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Now in our fifth calendar year
PCR #246  (Vol. 5, No. 50)  This edition is for the week of December 6--12, 2004.

THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEW
"Ocean's Twelve"
 by Mike Smith
ODDSERVATIONS
"Mandatory Guidance"--You're Not Allowed to See That....Duran Duran coming to the SPT Forum....Paul Weller on VH1 Classic....See-"Saw"...."The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" commentary
 by Andy Lalino
CREATURE'S CORNER
Old Movies....New Comics....Comics Buyer's Guide....New Movies
 by John Lewis
SPLASH PAGE
Are You Ready To Shop?....Things That Even Scare Me....Slushpile
 by Brandon Jones
MATT'S RAIL
Slip Of The Tongue?
 by Matt Drinnenberg
MIKE'S RANT
Goodbye Bayfront Center....I Am Iron Man!...Diamond Dave....Time To Resign, Rummy...Hall Of Shame Commercial....Sith Overkill....List #1....List #2....Meet The Beatles, Part 46
 by Mike Smith
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Andy Lalino
Oddservations by Andy Lalino

"Mandatory Guidance" - You're Not Allowed to See That
Here at the Oddservations Oddservatory located at the CF Last Outpost, we take a lot of pride in being rooted in 1950s-early '80s horror/sci-fi/fantasy, and the esthetic/lifestyle issues that goes along with it. Over the past few years as both a PCR writer and reader, I have noticed a disturbing trend in the Fanboy community, that being the "crossing over" to movies and other media which do not suit the aforementioned esthetics influenced by those eras.

For example, if a bona-fide CF were to make the decision to see "Pretty Woman" or "Three Men and a Little Lady", that action would be in breech of the esthetics that all CF strive to maintain and adhere to, therefore, some type of punishment or retribution would be have to be enacted. It has come to my attention via column writings, message board postings, and lettercol contributions that some of you out there are in violation of "crossing over" into media which is either so-mainstream-it's-pukey or totally uncool. I cannot allow this.

So as a result, and I hope I'm not sounding like a villainous scoundrel here, I have to make the following demand. Please don't think ill of me, I'm doing this for your own good and to preserve the esthetics of what it means to be a horror/sci-fi/fantasy fan rooted in better times.

Here goes...

Before you see a movie, you're going to have to ask me first.

That's right - I know it sounds Big Brother-ish, but you've got to; it's as simple as that. You won't be allowed to see certain movies because they conflict with the true-blue Crazed Fanboy. I mean, somebody has to maintain standards - why not me? Now, I may not have the Fanboy status of Nolan and John Lewis (back in the early '70s, John has seen "The Vampire Lovers" in theaters - there's no way I can top that; although I did see "Yog").

I even have a name for this new set of stipulations: "Mandatory Guidance"

Some of my earlier Oddservations entertained the groundbreaking concept of Crazed Fanboy "status levels", and how rankings can either rise or fall depending on what movies you watch, books you read, or TV shows you stare at. Informing me of what movies you plan on seeing will fit this scheme nicely, in that you will be rewarded or punished depending on what you decide to spend your hard-earned $8 on.

"In what manner will I be punished" you ask? Well, did you ever see Stephen King's "Cat's Eye"? Do you recall the story "Quitters, Inc."? Well, here at Oddservations we have Odd Men Out who will oddserve your every move, no matter where you are. If you sneak into "National Treasure", rest assured, I'll know about it. If you are caught, your retribution will be in the form of Crazed Fanboy "demerits" - you'll be docked certain status points depending on the movie you see. Watching "Bridget Jones 2" may stain you for life, so tread lightly.

Now, there's no need to personally e-mail or PM me; to make things simple, I'm enclosing a list of current films that you will either be allowed or not allowed to see. So, make sure you make your weekly pilgrimage to the Oddservations Oddservatory for "Mandatory Guidance" restrictions. Here are this week's:

Not Allowed

  • "Closer" (Julia Roberts is in it)
  • "Alexander" (no need to explain why)
  • "National Treasure"
  • "The Spongebob Squarepants Movie" (you're allowed only if you have children ages 0-15. Ticket stubs must be scanned, and then e-mailed to me as proof. You cannot go if you are alone or with an adult companionship)
  • "Bridget Jones 2" (no romantic comedies under ANY circumstances; esp. starring Hugh Grant)
  • "The Polar Express" (see "Spongebob" above)
  • "The Incredibles" (see "Spongebob" above)

    Allowed

  • "Finding Neverland"
  • "Seed of Chucky"
  • "Saw"
  • "Christmas with the Kranks" (only allowing this 'cos Jamie Lee's in it)
  • "The Grudge"
  • "Sideways"

    Duran Duran coming to the SPT Forum
    Rejoice, New Wavers, the fab five are coming to the big U.F.O. in downtown Tampa with the dullest name in the world: The St. Pete. Times Forum. The big show will feature all 5 original members of the band and will take place on February 12th, 2005. Tickets go on sale Saturday. See you there!

    Paul Weller on VH1 Classic
    This week New Wave fans were treated to a current interview/chat with solo artist Paul Weller, formerly of The Jam and The Style Council, on VH1 Classic. Weller, who has to be in his '40s now, still looks youthful and is obviously excited to be talking about his new music, that being a new CD entitled "Studio 150" which is a collection of Weller's interpretations of songs hand-picked by him (i.e. cover tunes). In the VH1 Classic studios, he performed "Thinking of You", supported by a cavalcade of Jam/Council music videos from the vault, including: "A Town Called Malice" and the Councilor's "Walls Come Tumbling Down". A job well-done, VH1C, as usual.

    See-"Saw"
    Last Thursday "Filthy" editor Tom Linkiewicz and I saw the current horror hit "Saw". Par for the course, I was weeks late in seeing it (it was originally released around Halloween time), but was glad to get the opportunity to catch it nonetheless.

    Saw takes its cues from "Seven", and has burdensome problems, not the least of which is awful acting. If you're got the foresight to cast the terrific Cary Elwes as Dr. Gordon, give him a good actor to play off of. Sorry, but Leigh Wannell (also the screenplay author) just didn't cut it as Adam, the guy Elwes' character is chained to a slimy bathroom with. Other blunders include a hard-to-believe mental breakdown of Danny Glover's detective character; the dramatic instability of Dr. Gordon having marital problems which makes it unlikely that he'd consider mutilating himself to save his wife and daughter; and flashback overloads.

    I'd have to give the acting award to horror fave Shawnee Smith, who was superb as a heroin junkie that falls prey to the Jigsaw Killer in the form of a cool bear-trap mouthpiece that can snap her lower jaw off her face. She's not in the movie for long, but her scene is worth seeing.

    The end of "Saw" will blow you away. It took me totally by surprise, but then again I was never any good at solving movie mysteries. For novice filmmakers, "Saw" was an incredibly good first effort. Looking forward to more horror features by James Wan/Leigh Wannell (just don't cast yourself anymore); as a matter of fact, a sequel has been announced and is in the works.

    "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" commentary
    Name-dropping alone does not a good movie make, and there's a lot of it in TLADOPS. TLADOPS may be one of the worst celebrity bio films since the "Wired" (which chronicled the life of John Belushi). HBO did a good marketing job promoting this one, but I knew the lousy 2-D animation credit sequence was a tip-off that this was going to be a dud.

    You may be wondering how anyone can screw up a bio-pic with Geoffrey Rush playing Sellers and a supporting cast that includes John Lithgow (as Blake Edwards), Charlize Theron (as Britt Ekland), and Stanley Tucci (as Stanley Kubrick); well, it happened. Were I Rush, I would have been furious at the waste of my talents on such an unappealing movie.

    The worst moments are dismally-conceived "dream sequences" spattered throughout, ranging from atrocious to outright dumb. It took 45 minutes before we even encountered Blake Edwards/"The Pink Panther", and by that time I was checking to see what video was playing on VH1 Classic. I mean, why devote that much time on his early personal life when people really want to see his relationship with Edwards, Kubrick, and "Being There's" Hal Ashby?

    Tucci was wrong for the role of the frog-faced Kubrick - in fact if they didn't introduce him as such, one never would have recognized him. Lithgow glowed as Edwards (looking like something out of "Raising Cain") as did the magnificent Geoffrey Rush as Sellers. Were this better written and directed, it could have easily been released to theaters and given Rush a shot at the Best Actor Oscar (TM).

    Actual event: Right after the credits rolled, I switched channels and guess what was on? "Being There"! In what has to be one of the great end credit rolls in film history, it was falling-off-the-chair-hilarious to see Peter Sellers' blooper at the end, who was reciting the line : "You tell that jive ass honkey asshole...". Unforgettable!!!


    "Oddservations" is ©2004 by Andy Lalino.  The Oddservations banner is a creation of Andy Lalino. All other graphics are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.