Either your browser's javascript has been disabled or it needs an update! Please re-enable your javascript program or update your browser to view this page as designed.
Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2009!
   Assistant Editor / Co-Moderator:  Terence Nuzum.                 HOME           ARCHIVES
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our tenth calendar year!
Number 476  (Vol. 10, No. 19). This edition is for the week of May 4--10, 2009.

"Star Trek"
Summer Movie Preview
Glen and Randa
Movie Marathon Begins .... Instead I’d Recommend .... Our Nation Gets The Flu .... Make The Fed Be Transparent .... TARP Not $700 Billion, But 3.5 Trillion?... Enemy of State: Ted Stevens .... One-Hit Wonders
Nfl Network’s Top 10 Home Field Advantages .... Cowboy Tragedy .... Two Faces .... Coyotes Moving .... The Richest F**k Up! .... .... .... f
You Can Dance If You Want To .... Fly By Night .... This Hurts .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2... o

Summer's Open
Star Trek
Original Munchkin Dies at 89
Farrah Fawcett Reportedly Close to Death
Australia's Giant Spider Invasion
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
R.I.P. Dom Deluise
Readers Comments

Just got back from seeing the new Star Trek film (5-8-09), and I must say, despite profound trepidations going in, I was very impressed, even pleasantly surprised.

Since Mike Smith has already given the film's plot set-up in This Week's Movie Review, I'll just say that while I wouldn't rate it above every Trek movie ever made by giving it four stars, it definitely deserves a strong three, maybe three-and-a-half.

It's too hard to discuss the movie in much depth without revealing spoilers, but to allay the fears of fellow Baby Boomers, or latter-day Trek fans who are worried about the producers monkeying around with our beloved continuity, I'll tell the sole reason you should keep an open mind: Leonard Nimoy's Spock has a much greater role than a mere walk-on cameo. His presence anchors the story and makes the reinvention of the now-and-future Trek universe not only stomachable, but acceptable. Maybe even moving. Without him, I likely wouldn't have been so generous, since I went in with a bit of contempt that this whole show was an attempt to close out older fans as a target demographic. OK, well, that's still what's happening, but I don't feel so bad about it.

Casting, acting, effects, pacing are all great. If I had to fault one thing, I didn't much care for the main villain, Nero, played by Eric Bana. He's super-heavy alright, but rather generic-y compared to someone like Khan.

What they've changed from traditional continuity is fairly profound (particularly regarding Spock's history), and I won't go into it until the movie's been out a while, but, to me, script elements buffer the impact of that.

I do recommend the new Star Trek. I didn't anticipate I would, but I do. The original series is still there, it's just lost in space (snark snark).

Mickey Carroll, who starred in The Wizard of Oz as one of the munchkins, passed away at the age of 89.

Carroll, who was born Michael Finocchiaro, died just two months short of his 90th birthday, WENN reports.

Carroll left show busness after his stint in The Wizard of Oz.

Actress, Charlie's Angel, and legendary pin-up model Farrah Fawcett is reportedly close to death. Her long-time companion actor Ryan O'Neal says all her hair is gone due to her cancer treatments which have ended (altho he saved the legendary locks as a memento). She is hooked up to IVs for feeding and made as comfortable as possible.

Fawcett has been battling anal cancer for several years. After several operations and relentless chemotherapy, the cancer has continued to spread.

Despite her goofy appearances on talk shows in recent years, I always thought she was underrated as an actress. She was one of the sexiest to come out of the '70s and her pin-up poster was one of, if not the highest-selling one of all time.

Movie producer Bill Rebane must be getting quite a chuckle over this piece from down under. Rebane was the director of the '70s cult favorite The Giant Spider Invasion.

Seems recent torrential rains have driven large tarantulas from Australia's remote parts into finding their way into the town of Bowen (about 700 miles northwest of Brisbane). Besides being a scary sight all by themselves (they're about the size of a man's palm and they hiss!), these spiders' venom can kill a large dog and render humans very ill.

I didn't see any reports of how the town plans to remedy the situation. Nor did I see reports of Volkswagon-sized spiders, but the situation is still developing.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet for the moment because I'm also working on a video review of this film. But here are the high points quickly stated:

X-MEN or X-FILES? And remember Halle Berry's CATWOMAN? What do these things have in common with Wolverine, you ask?

I remember thinking when I was watching Halle Berry's Catwoman ... well, OK, there were actually two things. One, why does this suck so bad, and two, what does this have to do with Batman?

I felt similarly about the latter when I watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine last weekend -- like, this is all fine and well, but what does it have to do with The X-Men? That said, I didn't think Wolverine sucked, but it's not the Wolverine from either the comics or the movies exactly. The main thing tying it in is Hugh Jackman's performance.

Sabretooth is an entirely new guy, for one thing. The backstory is an entirely new history, or virtually so. The first three X-Men movies are pretty much ignored, which is odd since they're only a few years old. And Hugh Jackman was Wolverine in those, too.

OK, this new movie is a great action picture, don't get me wrong! Lots and lots of stuff happening, and if you're not paying too close attention to ideas straying from established continuity you'll probably get a good time out of it.

On the message board someone brought up a very good point that to hold Wolverine against the comics continuity is futile because even Marvel can't keep the origin straight! After all the special editions and re-imaginings, I think that's a point well-taken.

But then all the Superman films didn't really adhere to much that went on in comics past 1970, did they? In the comics, Lex Luthor was an overweight mad businessman only until the '70s, then became more of a super-scientist. Batman fared better with the main points taken basically from Frank Miller's mid-'80s reinventions.

So, why did I bring up The X-Files? No really great reason, except to say the gov't conspiracy angles going back over a century, super-soldier experiments, and underground mad-labs all fit very nicely into The X-Files better than Wolverine although the latter had elements of that in the comics as well. The sci-fi/conspiracy angles in Wolverine I found quite appealing.

I'd recommend X-Men Origins: Wolverine to any non-comics-fan who wants a good time out of a character they really don't remember all that well from the first three X-Men films.

Veteran comedian-actor Dom Deluise died in his sleep at an LA hosptital. He was 75.

Some of his films include "The Twelve Chairs," "Blazing Saddles," "Silent Movie," "History of the World Part I" and "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." DeLuise was also the voice of Pizza the Hutt in Brooks' "Star Wars" parody, "Spaceballs." The actor also appeared frequently in films opposite his friend Burt Reynolds. Among them, "The End," "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," 'Smokey and the Bandit II," "The Cannonball Run" and "Cannonball Run II."

Not listed on the sites I visited was a little-remembered TV series from the '70s called "Lotsa Luck", basically an "All in the Family" knock-off where Deluise played an Archie Bunker type.

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.
Petrey [12-05-2009 00:04] 
I think it's easiest to say, Happy Birthday to those who have one in May.
Spock [11-05-2009 22:30] 
They did not need to reboot the franchise! No! Star Trek needed new stories, not an entire new franchise which goes against canon!
It is logical, but I am about to get emotional about this blasphemy. JJ Abrams does not know Trek, and shouldn't have done this parallel reality reboot! Will they change the what a Galaxy class star ship works like, too?
Local Film Cheerleader Lisa [11-05-2009 18:04] 
Paul -- Thanks. Somebody had to keep the up the showcase. I'm not shaving my head though. :)
Skipper [11-05-2009 15:40] 
Happy birthday, little buddy!
George Lucas [11-05-2009 13:21] 
And mine! I guess it's not just my ideas that people "own." Obviously, they own Star Trek too so can tell the creators what to do. I wonder ... have they ever thought that they just don't have to watch if they don't like the direction the stories take?
Jar Jar [11-05-2009 09:57] 
Thank god for Star Trek ... got people off my back for a while ...
backbiter [11-05-2009 09:23]  
I can't help it. Maybe it's the little eight year old boy coming out of me. I can't help but laugh when I see "anal cancer" in any sentence. God help me, my ribs hurt. LMFAO! I didn't realize you cared about Farrah that much.
Terence [11-05-2009 04:39] 
part of that Puffy is just frustration venting and part of that is just my language haha. you guys can like what you want it doesnt mean i wont value your opinion in the future. as for James Bond and Batman. neither were tv shows witha rich history. and niether had real continuity anyway. in the case of James Bond i was just glad they made him more like Flemings Bond. Star Trek to me just doesnt seem to be bettering anything. and ill end it politely there.
Rebooted Puff Chrissy [11-05-2009 01:25] 
I love how Terence can't be satisfied in simply disagreeing, but he has to go out of his way to try and make everyone feel stupid or guilty about it.

Star Trek is not sacred. You are confusing your feelings and perception about Star Trek with what it really is, a property that was designed to tell stories and make money. They found a way for it to tell more stories and make more money, and luckily for those of us who have actually seen the movie to judge it, it happens to be good.

You will disagree with this, naturally. But at least I won't insult you for it.

It's interesting how some properties like James Bond or Batman can be rebooted with different actors playing the roles, but somehow Star Trek is exempt.
Michael [10-05-2009 20:40] 
ED, you are correct on the DVD title....I guess I could have gotten off my ass and checked the shelf it's sitting on. Glad you liked the piece. I know they used to do APE A THONS occasionally in Tampa when I was younger. I know Matt went to them.

T, sometimes new ideas are good ones (and sometimes they aren't). Nothing wrong with shaking up a little history if the end product is enjoyable. As long as they don't f*@$ with JAWS, of course! :-)
backbiter [10-05-2009 16:38]  
I went in with great trepidation. I walked out plesed. And then sneezed my brains out. Always happens when I leave dark theater straight into the sun. Without ruining anything, I will say I had no problem believing Chris Pine was Kirk and Zach Quinto was Spock. That was my major concern. The franchise needs to hold Abrams in an electric chair and shock him until he directs every other Trek film.
Terence [10-05-2009 13:46] 
yeah whats the point in actually creating a longstanding universe of characters who we have followed through the years when we can just scrape it all out the window. I mean half the creators are dead so screw em!

whoever thinks this is an idiot.

please. shut the F up.
Leonard Nimoy [10-05-2009 13:04] 
"Canon is only important to certain people because they have to cling to their knowledge of the minutiae. Open your mind! Be a 'Star Trek' fan and open your mind and say, 'Where does Star Trek want to take me now'."
ED [10-05-2009 11:30] 
Mike, great POA piece. One of my favorite film series of all time. I saw all but the first one in the theaters on initial release (and some again during rereleases). Wasn't the documentary called Behind the Planet of the Apes? It was originally produced for AMC but they edited a lot for broadcast (got to fit all those commercials in there somehow). It was released as a single disc DVD with the initial five disc box set (it was a shrink wrapped on as a bonus). It was also released about the same time as a double disc stand alone DVD. The Ape head box set from a few years ago includes all the movies, Behind, the TV series, and the filmation carton series, plus the the Tim Burton cash in.
Joel D. Wynkoop [09-05-2009 22:47]  

Nice read on STAR TREK! I thought it was GREAT as well.
Joel D. Wynkoop [09-05-2009 21:55]  
Same here Chris. I thoguht it was great, even though the continuity isn't exact it is okay becasue it is explained. I think if they didn't do what they did I wouldn't have liked it as much. Obviously I'm being cryptic here in case someone hasn't seen it yet. Actually by now, I think anyone that cares has seen it by now.
Chris Woods [09-05-2009 18:23] 
I was also liked Star Trek. I didn't think I was but it was very entertaining and I thought it gave good homage to the original series in some spots.
Michael [09-05-2009 10:24] 
SO glad Nolan liked "Trek." And let me clarify that I don't think it's the best "Trek" film ever made....that distinction goes to "Wrath of Khan," but it's a close tie for second with "Voyage Home." Sorry to hear about Mickey Carrol and relieved to hear Meinhardt hasn't passed. When I did a promotion here in 1999 with the Munchkins Mickey's asking price was almost what I paid the rest of the group combined. Between Meinhardt's stories about Oscar Meyer and Jerry Marin's tales of old Hollywood, I know I got my moneys' worth.

I do agree with Nolan that Farrah Fawcett was underated as an actress. In my ad agency days I worked on a film called "Extremities" in which she played a rape victim who gets her revenge. I highly recommend it if you want to see a great performance.

The Rant will be up soon. I'm playing baseball again and didn't get off the field until midnight last night (damn those extra innings).
Paul Guzzo [08-05-2009 13:11] 
Good job on Film News Lia ... glad to see someone else take it over when I got to lazy! I think you may be revolutionzing Indie FIlm as we know it Lisa!
ED [08-05-2009 07:10] 
When I saw that headline about a Munchkin passing, I thought for sure it was Meinhardt Raabe. He was not in good health during this year's OZFest. Mr. Carroll was a guest at the 2007 show and seemed to be in good health then. I realize most of these actors are all very advanced in age but they are such nice people it is still sad to lose them.
ED [07-05-2009 13:55] 
Brandon - I certainly agree with you that Glen and Randa is a bomb and my review reflects this.
Brandon [07-05-2009 13:29] 
Ed, I think the star system gives us scope for comparing films and frankly, the critics. I like the IMDB system of 10 points because it's a broad scale for a very broad diversity of films.

Re: Glen and Randa: I don't consider it much to brag about. It was amongst the VHS fodder back in late high school/early college. I had to check the description again just to make sure I wasn't mixing it up with something else. Very bad film.
Michael [06-05-2009 20:55] 
Lonnie, I'm going through a few boxes of VHS tapes trying to see if I still have "Hot Stuff." R.I.P. Dom Deluise. He made me laugh.
ED [06-05-2009 19:06] 
Brandon - personally I am not a "stars" person but if I were this would be a zero or one at the most. I am impressed you have seen the film. I had never heard of it before and quickly figured out why.
Brandon [06-05-2009 17:02] 
Ed, interesting Schlockarama piece. I personally thought it was crap back when I saw "Glen and Randa". Curious how many stars you'd give it? McBride did go on to decent TV direction work -- "Six Feet Under" for instance
Steve \"Freezing his ass off\" Beasley [06-05-2009 16:22] 
Hi Lonnie!

I remember that movie about a sting operation setup in a fake pawn shop. It also starred the gorgeous Suzanne Pleshette and Jerry Reed, two of my favorites from that era! I'm not sure if Jerry sang "When You're Hot, You're Hot" in that movie...but the movie title reminds me of the song.
Chris Woods [06-05-2009 16:16] 
I forgot to mention, it's sad to hear about Dom Deluise. I remember watching a bunch of his films with Burt Reynolds. The one I always remember him in is Fatso.
Chris Woods [06-05-2009 16:13] 
I knew going into seeing Wolverine they were going to have everything screwed up with the story from the comic and the other movies, and I was right, just as everyone else was saying. I hate when they do that, change characters, history, plot lines, ugh! If you never saw the other X-Men films or read any of the comics, you'll walk away seeing a good action film, which it was, and it was very entertaining, but the filmmakers need to go back and re-read the comics and rewatch all 3 X-Men films.
Lonnie Dohlen [06-05-2009 11:30]  
Does anyone know a Movie Dom Deluise was in 30 Years ago.I think it was called HOT STUFF (1979)?I think asked this question 2 weeks ago with Michael Smith.
Joel D. Wynkoop [05-05-2009 21:11]  

Thank you, you said it much better then I. I go on to much but you said it right and I think you knew what I was trying to say. Thanks brother. I didn't know at one time they came out of his gloves. Yes it was the ninety's when all that ultimate stuff atrted like Aunt May coming back to life, Parker was the clone and Ben Reily was Peter, I hated all that, that's when they lost me. Don't get me started, my wife told me today after I told her all this and she say's to me "You know Wolverine and Spiderman arn't real?" Yes dear.

Joel Wynkoop
Puff Chrissy Origins: Puff Chrissy [05-05-2009 12:27] 
Well, if you want to get picky, in Wolverine's first appearance, the claw retracted from his gloves, not his hands. As for Wolverine having bone claws, that was revealed in the early 1990s X-Men comics by Claremont. Him being born in the 19th century was revealed in ORIGINS, a mini-series that was created after the first X-Men movie came out because Marvel figured they should address Wolverine's origin in the comic before someone made up something for the movie.

And yeah, it's a shame about Captain Chaos.
Joel D Wynkoop [05-05-2009 11:24]  
Wow. What a shock. As I was writting the WOLVERINE thing and the screen changed and the Dom Deluise R.I.P. popped up. I mean I realize everyone dies but wow, Captain Chaos. Tim Ritter, my partner met him year's ago and tried to get him in one of our movie's, Tim said he was really cool and even talked with him for a couple hours about it. Tim had told him "I could see you doing a really dark character..." and Dom said "I could do that", Tim thought he had him convinced but the very next day when Dom came through the guard gate again Tim asked him if he had thought about it and Dom said "Oh F that, my agent would kill me." I have other stories about Dom but they wouldn't be appropriate here, especially now, Nolan, I think I told you long ago.

"Did you see that JJ, I saved that ladie's dog!!"

Captain Chaos Cannonball Run
Joel D. Wynkoop [05-05-2009 11:13]  
to use a s a weapon. I think alot of these extra origins or creating them later in time, meaning like in the last few years rather then in 1975, have to do when they did the whole ULTIMATES into the picture. Okay, maybe I stand corrected according to the Marvel Encyclopedia volume one which was printed in 2002 they do say LOGAN had bone claws which were covered by the adamantium but the X MEN (Beast, Cyclops, Marvel (Jean Grey) Girl, Angel and Iceman were already established as a fighting team the X MEN and WOLVERINE joined them in the mid seventies, he did not free them from three mile island and then they became the X MEN. I know I'm to picky about the back story. I think I would have enjoyed it more if they just stuck to the origin (not that I like the 1842 thing but if that's what it is then that's what it is) and had him meet up with the X MEN already fighting, like in the comics. I guess it was ok to watch but I thought it could have been better. Alternate world approac
Joel D. Wynkoop [05-05-2009 10:51]  
Cathy and I went Friday afternoon to see WOLVERINE and I kind of had a feeling I wasn't going to like it. I mean, I'd like it but not like I liked IRON MAN or SPIDER MAN or X MEN, I was right. Cathy liked it and then asked me "Didn't you?" As a movie, like John say's, it was a cool story but I don't like they just created the whole origin story. Wolverine, I believe came into the X MEN around 1975, I think. I don't think they gave a mention of an origin them but he did have the adamantium claws and before this he fought the HULK in his first terrible looking outfit and I thought he had some time with ALPHA FLIGHT but I maybe wrong on that. But he was born in 1842? He had bone claws? The origin was always around that he had the adamantium bonded to his body when he became weapon "X" but then I don't think they said anything about him having bone claws. His skeleton was covered or morphed with the adamantium and I thought the claws were just part of what they gave him
Lisa [05-05-2009 10:19] 
R.I.P. Dom DeLuise
Nolan [05-05-2009 10:05] 
Happy Birthday to Jason Liquori and Steve Beasley!
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

"Mike's Rant" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2009 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith    "Retrorama" is ©2009 by ED Tucker    "State of the Nation" is ©2009 by Brandon Jones    "Growing Up Fanboy" is ©2009 by Chris Woods    "FANGRRL" is ©2009 by Lisa Scherer Ciurro    "Sports Talk" is ©2009 by Chris Munger      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova

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

In Association with Amazon.com

Back to Top