of "Tarzan," as the monster. Roger Bart and Andrea Martin were reportedly offered the roles of Igor and Frau Blucher, though television commitments may prevent them from accepting the parts. Also, Zachary Levi from ABC's "Less Than Perfect" had been cast as Dr. Frankenstein but he also had a television commitment. As I write this, the word is that Eric McCormack, who starred on Broadway several years ago in "The Music Man," is being considered for the role.
RETURN OF THE BIG MACCA
I hope everyone got out to Starbucks this week and picked up a copy of "Memory Almost Full," the 21st solo album by Paul McCartney. In an interview promoting the album, Sir Paul noted that a possible third Beatles single could be released. Recorded along with "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love" for the Beatles Anthology, "Now and Then" was a late 1970s demo by John Lennon. McCartney, the late George Harrison and Ringo Starr added parts to "Now and Then" but the quality of Lennon's vocals was not good enough to release at the time. McCartney hopes that today's technology can bring the vocals out properly.
BIG WEEK IN TV
Pretty amazing when Bob Barker and Tony Soprano leave television together.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO...? CHAPTER 21: J. T. WALSH
WHERE YOU MIGHT KNOW HIM FROM: "A Few Good Men," "Good Morning, Vietnam"
AWARDS: 1997 Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for "Hope"
A classic character actor in every sense of the word, JT Walsh was equally adept at playing slimy politicians or unsympathetic military figures. After appearing in various off-Broadway shows in the late '70s, Walsh finally got his big break when he was cast as the sales office manager in David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Glengarry Glen Ross." This recognition lead to early film work in "Power," "Hannah and Her Sisters" and Barry Levinson's "Tin Men." He gained a major shot in the arm when Levinson cast him as Sgt Major "Dick" Dickerson in "Good Morning, Vietnam." He also appeared in minor roles in two films written and directed by Mamet: "Things Change" and "House of Games." He got his first starring role in the film "Wired," playing author Bob Woodward and based on his biography of John Belushi. Other notable films include "Backdraft," "Hoffa," "Blue Chips" and "The Client." He was cast in the short film "Some Folks Call It A Sling Blade" by writer Billy Bob Thornton. He later expanded his role in the feature version, now simply titled "Sling Blade." His best remembered later role was as the truck driver terrorizing Kurt Russell in "Breakdown." He followed that film with work in "The Negotiator" and "Pleasantville." Shortly after completing work on "Hidden Agenda," Mr. Walsh passed away from a heart attack. He was 54. After his passing, Mr. Walsh received many onscreen tributes but none was as touching as the one delivered by his friend, Jack Nicholson, who dedicated his 1997 Best Actor Academy Award to JT Walsh.
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.