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Now in our eighth calendar year!

PCR #397 (Vol. 8, No. 44) This edition is for the week of October 29--November 4, 2007.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! Short and sweet this week. Shall we begin?

"American Gangster"  by Mike Smith
Halloween Potpourri part 2 -- a Casanegra Halloween.  by Terence Nuzum
Halloween & Horrors Overload Pt. II: Beach Theatre Terrorthon and Cult-O-Ween  by Andy Lalino
I Went To Cult-O-Ween And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt  by Lisa Cirruo
Retro-Ween  by ED Tucker
Grow or Die: Art and the Review  by Corey Castellano
The Nominees Are .... Passing On .... Movie Notes .... .... .... .... .... .... Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 32: Charles Durning  by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2007
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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame released their list of nominees for 2008. They are: The Ventures, Madonna, The Dave Clark Five, John Mellencamp, The Beastie Boys, Donna Summer, Chic, Leonard Cohen and Afrika Bambaataa. Definite YES to Madonna and Mellencamp. Think the Beastie's will have to wait. I see Leonard Cohen sneaking in. Though CHIC beat both the Cars and Prince for best new artist of 1978, I don't see them as rock and roll. Same with Donna Summer. The Ventures and DC5 were early pop sensations (plus extra credit to the DC5 for having a lead singer named Michael Smith - it's nice to know some bands appreciate talent), so they may sneak in. And, to be honest, I have no idea who Afrika Bambaataa is!

Music lost two distinct voices this week with the passing of Porter Wagoneer and Robert Goulet. An early pioneer of country music, Wagoneer paid $100 a week to syndicate his own music show each week, growing to as large as 700 channels. Most of Wagoneer's songs told stories, often bizarre ones, including his hit "The Carrol County Accident." Wagoneer is also credited with discovering Dolly Parton, who appeared on his television show in the late 60s.

Robert Goulet, whose rich baritone and on stage ease made him one of the most popular vocalists of his time, died this week while awaiting a lung transplant. He was diagnosed last month with a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis. After a successful radio and tv career in Canada (he was born in Massachusetts but moved to the Great White North at an early age), Goulet returned to America and, in 1960, originated the role of Lancelot in the musical "Camelot." He soon began recording and in 1962 was awarded the best new artist Grammy Award. He won a Tony Award in 1968 for "The Happy Time" and also appeared on stage in "Carousel," "The Fantastiks," "South Pacific" and "Man of La Mancha." He was equally successful in film, appearing in Louis Malle's "Atlantic City." He was also the singing voice of Wheezy in "Toy Story 2." Goulet is also a part of pop culture legend as it was his appearance on screen that caused Elvis Presley to shoot out his television. Curious if Goulet mentioned this to the King's ex, Priscilla, when they appeared in "The Naked Gun 2 1/2" together.

James Brolin and Diane Ladd have reportedly joined the cast of the big screen's "DALLAS," playing Jock and Miss Ellie Ewing.

Tom Hanks has confirmed that he will begin shooting "Angels and Demons," a sequel to "The DaVinci Code," in February. Ron Howard is once again directing.



AWARDS: 1983 Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."

1984 Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for "To Be or Not to Be."

(8) Emmy Award nominations, most recently in 2005 as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for "Navy NCIS"

(4) Golden Globe nominations including a win in 1991 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie: "The Kennedy's of Massachusetts."

My first recollection of Charles Durning is as a detective investigating the attempted assault of Gloria Stivic on "All in the Family." On the big screen, he first made an impression as the crooked Lt. Snyder in the Oscar winning "The Sting." In 1975 he played another policeman, this time Detective Sergeant Moretti opposite Al Pacino's bankrobber in "Dog Day Afternoon." His work here earned him a Golden Globe nomination as well as a National Board of Review award for Best Supporting Actor. Two years later he was cast as Spermwhale Whalen in one of my favorite "guilty pleasure" films, "The Choirboys." Roles in "The Fury" and "North Dallas Forty" followed, as well as a memorable cameo as the owner of a fried frog leg chain in "The Muppet Movie." He continued to work steadily in the 1980s, picking up back to back Oscar nominations for "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "To Be or Not to Be." Sharp eyed filmgoers will also recognize Durning as the voice behind the unseen interrorgator at the beginning of "Scarface." More then 20 years later, Durning continues to work steadily, most recently as Denis Leary's dad in "Rescue Me." In the early 90s it was my distinct pleasure to see Mr. Durning appear on Broadway opposite Rip Torn in "Inherit the Wind."

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.