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 57 (Vol 2, No. 17).  This edition is for the week of April 23--29, 2001.
Recovered Ramones memory. First responses to Top Ten Actors.

Last issue, after my brief report on the untimely death of punk-rocker Joey Ramone, I talked a little about the effect The Ramones' music had on me and the gang, and in particular, the musical influences that carried over into our rock "career". This included songs we played live, as covers, of Ramones' songs.

A sharp-eyed and sharper-memoried close friend reminded me of something I should've included in my first article, but didn't due to my aging memory: I saw the Ramones live in the '80s!. It was at Tampa Theatre, but I'm not sure of the year, I want to say 1988 or so. My friend Scott van Sickle and I were present when The Ramones kicked off that year's national tour from Tampa!

It was arguably the loudest concert I've ever heard in my life and I've been to some loud ones (David Lee Roth and KISS were also unbelievably loud). The Ramones were tight. I mean tight. So many punk-ish groups who were younger slopped their way thru a set, but not these guys. Those million-miles-a-second thrashing power chords were consistent with what I'd hoped they'd be able to reproduce live like I saw on TV. Can't give any more details than that, just a glancing review, because it was just too long ago. But it is a pleasant memory.

THE TOP TEN BEST PERFORMANCES BY AN ACTOR/ACTRESS OF ALL TIME.
Once again, our own Matt Drinnenberg has peaked the public's desire for competition. OK then, in response to his challenge from last issue (and, as always, my personal "Top Ten" qualifier: I don't know how to separate "the best" from "my favorite". That said...) here is my list of the Top Ten best performances.
1. Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in "Silence of the Lambs"
2. Jack Nicholson as Murphy in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
3. Robert Shaw as Quint in "Jaws".
4. Robert DeNiro as Max Cady in Martin Scorcese's remake of "Cape Fear".
5. Darren McGavin as Carl Kolcak in the original "The Night Stalker" TV-movie.
6. Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood"
7. Boris Karloff as The Monster in "Frankenstein" is tied for 6th place with Bela Lugosi as Igor from "Son of Frankenstein."
8. Elsa Lanchester as "the neighbor"(?) in "The Screaming Woman", an early-'70s TV-movie based on a Ray Bradbury short story.
9. Lon Chaney as "Eric" in "The Phantom of the Opera"
10.Francois Truffaut as Lacombe in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"
And it wouldn't be a PCR Top Ten list without sneaking in number 11:
11.Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones tie for their performances as Dr. Richard Kimble and Lt. Gerard, respectively, in the movie remake of "The Fugitive"

announcements
IT'S FINALLY HERE AND OFFICIAL!!!    www.crazedfanboy.com, my oft-mentioned, but rarely-seen domain website is officially open for busi...er....well, viewing anyway! This issue of Nolan's Pop Culture Review is the first viewable both here (sans ad banners and with a modified nav bar), and on my AOL site. We're still under construction right now, but it's well underway! Check out the "Mission Statement" page.

Deadguy's Dementia
THE BREAKTHROUGH STORY ON MTV'S "FEAR"!
Hello again, it seems that while playing with fire the other day, I managed to singe someone's whiskers enough that they felt compelled to verbally attack me. I like that kind of response, because it's a good way to make new friends, and it keeps you on your toes. This instance was no exception. Let me explain what happened:
   I was floating around the internet, poking my nose into other folk's affairs, as per usual, and noticed that I had some email. I belong to an E-Mailing list that deals with Ghost Hunters, ghosts, spirits, and related paranormal phenomenon. I had received a couple of emails from that list, and while reading, I noted that there was a conversation going on about the MTV: Fear show's "Buck Hill Inn" Episode that I had ranted about in my first PCR column. (If you aren't familiar with that article, perhaps you'd better go look now because this article makes a lot of references to it.. it's ok, we'll wait for you..)
   I decided that I'd blow the group out of the water with a scathing blast of real information vs. MTV information. I went entirely overboard, and the email contained information from a lot of sources; Interview notes from Buck Hill ex-employees I'd called and e-mailed, newspaper articles from the Buck Hill area, information from the website I'd listed in the PCR article, and some of the other research I had done with the Pocano City Records department. Ok, so what can I say? I'm one of Nolan's friends and an honorary crazed fanboy!
   I then received: 10 e-mails thanking me for setting them straight on the show, 2 emails that basically said "so what, who cares?", 1 email that wanted me to get an international driver's license, and another email that attempted to tear me a new.. umm.. nostril.
   I read, and reread the hate mail. Apparently some guy was calling me a liar, and he was really, and I DO mean REALLY ticked-off. I sat there awhile trying to figure-out what the issue was, but then I suddenly realized the way the e-mail was written. They weren't saying: "They do everything they possibly can to make sure that the sites are actually haunted.", what they were saying was: "WE do everything possible..." Well, I'm not usually THAT slow, but it was THEN that I realized I had reached someone who worked on the show. However, he, turns-out to be a she. Her e-mail name was "Kriss" and I should've realized the gender, considering that she has the same name as my lovely girlfriend, but I guess I was such a male chauvenistic pig, I was blind to it.
   Anyways, she and I started e-mailing each other back and forth. She was ticked-off that I would make up some outrageous lies about her show. I wondered why it was such a personal thing to her until I discovered that she is actually the location manager of the show; she researches and finds these locations for the MTV:Fear show. I can't back down from the research I did, I KNOW what I found, I KNOW that I was right, and I told her as much, in as nice a way as possible. She was nice in return, and apparently decided that she'd try and find out more about the Buck Hill Inn episode.
   She said that she had once heard the reference : "...like the fiasco at Buck Hill.." mentioned amongst the crew, (presumably during camera set-ups of the Plantation episode which aired last Sunday). Then she mentioned that she had been hired shortly after the Buck Hill episode aired. She also said that she was the only person on the Fear team that had any kind of background in paranormal investigation. To ME, that spelled out the answer in plain English: It looked as though MTV had gotten a good beating over the Buck Hill Inn episode, and decided that they'd better be more legitimate, or they were going to lose a good portion of their target audience. The MTV:Fear messageboard on the MTV site was positively SLAMMED with information about how inaccurate the Buck Hill Episode was. I don't think they're able to erase messages on there with that really crappy Bulletin Board they use, but I'll bet they WISHED they could. Anyone visiting the message boards was getting an eyeful of all the decrepancies of the episode.
   Unfortunately, from Kriss's perspective, I was some nutcase who claimed to have tons of proof that showed that the show location backgrounds were faked despite the fact that she herself spent so much time researching and ensuring that those very same locations were as haunted as the tales said they were.
   I don't know why she was so civil with me, I'd have tried to beat her with her own monitor.
   Well, in any event, at that point I realized that I should write an update in the PCR that reflected the current status of the show, and perhaps include a quick insight to the way the show runs now. Last Sunday, the La Guerre Plantation Episode aired (you can go to the www.mtv.com website to catch the details of the show location's background), and luckily I just happened to catch it.
   Simply put, it was AMAZING. The backstory was much more believable, and the dares, although in some cases they may have felt a bit staged, were MUCH more interesting. In this episode, there was a focus on voodoo that revealed a fairly extensive knowledge on the subject, unlike the very hokey use of pentagram rituals in a previous episode, the Camp Spirit Lake episode, which can also be found on the fear website.
   Some of the dares included: Go to a broken down cemetery, and remove a stone from WITHIN one of the Tombs that has a broken slab on it, then sit on the tombstone and drink a "zombie potion" that's been mixed ahead of time by a practising voodoo witchdoctor. THEN lie down on the tomb's broken slab, and place the stone on your chest. Just lie there, in the dark, with only a flashlight and video camera, in radio silence, within a cemetery haunted by the headless ghost that is believed to be the occupant of the tomb you're lying on.
   Or, perhaps, if that's not enough for you, there was also a dare where the background story explained that the grave the contestant was standing at had not actually been haunted, but that there have been reports of the corpse within it being spotted moving around the stone as a zombie. The dare was for the girl to dig with her hands and find-out conclusively whether, or not there were HUMAN REMAINS buried in the grave!
   There was also a dare where a contestant had to carry a large bag to the cemetery and open it behind a specific headstone to perform a version of a voodoo ritual. The guy knelt down behind the stone, nervously looking to each side, apparently reacting to noises he could hear around him. He began to open the bag, and just about LEAPT out of his skin when he saw the bag's contents! There was a LIVE 8'-9' snake in there! (A burmese python.) He was directed to wave the snake in circles over the grave, and the poor guy was in tears because he's deathly afraid of snakes. The snake was obviously drugged to some degree, because it didn't really seem to care about his rough treatment, and certainly didn't mind being placed back into the bag.
   Another dare (the last one I'll reveal) had to do with eating two pigs' feet apparently raw, (though treated), right to the bone. I don't think I would've done that.. not even for the $5,000 cash reward. The contestant was also required to smear blood all over her face from a bottle that was clearly labelled "pig's blood," though I don't think she read the bottle. Apparently she was recreating a voodoo ritual, but I can't seem to remember what the backstory was on that dare. All of this dare was carried out in the apparently abandoned, yet well-furnished plantation house which was creepy as hell.
   I spoke with Kriss, the location manager, at length about her MTV involvement, and although there were things she's not permitted to discuss, due to those damn non-disclosure agreements, I found-out some fairly revealing information. I don't have room for all of it in this article; (Nolan has his limits), so I'll stick to the more pertinent information.
   Kriss Stephens has been working with MTV since October, and since the Buck Hill Episode, has been finding haunted locations for the Fear show. I asked her what the focus was of the show, to which she replied, "This is the thing. The executive producers do not see this show as an investigative show. They see it as entertainment, pure and simple. While they have emphasized that they want places that are really haunted and scary, they still don't realize the potential, in my opinion. "
   Basically, she HAS gotten video footage that is considered by some to be paranormal evidence. She videotaped some orbs doing their thing on one of the episodes, but to the producers, these were just moving dots, not moving spirits, and it wasn't included on the episode (on the brig of the USS Hornet, the military ship episode).
To them, it simply wasn't flashy enough. In her words, "They don't really care, as long as the show is entertaining."
   I pressed her for details about the Plantation Episode, and she said, "The plantation show was my location. The dares were almost all written by myself and Jonas Larsen, the producer...I was raised in Louisiana, so I have a pretty good working knowledge of voodoo. Jonas and I researched voodoo and applied things in a way that the network would agree on."
   When asked for a scoop on a dare that would appear in a future episode, she replied," As of right now, there are no dares written for the new shows. We are in the process of finding and locking in the locations. Of course I have some ideas, but I can't say anything about them."
   So how does one get a cool job like this? It's not just who you know, it's WHAT you know, and what you do with it, too. "I got this job because the director's wife found me. I advise on a paranormal forum and she contacted me through it. I also have some photos published and I have worked with authorities on a few paranormal cases, most recently the Blood in Oklahoma City thing. As far as education, I have attended college three separate times, but I don't have a degree. I have had extensive photography and sciences while attending, and a couple of psychologies. I think the thing that qualifies me for this position is my knowledge of the paranormal. I taught myself to read when I was three years old and since that time I have read every single thing about the paranormal that I could get my hands on. I grew up in a haunted house, and I think one of the most important things in this line of work is familiarity. I've investigated hauntings all my life. I guess it's an obsession of mine. I would probably do this job for free, but don't tell them that!"
   Hmm, how does one teach themself to read at three years old? I wondered about that a bit, but I'm willing to suspend disbelief. So what does a haunted location manager actually DO, and how does she do it? "Because I have been fascinated with ghosts my whole life, some locations just spring to mind when they tell me something like "we want a haunted fort." I have an extensive paranormal library and ghost-hunting friends all over the world, so when I need a specific type of location I just put the word out."
   Well, speaking of getting the word out, (like I said, they don't call me an honorary crazed fanboy for NOTHING!) I have gone nuts trying to find the plantation used in the plantation episode. MTV used a faked name for it, apparently at the request of the plantation owners, which were concerned (rightly so) that the place would be invaded by legions of ghost hunters and thrill seekers. However, I'm tracking it down, and have a few leads. There are people who make it their business to know all of the plantations in their areas, and I've given them the task of tracking it down. They are eager to find it, because it represents a challenge to their "mastery". I don't even know for sure what state it's in, so I've got people ALL over the place looking for it, and the cemetery on the property. I've been sent several pictures that were close, but no match yet. There are several discerning characteristics that are readily apparent on the episode, and although none of them understand WHY the photos I sent them were in the dark, or even why I want the information, they're going nuts. It truly is amazing what you can do online these days, if you know how to be respectful to folks.
   In any event, I'll keep you all posted on what I find out. I expect that this place exists, and that it'll be found soon. I trust Kriss for some reason; probably because a lot of folks on the ghost-hunter lists know her, and several have done some ghost hunting with her. I'm in her forum by the way, anyone got some suggestions for a show location? I was thinking perhaps Tampa Theater, but I couldn't figure out how to draw that out into a night's worth of dares. Any ideas?


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

Terence's Tirade
Here it is, my epic: the para-ultimate tirade.
Hello "gang".
   Well, since things have been so nice and quiet here at POP CULTURE REVIEW, I've decided to write another tirade. Not just for the sake of of disruption, mind you, but also because I've noticed while reading the columns on this page that there are some unforgivable eyesores. What I'm speaking of are comments and opinions (posed as facts!!) that caused my eyes to gush blood and plunged me into such an immediate depression that I contemplated shooting myself (but not before taking all of you with me, naturally). And don't take that seriously--the last thing I need is some PC jerk-off getting on to me about violent language. So, now to dispense the justice for the crimes of this page. Read on, accused.

1. Jason X sucks. Why? He's in space. 'Nuff said. Would've ended with Part 2 if I had any say.

2. (and this is the worst crime here) Spielberg is not a god, demigod, or even a decent human being. Why is he not a god? "The Lost World". "E.T". "Saving Private Ryan" (yes, you little Spielberg-worshippers, "THE LONGEST DAY" kicks its ass.) Why is he not a demigod? "Amistad" was ripped off someone else's story. "Lost World" ripped off Arthur Conan Doyle's story, yet is credited to Crichton, even though it's nothing like his book. Oh hell, Spielberg wasn't even on the set half the time--he was off filming "Amistad" and directed "Lost World" via satellite or some crap. Now, how hack is that?!!! Private Ryan's direction is awful. I thought the opening scene in the cemetery was a bad Veteran's Fund commercial. Why is he not a decent homosapien? Because not only is he riding on the media publicity of Stanley Kubrick's death and their supposed friendship, the little opportunist is now claiming Kubrick wanted him to direct it "A.I." That is most likely a lie. Kubrick up until his death claimed that "AI" was to be his next film after "Eyes Wide Shut". Let's see some proof, Steven. And, oh yeah, Spielberg (Lucas, too) really is destroying our cinema with glossy, bad popcorn, weepy, Hollywood, big-bucks, trash mainstream celluloid he calls films. See what happens when Kubrick dies and David Lynch loses his appeal?

3. Robin Williams is not a good actor and never will be. Why? Patch Adams, folks. Patch Adams. He should be shot.

4.That's nice and fine that Britton theatres has nostalgia for some. I'm only 21, but I've been going there since I was little and the only memories I have of that dump are of roaches, broken seats, small screens, and bad sound. I'm only sad that I didn't get to burn it down first.

5.The Oscars suck and should not be included on your site with such glee. Why? The Oscars, to me, are like an oncoming migraine...I dread hearing about them every year. Why the hell don't they close up the best actor category and give it to Tom Hanks every year. Hell, he's nominated every year for his bad potrayals.

6. Tom Hanks couldn't act his way out of drama class. Why? Well, frankly, the minute the man stops acting like himself every film and starts actually potraying actual characters, then he will be only OK at best. He has about as much range as Jimmy Stewart and, lord help, was Stewart bad.

7. Oh yeah, no more Jason X. Why? He's in space still. Get it yet? Catching on? See why it sucks?

8. Steven Spielberg deserves not congrats for quitting Eagle Scouts, but death for shameless media promotion. Why? Well, the minute I believe he actually cares about the persecuted, is the minute I believe George Lucas cares more about his film's quality than the amount of bad CGI he pushes on us.

9. The fact that I have to take up a whole column's worth of time to point all this out to you all.

In closing, if you don't like what I have to say, tell somebody else other than me.


There now, "gang"...now that you have finished the tirade which should last you till the end of the year, here's my Top Ten Performances by an actor list. Oh yeah, and I dare someone to put Tom Hanks in their list. If they do, it's pretty probable that they also picked Jimmy "I can't act for crap" Stewart. And Stewart is crap. Sorry, but 1 out of 1 Alfred Hitchcocks would agree.

1. Gary Oldman- as "Norman Stansfield" in "THE PROFESSIONAL"
2. Klaus Kinski- as "Aguirre" in "AGUIRRE, WRATH OF GOD"
3. Peter Sellers- as "Claire Quilty" in "LOLITA"
4. Robert Mitchum- as "Rev. Harry Powell" in "NIGHT OF THE HUNTER"
5. John Goodman- as "Charlie Meadows" in "BARTON FINK"
6. Malcom Macdowell- as "Alex Delarge" in "A CLOCKWORK ORANGE"
7. Johnny Depp -as "Edward D. Wood, Jr." in "ED WOOD"
8. Maria Falconetti -as "Jeanne de Arc" in "THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC"
9. Dennis Hopper- as "Frank Booth" in "BLUE VELVET"
10. Orson Welles -as "Capt. Hank Quinlan" in "TOUCH OF EVIL"
....and, oh yeah, if only we could have 11 entries---poor old #11. Dennis Quaid- as "Doc Holiday" in "WYATT EARP" would not have starved himself down to a mere 78 lbs. to play the tuberculosis-ridden dentist in vain. Aww, too bad, Dennis.

Terence Nuzum   Viddywell Productions ©2001

    Terence, my boy, we can expect lots of reactions to this tirade I dare say!
    About Jason X: agreed. About Steven Spielberg? He's always had a talent for commercial success, but I don't fault him for that, necessarily, dark politics notwithstanding. He and Lucas got rich and lost their visions, maybe. Are lesser/better movies being overlooked in their shadow? Oh, I'm sure they are. The digital revolution--ironically pioneered by Lucas--is helping mitigate that a little.
   About the Britton Theatre: it's hard to defend to a young person something which has historical/sentimental value of a magnitude like the Britton engendered. Yes it's "nostalgia", of course, but it's a beacon of a by-gone era. You might say "that's good that it's by-gone" and many would agree. I don't remember roaches, but when Muvico and Regal took it over they lied to everyone about how they were going to overhaul the sound system, seating, AC, etc....it basically fell into decay. However, it had better and more proximate parking than any theatre in the tri-county area and I don't remember it being as uncomfortable as you do and I certainly wouldn't call it "a dump". It had a personality. There are many who decry the slow disappearance of drive-ins as well. They had disadvantages, but some folks wouldn't watch movies any other way.
   Now then, seriously, folks, how 'bout that Tom Hanks...isn't he JUST THE GREATEST???---Nolan
UPDATE: The fallout has already begun! Read: Mike Scott's response to Terence's Tirade

Lisa's Lambast!

The sad demise of Robert Downey, Junior
No, he's not dead (yet), but his career most certainly is. This has to be the saddest Hollywood drug addict story since Judy Garland. As you read this, I am sure you have heard that Robert has been arrested AGAIN. The troubled actor was arrested in Los Angeles around midnight Tuesday morning on SUSPICION of being under the influence of a controlled substance. No word as yet on what kind of controlled substance. When word of his arrest broke, David E. Kelly, the producer of Ally McBeal fired Downey from the show. Kelly had been one of Robert's biggest supporters in his struggle with sobriety. Downey has reportedly checked himself into a re-hab center, sadly too little too late.

What a shame! This guy had SOOOO much going for him. ALL of Hollywood was pulling for him, he had an unbelievible come-back going on, but he just COULD NOT break free from his addiction. Now he is alone in his painful fight for his very life and quite probably his freedom. I predict that it wont be long before I am writing an obituary piece on him for this column.(Sad, but true.---N)

Top 10 performances by an actor/actress of all time:
1.  Leonardo DiCaprio
as a severely mentally disabled boy in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (This is an INCREDIBLE performance.. if you haven't seen this movie, RUN, dont walk to the video store and get it)
2.  Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook in "Hook"
3.  Gary Sinise as Lieutenant Dan in "Forrest Gump"
4.  Joan Cusack as Debby in "The Addams' Family Values"
5.  Raul Julia as Gomez Addams in both "Addams' Family" movies
6.  Michael Keaton as "Beetlejuice"
7.  Jim Carrey as "The Grinch" (you guys are probably cringing now, right?)
8.  Mel Gibson in "Maverick"
9.  Matthew Broderick as "Ferris Bueller"
10. Harrison Ford as "Indiana Jones" (Only in "Raiders of the Lost Ark", the rest were just crap).


Blow                       Movie review by Brandon Herring
Critic's rating: *** out of ****
Directed by:  Ted Demme
Starring:  Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Franka Potente, Jordi Molla, Rachel Griffiths, Ray Liotta, Ethan Suplee, Paul Reubens.
Rated R:  strong drug content, language, some sexuality and violence.
Running Time:  124 minutes
Release Date:  4/6/01

Oddly enough, with two other great drug-related movies released last year "Traffic" and "Requiem for a Dream", "Blow" comes off quite well, and even would have been weird to have it released last year. The film is powerful, strongly acted and wonderfully told. The performances especially by Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz are all Oscar-worthy.

"Blow" is the life and times of a smart person gone wrong. That person is George Jung (Johnny Depp), a boy raised in a middle-class family by a loving father, and a bitchy mother. The love in their house, however, never ceased to exist, and he was raised to be a good person. After he moved out, he went to California and found that life there was much more on the edge and to the extreme, compared to his shy suburban life. He and his friend Tuna (Ethan Suplee) garner a one-bedroom apartment, and decide to sell weed to make money. His girlfriend Barbara (Franka Potente) decides to help him, and the two become rich out of their minds. Soon after he is caught and goes to jail, he finds out that Barbara is dying, he becomes a fugitive on the run and goes directly to his parents house, only to be arrested once more and sent to prison yet again for several more years. Once in prison, he makes friends with the young Diego Delgado (Jordi Molla) and finds out how to make money once he is out...Diego's idea: cocaine and lots of it. After he finds out he can smuggle cocaine over the border from Mexico to America, he becomes a huge success. Once in that life he meets the young Mirtha (Penelope Cruz), the two fall in love, and their lifestyles change once more as George gets once again involved in the drug scene.

"Blow" is solely reliable on the fantastic performance by the always good Johnny Depp, since I thought his best performance was in 1999s "Sleepy Hollow". I stop here to say this is Johnny Depp's best performance of his career (even outdoes "Ed Wood"). He is so real, and so fresh in his character that he really does become George Jung in the long run. Penelope Cruz is becoming a big star in America, and this will be the performance that will make her a huge star. She is beautiful and her acting abilities show in this film. The supporting gem is from Paul Reubens as the eccentric drug dealer. He is funny, real, and just plain great in his role. "Blow" is directed by Ted Demme who really hasn't done many good movies besides "Beautiful Girls". His 1993 effort "Who's The Man" was a total bust from start to finish, his 1994 attempt "The Ref"...I don't even want to start on that, and his most recent 1999s boring "Life" were all bad movies. "Blow" might jump-start his career back into place, and with his camera movement, his lighting, style and sense of smartness. "Blow" is so overwhelming in style and power, that even in the lulls of the overlong 124-minute running time, it seems to still be a good movie, which it is.

Based on the novel by Bruce Porter, David McKenna's adapted script is fantastically written, and the dialogue is smart, smooth and funny. In the end "Blow" almost brought a tear to my eye. No, it isn't just about drugs, no it just isn't about people who do drugs, it's about what drugs do to people and the people in their lives. A great character portrait of a man who took the wrong turn in life, "Blow" is a movie that even with some slow parts I could watch several times.
Reviewed by Brandon Herring 4-18-01. ©2001

Letters to the Editor
We welcome back Lauré for her second contribution to PCR. This time she's responding to Matt's "Top Ten Actor's Performances" challenge from last issue!
Lauré
You asked, so here you are. Laure's List:
1. Nigel Terry as King Arthur in "Excalibur"
2. Nigel Terry as Caravaggio in "Caravaggio"
(if duplicates are not allowed, then place Dexter Fletcher as the Young Caravaggio in "Caravaggio' in the #2 slot--I love this guy and this is really a toss up over who is lead in that movie) (I hereby pronounce duplicates allowed!---N)
3. Isabelle Adjani as Camille Claudel in "Camille Claudel"
4. Catherine McCormack as Veronica Franco in "Dangerous Beauty"
5. Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth in "Elizabeth"
6. Sean Connery as Captain Raimius in "The Hunt for Red October"
7. Mel Gibson as William Wallace in "Braveheart"
8. Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in "Silence of the Lambs"
9. Helena Bonham Carter as Lucy Honeychurch in "Room with a View"
10. Morgan Freeman as Hibble in "Moll Flanders"
11. :o) Liam Neeson as Oscar Schindler in "Schindler's List"

Thank you Lauré! It's funny, "Number 11s" seem to be so routinely added to everyone's list, I'm tempted to make all future challenges Top 11! But then someone would want a Number 12...ah well. Readers: while surfing the web, drop by Laurés Library, her award-winning site.---Nolan

Mike Scott
Top ten performances by an actor/actress:
#1 - the lady that played Shimi Skywalker in "Star Wars, Episode I", uhh...for that role, too.
#2- Nolan B. Canova, for his role as the Waiting Room Extra, in, "The Horror Writer".
#3- Kane Hodder, for his Jason role in the "Friday the 13th" Series, best damn body actor on the planet.
#4- Mel Gibson, for his "Mad Max", all movies.
#5- Sigourney Weaver, for her role as the clone in the "Alien 4" movie.
#6- Bruce Willis, as the father in "Armageddon".
#7- David Prowse, second best body actor on the planet, for his role as Darth Vader in some lame-ass series
#8- James Earl Jones, for anything his voice was used in, but especially, the angry Darth Vader in "Star Wars IV: A New Hope". If you don't call that acting, you'd better go rewatch it.
#9- Michael Ironside, for his role as the teacher/soldier in "Starship Troopers".
#10- Bruce Campbell, for his "3 Stooges-meet-Dirty Harry" Ash character in the "Evil Dead" series.

Shimi Skywalker edged me outta number 1?? Wottan outrage! I coulda been a contenduh! Well, there's always next year...I'll make number 1!!  But, hey, I outranked Mel Gibson and that's really something. (Sniff, sniff) Thanks, Mike!---Nolan

Mike's Rant     by Michael A. Smith
Hello gang! Lots of news and notes. Plus, oh goody, a new top 10 list. Shall we begin?

WELCOME BACK
Hi Lisa! Glad to see you have returned to gracing the pages of this mag! Do me a favor, drop the call letters/web site of your station and I'll do my best to listen to you! (Lisa says: "Thanx for the warm welcome Mike, it's good to be back...Florida's Radio Network, or FRN doesn't really have call letters or dial position, it's a news server, much like the A.P. We send the news out and those stations around Florida who wish to pick it up, do so either in part or as a complete cast. I DID, however play a tape of some of my newscasts for Nolan, ask him for a critique. Nolan, remember I KNOW where you live, you be NICE now! LOL!....Lisa)
(Nolan here. It was a fine newscast! Very well done. I'd recognize that voice anywhere! Lows near 60 in the morning with highs in the low '80s. Radar presently shows clear skies over Tampa Bay...For FRN news, I'm Nolan Canova.)

I WOULDN'T DO THAT IF I WERE YOU, MIKE
Well, in an attempt to upgrade my computer to AOL 6.0 I have pretty much sent it crashing and burning on it's way to hell. I am now writing this in a hurry as I don't know when I'm going to get an error message. Nothing's worse then losing 5 years of your life's work in a blink of an eye. I have been promised by a friend that all may not be hopeless, so I will keep my fingers crossed. Thank God I had the foresight to put my book and scripts on discs!

THAT'S MY BOY
Can't help but brag on my son, Phillip, who's baseball achievements warranted the banner headline "SMITH COMES UP WITH KEY RBI's IN WIN" in the Leavenworth Times. As I've said many times before, there is nothing like watching your children grow and succeed.

ACTION!
Shot my first scene of "Shivaree" this past weekend. Not much, just a quiet wedding with my character, the local sheriff, exchanging some words and a menacing glance or two. When this film is finished, the film's director has proposed a staging of the David Mamet play, "Glengarry GlenRoss." For those of you familiar with the film, I have been asked to play the Ed Harris part. Plenty of scenery for yours truly to chew. I'll keep you advised. (Just please remember to thank me and Matt when you pick up your Oscar! Next up: Mike's asked to play the Ed Harris part in future low-budget adaptations of "Pollock", "The Abyss" and "The Right Stuff".  Be careful about typecasting!...N)

ALL YOU NEED IS LUNCH
Beatles scholar Martin Lewis has come up with the theory that the Fab Four weren't writing about love, drugs or money. They were infatuated with FOOD. From their record label APPLE to the working title of "Yesterday" (Scrambled Eggs) to John Lennon stating "cranberry sauce" at the end of "Strawberry Fields Forever" (not "I buried Paul" as many conspiracy theorists have stated). Lewis studied more than 1800 recordings and 40 hours of film and videos made by the Beatles collectively and individually from 1961 until now. Top snack is honey, which is mentioned in fourteen songs. Ironically, vegetarian George Harrison has the most mentions of meat. Harrison writes about everything from pigs to chicken, Burger King to McDonalds. Tastiest song is McCartney's "Cook of the House," which mentions sweet potatoes, green beans, salad, garlic, salt and pepper. If you live in Los Angeles, you can hear a 3-hour radio special compiled by Lewis entitled "Eat the Beatles," which will air this coming Sunday. (Unless you're on a diet, then I'd advise against it! After reading this article, I devoured the refrigerator!---N)

BABY I'M A RICH MAN
Congrats to Sir Paul McCartney, who's total earnings this year have pushed his personal wealth to $1.02 BILLION. That's NINE ZEROES, GANG! (Whew! It sometimes takes Bill Gates and Sam Walton 30 to 60 days to make a billion dollars!  Seriously, that's gotta make McCartney the richest rock star of all time. After taxes, he could afford one of the McDonald's hamburgers Harrison sings about; but Sir Paul's a vegan, so it's back to sweet potatoes...---Nolan)

PAYING THE PRICE
In a ruling this past Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court decreed that JoAnn Brandon, the mother of Teena Brandon, deserves larger compensation for her daughter's death. The court said a lower court erred in awarding just $17,361 in her suit against Richardson County sheriff Charles Laux. Laux was found negligent for failing to protect Brandon. Hilary Swank won a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Brandon in the powerful film, "Boys Don't Cry."

A NEW TOP 10!
In response to Matt's challenge, here is my top 10 performances by an actor. Hope you enjoy them:
1. Roy Scheider in "JAWS": Duh! Who saw this one coming? Scheider is perfect as he portrays the everyman who is called upon to conquer his fears to fight the beast that is terrorizing his town.
2. Roy Scheider in "All That Jazz": I defy ANYONE to tell me who could have pulled off the role of Joe Gideon other than Roy. In a part originally slated for Richard Dreyfuss (?!), Scheider pulls out all the stops in Bob Fosse's autobiographical masterpiece. Scheider garnered a richly-deserved Oscar nomination, though you wouldn't know it from winner Dustin Hoffman's acceptance speech. Hoffman managed to salute fellow nominees Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon and Peter Sellers, but neglected to acknowledge Roy. What a prick!
3. Eric Roberts in "Star 80": So nasty that I wanted to take a shower after seeing this film, I felt so dirty. Roberts is beyond perfect as Paul Snider, husband and "agent" for wife/Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten. When he realized he wasn't going to go along for the ride to the top, Snider murdered Stratten and then killed himself.
4. Val Kilmer in "The Doors": When I first saw the poster for this film I thought to myself, "What a cool picture of Jim Morrison." Imagine my shock when I realized it wasn't the lizard king at all, but Kilmer! His portrayal of the Doors' frontman went beyond incredible. Add the fact that Kilmer did his own singing and you can take this performance to the bank and lock it in the "10 Best" vault.
5. Robert Duvall in "The Apostle": Some actors spend their entire lives nurturing a dream project. Some, like Ed Harris with "Pollock" are wildly successful. Others, like Kevin Costner and "The Postman," are pretty damn insulting. "The Apostle" falls into the former category. Duvall received on Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of a southern preacher who knows that even as a man of the cloth he is still a man, with all of man's faults. His many scenes where he is just questioning God and his plans for him are just the dessert on this main course of acting. What is even more remarkable is that Duvall also wrote and directed this film, making his performance even more incredible considering the many different diversions he must have had on the set.
6. Clint Eastwood in "Unforgiven": As you can see, a few of my choices will not be mainstream. I mean I could list every Robert DeNiro performance if I was so inclined, but I like to observe those performances that really impressed me...........that made me say, "Wow..............who knew he could do that?" As former killer-turned-family man William Muny, Eastwood is slowly drawn back into a life he swore to his late wife he would abandon. Towards the end of the film, there is a scene where Muny, who earlier turned down the offer of a drink, starts slowly draining a bottle of whisky. With every sip, we can slowly see the transformation from family man to murderer. When he warns the few people he doesn't kill to do what he says, or "I'll come back and kill every one of you son's of bitches," you know he means it.
7. Sylvester Stallone in "Copland": I told you this wasn't a conventional list. How many people even know that Stallone has two Oscar nominations, including one for Best Actor? After a series of poorly received films, Sly goes the character actor route and portrays a small town sheriff who's early heroics as a teenager never lived up to what he wanted to be in life. Extra kudos to Stallone for holding his own against some GREAT actors, including Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel and Ray Liotta.
8. Denzel Washington in "Glory": As the former slave with a grudge against the world, Washington deservedly won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Two scenes stick out in my mind. The first is when he is sentenced to be whipped for being AWOL by his commander, Matthew Broderick. As his shirt is pulled off, his back reveals the scars of far too many whippings from the past. He stares defiantly at Broderick, as if daring him. As the whipping commences, he utters not a word. However, when his eyes meet Broderick's, a single tear escapes his eye. The second scene takes place near the end of the film. Having previously been asked by Broderick to carry the unit's colors and telling him no, he races up the barricade during the final battle, only to see the color-bearer cut down. He quickly picks up the flag and swings it above his head, inciting his fellow soldiers to mount the charge. Goose bumps all around.
9. Nick Nolte in "The Prince of Tides": Affecting a solid southern accent, and having to dodge all of the close ups of co-star/director Barbra Streisand's fingernails, Nolte brings surprising range as the younger brother who must explore his own past to help his sister, who has recently attempted suicide. When the secret he has been hiding for years is finally revealed, the sobs of relief he emits are truly heart tugging.
10. Michael Douglas in "Wall Street": Once again, a solid actor takes a role and makes it his own. I always liked Michael Douglas, from television's "Streets of San Francisco" to early work in "The China Syndrome" and "It's My Turn." But his portrayal of bullying tycoon Gordon Gecko is nothing less then brilliant. His "greed is good" speech is one of the most quoted movie dialogue lines of the '80's. Coming off his work in "Fatal Attraction," Douglas' double-shot earned him a much-deserved Best Actor Oscar.

Well, those are my choices. Like I said, I didn't go for the easy ones. And while Anthony Hopkins may be memorable in "Silence of the Lambs," I was more impressed with his work 15 years earlier in "Magic." Among the gentlemen who did not make the top ten: Matthew Broderick in "Glory," Kurt Russell in "Backdraft" and pretty much ANYTHING Morgan Freeman has ever done. Currently I was quite impressed with George Clooney in "O Brother, Where Art Thou," tho he's not top ten material yet!
That's it for now. Have a great week!

Matt's Rail     by Matt Drinnenberg
(Editor's note: this week's Matt's Rail was received after this issue's Terence's Tirade--which Matt refers to--was published to the web.---N)
Hold on everyone. I'm sure the world is going to stop turning. The incredible has happened. Something so profound, it boggles not only the mind, but the expanse of time continuum itself, as it pertains to realization: I am in agreement with Terence.

For quite a while, I've been less than motivated with George Lucas. Sure he gave us STAR WARS, EMPIRE, AND RETURN (which always entertain), but to think back on it, I was more than a little put off by the whole EWOK fiasco. It was about as "in your face merchandising" as you can get. Did ANYONE wonder whether or not they'd see the EWOK doll? Of course not. STAR WARS itself was the springboard for a virtual litany of product. His big score was that it was as popular with adults as it was with kids. I only have to mention "PHANTOM STORYLINE....er.....MENACE" to prove my point. When I actually saw Lucas admit he didn't believe in a storyline anymore, I cashed in my "Chips" of honorarium.

As for Spielberg, I can't say I'm "as" disgruntled, but I never understood the reason for "THE GOONIES", which would make my 10 worst list.  "1941"???? Most people bashed it. I thought it was "ok" but not what I'd come to expect from the director who brought us "JAWS". I must say that I agree with Terence in regards to "internet" directing, but must digress to loyalists in regards to "Schindler's List". Spielberg made up a lot of ground with me when this came out. Not that he cares, but he's always been my favorite director, so it means a lot to me. By and large, he's still the best director in Hollywood. You could erase all of the garbage from his credits, leaving only the cream of the crop, and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone short of Orson Wells to come close (Kubrick notwithstanding).

TOP TEN PERFORMANCES BY AN ACTOR OF ALL TIME
Guess I'll dive right in......
1. Roy Scheider--"Jaws": As Mike stated, everyone saw this coming. The ultimate anti-hero, wanting NOTHING to do with his nemesis, only finding himself in middle of natural terror.
2. Robert Powell--"Jesus of Nazareth": Undoubtedly the most moving performance of any actor of all time. Powell conveys ALL of the realities that are Jesus Christ: forgiveness, compassion, hope, understanding, suffering in pain both body and soul, and of course...love.
3. Orson Wells--"Citizen Kane": Need I say more.
4. Charlton Heston--"Ben Hur": Heston really outdoes even himself in this classic portrayal of a man done wrong. Seeking vengeance he discovers forgiveness. We should all hope to be as fortunate.
5. Robert Duvall--"The Great Santini": Simply one of the most marvelous exhibitions of acting harmony you will find. Within the hard nosed, tough edged jerk for a father, you could see a father who cares about his son and loves him deeply. Awesome.
6. Humphry Bogart--"Casablanca": I'm ashamed to say I use to disrespect this guy. It wasnt until my brother bought me Casablanca as a gift, did i get a true chance to watch him shine. Very powerful effort.
7. Kurt Russell--"The Thing": The computer who wore tennis shoes kicks some serious alien butt in this classic by John Carpenter. Russell is mesmerizing as the seemingly only sane man left in an Arctic camp of distrust.
8. Jimmy Stewart--"It's a Wonderful Life": And we digress.....sorry Terence. Stewart can't help that he's Stewart any more than you can help who you are. This performance rips to shreds any doubt that this man deserves to be considered one of the all-time greats.
9. Gary Cooper--"Meet John Doe": The homeless man who engaged a nation, only to see his life return to ruin. Cooper is just simply.....Cooper.And that's about as good as it gets.
10.Mike Smith--"The Movie We Couldn't Call Star Wars": The classic rip-off, with a name so ingenious, it rips the fiber off common logic. Mike was the ultimate "Hands" Solo, showing Jean (Gene) just how low they could go, huh,huh,huh,huh. I especially remember the hallway scene. (Uhh...inside humor, folks. Sorry!---N)
Honorable mention: Michael Keaton--"Night Shift:" You never heard of this guy till this movie. How he ended up doing serious roles I'll never know. The ultimate comic performance. "Hey Chuck!! We're LOVEBROKERS". I think I'll watch it now!!!

Well, that's it for now...gotta run. I'm off to Cancuun, Mexico for 7 fun-filled days, which means I'll probably miss next week. Sorry, Nolan. (Bitch, how dare you?!?!  Ha ha, just kidding, but, heck, I wish I was going with you! After editing two versions of this week's PCR (the other on crazedfanboy.com), not to mention off-site responses to Terence's Tirade, I need a vacation myself!!---N)
Take care and God Bless,
Matthew
P.S. I'll be doing a Top 10 Best Actresses next time if anyone cares to join me. (Woops...I think we already did!---N) And Nolan...where's my Lugosi article for The Masters of Horror? Your public awaits. (Oops..heh heh...ummm...I kinda got distracted with all the chaos around here. Look for it in your email box when you get back from !@*%$# CANCUUN, Mexico.---Nolan)


"Mike's Rant" is ©2001 by Michael A. Smith.    "Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2001 by Mike Scott.    "Terence's Tirade" is ©2001 by Terence Nuzum    "Lisa's Lambast" is ©2001 by Lisa Zubek    The movie review of  "Blow" is ©2001 by Brandon Herring    "Matt's Rail" is ©2001 by Matt Drinnenberg     Thanks to Lauré and to Mike Scott for their Top Ten Actor's list    All contents this page are ©2001 by Nolan B. Canova.

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