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PCR Archives 2002
PCR Archives 2001
PCR Archives 2000
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Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2002!

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La Floridiana
Digital Divide
Deadguy's Dementia
Matt's Rail
Blank Thoughts
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(Links listed above indicate "final edition" status.)
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Michael A. Smith's
The Omnipresent M. Smith homepage and Email                    

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Terence Nuzum's
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T.R.E.E., Inc.

Established A.D. 2000, March 19.  Now in our third calendar year!
   Number 112 (Vol. 3, No. 20). This edition is for the week of May 13--19, 2002.
A Disturbance in the Force
"Spider-Man" takes second record weekend; "Attack of the Clones" suffers attack of some critics

Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" made history once again last weekend with a new record for a second weekend following opening: $74 million, and further, set records for taking only 10 days to rake in $200 million. Many offhand remarks were made about how "Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones" would end the arachnid's reign when it opened nationwide Thursday, May 16th, a mere two weeks from Spider-Man's opening.

However, there appears to be a disturbance in the force...

While high-fives and cheers were bandied around the "offices" of Nolan's Pop Culture review following Mike Smith's glowing "Clones" review in issue 110, other forces were at work negating the momentum building for a positive acceptance of this chapter of the saga. At first, most of the pre-screen reviews were positive. Then, I saw "Roeper and Ebert at the Movies" last Sunday morning. To say Roger Ebert was less than enthralled with "Clones" would be an understatement. He hated the look of the film ("the big screen was not kind to the videotape transfer..."), he hated the script ("..the dialogue is pedestrian, paint-by-numbers stuff"), he hated the romance (chemistry mismatch to go along with the laughable script), it was too talky ("..first 40 minutes go nowhere"), Too much of this, not enough of that---and he gave it a "thumbs-down"! Richard Roeper, on the other hand was totally the opposite, praising the very things Ebert ripped up.

As time and resources avail themselves, I will upload in this space any mini-reviews/opinions on "Attack of the Clones" from any of you who are, no doubt, destined to see the movie this weekend, well before next week's PCR comes out. Rest assured, full review space will be dedicated in next week's Movie Review section and is open to anyone who wants to write a full review. Our own Mike Smith got the first one in in Movie Review, PCR 110.
Drew Reiber: (5-16-02). "I definitely enjoyed it more than Phantom Menace... a lot more. The romance worked for me, though one or two scenes may have moved too quickly. I felt the performances were very well done, but if just one of the key performances falter for any other viewers, an entire piece of the plot will follow. The use of video was sometimes obvious, while on certain occurances so obvious it hurt. When the video picture became clear, it impacted the human/CGI interaction for the worst. The CGI itself has improved, but the real shining moments come for the amount of detail and human/environment interaction seen throughout the movie (when it worked)."
Nolan Canova: (5-17-02). "I agree it's superior to Phantom Menace, altho the look is very similar. To me, it all comes down to whether you can stomach the constant onslaught of CGI (terrific stuff) and the fact that rarely did any actor truly interact with his environment while filming (or taping, in this case). The romance is sweet enough. It's still very hard for me to picture skinny, whiny Anakin becoming Darth Vader (I'm now thinking one of his operations gives him an artificial voice that sounds like James Earl Jones?). Be prepared for an entirely CGI Yoda, but he moves puppet-like, to Lucas's credit. I liked most of the acting and story OK; the script wasn't as bad as some critics are saying. It's certainly action-packed. Yoda rocks at the climax. Sidious/Palpatine is more powerful than anyone imagined. Look for my full review next week."

I'm wondering was this the same movie Mike Smith saw? While I'm still reeling from this, Monday, PCR colleague Terence Nuzum phoned and read me The Rolling Stone review of "Clones", and guess what---it was virtually word-for-word the same as Roger Ebert's. OK, so now I'm worried. I hop onto the internet and do a search for any reviews I can find of "Clones". While I do find the positive ones, I'm finding the negative ones are increasing and they're all saying the same things. So...

I guess it comes down to what you like or are expecting. Tell you one thing: this may not become the film of the summer after all, and if that happens, Spider-Man may take it. Wouldn't that be scream.


A Very Brady X-Files
For those of you who are already fed-up with me chronicling the dying gasps of this paranormal giant, take heart. There's only one more episode to go and it features the return of David Duchovny. But, that is then, this is now.
   It's another instance of Chris Carter seemingly cleaning out his closets of the nuttiest scripts he ever had but never used. Last Sunday's (5-12-02) episode concerns a simple man, Oliver Martin, who seems to have terrifying amount of mental control of his environment. After dispatching two troublesome youths for breaking-and-entering his home (one youth played by "Married With Children"'s David Faustino) by literally propelling them through the roof using only the power of his mind, the agents are called on the case. During the investigation they discover--through the man's childhood doctor--that he was a child prodigy with this talent for psychokenesis, but it ebbed away as he grew older.
   The running gag: due to an emotional disturbance, Oliver feels more comfortable with the atmosphere of "The Brady Bunch" than his real house, so he creates that environment in his own home with his mind: his one-story house, when entered, becomes the dead-ringer for the two-story Brady House. (It's what attracted the punks to begin with) Sadly, it turns out he even named himself after the annoying "cousin Oliver" character and his real name is something else.
   The agents realize these powers are an amazing find and vindicate many claims of the X-Files. Unfortunately, after subjecting him to testing, they realize that using his powers kills him slowly--which also explains why he didn't use them for so long. His childhood doctor, the only one he'll listen to, explains he must never use his powers again.

Announcements
   I'd like to congratulate the wonderful team here at Pop Culture Review for another milestone: as of last Thursday morning, May 9th, the PCR had logged its 10,000th visitor! OK, it's not CNN or E! Entertainment-level territory, but it's great for what's basically an elaborate homepage! Mike Smith reported in last week's Rant that he believed he was number 10,000 and I congratulated him. But, later that night after "The World of Nolan" PCR show, Will Moraity said that the night before, he noticed my hitcounter was at 9996 and couldn't resist advancing it through the "Refresh" button on his browser.
   According to colleague and computer expert Mike "Deadguy" Scott, the DNS web-servers around the country do not all update at the same time; in fact it may take up to three days for an update to travel around the world---or even down the block! Bottom line: I believe Mike Smith and Will Moriaty both saw the real thing---just at different times. For all I know, several others may have tripped the counter too, depending on their location. But I'm happy to know Mike and Will cared enough to keep an eye on that! They will share the honor together.


La Floridiana This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
Miami Vice: The Movie I'm as happy as a (South Florida) clam over the latest news from Tinsel Town! Universal Studios has asked movie producer extraordinaire Michael Mann to script, produce, and possibly direct a "Miami Vice" movie for the big screen! The movie is based on the NBC series "Miami Vice" which ran from 1984 to 1989....Michael Mann captured the essence of the art, architecture and sociology of Miami and the South Beach like no other could or has since. The new movie will take place in present-day Miami and there are no plans for any "retro"-fitting the movie with '80s ambience.... ........................Click here for more.

The Digital Divide This week's issue
Music Review by Terence Nuzum
News on: Sonic Youth, The Flaming Lips, The Breeders, Wilco, The Pixies and much, much more. Album reviews: NOTWIST: Neon Golden and PULP: We Love Life ...........................Click here for more.

Matt's Rail This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg
Are We In The End TImes?
First let me say that I love my country, and to this day would die to protect the innocent people of this land. Anyone willing to serve or who has served their nation certainly understands where that comes from. Nonetheless, I must confess that a lot of what you are about to read was, to me, quite a shock and an eye-opening experience. The further I searched, the more suprised I was at what I'd found. And equally suprised things haven't really changed a whole heckuva lot. I'm starting my end-times query at the very beginning of our nation's history, which I believe is referred to specifically in Revelation. It is my intent to just lay out facts about our history as I've uncovered them, and leave the speculation up to you! Hopefully, you will find this at the least thought-provoking.... .................................Click here for more.

Deadguy's Dementia This week's issue
Deadguy's Dementia by Michael Scott
Anybody wanna buy a skeleton?
In case you've missed it, there are websites where real skulls and skeletons available for purchase by anyone interested. These are expensive, to say the least, and unless you buy the REALLY expensive ones, they don't appear to be better (visually) than the imitation ones. I look at them merely as "wishful thinking" items, or merely with morbid curiosity about the fact that some folks would love to get ahold of them. The truth of the matter is that real skeletons are fragile as hell, and nice ones are VERY expensive, assuming that they're gotten from a respected supplier. It's cheaper to get a nice fake one, and the semi-expensive ones hold all the details that a real one does..... .................................Click here for more.

Blank Thoughts This week's issue
Blank Thoughts by Gary C. Esposito
Lauryn Hill -- and the Tao
What is "Just Like Water"?!... Well, (excuse the pun there) of course the Tao - and... Lauryn Hill This is one of the titles from her new CD, which talks about her hubby, though most of the songs are about becoming awake to Spirit, Freedom & Rebelling from deception - and this rebelling is ultimately an act of love for only Love (as in a true & healthy selfless life) doesn't deceive.
Review by Gary C. Esposito..................................Click here for more.

Mike's Rant This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith
THE FORCE WAS WITH HER (the "Toy Yoda" lawsuit incident)......... HIGH SCHOOL MEMORIES (The graduation of Phillip Smith)........... ..................................Click here for more.


Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.
Nolan,
After reading the current PCR (by the way, another excellent edition!), I'm bothered by the appearance of these con artists who insist that "they were there" when your hit counter jumped to the 10,000 mark. Re: "Announcements", this issue--N ] Now, I know what it's like to feel a part of a historical event and I'm even more aware of the temptation to lie about being there. I've done it myself. I often tell my friends that I was there when Houston, one of history's most important porn stars, had sex with over a thousand men during the course of a day. The truth is, Nolan, I was not there. Perhaps one of the greatest events to shape the 20th century, and I missed it. But I feel better about it when I lie and tell people the opposite. Sometimes, I even say that I was MAN #934, just for kicks.

Which brings me to the reason for my e-mail. I'm writing to let you (and the world!) know that I was the one who refreshed the counter to the number in question. Now, you'll be receiving e-mails from other people, I'm sure, who will debate my claim. And you'll have to accept the fact that they are all lying to you. Why they are doing this to you, I don't know. Having corresponded with you for such a long time, I'm aware of your fragile nature and I'd hate to see people taking advantage of you like this.

With that said, it was I, Christian A. Dumais, who refreshed the counter to 10,000, thus altering the course of history and changing the world for the better.

I'll be seeing you at 100,000.

Sincerely,
Christian

LOL! You guys at Legion slay me! Sooo....is there any video evidence of this sexual feat performed by Houston? And if so, can you lend me your copy?---Nolan


Nolan,
( Re: Matt's Rail, this issue, and editor's response ) I know I promised not to get too deep with my End Times road trip thru history, but the reality of what I've uncovered deserved more, I felt, then a shallow proclamation. (I wasn't serious...you did a fine job.---N)

As far as Deists and Theists are concerned, I will stand by Webster's definition of both. I don't, however, see how those definitions differ greatly from your response.
(I'm not knocking Webster's---concise definitions are always a good starting point, but using secular reference books to define religious concepts in an essay of great magnitude is a slippery slope. Briefly stated, I was concerned Webster's inclusion of "natural religions/natural laws" in "Deism" as similar in tone to "witchcraft"--which could be misleading--and that other books do not include that extension. It's correct in context, but it may confuse the argument, and begs for a clarification.
"Theist" is commonly used to mean "with gods/religion" as opposed to "atheists" which means "withOUT gods OR religion". But, according to reference books, "Theism" only refers to creator-God religions. The rest can go hang, I guess.
In any event, the pivotal divergent point about the founding fathers seems to center around who/what "creator-God" is/was.---Nolan)

We have been taught from birth that our nation is one "under God". We have assumed, possibly ignorantly, that our government was referring to the God of Holy Scripture. As Jefferson's own words in the Declaration of Independence show, this is incorrect.

Also, let me state for the record that I've poured over several letters written by the principles of this country that are now, naturally, historical documents. While many of our founding fathers were Christian (adhering to the law of God of Scripture), many were believers of a universal being, or rather "nature's God", which is NOT the God of Holy Scripture we have all assumed our treasured documents referred to. Hence, the beginning of a downhill slide of deceit. Which has become so prevalent in government and life today, we merely shrug it off as a people.

Which is, for me, a most sad reality.
Matt [Drinnenberg]


To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan


"Mike's Rant" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2002 by Matt Drinnenberg    "La Floridiana" is ©2002 by William Moriaty    "Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2002 by Mike "Deadguy" Scott    "Blank Thoughts" is ©2002 by Gary C. Esposito    The contents of this issue's "Digital Divide" is ©2002 by Terence Nuzum    Add'l thanks to Christian A. Dumais and Matt Drinnenberg for their input in "Letters".       All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova

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