Either your browser's javascript has been disabled or it needs an update! Please re-enable your javascript program or update your browser to view this page as designed. PCR's past banners

Now in our eighth calendar year!

PCR #383. (Vol. 8, No. 30) This edition is for the week of July 23--29, 2007.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! Raise a glass because American Legion baseball is over. I should be regular once again. Shall we begin?

"Hairspray"  by Mike Smith
A Tribute to Elizabeth Haslam: Memories of Haslam's Book Store  by Andy Lalino
Allow Me To Introduce Myself...  by Lisa Ciurro
This Week's Issue....Happy Birthday....What About The Shat?...Going To The Hall....Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 25: Joe Pantoliano  by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2007
Archives 2006
Archives 2005
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
Email PCR

Lots of items to note from this week's PCR:
1. Andy, great piece on Haslam's. I can remember many a Saturday afternoon driving over to St Pete with Matt and perusing their mountainous selections of books. I'm glad to see the store is continuing on.
2. Tammy Faye. Yes, it was all over the newspapers here in KC when Tammy Faye and her husband moved to an exclusive country club community here recently. Ironically, I've had to cut the power to many of the homes of the very rich and was looking forward to paying her a visit.
3. Welcome to the family, Lisa. Hope you enjoy yourself here.

As mentioned on the home page, this past Thursday, my son, Phillip, turned 23, which is hard to believe since I was 23 when he was born. Happy birthday, son. I love you.

This afternoon J.J. Abrams introduced a familiar face to 6500 fans at the San Diego Comic Con. That face belonged to Leonard Nimoy, who will appear as an aged Spock in the next "Star Trek" film, coming in December 2008. Zach Quinto will portray Spock as a young man.

Way back in issue #81 I noted the retirement of Baltimore Oriole 3rd baseman Cal Ripken, Jr. Cal was one of my favorite players of all time (he's still my son's #1) and I took the time to list a few memories he had given me. Cal and I both came to Baltimore in 1982 and when I left in 1996 he had just broken the "never to be broken" consecutive games played streak set by Lou Gehrig. This weekend Cal, along with Tony Gwynn, will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Cal is the first player whose career I followed from beginning to end to make it to Cooperstown. Congrats to the great #8!


WHERE YOU MIGHT KNOW HIM FROM: "Eddie and the Cruisers," "The Sopranos"

AWARDS: 2003 Emmy Award as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for "The Sopranos".

Affectionately known as "Joey Pants," this New Jersey native is the perfect definition of a character actor. After some bit parts in early 1970s television, Pantoliano earned some recognition when he played Private Maggio in the television version of "From Here to Eternity." His first indelible film role came as "Guido the killer pimp" in 1983s "Risky Business." He also co-starred that year in the cult hit "Eddie and the Cruisers." While continuing to work steady in television ("Hill Street Blues," "Simon and Simon"), it was another film role that added to his popularity, that of Francis Fratelli in "The Goonies." He starred opposite Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines in "Running Scared," and showed his dramatic chops as John Malkovich's right hand man in Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun." In 1990 he starred in his first television series, "The Fanelli Boys," which was canceled after one season. He appeared as Cosmo, one of Tommy Lee Jone's assistant marshals, in "The Fugitive" as well as it's sequel, "U.S. Marshals." His second series, "The Handler," also last one season. However, the next year he began a two season run on the popular mob drama, "The Sopranos." As Ralph Cifaretto, a captain in Tony Soprano's family, Pantoliano was both funny and horrifying. In one episode, he beat his pregnant girlfriend to death with his bare hands. When his head finally ends up in a bowling ball bag it's a relief! For his role in "The Sopranos" Pantoliano won the 2003 Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama. Since "The Sopranos" ended, he has starred in two more short lived series ("Dr. Vegas" and "Waterfront") and has continued to work steadily in film.

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.