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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2008!
   Assistant Editor:  Terence Nuzum.     Advertising and Promotions:  Andy Lalino.     ARCHIVES 2008
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our ninth calendar year!
Number 409  (Vol. 9, No. 4). This edition is for the week of January 21--27, 2008.

The Fabulous Architecture of the Tampa Bay Region, Part 6
"The 80th Annual Academy Award Nominations"
FX The Mike Herz Interview
Pirates! Pirates! Pirates!
DVD Grindhouse: Parts: The Clonus Horror
Book Review: Darkness Falls by Kyle Mills
Birthday Boy....New Furnishings....Politico....Rondo Awards....Masters of Horror....Heath Ledger
I've Got An Erection! .... The Anti-oscars .... The Name Is... .... Lost .... Passing On .... .... .... .... And The Oscar For 1969 Should Have Gone To... '

A Dark Time for Hollywood
Heath Ledger
Allan Melvin
Regarding the Legacy of Martin Luther King
About This Week's "Canova"

The Passing of Heath Ledger
This is the latest in what seems to be an awfully deadly week for Hollywood celebrities (Brad Renfro, Allan Melvin, Susanne Pleshette, songwriter John Stewart, Bobby Fischer (as noted in last week's PCR), Maila "Vampira" Nurmi (same), and now, Heath Ledger.

I first learned that 28-year-old Heath Ledger had died by reading Mike Smith's Readers Comment about it last night (Tues, the 22nd). Shocking, indeed, that someone so young as Ledger is already lost to us because of (what is known so far at this writing) an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.

Expected for a massage therapy session, he was found naked and unconcious, facedown on the floor at the foot of his bed in his SoHo apartment, by a housekeeper who was trying to wake him so he could keep the appointment. Sadly, he was already gone.

Previously best known as one of the two gay cowboys in Brokeback Mountain (an Oscar-nominated role), Ledger's portrayal of The Joker in the new Dark Knight Batman film is something I was, and am, very much looking forward to. Director Chris Nolan praised his performance as being darker and more depraved than Jack Nicholson's iconic performance in Tim Burton's Batman (1989).

Heath Ledger's autopsy is scheduled today as I write this (Wed, the 23rd), and I will update this section as soon as practical when more information becomes available.

Allan Melvin
Character actor Allan Melvin, arguably best known from The Brady Bunch as Alice's boyfriend, Sam the butcher, died last Thursday at the age of 84 from cancer.

While most may identify him with The Brady Bunch character, he made a much bigger impression on me as both Sergeant Hacker from Gomer Pyle USMC, and as Archie Bunker's best friend, Barney Hefner, on Norman Lear's All in the Family. He voiced several cartoon characters (easy to believe), including Magilla Gorilla, a cartoon I watched regularly back in the day.

Baby Boomers slightly older than I am might also remember Melvin from one of his first TV roles, that of Sgt. Bilko's right-hand man Cpl. Henshaw on the Phil Silvers Show.

Funny how military, best friend, and second banana roles could come so easily and be so natural for him. But that's what the best charactor actors do -- leave just as indelible an impression as the show's "star" does. And give the common guy someone to identify with. Allan Melvin was among the very best. He will be missed.

I don't want the Front Page to get too bogged down in obituaries, so I am not commenting on Brad Renfro or songwriter John Stewart ("Daydream Believer"), because I'm expecting Mike Smith will do his usual outstanding job in this week's Rant.

Regarding the Legacy of Martin Luther King
Observing another Martin Luther King Day last Monday caused me to reflect on what has progressed since the turbulent days of the '60s' protests and race riots. There is no doubt that vast improvements have been made in race relations since the '60s civil rights movement, more equal opportunity across the board, and African-Americans can expect much more out of life now than their ancestors ever did. Of course, things are still not perfect, nor will they be, at least in my lifetime, but they're getting there.

Back in the '60s, sometime after Martin Luther King was assasinated, and before Women's Lib took off as a full-fledged political force, we of the hippie generation used to wonder out loud during various, you know, sit-ins and such, who would be the first to break the "glass ceiling" of Presidential candidates: a black man or a white woman? (We didn't consider a black woman a realistic expectation in our lifetime.) It has been fascinating to me that we lived to see this contest play out in the very same election year.

I see a Democrat taking over the White House in 2009....and it will be a black man or a white woman. Either way, it will be historic, and some very old bets will be settled. At this time, I don't see a Republican victor, unless voters turn out en masse to make sure the Democrat does not win. But I digress...

While the movement initiated by Dr. Martin Luther King continues to develop, and its positive contributions to society continue to be observed and documented, I have to say, I wonder what Dr. King would think about the fact, if he could come back for just a moment, that there is a black man who has a real shot at becoming President of the United States in 2009.

Well, he'd be very happy about it, of course, even though it took over 40 years. I think he'd probably say something about arriving in The Promised Land.

If he had a few days to hang out and truly assess our current situation, he might be saddened about how other aspects of his vision developed and add that having a black Presidential candidate helps offset the damage...er....work, excuse me....of civil rights "leaders" like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who, in the name of racial equality, actually foment far more racism than they discourage. And, with great irony, use King's legacy as a basis. I'd wager King's reaction would not just be that they're scheisters who corrupted the movement -- but that someone will succeed them when they're gone.

About This Week's "Canova" Episode
In another daring experiment, "Canova" artist John Miller is putting out this week's episode in black & white -- on purpose. He says it was his original intention to do them as black & white line drawings anyway, but became intrigued by the color experiments. This week's episode is up now. Whether this is a permanent change or not remains to be seen, but it has been---from the beginning---a work in progress.

Readers' Comments

The Readers' Comments 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 listed starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
Lisa [27-01-2008 13:34] 
Will -- I hated to read that you might be moving out of the area! Best wishes to you and your wife as you embark on a new adventure.
J.MILLER2 [27-01-2008 08:54] 
No problem Will...Mistakes happen...
C. A. Passinault [26-01-2008 20:35] 
Nolan, feel free to take a look at the format of Tampa Bay Film's Online Film Festival or the navigation keys in the opinion section for ideas on how you can organize the comic. These formats are proven, and they have been very successful.
William Moriaty [26-01-2008 17:31]  
My most sincere apologies for referring to John Miller as Jason Miller.
Nolan [26-01-2008 05:31] 
I sincerely appreciate the feedback on the CANOVA comic, as I'm sure artist John Miller does, too. It is a work in progress -- not only the story and art, but the display parameters. John and I discuss options from time to time, but we're both still kinda new to the online comics format. I admit simply linking to the comic page's JPEG is not a very elegant solution, but it is the quickest for right now. And it does get it out there. In time, all the pages will be linked with a "previous" and "next" button, and will also be independently archived. Well, after I get a few other projects under control first.
Nolan [26-01-2008 05:21] 
Will, thanks so much for posting. J.MILLER2's first name is actually "John". Jason Miller is the actor, I think.

I trust him entirely on what happens with and to my post-apocalyptic self.
William Moriaty [25-01-2008 20:17]  
Thanks for the kind words Jason! Best of luck with "Canova Comics". Maybe you can put all the episodes in e-book or printed book form.

Take care and make sure Canova never gets into scrapes he can't get out of (like in real life, LOL)!
C. A. Passinault [25-01-2008 16:58] 
CANOVA the comic is really cool, but it is hard to follow. There seem to be gaps in the story. Perhaps a directory of all episodes in order to build a serial story?
Love the look of the hookers, too. J. Miller2 is very talented.
Terence [25-01-2008 14:51] 
CANOVA in black and white looks amazing. i think thats the way to go. either that or two tone.
Lady Jay [25-01-2008 14:48] 
We're all sick! Just sick, I say! I hope that we all get well soon.
Odds [25-01-2008 10:21] 
I just received word that John Lewis was admitted to the hosptital on Saturday for an aggravated asthma condition. Apparently for a period it was considered serious, but John seems to be doing much better and - with luck - should be out this Sunday. You just can't keep a classic cult movie lover down for long!

I wish John a speedy and steady recovery, and call for all Crazed Fanboys to make a special effort in 2008 in taking care of themselves.
Lonnie Dohlen [25-01-2008 10:09]  
Ed,Allan Melvin was on an Episode #31 of "Mod Squad"2nd Season 10-21-69.The Episode was called"To Linc With Love".Linc Hayes waited until the last minute to renew his Drivers License..Another question,Regarding the Martin Luther King Holiday:Does anyone remember THE SUPREMES singing "Somewhere" from West Side Story(1961) On a TV Special called TCB (NBC,Dec 9,1968) & In the middle of the song.ROSS is saying ,"Let our efforts be as determined as that of DR Martin Luther King who had a dream.That all god's children.....I have the entire Special on DVD-R.The Supremes did this on the Tonight Show April 5,1968.Just thought I'd share that info with anyone
Paul Guzzo [25-01-2008 08:13] 
Feeling a little better ... thanx guys. Mostly famine and dehydration headaches now.
MIchael [24-01-2008 21:12] 
Paul, hope you're feeling better!

Puff, yes it was an old joke. What upset me was that the majority of the strips that ran that day were a tribute to Charles Schulz by other cartoonists, most of whom I'm sure he inspired. That wasn't really the place to "out" Patty and Marcy. Just my thoughts. You'd think he would have had Huey bring Franklin home to meet his Granddad.

FYI: due to work requirements the RANT is delayed until Friday evening.
J.MILLER2 [24-01-2008 19:34] 
Will I enjoyed this weeks issue of La Floridiana...Growing up in St. Pete I have witnessed many of these beautiful buildings bulldozed and replaced with generic condos or run of the mill retailers...Sorry to see this column coming to an end...
C. A. Passinault [24-01-2008 17:22] 
Get well soon, Paul. Thanks for E-mailing me and letting me know how you feel.
Steve Beasley [24-01-2008 15:44]  
Get well soon Paul, as your Destiny awaits you!
Chris Woods [24-01-2008 15:36] 
Looks like a great jam packed PCR this week. I still have to get a chance to read the articles posted, just read the home page so far. Nolan, liked the piece on MLK.
Chris Woods [24-01-2008 15:32] 
Hey Paul, hope you get better soon.
Puff Chrissy [24-01-2008 12:12] 
Get well soon, Paul of the Guzzo.
Odds [24-01-2008 09:59] 
Get better soon, Paul!
Nolan [24-01-2008 09:18] 
To Everybody: Paul Guzzo called and wanted me to express here on Readers Comments his apologies for being unable to post to either Indie Film News or Filmlook this week due to a sudden acute case of bronchitis. If you saw the Filmlook box on the homepage for a few hours today and now notice it's gone, that's why. This warranted a hospital trip, he's totally bed-ridden and, of course, we wish Paul a speedy recovery.
Terence [24-01-2008 08:47] 
Yellowbeard is a comedy. i was including only action adventure Pirate films. Hence the omission of Polanski's Pirates.
ED [24-01-2008 05:22] 
Let's not forget that Allan Melvin was also the voice of Drooper on The Bannana Splits show!

Terence - When I saw the title of your column this week I thought it was going to be an expose on the bootleg CD/DVD business!
Odds [24-01-2008 05:00] 
And, Terence, your ommission of The Pirate Movie has jeopardized your credibility!

- Funny!

- And Tez...where's Graham Chapman's "Yellowbeard"?
Puff Chrissy [24-01-2008 03:59] 
And, Terence, your ommission of The Pirate Movie has jeopardized your credibility!
Puff Chrissy [24-01-2008 03:56]  
Mike: I just wandered on back to issue #11 (The New Roof Issue!) for your rant and I was surprised by how upset you were. It seems to me that The Boondocks was simply repeating a joke that's been echoing for decades regarding the two characters. I wasn't offended by the lesbian crack; just more annoyed at the unoriginality of the joke.
JMILLER2 [23-01-2008 23:57] 
Paul I have always enjoyed the Boondocks...The episode your referring to prompted Al Sharpton to call for a boycott of Cartoon Network over the depiction of King using the N-word...
Michael [23-01-2008 21:30] 
Paul, I've boycotted the Boondocks ever since the artist intimated that Peppermint Patty and Marcie were lesbians in a daily strip meant to "honor" Charles Schulz. In fact, I wrote a rant about it WAY BACK in issue #11.

Nolan [23-01-2008 19:07] 
There were several messages posted here earlier, since deleted by Admin, regarding the war over Tampa indie film. This was largely brought over from the message board threads regarding same. It started with allowing the link to the "Unauthorized TFR Review" to be posted in Readers Comments which I never should've allowed and now regret. THAT BUSINESS STAYS ON THE MESSAGE BOARD. Do NOT bring that insanity over here. Please stay on topic regarding what we're covering. Thank you.
Paul Guzzo [23-01-2008 11:33] 
Has anyone seen the Boondock's episode in which King never died and came out of a coma in 2001? The cartoon show is brilliant.

I am lucky to have the opportunity to have lunch with James Tokley tomorrow to discuss not only his career as poet laureateof Tampa, but his political views. I hope to write someone on it for next week's Film Outlook - he is narrator of a film at next month's TFR so I will qualify it in that way. The film he narrates - the documentary on Central Avenue (one time center of Tampa's African American community) is a powerful documentaru.
Nolan [23-01-2008 11:21] 
John, thanks, and good point about BET. Yes, what I was saying goes along those lines -- that Dr. King might be disappointed that so much of what he was trying for fell way short 40 years later -- despite the fact a black man might take the presidency.
J.MILLER2 [23-01-2008 11:13] 
Nole great job with the Dr. King segment...I feel Dr. Kings biggest disappointment would be that of BET...A network that discourages intelligence and distorts to drastic and offensive measures the images of black youth...
Nolan [23-01-2008 08:31] 
Well, Paul, I'm totally with you on American Idol. It reeks.

But no Whoppers...? No Big Macs...? That's just un-American!

But a bacon double-cheese burger! MMMmmm, that's the ticket!
Paul Guzzo [23-01-2008 06:02] 
If I have time to sit down and relax and watch television, I prefer to watch a movie or a sporting event to unwind. Just my own personal preference. I just don't enjoy the awards shows ... I have also NEVER watched more than a few seconds TOTAL of American Idol, and never had a Big Mac or Whopper ... IN MY LIFE - NOT ONE NIBBLE! - SWEAR! Again, no real reason for the fast food other than I am a bacon double cheeseburger man at heart and as for American Idol - well, that show's just gay.
Nolan [23-01-2008 05:34] 
Mike: I found out about Heath Ledger last night by reading your post about it below. At first I didn't know what you were talking about (doing an "In Memorium" for who I thought was a living actor). Then I heard the news...quite shocking.

Paul: You've never watched the Oscars?? That's a surprise. To what is that attributed?
Michael [22-01-2008 22:33] 
T, at least the three director's you mentioned WERE nominated in the past so someone recognized their talent. At least Lynch is still around so maybe one day...
Nolan [22-01-2008 18:47] 
Well, Harryhausen won a Lifetime Achievement Award, or something like that, in the early '90s, but never for special FX for any year.....no. Stupid. At least he got that.
Terence [22-01-2008 18:34] 
i dont watch the oscars nor care. they are, were, and will always be a popularity contest. isnt one quarter or half the vote by peers? thats ridiculous and explains why Kubrick, Hitchcock, and David Lynch never or will never win. Instead in the case of Kubrick and Hitchcock they get lame after their deaths award memoriams. I mean cmon Harryhausen never won!!!! like seriously?
Michael [22-01-2008 14:27] 
As usual, I nail the supporting categories and get a few shocks in the other. Oh well, I'm not perfect. No love for Sean Penn but lots for Paul Thomas Anderson so it's a draw.

Paul, actually the best part of the awards shows are the film tributes, special awards and the "In Memoriam" section where you try to guess who gets the most applause. Right now I'm betting on Ledger.

Very sad about Heath Ledger...hope they were finished with "The Dark Knight." Wow, five celebs in less then a week (Brad Renfro, Allan Melvin, Susanne Pleshette, John Stewart -the songwriter, not the "Daily Show" guy - and Heath Ledger). Since they come in threes there will be one more - come on Shirley MacLaine!
Paul Guzzo [22-01-2008 13:10] 
I can honestly say I have never watched more than a few minutes of the Oscars in my life - total.
Nolan [22-01-2008 11:42] 
It's OK to comment on Mike's Oscar picks, you know.
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
"Mike's Rant" is ©2008 by Michael A. Smith    "La Floridiana" is ©2008 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2008 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2008 by Andy Lalino    "FANGRRL" is ©2008 by Lisa Ciurro    "Retrorama" is ©2008 by ED Tucker      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova    
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