Now in our fourth calendar year!|
PCR #177. (Vol. 4, No. 33) This edition is for the week of August 11--17, 2003.
YOU SAY IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY!
Happy #48 to the man we politely call "Chief" here at the PCR, Nolan B. Canova. For a list of what we impolitely call him, send a SASE to:
Other Names We Call The Slave Driving Bastard
Hello, gang! The Chief is a year older, some movie notes, Ted's Head and one of my favorite entertainers passes on. Shall we begin?|
Tampa, Florida 33609
JESUS CHRIST and KING KONG
No, as HUGE a moneymaker as it would be, the above is not the title of an upcoming film. As Martin Scorsese learned when he made The Last Temptation of Christ, you can't make a movie about Jesus without angering some people. As I point out in Chapter 3 of a book I'm working on (to hopefully be excerpted here in the PCR), THOUSANDS of people signed petitions against the Scorsese film and threatened theatre owners with protests if they ran the film. Of course, all of these people had one thing in common: THEY HADN'T SEEN THE DAMN MOVIE! Now Mel Gibson is catching heat for his upcoming film which details Jesus' last day on earth. This time it's not the Catholic big wigs that are up in arms, but the Jewish Anti-Defamation League. They're worries are that people will see this film and conclude that the Jews killed Jesus, thereby setting off riots and terrorist attacks against Jews everywhere. Again, the majority of the people calling for the boycott of this film HAVEN'T SEEN IT! Now I will state here for the record that I am marginally religious. I surely don't have the passion that Matt has, but I don't just go to church on Christmas and Easter, either. And I have a very unusual perspective, having been raised with the influences of both religions, thanks to a Catholic dad and a Jewish mom. I never took it personally when Scott Gilbert would call me "Christ Killer." And I don't think anyone else is going to either. A spokesperson for the ADL noted that "anytime a film depicting the crucifixion of Christ has been released, brutal attacks on Jews have followed." Example, please. Such films as The Robe, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Ben Hur..........even Jesus Christ Superstar have come and gone and I have never heard of one such incident. However, to be safe and to cover all of my bases, when I see this film I'll be wearing a "What Would Jesus Do" yarmulke.
As reported here some time ago, director Peter Jackson's first post-Lord of the Rings project will be a remake of King Kong. Jackson's contract allows for him to receive $20 million for writing, producing and directing the film, providing the film grosses at least $100 million. The film is scheduled to be released Christmas 2005, 29 years after the 1976 remake opened.
WHEN TEDDY SAID HE DIDN'T LIKE HIS HEADY
Ah, the memories that go through my mind when I think about the late Ted Williams. One of the greatest baseball players of all time, the last man to hit over .400 in a season, 521 homeruns, including one in his last at bat ever, his body resting in a cryogenic tube while his decapitated head sits in a silver lobster pot. Yes, once again, like Christina Crawford and Gary Crosby before him, John Henry Williams has tarnished the memory of a parent. To update, shortly after his death last July, Williams' son had his body flown to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, where it was frozen, presumably to be resuscitated when the cure to whatever Ted Williams died from is found. Hey, I did mention that his head is in a lobster pot, didn't I? You know, they may one day find a cure for cancer, but I don't think they will ever find a cure for "shit, my head is in a fucking lobster pot."
YOU SHOULD BE DANCING
It is with much sadness that I write about the passing of the great Gregory Hines. Mr. Hines passed away this past weekend from cancer at the age of 57. Born in New York City on Valentine's Day, 1946, Hines and his brother, Maurice, learned to dance from their father. They started their show business career billed as "Hines, Hines and Dad!" Hines took Broadway by storm when he appeared in such shows as EUBIE! and Sophisticated Ladies. My first recollection of Mr. Hines was on an episode of Saturday Night Live. He sang and danced on stage to the music of the great Eubie Blake, who was the musical guest. Soon, he was off to Hollywood. His first screen appearance was in Mel Brooks' History Of The World, Part I, where he was cast to replace an ailing Richard Pryor. Other early film work included Wolfen and The Cotton Club, in which he appeared with his brother, Maurice. He was replaced by Eddie Murphy when the shooting schedule on The Cotton Club prevented him from doing 48 Hours. Other notable films include White Knights, Running Scared, Renascence Man and TAP, which paired him on screen with his idol, Sammy Davis, Jr. In 1992, he won a Tony Award for Jelly's Last Jam. Most recently, he was a recurring character on Will and Grace. His last film, the crime drama The Root, will be released later this year.
I have a great memory of Mr. Hines. One year, while in New York City attending the Broadway Flea Market, I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with him. I told him that my favorite scene of his in Running Scared was when he was questioning a woman while behind her, her young son repeatedly kept giving Hines' character the finger. When he was done with his questioning, the woman closed the door and Hines starts to walk away. He then goes back to the door, knocks and, as the little boy answers, he extends both middle fingers and yells, "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!" He then walks away. Incidentally, on my wall hangs a framed picture of Mr. Hines from Running Scared. It is inscribed, simply,
Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!
"Mike's Rant" is ©2003 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.