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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2007!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 405  (Vol. 8, No. 52). This edition is for the week of December 24--31, 2007.

The Keys To A Great Vacation, Part One
"Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story"
Soggy Noodle Awards - First Annual
Time Warp Toy Box: Week 4
We've Come A Long Way, Baby -- Or Have We? From 1972 To 2007
Hitler Is Good?... NFL Gets It Right .... Story Of The Year
The Year That Was .... Thanks For Everything .... Finally! .... Fanboy Calendar .... They Said It .... Passing On .... Sorry I Missed You, Part 2 .... h

Happy New Year!
• The Top 10 Christmas Movie Challenge
• Quote of the Year
• Story of the Year
• I Want To Thank...
• Most Valuable Players
• The Graveyard of Fallen PCR Columns
• The Year That Was, Part 2
• Hooters PCR "Office Party"
• Hooters: The "Lost" Pics
• "CANOVA" the comic, next episode (opens a new browser window)

Well, this is it. This is the issue I must tie up all loose ends, close all open cases, and finish all unfinished business. Over the next couple of days, I'm going to endeavor to do just that. No turning back now, the die is cast.

I'd like to thank everybody who participated in Matt Drinnenberg's "Top 10 Christmas Movies of All Time" Challenge. We hadn't had a Top 10 challenge in quite a while and this went pretty well, especially for something I myself went into only kinda half-hearted. (If anyone wonders where my list is, I didn't make a Top 10 for this challenge, but the few Christmas movies that meant anything to me were mentioned in my introduction a couple issues back. If anyone still cares, my number one pick not based on a pre-existing source is an even tie between Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Story. My number one pick based on an pre-existing source would be A Christmas Carol, the Alistair Sim version, I agree with my brother on that.)

Letters to the Editor The media seems quite taken with "Don't Tase Me Bro'!!" from the video of the humiliating rasslin' match between campus cops and a protester who interrupted a John Kerry speech, but I myself have to vote for "Leave Britney Alone!" from the viral video of the effeminate young actor crying his eyes out pleading for the world to stop harrassing Britney Spears. What a performance.

I'm going from memory here, and these are confined to the United States, but the finalists in my mind are: the O.J Simpson bust in a Las Vegas hotel, the Virginia Tech shooting, the conviction of John Couey for the sexual assault and murder of Jessica Lumsford, anything having to do with Britney Spears' utter meltdown (head-shaving, et.,al), and god help me, the arrest of Senator Larry Craig in a Minneapolis bathroom after propositioning a male undercover officer. The Couey conviction was very important and provided closure but was not a surprising verdict, O.J. is more weird/funny than anything else (altho he gets closer to jail time with every new f*ck-up), many of the rest are sex scandals (while titilating, not earth-shaking), so my vote goes to The Virginia Tech Massacre. On a more personal note, I'd like to acknowledge the remarkable groundswell support for presidential candidate Ron Paul who set records raising campaign funds despite his poll numbers still hanging in the single digits.

The group of writers here at PCR are among the finest assembly of writing talent known to fandom, if not the finest, and I've made no secret of my awe and admiration for all of them and their work. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I couldn't have come this far without them.

And, of course, all of you lovely people out there in web-land who read us week-to-week. Some of you have come forward to comment and make yourselves known, but I also live with the reality that I'll never know who 95% of the rest of you are. That's OK, I know you're there. Thank you for your continued support.

In past years' issues I spent a considerable amount of "ink" on this section. Since then, the whole PCR family has grown much closer, but has also grown in different directions, making it harder to single out any one or two as most valuable. Many of the "old guard" who rated highly in the past, and are still highly-valued, have since had significant life changes that severely limited their time aboard the good ship Crazed Fanboy as regular columnists, while newer writers have shown remarkable enthusiasm, tenacity, and reliability. One or two had decent participation and good material, but their careers continue to keep them separated from their keyboards (you know who you are).

The most valuable Nolan's Pop Culture Review players for 2007 were:
Michael A. Smith. Like this is going to surprise anybody. Mike has never missed an issue. From the beginning. I always know, if nothing else, I'll have This Week's Movie Review to help kick-start PCR for the week. Mike's Rant started as a regular Lettercol feature in our first issue (year 2000), and has chronicled news of the day ever since in a dedicated column.
By the way....of all currently regular contributors, I've known Mike Smith the longest at about 30 years. Only Will Moriaty, occasional columnist for La Floridiana exceeds that at closer to 35 years.
Andy Lalino. Despite being a lightning rod for controversy, Andy has not only kept up the retro-fan watch column Oddservations and been a long-time Message Board contributor (Cult Film Fan extraordinaire), he has also been proactive in securing ads for this website, and developing ideas for promotion.
By the way.... the Dr. Paul Bearer/Creature Feature Database was Andy's idea.
Terence Nuzum. Terence, who's been with me since very nearly the beginning, has had a long and storied career with Crazed Fanboy starting with his forging a "punk" writing style (Terence's Tirade) with music and concert reviews (The Digital Divide). His multi-part history lessons were groundbreaking stuff (e.g., 10-part History of the Blues). While his current outstanding columns The Audio Philes and The Enlightenment come out about as often as a blue moon, they do come out. Our personal relationship is invaluable, and I know you have noticed he accompanies me to most events (he helps me remember them). His day-to-day involvment with running the Message Board and the website is largely uncredited, but I need to change that.
By the way... having a Message Board at all was Terence's idea (I resisted). It's success has been amazing.
ED Tucker. The most notable and popular special-feature writer ever to grace these pages (The Lost Interview of Dr. Paul Bearer, The True Story of The Royal Guardsmen) , ED Tucker took the bold step into a regular columns only few months ago, but he's not missed an issue since his first, and that is to be commended. His weekly column, Retrorama, an examination of retro-centric toys, comics, television and movies has proven as popular as his past historical articles and interviews.
By the way... the new Creature Feature store was ED's idea to meet the demand of the barrage of Dr. Paul Bearer fan mail we get and it's already proven useful.
Lisa Ciurro. The FANGRRL herself. I am so grateful to have Lisa here it's nuts. An award-winning area blogger who contributes to several websites, I was honored (and blown away) she accepted my invitation to join our ranks. She knew she'd be the only woman here and she relishes the role. She's an amazing writer, a terrific lady, wonderfully supportive, and our personal friendship has grown outside the website.
Paul Guzzo. You might be surprised to find Paul here since he hasn't been as active with his column Filmlook as I'd've liked, but he has kept his Indie Film News up-to-date on a weekly basis, which provides valuable news and alerts to Bay area filmmakers. Paul and Pete Guzzo have virtually single-handedly made a film scene in Tampa where none existed previously (only Rick Danford preceeds them in that notoriety), most notably with the monthly Tampa Film Review series held in Ybor City. The TFR is approaching its 4th anniversary.

Honorable mentions:
Corey Castellano. One of my oldest and dearest friends, Corey started Film Biz 101 between jobs as an in-demand movie make-up specialist. He hasn't been as regular a columnist as he planned to be, but his stories of life on a movie set and in the world of Hollywood have been most educational. We first met during the Star Wars summer of 1977 and have been friends ever since.
By the way....also being a tech-head, Corey built two out of the three computers I've owned and has been invaluable in remote diagnostics of same. He also got me started in Photoshop.
Matt Drinnenberg. Welcome back, Matt!

Despite several close contenders and last week's announcement that there would only be one gravestone, there wound up being two this year...and both their initials are "CC"!
John Lewis and his daughter Ashley (of the late Ashley's Hollywood) have been irregular contributors to this site for many years. John started Creature's Corner a few years back as a quick-and-dirty review column on television, movies, and comics. Occasionally rambling, but definitely filled with John's over-the-top personality, Creature's Corner ("Creature" is a pet name we had for animal-lover John) ground to a halt about mid-summer this year as the Lewises concentrated their time more on filmmaking and on running their new pet/comics store, Comics & Critters Too. Despite our personal relationship having experienced many rocky roads over the years, I believe John was sincere in wanting to continue the column. Alas, it just wasn't meant to be. PCR hellion Drew Reiber, like his friend Terence Nuzum, continually pushed the envelope on fan discussion, critics be damned. A gifted writer and reviewer, Drew's highly-opinionated but informative columns were a PCR staple for many years. I was shocked to discover while researching this section that there were no Chiller Cinema columns posted at all to PCR in 2007. While he's still a very active contributor on the Message Board, Drew's current occupation inside Hollywood precludes him from revealing anything sensitive behind-the-scenes, or going on record with priveleged information. Regrettably, this means he had to give up Chiller Cinema, his last column, which he originally created to follow horror movies.


July through December, 2007

July. With Independence Day here, I celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Roswell UFO Crash. Did it really happen? Hey, you be the judge (Christ, I hate when newscasters resort to that cop-out). The much-maligned, but high-profile hack Michael Bay's Transformers would wind up being the third-highest grossing film of the year. Anyone still care, though? Andy Lalino interviews Frank Granda, Jr of Unique Video, starting the ball rolling on a productive relationship between they and us. A media firestorm erupts when Bush cabinet flunky "Scooter" Libby is pardoned for lying to Congress -- hey if it had been you or me, boooyyyy. I institute Readers Comments on the Crazed Fanboy homepage which is accepted immediately by fandom assembled, even attracting posters who normally shun the Message Board. I bring back It Came From The PO Box to review "Inside Section One", while Harry Potter mania sweeps America: both the final book and the second-to-last movie are released the same week. We lose Lady Bird Johnson, beloved character actor Charles Lane, cinematographer László Kovács ASC, and Tammy Faye (Bakker) Messner to the great beyond. As Tampa's Public Access TV faces its near-eradication, the Internet itself looks to be a force that may help decide the next presidential election. Lisa Ciurro's FANGRRL column debuts--I am giddy at the notion of a regular female columnist, this one in particular. August sees more giddiness ensue with the debut of ED Tucker's Retrorama, long hoped-for and immediately eagerly embraced by fandom assembled. I take grief from Andy over seeing The Simpsons Movie, but hey, I'm a sucker for it, we lose legendary talk show host Tom Snyder, and in my zeal to create and fine-tune the new Content Management System for PCR, I manage to crash my own servers! YIKES. When the dust settles, though, it turned out to be one of my proudest achievements to date as a webmaster -- the CMS, not the crash, hahaha. Around the time of my 52nd birthday, we lose Ingmar Bergman, Lee Hazelwood, Kerwin Matthews and Merv Griffin. Geez, they're really dropping off this year! Mike Smith begins to document his..er..contempt...for baseball superstar Barry Bonds, mostly due to Bonds' "asterisk"-inducing drug habits. Old friend Corey Castellano asks "What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?" in the debut of his new column Film Biz 101. While making an impressive debut, his movie career would interrupt his frequency. Oh, well, we got a few columns out of the boy! And I know there'll be more to come. Terence Nuzum brings back The Audio Philes to discuss The Byrds. But Senator Larry Craig's denial of bathroom sex hijinks is for the birds! His encounter with an undercover cop is one of the year's best stories. Comparatively speaking, the long-anticipated resignation of US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales amid scandal seems under-whelming. September begins with fan fall-out over Rob Zombie's Halloween remake (which actually opened the last day of August). We lose former Mrs. Ronald Reagan and actress Jane Wyman, and one of the greatest tenors who ever lived, Luciano Pavarotti. I pontificate on celebrity kids today--what the hell...? With the money they make why are they all DUI crazy? Britney's meltdown is a book unto itself. General Patraeus informs the nation that we're building progress in the Iraq War, but nobody seems to believe him. We lose character actress Alice Ghostly (who I first remember from "Captain Nice") and legendary mime Marcel Marceau, but there is no silence for mourners whose lives he impacted. Of course, October is a big fave month around these quarters, horrifically-speaking, haha. While the rest of the nation pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of Sputnik, the little satellite that could, we focus our energies on the Top 10 Horror Movies of All Time. The passing of Matt Drinnenberg's mom dims our emotions, but results in a face-to-face reunion when Mike Smith, Matt, Mark, and Ann Drinnenberg, Corey Castellano, and yours truly attend the funeral together. Comedian Joey Bishop joins way too many others this year in the Great Beyond. Horror conventions Screamfest and Halloweenapalooza attract many to their clutches, but a proud moment is shared by a priveleged few as the first Crazed Fanboy/Unique Video Cult-O-Ween event is staged. We meet John Miller (J.MILLER2 on the Message Board) for the first time there. Terence Nuzum brings back The Enlightenment to coach everyone on great Halloween movies to watch. Unfortunately, Las Vegas staple Robert Goulet dies waiting for a lung transplant. Country music legend Porter Wagner isn't far behind. November brings bad news to TV and movie fans as the WGA's Writer's Strike hits and Hollywood nearly shuts down. At this writing there is still no end in sight and long-awaited productions are delayed or cancelled altogether. TV resorts to an increase in reality shows (yuck), while talk shows have some decisions to make. ED Tucker documents his Giant Spider restoration, and PCR celebrates its 400th weekly issue. Weird Thanksgiving ensues as ex-pilots call for reopening UFO investigations and I spot Butch "Eddie Munster" Patrick on Court TV! Two more passings would mark this holiday season as rock musician Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot dies of a cocaine overdose. Personally, my life is shaken when my favorite partner at 7-Eleven, Robert Sandsmark, dies suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 35. But we still can't quite get out of November before another legend, stuntman Evel Knievel dies at a young 69. As December unfolds, the gang looks forward to the Christmas Holidays and takes stock of the Top 10 Christmas Movies of All Time as we all anticipate the end of another year together. John Miller announces and debuts the online comic strip "Canova", a sort of post-nuke combination of me and Snake Plisskin, in PCR. Too new to tell much reaction yet, but what we have heard is positive. ED Tucker and I debut the Creature Feature Store to hopefully unite fans with extant episodes of Dr. Paul Bearer's show. The Golden Compass which supposedly threatened to introduce kids to atheism, debuts weakly, despite all the press. Folk singer Dan Fogelberg dies after a long battle with prostate cancer. Locally, legendary newscaster Hugh Smith dies after his long battle with cancer. The PCR gang write in their Best Of/Worst Of lists, I take stock of the year in review, list the only two columns to earn gravestones and look ahead to 2008. I probably have forgotten or overlooked several worthy news stories, for which I apologize, but this is the year as I saw it and remembered it.


The PCR "Office Party" at Hooters, December 23, 2007.
Deck The Halls!
John Miller, left, enjoys his "inaugural" Hooters event, which was also our Christmas Party, haha. Andy Lalino and wife Sandy look on. This is likely the only picture you might ever see of the rarely-seen and camera-shy Sandy Lalino.Terence Nuzum, left, and Paul Guzzo, are, I think, watching some sports thing on TV. I can't explain what else those facial expressions might be about.The only successful group shot of the whole table after three attempts. Clockwise from left, Andy Lalino, Sandy Lalino (deliberately obscured), Ron Canova, Will Moriaty, Nolan Canova, Terence Nuzum, Paul Guzzo, Lisa Ciurro. Photo by J. Miller.
A little bit better shot of some of our constituents. L-to-R, Lisa Ciurro, Ron Canova, John Miller, and Andy Lalino. I think that's Paul Guzzo's arm just visible on the left.The late-arriving Joel D. Wynkoop, left, talks with William Moriaty. Will's visits to Hooters have become rarer due to personal life changes.Parting shot of me, left, with the delightful Lisa Ciurro.

The "Lost" Hooters Pics, October 7, 2007.
Mike Smith and Juanita Craft travel to Tampa to attend the funeral of Matt Drinnenberg's mother, Marjorie. A little too "festive" to post on PCR at the time, I think it's appropriate to honor her memory by releasing these snapshots at this time.
Mike Smith, left, and his fiance, Juanita Craft, traveled from Missouri to Florida to attend Matt's mom's funeral. Despite the solemn occasion, I'm glad we provided Mike and Juanita a chance for some levity.Terence Nuzum, left, Chris Woods, center, and Paul Guzzo, probably chatting about TFR-related hijinks.Andy Lalino, centered between the shoulders of Chris Woods (l) and Terence Nuzum (r).
Terence Nuzum, left, and Chris Woods react to horror stories of Mike's and my youth!Sporting my Simpsons T-shirt destined to drive Andy to madness, I observe Terence, who's either amused at something said, or more likely, watching the mounted TV. Or both.Attempt Number 1 at a group shot. Terence sacrifices his seat to try and grab us all.
Attempt Number 2. I have never been a big fan of waitresses or strangers taking group shots of us because it always seems to result in 65% wasted headroom. Nevertheless, Mike absolutely insisted our server take this shot, so here you go, we're in the bottom half with a lovely shot of nothing much in the top half. But at least Terence got in the picture!

So, what's next? In 2008, I swear I'm going to make good on my promise to be more video intensive, including finally getting video edited that was taken over the last few years.

The Content Management System will be completed and expanded.

Also, the Homepage and Message Board are likely to get a cosmetic make-over! Fun, fun!



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! The comments below are listed starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
J.MILLER2 [28-12-2007 22:30] 
Matt - I agree the NFL is finally doing the right thing for once...They are in serious danger of drifting away from their core audience...

Odds - Great column once again...There should be a categorie for worst case of exploiting a dead rock stars music...I Am Legend...Still scratching my head trying to make the connection between the movie and Bob Marleys "Redemption Song"...
Nolan [28-12-2007 19:29] 
BTW, Lisa, terrific article on the changing perceptions of women's roles in society, especially in the media, over the last 35 years. Most informative and insightful. Thanks.
Nolan [28-12-2007 19:18] 
Puff, I understand. I'm just really tired -- long week.
Puff Chrissy [28-12-2007 17:30] 
I didn't mean to rush you, Nolan. This week's edition looked complete and I thought there would be no comic, that's all.
Nolan [28-12-2007 12:52] 
OK, it's up now. But it's too big/heavy for the homepage. If you click the link for it (under the headline) it should open in a new browser window.
Nolan [28-12-2007 11:16] 
I'm running a trifle late with it this week, sheesh. Patience.
Puff Chrissy [28-12-2007 07:55] 
Where is the next CANOVA strip?
Nolan [27-12-2007 21:48] 
HAha, how can we not be professional? We've had so much practice! (Or have we?) Thanks, "Truth"....(the real "the_truth" must be flattered so many imposters have posted in his name. This ain't him. But peekaboo I see you.)
The Truth [27-12-2007 20:05] 
I hope everyone has a professional 2008!
Nolan [27-12-2007 10:12] 
I take it that's "Happy New Year" in Polish? Back atcha, my friend!
Puff Chrissy [27-12-2007 09:38]  
Dobrego Nowego Roku!
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
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"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2007 by Matt Drinnenberg    "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino    "FANGRRL" is ©2007 by Lisa Ciurro    "Film Biz 101" is ©2007 by Corey Castellano    "Retrorama" is ©2007 by ED Tucker      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova    
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