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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #515 (Vol. 11, No. 6). This edition is for the week of February 1--7, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Dear John"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"Dear John"  by Mike Smith
I Talked With A Zombie: The Seth Sklarey Interview  by ED Tucker
The Top 30 Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Actresses, #8-6  by Lisa Scherer
Remembering Asian Pop Culture Magazines  by Jason Fetters
My Ten Favorite Hip-Hop Films  by John Miller
Heading South .... History .... Movie Notes .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

Sony Pictures     
Starring: Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried and Richard Jenkins
Directed by: Lasse Hallstrom
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 45 mins

Dear John.

During World War II, when a serviceman received a letter bearing bad news, that is how they always began. 55 years later, the meaning hasn’t changed.

Summer 2001. Home on leave from the Army, SSG John Tyree (Tatum) is boogie boarding in the South Carolina surf. Heading home after catching some waves, he comes across the beautiful Savannah (Seyfried), whose purse has accidentally been knocked into the ocean. Diving in he recovers it and is invited over for a beer as a thank you. Sparks fly. But soon summer is over. John has to head back to Germany while Savannah heads back to college. Coincidentally, each has a year left in their chosen commitments. A year they vow to wait out, assuring each other that they can stay connected through their letters. Ah, young love. It’s so darn stupid.

Based on a novel, though according to my wife not a good one, by Nicolas Sparks, “Dear John” is filled with so many plot holes and contrivances that I felt like I was watching a “Mystery Science Theatre” presentation of the film. If the back story that is presented on screen is to be believed, John was once a juvenile delinquent, apparently getting into knife fights at the age of 16. His father (Jenkins) is an obsessive-compulsive figure who spends his days staring at his coin collection and his nights cooking (meatloaf on Saturday, lasagna on Sunday. See what I mean…compulsive). But of course, all good things must come to an end, and in the case of “Dear John,” the hour and forty five minutes spent in the theatre are valuable minutes you will never get back. The film did nothing for me except raise several unanswered questions. Questions like if the fall semester starts between August 15 and the end of the month, how does Savannah manage to write more than 30 letters to John before…dum dum dum…September 11th? If John’s dad is such a social recluse how does he go to work to pay for his coins? John states at the beginning of the film that he was born in 1980. If he earned the rank of staff sergeant in the United States Army in three years, how does he stay in the service for another five years, take two bullets in the back, and never get another stripe? Not that it would matter, as John spends one dinner scene in his dress uniform shirt and we get to watch the rank epaulets on his shoulders change positions. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. If there is a positive to the film it is that the cast seems to be trying their best. Good effort, everyone.

Dear John. You’ve been warned.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give “Dear John”  

This week's movie review of "Dear John" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.