Publisher and Editor, Nolan B. Canova
NEW COLUMNISTS!
Number 18.  This edition is for the week of July 24--30, 2000.
"With that instrument, your president could have studied life on other planets!"
"Day The Earth Stood Still" stands the test of time at Tampa Theatre.
"What Lies Beneath", an effective shocker
by John Lewis
    My buddies Will, Greg, and I braved a torrential rainstorm, bumper-to-bumper traffic and impossible parking just so we could see a 40+-year-old sci-fi movie. We must be crazy, right? Well, crazed, yes, as in crazed fanboys--which we certainly are.
   The legendary Tampa Theatre is not just any theatre. One big reason people make it downtown to see movies there is ambience. (Try to pronounce that ahm-bee-AHnce, will ya?) Built in 1926 and restored over the last 2 decades, the sheer presence of the theatre itself--from the many sculptures, the balconies, the "open sky" projection ceiling, and the mighty Wurlitzer organ--lends palpable drama to any and every event. It must be experienced personally, words never do it justice.
   Every summer the theatre runs a special movie classics series. "Day the Earth Stood Still" was last Sunday's entry. (7-23-00)
   Made in the mid-fifties in black-and-white, "Day" chronicles the adventures of a spaceman, Klaatu (Michael Rennie), landing in Washington D.C. with a very important message for mankind: basically do not attempt to expand warfare to space or else you will be destroyed utterly by a robotic police force like the one (Gort) standing by the spaceship.
    OK, it's been said many times since then, but never as well. Most of you have seen this fine classic on TV, so it's pointless to go into story detail. However, some things have changed.....
    I suppose it's impossible for any feature to be completely timeless (well, Wizard of Oz maybe), but a couple of scenes made the audience I was in attendance with chuckle out loud. Scenes my friends and I admit were never in question until recently.
    Number 1: Two gov't doctors have just finished examining Klaatu and are remarking on his health, commenting that altho he looks 35/38, he's actually in his 70s. As one doctor asks the other about attaining such medical knowledge, he takes out a pack of cigarettes and gives one to his friend, one for himself, and they both light up! How about quitting smoking,is what the audience sees.
   Number 2:  Klaatu, now called "Carpenter" (thinly-veiled savior theme there), after settling in a boarding house, seems to have no problem taking young Bobby--son of the landlady and about 10 years old--out on the town for the whole day. Every time the kid or Carpenter ask permission, it is freely given, even tho they just met this man the night before --during a nationwide manhunt for a stranger in the area!
   These are minor distractions in an otherwise timeless and marvelous story. The sparce special effects stand up incredibly well.
    My only complaint with this particular showing is the print Tampa Theatre had to work with was in very poor shape with many crude edits; bits of sometimes critical dialogue just got spliced out. Nonetheless, by the time it was over, we had forgotten about the rain!
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  From the darkened depths of dampness that is my home, I have  been summoned by the dreaded Nolan B. Canova to pen a few missives for Nolan's Pop Culture Review. Well,[POP] here I am.
  Where to begin. Powerful supernatural forces beckoned me to the theater last weekend; the reason: "What Lies Beneath." (We all know what lies beneath--tunnels full of crawling "ickies" and creatures that only demented souls can envision.)
  But really, "What Lies Beneath" is a very good movie. Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford star as a married couple whose skeletal closet refuses to stay closed. Pfeiffer plays Claire Spenser, a housewife who spends a lot of time alone in a big, beautiful house while her husband Norman (Ford) works constantly.
   Things begin happening around her. At first she's suspicious, until she realizes she's receiving visitations of the ghostly type. The plot twists and turns into a murderous free-for-all.  I don't want to give anything else away, so you'll just have to see it yourself.
  Robert Zemeckis does an admirable job of delivering Hitchcock-type thrills & chills, frequently catching the audience off-guard.
   Though not the most original of stories, the movie flows smoothly, with Pfeiffer and Ford delivering very solid performances. The movie is very entertaining and is recommended.
Special comics update by John Lewis......
   In comic news, Nolan has already told you that Stan Lee is going to shake up the comics world once again--perhaps as much as he did 40 years ago. (See issue 7 and issue 17---Nolan)
   Here's the final scoop: he is writing a 12-issue series in the "prestige" format for D.C. Comics entitled, "Just Imagine Stan Lee...". If that doesn't revitalize the comics community, nothing will. The first issue will be drawn by John Buscema. Lee & Buscema will be essentially recreating "Superman". (Shades of John Byrne?---Nolan.)
   Anyway, thanks, Nolan, for allowing me to contribute to your little corner of the world. For now I will slither back to my corner. C-ya! (And thank you, Mr. Lewis!---Nolan)
Movies & Music Corner
by Ashley Lewis
  Tuesday, July 25, 2000 should see the release of "The Beach" starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Virginie Ledoyoen. It's about a man, Richard, who sets out on a quest to find Paradise. All in all he finds diddley-crap and causes a bunch of mischief. With touches of comedy, adventure and drama, it is a truly unforgettable film. Well, that's what happens when you have a director who's not afraid to take chances. Kudos to Danny Boyle, the director of "Trainspotting" and now "The Beach." (You must see the shark attack scenes, they're to die for!)
   Recent news in Hollywood: Johnny Depp and "All About my Mother" star Penelope Cruz, are filming a movie called "Blow." Its release date isn't finalized. Also soon to be out, a modernized version of Hamlet starring Ethan Hawke.
Ashley's Top 5 movies in current release: 1.) What Lies Beneath  2.) X-Men  3.) The Patriot  4.) Shaft  5.) Scary Movie.
And now on a more personal level......
What's with all the teen-queens? Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, and Mandy Moore.
  Christina is a complete copy off Mariah Carey and an obvious snob. Away with her! Britney isn't the best singer, true, but she is an original and a good performer. Plus, she is very down to earth. Jessica is a great singer, but nothing unlike we've seen before.
   Mandy Moore is a pathetic 16-year-old who will be forgotten in 6 months.
   BABY BOOM IN HOLLYWOOD..... Everyone is having babies in Hollywood!! Most are illegitimate, but no one seems to care. Just goes to show...but a few are still together.
   Annette Bening earlier this year gave birth to her fourth child with Warren Beatty.
  Vanessa Williams had a child with one of the Lakers this year.
   Kelly Preston and John Travolta had their second child.
   Now, other stars are following like Amber Valletta, Madonna, Celine Dion, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Kate Winslet. Johnny Depp's girlfriend, Vanessa Paradis, is having their second child.
   It must be in the water...Evian, of course!
"What Lies Beneath" movie review and comics update 2000 by John Lewis
Movies and Music corner and all other rants by Ashley Lewis are 2000 by Ashley Lewis
All contents this page are 2000 by Nolan B. Canova_________________
from the letters page, MATT'S RAIL cont'd:
TOP TEN MOVIES OF ALL TIME
As promised (albeit late) here are my top ten flicks...and this took some
TOUGH decision making....ten is really unrealistic...but here goes starting below from extreme left:
6. FRANKENSTEIN- The BIG DADDY of classic monster movies.  Boris Karloff is almost TOO convincing as the monster, and Dwight Frye's "Fritz" is the perfect pre-Igor. Line: It's alive, it's alive, it's alive!!!!! 7. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK-- The movie that made Indiana Jones a household name...along with furthering the career of Harrison Ford. This movie is a wild ride that never seems to stall. Line:"Bad dates" 8. BLAZING SADDLES- Proof that utter stupidity, done just right, can end up being one of the funniest films ever made. Intelligently written by Mel Brooks. Line: Candygram for Mongo! Candygram for Mongo! 9. THE GODFATHER- Trials and tribulations of the mafioso known as the Corleone family. Filled with incredible performances. Marlon Brando, James Caan, and Al Pacino to name a few. Line: "You broke my heart" 10. TAXI DRIVER- Robert DeNiro kicks butt in this testimony of devotion. Jodie Foster stars as the young prostitute. Line: "You talkin' to me?"
3. THE SOUND OF MUSIC-- Julie Andrews graces our lives with this enchanting musical.  Set behind the backdrop of WWII, the hills are alive with every viewing of, in my view, the greatest musical ever. Rogers and Hammerstein could not have known their mastery.Line: I am sixteen going on seventeen....4. GONE WITH THE WIND- THE HIGHEST GROSSING FILM OF ALL TIME....until JAWS whipped up on it. Margaret Mitchel'ls classic has lost nothing in the many years since its release. Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh burn up the screen in the ultimate classic. Line: Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!          5. CASABLANCA-- Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman struggle thru the reality of Nazi-ism and ruthless intrigue in the quest to discover where their paths truly lie.  What a great movie, that gave us the classic line...."Round up the usual suspects!"
1. JAWS-- I'm sure this comes as no suprise to most. What an absolutely perfect blend of comedy, terror, drama, violence, and suspense, topped off with arguably the greatest movie ending of all time. Excellently acted by Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and the late Robert Shaw, and directed by possibly the greatest director in the history of film today, Steven Speilberg. The only real problem with this movie is that it had to end. Line:You're gonna need a bigger boat       2. BEN HUR-- A true spiritual classic. Charlton Heston at the beginning of his now legendary stardom, plays a jewish man wrongly imprisoned and subjected to unending bitterness, only to overcome the adversary of hate and rediscover his love for life. Line:He said "forgive them, for they know not what they do"....even at the end.

 

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