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PCR #489 (Vol. 10, No. 32). This edition is for the week of August 3--9, 2009.
Mike's RantMike's Bust

"Julie & Julia" †by Mike Smith
Manson at the Movies †by ED Tucker
Vietnam Town in Orlando †by Jason Fetters
Marvel Fatigue .... Attack Of Russell Brand .... Dune .... .... .... .... .... †by Brandon Jones
Don't Read It, Just Sign It! .... Time To Calibrate? .... Cash For Clunkers .... Skynet? .... Best Time For A Divorce .... Free At Last .... .... †by Brandon Jones
Say Goodbye To The Afl .... Whoís The Punk Now? .... No Takers On Vick Yet? .... Donte Stallworth Meets Goodell .... Itís Not Sports .... Rays On A Roll .... .... †by Chris Munger
D T #58 .... Movie Notes .... Free Tex! .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2... †by Mike Smith
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D T #58
Congratulations to the family of Derrick Thomas, who this weekend was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend. The popular Kansas City Chief was killed in a car accident in 2000 and was elected in his fourth year of eligibility.

Dreamworks and 20th Century Fox have announced they will be releasing Steven Spielberg's planned remake of "Harvey." The film, which tells the story of an eccentric man and his 6-foot rabbit friend, has yet to be cast. My suggestions: Tom Hanks or Jim Carrey, who had been attached years ago in a planned Spielberg remake of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."

If Tom Arnold is to be believed, retirment is not what Arnold Schwarzennegger will be contemplating once he leaves office. Arnold recently told The New York Times that both he and the governator will be appearing in a "True Lies" sequel. "All I know is Jim Cameron's making it and Arnold and I are in it," Arnold told the paper. "It starts shooting in 14 months when Arnold stops being governor of California. It's not going to be called "True Lies II" but it might as well be. I can live with that."

Popular Asian singer/actor Jay Chou has been cast as Kato in the upcoming "Green Hornet" film. The movie, starring Seth Rogen, will be directed by Michel Gondry.

This week Hollywood welcomed new distribution company Apparition to the business. The new companies' first releases will include Brad Pitt and Sean Penn starring in "The Tree of Life", written and directed by Terrence Malick and Jane Campionís critically acclaimed Bright Star.

It was 40 years ago this week that terror shook the Hollywood hills as Charles Manson and his "family" went on a killing spree that left 7 people dead, among them actress Sharon Tate and popular hair dresser Jay Sebring. In 1975, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, an outspoken member of the group, attempted to shoot President Gerald R. Ford but the gun was grabbed out of her hand by the secret service before she could fire. Now, after more then three decades behind bars, Fromme is scheduled to be released from prison, as early as this week. Sarah Jane Moore, who actually got a shot off at Ford later that year, was released from prison in December 2007.

This week we lost two very different, but influencial, screenwriters:

John Hughes, who had an incredible string of hits in the 1980s, died after suffering a heart attack while walking in New York City. He was 59. Born in Michigan, Hughes and his family moved to a suburb of Chicago when he was young. It was his adventures at Glenbrook North High School that would fuel his popular "Brat Pack" films, among them "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club," "Weird Science" and "Pretty In Pink." As a young writer out of college he kept submitting unsolicited material to National Lampoon magazine. Eventually, editor Matty Simmons became impressed with the quality of Hughes work and offered him a job. One of the first stories published was Hughes' account of a family cross country trip entitled "Vacation 58." In 1979 Hughes was hired to write to the ABC comedy "Delta House," a television continuation of the popular Lampoon film, "Animal House." One of his first film projects at Lampoon was writing the screenplay to the never produced comedy "Jaws 3 - People 0," which was scheduled to be directed by Joe Dante. The story is a send up of Hollywood and takes place during the filming of a ficticious "Jaws 3," in which several prominent people are dispatched by the shark, including author Peter Benchley, who is gobbled up while swimming in his pool. I have a copy of the script, written in August 1979, and it's pretty damn funny. Hughes' next project, "National Lampoon's Class Reunion" was made, and that openend the door for his screenwriting career. The next year he wrote two of the biggest comedies, "Mr. Mom" starring Michael Keaton and the film version of his original short story, now called "Vacation." In 1984 he went behind the camera for the first time to direct his screenplay "Sixteen Candles" and for the rest of the decade was recognized by teenagers everywhere as their cinematic "voice." His other films include two John Candy classics: "Uncle Buck" and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," which co-starred Steve Martin as well as the popular "Ferris Beuhler's Day Off." In 1990 he had has biggest screenwriting success when Chris Columbus directed "Home Alone." In the 90s he turned out a couple of "Home Alone" sequels and some halfhearted screenplays like "Dennis the Menace" and the "Beethoven" films. He also began writing under the name Edmond Dantes', in reference to the hero in "The Count of Monte Cristo."

Budd Schulberg, boxing fan and son of a studio head who went on to become one of Hollywood's best screenwriters, died this week at the age of 95. His father, B.P. Schulberg, was the head of Paramount when Budd began doing touch up writing on such films as "A Star Is Born" and "Nothing Sacred." In 1941 his first screenplay, "Little Orphan Annie" was produced. He flourished in the decade but nothing prepared him for the 1950s, when he wrote, back to back to back, three of the most acclaimed films ever. "On The Waterfront," practicaly swept the awards that year, winning Schulberg an Oscar for Best Screenplay. He followed that up with "The Harder the Fall," which was based on his book about an unemployed sportswriter who gets involved with a corrupt boxing manager. Finally, he wrote "A Face In The Crowd," recognized as the film that made Andy Griffith a star. In 1959 he wrote the ultimate Hollywood story with the two part television special "What Makes Sammy Run," an inside look at agent Sammy Glick.


Starring: Slyvester Stallone, Rod Steiger and Peter Boyle
Directed by: Norman Jewison

Folks, I ended up having to work overtime again this weekend and Sunday evening was the first time the July birthdays in the family (my wife, son and his girlfriend) could get together for the annual dinner. Rather then short shrift "F*I*S*T" I will combine it next week in another bizarre double feature along with "Dog Day Afternoon."

Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2009 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 ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.