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PCR #445 (Vol. 9, No. 40) This edition is for the week of September 29--October 5, 2008.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello gang! Another late one this week, for which I apologize. Too many things and not enough hours. Shall we begin?

"Appaloosa" †by Mike Smith
Itís a Jungle Out There: Monkey Jungle †by ED Tucker
Usf .... The Coach On Espn News .... Lane Kiffen And Scott Linehan Fired! .... More Cowbell!!!!!!!! .... Week 5 Nfl Picks .... .... .... †by Chris Munger
Paul Newman .... Go Bucs .... .... †by Matt Drinnenberg
Justice 13 Years Late .... Aaargh - Part 4 .... Well Duh! .... Greed: Good, Stupidity: Bad .... .... .... .... .... And The Oscar For 1997 Should Have Gone To... †by Mike Smith
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The "Juice" is no longer loose, thanks to a jury in Las Vegas. Sadly, he will no longer be able to "search" for the real killers of Ron and Nicole. And quick thought here, why is Ron Goldman always refered to as Nicole's "friend?" I thought he was just a waiter returning her glasses that she had left at a restaurant. I mean, just because I leave you 20% doesn't make us pals!


Johnny Depp has signed to reprise his role of Captain Jack Sparrow in a fourth "Pirates of the Carribean" film. No word on whether Orlando Bloom can get off of his job at Chili's to join him.


Thoroughly enjoyed the Vice Presidential debates this past week. My two favorite "comments of the obvious" came from Joe Biden:

1. After contradicting Sarah Palin on her statement that a similar military surge would work in Afghanastan, Biden said that the commanding general had already stated a surge wouldn't work. What the general said was needed was more soldiers and equiptment. Which is, basically, a surge!

2. In speaking against John McCain's proposed $5,000 tax credit to buy health coverage, Biden pointed out that the money "will go straight to the insurance companies." Um, Joe...they're BUYING INSURANCE! Dickhead.


As part of a press conference at the United Nations urging the US and other nations to ratify a nuclear test ban treaty a question was asked of actor Michael Douglas, asking him to compare nuclear Armageddon with the "financial Armageddon on Wall Street." After he responded the reporter asked, "Are you saying, Gordon, that greed is not good," mistaking Douglas for Gordon Gekko, who Douglas played (and won the Oscar for) in the film "Wall Street." Douglas replied, "No, I'm not saying that. And my names is not Gordon...he's a character I played 20 years ago." Later on the same reporter asked Douglas if he and romance novelist Joan Wilder were still dating.


"Titanic" sails into history, world meets Ben and Matt!

March 23, 1998. Oscar night. And the biggest question concerned two very different films. "Titanic," which had become the worlds biggest grossing film was easily the favorite of the movie going public. On the other side of the coin was "L.A. Confidential," which had swept almost every major critic's organizational award (I should point out that the organization I belong to, the Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, picked "Titanic") as Best Picture and was a classic return to good, old fashioned story telling.) Who would win? Who deserved to? Let's find out.

BEST PICTURE: The nominees were As Good As It Gets, The Full Monty, Good Will Hunting, L.A. Confidential and Titanic A blockbuster, a critical favorite, a James Brooks comedy and two little films that could. And all excellent films. A rare year where whichever film won, I wouldn't really have a complaint. My personal choice would have been "L.A. Confidential." However the academy followed the money and went with "Titanic."

BEST ACTOR: One kid and four old men. The nominees: Robert Duvall (The Apostle), Jack Nicholson (As Good As It Gets), Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting), Peter Fonda (Ulee's Gold) and Dustin Hoffman (Wag the Dog). Another excellent list and some great performances. This was Fonda's first acting nomination and he had actually starred with Nicholson 30 years earlier in "Easy Rider," which earned Jack his first nomination. Duvall not only starred in "The Apostle" but had written and directed the film as well. He, Nicholson and Hoffman shared 5 Oscars between them. This was Damon's first acting nod (he was also nominated that year with Ben Affleck for Best Original Screenplay, which he won). Of the performances nominated, Fonda's was the most subtle. Damon had some good emotional ups and downs, Nicholson did his quirky act, Duvall raged at God and Hoffman basically did a 90 minute impression of Robert Evans. Missing here, in my opinion, is Kevin Kline, so good in "In and Out." If I'm voting, I'm going with Duvall. However, the academy and I disagreed again, with Nicholson earning his third Academy Award, the second for Best Actor.

BEST ACTRESS: More young and old here. The nominees included: Julie Christie (Afterglow), Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets), Judi Dench (Mrs. Brown), Kate Winslet (Titanic) and Helena Bonham Carter (The Wings of the Dove). One American and four Brits, with the real battle begin between Winslet, riding the "Titanic" wave, or television star Hunt, for whom James Brooks had given her the role of her career (still not matched 10 years later). Finally the Academy and I get it right together as Helen Hunt is named the winner.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Once again, a mixture of young and old - very old! The nominees: Anthony Hopkins (Amistad), Greg Kinnear (As Good As It Gets), Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights), Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting) and Robert Forster (Jackie Brown). Again, five excellent performances. However, this is the category I really could change thanks to one film, "L.A. Confidential." In fact, the ensemble cast of this film is so great that Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, David Strathairn and Danny DeVito could have filled the category by themselves. But alas, it was not to be. Even if one of them had been nominated it would have eliminated Hopkins, who chewed scenery as well as his mutton chops as John Quincy Adams. Willimas turned in a very understated performance as Matt Damon's psychiatrist while Kinnear, best known as the host of E! television's "Talk Soup," surprised many with his sensitive portrayal of a gay painter with family issues. Long time veterans Forster and Reynolds each finally enjoyed their first nominations after a lifetime in films. My vote would have gone to Reynolds, whose more popular "good old boy" films made people forget the man could act. However, the Academy took Williams, a winner in his 4th attempt.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Included the following nominees: Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights), Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting), Joan Cusack (In and Out), Kim Bassinger (L.A. Confidential) and Gloria Stuart (Titanic). Stuart's inclusion, along with fellow nominee Winslet, marked the first timw 2 different actors had been nominated in the same year for playing the same character. Cusack was refreshing as Kevin Kline's future bethrothed while Driver earned her nod as Matt Damon's girlfriend. But here the eyeopener was Bassinger, who went from eye candy to serious actor in less then2 1/2 hours. To me it was a draw between Moore and Bassinger but the academy went with Mrs. Alec Baldwin.

BEST DIRECTOR: This year's nominees were: Peter Cattaneo (TheFull Monty, Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting), Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential), Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hearafter) and James Cameron (Titanic). Again, a tough choice between two. Do you recognize the master (Hanson) who crafted a masterpiece. Or do you recognize Cameron for his brilliance in drawing you in to a tragedy. Me, I'm going with Hanson but the academy decided that evening to make James Cameron the self proclaimed "King of the World!"

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.