Either your browser's javascript has been disabled or it needs an update! Please re-enable your javascript program or update your browser to view this page as designed. Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2001 Banner! Number 52 (Vol 2, No. 12).  This edition is for the week of March 19--25, 2001.
ONE YEAR! 52 issues of Nolan's Pop Culture Review have been foisted on the web-surfing public.

It just goes to show what a difference a week makes. Last year at this time, I didn't even think another issue of Nolan's Newsstand (later, Nolan's Pop Culture Review) was coming out, let alone that I'd still be editing, writing and devoting huge amounts of time to it a year later. By the time Mike Smith and Matt Drinnenberg wrote in their Oscar choices for the Letters column of issue numbers one and two last year, I had, basically, like, a magazine or something. And, so, here I am a year later with vastly improved graphics and layout and I'm still writing.....and growing. On this last count, I cannot overestimate the valuable learning experience establishing, managing and updating a weekly e-zine has been.

Last week of this year was kind of slow, too, news-wise. This week, however, saw a veritable explosion of communication from far and near; communication, letter-writing, columns and opinions from a great many sources on all things pop culture. I almost couldn't fit them all in. But I perservered.

The thank you list I have is predictably quite long and truly not all that different from the one I wrote for the 2000's year-end issue. This issue you're reading right now is so full, that, in order to do the thank you list justice, I have to ask you to link to something, which I normally avoid doing. As you know, I like all things to be self-contained for newsletter purposes. Printer-friendliness and all that. But in this case, I worked long and hard on the original thank you list, it's only 3 months old and, truthfully, still current. Who I was grateful to then, I'm grateful to now. An achievement in itself, that, because it means the whole original gang stuck with me, pretty much. I am a very lucky man. If you don't want to link over right now or won't bother later, here's a hint: Mike, Matt, John, Corey, Steve, Malcolm, P&J (the couple), Terence, and more recently, the other Mike, and Brandon. I can truly say I couldn't have come this far without them. For detailed comments, click here.

THE OSCARS. I'm ashamed to admit I have to recuse myself from picking Oscar-winners this year because I made it to so few movies that were nominated. In fact, all I can remember of Y2K movies is how dismal the choices were. Of all the Oscar-nominee categories, the only ones I actually made it to the theatre to see were The Patriot, The Perfect Storm, The Grinch and Cast Away. Naturally, then, I'm a little biased in my myopic view, but if you can stifle laughing at my limited choices, I think The Grinch will take it for make-up, The Perfect Storm has a great chance for either special effects or sound editing (or both), The Patriot has a shot at best costumes, sound editing and score (I forget which categories it snared), and Tom Hanks may just write history for his third Oscar for best actor in Cast Away (actually the only actor in Cast Away! Har har). That's about all I have to say to that. Down further in this historical newsletter's "Letters" section, check out the more experienced and exhaustive Oscar picks by our own Mike Smith.

announcements

ONLY ANNOUNCEMENT:  I plan to keep up this nonsense for another year! WOO HOO!.....Nolan.


Deadguy's Dementia
Up-to-the-minute horror/sci-fi movie news.
Terminator 3 - Release date: Summer of 2002
Premise: Details are scarce right now, but some plot points are known. The war against the machines and the humans will happen in 2001, and this film will show how it happens. John Connor will emerge as the central character in this film, and again he will have another Terminator as one of his allies. But another sentient machine, its make, model and purpose not yet revealed, will become one of Connor's chief adversaries. They're in scripting stage.. No Linda Hamilton this time. (unless it's a cameo or two, or flashbacks to the other movies.)
Halloween 8... Now in pre-production, coming out this Fall.
Aliens 5... Just a rumor, and in fact 20th Century Fox has officially stated that the rumors are complete fabrication.
Blair Witch 3? I didn't realize that the Blair Witch thing is going to be a prequel? Or is this a 3rd movie? It's unnamed at the moment, and they're in pre-script stage. Premise: Long before the disappearance of the three student filmmakers in the woods surrounding Burkittsville, Maryland, the legend of the Blair Witch existed. This film chronicles the events that led to the township of Blair driving an accused witch named Elizabeth Kedward into the woods, and the subsequent hauntings that plaqued the town for decades after her supposed death.
The Bugaloos:...they're writing the script. Remember that show? Premise: It's the Seventies. You're a teenage insect who talks like you're from across the pond. What to do for fun? Form a band. Torment the witch who lives in the jukebox. Of course.
Constantine... another comic book adaptation. This one is actually "Hellblazer"...I dunno' how that's gonna' work? Oh well.. it's in development hell at the moment (read: "stuck in limbo indefinitely")
Another Crow movie. Actually two of them are in production. The first one is definitely straight-to-video, it's called: "the Crow: Salvation". the other one is "The Crow: Lazurus".
Deadworld... Premise: Mankind is overwhelmed when a "supernatural holocaust" occurs, leaving the few survivors having to deal with intelligent zombies and their goal of world conquest. The story focuses on a bus of teenagers and their attempts to survive the carnage around them. No release date set yet, it's still in script stage.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde... rumors say that Al Pacino's been signed for it, but they're still in script writing stage.
This may be old news, but Ghostbusters 3 is officially DEAD.
Ghosts of Mars... (John Carpenter) Currently in post production. Premise: 175 years in the future humans have colonized the red planet, awakening long-dead Martian ghosts which rise and possess the colonists. One marshall is all that stands in the way of stopping the dead red threat. Release Date: August 24, 2001.
The House of the Dead is in development hell, but has an interested rumored premise: It's about a Zombie party on an island that another Zombie, and her "Zombie warrior-friends" want to crash.. Pantie Raids too ?! I want the DVD version of this one!
Although the movie's name is the name of a video game, AND a license was obtained to use the same name, the movie premise has nothing to do with the game's premise.
"The Lost Girls," sequel to The Lost Boys.. officially still in development Hell..
More Trouble in Little China... Officially DEAD.. gee.. there's a shock..
The Mummy Returns (Mummy2) is in post-production. Release date May 4th.
The Scorpion King (Mummy3) has been greenlighted. Release date unknown.
"The Preacher" (Comic book adaptation) Premise: Everybody, in their own way, searches for God but Jesse Custer's quest is unique. It's not the fact that he's a preacher who's lost his faith. It's not even that his girlfriend is an assassin. And no, it's not even the fact that his travelling buddy is a 100-year-old Irish vampire. It's not even the fact that he's bonded with a mysterious entity known as Genesis and has the power of The Word, which will make you do anything he tells you to do. We're talking anything. No, Jesse's uniqueness lies with the fact that when he finds God, he's going to hold him accountable for the sorry state of the world he created. WOO HOO!! it's a Todd McFarlane creation from the Spawn comic book. No release date yet 'cuz the thing wandered into development hell.
"Resident Evil: Ground Zero" A zombie-flick based on a story-intensive video game. Release date is tentative for Halloween of this year, and the movie is in the "greenlighted" stage..
Scary Movie 2. This thing's been greenlighted.. due July 4th of this year. How do you sequel a spoof? This should be interesting.
Scream 4 is rumored.. no confirmations of ANYTHING though.. even the rumor didn't know what stage the movie was at.. That puts it at a "pre-script" stage at the very least (if it even exists at this point).
Spawn 2... Development hell.
Tales from the Crypt, Part 3... Development hell.
Tremors 3... Greenlighted for straight-to-video, to be released sometime this year.
WOO HOO!!
Twilight of the Dead.. by.. George Romero!

The name of the film is expected to change soon. they are in "pre-script".. ok, ok.. so it's a rumor at this point.. rumored to be released in 2001? (doubtful that they'd make that date.. but MAN this movie would rule)

By the way... I haven't received that "Shades of Death Rd" street sign yet (the one described in last week's column), so there's still $100 up for grabs.. RUN.. don't walk! Get me that DAMN SIGN!


"Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2001 by Michael Scott
Mike's email is deadguy@email.msn.com

Terence's Tirade
An all-too-rare guest columnist on problems at Tampa Public Access
"BRING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT, THEY DONT SPEAK FOR US!"
(based on actual facts)
(some dialogue has been ommitted)
by Terence Nuzum

SCENE: TAMPA PUBLIC ACCESS/EVENING 6:00 P.M. 3/14/01
Terence Nuzum, community producer, walks anxiously through the doors of PA to fill out a location proposal form to edit his new project. He notices a new receptionist and new liasons he has never seen before.

RECEPTIONIST
Hello sir, can I help you?

TERENCE
Uh no, I'm just filling out this form.

(Baffled and disturbed, he fills out the form.)
(fast forward)

SCENE: PUBLIC ACCESS "PRISON WARDEN'S" OFFICE/ 2 MINS LATER

WARDEN
Well, you're not in the computer and you have no classes listed. So, you are going to have to sign up and take editing again.

TERENCE
But I'm a producer, I've edited before. You all have two of my programs in the archives.

WARDEN
Well, that's fine, but there's no record of this on file and I don't know you. You signed up under TimeWarner, so technically you are not even a producer anymore.

STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My fellow public access community producers, what is wrong with this picture? I walk into my public access community station and after only a year and I'm told that I am no longer a producer. That my past programs, credentials, and, I guess, my seniority no longer count, because the new liasons don't remember and/or know me. Because of someone else's negligence to file my completed classes on the computer, I am stripped of my title. This is unfair,unnacceptable, and, above all, discouraging. I have produced and directed five short films for/on PA since 1997 and now I'm being told that what I accomplished in the past no longer counts and that I must prove my abilities to some newcomers. Well my friends, I will not settle for this and I will fight it to the best of my ability until some sort of agreement is made. For one, I was not informed that I had to re-sign up after the change of owners. For another, just because I haven't edited a program for a year doesn't mean I forgot and that I should be forced to prove myself. Now, how discouraging is that? I produce and direct short films which take about a year to do and I do not want to prove myself every other year just because it is out of my control how long my projects take to shoot. And I will not force myself to do two programs a year just fit in with their criteria. If they are trying to "shoo" away older, more "maverick" producers, then it's working. I do feel that some of the rules such as equipment care, etc. should be enforced stronger. But as far as dealing with the producers (community relations), each producer should be dealt with on an individual basis, based on who they are. We are not professionals. Remember that. Public access is not ABC or FOX. It is a service offered to the public. It is for the community, so you should deal with the community with helpful open arms, not facism and power-hungry liasons. Public access is for the public and no one else. It should be fun and encouraging. We are not trying to make careers out of this. That is what college is for. If I were a new member (oh wait--I forgot, apparently I am) and was faced with all this, I would be scared off. Of course, maybe the new producers are treated with open arms and us old-school producers are like the shameful secret in the room upstairs that is to be kept hidden. Because it seems that the current trend at "Speak up Tampa Bay" is to sweep out the old, in with the new. I personally can take "Speak up Tampa Bay" or leave it. I don't need them to edit my programs. They aren't the only resource. So, if an agreement can't be made based on my past credentials and seniority, then I'm gone. Maybe they care, maybe they don't. But my films sure came in handy last Halloween when they had nothing else to air. So my fellow producers, bear this in mind and join the fight! Because we were here first. Oh, and beware of the PA prison warden liason. Yeah, he knows who he is. "They don't speak for us."

Terence's Tirade is ©2001 by Terence Nuzum
Viddywell Productions

Editor's note to out-of-town readers: "Speak up Tampa Bay" is the name of the current management team at The Tampa Bay Community Network, not the name of any television program produced there. We are both producers at the same facility and while Terence's experiences and views are shared by several other producers, they do not necessarily reflect mine....yet.---Nolan

UPDATE, 3-20-01. After a meeting with PA management Tuesday afternoon attended by Terence and myself, most of the more salient issues were resolved to a satisfactory level...for now.  I'm happy to report Viddywell Productions is back on schedule.---Nolan.


Monkeybone      Movie review by Brandon Herring
* ½  out of * * * *
Starring: Starring: Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda, Chris Kattan, Rose McGowan, Megan Mullally, voice of John Turturro.
Directed by: Henry Selick
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rated PG-13: crude humor and brief nudity.

"From the director of 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'...", it said in the previews, which I'm guessing was to get people to go see the movie. Obviously, it hasn't worked since the $75-million dollar movie has yet to break $5 million. To each it's own, however, since "Monkey Bone" is not only a bad movie all together, but technically well-made. A tragic waste of talent and incredible visual effects.

Stu Miley is the genius behind the new phenomena "Monkey Bone", a crude comic strip, that everyone wants to merchandise. They go to great lengths to get in on it as well, including dollars that let out fart powder. When Stu and his girlfriend, Julie (Bridget Fonda) are in a freak car accident (you'll see) Stu goes into a coma, and while in his coma Stu travels to, I'm guessing, Dark Town, where all the characters in dreams come to life. People are stuck in this town, with their nightmares roaming around them. When Stu spots Monkey Bone (whom he really can't stand), he tries to keep him under control. Making a new friend Kitty (Rose McGowan) he learns that if he gets an exit pass from Death, he can go back up and live his life. When Monkey Bone and Stu steal a pass, Monkey Bone becomes a trader and takes it and goes into Stu's body. Now Monkey Bone must get everyone to buy these dolls with nightmare powder, so everyone has nightmares...or something like that.

Rather complex (in fact more than it needs to be) "Monkey Bone" had potential in the script and even the story. What is considerably noticeable is the gaping plot holes, and lack of character development. For instance we really don't get to know who Stu or Julie are, so why should we even care? Kitty, played well by Rose McGowan, has a story behind her, but we are not given a chance to know her.

The cast is decent however, Brendan Fraser seems to be enjoying himself in the role of Stu Miley, but becomes awfully annoying when Monkey Bone takes over his body. Bridget Fonda is dreary and seems to bring the film to a screeching halt, her performance is bad and she seems miscast. Dave Foley isn't given enough to do, as well as "Will & Grace's" Megan Mullally who can be funny. The standout performance is the voice of Nick Turturro as Monkey Bone himself, he is very funny and entertaining and really keeps the film from being a total bust.

The special effects of "Monkey Bone" is what might really bring in some curious viewers, these special effects are highly effective, and nice to look at with the eyes. Some of them are believable and some unbelievable...for Monkey Bone he seems to be like Stuart Little, you really don't realize that he is animated...but on occasion it sneaks up on you. The direction by Henry Selick is good, but at times he doesn't know what kind of film he wants to make, and the ending climax falls off the cliff. It's too bad really, "Monkey Bone" could have been a real good movie, but with it's heavily done hack job, and lack of character development it just sinks when the end credits role. For those curious however, it might be worth the rental, but other than that, avoid this one. Reviewed 3/4/01 by Brandon Herring ©2001

Letters to the Editor

Re: "announcements", last issue, about Gandy Park's name-change to "Sun Bay South"...
Will Moriaty
Who on God's green earth came up with that lame community name for that holy, if not lower middle-class, piece of real estate which we south Tampans lay claim as being the place of our births and seat of our souls????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To say I'm incensed is an understatement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Undoubtedly, some city sponsored pin-striped marketing geek who never set foot in our esteemed part of the world came up with this abomination unto the Lord. Ranks right up there to changing the name of Mud Lake to Walden Lake in order to "appeal" to some brainless, tasteless, classless, yuppie transplant.

The late, great Bill Hicks mused something to the effect that, "If you're in advertising, do yourself a favor---kill yourself." When I witness chamber groups and politicos denegrate our local heritage to entice brainless, tasteless, classless yuppie transplants by replacing historic names with touchy, feel-good, advertising-oriented corporate pablum, I've gotta buy in to Hicks's sentiment, as twisted and spiteful as it is...
Will


Re: the one-year anniversary of Nolan's Newsstand, aka Nolan's Pop Culture Review.
Corey Castellano
Congratulations on reaching the one-year mark.  Who'd've thought that a year later, people would still be "tuning in" week after week to view the contents of your head? Thanks for the career support as well. (Corey's a movie make-up maestro whose projects are usually documented and promoted here.---Nolan.)
Re: Michael A. Smith's announcement in "Letters", also last issue, that Universal had abandoned plans to release Rob Zombie's movie "House of 1000 Corpses" due to contract violations concerning the movie's rating...
Deadguy
Nolan,
Arggh....I've been waiting anxiously for this movie to come out. Since Universal dropped it, does that mean that another company can't pick it up to put it on video?? Also.. if the contract was broken, who owns the actual prints? Rob Zombie could possibly push the movie thru the same people they used to get out the band's home video, but not if someone else can claim ownership.

I WANT THIS GODDAMN MOVIE!!!
I went to robzombie.com and found a press release dated March 6. Here's the appropriate section:

ROB ZOMBIE AND UNIVERSAL PICTURES AMICABLY PART COMPANY ON "HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES"
   Universal pictures and writer/director Rob Zombie announced today that they have come to the mutual agreement to end their creative partnership on "House of 1000 Corpses". Zombie has recently completed work on the film, which marks his directorial debut.
   In making the announcement, Stacey Snider, chairman of Universal Pictures stated, "We make a commitment to Rob to allow him full creative control over "House of 1000 Corpses." We were familiar with his prior work and find him immensely talented and versatile. The resulting film is a significant accomplishment for Rob, yet there us a visceral tone and intensity that we did not imagine from the printed page."
   Rob Zombie said the following: "I enjoyed working with Stacey and everyone at the studio. They were very supportive and allowed me to execute my complete vision and control over the film." Snider continues, "We anticipate an NC-17 rating for the picture, which would unfortunately be at odds with our motion picture releasing strategy."
   Under conditions of the arrangements made for the split, Zombie will be retaining the rights to his film and will look for new distribution. Zombie explains, "Stacey and I sat down and talked and decided that the best move was for me to get the movie back and find a new home for it."

"House of 1000 Corpses" began production last May and was completed in January. The film was originally slated for a summer 2001 release.
   I also managed to come across a news article somewhere that stated that there were rumors that Rob, Stacy and New Line Cinemas have been in meetings about it, but there's been no official confirmation of it that I'm aware of.
Mike Scott


Matt's Rail   by Matthew Drinnenberg.
Well, once again, a hectic work schedule prevents me from having more than a current bi-weekly appearance, but I can assure you, thatís about all there is bi about me.

Very sad to hear about the Britton. Most people probably donít remember that the Britton, at one time, was one MASSIVE screen. It was gigantic!! When it split to three theaters, the center screen remained the largest of the three, but scaled down considerably from its original configuration. Many great moments were spent there. In fact, that was the destination of choice whenever Mike and I decided to bolt school early to catch a couple flicks. On the way weíd discuss stopping by Book Nook and saying ďhiĒ to our old friend Nolan, and our real friend Tom. (just kidding NolanÖhuh,huh,huh). (Back atcha, hosebag..huh huh huh.---N) Those were the days when we walked everywhere. You know, I think one time we actually walked from my house to west shore plaza to Tampa Bay Center. Man, we were two wild and crazy guys. Broke, too. When the choices are spending your money on movies or taxiís, you hoof it.

GROSS INJUSTICE
Canít say Iím surprised with the guilty verdict concerning the little boy to accidentally killed his playmate. Iíve come to the point in my life where I anticipate stupidity and expect ignorance in almost all judicial circumstances and resolutions. I still donít get how these guys think he intended to kill this girl. Now, because of some prosecutorís blind ego, a life is ruined. A child is ruined. And I really just donít get it. (Matt and I debated this tragic issue in depth in PCR #45.---Nolan)

PLANET OF THE APES
I encourage everyone to take Mike up on checking out www.planetoftheapes.com. Being an avid fan of the original series, I must admit I was a little apprehensive in what Iíd think about my first exposure to this original effort. Especially given that fact that Marky Mark was playing the lead. This reservation, of course, has been squashed by the incredibly solid performances turned in my Mark Whalberg in the past couple years. I understand the new version is just thatÖ..a new version, having nothing to do with the original series, aside from the mano y apo context. Hopefully, director Tim Burton will have them live in trees, like apes do. That was the only thing I could never resolve in the original, although in ďBattleĒ the apes did migrate to the forest.

SNUFFY
Sad to hear of the passing of Fred Lasswell. My dad never really read the comics, but being the true southern boy he was, always liked Snuffy Smith. He actually met Lasswell at a church auction, and came home with a personalized autographed cartoon (that Iím certain is still at momís). If I recall correctly, my dad seemed to think he was a very nice man, and my dad was pretty cynical, so thatís saying something.

SOUR GRAPES
So, the Palm Beach Post says Gore would have easily won Florida if the Chad family had been counted. This includes all types of chads, including the ones that were compromised the first three times they were handled. Not to mention the Miami Heraldís handling of the ballots. It is universally known that perforated paper separates thru time and contact. What we have REALLY discovered in all these recounts is that the Bush camp was right all alongÖ. The intention of the voter is NOT whatís being counted, rather the perception of the intention of the voter, which is more than ludicrous.

TWIN BAYS
I canít believe that Twin Bays has also bit the dust. Now, only one theater remains from my youth, for weíve lost Austin, Tampa Bay Center, Twin Bays and Britton. All thatís left now is Hillsborough, which, in a way, is fitting, for it was the Hillsborough where I was introduced to the greatest movie of all timeÖJAWS. When THIS place closes it will be a crushing blow. As for Twin Bays, my favorite moments a when they had the Planet of the Apes-o-thon and showed all five movies back to back for one admission. It was so popular they had to increase the showings to 2 theaters. Also, the time the Pro Bowl was held in Tampa (pre-bucs) and Franco Harris tried to get in Twin Bays for free. Unfortunately for him, he ran into Mike. I believe it went something like this:

Mike: Ticket, please. Franco: Iím Franco Harris. Mike: I donít care if youíre Jesus Christ, you need a ticket to get in.


I believe Franco retired from football shortly after this exchange, having been introduced to the fact that not everyone would kiss his butt.

Thatís about it for now till next week, when itís Oscar pix time.
Take care and God bless,
Matthew


Mike's Rant   by Michael A. Smith.
Hello gang. Thanks for the good wishes. The cold is gone and the fingers are flying. Shall we begin?

LAST ISSUE
Rest assured that "House of 1000 Zombies" will appear in a theatre or in a video store near you! Too intense? You can't buy that kind of publicity.

PASSING ON
I sent in my piece last week before the news of the deaths of Robert Ludlum, Morton Downey, Jr. and Michael Smith were reported. In answer to Nolan's query, Mr. Ludlum died of a heart attack at age 73. Growing up, I always thought it was cool that I shared a name with two musicians in popular bands: the Dave Clark Five's pianist and the drummer for Paul Revere and the Raiders. Sadly this past week, Michael Leroy Smith, known as "Smitty" to Raiders fans, passed away at age 58. I have yet to learn the cause of death. He would have been 59 on March 27th.

THEY SAY THEY'RE GONNA PUT ME IN THE MOVIES
Yes, indeed dear readers, after an almost 20-year hiatus, I am about to embark on my first acting assignment since I played Richard in "The Lion In Winter" in Kansas City in 1981. I will be appearing in an independent film entitled, "Shivaree," which concerns the old-time tradition of the wedding party kidnapping the bride after the wedding in an attempt to delay the "honeymoon" and what happens when things go terribly wrong. Looking forward to beginning filming within the month. I'll keep you apprised as to how things go. Of course, what I really want to do is direct.......

SPEAKING OF
Funny that Mark Drinnenberg should mention that he saw "Can't Stop the Music" when he wrote of the demise of the Britton Cinema. This past week saw the passing of Glenn Hughes, know to fans of the Village People as The Leatherman. He was 50.

MAKE THAT "FIVE'S COMPANY"
It's been 17 years since the sitcom "Three's Company" ended its television run. Since then, the show has been shown hundreds of times around the world in syndication. But it wasn't until a sharp-eyed Nick at Nite viewer notified the network that the following problem was discovered. As you may remember, John Ritter's character, Jack Tripper, frequently wore tennis shorts on the series. In the above mentioned episode, Jack flops down on his bed and, in the words of the Nick at Nite representative, "his scrotum falls out of his shorts!" Nick at Nite say they will edit the "problem" out of future episodes. (I heard this on the radio and laughed till my scrotum fell out! Somebody at Nick had to view the episode to scour each frame to find a few nanoseconds of Jack's "nudity". After 17 years...what a riot! Ha ha---N)

UNFORTUNATELY, EVERYONE HAS ALREADY SLEPT WITH HER
Add Pierce Brosnan to the list of actors who have passed on appearing with Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct 2." Brosnan joins such actors as Bruce Greenwood, Alec Baldwin and Benjamin Bratt in deciding they, as the rest of us, have seen enough of Sharon Stone already.

ALL THE LEAVES ARE BROWN, AND THE SKY IS GRAY
I was terribly shocked to hear the news that "Papa" John Phillips, one of the 60's most talented song writers, passed away due to heart failure. He was 65. Even though the group he founded, The Mamas and the Papas, was only together for less then three years, they were one of the most influential groups of their era. With such hits as "California Dreaming," "I Saw Her Again," "Monday, Monday" and "Words of Love" the group followed Phillips' vocal arrangements and their lush harmonies were later imitated by such bands as The Beach Boys on "Pet Sounds" and even the later albums of The Beatles. Papa John also wrote the song, "If You're Going to San Francisco" for his friend Scott McKenzie. In 1988 he and McKenzie teamed up to pen The Beach Boys' #1 hit, "Kokomo." In 1975, Phillips went into the studio with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to record an album entitled "Pay, Pack and Follow." That album is finally set to be released this May. In 1998, The Mamas and the Papas were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Phillips saw three daughters gain success: Mackenzie with television and film roles, Chynna with the 90's group Wilson Phillips and Bijou with films and an album. He is also survived by his wife Farnaz, sons Jeffrey and Tamerlane and two stepdaughters, Atossa and Sanaz. Sleep well, Papa John. You will surely be missed.

QUICK CONGRATULATIONS
To this year's inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Aerosmith, Queen, Steeley Dan, Paul Simon (solo), Michael Jackson (solo), Richie Valens and The Flamingos. You can catch the ceremony and the all-star jam session this Wednesday evening at 9 pm Eastern Time on VH1.

IT'S OSCAR TIME
Here we go again. It's time to pick our choices for this year's Academy Awards. As the reigning champ (thanks to my NOT being in M. Night Shyamalan's pocket) (Re: Matt's and my conviction "The Sixth Sense" would sweep the Oscars last year...Woops!---N) , I will gladly submit my choices first. Here we go:

BEST PICTURE: Since the Academy chose NOT to nominate the best movie of the year, "Almost Famous," I have to make my choices from the five films nominated. Of the five, my choice would be "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." However, Hollywood would never give the top prize to a foreign language film. Instead, I believe they will stick with the past and give the Oscar to the epic "GLADIATOR."
BEST ACTOR: To me it's a race between two-time winner Tom Hanks and previous nominee Russell Crowe. Crowe, who also should have been nominated for 1997's "L.A. Confidential," has, in the past year, gone from respected actor to MOVIE STAR. His work in "Gladiator" is what holds the picture together. However, Hanks keeps you glued to the screen during the middle hour of "Cast Away," with only nature and a volleyball to play off of. I predict Tom Hanks will make Oscar history when he receives his THIRD Best Actor Oscar Sunday night.
BEST ACTRESS: They are pretty much saying it's going to be Julia Roberts across the board, and who am I to argue. However, if I was voting, I would give the award to Ellen Burstyn, who was INCREDIBLE in "Requiem for a Dream."
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Once again, it's a two-man race. Five-time nominee Albert Finney provided just the right presence for Julia Roberts to play off of in "Erin Brockovich." Meanwhile, Benecio Del Toro has stood out among the rest of the excellent ensemble cast of "Traffic." My vote goes to Benecio Del Toro!
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Once again, my choice, Marg Helgenberger in "Erin Brockovich" wasn't nominated. Of the nominees, the two that I enjoyed the most were from the same film. Both Frances McDormand and Kate Hudson in "Almost Famous" deserve the award. However, since McDormand has her "Fargo" Oscar to keep her company, I'm going with Kate Hudson. Following in the footsteps of Paul Sorvino and Blythe Danner, it will nice to see proud parents Goldie Hawn and father figure Kurt Russell cry in the audience.
DIRECTOR: Sorry, Steven Soderbergh, but your decision not to choose which film you want to be recognized for has pretty much shot you down. I had the opportunity to run the first footage shot for "Ride With The Devil" here in Kansas by my choice for director. He was sadly passed over for his work in "The Ice Storm" and "Sense and Sensibility." But this year, I proudly predict the winner will be Ang Lee.
SCREENPLAY:  ...............Original: Almost Famous. Adapted: Traffic
MAKE UP:  ......................The Patriot (damn it!!)..........ok, The Grinch
ART DIRECTION:  ............Crouching Tiger
CINEMATOGRAPHY:  ......Crouching Tiger
COSTUME:  .....................Crouching Tiger
BEST FOREIGN FILM:  ....Crouching Tiger
MUSICAL SCORE:  ..........Crouching Tiger (only because "Requiem for a Dream" was not nominated.)
BEST ORIGINAL SONG ...Things Have Changed (from "Wonderboys," written and performed by Bob Dylan.)
EDITING:  ........................Crouching Tiger
VISUAL EFFECTS:  ..........Perfect Storm.

There you have it. Hope we agree on some. See you next week with the results.
With my lame attendance at the movies last year and no one else having written yet (I don't think Matt's will be here in time), I have no doubt your title as "King of Oscar Picks" will be unchanged again this year!---Nolan


LATE UPDATE TO MATT'S RAIL (3-23-01)...Readers, altho Matt sent this Oscar list too late to make the earlier "first edition", I obviously couldn't wait until next week to publish it. His original email listed all major categories' nominees, many of which were covered already in PCR #47. Due to space/time limitations, this was edited out. What follows IS his complete list, however. (I went thru this last year---deja vu, anyone?).....Nolan.
......My personal picks for all major categories. Shall we begin?
BEST PICTURE
GLADIATOR
ACTOR -- LEADING
Ed Harris - POLLOCK
ACTRESS -- LEADING
Julia Roberts - ERIN BROCKOVICH
ACTOR -- SUPPORTING
Joaquin Phoenix - GLADIATOR
ACTRESS -- SUPPORTING
Kate Hudson -- ALMOST FAMOUS
BEST DIRECTOR
GLADIATOR
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Gladiator ART DIRECTION: Gladiator COSTUME DESIGN: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Iinto the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport DOCUMENTARY SHORT: On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom FILM EDITING: Almost Famous FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon MAKEUP: The Cell MUSIC (SCORE): The Patriot MUSIC ( BEST SONG): A Love Before Time/Music by Jorge Calandrelli and Tan Dun; Lyric by James Schamus - CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON SHORT -- ANIMATED: The Periwig-Maker father and Daughter SHORT -- LIVE ACTION: One Day Crossing SOUND: The Perfect Storm SOUND EDITING: U-571 VISUAL EFFECTS: The Perfect Storm WRITING (ADAPTED): Chocolat WRITING (ORIGINAL): Almost Famous

I must admit I'm excited to see how this plays out. As you all know, Mike and I are both quite movie-intensive ...and I'm certain this will be quite evidentiary. And if not, and we both blow it, at least we're not getting paid for this. (Heeeey!---Nolan)
   Till next time, when I'm hopefully gloating as the new Oscar stud, instead of dud (which is my current moniker), take care and God bless,
Matthew


"Mike's Rant" is ©2001 by Michael A. Smith.
"Matt's Rail" is ©2001 by Matt Drinnenberg
"Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2001 by Mike Scott
"Terence's Tirade" is ©2001 by Terence Nuzum
The movie review of "Monkeybone" is ©2001 by Brandon Herring
Thanks to Will Moriaty for venting his spleen on the Gandy Park issue.
Thanks to Deadguy for the additional missive on Rob Zombie
All contents this page are ©2001 Nolan B. Canova
WHEW!!!

Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of  Nolan B. Canova, ©2001