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PCR #444 (Vol. 9, No. 39) This edition is for the week of September 22--28, 2008.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello gang! Some news and notes while waiting to see how much my 401k drops. Shall we begin?

"Eagle Eye"  by Mike Smith
DVD Review: "Bloodsucking Cinema"  by ED Tucker
Gators Lose In The Swamp! Wtf???? .... Overtime Thriller .... Week 4 Nfl Picks .... .... .... .... ....  by Chris Munger
Rock And Roll? .... Newsflash .... So It's Her Fault .... Perhaps In The Bizarro World .... Paul Newman .... Movie Notes .... .... .... And The Oscar For 1997 Should Have Gone To...  by Mike Smith
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This year's nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame include:

Metallica (yes)

Jeff Beck (maybe)

Chic (nope)

Wanda Jackson (50's Rockabilly singer - maybe because the hall likes to honor the past)

Little Anthony and the Imperials (same as Wanda Jackson)
The Stooges (yes)

Run DMC (hello, isn't there a rap hall of fame - someone needs to work on the definition of "rock and roll" - one song with Aerosmith does not make you a rocker. No)

War (maybe - probably a yes in this weak field)

Bobby Womack (no)


Clay Aiken is gay! Harvey Fierstein "very surprised."


Long time "Star Trek" fan and convention creator Joan Winston passed away recently from Alzheimer's. She was 77. A huge fan of the television series, she organized a one woman picket line outside NBC Studios when the network threatened to cancel the show. She would often send series creator Gene Roddenberry story ideas and managed to attend the taping of what would be the series' last episode. In 1972 she hosted the first "Star Trek" convention in Manhattan. More then 3,000 people attended, six times more then estimated.


Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Joe Biden has an honoray degree from St. Joseph Univesity. Let's all hope it's not in history. Discussing the latest Wall Street bruhaha with Katie Couric, Biden reflected how “When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed,” Biden told Couric. “He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’” Sadly for Biden, more then a few people called him on the following:

1. The Stock Market crashed in 1929.

2. FDR wasn't elected President until 1932.

3. Television was still in it's experimental stage so if ANYONE had gone on air to discuss the Stock Market the audience would have been about the same size as the one who showed up to watch "Mr. T and Tina" in the mid 1970s.

Biden later criticized old friend Dr. Emmit Brown for his revisionist version of history.


It was a great shock to learn of the passing of Paul Newman, who lost a courageous battle with lung cancer this weekend at the age of 83.

The Ohio-born Newman enjoyed drama even as a young man, appearing in local elementary and high school productions. After his discharge from the Navy in 1946 he attended Kenyon College and, after graduating, attended the Yale Drama School and then the New York Actor's Studio. After some small television appearances he made his Broadway debut in 1953's "Picnic," which lead to him being signed by Warner Brothers. His first starring role, as Basil in "The Silver Chalice," is unbearingly bad. In fact, Newman was so embarrased by his performance that he took out a full page ad in "Variety" and apologized to anyone who may have seen the film. He won over the public and critics alike with his portrayal of boxer Rocky Graziano in "Somebody Up There Likes Me." For the next 50 years, Newman worked steadily as one of the worlds most popular actors. In 1959 he earned his first Best Actor Academy Award nomination for "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

In the 1960s he starred in such seminal films as "Exodus," "The Hustler," "Hud," "Harper," "Cool Hand Luke" and finished the decade by teaming up with Robert Redford in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." He also earned three more Oscar nods for "The Hustler," "Hud" and "Cool Hand Luke." In 1968 he made his directorial debut with "Rachel, Rachel," earning him a Best Director nod from the Directors Guild of America as well as another Oscar nomination for Best Picture. He did receive the Golden Globe award as Best Director so his efforts weren't totally unrewarded.

In the 1970s he appeared in such popular films as "The Drowning Pool," "The Towering Inferno," "Slap Shot" and, in a reteam with Redford and director George Roy Hill, the nine time Oscar winning Best Picture, "The Sting." He was also offered, and turned down, the role of Quint in "Jaws." Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

He found critical acclaim again in the 1980s, scoring Oscar nominations for "Absence of Malice" and "The Verdict." In 1986 he was given an honorary Academy Award "In recognition of his many and memorable and compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft." Newman did not attend the ceremony but did accept his award via sattelite from Chicago. The next year he earned another nomination for Best Actor for reprising his role as "Fast Eddie" Felson in "The Color of Money." Noting that he had never won when he attended the ceremony, Newman stayed home in Connecticut on Oscar night and it was there that he heard Bette Davis announce his name as the winner.

He only did (5) films in the 1990s, but still earned another Best Actor nod for "Nobody's Fool." In 1996 he received the academy's Jean Hersholt award. He received his last Oscar nomination, this time as Best Supporting Actor, for 2002's "Road To Perdition" and won an Emmy in 2005 for "Empire Falls." His final film role was as the voice of Doc Hudson in the animated film, "Cars."

Quite a life, but movies were only a part of his great success. His "Newman's Own" line of salad dressings, popcorn and other food have raised over $100 million, all of which went to charitable causes. He also founded The Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, which were set up to deal with children with serious illnesses.

He was married to second wife Joanne Woodward for 50 years and was also well known as a race car driver, founding the Newman-Haas racing team in 1982.


With "Dreamgirls" producer Laurence Mark and writer/director Bill Condon running next year's Academy Awards ceremony, talk is that they would like Ricky Gervais to host the show. Put me down for a yes vote. (Wow, that really came off "Larry King'ish' didn't it? My apologies)

Warner Brothers has green lit a prequel to "I Am Legend," presumably to star Will Smith.

A few weeks ago Walt Disney Studios announced that they had signed Johnny Depp to star as Tonto in a "Lone Ranger" film. Now word is that George Clooney may play our masked hero. Clooney, who hasn't really done well wearing a mask on screen, is hoping his nipples will not be prominent this time.


"Titanic" does the "Full Monty" over and over. But did it deserve them all??

Next week. Honest.

Well, that's all for now. I think I'm going to watch a double feature of "The Towering Inferno" and "Slap Shot." I recommend you do the same (title's optional). 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.