AN ARMY OF ONE
I was very shocked to hear that the US Army had shut down all of their recruiting offices for a day this week because of rumored wide spread "cheating" in recruiters trying to fill their quotas. Ever since the draft ended, the majority of the branches have raised their requirements in the new "all volunteer" military. No longer could someone with no education or with a bad criminal past gain induction. However, with the ongoing conflict in Iraq, the services are not reaching their enlistment goals. Several recruiters have been accused of helping possible recruits gain false high school diplomas as well as helping them hide a criminal past. This has to be taken by the powers to be as a sign that young Americans do not agree with this war. After Pearl Harbor there were lines around the block at recruiting stations full of young men wanting to fight to defend America. Now, even with incentives like large cash bonuses and a free college education, recruitment is down almost 35%. I've said before that when I joined the US Army in 1979 I never for one minute thought that I would be sent off to war, though I would have proudly gone had the call came. Back then the enemy was clear. 25 years later I don't think the same is true.
Two DC Comics legends, Clark Kent and Batman, will unite on Wednesday, May 18 (8:00 p.m. ET) as The WB presents an exclusive night of superheroes featuring the world premiere of an exclusive extraordinary eight-minute special footage preview director’s cut of the highly anticipated theatrical release "Batman Begins", which will air within the 90-minute presentation of the season finale of the network’s hit drama, "Smallville".
Joe Grant, long time animator for Walt Disney, died this week at the age of 96. Grant, who created the evil queen/witch in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and co-wrote the film, "Dumbo," also made his mark on such films as "Pinocchio" and "Fantasia." He left Disney to form his own company in 1949 but returned in the late 1980s and worked on "Aladdin," "The Lion King," "Pocahontas" and "Mulan." An artist to the end, Grant died at his drawing board in his studio.
George P. Cosmatos, director of such Sylvester Stallone films as "Rambo: First Blood, Part II" and "Cobra," died last month of lung cancer in Victoria, Canada. He was 64. Born in Florence, Italy Cosmatos learned his craft after moving to Cypress. His first American film was 1976's "The Cassandra Crossing." Nine years later he made John Rambo a national hero with the sequel to "First Blood." In 1993 he switched to the old west with the classic "Tombstone." His final film was 1997's "Shadow Conspiracy."
THE STORY OF JAWS - Part 18
This week I watched "Jaws" and, to my surprise, noticed a gaffe that had escaped me for 30 years. In a nutshell: After the first victim is killed, Police Chief Brody types up the report. The date of the attack is given as July 1, 1974. Later in the film, after the little boy is attacked, his mother posts a reward poster. The poster states that the boy was killed on June 29th.
I thought I would take time this week to list some of the more trivial facts and errors in the film:
When the man rowing the boat in the pond is attacked you can clearly see that he is barefoot. When his severed leg is seen descending to the bottom of the pond it is wearing a tennis shoe.
Speaking of the accident report, instead of "CORONER" the word 'CORNER" is typed.
When Quint tells the story of the USS Indianapolis he is a month off on the sinking. He says it was June 29, 1945 when it was actually July 30, 1945.
Director Steven Spielberg makes two appearances on the soundtrack. He plays first clarinet during the music accompanying the main beach scene. Later he is the voice of on the ship's radio when Brody's wife tries to reach him.
The most famous line from the film, "You're gonna need a bigger boat," was ad-libbed by Roy Scheider.
Director Bryan Singer named his production company "Bad Hat Harry" after a line in "Jaws."
Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!
"Mike's Rant" is ©2005 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 ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.