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LA FLORIDIANA
Book Review: "The Florida Night Sky" by Elinore DeWire
 by William Moriaty

THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEW
"Team America: World Police"
 by Mike Smith

THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
Concert Review: THE PIXIES, w/The Thrills
 by Terence Nuzum


COUCH POTATO
Fanzine Memoirs, Part 6, the Final Chapter....Desperate Housewives Score....TV Commercial Hall of Fame...Zombie 2004 Injection Remix
 by Vinnie Blesi

ODDSERVATIONS
Professor Paul Bearer II: Post-Show Retrospective....Duran Duran New CD Release: "Astronaut"....Goodbye Rodney and Christopher....Rebecca McKinney
 by Andy Lalino

SPLASH PAGE
The Future is the Illustrious Five
 by Brandon Jones

MATT'S RAIL
The Lesbian Chronicles....Meanwhile, in the Batcave
 by Matt Drinnenberg

MIKE'S RANT
No Costume Needed....Good-Bye Cami....Oscar Note....Favorite Concerts....Meet The Beatles, Part 38
 by Mike Smith

LETTERS
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2004!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fifth calendar year!
    Number 238  (Vol. 5, No. 42). This edition is for the week of October 11--17, 2004.

 Christopher Reeve, 1952--2004
Also...
•  The New Creature Feature debuts
•  Last Presidential Debate
Plus...
•  The Crazed Fanboy Message Board Goes Nuts.
Christopher Reeve

I knew exactly who they were talking about when they said "in the role of Superman, we're casting a relative unknown, a young actor who plays bad-guy bigamist Ben Harper on the soap opera Love of Life." I thought "he's a little thin for that, but he certainly has the height and the jaw."

After high school, during my drifting / searching / vagabond years in the mid-'70s, I was sleeping till just before noon, waking usually right around 11:30am. My first official act was to turn on the TV and I discovered the only thing even remotely interesting on at that time was a CBS soap opera named "Love of Life". I would never in polite company admit to watching soaps, but I watched this one because it filled the sleepy time between waking up and the noon-day news. Yes, I'd finally get enough energy to leave the house, but that's irrelevant.

I could discuss my favorite moments from that show for a good while (I remember a spot on The Merv Griffin Show where Sammy Davis Jr. admitted to getting hooked on "Love of Life" while recovering from surgery), but what's pertinent here is towards the end of my loyal patronage there was introduced a character that would shake things up in town---Ben Harper, who while already married to a slutty wife he kept hidden, was determined to marry the middle-aged rich widow's daughter for the sole purpose of inheriting her fortune. Afterwards, he and the slut would make their getaway. Ben Harper was played by 23-year-old Christopher Reeve.

The local bar owner, Rick Latimer, (played by noted character actor Jerry Lacy, Reverend Trask of Dark Shadows and who went on to play Humphrey Bogart somewhere else), friend of the rich widow, smelled a rat and kept the widow from giving the honeymoon couple any money. Wonderful stuff.

When Christopher Reeve was drafted by the Salkinds to play Superman, Reeve left LoL and Ben Harper was played by another actor, Chandler Hill Harbin. Who? Exactly.

The motion picture event of 1978, Superman The Movie defined the hero for a new generation as George Reeves (no relation) had done nearly 30 years before on television (The Adventures of Superman). Christopher Reeve, now buffed up by training for months with actor-bodybuilder David Prowse (Darth Vader), absolutely commanded the screen. And for the first time we could not only believe a man could fly (well, suspension of disbelief there), but more importantly, by simply putting on a hat and glasses, make his friends think he was another person entirely, Clark Kent. No small feat, and previously thought to be impractical. Somehow, Reeve pulled it off.

The next picture of his to make a big impression on me was Somewhere in Time, co-starring Jane Seymour, about a man obsessed with the image of a woman who lived decades earlier. He is somehow able to effect time travel (you have to see the movie to know how it was done, but it's a BIG leap of faith!) to transport himself back to the early part of the 20th century. Although they meet, the fact is he is not of that time and eventually his life's love is taken from him. Somewhere in Time enjoys a huge cult following to this day.

To show how flexible Reeve was in choosing roles, he took a big risk by playing a dangerous pedophile in the 1991 TV-movie Bump in the Night (co-starring Meredith Baxter-Birney). This was a dark and powerful movie and anyone less than Reeve might've been forever more typecast as a villain---but that role dissolved into history.

Always a patron of the arts and social activist, Reeve was particularly vocal about the time of the PMRC parental-labeling debacle where he vigorously defended artists rights against censorship. I vividly remember him as a guest on The Tomorrow Show  where he argued against a more draconian ratings system.

One fateful day in 1995, Christopher Reeve's life would change forever. An avid participant of equestrian sports, Reeve was riding in a competition and coming up on the third obsctacle in a course in Virginia when his horse inexplicably stopped short, throwing Reeve forward where he landed on the ground breaking his neck. Two broken vertebrae and a fractured spinal cord resulted in quadraplegia---no feeling from the neck down. Paralysis. The end of life as he knew it.

Although he initially contemplated suicide, the support and encouragement of his family and friends gave him a new outlook and Reeve determined he would walk again. Over the last few years and with aggressive therapy, he was able to breath on his own for longer and longer periods of time; he was able to move one index finger, and had regained feeling in some parts of his body. He returned to motion pictures and television as both an actor and director (Rear Window as actor/director, TV's Smallville as Professor Swann, as two notable examples). He was an advocate of stem cell research, a controversial procedure that is currently hotly debated on Capital Hill, as a way to improve chances for a cure for him and for all victims of nerve injury. It looked like in time Reeve might've actually surprised everyone again and walk.

Unfortunately, this was not to be the case. An infection of a pressure wound (bedsore), a condition common to victims of paralysis, had set in and become terribly infected. A subsequent heart attack caused Reeve to slip into a coma from which he never recovered. Born in New York City, September 25, 1952, he died not far from there in Mount Kisco, NY, surrounded by family October 10, 2004.

These are personal memories. Our own Mike Smith has a more thorough overview of Reeve's life and career in this week's Mike's Rant.

New Creature Feature
Yes, I have seen it and intend to give you both barrels--but I'm flat out of time for today. Look for that and vid-caps from the show sometime Thursday evening. For now, read what Andy wrote about it in Oddservations.

The Final Presidential Debate in brief
Last night, Wednesday 10-13-04, the final presidential debate took place and was moderated by veteran newsman Charles Schieffer. Bush was improved even more over his last showing, and John Kerry held his own well as has been the case from the beginning. In my opinion (of course) Kerry took all three debates. In the hour immediately after last night's debate, pundits gave it to Bush; as the night wore on, however, it became another draw. Polls show a virtual dead heat which will likely continue to Election Day. Focusing more on domestic issues, this debate seemed more punctuated by personal attacks, but also more facts and figures were hurled around. Bush continued to hammer on Kerry's voting record, Kerry attacked Bush on joblessness. Naturally, Iraq came up as often as Bush could insert it. Both men made quite a stand on health care, both saying the others' plan was unaffordable.
Among the lowlights, and an ongoing fascination to me, is the tension that fills the room for both cndidates at any mention of gay rights (also an uncomfortable topic for Cheney/Edwards). Schieffer asked both candidates if one is born gay: Bush said he doesn't know. Kerry seemed to endorse the notion of "gay at birth", but unfortunately brought up about Cheney's daughter, a lesbian. Might not've been his smoothest move (she was offended), but he was trying to illustrate by example someone everyone knew who would likely agree with him.
Social Security was another uncomfortable topic, but I didn't hear how that went as I was at work and missed it. A highlight I did hear was Kerry's unconditional support for raising the minimum wage, which Bush, as I remember it, turned into an argument over education reform.
That's it, pretty much folks. See you all on Election Day.

The Message Board
If you haven't visited the Crazed Fanboy Message Board in a while, you might get a kick out of how a simple review of "Shark Tale" and Andy Lalino's Oddservations has gone completely nuclear and evolved into a war over George Lucas, Steven Spielbeg, and art vs commerce! Kinda reminds me of the old days when Terence and Deadguy used to do this sort of thing. Anyway, check out Shark's Tales and Tales of the Clueless Andy. Oh, it starts with a few reviews of "Shark Tale", mine included. Then, because of a slight digression, this thread in only a few days has grown to four pages long and has nothing to do with Shark Tale---and soon will overtake "The Passion of the Christ" in postings. Some of the most amazing posts ever recorded by Terence Nuzum, Brandon Jones, Andy Lalino, Mike Smith, and especially the long-absent Drew Reiber are on there and must be read to be believed.

Sample excerpt by Drew Reiber (in response to an Andy Lalino posting):

To me there are 4 Spielbergs.

Pre-Success: When he centered entirely on direction to carry his work, however limited or small. Larger budgets and the new wide-release technique changed that.

Post-Success: Now centering on mammoth productions that owed far more to his predecessors, he still maintained an eye for how to mold previous styles into new features. He also took the time to acknowledge the older masters and help them regain their former glory (Kurosawa for instance). He was also unparalleled as a producer, essentially taking over for Roger Corman and bringing most of the best 70's filmmakers into the mainstream (for better or worse). Joe Dante, Robert Zemeckis, Paul Bartel, and others were given a good start or in the case of people like Eastwood, Scorsese and Donner, they were given better productions. Then came Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom...

Post-Doom: The critical backlash against the film was so terrible that he apologized for being careless to people's sensitivities and helped the MPAA to create the dumbass PG-13 and begin their never-ending quest to better confuse us as to what we should be watching. He then backed away from darker storytelling and bolder story directions and began regurgitating himself.

The Last Crusade was a regurgitation of theme, form and plot, turning the series into parody and approaching embarrasment in terms of technical skill. Hook was became his mid-life crisis, where he perverted the Peter Pan legend to help the rest of us understand what is TRULY important. I believe by 1993, he had exhausted his interests and largely given us whatever he had to bring to the cinema...

Post-1993: Completely losing touch as a producer, he began pushing films into production without scripts (both Jurassic Park sequels) and sometimes without directors (Lost World!). Most of his features became vehicles for him to emulate his idols (A.I., Saving Private Ryan) or his peers (Minority Report).

Catch Me If You Can is probably the closest thing to a personal film I've seen from the man in over 10 years, and I'm beginning to think he just makes material for the fun and money, rather than if he invests any personal interest of his own. Terminal was his first qualified bomb in sometime and there are no signs of him slowing down.

Making yet another remake (this time it's *official*), War of the Worlds goes against everything he used to lecture the industry about being juvenile for participating in (and he would "never" do). The man who attempted to sway typical Western xenophobia with films like Close Encounters and E.T. is dead. DEAD, DEAD, DEAD. Next up is Indy 4, the Olympic revenge film and then Abe (Abraham Licoln project). Back to back to back to back to....

And this is just one small piece of it folks. They also discuss the insanity that is George Lucas, and compare how great directors went downhill over time. Just get over there and jump into the fray.

Announcements
Florida Actor Signed by Hollywood, CA Management Company

Hollywood, CA - 10/12/04

Plant City, FL resident, Logan Harrington, has been signed by Hollywood, CA management firm, CPM Creative Management. CPM will manage Harrington's acting career and already has booked him in the feature film, "Pretty Persuasion," as well as a guest appearance on the television show, "Pet Star." Harrington received a full theatre scholarship to Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce, FL and recently was nominated by Plant City Entertainment as both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for the 2003-2004 theatre season for his roles in "Moon Over Buffalo," and "Bye Bye Birdie." He is currently one of the leads in the play, "How the Other Half Loves" at Indian River Community College.

A 2004 graduate of Durant High School, Harrington also appeared professionally this summer at Tampa's Gorilla Theatre in the plays "Tales From The Microwave," and "Different Cup of Coffee."

--Peter D'Alessio


TOO Productions presents the next Coffeehouse Film Review on Thursday, October 14, from 8 – 10 p.m. at Studio 1515, located at 1515 Seventh Avenue in Ybor City. Coffeehouse Film Reviews showcases independent films made by local filmmakers. Coffeehouse Film Reviews is held every second Thursday of the month and is free.

Next event’s films include: Bleed by Icon Film Studios: In 1994 Viper, who produced a local TV show called "Creeping Death,” and his crew were shooting an episode at his house, and they were all brutally murdered! Viper was assumed to be dead when police found a confession, but they never found his body. It's still an unsolved case to this day! Two and a half years later, bizarre murders started to occur on a college campus where Viper once shot his local television show. Detective Robert Simpson, discovers that the murders are copies of the killings that took place in the Creeping Death TV series.

And more! TOO Productions feels that there are very few, if any, regular outlets in the local area for local independent filmmakers to showcase their films. Hopefully, this monthly event will provide that outlet for everyone, from experienced local independent filmmakers to local college and high school filmmakers experimenting with film production for the first time. TOO Productions promises your film will be shown! Studio 1515 is owned and operated by Walter and Sarah Romeo, who opened the coffeehouse in order to provide local artists a place to gather and share their art. Coffeehouse Film Reviews is another way to provide a showcase to local artists. TOO Productions is looking for film submissions for future events. For more information on the event or for information on how to submit a film, email tooprod@hotmail.com or paulguzzo@hotmail.com. All genres of films are accepted – feature length, shorts, documentaries, comedy, horror, love, art, drama, foreign language, experimental etc. No pornography!


Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
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"Mike's Rant" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2004 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2004 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith    "The Digital Divide" is ©2004 by Terence Nuzum    "Oddservations" is ©2004 by Andy Lalino    "Splash Page" is ©2004 by Brandon Jones    "Couch Potato Confessions" is © 2004 by Vinnie Blesi      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova    
Crazed Fanboy dotcom is owned and operated by Nolan B. Canova


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