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

CURRENT STUFF
La Floridiana
Movie Review
Matt's Rail
Deadguy's Dementia
Digital Divide
Mike's Rant
(Links listed above indicate "final edition" status.)
CONTRIBUTOR'S
Homepages

Michael A. Smith's
The Omnipresent M. Smith homepage and Email                    

Matt Drinnenberg's
The Masters of Horror

Terence Nuzum's
Viddywell Productions

William Moriaty's
T.R.E.E., Inc.

Established A.D. 2000, March 19.  Now in our third calendar year!
   Number 113 (Vol. 3, No. 21). This edition is for the week of May 20--26, 2002.
Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones
"Spider-Man" takes third record weekend; despite good numbers, "Clones" did not surpass web-slinger

It's finally here. And despite being fully prepared to hate it, and despite some minor quibbles I had with it, I really liked it. More on that later.

As predicted in last week's issue, for whatever reason, "Attack of the Clones", altho boasting very good opening weekend numbers, failed to unseat "Spider-Man" as all-time opening weekend box-office champ. To review the numbers: Spider-Man's three-day haul two weeks ago was $114.8 million. Attack of the Clones drew in $86 million for the three-day period traditionally thought of as "the weekend". However, if you count the Thursday opening totals for "Clones"--$30 million--then Clones' take is actually $116 million which exceeds Spider-Man by over a million. But then, that's counting four days instead of three. Which means Spider-Man took less time to make nearly the same money.

"Clones" Micro-reviews
I will upload in this space any mini-reviews/opinions on "Attack of the Clones" from any of you who are anxious to express a quick opinion. The PCR Movie Review section remains open to anyone who wants to write a full review. Our own Mike Smith got the first one in, followed by Drew Reiber and myself, and I get my full-review licks in this issue.--Nolan
Mike "Deadguy" Scott: (5-20-02). FINALLY! A Star Wars movie I can truly get behind! I really solidly enjoyed this flick. No goofy puppets, no furry teddy bears, no annoying sidekicks, no petulant children, no (new) redneck family tree knots, none of the things I've always taken issue with.
   Ok, if pressed, I'll admit that I wasn't overly impressed with the dialog because it was aimed at young kids. I wish it had been geared for adults, but I certainly understand Lucas's wishes on this, and respect it. It didn't really bother me too much though, because I'm as immature as I need to be to enjoy such a film, as long as the creativity is there.
   Anyways, its not my favorite movie of all time, but it's very close. This is certainly the most violent Star Wars to date, which is a definite bonus. Dismemberments abound, which although typically bloodless, serve-up as a nice little reminder of what happens when the lightsabers actually touch someone---lightsabers immediately cauterize the wounds as they make them, and prosthetic replacements are never too far away!
   Check out my movie analysis; a full review may be coming next week.

But there's more. According to Director/Producer/Grand Pubah George Lucas, he didn't want "Clones" playing on any but the biggest, best screens in America (don't get me started on the digital ones yet), and sought to avoid the smaller shoebox bijous in malls, which effectively cost him 2,000 screens--that's 2,000 screens less than Spider-Man opened on.

Still more. Spider-Man's third weekend following the opening set still newer records: as of this writing, the movie now has the biggest first, second, and third successive weekends of all time.

Know why? It's a really good flick! OK, now with that out of the way...

I have seen "Clones" now, more than once, and I have very positive feelings about it. I wrote a small micro-review last issue, and this issue I go full tilt. (See this issue's "Movie Review"---N.)

For a more oblique view of the Star Wars/Clones phenomenon, check out this issue's Deadguy's Dementia.


The X-Files: Final Episode
It starts in a remote government facility where Fox Mulder, suddenly reappearing after nearly a year, gains access to a top-secret government facility. He downloads some information on a computer he is clearly not meant to see. He is caught and chased. At a critical juncture, he is cornered by a man, a super-soldier, named Noel Rohrer. In the ensuing scuffle, Mulder pitches Rohrer over the side of a second-story landing into a nest of electrical wires, which fries him. Or so it seems. Fox Mulder is then arrested and charged with murder.

Over the next two hours, as Mulder makes his way thru a kangaroo court arranged by the military (and by brass played by William Devane, no less), we see and hear the voices of the dead helping Mulder cope. The Lone Gunman, Mister X, Alex Krycek all have something to communicate. Among the living, that blonde woman from a couple seasons ago related the story of the "black alien oil" as the first occupants of this planet and testified on the government conspiracy to suppress the information, but stops short of naming names. Jeffrey Spender, Mulder's half-brother reveals his sister Samantha was given up by her father for cloning experiments. But she herself died in 1987. Then, out of the blue, Gibson, the boy who reads minds, surfaces much to Mulder's chagrin. The boy picks out one of the Tribunal judges as "not human". Nobody seems to care.

At the 11th hour, Scully runs in with definitive evidence that Noel Rohrer isn't dead and the body they have on a slab is actually a nameless burn victim. Further, Noel Rohrer can't be killed anyway because he's a super-soldier engineered for immortality io something. The Tribunal rejects the body's examination as "unauthorized", and ignores this important evidence.

Whatever...the tribunal finds Mulder guilty of murder and sentences him to death by lethal injection. Mulder and Scully make their escape. Out in the desert on the "way to the border" they stop in an abandoned sand pueblo to visit a "wise man" Mulder got a message about. Guess who? It's the Cigarette-Smoking man! Minutes before the pueblo is blown to Kingdom Come by black helicopters, the CSM tells Scully what Mulder could not accept: the truth he found in the government lab is the date of the final alien invasion--December 22, 2012--the last day of the Mayan calendar.

Announcements
   BIRTHDAY OOPS, again. Altho I didn't forget in real life, I did forget to make mention online in last week's review that our own Terence Nuzum turned 23 last Sunday, May 19. Belated (online) Happy Birthday wishes to Terence.
   With no fanfare and nary a notice in the paper (and no phone call to me from my alleged contacts), the Britton Theater is back open for business under the auspices of Cinema Grill. Corey Castellano and I caught "Attack of the Clones" there Sunday afternoon!


La Floridiana This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
The Tropical Deco of Miami Beach-Part 2
The Original Glory Years.....The WAR YEARS....Post War Prosperity Almost Spells Doom for the South Beach........ The Decline Years........A Glimmer of Hope for the South Beach........A New lease on Life........ ........................Click here for more.

Movie ReviewMovie Review
This Week's Movie Review:
"Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones"
The story takes place 10 years after the events of "Phantom Menace", but the movie premieres only 3 years after what history will likely show to be George Lucas's worst entry in the Star Wars saga. Will fans of the franchise, jostled by Jar Jar, give him another chance? And does the new episode live up to the hype?
Review by Nolan B. Canova
Review by Terence Nuzum (via "Movie Meter") ..................Click here for more.

Matt's Rail This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg
THE MAKING OF WASHINGTON D.C. (and how it relates to end times)
To begin this segment, I must confess that I don't know what's more surprising about all this history I've uncovered. The reality that it's true, or the reality that most of us are clueless to it. Surely my previous Rail was never taught in any History class I was a part of. Yet the proof is there, and it is undeniable........... ..................Click here for more.

The Digital Divide This week's issue
Music Review by Terence Nuzum
Up to the minute news from the music world---plus hot CDs and insider tips!
  Album reviews:     WEEZER: Maladroit..............THE BREEDERS: TK ..................Click here for more.

Deadguy's Dementia This week's issue
Deadguy's Dementia by Michael Scott
Star Wars...nothing but Star Wars
It's nice to see that even major characters really DO take risks, and can be dispatched quickly and effectively if they screw-up. I'm used to films and tv-shows with characters that have the irritating little "force field" that nothing particularly life-threatening can happen to them. Usually, it's never truly a risk, because you know they're gonna make it through because they're main characters. It's nice to see stuff like that where it challenges the way you assume such things...... ..................Click here for more.

Mike's Rant This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith

THIS WEEK'S COMMENTS........THE YOUNG MAN........MONEY IN THE BANK........ ...............................Click here for more.


Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.
Nolan,
Hello! First off, I have to tell you all on the PCR staff what a thrill and an honor it was to be a fellow guest on "The World of Nolan" show on May 9th...It was great to meet all of you in the flesh after reading all of your columns for the past couple of years. A major highlight was the phone-in comments from fellow "old gang" pop critics Matt Drinnenberg and Mike Smith. Nolan almost hung up on Mike, with his dead-on disgruntled cable customer persona! Great to hear from you guys, and I had a blast of a time meeting you all. Just a couple of Tampa news tidbits here:

The "Supermart-ification" strikes South Tampa...
A longtime Palma Ceia/South Tampa fixture, Giancola's Market, has shut its doors for good...Apparently,they couldn't keep up with the Mega grocery stores,and decided to call it quits...having gone there for years, (I work at a condo on Bayshore down a block) I'll miss the way people treated you like family, and the delightful aromas like many of the small-town markets I've run into across the country...Sigh.

On a lighter note...
The BRITTON CINEMA is back! WhooHoo! Now we don't have to break our neck in traffic to get to the only nearest ones to us: Old Hyde Park Village and Westshore Plaza. Having worked [at Britton] a looonng time ago, when it was just 3 screens, our family will definitely be patronizing this new incarnation (like we did before, but it closed during the Mega-plex glut of the early '90's).

That's it for now, and take it easy, Nolan and the PCR Gang!

Richard Sousa

   Richard, it was great having you on the show! Now I gotta get around to making copies for Mike and Matt. Drag about Giancola's...I liked them, too.---Nolan


Hey there Nolan,
I can't say I have Period #3, I surely do not remember ever seeing that issue. I still have my issue #2 though and one copy of Krytex published by my own store at that time. Krytex had a Bob McCleod cover and centerfold, it also had a five page Sammy Tee story. I remember selling Period 1 and 2 in my store also. (See if your cousin has Boiled Angels hidden in a different box :) ?

I'm making a good living selling undergrounds and small press stuff to collectors lately (and original art) not to mention my own projects.

Take care
Mr. Bebe Williams
- - Xeric Award Winner (always looking for new comic/art projects)
Am I the longest runnin' webcomic daily on the web without a daily break or what?
http://www.artcomic.com/portfolio

   Bebe, my friend, it is GREAT to hear from you! Yes, I remember Krytex, and I apologize for the inadvertant omission in our original articles on local fanzines. The focus of those articles were more what writer William Moriaty recalled being a part of than as a comprehensive listing of every 'zine known to man, although I did add some more titles myself, but somehow overlooked Krytex.
   Readers----Bebe Williams' store, referenced above, was called "Loube's Nostalgia". Located in North Tampa, it was a mecca for comics and genre magazines in the '70s. I met Bebe in the mid-'70s, became a regular customer, and later played in his band "Small Talk".---Nolan


Nolan,
I've said this previously, Nolan, I admire the fact that you've created a forum that allows for different areas of opinions and thoughts, whether the said ideas are popular or not. Having just finished reading Mr. Drinnenberg's piece, (Re: Matt's Rail, this issue.---N) I still stand behind those words with some reservations. My concern is how any of this ties in with Pop Culture, unless Iím jumping the gun and next week Drinnenberg will explain how Lucas is using Star Wars to bring about the end of times.

First off, it's clear that Drinnenberg is passionate about the subject, and it's also obvious that some time was taken to collect his argument, however baseless the argument reads.

Satanist 101...this sort of patronizing bothers me. A symbol that pre-dates Christianity and the concept of Satan, the pentagram has had many meanings. My favorite meaning, of course, is the Jesus star, a sign of the Lordís Epiphany, or a symbol of the revelation of the Christ Child to the wise men. We can take it a step further and make it into a symbol of  Christ as Alpha and Omega, and as a symbol of the five wounds of Christ. And with the one point directed downward, itís meant to represent the descent of Christ. This is, of course, Christianity 101.

The problem is, every symbol has hundreds of meanings. I have my doubts with the McDonalds symbol myself, but thatís a different story.

If we are to accept that the layout of Washington DC was an architectural request rather than a geometrical anomaly, whatís that prove exactly? If itís a pentagram, which version is it?

The sad thing about this piece is that Iím reading nothing new. Iím seeing coincidences and some amazing stretches to prove an argument based on fiction that is both outdated and silly. Itís repeated every time there appears to be an absence of hope, particularly after a tragedy such as that we all witnessed on 9/11; itís a way to make sense out of chaos. I just wish the energy could be directed at something more productive, something more grounded.

I donít question Drinnenbergís faith, itís something he obviously cherishes. I just donít have any faith in what heís writing.

Sincerely,
Christian [Dumais]

   I'm in complete agreement, Christian.  Matt Drinnenberg is an old friend I care about a lot who occasionally gets into these strange cycles in times of extreme vulnerability, for whatever reason. I've written to him before about using the PCR to preach---it's not what we do here.
   That said, I wanted to make sure he had a chance to make his point--whatever it was--about the book that had such a profound effect on him ("Morals and Dogma" by Albert Pike). Unfortunately, it inspired the current multi-part "exposé" in the "Rail" that includes government conspiracy and Biblical End Times Revelation.
   About the content, I, like you, have long known about the founding fathers' mix of religious beliefs and Masonic roots. Matt just learned it from Pike's book and is not happy. But, outside of opinions like Pike's, we can't know for sure what context was used in the planning of the nation's capitol, but I'll say this: I accept that whatever the founding fathers were, we have a great country now.
   To brand any and all of that "Satantic" is grossly judgemental, potentially libelous, and really, requires a large leap of faith all its own.
   I took care to send Matthew a personal email explaining my position. Hopefully, we can get back on track soon.---Nolan


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 Scott    The content of this issue's "Digital Divide" is ©2002 by Terence Nuzum    This issue's movie review of "Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones" is ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum    Add'l thanks to Richard Sousa, Bebe Williams, and Christian Dumais for their input in "Letters"       All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova

Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of  Nolan B. Canova ©2002; all rights reserved.