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Now in our tenth calendar year!
PCR #483 (Vol. 10, No. 26). This edition is for the week of June 22--28, 2009.

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"  by Mike Smith
"End of an Era -- The Douglas DC-8"  by William Moriaty
Ted Bohus: The Deadly Interview - Part 2  by ED Tucker
Book Review: Cell by Stephen King  by Lisa Scherer Ciurro
Farewell Mr. Mcmahon .... Good Movie News? .... The Bad... .... From Bad To Worse .... The Ugly .... Guitar Hero? Not! .... Roll Out Autobot Fans ....  by Brandon Jones
Cap And Transparency .... Mr. President, They Hate You .... Meanwhile In North Korea .... 850 Pages?!?! .... Tsars To The Left, Right...everywhere .... 95% .... Must Be Nice .... Missing Gov Shows Up  by Brandon Jones
Payback .... Movie Notes .... The Dark Knight's Revenge .... Just A Little Sport Talk .... Ask For Marty .... The Week That Was .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2...  by Mike Smith
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Splash Page by Brandon Jones

Farewell Mr. McMahon
I remember taking a summer job at the Seminole Casino facility in college working in their Bingo room. That 4th of July my step-Dad told me how Ed McMahon had worked as Bingo caller, then on the carnival circuit before joining the Marines, fighting in World War 2. Trust me, I was no Ed McMahon, but it was a pretty cool story. His career started in some smoke filled hall, barking out Bingo numbers to a bunch crazed blue hairs.

He'll obviously be remembered for working as the straight man along side of Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show" and "Do You Know Your Wife" before that. Star Search and the Blooper shows with Dick Clark heightened his stardom to iconic status.

Most recently, I remember Ed giving me a chuckle with an appearance on "Scrubs", the episode where Carla and Turk throw J.D. out. In the episode, the scene ends with Ed announcing he's off to change someone's life as he then leaves with a giant check (an homage to the Publisher Clearing House) - Ed had a great sense of humor.

Ed's legacy is massive.

CNN couldn't help but recant all his problems, divorces etc... but I'd rather cling to the positive memories than the tabloid headlines.

Thanks for the memories.

Good Movie News?

Roland Kickinger, an Austrian body builder, is being targeted to star in a "Conan" relaunch. Kickinger resembles Arnold and while most of Hollywood's efforts to milk modern incarnations out of their properties, this one may be less disappointing. The acting requirement and plot requirements for a Conan line are less demanding than many of the other projects. Marcus Nispel will direct and he's proven he's up for recycling old ideas with the recent "Friday the 13th" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
New Conan?

John Carpenter's long awaited directorial return will be a film called "The Ward." Amber Heard will play a patient in a psychiatric ward haunted by a female ghost played by Danielle Panabaker from the aforementioned "Friday the 13th."

I'm torn hearing of Carpenter's return. Can the legend live up the expectations? I'll confess I'm highly likely to give the film a chance.

The Bad...
J.J. Abrams and Tom Cruise will bring us another "Mission Impossible" installment, probably because the third film wasn't disappointing enough. Studio exec, Sumner Redstone, all but confessed the real reason as he called Tom Cruise a "good friend and great actor."

Sounds like Mr. Mapather called in a favor and the studios said they needed "MI4" first and Abrams will be busy before venturing closer and closer to "Wrath of Khan" remake. (Trust me, it's coming)

I wish I could wish you well, but I've had enough.

From Bad to Worse

If that's not bad enough, a "Meatballs" remake could be gaining ground. Remaking, rebooting, call it what you like: it's recycling the original ideas and successful project from the past for a quick buck. Bill Murray will be distracted with "Ghostbusters 3" talks, so he's likely to make little more than a cameo at best.

The Ugly
There are bad ideas in Hollywood and then there are horrible, "you should be fired" ideas like Gus Van Sant remaking "Psycho". So, Universal refuses to abandon plans to remake "Bride of Frankenstein" and are now pursuing Neil Burger ("The Illusionist") to write and direct the remake of James Whale's classic and Scarlet Johansen as the Bride.

Hollywood is lazy and cheap, remaking properties they own with the same recycled writers -- disastrous results.

Since we are talking about disastrous ideas, the Predator franchise will see another chapter on the big screen with "Predators" featuring director Neil Marshall. I actually liked Marshall's work on "Doomsday" and "Dog Soldiers" but my expectations were minimal. Maybe they'll make the Pred fans happy with a female Predator or an albino with yellow dreadlocks and scales. A two star film at best with a $40 million budget.

Guitar Hero? NOT!
My son Zach mocked a friend of mine for thinking that playing guitar hero was helping in learn the actual instrument. Jack White of The White Stripes spoke out at a press conference:

"It's depressing to have a label come and tell you that (Guitar Hero) is how kids are learning about music and experiencing music..."

Frankly Jack, don't sweat it. Kids still join band, want to play the guitar and drums. GH is a game and kids know the difference. It's the idiots in the studio and the talentless adults that spread the BS.

Here's the full article which includes Jimmy Page's comments as well:


Roll Out Autobot Fans
So, it's finally here. The sequel to a crappy film, which will more than likely gross $400 million dollars after an enormous weekend when there's nothing good to see anyways.

I remember when the self admitted non-transformers fan said he made films for teenage boys. Yep, sounds about right.

"Splash Page" is ©2009 by Brandon Jones.   Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.