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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2010!
Assistant Editor / Co-moderator: Terence Nuzum
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eleventh calendar year!
Number 513  (Vol. 11, No. 4). This edition is for the week of January 18--24, 2010.

Republican Scott Brown wins Massachusetts
More Earthquakes
Political Earthquake
Television Earthquake
The Golden Globes: Avatar
Readers' Comments


Crazed Fanboy's Most Memorable Moments, 2000--2009
As submitted by PCR writers, compiled by Chris Woods
From 2001, Terence Nuzum's article about the real stories behind some of your favorite horror films. Plus: A special Halloween edition of PCR featuring the Top Ten Horror Movies of all time!
Surely a political earthquake (as mentioned in my earlier post, below), The first Republican in thirty years to occupy the Senate seat from Massachusetts, previously occupied by the late Ted Kenndy, has won election.

Scott Brown's win ensures that the Democrats have lost their fillibuster-proof majority. This all but dooms President Obama's Health Care bill.

With registered Democrats outnumbering Republicans in Massachusetts 3-to-1, it fell to the huge numbers of "Independent" voters (reportedly 40% of the population) to voice the tide of public opinion -- that is, discouragement over joblessness and the looming Health Care bill -- and take votes away from the previous front-runner, Democrat Martha Coakley. That this happened in the late Ted Kennedy's state is the ultimate irony, since it was the "Liberal Lion" who championed public health care.

Brown has already stated his opposition to the current version of the bill. The relatively lackluster Coakley campaign may have suffered from a presumption that Massachusetts' citizens would stay loyal to the Democratic platform regardless. The fear among Dems now is that this is basically a forecast for how the 2010 midterm elections will go.


As reported and commented on last week, the island nation of Haiti suffered a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that left the country in ruins. The death toll, originally estimated at around 50,000, has been revised upwards to nearly 200,000. This is a catastrophe of epic proportions rivaling the Indonesian tsunami of 2004. Even with help pouring in from all over the world the situation is being made much more difficult due to nearly all government buildings being demolioshed and near lawlessness in the streets.

Just days after the initial quake in Haiti, it was reported that a 6.0 magnitude quake hit the southern tip of Argentina -- after that still another quake hit Quatemala! WTF...?? What's next?


As I write this, it is voting day in Massachusetts. The race is to replace the formidable presence of the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D). A win by Republican Scott Brown over one-time front-runner Martha Coakley would eliminate Democrats' 60-seat supermajority in the Senate and likely kill President Obama's Health Care bill. A poorly-received speech by President Obama supporting Coakley could signal a major turn of public opinion toward Democrats. If Brown wins, it will be the first time in decades a Republican has held the seat from Massachusetts.

Of course, I will be returning here tomorrow to comment on the election.


As reported and commented on last week, NBC television was planning on bringing back Jay Leno to late night, and bumping The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien to midnight. Now it looks like they're bumping O'Brien altogether. Following a nasty-but-funny TV campaign by O'Brien -- not to mention seething public outcry -- NBC is prepared to pay O'Brien $30 million to, basically, tear up his contract and walk away. With great relish, O'Brien is in a position to come away from this smelling like a rose, since other offers from other networks have already started pouring in for him. While the situation is horribly embarrassing for all parties involved (especially with O'Brien now historically the shortest-lived "permanent host" of The Tonight Show), O'Brien is now free to develop a totally new program, and laugh all the way to the bank $30 million richer for the experience. (Note: according to the new deal, O'Brien must wait until September to start any new show -- ironically, to not compete with Leno's return.) Not clear at the time of this writing is whether Jay Leno's return is as host of The Tonight Show or as a "lead-in" show (as originally planned).


Not sure if this counts as a "movie earthquake" or not. This year's Golden Globe Award winner for Best Drama and Best Director went to Avatar and James Cameron. I love Cameron, but this is nuts. I have to believe the major money this pic is making has blinded the voters. Worse, it signals a likely similar vote at The Academy Awards. They've all lost such credibility over the years, I marvel that I still care.

In any event, congrats to Jeff Bridges (Best Actor, Crazy Heart) and Sandra Bullock (Best Actress, The Blind Side). Also, congratulations to the producers of UP who won for Best Animated Feature, the odds-on favorite in this category.

On a personal note, congratulations to director John Lee Hancock (see PCR interview) for his movie The Blind Side, one of this season's humungous breakout hits.

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 he most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
Motion Picture Association of America [26-01-2010 06:49] 
Avatar has knocked out Titanic, becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time.
midge [25-01-2010 18:20] 
hard rock zombies is still one of the funniest movies ever made. my ex g friend and i were watching american drive in a few years ago, and we were wondering who the f-ed up movie was that they were watching in the drive in. She laughed at the midget troll eating himself. I later found out it was hard rock zombies, bouht it, and its so bad that it great! awesome funny!
J.MILLER [25-01-2010 16:36] 
Sorry Midge...Hard Rock Zombies may have its charm but it isnt a good B movie because it is intentionally a B movie...If it were to take itself seriously in the least bit maybe Id agree
midge [25-01-2010 10:52] 
Hard Rock Zombies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best B movie evaer!
Terence [25-01-2010 09:16] 
Mike- you seriously thought The Strangers was a terrible movie? im clueless. it was one of the better modern suspense films to come out in recent years. thats just nuts.
ED [25-01-2010 05:58] 
Mike - so is there a zero stars in your rating scale? It seems to me that a film that's only merrit is that it is in focus deserves a zero instead of a one.

If you get a Monkees tribute band together, I will buy an old van and follow you around the country!
Michael [24-01-2010 20:50] 
Steve, I've been talking about the real thing for some time. I know in the discussions for NOLANCon and for a possible 10th Anniversary PCR gig that, in the immortal words of John Belushi, "We're getting the band back together!"
Beasley [24-01-2010 18:00] 
Sorry 'bout the duplicate posting...
Steve Beasley [24-01-2010 17:59] 
I'm ready to see a "HATS" tribute band, or maybe a tribute to "Blade"!
Steve Beasley [24-01-2010 17:57] 
Hey Mike! How 'bout putting together a HATS tribute band?
Afraid to Reveal Himself [24-01-2010 13:50] 
Am I the only one who likes Jar Jar Binks? Seriously?
Michael [24-01-2010 12:34] 
ED, great piece on the Fab Four. We have a great tribute band here in KC called Liverpool that does a fantastic job. I had the great privelege of meeting and befriending the guys who toured in "Beatlemania" in the early 80s and the effort they put into their performances always amazed me.

FYI, I have been toying for sometime about putting together a MONKEES tribute band...I know Nolan is in. :-)
J.MILLER [24-01-2010 10:56] 
"""Thanks to the success of "Avatar" (as well as James Cameron's technology) George Lucas has announced plans to re-release both of his "Star Wars" trilogies in 3-D. No word on when the films will be released.""" From Mikes Rant

Sigh...Who didnt see this one coming...Honestly...I know this is fanboy blasphme...But I dont really like Star Wars that much...Not that its such a bad flick...I think it just has to do with it being shoved down my throat my whole life...3-D isnt going to make Jar Jar Binks anymore likable...
Michael [23-01-2010 21:20] 
ED, great question. I sometimes look back on a review and wonder what made me give it an extra half star. And sometimes when my reviews are posted on Rotten Tomatoes a film I give 2 stars to is rated as fresh, or good, rather then rotten. In checking my reviews of the past, the films I've hated (1 star or less) include: Halloween 2, House of Wax (remake), Premonition, The Strangers and Basic Instinct 2. These were all so horrible that I really coudn't find anything redeeming in them other then the fact they were in focus.
Lonnie Dohlen [23-01-2010 16:44]  
No,Jason.SHOCK THEATER had more of a psychedlic touch.
Jason Fetters [23-01-2010 05:16]  
Lonnie - Did the Creature Feature theme music have a title?
Lonnie Dohlen [22-01-2010 16:45]  
Ed,Chris THE CAR was on WTSP Channel 10's SHOCK THEATER,Sat,July 23,1983 in the Afternoon.
Chris Woods [21-01-2010 16:19] 
ED, Jason, and Mike - Glad you liked the review of The Car. It's a cool film and has a good story and great cast.

Jason - Liked the article on the Japanese toys. Very cool.
ED [21-01-2010 14:44] 
Mike - interesting bottom eight. The only ones of those I was foolish enough to see after seeing the previews was Halloween 2, which was essintially for free as a second feature at the drive-in, and Transformers 2, which I saw for free at the IMAX. I am curious though, you gave six of the bottom eight movies two stars in your reviews, one a 1.5 and one a one (Halloween 2 which stunk on ice). How bad does something have to suck for you to give it one or no stars? I would think Halloween 2 could be used as the zero to calibrate that scale!
Michael [21-01-2010 14:07] 
Chris, kudos also on your review of "The Car." To me James Brolin was one of the most overlooked actors of the late 70s/early 80s. I think it was the "tv" stigma that worked against him (and also "Gable and Lombard"...they can't all be good ones). I've always been curious about one thing, and maybe ED or Matt know this since they're such "APE-heads." In the "making of" section of the "Planet of the Apes" DVD there is make up footage that features Edward G. Robinson as Dr. Zais and Brolin as "Mr" Cornelius. I know Robinson was scheduled to play Zais and backed out, but was Brolin supposed to play Cornelius? Kind of hard to imagine him on "Marcus Welby" as a chimpanzee!
ED [21-01-2010 05:41] 
Chris - I saw The Car in the theater when it came out. Imagine that "face" projected on a giant theater screen! For a movie with an essintially silly premise, The Car is a surprisingly tight and suspenseful film. It has an excellent cast who wisely play the material straight.
Mayan [21-01-2010 05:22] 
The time travel seminar will be held two weeks ago? Count me in. Titor has nothing on me. I'll be there.
Jason Fetters [21-01-2010 02:10]  
Will, excellent write up on planes and TIA from that period. The Mexican Burro was my favorite restaurant during childhood. I still miss going there today and last Christmas I remember bringing up stories of the Burro.
Jason Fetters [20-01-2010 23:29]  
Chris, great review of The Car. I used to watch it on Saturday afternoons and my favorite part is the devil's face in the fire.
MIchael [20-01-2010 22:26] 
John, nice piece on your night time adventures. FYI, the Isley Brothers did a great cover of "Hello It's Me." It's on their "It's Your Thing" album.
J.MILLER [20-01-2010 21:23] 
Thanks Jason! The whole "punching bull dykes in the gut" is just a small sampling of a bigger story that concluded with the guy apparently throwing his whopper and large drink in her face...I run with a classy crowd
H. G. Wells [20-01-2010 21:02] 
Dateline: A seminar on time travel will be held two weeks ago.
Chris Woods [20-01-2010 19:11] 
New Schlock Review Posted: THE CAR
lilac [20-01-2010 15:02] 
Curious... Was the Tonight Show under Conan tanking so bad that they had to fire him and bring Leno back? Wasn't Leno's new show floundering, too?
Also, a thought. I bet Letterman loves Tiger Woods for taking all of that heat off of his back. Letterman owes Tiger gratitude.
Terence [20-01-2010 14:03] 
god i love Letterman. this is some funny sh#t


lilac [20-01-2010 12:14] 
Oh my.... what will the hot girl from the movie "Sugar and Spice" do now? She worshiped Conan O'Brien, and now her dream stud is out of a job! Also, what will happen to the show which Leno presently hosts? I KNEW this was going to happen! Conan O'Brien isn't as good as Leno!
Conan O'Brien [20-01-2010 11:47] 
Don't worry, guys. I'll be back soon, this time on your local CBS affiliate.
Nolan [20-01-2010 08:14] 
Steve: regarding the Top 10 Box Office -- those are the US stats.
the_last_days [20-01-2010 05:03] 
NO! NO! Another POWERFUL earthquake hit Haiti! Looks like the rescuers now are in need of rescue themselves.
This is the beginning.... of the END! 2012 is coming!
Steve Beasley [19-01-2010 19:59] 
Regarding the Top Ten Weekend Box Ofice: Is that US or Global stats?
shamen [19-01-2010 15:32] 
there was a total solar eclipse in africa today, too. spooooooky........
the_last_days [19-01-2010 15:15] 
Noooooooooooo........ 2012 is coming! First the earthquakes, and then.... Super Hurricanes the size of Texas with 250 MPH winds!
Brandon [19-01-2010 14:39] 
Since you're going with the earthquake theme

Guatemala quake yesterday and one today in the Cayman Islands

Interesting to see how the Massachusetts voters went from 66% pro-Obama to possibly putting a Republican in Ted Kennedy's seat
Happy Young Man [19-01-2010 10:46] 
Yes, it is the voters who were wrong at the Golden Globes and not the angry old men who hate everything.
Jason Fetters [19-01-2010 09:34]  
John- Life, Love, and Kramer is one of the funniest articles I have read in a long time. Tons of lol moments. I like the "punching bull dykes," line. Hello its Me is a great song too.
ED [19-01-2010 08:31] 
First and surprised about it!
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

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