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PCR #412 (Vol. 9, No. 7) This edition is for the week of February 11--17, 2008.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello gang! A sad week comes to an end. Shall we begin?

The Tampa Film Review for February  by Nolan Canova, Terence Nuzum, and Chris Woods
"Diary of the Dead"  by Mike Smith
Book Review: Full Wolf Moon by K. L. Nappier  by Lisa Ciurro
Toy Shop--R.I.P.  by ED Tucker
Roy The Boy  by Matt Drinnenberg
Roy .... Now There Are Only 5 .... Indy .... Bye Bye Roger .... .... .... .... .... And The Oscar For 1979 Should Have Gone To...  by Mike Smith
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Thanks to Nolan for allowing me to not only compose a tribute to Roy Scheider but to feature it on the home page. I know that sometimes I come off as the 17-year-old I used to be, but I make no apologies. Roy was an important part of my life, be it a trivial part to some. In a way, I guess he was my Elvis. I've been sad in the past when favorite celebrities have passed (i.e., Christopher Reeve) but never to the point of tears. And I take great pride in the knowledge that the fans I've talked to from all over the world share my sadness.

Later this spring a memorial service will be held for Roy in Sag Harbor, NY. Unless it's my wedding day (April 26) I plan to be there. In lieu of flowers, Roy's family has requested memorial donations to the Myeloma Institute of Research and Therapy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences:


I can only guess that someone at NBC's "The Today Show" is trying to prove George Carlin wrong. On his "Class Clown" LP Carlin very clearly pointed out the seven words you absolutely can't say on television. A few weeks ago Diane Keaton blurted out the word "fuck," only to be topped this week when Jane Fonda felt the need to say "cunt." I can only wonder what taboos will be broken if they manage to snag Britney Spears for an interview!

For those of you interested, the first trailer for "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is now online and it looks good:


Hate to say it doesn't look good for Roger Clemens. He threw everybody he could think of under the bus this week while testifying before Congress, including his wife. And it's funny to me how these "non-partisan" hearings are so clearly split between party lines. In his opening remarks, Clemens mentioned that his supporters include "people that have held the highest office in the land." Can you guess who used to own a major league baseball team and, if Jose Canseco is to be believed, who knew his players were juicing? Sure you can. And it seems like the Republican congressmen are the ones trying to stick it to trainer Brian McNamee. One kept citing all of the "lies" McNamee told in the past, failing to point out that those "lies" were answers to a New York Times reporter asking about players doing steroids. McNamee was protecting his friends in the game and certainly wasn't under oath at the time. In his original statement Clemens said he NEVER talked to anyone about Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Teammate Andy Pettite has stated that Clemens told him he used HGH in the past. Clemens now says that Petite has "misremembered" the conversation, saying that he was talking about his wife taking HGH. Of course, later in the deposition Clemens states he NEVER knew his wife had taken HGH. Really? Then what were you talking to Pettite about? Dude, you're going to be a joke, like Rafael Palmiero was, staring into the camera and pointing your finger and claiming your innocence. Admit it and get on with your life. A little embarrassment now is better then what you'll have to deal with doing 3-5 years in the pokey!


Let's see - Scheider sings and dances. Hoffman whines. Robbery I tell you!

April 14, 1980. Oscar night. With my fingers crossed I'm sitting in the living room of my girlfriends house waiting to burst into applause as Roy Scheider wins his first Oscar. He's even agreed to give me the flower off of his tux when he wins. I should also note that a month before the ceremony he told me that Dustin Hoffman will win because he's "paid his dues." What? Dustin Hoffman, the guy who thinks it's wrong for actors to compete for awards. Pishaw, I say. Let's get to awards:

The nominees that night for Best Picture included: All That Jazz, Apocalypse Now, Breaking Away, Kramer vs Kramer and Norma Rae. A nice mixutre of big movie and small movie, with "Kramer" and "Norma Rae" thrown in because they, in my opinion "told a topical story." Good and worthy nominees all, though "Norma Rae" is really only worth watching for Sally Field's performance. I would have replaced it with "Hardcore" or "Hair" or even "Time After Time." But that's me. All of these films have their fans. My friend Ben refers to "Apocalypse Now" as the greatest film ever made...except for the final five minutes. Of the nominees, my choice would have been "All That Jazz." The academy went the safe route with "Kramer vs Kramer."

Best Director once again shared a surprise for everyone. The nominees: Bob Fosse (All That Jazz), Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now), Peter Yates (Breaking Away), Robert Benton (Kramer vs Kramer) and Martin Ritt for "Nor------------WAIT, that's not right. The fifth nominee was Edouard Molinaro for the French film "La Cage aux Folles." But of course, as the French would say. As they used to play on "Sesame Street," one of these things just doesn't belong. Fosse and Coppola already had directing Oscars, while Yates and Benton would be nominated again in later years. Molinaro's biggest US film contribution: the 1984 Kristy McNichol film "Just the Way You Are." Heck, "La Cage" wasn't even nominated for Best Foreign Film. In fact, given the opportunity France submitted "A Simple Story" to the Academy. "La Cage" was later remade by Mike Nichols as "The Birdcage." Oh, less I digress, Benton won the Oscar.

Which brings us to Best Actor. The nominees are: Al Pacino (...And Justice for All), Roy Scheider (All That Jazz), Peter Sellers (Being There), Jack Lemmon (The China Syndrome) and Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs Kramer). All of these men had been nominated for an Oscar previously, but only Lemmon had won in the past - twice in fact. A hard category to narrow to five this year, with some great performances having to settle for sixth place, including George C. Scott in "Hardcore," James Woods in "The Onion Field," Dick Van Dyke in "The Runner Stumbles" and Malcolm McDowell in "Time After Time." OK, enough suspense. Hoffman won. And in doing so he invoked my wrath. In his speech, Hoffman said "I refuse to believe I beat Al Pacino, that I beat Jack Lemmon, that I beat Peter Sellers. I refuse to believe that Robert Duvall lost." So what are you saying....you do believe you beat Roy Scheider!? I'm sure it was just an oversight, Dusty, and when you and I are alone together I'm sure I'll get you to admit it. I've gotta hand it to Roy, though. He was so sure Hoffman would win that he didn't even attend the ceremonies, instead performing that night on Broadway in "Betrayal."

Best Actress saw the following ladies up for the big prize:
Marsha Mason (Chapter Two), Jane Fonda (The China Syndrome), Sally Field (Norma Rae), Bette Midler (The Rose) and Jill Clayburgh (Starting Over). A nice, diverse group...a little comdey, a little drama and then Bette Midler blowing them all away. And no Meryl Streep, the lead actress in "Kramer vs Kramer." Odd, isn't it. My vote would have gone to Bette but Sally Field won. Still a good choice but comparing roles I thought Bette ruled the roost!

Best Supporting Actor narrowed down to these five actors, with an age range of 8 to 80: Robert Duvall(Apocalypse Now), Mickey Rooney (The Black Stallion), Melvin Douglas (Being There), Justin Henry (Kramer vs. Kramer) and Frederic Forrest (The Rose). At age 8, Henry became the youngest person ever nominated for a competitive Academy Award. The weakest nominees here are Douglas and Rooney, two legends who did good, but not great, work. Perhaps the academy hoped Rooney would win so he could go on about how he used to be the Biggest Box Office Star IN THE WORLD. Either way, they took the nominations of more deserving actors, including Ricky Schroeder in "The Champ" and Ian Holm in "Alien." The winner was Douglas, who refused to attend the ceremony because he thought he was too damn talented to, in his words, "have to compete against a child."

Best Supporting Actress saw a mixture of young talent: Barbara Barrie (Breaking Away), Jane Alexander (Kramer vs Kramer), Meryl Streep (Kramer vs Kramer), Mariel Hemingway (Manhattan)and Candice Bergen (Starting Over). Wait a minute, did I just type Meryl Streep's name? How does that happen. Streep actually gave a good supporting performance that year, as the wife who leaves Woody Allen for another woman in "Manhattan." Maybe the academy thought only one nominee per film. But then , if that was so, how did Jane Alexander make it? The truth is, the studios can slot you where they want. Take Tim Hutton, who is in all but 10 minutes of "Ordinary People." Paramount knew he didn't have a chance against Robert DeNiro in "Raging Bull" so they put him up in the supporting category. Very wise thinking, since he won. And very wise here on the part of Columbia because Streep took home the first of her Oscars this night.

Some of my favorite films of 1979 that didn't get any Oscar love and weren't mentioned above: Great Train Robbery, Hair, The Champ, Phantasm, Life of Brian, Last Embrace, The In Laws, Dracula, Rock and Roll High School, 10, 1941 and (it grows on me) Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Well, that's it 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.