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Now in our ninth calendar year!
PCR #421 (Vol. 9, No. 16) This edition is for the week of April 14--20, 2008.

The Tampa Film Review for April  by Nolan Canova, Terence Nuzum, and Chris Woods
"88 Minutes"  by Mike Smith
Odds 'n Ends 'n Bits 'n Pieces  by Lisa Ciurro
Forgotten Horrors: Monster A Go-Go!  by ED Tucker
The Next Round!  by Chris Munger
Charlton Heston Top 10 .... Politico .... The Wolfman .... h  by Matt Drinnenberg
Barry O! .... Return Of The Good Reverend Wright .... Speaking Of The Evil White Man .... Passing On .... This Week's Pcr .... .... .... .... And The Oscar For 1978 Should Have Gone To... a  by Mike Smith
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FANGRRL by Lisa Ciurro

Odds 'n Ends 'n Bits 'n Pieces

Hi. You might not remember me, but I once had a weekly column here. I haven’t written in a while, but since Nolan hasn’t fired me yet (yet!), I’m going to try to catch up on some things here. And away we go…

The Only Sport We Have in South Georgia is Football (Valdosta Wildcats Rule!)

I’d like to extend a crazed fangirl welcome to new PCR columnist Chris Munger. Welcome to the family! (We have an overabundance of crazy uncles, but the family reunions are always fun.)

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue

April is National Poetry Month, a celebration created by the Academy of American Poets to "increase the attention paid -- by individuals and the media -- to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our poetic heritage, and to poetry books and magazines." Think that poetry has no business in the fanboy world? Think again. Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, Orson Scott Card, Margaret Atwood, Issac Asimov, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Stephen King, Ursula K. LeGuin and H.P. Lovecraft have all written poems. The Horror Writers Association and the Science Fiction Poetry Association both give annual awards for poetry. Expand your mind, read a poem. I will if you will.

Don’t Let Little Things Like Marriage and Honeymooning Break Your “Never Missed A Column” Streak

Congratulations to PCR bedrock Mike Smith and the new Mrs. Mike Smith on getting’ hitched. I wish you all the happiness in the world.

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.
-- Ogden Nash

FANGRRL Goes to the Sunscreen Film Festival

I’ve done a horrible disservice to the Sunscreen Film Festival by not devoting an entire column to the fest immediately after it finished on March 22. Festival co-directors Tony Armer and Derek Miner have so much to be proud of, as the Sunscreen Film Festival continues to grow each year, in both size and respect.

In addition to watching lots of movies (all of the fest’s short films and two of the feature-length films), I attended several filmmaker Q & A sessions, met the man responsible for the ultimate fan film Raiders of the Lost Ark:The Adaptation, clapped til my hands hurt at the closing awards ceremony and had a great time.

Here are the Sunscreen Film Festival’s award winners:

Best Music Video: Through Any Window
Best Animated Film: Glitch
Best Short Film: Rabia
Best Documentary: Holler Back - [not] Voting in an American Town
Best Director: Michael Knowles, One Night
The Stan and Cindy Heitman Best Florida Film Award: Pawn'd
Audience Award: The Art of Pain
Best Feature Film: Broke Sky

Unique Video 0; Netflix 1

Despite Nolan’s teasingly tantalizing column last week, there’s not much more I have to add about the closing of Unique Video. Based on what Frank Granda, Jr. told me, it seems that there was a “perfect storm” of circumstances that led to his decision to close the store after twenty-one years: in-store traffic and rentals were scarce; a huge rent increase was on the horizon; Granda was offered a lucrative contract by a Miami radio station for a regular radio gig discussing movies; and more (and better-paying) theater opportunities exist in the Miami area than here.

After years of shuttling back and forth between cities in an attempt to run the video store here in Tampa while acting and performing in Miami, Granda can now concentrate on his career and take advantage of opportunities he previously passed on.

Over the years, Unique Video has delighted scores of film fans with the wide range of often-hard-to-find-elsewhere movies, baffled a few people with the unusual store hours (“a little strange” is how The St. Petersburg Times described them in 2001), and collected some fans of its own, from Barbara Steele to Brad Pitt.

While I’m sad to see the store close, I’m excited to see Granda start the next chapter of his life. When I first met Frank Granda, Jr. in person, he was dressed as a wizard, complete with flowing blue robes, hair glitter and blue eye shadow. How can I not root for a guy like that?

The Ten Commanding Performances of Charlton Heston

Like everyone else, I was saddened to hear of Charlton Heston’s death recently. Matt came up with the great idea of listing our top ten Heston movies, so here’s my list:

10. The 1973 Oscars – Yes, I know this isn’t a movie, but technically my list is of my favorite Heston performances, so I’m able to sneak this one in – Heston was supposed to host a segment of the Academy Awards ceremony but was a no show. At the last minute Clint Eastwood was drafted as Heston’s substitute, which made for some hilarious cue card reading, as all the jokes were about The Ten Commandments and other Heston films. Just as Eastwood was about to bypass the banter altogether, a slightly-disheveled Heston appeared from the wings to save the day. Heston explained that he had gotten a flat tire on his way to the Oscar ceremony and that’s why he was late. Eastwood supposedly swore to never go to the Oscars again unless he was nominated. This “Heston performance” is one of my favorite Oscar moments.

9. The Big Country – As the cranky, envious ranch foreman, Heston plays the bad guy to Gregory Peck’s good guy.

8. Airport 1975 – If I’m ever dressed to the nines, sitting in a large, comfortable airplane seat, chit-chatting with film legends (Gloria Swanson, Myrna Loy) and blossoming starlets (Erik Estrada, Sharon Gless) when all of a sudden, there’s a crash and a gaping hole in the plane and we’re all going to die a fiery, painful death...I’d damn sure want pilot Charlton Heston coming to my rescue.

7. Earthquake – If I’m ever dressed to the nines, sitting somewhere swanky in L.A., chit-chatting with film legends (Ava Gardner, Lorne Greene) and blossoming starlets (Victoria Principal) when all of a sudden, there’s an earthquake and an aftershock and building are falling and we’re all going to die a suffocating, painful death...I’d damn sure want engineer Charlton Heston coming to my rescue.

6. The Ten Commandments – Heston was the best thing about this movie. That's all I have to say about that.

5. TIE: Soylent Green and The Omega Man – I’ve seen each of these movies only once and so long ago that I don’t remember much about them. One thing I do remember, however, is that they’re inextricably linked with Heston and he with them.

4. Planet of the Apes – With a fascinating story with an oh-my-God! twist, this movie would have been successful with someone else is the lead role. I believe, however, that the angst and gravitas Heston portrayed on screen helped elevate this film into the revered classic it is today.

3. Ben-Hur – This movie has so many great Heston moments – yelling “Massala!!” at the top of his lungs, rescuing his mother and sister from the lepers’ colony, getting a sip of water and the will to live from Jesus, kicking ass in the chariot race. Revenge, redemption, rage, religion, religiosity and romance...Heston can do it all.

2. Ruby Gentry – This is one of my mom’s favorite movies. (When I called her to make sure she had heard about Heston’s death, the first thing she said was that she loved him in Ruby Gentry. The second thing she said was that she was going to spend the rest of the day watching Ruby Gentry.) Heston is richie-rich Boake, who loves white-trash Ruby (Jennifer Jones) enough to sleep with her but not marry her. Good, soapy, over-the-top 50s classic movie fun.

1. The Greatest Show on Earth – This movie makes everyone’s list of Overrated Oscar-Winning Movies That Shouldn’t Have Won Because They Sucked, but I have a soft spot for it. I love Heston as the gruff circus manager Brad, who secretly loves trapeze artist Holly (Betty Hutton) but will die (and almost does) before letting her know.


"FANGRRL" is ©2008 by Lisa Ciurro.   All graphics, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova.