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Now in our eleventh calendar year!

PCR #529 (Vol. 11, No. 20). This edition is for the week of May 10--16, 2010.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello gang! Rainy weekend in KC. Shall we begin?

"Robin Hood"  by Mike Smith
CD Review: The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (3 CD Limited Edition Boxed Set)  by ED Tucker
Happy 30th Empire Strikes Back  by Chris Woods
The Big Boss  by Jason Fetters
The Top 30 Horror, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Actresses, #1  by Lisa Scherer
Si No Est¨¢ Aqu¨ª Legalmente, Lleve A Su Casa El Culo! .... Movie Notes .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

Si no est¨¢ aqu¨ª legalmente, lleve a su casa el culo!
Or Wenn Sie nicht legal hier, nimm dein Arsch zu Hause!

Lest I be accused of being a racist, this headline is in many languages!

With few exceptions I usually leave the politics in this country to others to comment on here. But the recent backlash concerning the new Arizona law regarding verification of citizenship is getting rediculous. With very few exceptions I don't think sports and politics should ever mix. That's why the Olympics used to be so popular. No matter your government, be it democratic or communist or a dictatorship, you went and competed against the best in the world. I'm not saying that politics didn't play a part in the games...in 1980 we all felt pride when the U.S. Hockey team beat those pesky Russians...but still, those politics didn't influence the way the games were played. During the first Iraq war and after 9/11, the various major sports teams began wearing the US Flag on their uniforms. Great. Nothing wrong with that. A show of patriotism. But the complaints concerning the Arizona law are nothing but rediculous. There is a cry for major league baseball to pull the scheduled All Star game from Phoenix to protest the law. Why? The complainers point out that the NFL pulled the Super Bowl one year from the state because it didn't recognize Martin Luther King Day. WHAT? There is no comparison. King was a great man (with faults) who did great things for this nation. The law they are protesting is meant to keep out those who do harm to this nation. People were outraged when Tommie Smith and John Carlos donned black gloves and gave the "black power" salute during their Olympic medal ceremony in 1968. Yet they sit back and bemoan a law that is there to help this country. And I'm tired of all the naysayers calling it a racist law. It's for ALL illegals. Not just the Hispanic ones. If you come from Asia, Europe, Australia or frickin' Antartica and you shouldn't be here you need to go! Even Mexico has gotten into the battle. Yet if you read Article 67 of Mexico's Population Law, you'll see the following:

"Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country before attending to any issues."

Recently the Phoneix Suns, in a show of support to the illegals, played a game wearing jerseys that read "Los Suns." Nice. This tells me that the owners of the Suns must think that all illegals here are Hispanic. He sure didn't have the team wear jerseys with the name "Soliels" (French), "Araws" (Philipino), "Sonnes" (German), "Taiyos) (Japanese) or "Khamas" (for any illegal Jewish players who speak Hebrew). Of course if they were truly trying to bond with their band of illegal fans the jerseys should have read "Los Sols." And let me point out that the law prevents the police from just stopping you and asking for your papers. This isn't Nazi Germany. You have to DO SOMETHING WRONG first to get the attention of the police. But if they pull you over for speeding, you don't have a drivers license nor do you speak a work of English, then you're probably going to get asked to prove you belong here. Unfortunatley it's going to take an illegal shooting the president to get people to accept the law. At least three of the 9/11 terrorists were in the country illegally. Right after that tragic event an outcry went out about how they were in the country. And don't forget it was a drunk illegal that killed "Porkys" and "A Christmas Story" director Bob Clark and his son on a California highway. When you're lamenting why they never made a "Porkys 4" perhaps you'll be more supportive of the rules.

Nathan Fillion is supposedly "a lock" to play Henry Pym in the upcoming "The Avengers" movie according to MarvelousNews.com. Pym, of course, is one of the underrated heroes of the Marvel Universe, Ant Man.

For those of you who made "Valentine's Day" a hit, you have no one to blame but yourself for the upcoming "New Year's Eve," which will once again follow various couples on that special day. Gary Marshall is once again set to direct. Remember when Gary Marshall did great films ("Nothing In Common," "The Flamingo Kid," "Frankie and Johnny")? See you in line December 9, 2011. And by "see you in line" I mean I'll be walking past you on the way to see something good.

Recent upcoming film announcements have one thing in common: the 3rd dimension. Press releases for "Fright Night," "Judge Dread," "The Three Musketeers" and "Dracula" all have included the fact that the films will be released in 3D. My favorite title has to go to Dario Argento's "Dracula in Stereoscopic 3D." Pretty impressive. Glad I'm not the one who has to put it up on the marquee.


Nolan touched briefly on the passing of Frank Frazetta and I'm sure will share more later. Of course I'm familiar with his work because he designed the movie poster for one of my favorite films, the Henry Fonda/Lucille Ball comedy "Yours, Mine and Ours." What is amazing is that it looks NOTHING like the art everyone is familiar with. A poster that screams Frazetta is "The Gauntlet." I remember my very first convention where I had a dealers table I sold a butt load of "The Gauntlet" posters and kept thinking, "boy, these geeks really love Clint Eastwood." Of course much later I found out why they snapped them up.

"Yours, Mine and Ours" poster by Frank Frazetta

Now THIS is the Frank Frazetta art the world admired.

The world also lost another great artist this week, the legendary Miss Lena Horne, who passed away at the age of 92. Born Lena Mary Calhoun in Brooklyn, by age 16 Horne was dancing at the famed Cotton Club in Harlem. While singing with the all white Charlie Barnet's orchestra she was discovered an MGM talent scout and soon became the first black actress to sign a long term studio contract. Despite her light coloring Horne refused to pass as white on screen, limiting her work. Her roles were often shot in such a way that they could be edited easily from copies of the film that were shown in the South. In 1943 she made the film "Cabin in the Sky," an all-black musical. She also made her signature film, "Stormy Weather" that year. As the country's highest paid black actress she is very supportive of the civil rights movements. While entertaining troops she refuses to perform to segregated audiences. In 1947 she married musical arranger Lennie Hayton, who is white, earning the couple hate mail and death threats. In the 1950s she was placed on the anti-Communist black list due to her friendship with Paul Robeson, which pretty much ended her film career. She only appeared in two other films after her marriage, 1969's "Death of a Gunfighter" and 1978's "The Wiz," which was directed by her then son-in-law Sidney Lumet. She spent the majority of her late career on stage, winning a special Tony Award for her Broadway show "The Lady and Her Music." The album of the performance also won her a Grammy. She retired from show business in 1998 after releasing the album "Being Myself." She made headlines in 2004 when she publicly stated that, after the Super Bowl XXXVIII "wardrobe malfunction" by Janet Jackson that she would not allow Jackson to play her in a planned bio-flick.

Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash by Michael Nesmith

Honkytonk Man - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Since ED Tucker got us all talking about Mike Nesmith this week, I thought I'd pull one of his albums off of the shelf.

Released in 1973, "Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash" was Nesmith's last album for RCA. The songs on it (at least side one) are classic whimsical Nesmith, including "Some of Shelly's Blues," which Nesmith had originally written to record with The Monkees. The song did not go unnoticed, though, as before Nesmith recorded it it had already been covered by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and The Stone Poneys which, incidentally, brings us to this week's trivia: Nesmith is the only member of the Monkees to have written a song that made the top 10, "Different Drum."

Nesmith continues the whimsical nature of the album in and on the cover itself. The album came out with a with 48-page book enclosed, meant to be read while the LP is playing, giving the reader a "soundtrack" to the story. On the cover, printed ever so small next to Nesmith's picture, are the words "Buy This Record." And the inside cover reads "After two or three months this album may lose potency although some aroma may linger."

I couldn't find anything from this album so I thought I'd share Nesmith singing one of my favorite Monkee songs, "What Am I Doing Hanging Around."


FYI, the song was written by Michael Martin Murphey, who ironically I was planning to feature this week. Readers may know the name from his 70s hit "Wildfire." Murphey was a very good friend of my late brother in law, Mark List, and performed at his wedding.

Long before he became noticed by the mainstream, every other movie Clint Eastwood made would fail at the box office. He had a unique deal with Warner Brothers. For every Dirty Harry/tough Cop/mean cowboy movie he made for the studio, which guaranteed it mucho dinero, they would finance one of his more personal films. If not for his ability to pack theatres, gems like "Bronco Billy," "White Hunter, Black Heart" and this week's soundtrack, "Honkytonk Man," may have never been made. Hell, to be honest, Warner Brothers dumped "Unforgiven" in the middle of August, thinking it would die a quiet death.

The film tells the story of Red Stoval (Eastwood) a songwriter who is on his way to Nashville to hopefully make it as a singer. He takes his nephew Whit (Kyle Eastwood, Clint's son) along with him on the journey and the two bond. There are two things keeping them from their destination: a lack of money and the sad fact that Red is slowly dying from tuberculosis. The music on the LP has the sound and feel of early country and includes performances by Ray Price, John Anderson and the great Marty Robbins, who sings the title song. Even Clint himself croons a few numbers...and not too badly:


Well, that's all for now. I'll be in Omaha next weekend taking in "JAWS" on the big screen at a benefit gala. Lots of photos next week, I'm sure. Have a great week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2010 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 ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.