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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2007!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 389  (Vol. 8, No. 36). This edition is for the week of September 3--9, 2007.

Early Halloween.

by Mike Smith


by Lisa Ciurro

Book Review:
by ED Tucker

Loose in Las Vegas 2007
by Mike Smith

Voices Silenced .... This And That .... Larry Craig

Also....Senator Craig reconsiders resignation
           Hurricane Felix
           The World Loses Pavarotti
           Readers Comments

Congratulations to Rob Zombie & Co for the record-setting Labor Day weekend debut of Halloween, which hauled in around $30 million.

Critics have been all over the map about this film (I myself haven't had a chance to see it yet), basically acknowledging its finer moments combined with the nagging feeling it couldn't quite exceed the classic original in depth or memorability. But I intend to see it and decide for myself.

The Message Board has kick-started the old "Zombie to direct Halloween" thread with the first reactions. Check it out here and post your thoughts.

Senator Craig Returns?
You'll remember in last week's issue we talked about the strange story of Senator Larry Craig (Republican, Idaho) who was caught propositioning an undercover cop in an airport men's room stall? After a nearly unprecedented firestorm of controversy following his denials, the Senator announced his resignation. That was obviously the right thing to do, yes?

Now he doesn't think so. He's reconsidered the event and decided he shouldn't have subsequently pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of "disorderly conduct" to make the case go away, which backfired horribly (his guilty plea added fuel to the fire) and is going to attempt to reverse it in court. The logic being if he can get out of the guilty plea and somehow exhonerate himself (not likely), his constituents will love him again. (His successor was already chosen.)

I don't know what universe he lives in, but I don't see how he can work and I don't see who can trust him again. Keep in mind that the "bathroom incident" was not an isolated one; questions about his sexual conduct go back decades.

I myself have joined in the Huzzahs about "Republican hypocrisy" -- it's just so damn enjoyable to do.

Letters to the Editor

Hurricane Felix
As I write this, the Central American countries of Nicaragua and Honduras are struggling to cope with the devastating impact of Hurricane Felix, the Category 5 storm that recently dropped in.

And in one of the rarest timings of meteorological history, at the same time that was happening, another hurricane, Henriette, was pounding the southern tip Baja California. It is the first time in recorded history the same region would be hit from opposite sides at the same time from two major storms.

Pavarotti, Dead at 71
We here at Nolan's Pop Culture Review mourn the passing of Luciano Pavarotti, the biggest opera biggest superstar of the late 20th century. He died early Thursday at 71.

He was the son of a singing baker and became the "king of the high C's". It has been said that if opera entered the 20th century with Enrico Caruso, the century ended with Luciano Pavarotti. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer which he'd been battling in recent years.

Readers' Comments
The Readers' Comments section for this issue of PCR is now closed. To continue to interact, please use the Message Board or write a Letter to the Editor! Comments posted below begin with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
Michael [08-09-2007 03:37] 
Andy, thanks for the comments. I'm actually one that really enjoys cameos, especially unsuspected ones. I mean, come on, Mickey Dolenz? Obviously in some film remakes, etc you can always expect some, like Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul showing up at the end of "Starsky and Hutch," but when you can pick out people like Sybil Danning and Ken Foree (no easy job as he's put on a lot of weight since "Dawn of the Dead"....of course, so have I) it's almost like an extra treat from the director.
ED [07-09-2007 11:41] 
Andy - I actually made a list when I got to Vegas of all the shops in the phone book I wanted to visit. I checked off the ones that I made it to and even wrote down a couple of new ones I passed in route. I did this partially to keep myself organized when I was driving around and partly to have all the names to mention in my Fanboy report. Unfortunately that list dissappeared somewhere after I unpacked but if I find it I will send you a copy. If you decide to plan a visit, let me know.
Odds [07-09-2007 10:21] 
ED, loved your Vegas coverage! I knew Mikels/Steckler lived there, and that it's one of the kitsch capitols of the world, but had no idea there was as much fandom there as thought. When you do additional columns on your Vegas trip, can you list out the shops/stores to visit?

Isn't there a sci-fi museum/exhibit in Seattle? Might be a good next destination.
Odds [07-09-2007 09:38] 
Mike, interesting review of "Halloween", like ED, I talked to another person (a huge horror fan) who thought it left much to be desired and was distracted by the cameos. I heard the first 45 minutes isn't bad, but the movie tanks after Myers escapes from the asylum and dons the famous mask.

I have not seen it yet, and, I have to be honest, am not yet encouraged to. Sounds like it's better than "1000 Corpses", but not nearly as good as "The Devil's Rejects".

Mark [06-09-2007 18:56] 
I agree there are some dumb themes in Vegas. But Romans is just classic for Ceasar's and Clowns over at Circus Circus is for Kids. Great little low roller casino right next to Circus Circus called Slots of Fun. Great hog dogs too.

I always thought it would be cool to have a horror themed casino or horror movie themed casino. The only thing close is the vampire show called Bite at the stratosphere.
ED [06-09-2007 08:59] 
Mark - it's just like all the other themed casinos on the strip except the Hilton got Star Trek. I'm not a huge Trek fan and only like the original series but I thought they did a great job and I would much rather look at Star trek stuff than clowns or Romans.

The part I found interesting is that, apparently, the Presidential Suite of the Hilton was Elvis's favorite shoting gallery! He finally had to quit shooting things when one of his bullets went through a wall and almost hit his girlfriend in the next room! I wonder what those bullet holes would sell for on eBay?
Mark [06-09-2007 08:42] 
I saw Ed's article. I have been in that old Hilton once. I first saw it and thought to myself, "Oh cool this is where they shot Over the Top." I went in there and it was the most disgusting display of nerddum I have ever seen in my life. I dont know whos idea it was to put star trek stuff in side a classic casino but I left. It made me sick. If you want to see something cool in Vegas go to the revamped golden nugget and swim in their new 20 million dollar shark tank pool...now thats some cool stuff.
Terence [05-09-2007 18:43] 
....brings in the sad and overused abused child/explaining who the killer is angle that has plagued current horror and isnt different by any stretch of the imagination. anyway at least Zombie is done with this mess and hopefully can now get to his mexican wrestler horror film!
Terence [05-09-2007 18:42] 
personally Mike ill bet my life that anything Romero does is fresher and smarter than Rob Zombies work. While i loved House of 1,000 Corpses and Devils Rejects they honestly were just nostalgia fests which were nothing more than reimaginings of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. I dont think anything Zombie does is fresh in the slightest. Only Devils Rejects really could qualify as pushing any kind of envelope of originality. Land Of The Dead was at least original and ddint in the slightest betray that it was made by a 60 year old man. quite the opposite actually. this Halloween remake on the other hand.....
ED [05-09-2007 16:56] 
Mike - Thanks for the explanation that helps a lot. Sadly Hollywood can't understand that they should have changed the names and made a new movie and I cannot and will not forgive them for tarnishing a classic in their search for a safe bet. I agree that Zombe did try to change it up but let's face it, making Halloween the 13th isn't that original either.
Michael [05-09-2007 16:22] 
ED, I gave the film three stars for the following reasons: 1. I did try to seperate the original film and this one and did find quite a few thrills. Zombie knows his was around a camera and if, like you suggest, the names were changed and no one was aware of the Carpenter film, I found it pretty entertaining. 2. I'm a sucker for cameos! :-) Some of our party in Vegas has seen the new Romero film ("Diary of the Dead?") and they were very negative about it. Rather then try to make things different he's stuck with the old formula. At least Zombie, in my opinion, tried to change things up.
ED [05-09-2007 14:27] 
Terence - I wasn't arguing with Mike's opionion of the film. I read his review three times and I couldn't figure out why he was giving it three stars. There was nothing that said to me "here are the good things about this film that make me give it three stars out of four". That's why I was asking for clarification in this case for how they were awarded.

Personally I was happy to end the original series after either the first or second film. I liked the second one for the most part but I don't really think it was neccesary or indespensible.
terence [05-09-2007 13:29] 
by the Thorn cult a group of evil druids. it sounds hokey but to me its the most satisfying ending. there is also the other route which ignores 4-6 and continues after part2 with H20 and Inssurection but only Andy Lalino likes those peices of crap. as for mike smiths reviews..well i usually guess what theya re gonna be before i even see them..they are always three stars. someone more conspiratorial then i would say he is being paid to give good reviews. either that or he likes a hell of alot more crap than most of us. oddly his halloween review reads like a two star review. go figure.
Terence [05-09-2007 13:23] 
typically nowadays they have to have him come from a messed up family background. that trick is getting lame. and of course so is Zombies penchant for crazy families. the original is scary not becuase he is slicing and dicing and we know that hes a tortured child but becuase he stays in the shadows and we dont know anything about him much at all. if you choose to go beyond number one you can get Carpenters ending with number two that reveals he kills for Samhain. While you could end with number 2 which is Carpenters ending i prefer to follow it to number 6 but only the producers cut of part 6 where they reveal Michael was taken as a child..
ED [05-09-2007 12:04] 
Paul - I agre with you 100% and have made the very same argument myself. In the original it is implied that Meyers was a normal child until Halloween night when he was 10 years old. He came from a perfectly normal family and the only thing even remotely wrong is that his sister was having premarital sex with her boyfriend. The fact that he looks like a normal 10 year old kid when he is unmasked at the begining is the begining of the tip off that something is wrong on a supernatural level. I also found his mechanical actions and out of place responeses as an adult far creepier than the excessive violence and sadism of the new version.
ED [05-09-2007 12:00] 
Also, while I like Zombie's movie regulars, I thought the cameos got way out of control here and actually detracted from the suspense. I am surprised you didn't note the fact that while Myers kills four armed police officers and at least two staff members during his escape in this version, the hospital Directors and police still act like nothing major is going on and aren't terribly concerned about his capture! Obviously the script needed some tightening before it was filmed! As it stands I would barely give the film one star and most of that is for a couple of last minute surprises and the conclusive ending.
Paul Guzzo [05-09-2007 11:53] 
I haven't seen the new Halloween yet ... but I heard they changed the back story. I hear in the new one they have Myers come from an abusive home. I am not a HUGE Halloween fan, so I could be wrong, but wasn't it implied in the originals that Myers came from a normal home and was just psychotic? I always thought that was creepier than giving him a reason for killing.
ED [05-09-2007 11:49] 
Mike - I am curious how the new Halloween film rates three stars in your opinion. To me it basically sounded like your review said "Here's why the original Halloween was better than the new one. The new Halloween has lots of cameos. Three stars." I agree with you that the original is tremendously better than the new one. All Zombie did was take away the supernatural undertones of the original and make Michael Myers more of a hulking maniac like Jason or Leatherface. This would have been a much better film if they had changed the names and let it be it's own movie.
Nolan [05-09-2007 11:16] 
This Week's Movie Review is the fourth regular column successfully converted to the new content management system.

We welcome back Lisa Ciurro who's rejoined us ahead of schedule! Handling some important medical problems was expected to take much longer. I'm very happy to see she's improved so quicky. Welcome back, Lisa!

Corey Castellano has recently experienced a death in the family. We send him our sincere condolences and look forward to his speedy return.

Andy says his own column may be delayed or even have to be postponed due to some internet problems he's had this week. Good luck with that, Andy, hurry back!
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

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"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino    "Fangrrl" is ©2007 by Lisa Ciurro    "Retrorama" is ©2007 by ED Tucker      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova    
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