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Now in our seventh calendar year!
PCR # 310  (Vol. 7, No. 9)  This edition is for the week of February 27--March 5, 2006.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"16 Blocks"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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The Tampa Bay Watershed and It's Importance To You -- Part One....President Bush Proposes Selling Off Portions of the Ocala State National Forest  by Will Moriaty
"16 Blocks"  by Mike Smith
It Begins Again  by Mark Terry
MegaCon 2006: Redux....Carpe Diem....Pessimism is Killing You....Arrogance is Killing Me....Slushpile of Comments  by Brandon Jones
Great Work....What A Sad Week....And One More....A Sticky Problem....Now This Is Truly Karma....My Favorite Films -- Chapter 9: "The Exorcist"  by Mike Smith
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Warner Brothers     
Starring: Bruce Willis, Mos Def and David Morse
Directed by: Richard Donner
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 40 mins

It's been almost 20 years since 20th Century Fox was laughed at for giving a television actor $5 million to appear in their latest action picture. That actor was Bruce Willis and the film was "Die Hard." Over the years that successful formula has been repeated often. "Speed" is just "Die Hard" on a bus. "Under Siege" is "Die Hard" on a boat. In "16 Blocks," Willis and director Richard Donner team up to keep the "Die Hard" tradition going.

Jack Mosley (Willis) is a cop who knows he's at the end of the line. When the SWAT team needs someone to stay at the apartment they just raided, Jack gets the call. While heading home after working the night shift, Jack is asked by his boss to transport Eddie Bunker (Def), a key witness, to the courthouse. Another police officer was supposed to do it but is caught in traffic, he is told, and the witness needs to be in front of the grand jury in the next two hours. On his way to the courthouse, Jack stops to pick up a bottle, returning to his car just in time to stop a hit on Eddie. When Jack learns that the cops he's called for back up are the ones trying to kill Eddie, he puts his life and career on the line to save them both.

Recently I saw a poll of film fans that listed the 150 most influential directors of all time. I was shocked that Richard Donner was not on the list. From television's "Gilligan's Island" to "The Omen" to "Superman the Movie" to the "Lethal Weapon" films, Donner's contributions to film are numerous. Donner has always attracted top talent to his films (everyone from Gregory Peck and Marlon Brando to Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster), and "16 Blocks" is no different. In recent years Willis has grown into one of the finest actors working today. If you can imagine "Die Hard's" John McClain in his early 50's, that is Jack Mosley. Battle scarred and weary, he still does his job the way it needs to be done. Def, an Emmy nominee last year for his work in "Something the Lord Made," more then holds his own alongside Willis. His Eddie is a fast talker, asking riddles and dreaming of becoming a baker. If there is one problem with Def's performance, it is the voice he uses. Not since Nicolas Cage in "Peggy Sue Got Married" has a voice gotten so annoying so fast. Morse, as the leader of the bad cops and Mosley's former partner, does well as a man who must decide how to stop Eddie without hurting Mosley. The action is fast paced and the story throws in a couple of twists to keep you on your toes.

I'd like to think that Richard Donner finished 151st in that directors' poll. If so, "16 Blocks" should certainly get him on the list next year. On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "16 Blocks"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "16 Blocks" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2006, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.