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Now in our eleventh calendar year!

PCR #532 (Vol. 11, No. 23). This edition is for the week of May 31--June 6, 2010.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello gang! Short and sweet this week. Shall we begin?

Still up: Summer Movie Preview
"Splice"  by Mike Smith
Forgotten Horrors: Island of Terror  by ED Tucker
More May Albums!  by Terence Nuzum
Summer 2010 Book Preview  by Lisa Scherer
John Woo’s "Hard Boiled" (1992)  by Jason Fetters
I’m Back!!!! .... Super Bowl In The Meadowlands? .... Officially Blind .... Favre Watch .... Can’t Keep Big Ben In The Pants .... Storm Season .... Cleveland, Say Goodbye! ....  by Chris Munger
R.i.p. Little Man .... Movie Notes .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith


Even though a memorial service for Gary Coleman was called off because of in-fighting between his parents and his wife, the diminutive actor was laid to rest this week. Nice to see that, even though his parents had stolen most of his money, they were able to provide a personalized coffin.


Director Andrew Shankman has officially "killed" the rumor of a possible "Hairspray 2." When asked about the proposed film, which was to feature the character of Link, played by Zac Efron, Shankman replied, "let me officially kill that." This was the second Efron musical project that did not come to fruition, though the proposed remake of "Footloose" is back on. In fact, if you go to Paramount's web site, they are casting kids for the film now.

After more than two years of preparation director Guillermo del Toro has left "The Hobbit" films. He released a statement to the "Lord of the Rings" web site TheOneRIng.net: “In light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming “The Hobbit,” I am faced with the hardest decision of my life. After nearly two years of living, breathing and designing a world as rich as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I must, with great regret, take leave from helming these wonderful pictures. I remain grateful to Peter, Fran and Philippa Boyens, New Line and Warner Brothers and to all my crew in New Zealand. I’ve been privileged to work in one of the greatest countries on earth with some of the best people ever in our craft and my life will be forever changed. The blessings have been plenty, but the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project. Both as a co-writer and as a director, I wlsh the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director”. Does this put "Rings" director Peter Jackson in the director's chair now?


Very sad to report the passing of legendary UCLA baseketball coach John Wooden who died this week from natural causes at the age of 99. Revered in the basketball world as "The Wizard of Westwood," Wooden was also remembered for the exemplary life he lived both on and off the court. But one story told this week really struck me as beautiful. Coach Wooden's wife, Nell, passed away in 1985 after 53 years of marriage. She was his first and only girlfriend. In fact, she was his first kiss at age 14. In the 25 years since she died Coach Wooden wrote her a love letter each day. On the day he died, sensing the end was near, Coach Wooden asked to be shaved. His reasoning? He wanted to look his best when he met Nell again. Now THAT's a love story.

Pure Gold Collection - brought to you by the good people at K-tel

All You Need is Cash - The Rutles

Heading back to the 1970s this week.

First up is one of many of fine compilations from the good folks at K-tel records. Didn't want to spring for 25 different 45 rpm records or, even worse, the entire albums? Then K-tel records would release various albums featuring many current hits, and some that really weren't. For you younger readers, think of it the album version of the popular "Now That's What I Call Music" CD series. What was great about the K-tel albums was that the songs featured could have been hits a few years ago...or maybe never. This album's songs span from 1973 (Diana Ross' "Touch Me In The Morning" to 1977's "I'm Your Boogie Man" by K.C. & The Sunshine Band." Songs that actually were hits include "Devil Woman" by Cliff Richard, "Shannon" by Henry Gross and the theme to television's "Happy Days" by Pratt and McClain. Songs I swear to you I've NEVER heard of...or if I heard it I can't remember...include "Love Really Hurts Without You" by Billy Ocean (BILLY OCEAN???? I hadn't heard of him until the mid 1980s) and "Slow Dancin' Don't Turn Me On" by the Addrisi Brothers. Anybody else know of these?

Here is an actual hit from the album. Enjoy:


Damn, I really miss the talented Dan Seals.

Here's that Addrisi Brothers song. Apparently they were in their late 60s when it was released:


Sorry boys. It's doesn't register.

Ron Nasty. Stig O'Hara, Dirk McQuickly. Barry Wom. No one who followed the British invasion of the 60s can't say they don't know where they were when they first heard the music of "The Rutles." As for me, it was in my living room. A creation of Monty Python alum Eric Idle (he played Dirk) and the talented songwriter Neil Innes (Ron), the story of the Rutles paralled that of the Beatles, including their album covers. Albums such as "Meet the Rutles," "Sgt Rutters Darts Club Band," "Tragical History Tour" and "Let it Rot" showed the bands musical progression. Songs like "Ouch!" and "Cheese and Onions" quickly rocketed up the chart.

OK, they really didn't. But the songs were clever and the show was well produced. What made it special were appearances by Mick Jagger, Paul Simon and the quiet Beatle himself, George Harrison. Here's a look at "Piggy in the Middle," an obvious influence on Lennon and McCartney when they wrote "I Am the Walrus."


Well, that's all for now. 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.