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Art Brown, Jan 2, 57 yrs.
Lisa Ciurro, January 3, 38 yrs.
Patty G. Henderson, Jan 6, 57 yrs.
Matt Drinnenberg, Jan 9, 47 yrs.
Nicholas Castellano, Jan 13, 8 yrs.
Scott van Sickle, Jan 14, 45 yrs.
Tedd Webb, Jan. 29, 59 yrs.
Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2007!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our ninth calendar year!
Number 406  (Vol. 9, No. 1). This edition is for the week of January 1--6, 2008.

The Keys To A Great Vacation, Part Two
"The Best of 2007"
VHS Grindhouse: Starchaser: The Legend of Orin, Hooters
2007: The Year That Was
2007 - The Year the Tampa Film Community Became a Family
I Guess It's Ok If You Miss .... Welcome To The Hall .... Happy Birthday .... .... .... .... .... .... And The Oscar For 1976 Should Have Gone To...

Happy New Year

Talk Shows Return
NetFlix to Enable Direct Downloads to TV
Update on the "CANOVA" comic

Hello everyone and welcome to 2008! I hope you had a fun and safe New Year's celebration.

Mine was the lamest in memory. I was flat on my back and sick as a dog, exhausted and with a nasty toothache. Of course, these things happen over not just a weekend, but a holiday weekend ensuring nothing is open for up to 5 days in a row!! Fortunately, I'm on prescription medication now, got to my doctor's appointment (yep, it's an abscess), and things are getting better. But it cost me LOTS of production time.

Which means the roll out of PCR 2008 could be delayed until next week. I apologize, but it cannot be helped I assure you. Hopefully, however, I can get most of it up and running over the weekend and build from there as I go.

So, for right now, the existing PCR architecture from 2007 is going to be hanging out with us a little while longer!

To all PCR writers:
All writers' columns are still fully functional and have already been set up to archive to their 2008 databases! The architecture of the columns is a separate entity from their contents. When the changes are made, any new content will be ported over automatically. Please post this week's contributions in the normal manner and schedule. And thank you!

To all PCR readers
Thanks for hanging out and I appreciate your patience.

Talk Shows Return
Glad to see David Letterman and Jay leno getting back to work on their late-night talk/comedy shows, but their set-ups, as I'm sure you've heard by now, are markedly different from performer to performer.

Letterman somehow worked out a legit deal with his original group of union writers that allowed him to come back to the show, something no other show did, or was able to do. Jay Leno, himself a writer, pledged his support for the union strikers but said he is not in conflict since he's writing for himself. Same thing with Conan O'Brien.

Letterman made perhaps the biggest splash, with a new beard he's sporting (which guest Robin Williams made fun of mercilessly), and with dancing girls. He also scored an opening bit from Hillary Clinton.

Only Jimmy Kimmel seemed a bit perturbed saying that he feels the strike is ridiculous. I didn't see the show, I'm going on hearsay, but he didn't seem to agree with the other hosts regarding the validity of the writers' demands.

NetFlix to Enable Direct Downloads to TV
DVD-by-mail service Netflix Inc. (featuring next-day delivery) will begin delivering movies and other programming directly to televisions later this year through a set-top box that will pipe entertainment over a high-speed Internet connection.

The set-top box, to be made by LG Electronics Inc. as part of a partnership announced late Wednesday, is designed to broaden the appeal of a year-old streaming service that Netflix provides to its 7 million subscribers at no additional charge.

The funny thing is I was just talking to somebody about this only a couple weeks ago, that an outfit like Blockbuster would almost have to develop something similar to this if they are going to survive the ever-increasing transition to pay-per-download.

Previously, main objections from TV fans to downloading movies seem to revolve around not being willing to watch entire movies on a computer monitor, or more likely, a too-slow connection speed making it impractical. I suggested if future TVs have the technology built-in, or come with a set-top box, they wouldn't even need a computer.

So, while the NetFlix news made me feel prophetic, I also knew things like this had been developing for a while and it was just a matter of time. Good going, NetFlix.

Update on the CANOVA comic
I know it's clunky putting the comic pages up one at a time, but please appreciate how labor-intensive coloring and finalizing these things are! (To say nothing about actually drawing them, thanks John!) I literally can only get to one page a week at this time. The current page, Number 2, is up now and there is one more page left in Episode One which will come next week.

Artist John Miller is taking over the coloring after that (whew!) by hand-coloring methods and direct scanning-and-upload. By that time, it will be entirely produced by John Miller, and I for one am incredibly grateful he's doing this and I'm honored to have helped bring it this far.

Keep in mind we're still working out the most effective display plan as well. Right now there are no convenient archives because I'm desperately struggling to upgrade everything for 2008 and got a late start. But the comics are still available by going to the PCR Archives and finding the issues they appeared in. All pages to all episodes will eventually be put on the same web page of my design for more coherent reading and continuity.

John and I are amazed and extremely pleased with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we've received thus far, it's been very encouraging. I just wish there were more hours in a day so I could do more, and faster. But we're doing our best to keep up the pace we started!

Readers' Comments

The Readers Comment section for this issue of PCR is now closed. To continue to interact, please use the Message Board or write a Letter to the Editor! The comments below are lsited starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
Nolan [08-01-2008 04:01] 
Charlie!! How very cool of you to write! Thanks so much for the kind words and the moral support. I intend to keep up this nonsense in perpetuity, haha. You, sir, are the greatest chronicler of Florida spookdom who ever lived (our friend Will Moriaty, another admirer of yours, would be number two). Keep up the great work! Happy New Year! ---Nolan
Charlie Carlson [07-01-2008 19:05]  
You still have one of the best websites in cyberspace. Always a pleasure visiting it and I do so often!
Charlie Carlson
Florida's Master of the Weird
Nolan [07-01-2008 18:42] 
Steve: lovetoall is merely expressing his opinion which he is entitled to do. No need to be abusive. The Canova comic by J. Miller is not for everybody, nor, as I take it from John, is it particularly designed to be. At the same time, we're not in the business of offending special interest groups or activists, merely displaying a possible vision of a dystopian future.
Steve Beasley [07-01-2008 16:43]  
Yes, I, umm,....I realize "censorscism" isn't a word. But ya gotta admit, it works!
Steve Beasley [07-01-2008 16:22]  
What's with Lovetoall? Referring to the Nazis in the Nolan e-comic book....he seems to take offense at the mention of Nazis. Either he's joking, or...maybe he belongs to the JADl who exist merely to point fingers at anyone mentioning them in a not-so-=positive manner or mentioning Nazis in any manner whatsoever....which is censorsism to a high degree. I'm hoping he's, as the say in NZ....just takin' the piss out'a CFB in general. ;)
Mike [07-01-2008 04:49] 
The Magical Mystery Tour album and photo booklet are loaded with Paul is dead clues. In the picture of him sitting at the desk dressed as an army general, the sign on the desk says "I Was". In the shot of them in the white tuxes, everyone has a red carnation except for Paul who wears a black one. It goes on and on but you get the idea!
Michael [06-01-2008 20:06] 
Incidentally, all of this 1978 talk has pretty much picked the "Oscar Should Have Gone To" year for this coming week!
MIchael [06-01-2008 20:05] 
Andy, I still have that fold out ad. Sadly, I probably have way too much Jaws and Jaws 2 stuff! I'm also a big fan of the Beatles films but didn't see "MMT" until it was part of a strange double bill in a little theatre in Kansas along with "Mr. Mike's Mondovideo."

Those of you old enough to remember all of the "Paul is Dead" clues from the Beatles albums may be surprised to find there is one Lennon clue in the photo pull out from the "MMT" album. Lennon is standing next to a sign advertising the hours of a local moving company. The arrival time is blank and the departure time is, if I remember correctly (I'm actually too lazy to go down to the basement and look) 10:00. The signage is imcomplete because of the way the photo is cropped but what you can read is, "The best way to go is by MD C..."
Very bizarre.

ED, can't wait on your "Yellow Submarine" piece. I too have the figures proudly on display.

Odds [05-01-2008 09:02] 
Just wanted to let you and CF readers know that the St. Pete. Times did an article on Comics & Critters Too in today's (today being Sat. 1/5/07) City Times (Clearwater/Largo) section. It was great to see the store get some well-deserved publicity and John Lewis is interviewed. The article mostly focuses on the Critters, and includes close-up photos of a python and a mouse. Comics and RPGs are mentioned as well.
ED [05-01-2008 09:00] 
Andy - I never recall having seen MMT on television as a kid. It was shown in the 80's on a PBS station in Illinois and a friend of mine audio taped it for me. Your really not missing a whole lot. MMT is just a bunch of music video strung together with some really strange filler material. It was essintially Paul McCartney's stab at being a director by immitating those he had worked with. It's a fun way to kill an hour but it doesn't hold a candle to the other true films (MMT was made for British television not theatrical release).
Odds [05-01-2008 08:21] 
Any Beatles film, be it YS, "Hard Day's Night" or "Help!" was a big deal on TV back in the '70s. We kids really used to look forward to it.

One of my favorite Beatles albums, "Magical Mystery Tour", for some reason hardly ever got shown on local TV back then, which was a bummer because I was dying to see it back then. A friend had the LP which as I recall had a booklet with a lot of large color photos.

To this day, I still haven't seen it!
Odds [05-01-2008 08:18] 
Is lovetoall's suggestion that characters such as Nazis not be depicted in comic form or possibly motion pictures? Does that mean I can't experience "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "The Cycle Savages", "The Boys from Brazil", "Ilsa - She-Wolf of the SS", '40s Captain America comics and/or "Hogan's Heroes"?
ED [05-01-2008 07:47] 
Andy - glad you like Yellow Submarine because you will be hearing a lot about this film in Retrorama this year. YS is to me what Jaws is to Mike so I feel compelled to celebrate it's 40th anniversary here on the PCR. Yes, I picked up several sets of the Mcfarlane figures including the variant that had Old Fred packaged with Paul.

Milke - I have never seen any film five times in the same day but I did see Jaws 2 on opeing day back in 78. I think the only time I saw a film more than once in one day was Satr Wars.
Nolan [05-01-2008 07:04] 
To lovetoall: "Canova" the comic is a work of fiction. The nazis in question are the bad guys and are portrayed as crazy lunatics. Obviously it's harder to take that in proper context by just one page, but we're working on that. This episode in 3 pages long.

To Mister E: Whoever you are, I thank you and sincerely appreciate your support in offering to inform the poster in question on my life story, but please understand he is not interested in an accurate recounting of events. He is interested in harrassment. I don't particularly care if he knows why I don't drive or not, or my living arrangements---he'll make up his own version anyway.

However, your final warning should be taken seriously by anyone making comments publicly. It only makes sense.
Odds [05-01-2008 07:02] 
Hi, Ed,
I'd just like to say too that I'm a big fan of "Yellow Submarine". It is without doubt one of the greatest animated fantasies ever made, and probably one of the best overall films ever made as well. I recall it playing on Sunday mornings back in the '70s/early '80s on Channel 44. Good mems.

Did you pick up the action figures that were made a few years ago - I thought they were well done.
Odds [05-01-2008 05:21] 
One interesting "Jaws 2" memory I have from back in '78, and I don't know if this was true in the Tampa Tribune, is that the St. Pete. Times ran an ad for the movie that was basically two whole pages of the newspaper that could be folded out in poster form!

To this day, it is the only time I can ever remember a movie ad being so big in the newspaper. I had kept it for a while, but of course it got lost over time. I think it came out the Friday release date.

I also still have my J2 trading card collection!

I believe it was Keith Gordon's first movie acting gig. It was a good run for him as he was later in "Dressed to Kill" and "Home Movies", both by dePalma. Of course he would eventually go on to star in the phenomenal '85 comedy hit "Back to School", also starring Rodney and Oingo Boingo. And let's not forget "Christine"!
Odds [05-01-2008 05:12] 
...the Nazis are bad guys, in case you hadn't noticed.
Mister E [04-01-2008 21:30] 
Although it would seem that the laughable and odious Mark Terry has been banned from this site I must say that I found some of their comments worthy of addressing. Let me say that I have known and/or associated with Mr. Canova for a number of years. It is because of my relationship with him that I feel compelled to refute Mr. Terry's inferences. irst, I can verify that Nolan does, in fact , CHOOSE not to drive and retains an unblemished driving record. Second, I can verify that Nolan, by choice, lives alone. Finally, I happen to know that Mr. Canova spent some years in a line of work that required him to seek out, monitor, and report on any and all types of pornography, especially this most heinous form. No I am NOT saying that he is, or has been, involved with any government agency, but I would suggest GREAT care be taken with idle comments of such a dark nature.
Michael [04-01-2008 20:58] 
Andy, thanks for the note. I do agree that the academy was still in it's "old guard" mode in the mid 1970s. That stigma is finally dying off and I'm really interested in seeing the nominations this year.

ED, love the 1978 piece. "Jaws 2" and "Grease" both opened on June 16th of that year ("Jaws 2" at the Britton and Floriland, "Grease" at the old Austin Cinema). Being loyal shark fans, our little group (myself, Matt, Scott Gilbert, Rick Sousa, John Hooper) were in line quite early that morning, which took some doing since I had wrecked my car earlier in the week. However, we achieved our goal of being the first ones in line. Matt and I stayed over and watched all 5 showings that Friday. Not to deny our musical jones, we saw all 5 showings of "Grease" on Saturday and then the first 3 of "Jaws 2" again on Sunday. Luckily we had worked at those thetres and knew where to hide between shows!
lovetoall [04-01-2008 19:48] 
i am becoming more distressed and the nazi tone of canova, the comic.
Nolan [04-01-2008 19:22] 
To Mark Terry: Before you post here again, please check your email. The one on gmail.
Nolan [04-01-2008 18:44] 
Paul, I will be there of course. I think Chris and Will are coming, but Terence is out for this one (he'll be there next month). Should be a great show.
Paul [04-01-2008 11:28] 
Hey everyone, just one more week until the TFR 4th anniversary! You're all coming, right? RIGHT?! ANSWER ME DAMN IT!
ED [04-01-2008 10:03] 
Andy, glad you enjoyed the piece. When I started writing it, I had a few specific items in mind that I wanted to mention but the more I researched 1978, the more I realized what a pivitol year it was. I realize I am probably hoping against hope that 2008 might bring some improvement over recent years but then doubt at the end of 1977 that anyone realized how important 1978 was going to be. Happy New Year.
Odds [04-01-2008 09:18] 
Thanks for putting into perspective the importance of '78. I'm guilty of giving "Halloween" all the credit for really establishing the rise of the slasher film, but sometimes we forget that Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" started a similar boom in gory zombie films, and influenced a lot of what came out in Italy in the early '80s.

Frankly, I don't think we'll ever see such an exciting time in film as long as we all live than the rise of science-fiction in '77 with SW and CE3K and in horror in '78 with "Halloween" and "Dawn of the Dead".
JMILLER2 [04-01-2008 09:18] 
Odds I am responding to your response to Ed Tucker on the boards...
Odds [04-01-2008 09:12] 
Hi, Mike,
Intersting exercise you guys are doing re-evauating the '75 Academy Awards. Frankly, I'm not surprised the Academy did not give more a nod to "Jaws" at the time. The same happened in '77 with "Star Wars". I couldn't believe that at the 50th anniversary, they gave the Best Picture nod to "Annie Hall"!

I without doubt agree that Robet Shaw should have at the very least have been nominated for Best Actor (esp. considering the other candidates). Scheider and Dreyfuss were of course terrific, but Shaw deserved this honor and recognition. Now, of course the competition in '75 was stiff with Nicholson's performance, which of course was well-deserved. I think what you saw in '75 was the old guard in place, still extremely reluctant to give nods to a major blockbuster, no matter how well executed. That's just starting to change with genre films (Lord/Rings, Pan's Labrynth) getting nods.
Odds [04-01-2008 09:03] 
Happy Birthday, Lisa! Sorry the well-wishes are a day late, I would have posted this sooner if The Suspendered One had got the Reader's Comments section up sooner...*ahem*...
Odds [04-01-2008 08:58] 
Hi, Ed,
Enjoyed the piece. I'd have to take the somber road down the "let's look at what's possible in 2008" path. I see nothing ahead but more of the same: big studio dominance in terms of film production, distribution and exhibition, the celebrity machine getting more powerful, CGI special effects continuing to dominate the market mainly thanks to kid's films, and little or no appreciation/exploration of the avant-garde, grinhouse/drive-in/exploitation style filmmaking, and a resurgence of directorial auteurs. Blondie's Chris Stein made a remakrable point in NY77 that typically there has to be an environment of neglect and chaos (the '70s) to produce truly great art and cultural milestones. I'd say we're farthest from at this point, with manicured suburbias, $500,000 home prices, HDTV, iPods, etc. I say let's turn Tampa Bay into a CANOVA post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Nolan [04-01-2008 08:31] 
It's slowly coming together, people. With a little luck, PCR should be back up to speed by next week (and hopefully with a new homepage!)

Thanks to everyone who wrote or called with concerns. My health is slowly getting back to normal, whatever that was, haha.

Excellent articles, all! Keep up the great work
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

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"Mike's Rant" is ©2008 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2008 by Matt Drinnenberg    "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2008 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2008 by Andy Lalino    "FANGRRL" is ©2008 by Lisa Ciurro    "Film Biz 101" is ©2008 by Corey Castellano    "Retrorama" is ©2008 by ED Tucker      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova    
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