THE ICS FILES
The upcomming January meeting marks our election. It's time to select a Board of Directors! Consider this your election call. Below is a copy of the section of our club constitution that deals with elections. Please read this carefully.
Anyone who wishes to be considered for a position on the Board can declare their intenetions at the next meeting. If you can not attend attend the next meeting then please contact a current Board member. Your name will be placed in consideration.
If you are not able to be present but would like to cast an absentee ballot then simply e-mail or snail mail your five selections. Any ballot of more than five or less than five will be invalid. If your any of your chosen candidates decides not to run those names will be discounted from your ballot but the rest of the names will still be valid.
We are a democratic club. To maintain our democracy the members of our
club have to vote. Please take advantage of your right to play a part in
deciding the destiny of your club.
| PROCESS OF ELECTIONS
ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD AT THE FIRST MEETING OF EACH CALENDAR YEAR: Election calls
are to be sent out at the end of each calendar year, notifying members of the pending election and providing
ballots. Voting may be done either in-person or via absentee ballot.
ELIGIBILITY: Every member-in-good-standing
will be eligible to vote and to hold office.
THE SWEETNESS OF DECEMBER
Our December meeting was small but excellent. Many of us had personal obligations that kept us busy and unable to attend the meeting. Those of us there found it a rewarding experience. Our Yankee gift swap was the gentlest and most mannerly such event that I've been involved with. Usually participants have all the etiquette of pack dogs fighting over a cut of meat! To give you an idea of how gentile this one was, I drew number "1." That's usually the worst number. You get your gift stolen several times. I got something that I actually wanted (a VHS copy of Dark City) and KEPT IT! Everyone walked away happy! Thanks to the intrepid John Ward for pinch-hitting as the movie man that night (we settled on a screening of Tremors). And condolences to Gary Roberson, who was supposed to bring the movies but took an unfortunate 80 mile detour when he got lost coming from an unfamiliar location. The evening had a few more surprises--further details are below.
THE CLUB SCALES AN OLD OBSTACLE
We were happy to announce in our last meeting that the club now has a checking account! We're banking at Chesapeake Bank. We don't have to pay any service charge if our balance remains over $250 each month (otherwise we'll be charged $5.00). There's no per check charge. And our money draws interest! This comes just in time for payment of our annual dues!
Starting in January everyone owes dues again. It's $20 per individual and $30 per couple. Just as last year, everyone has a three month grace period to pay up. We will gladly accept checks.
THE CLUB FACES NEW OBSTACLES
The question is often asked, "When are we going to get a bigger screen TV?" Many of us strain to see the 19" picture on the TV at the meetings. The problem that we've had is that the church will not allow us to store a television at the hall, and we can't ask Tom to tow his giant screen monster in from Pennsylvania. We may have a solution.
We've looked into video projectors before and found them prohibitively expensive. Most of them range from $5,000 to $8,000. Some go as high as $14,000. When I took a closer look, I discovered that these are not the projectors that we'd need. These high end projectors are made to be used in fully lit rooms and to support high end computer graphics. They're often used by salesmen giving power presentations or by people giving seminars. For a video projector that would be hooked to a VCR and used in a darkened room, we're looking at just under $2,000.
This would give us the ability to see a large projected picture. There is a movie screen in the room that we'd project onto. It could be hooked up to a VCR, DVD or laser disc player. It weighs about 10 pounds. At the moment, if Joe Plempel can't make it to a meeting most of us couldn't get the TV and cart in their cars. The projector could easily be brought by anyone if Joe wasn't available.
There may be some time factors to face here. These are considered the lower end of projectors. The big money is with the fancy LCD projectors. Several companies are phasing these out. While we don't have to rush, we may not have all the time in the world either.
So where does the money come from? We're starting a special fund to raise money for the projector. Some people may contribute to it directly. Others talked of having another auction. Others still spoke of placing things for sale on e-Bay and donating the proceeds to the fund. If we can get a healthy down payment we may be able to charge the projector and simply pay down the balance monthly. The club agreed that we'd re-visit this issue at our April meeting, when we see how our special fund is doing. Starting in the next issue I'll give you monthly updates on the status of the fund.
You can earmark contributions directly to the projector fund. In the event that we decide not to use the money for that the fund will roll over into the general funds.
CALENDARS WERE A HIT!
We had the grand unveiling of our 2000 calendars at our last meeting. Everyone there seemed pleased as punch with them. They cost the club $12.99 each. We'd agreed that if anyone wished to pay over that amount to help the club they'd be welcomed to do so. The following people have ordered calendars and have them being held for them:
Mark Piasecki Linda Conrad (2)
Kevin Flynn Charlie Wittig
Cindy & Brian Smith Jeff Barker
Bill Littman Lorne Marshall
If you ordered a calendar and would like it sooner than the next meeting please let me know. I'll either try to run it by to you (if I can) or mail it out. You can pay for your calendar when you pick it up or mail in a check now. Based on everyone else's response, you should like it.
NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
Our January meeting will be held on Saturday February 26th at 6:00 P.M. at the church hall behind the Perry Hall Presbyterian Church located at 8848 BelAir Road. Take Baltimore Beltway exit 32 north on Belair Road. Turn left onto Joppa Road. Immediately past the miniature golf course turn left into the parking lot. If you miss it there are ample turn-around opportunities. If you get stuck call 410-598-8005. That's Dave Henderson's cell phone. He'll talk you in.
COME TO THE RESCUE OF BRIAN AND
Brian Smith and Cindy Collins have a problem with their cable company. They have dropped Fox from their schedule. Being the dedicated fans of "The X-Files" that they are, they'll either have to sell their house and move to another cable system or get someone in the club to start taping episodes for them. If you can help contact them at email@example.com or call them at 703-536-4588. New episodes of the show start airing on January 9th.
PLEDGE DRIVE ON MARYLAND PUBLIC
Between March 4th and the 26th Maryland Public Television will be having their Spring on-air pledge drive. The times available are Monday to Wednesday, 8:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. and Saturdays and Sundays 3-7 P.M. and 6:30-11:30 P.M. If we volunteer we'll get on-air plugs throughout the time that we're there. We need a minimum of 20 people. They have 24 phones available. I've already been contacted by them for March. I'll need to respond soon. You don't need to be a member of the club to staff the phones. Our friends and family members can come. I'll need your prompt response on this. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call me at 410-788-4086.
THE GLASS TEAT
"Batman" returns? Reports are that Warner Bros. is doing a new live action "Batman." The show would be called "Bruce Wayne." It would feature an 18-year old Bruce Wayne on his way to becoming Batman. . . . Out of the past. New Line television and Richard Donner are developing a new super hero show called, "Matthew Blackheart: Monster Smasher." It features a World War II hero frozen in his era and revived in the 21st century to fight the evil Mortas and his army of morphing lackeys. . . . "Futurama" moves. If you like "Futurama" this ain't a good sign. It was mentioned in the last issue that Fox is suspending the show during most of January. It's now announced that when it returns it will be on at 7:00 P.M. on Sunday nights instead of its current 8:30 slot sandwiched between "The Simpson's" and "The X-Files." Matt Groening is very upset. he said of the Fox brass, "They obviously don't know what they're doing. . . . They run in one direction, then run in another direction the next moment. There's no sustained support of anything. . . . Cleese's new show. John Cleese will executive produce a new show for ABC that is being described as a supernatural sitcom. It will be set at the law firm of Karpool, Ruumki & Whetfish. All three partners have made deals with Satan and have become demons. . . . Piller and the WB. Michael Piller, best known for co-creating "Star Trek: The Next Generation," and "Star Trek: Voyager" has just signed a deal with the WB network to create at least one new series and to write three new pilot scripts. Piller and his son are said to working on a spiritual fantasy based on a work by Orson Scott Card, a Hitchcokian thriller, a futuristic adventure series and a character-driven contemporary fantasy. . . . Buffy on the move? The WB's contract for "Buffy" is up in 2001. The show's producers, Fox, are said to asking for a princely sum to keep it on the Warner Bros. network. If they balk, look for "Buffy" on Fox. . . . The Sci-Fi "Crypt" connection. The Sci-Fi Channel has acquired the exclusive broadcast right to all 93 episodes of HBO's "Tales of the Crypt." They began airing the show on Wednesday nights back in December. . . .
BABYLON 5 IN CONGRESS?
Jerry Doyle has an unusual resume'. He's been an aircraft salesman and a Wall Street broker. He's known to fans as Security Chief Michael Garibaldi in the series "Babylon 5." He's now trying to change his title to "Congressman Doyle." He has filed as a Republican to run for Congress against incumbent Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman. He entered the race when Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, former guitarist for the Doobie Brothers, dropped out. At this point he'll be running unopposed in the March 7th primaries. His only opponent, Irv Rubin, founder of the Jewish Defense League, was forced to drop out when it was discovered that he didn't have enough signatures on his petitions to enter the race. Doyle has vowed to move the Republican Party away from the "radical right" and into a more centrist position. At this point he has no platform, no outside funding and no backing from the state Republican Party. When asked what he has in his favor he said, "I'm the only candidate with his own action figure."
"FOR OF ALL SAD WORDS OF TONGUE
OR PEN. . .
. . . the saddest are these, 'It might have been.' " The show that was to have been the mutual creation of Chris Carter and J. M. Stracynski, mentioned in the last issue, has been dealt a significant reversal. The show was to have been titled, "The World on Fire" and would have been 90% mainstream and 10% science fiction. They were to have produced the show at Fox and air it on CBS. After killing "Harsh Realm," a show that did not have the benefit of Carter's sole involvement, the suits at Fox decided that if any show wasn't 100% Chris Carter it was too risky. The show now reverts back to Stracynski. He'll be investigating other avenues for getting it on the air.
A NEW INTERNET SCI-FI NETWORK
There's something new on the net. It's the Cyber Sci-Fi Network. It's done by the creative talent that have previously given us "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Earth: Final Conflict," "Space Rangers" and "War of the Worlds." Their goal is to broadcast original science fiction programming over the net. Majel Barret-Roddenberry will star in "Mars and Beyond" when it debuts there in a couple of months. She'll play the head of NASA during the first manned Mars mission in 2014.
BLAIR WITCH HITS THE COMIC STANDS
The Oni Press, makers of comics for a mature audience, is releasing "The Blair Witch Chronicles." This special four issue series will be telling further tales of the Black Hills of Maryland. The first issue will deal with a 1950's prank that went horribly wrong. Look for issue #1 in March.
SPIELBERG'S NEXT PROJECT
After months of speculation about picking up the Kubrick opus, A.I., or another chapter of Indiana Jones, Steven Spielberg announced that his next project will be Minority Report, a science fiction film based on the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name. No word yet on the eventual outcome of the other films, but he did say, after taking two years off after Saving Private Ryan he's about to go into a major "work spurt."
LORD OF THE INDIE RING
The massive Peter Jackson Lord of the Ring epic trilogy, now shooting in Australia, isn't the only Ring film being done. Tiny L.A. indie film company, Elemental Films, is seeking permission from the Tolkien estate and Houghton-Mifflin to film Elessar. It would be a short digital film about the young Arwen and Aragorn, characters that will be in the Jackson film. If the permission is granted shooting is expected to begin this month.
A MATRIX PREQUEL
There's been a lot of talk about a two-part sequel to The Matrix. Producer Ron Silver has been talking about a prequel that would take the form of an anime' feature. The film would be a bridge from our era to the world that was portrayed in the film. According to Silver, "We're talking about dealing with that story in animation, because it would be impractical to shoot a war between man and machine in live action. The [Wachowskis] are very big fans of of Japanese anime'--Ghost in the Machine and Akira--and we may involve that style in some kind of animation."
IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH
Fantasia 2000 debuts January 1st. This movie has been Disney's biggest project for most of the 90's. If you miss the IMAX showing it will be in regular theaters in April.
Super Nova, the troubled production from MGM, opens January 14th. Angela Bassett, James Spader and Lou Diamond Phillips star in this story of a hospital ship going to assist a mining colony with a distress call. They discover only one left alive human and a strange alien artifact. They experience technical problems just as a nearby star is about to go super nova. Look for the director's credit. Director Walter Hill had his name removed but didn't want the in-your-face pseudonym of "Alan Smithee" used.
Eye of the Beholder, a neo-noir thriller, premieres January 28th. Ewan McGregor is a British private detective (known only as "The Eye") with a troubled life and a troubling assignment. He's paid to follow a woman (Ashley Judd) across the country. He begins to suspect that she's a serial killer but is so obsessed with watching her that he's powerless to intervene.
MASS MERCHANTS GAIN A MAJOR NET
The so-called "brick-and-mortar" retailers are gaining a major presence online. Walmart has allied itself with America Online. The two giants will work together to provide a new internet service provider for the types of rural areas that Walmart specializes in--places where there are no local numbers available to dial into for internet service. AOL will have links on the Walmart site. Kmart has teamed with Yahoo! to offer Bluelight.com as a new internet portal. It will give Kmart customers free internet access, e-mail, instant messaging and other services. Microsoft has spent $200 million partnering with Best Buys. Microsoft's internet products will be demoed and sold in Best Buy stores and at BestBuy.com.Circuit City has also teamed up with America Online. AOL product will be offered in Circuit City stores and AOL will link to Circuit City's web pages. It's too soon to tell where this will all go. I'll keep my eye on them for you.
USED DVD POISED TO HIT THE MARKET
Online e-tailers have been stockpiling used DVD's with the intention of selling them when conditions are ripe. DVD Empire in Mars, Pa. will start selling them during the second quarter of next year. SecondSpin.com already specializes in used videos, CD's and DVD's. They have not been able to keep up with demand. Reel.com (the online presence of the Hollywood Video stores) has been selling select used DVD titles between $10-12. When the used market heats up Reel.com and Blockbuster.com, with large brick and mortar chains renting out product, will probably wind up leading the field.
AN ALL-IN-ONE DVD PLAYER
Make way for Samsung's DVD-N2000. It will play DVD's. It will play audio C-D's at various speeds without distortion, even backwards. And it serves as a games console for various platforms, such as Sony PlayStation. This is all thanks to the trademarked NUON technology developed by VM Labs in California. The DVD-N2000 carries a suggested retail of $499.
GET READY FOR DVD-RW
On December 3rd Japanese retailers offered something that U.S. retailers will be selling later this year. They started selling the DVD-RW--the first recordable DVD players available on the consumer market. These first units are from Pioneer and sell at $2,399. Recordable discs are $29 each. At the moment they can record up to six hours of content. Philips Electronics will have their own DVD-RW's available later this year. If this catches on look for many more to follow and prices to tumble.
Rental titles releasing 1/4: The smooth remake of The Thomas Crown Affair hits today. Look for the cameo appearance by Steve McQueen (the star of the original version) in the newspaper's that Brosnan's reading. . . . Vampire Vignettes makes it's debut, from the tiny Sub Rosa Studios. As you might have guessed, it's an anthology of stories about vampires. . . .
Rental title releasing 1/11: Those "other" super heroes, The Mystery Men, hit the streets today. The movie features performances by Ben Stiller, William H. Macy and Janeane Garofolo. . . . Lake Placid, the film about the massive African crocodile that we're told migrated across the ocean and into a Maine lake, surfaces today. Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda and Oliver Platt pit their wits against him. . . . In Oxygen Maura Tierny plays a secretly masochistic cop up against a sociopath (Adrien Brody), racing to find and free his kidnap victim, whose been buried alive and is running out of air. . .
Rental titles releasing 1/18: Bowfinger is a comedic tour, given by fast-talking auteur Steve Martin and his target Eddie Murphy, into the world of poverty-row film making and Hollywood cults. . . . The 13th Warrior, the Antonio Banderas/ Michael Chrichton movie that was repeatedly held back over 1 1/2 years, travels along its troubled road to obscurity with a stop at video store shelves today. . . .Nautilus is a sci-fi "thriller" that is not linked to Jules Verne. A rogue scientist in 2100 builds a time-travelling submarine to avert a global disaster triggered by burrowing into the earth core. . . . In The Dead of Space is brought to us by Roger Corman's New Horizon's Video. A conspiracy of Russian separatists threatens to pull a space station out of orbit and send it hurtling into Los Angeles. . . . Dr. Who: The Space Museum and the Crusade contains six early black-and-white episodes of this long-running British sci-fi show. If you're a really ardent fan you can buy this for $34.98. . . . From Dusk to Dawn, part 3: Hangman's Daughter, the long awaited prequel of the Robert Rodriquez film, hits today. Don't look for any of the cast or creative talent in this one. . . .
Rental titles releasing 1/25: The Tempest is a Shakespearean fantasy that recounts the clash of beauty and monsters and nonsense and innocence and terror on the island of a great magician. This version, with Peter Fonda and John Glover, is relocated from Shakespear's era to the American Civil War. It was originally a movie that aired on NBC. Check it out and see if it hangs onto its magic. . . .
Sell through titles releasing 1/4: Menno's Mind stars Bill Campbell, Bruce Campbell and Corbin Berenson. It's set in a future when "Big Brother" never stops watching. A man with a massive intellect challenges the system when he discovers a presidential candidate's plot to use a computer to fix the election. The VHS goes for $14.98. . . .
Sell through titles releasing 1/11: Time Masters is an animated feature about a mercenary hero that races across the galaxy to save a boy from a cosmic menace. It has a recommended retail of $19.95. . . .
Sell through titles releasing 1/18: Animal Farm, George Orwell's dark allegorical fantasy about repressive governments, releases today. It was done in conjuction with Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The recommended retail is $14.98. . . .
Sell through titles releasing 1/25: Natural Born Killers releases today on DVD. The disk features deleted scenes with Ashley Judd and Dennis Leary, an alternate ending, and a 5.1 Dolby Digital Stereo audio track. . . .
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
Madeline Khan was one of the rare performers that, not only appeared, but excelled in every medium. She did one of the most difficult thing that any actor can do--she made us laugh! She was born in Boston in 1942 and grew up in New York. She made her screen debut in 1965 in a small role in Kiss Me Kate. In 1973 she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Paper Moon, and again in 1974 for her Marlene Dietrich-like character in Blazing Saddles. Her work in that and other Mel Brooks films; Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety and History of the World, part 1; may go on to be her finest comic legacy. She received a Tony for her stage performance in "Sisters Rosenweig" and was nominated three other times. This past October she married John Hansbury. In November she publicly acknowledged that she was battling ovarian cancer. On December 3rd that battle reached its sad conclusion. She was 57.
The movie that kicked off the whole wave of 50's sci-fi was George Pal's 1950 release, Destination Moon. It was based on the Robert Heinlein 1947 novel, Rocketship Galileo. The steel-eyed captain of the expedition was Jim Barnes, played by John Archer. John Archer's expedition reached its end on Sunday, December 5th. He was 84. He was born Ralph Bowman. He won a radio contest for an RKO contract made out to "John Archer" (beating out young rival Hugh Beaumont). He used to joke that he went from a "Bowman" to an "Archer." He may best be remembered by generations of radio fans as the man who supplied the question and answer every week, "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!" His acting legacy is carried on by the daughter that he had with his first wife, actress Marjorie Lord. Anne Archer carries on her parents' tradition, adapting her father's stage name.
On December 19th, Desmond Llewelyn, the actor who played "Q" in the Bond films was killed in a car crash after promoting his new autobiography, Q-The Biography of Desmond Llewelyn. He was born 85 years before in South Wales. His family was horrified when he told that he wanted to be an actor. After failing his examination to enter the police force and admitting that he'd never be a minister, they reluctantly allowed him to enter the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts in the mid-1930's. His aspirations were detoured in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland and World War II began. He served as a second lieutenant in the British Army. In 1940 he was part of a force sent to France to fight what would be the victorious German invading army. His retreat was cut off. He spent the next five years as a prisoner-of-war. After the war he was able to return to acting, appearing in several stage, television and film productions, usually in small roles. In 1963 he had a small part as "the equipment officer" in the second Bond film, From Russia With Love. This began a chain of films. It wasn't until 1971, in Diamonds Are Forever, that his character was given a sort of a name, "Q." In 1973 producers Harry Saltzman and Albert Brocolli feared that there was too much emphasis on the gadgets. They omitted Q from that year's Live and Let Die. That movie and the first film, Dr. No, became the only two 007 movies that Desmond Llewelyn would miss. He admitted to an irony in his life long career with playing the wildly inventive Q, bestowing the benefits of his mechanical genius on all five movie Bonds. In real life he confessed to having zero mechanical aptitude.
Clayton Moore's career started in the late 1930's. For Baby Boomers it started in 1949. That was the year that the story was told of 6 Texas Rangers who rode into a box canyon, into what turned out to be an ambush. With the help of a faithful Indian companion one of them survived--one "Lone Ranger." We'd hear Fred Foy's thunderous baritone roll out of our TV's tinny speakers with the weekly invitation, "Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Ranger rides again!" Our young hearts would race even faster than Silver's hooves! The man who made that character come to life did more than simply play a masked hero for most of the fifties--he lived by the Ranger's Code of good behavior though out his life. He never wanted to disappoint his fans with a scandal stained life. To demonstrate how closely his life linked with his character, the name of his recent autobiography is I Was That Masked Man. The Lone Ranger would leave behind a silver bullet for each of the people he'd help. He left us something far more valuable. We got the memory of all those adventures! Even if the passing years have softened and blurred the details time can never efface the image of one man who fought for justice and sought to right wrongs. After escaping ambushes and beatings, bullets and arrows, he fell prey to the one adversary from which no one escapes--the passing of time. After 85 years Clayton Moore died in the century that he graced as it drew to a close. Job well done Clayton Moore. Thank you Masked Man!
SATURDAY 1ST: MOVIES-Fantasia 2000 debuts.
TUESDAY 4TH: VIDEO RENTALS- The Thomas Crown Affair and Vampire Vignettes
VIDEO SELLTHROUGH-Menno's Mind is released.
TUESDAY 11TH: VIDEO RENTALS- The Mystery Men, Lake Placid and Oxygen
VIDEO SELLTHROUGH-Time Masters comes out today.
FRIDAY 14TH: MOVIES- Super Nova debuts
TUESDAY 18TH: VIDEO RENTALS- Bowfinger, The 13th Warrior, Nautilus,In
Dead of Space, Dr. Who: The Space Museum and the Crusade and
>From Dusk to Dawn, part 3: Hangman's Daughter all release today.
VIDEO SELLTHROUGH- Animal Farm releases today.
SUNDAY 23RD: SPECIAL EVENT- Golden Globe Awards show is broadcast.
MONDAY 24TH: The Imaginative Cinema Society's 1st Anniversary!
TUESDAY 25TH: VIDEO RENTALS- The Tempest releases today.
VIDEO SELLTHROUGH- The DVD of Natural Born Killers releases
FRIDAY 28TH: MOVIES-Eye of the Beholder premiers today.
SATURDAY 29TH: ICS MEETING AT 6:00!
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