PCR past banners Now in our fourth calendar year
PCR #175  (Vol. 4, No. 31)  This edition is for the week of July 28--August 3, 2003.

LA FLORIDIANA
"A Tale of Two Cities: St. Petersburg and Tampa - - A Bay Separating A Gulf of Differences"
by Will Moriaty
THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEW
"Seabiscuit"
by Mike Smith
COUCH POTATO CONFESSIONS
"Spidey Powers for the MTV generation" and "Mr. Monk meets Crazed Fanboy"
by Vinnie B.
CREATURE'S CORNER
How rests the Dungeonmaster?
  by John Lewis
SPLASH PAGE
Vacation musings, baseball, and television
 by Brandon Jones
ASHLEY'S HOLLYWOOD
Johnny Depp....28 Days Later....Britney Spears
 by Ashley Lauren
MIKE'S RANT
What is an Icon?....Ed-Dee! Ed-Dee!....Legion....Who's Watching The Kids?....I Buried The Lead....Thanks for the Memories....Passing On
by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2003
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Archives 2000
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Splash Page

Allow me to venture away from the comic book universe as I relay the opinions and comments of the true "Boys of Summer" - my boys Jacob (7) and Zachary (6) regarding Baseball. The all-star game reminded me of times long gone when you would look forward to seeing players from across the league. There were no ties and no one pretended that the ďexhibitionĒ counted for anything other than pride.

When I questioned the boys as to whether they wanted to watch the game: Zach replied: "Dad, if Iím going to watch TV, itís probably going to be something else."

Well, that sums it up, doesnít it? So I began with my little experiment. I sat down with the pair, explained what an interview was for and set our grounds rules. So here we go:

Brandon (B): So, whatís your favorite part of Baseball?
Both boys began imitating hitting the ball, ranting "Home Runs, hitting homers!"

B: Well, whoís your favorite team or player?
Jacob (J): The Devil Rays and Toby Hall.
Zach (Z): I donít really like baseball.

B: Jacob, why do you like them?
J: Because we can go see them.
B: Why do you like Toby Hall?
J: Because he was nice to me, heís good and he signed my paper. (The program from the game)

B: Zach, you said you donít like baseball, why not?
Z: Itís boring.
B: What do you mean?
Z: Well, I like to play it, but not watch it.
B: Why not?
Z: They donít ever throw the ball. (Jacob giggles)
B: What? What are you talking about?
Z: When we play we have to throw right away (pitch), but they donít. Why donít they Dad?
J: I hate it when they start walking around.
B: Thatís true I guess. There isnít a rule to make them hurry up.
J: Iím getting bored Dad.

B: Okay. You guys both said you like to play baseball, so -
J: Oh yeah baby (acting like heís hitting the ball)
B: Hang on a minute. What do you like to play?
Z: To hit.
J: I like to hit home runs.
B: Do you like to catch, like in the field?
J: Yeah, I like the whole part of baseball.
Z: I donít. Itís boring.

B: Okay. Whoís -
Z: Dad, we go play catch now?
B: Wait a minute, whoís your favorite players? Do you like Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemons, who?
Z: I dunno.
B: Well, do you like Roger Clemons?
J: Whoís that?
B: Heís the big pitcher for the Yankees. Remember the World Series game we saw with the pitcher #45? He threw that bat back at the guy after it broke.

J: Yeah, that was funny.
B: It wasnít supposed to be.
Z: (after a few seconds) Is he the guy that threw the bat?
B: Yeah.
Z: I guess I like him.
J: Whoís the guy that jumped to catch the ball? That was cool.
Z: Yeah.

Well, that was about it. They jumped up at that point and began tossing to ball and diving after it. We played catch for an hour or so, then I let them hit.

I didnít expect so many great comments from their innocent minds. Bud Selig should take note:

- Make the pitchers throw the damn ball! Speed the game up.
- Market to kids again. Sure, the boys will know more players in a couple of years, but come on.
- No, they donít really understand the game very well. Sorry Roger, but you threw the bat and they laughed.
- Most importantly, of all the players the boys have met - the guy that took a minute to talk to them and sign his little program has a special place. I was surprised because I didnít think much of meeting Toby Hall as they were leaving the field against the Mariners. Moral of the story, pro athletes need to be nice to the kids.

Now I really canít Ďtil football season.

BTW: I know that I seem to be in the minority, but I have an extreme hatred for the Atarisí remake of Don Henleyís "Boys of Summer." Fuelling my disdain is the one re-write in the song:

   "...I saw a Dead-head sticker on a Cadillac" is now a Black Flag sticker.

See what the death of Jerry Garcia has brought.

THE SLUSH PILE - ONE SHOTS

Vacation - Part 1

Why is it that we set aside a vacation to accomplish certain tasks yet never have time to even begin our "vacation" list? Donít deny it - yard work, home repairs, various errands, they are all there. Well, for me, this week is a vacation away from the day job that has yielded nothing tangible from that ďimportantĒ list.

A trip to the beach, the pool and shopping has filled the fleeting hours. A small stack of comics, magazines, screenplays and mail sit undisturbed atop my desk. I have managed to delay trips to both the comic shop and the movie theater. What is wrong with me? Where are my priorities?

Let me start by accusing cable television.

Especially with the extra time on my hands, channel surfing becomes the perfect distraction from my "priorities." Sure Iíll confess the latest VH1 list sucks me in and I seem to find tons of useless information on A&E and the History channel. No, my problem is ALL of the movies - good, bad, it doesnít matter.

So here are some observations so far...

- "The Godfather" is so awesome that I stop to watch even though I have the DVD and can quote most of the dialogue. "Hoosiers". It doesnít matter where in the picture I jump, I always stick around to watch. Viewings this week: approx. 2 ľ (so far). -

Seth Green in "Radio Days" is possibly the creepiest childhood portrayal in film history. Forget Linda Blair, this wins - no contest. The youthful Seth is nothing more a "mini-Seth" with the exact same face on a tiny body. Verne Troyer is pissed I tell you. -

"One Million Years B.C." is nearly unwatchable. Thankfully the omission of dialogue allows the viewing audience to tolerate the cavemen grunts until the next "giant iguana" attack. In fact, the killer turtle is much more comical. Did I mention Raquel Welch? Appreciate "The Planet of the Apes", made only two years later - you would if you saw this crap. -

"Showtime" was much more tolerable than I expected. I know, I know, another crappy buddy movie - yeah, that is exactly what it is. Why did I watch it? Hell, I donít know. Ever sit there, gasping in between the bad jokes and pathetic action sequences, yet you canít seem to break away? Bad movie - yes. The diarrhea of a movie that I expected - no. Weird huh?

Youíd think by now that Iíd given up and gotten back to work. Iíve read several crappy screenplays looking for something short to produce as "The Urn" continues to flounder. Iíve tapped away at the screenplay that Iím writing, only I get distracted by "Office Space."

Oooh, didnít EW mention that in the Cult issue? I still havenít watch it all the way through. More next week, gotta go.

OTHER NOTABLES:

Wizard Zero: This week is the release of Wizard Zero which dons the banners: "biggest event ever", "the big one" and "special collectorís edition." Okay, it is none of those things, but Wizard is an underrated factor and resource in the "Pop Culture Universe" - mostly because take a backseat to movies, music, books and now, video games. What the issue did deliver is a great chance for a novice to jump in or catch up with the latest and greatest in the comic book world.

Curious about the #1 ranked Batman with Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee or want a sample of Brian Michael Bendisí work? Canít wait for "The Punisher", "Hellboy" or "Spider-Man 2"? Donít know the whoís who of comicdom anymore? Need to look up the recent "guide" to those comics youíve got stashed in your closet? Well, this is your chance. (No, Iím not on the take)

The price guide is over-hyped with various inserts, but does provide a lot of variety. Wizard has access to resources for beyond most in the industry: an Alan Moore report on his retirement, question and answers with Kevin Smith, and George Perez recounts the difficulties of JLA/Avengers. They pulled out all of the stops with a huge X-Men section, some news on Manga & Anime comics, the latest Heroclix listing, and graded CGC comics.

Entertainment Weekly devotes a couple of pages to comics every couple of months with a random sampling of mostly obscure titles. Wizard has become more of a mainstream magazine than a price guide resource, but they have gained the connections, resources and credibility to provide information, insight and interviews that no one else can provide. Check it out, especially page 100 -- if you like Batman.

Nissan Altima commercial: The man races through a crowded office building, weaving and dodging and then slides down the handrail. He heads toward the open window, reminiscent of ďThe Dukes of HazardĒ and then it happens - the moment his neck contorts to fit inside I feel a twinge. His twisting neck repulses me every time.

The Death of the Most Famous American? Bob Hope was 100! 100! Was I saddened by his passing? No, not really. Bob lived an incredibly long and fruitful life on his terms - full of joy. To my disgust, only a few hours later a cable show was discussing who is now the most famous American alive. First off, who cares? Next, these morons were way off with Oprah, Michael Jackson, and Walter Kronkite. How many kids know who Walter is or how to do the moonwalk? Does anybody care? Did Bob have a cool trophy or something - ďThe George Burns CupĒ? For the record, the most famous American, like it or not, is Michael Jordan. Hot dogs, underwear, ďSpace JamĒ, baseball, and a certain shoe endorsement - youíd be hard pressed to find someone who couldnít pick MJ out of a lineup.

UP NEXT

The vacation part 2 and, oh yeah, Iíll get to some comic stuff too.


"Splash Page" is ©2003 by Brandon Jones.   Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.