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PCR #410 (Vol. 9, No. 5) This edition is for the week of January 28--February 3, 2008.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! A little bit now and a little bit later. Shall we begin?

"Rambo"  by Mike Smith
FX Show 2008, Suzanne Pleshette/Allan Melvin, Star Trek trailer  by Andy Lalino
FX 2008  by ED Tucker
It's True ... The Arts ARE Important  by Paul Guzzo
Super Bowl XLII....Presidential Dropouts....Rondo Time  by Matt Drinnenberg
I Was There! .... Never Trust A Ute .... Movie Notes .... Speaking Of Psychotics .... Oops, I Forgot .... .... .... .... And The Oscar For 1994 Should Have Gone To...  by Mike Smith
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Well, win or lose, history will certainly be made this November when either a woman or an African-American will be their party's nominee in the Presidential Elections. In a way, both Hillary and Barack have already won.

It was way back in issue #48 when I first made mention of the Clean Flix video company of Orem, Utah. This company would take major studio releases and then re-edit them, removing anything they found objectionable, and then rent them to their customers. The company finally closed this past December after years of legal problems with Hollywood. Well, as Gomer Pyle would say, "SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE!" This week the company's owner, Daniel Thompson, was arrested on suspicion of having sex with two 14-year-old girls. The girls told police that Thompson had told them that Clean Flix was actually a front for a pornography studio he operated, even inviting them to appear in one of his films. When police raided Thompson's office they seized many porn tapes, which Thompson said were for his personal use. Ewwwww! Personal use for what? As Matt and I would say in the old days (and sometimes now): Huh! Huh! Huh!

SO nice to see an awards program on television again. Last week the Screen Actor's Guild Awards were presented to various actors and casts of film and television. Best moment was Daniel Day-Lewis' dedication of his award to Heath Ledger. It was obvious that Ledger's death greatly upset Day-Lewis and I thought his remarks were sincere and from the heart.

Disney and Pixar have announced that June 18, 2010 will see the release of "Toy Story 3-D." And, just to make sure they get it right, they will be re-issuing the first two films in the series in 3-D as well, with "Toy Story" scheduled to hit theatres on October 2, 2009.

Impressed by the opening grosses for "Rambo," the producers have already begun discussing a fifth film with Sylvester Stallone. Either that or "Rhinestone 2." Just kidding about that last part, which is a shame since I actually thought "Rhinestone" was funny.

Rumor has "Pan's Labyrinth" director Guillermo del Toro in talks with Peter Jackson to direct "The Hobbit." Great choice.

Josh Brolin has agreed to star in Oliver Stone's next presidential picture, "Bush." Yes, it's the story of "W" as only Mr. Stone can tell it.

Congratulations to Joel and Ethan Coen, who were named Best Feature Film directors by the Director's Guild of America for "No Country for Old Men."

The talk of the DGA awards was not about the winners but about director Julian Schnabel being heckled during his speech. The DGA allows all five nominated directors to address the audience before the award is given out. Pausing during his remarks, Schnabel was greeted with a drunken "Get on with it" from the audience. The guilty party was none other then Sean Young, who went from being one of this country's hottest rising actresses ("Blade Runner," "Stripes," "No Way Out") to fueling weekly tabloid headlines for such incidents as appearing on talk shows in a home-made cat-suit in an attempt to be cast as Cat Woman in "Batman Returns" and allegedly super-gluing James Wood's penis to his thigh while he slept in one of those typical on-set romances gone bad. Young was removed from the room and this week went into rehab for her alcohol problem. I'm sure you're all thinking the same thing I am...HOW IN THE HELL DID SEAN YOUNG GET INTO THE DGA AWARDS?!

Andy, great story on your convention adventure. I'm jealous that you were in the same room as Helen Slater! And ED Tucker, who has rapidly climbed the list of people I want to meet. I need to get down there for a show one weekend.


Once again, a year full of goofs!

March 27, 1995. That evening David Letterman hosted the Oscars for the first (and so far, only) time. And amongst the stupid pet trick, "Uma....Oprah" and a funny bit consisting of the other actors supposedly considered for Letterman's cameo ("You wanna buy a monkey?") in "Cabin Boy," some awards were given out. But did they go to the right people/film?

Best Picture nominees that year were "Forrest Gump," "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Pulp Fiction," "Quiz Show" and "The Shawshank Redemption." Nice list. All good choices. But other worthy nominees, and ones I would have considered before "Four Weddings," include "I'll Do Anything," "Legends of the Fall" and "Backbeat." Among the most curious film stories, "I'll Do Anything" was originally a musical, with original songs by Prince. For whatever reason, the film was released sans music. To this date, none of the musical material has been released. Of the nominees listed, my vote would have gone to "Pulp Fiction." However, the award went to "Forrest Gump."

Best Actor in a Leading Role was really a weird category. The actors: Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump), Nigel Hawthorne (The Madness of King George), Paul Newman (Nobody's Fool), John Travolta (Pulp Fiction) and Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption). Great actors all. Hawthorne had a great, showy role and took advantage of it. Newman was fine, but certainly not his best work. Travolta, who really had the same amount as Sam Jackson, was truly surprised to be nominated. Sadly, not on the list (in favor of Hawthorne) Nick Nolte ("I'll Do Anything," "Blue Chips"), Ian Hart (Backbeat), John Turtorro (Quiz Show), Johnny Depp (Ed Wood) or Terrance Stamp (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert). The winner (and deservedly so): Hanks, who joined Spencer Tracy that night as the only actor to win this award in consecutive years.

Best Actress was the worst category this year, in my opinion. Not enough great roles for Oscar consideration, but somehow the Academy missed some. The nominees: Jessica Lange (Blue Sky), Susan Sarandon (The Client), Winona Ryder (Little Woman) Jodie Foster (Nell) and Miranda Richardson (Tom and Viv). Great job ladies, but where was Nicole Kidman (To Die For)? Truth be told, the best performance that year belonged to Linda Fioretino for the film, "The Last Seduction." Unfortunately, the film aired on cable before it found distribution, so her performance was ruled ineligible by the Academy. Too bad, because she was outstanding. Much better than a mumbling Foster. The award went to Lange.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role was a two-man race. The nominees included Martin Landau (Ed Wood), Chazz Palminteri (Bullets over Broadway), Gary Sinise (Forrest Gump), Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Ficton) and Paul Scofield (Quiz Show). Most deserving actor not there was Dennis Quaid, who lost 30 pounds to play Doc Holliday in "Wyatt Earp." Of the men nominated, the most showy role was Jackson's in "Pulp Fiction," though to me Jules Winfield was a lead role, not supporting. Showy role number two was Landau's, who easily captured the mood of a drug addicted, lonely Bela Lugosi. Landau won.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role saw two nominees from the same film competing against their peers. They were: Dianne Wiest and Jennifer Tilly (Bullets over Broadway), Helen Mirren (The Madness of King George), Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction) and Rosemarry Harris (Tom & Viv). This time I really had no complaints or extras to add here. All five nominees were outstanding and very deserving. The winner was Wiest, who copped her 2nd supporting award for a Woody Allen film.

Best Director. Ah yes, the directors. The nominees included Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump), Woody Allen (Bullets over Broadway), Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Robert Redford (Quiz Show) and Krzysztof Kieslowski (Red). Missing here, my thoughts only, is Frank Darabount, who was the perfect choice to adapt a Stephen King short story into "The Shawshank Redemption." Also, it fits my saying that you can't have a film be considered as one of the best without recognizing the director. Still, it was a nice moment when Steven Spielberg announced that the winner was none only than his protegé, Zemeckis, who also pointed out how special it was for Spielberg to be handing the award to him.

Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2008 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 ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova.