THE ICS FILES
1. WE MET OUR NEW PROJECTOR IN JUNE!
2. NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
3. GODZILLA STOPS BY FOR JULY!
4. WE'VE HAD TO POSTPONE THE DRIVE-IN
5. JOHN CLAYTON EDGES BACK FROM THE BRINK
6. GUEST APPEARANCES AT OUR LAST MEETING
7. VINCE AND DAVE SEIZED BY THE TABANGA!
8. WANNA DO LUNCH?
9. THE GLASS TEAT
10. IS MULDER THE DADDY?
11. CHRIS CARTER LOOKS FORWARD TO THE YEAR AHEAD
12. MORE TEASERS ABOUT THE NEXT STAR TREK
13. THE CROW STRUGGLES TO LIVE
14. FOX TO AIR MOCKUMENTARY ON THE X-MEN
15. THINGS TO COME
16. JOE ESTERHAS TELLS ALL!
17. STEPHEN KING PONDERS ANOTHER TRIP TO THE DIGITAL WELL
18. BABYLON CRUSADE UNPRODUCED SCRIPTS BECOME AVAILABLE ONLINE
19. A NEW MOVIE MAGAZINE'S COMING WITH AN INTERESTING ADDITION
20. VIRTUAL HUGO!
21. BATTLEFIELD EARTH CLAIMS A CASUALTY
22. TRAVOLTA GOES PSYCHLO!
23. BATTLEFIELD OUCH!
24. QUOTH, THE PSYCHLO "I'LL BE BACK?"
25. TITAN A.E. CLAIMS A CASUALTY
26. STALLONE SET TO "TROD THE BOARDS"
27. ANOTHER ENTRY IN THE JOURNEY OF SHREK
28. HOLLOW MAN GETS A SURPRISE RATING
29. RENE RUSSO SAYS FAREWELL TO THE FLESH
30. AHNOLD WAFFLES
31. STAR WARS II--LOOKS LIKE THE CLONE RANGER RIDES AGAIN
32. OTHER BIG TITLES ABOUT TO GO BEFORE THE CAMERA
33. A GLIMPSE OF THE NEXT STAR TREK MOVIE
34. FREDDY VS. JASON MAY ACTUALLY HAPPEN
35. GEE, THIS SOUNDS LIKE THAT "WITCH MOVIE"
36. MISSION: IMP
37. WATCH OUT FOR THE ATTIC
38. MTV AWARDS HONOR IMAGINATIVE CINEMA
39. SATURN AWARDS RESULTS
40. IMAGINATIVE CINEMA MADE AFI'S LIST
41. WILLIAM FREIDKIN STILL FIGHTING FOR THE EXORCIST
42. SONY PUTS GODZILLA 2 ON THE "SLOW-TRACK"
43. FANS OF HITCHHIKER ARE STILL WAITING, AND WAITING, AND . . .
44. THERE'S A NEW KID IN HOLLYWOOD, AND HIS NAME IS ASIMOV!
45. TOUGH GIRLS RULE!
46. TOUGH GUYS LEAVE
47. IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF JULY
48. CONTROL AN ARMY OF ROBOTS!
49. TIVO RIDING HIGH
50. THE BIG BOYS GATHER THEIR FORCES
51. BIG NEWS ON TINY TECHNOLOGY
52. SONY DELAYS DIGITAL TV'S
53. THE D-VHS DEBATE GOES ON. AND ON. AND ON AND . . .
54. ECLIPSE DEBUTS ON SCIFI.COM
55. STRACYNSKI DREAMS ON SCIFI.COM
56. MOTION PICTURE ACADEMY DRAWS A LINE IN THE DIGITAL SAND
57. VIDEO STORES CONTINUE TO CLOSE
58. REEL.COM REACHES THE END OF ITS REEL
59. DVD EMPIRE STEPS UP TO THE PLATE
60. A FORK IN THE AMAZON
61. BIG DOINGS ON DISC
63. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
64. JULY CALENDAR
|1. WE MET OUR NEW PROJECTOR IN JUNE!
Our new projector looks great! We had the field testing with Charlie Wittig's copy of WORLD WITHOUT END for his apocalyptic movie theme (thank you Mr. Wittig). We also had a panel discussion of BABYLON 5 (courtesy of yours truly) and FARSCAPE, conducted by Mike Schilling. Due to the heat we had to cancel out the miniature golf. Perhaps we can
re-visit this idea in the Fall.
|2. NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
Our July meeting will be held on Saturday July 22nd at 6:00 P.M. at the church hall behind the Perry Hall Presbyterian Church located at 8848 BelAir Road. We'll be holding pizza night that night. Come prepared to eat (and to pony up some cash for the dough). We'll also have a scoop on a theatrical release (see next item). Remember the meetings now start
at 6:00 sharp. 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.
|3. GODZILLA STOPS BY FOR JULY!
Linda Conrad has agreed to conduct a panel discussion on her favorite critter (actually Lee volunteered her, but why split hairs). Gary Roberson has secured a copy of the 2000 theatrical release, GODZILLA 2000! You can actually see it before it hits the theaters in August! Thanks to our new projector the picture should look great. Make plans to join us in July.
|4. WE'VE HAD TO POSTPONE THE DRIVE-IN
We had announced in out June meeting that we'd show our July film outside and that Joe could broadcast the sound directly to our A.M. radios. Partially out of concern for the lateness of sunset and also having to jump some logistical hoops, we've been forced to postpone our plans. We'll keep you posted with new developments.
|5. JOHN CLAYTON EDGES BACK FROM THE BRINK
His thoracic is no longer Jurassic! His lumbar grows limber! His discs no longer dance! Like the Terminator 2 congealing back to life, board member and treasurer John Clayton is inching his way back to some semblance of normalcy after being hospitalized for the crippling explosion of pain from his herniated discs. He's not pain-free yet, but
he's better than he was. Welcome back John. Stay well.
|6. GUEST APPEARANCES AT OUR LAST MEETING
Melinda DiLeonardi, the love of Vince's life, graced us with her presence at our June meeting. Melinda, it was a pleasure having you with us. Please drop in anytime. Jim Clatterbaugh, an old friend to many of us and editor-and-chief
of "Monsters From the Vault" magazine, stopped by to drop some Universal monster figures off for Vince. Jim, it was nice, just too short. You and Marion are welcomed to come by anytime.
This is actually a serious question. After fifteen years on the job, I left on the last day of June. While I have some free time, call me. If I can arrange it, I'll swing by your job for lunch (Dutch treat). This is a serious offer. You can respond back to this e-mail or call me at 410-788-4086. It might be fun.
|9. THE GLASS TEAT
HEAVY METAL 2000, the animated sequel to the 1981 cult classic movie HEAVY METAL, will premiere July 14 on the STARZ! pay cable network. The film will premiere at midnight ET and PT, STARZ! announced. HEAVY METAL
2000, formerly called HEAVY METAL F.A.K.K.2, tells the story of a futuristic woman warrior who seeks revenge on a group of ruthless space pirates who ravaged her home planet. She assumes the designation F.A.K.K.2, for Federation Assigned Ketogenic Killzone. . . . FARSCAPE returns. FARSCAPE, the highest rated show on the Sci-Fi Channel, will
make its return with a commitment for 22 new episodes. . . . SPIDER-MAN to the tube! Following the Fall, 2001 release of a live action SPIDER-MAN in theaters, look for an early 2002 series of computer-animated adventures. More details as they become available. . .
. The fate of UPN under the scrutiny of the Eye network.Viacom, which merged with CBS last month, indicated it would shut down or sell off STAR TREK: VOYAGER's home network, UPN, if the network doesn't meet performance criteria. Viacom president and COO Mel Karmazin declared, "We're in the business of generating a return for shareholders. That's
what we've told everyone (internally) -- if they don't deliver that profit, they won't be part of Viacom." While saying that he would "take a million dollar bet" that UPN would survive, he added that he plans to hold crisis talks with network heads soon, when he plans to lay down the line. "We already have the CBS network, which is highly profitable,"
Karmazin said. "We don't need another network." . . . Hmmm, does this mean that we'll get to see Bob Barker nekkid? American television has been buoyed by its appropriation of innovative Euro game shows and putting an American face on them. WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?, SURVIVOR, WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY and BIG BROTHER are all show with origins across the pond. Well there's a daring new, uh, face in Euro game shows that may take a little while to translate into American. There's a new British TV game show in which the host and several contestants appeared nude. It attracted the biggest audience of the year for commercial Channel 5, with its debut. The program THE NAKED JUNGLE
also generated debate among U.K. viewers, most of whom were appalled by the goings-on. "Nothing was left to the imagination," the BBC reported. But a spokesman for Channel 5 said that calls to the station were evenly
split pro and con. The spokesman remarked: "We had a call from one woman who thanked us for snapping her out of her post-natal depression. She said it was the first thing that had made her laugh for months." . . .
Wrestling BABYLON? BABYLON 5 familiars Patricia Tallman, Wayne Alexander, Robin Atkin Downes and Maggie Egan starred in BABYLON PARK:
GRUDGEMATCH, an animated parody of BABYLON 5, which premiered at DragonCon in Atlanta on June 30. The spoof will also unspool at TorontoTrek in Toronto on July 15. . . . A new addition to the BUFFY cast. The highly malleable cast of BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER just got stretched a little further. The producers are looking to cast a 10-15
year-old girl in the role of "Dawn." She's going to be taken under Buffy's wing, as sort of a "little sister." She won't be a helpless little sister, though. She'll have her own supernatural powers and will develop a crush on Xander. . . . Nielsen Santa? ABC will produce SANTA WHO?, a fantasy holiday television movie for the WONDERFUL WORLD OF
DISNEY. Leslie Nielsen will star as Santa Claus in the telefilm, which begins production next month. Nielsen's Santa will suffer amnesia after falling out of his sleigh two days before Christmas. Tommy Davidson will play Santa's head elf, who's charged with finding the big guy. . . . The SCI-FI Channel brings back the dead. The SCI FI Channel will air reruns
of the 13 episodes of THE NEW FANTASY ISLAND, and all 22 episodes of both THE CROW: STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN and HIGHLANDER: THE RAVEN. FANTASY ISLAND begins July 11; both THE CROW and RAVEN start July 23. . . . A MYSTERIOUS path to getting on the air. The paranormal drama MYSTERIOUS
WAYS will air on both the Pax cable network and NBC, starting this
summer. NBC will debut the first seven episodes of the series on July 24
and air them on Mondays at 8 P.M. The show will then run on Pax,
starting on Aug. 22 and airing Tuesdays at 8 P.M. NBC initially
developed MYSTERIOUS WAYS three years ago. Pax picked up the show as a
series. NBC decided to air a limited run of the shows after viewing the
first two episodes. It stars Adrian Pasdar and Rae Dawn Chong as an
anthropologist and a psychiatrist who investigate paranormal events.
|10. IS MULDER THE DADDY?
One of the cliffhangers in the season ending X-FILES was figuring
out who fathered Agent Scully's child. Was it Mulder? The following was
taken from an interview that David Duchovny did that aired on Italian
radio. "Yeah. ... I don't want to give too much away too soon, otherwise
I would spoil you all. Then again I didn't write this episode, so I
really don't know. Anyway they told me that yes, it should be Mulder's
baby, a little Mulder, and the baby is not alien, that is if you don't
believe that Mulder is an alien himself! When we shot this episode, I
had not signed the contract for the eighth season yet. It could be they
were looking for something interesting happening in the season to come,
give the fans something to wait for. Or maybe they were hoping to have
my child growing up really fast to take my place in the show." Mulder
will apparently appear on the first couple of episodes of the coming
season and will then vanish until the end.
|11. CHRIS CARTER LOOKS FORWARD TO THE YEAR AHEAD
THE X-FILES' creator/producer, Chris Carter, is sounding optimistic
about the season ahead. "I'm excited," Carter said. "I think that there
are lots of interesting stories to tell, and in coming back, I think
we've created lots of interesting problems to solve, which is what we
like. We want the problems to solve." Like many good writers, Carter
knows that writing can be a lot more creative and interesting when the
writer has to write his way out of a box in which he's been placed.
He'll need to find ways to deal with David Duchovny's decision not to
appear half (or more) of next season's episodes, and how to develop the
season-ending surprise that Gillian Anderson's character is pregnant.
"We'll bring in some new characters," Carter said. "We have some chances
here to expand the show yet again. We're still going to tell great
stories. I want to focus more on the character of Scully and tell
stories that deal with a more mythological magic realism approach than
we have done before."
|12. MORE TEASERS ABOUT THE NEXT STAR TREK
STAR TREK: VOYAGER's executive producer Rick Berman could out-tease
a room full of strippers! Here's the latest crumbs that he's dropped on
the next TREK. He'll start the pilot script for the next series soon.
Berman said that his partner Brannon Braga and he "are right now
actively working on the story for the pilot episode, which we hope to be
writing soon. . . . We'll be discussing the pilot episode story with the
studio shortly, and we hope to be starting on the screenplay within the
next four to six weeks. We are extremely excited about the story
idea--this is really a unique and fresh approach to STAR TREK." Great,
Mr. Berman. Now what's the new show about? "The concept for this new
show is a somewhat dramatic departure from previous STAR TREK series.
But it is a show that will be both fresh and unique, while at the same
time being STAR TREK to the core." He added, "It is a show that takes
place on a Starfleet vessel, but at the same time a rather dramatic
departure from the previous three STAR TREK shows. I believe it will be
more STAR TREK than anything since THE NEXT GENERATION and, perhaps,
anything since the original series in terms of its principles and its
tone and style." He added that the series would center on seven major
characters. The new series is aiming at a fall 2001 launch date, after
Voyager wraps its final season. Now based on these descriptions, can
anyone describe the next series?
|13. THE CROW STRUGGLES TO LIVE
Like its lead character, the syndicated TV show, THE CROW: STAIRWAY
TO HEAVEN, is fighting to be resurrected. According to executive
producer Edward R. Pressman, "We've been negotiating with Universal TV
for many months and recently concluded an agreement to re-acquire the
rights from them. It's highly likely that we'll be able to get [the
show] going for the fall of ." Meanwhile, Dimension Films has
delayed the release of THE CROW: SALVATION, the third installment in the
Crow feature-film franchise. The film is reportedly completed.
|14. FOX TO AIR MOCKUMENTARY ON THE X-MEN
Fox Broadcasting will air a mock U.S. Senate hearing into mutant
activity as part of X-MEN: THE MUTANT WATCH, a special about Fox's
upcoming X-MEN movie. The half-hour MUTANT WATCH premieres at 8 p.m.
July 11. MUTANT WATCH will offer previews, interviews and
behind-the-scenes footage from the film, which is based on the Marvel
Comics series of the same name (see "Imaginative Cinema for the Month of
July"). The TV special will center on the X-Men character Sen. Robert
Kelly, played by Bruce Davison, who has also figured in Fox's clever
"Mutant Watch" marketing campaign. The special will follow a mock
hearing of Kelly's Senate Subcommittee on Mutant Activities.
|15. THINGS TO COME
SHORE LEAVE 22 is coming July 7-9 at Marriott's Hunt Valley in Hunt
Valley, Md. This year their featured guests include Claudia Christian
(BABYLON 5), Denise Crosby (STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION), Gerrit
Graham (guest on STAR TREK: VOYAGER and STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE),
Richard Herd (V, guest on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and STAR TREK:
VOYAGER), Marj Dusay (guest on STAR TREK), Lawrence
Montaigne (Stonn in STAR TREK "Amok Time", Decius in STAR TREK "Balance
of Terror") and Marjean Holden (BABYLON 5 CRUSADE'S Dr. Chambers, also
Stolzoff in DS9's "Empok Nor"). Their guest writers will be Dennis
Bailey, Ann C. Crispin, Peter David, Tim DeHaas, Michael Jan Friedman,
Robert Greenberger, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Roberta Rogow, Howard
Weinstein and Joan Winston. The science guests include Dr. Kirk Borne
(astrophysicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center), Dr. Helen Hart
(astronomer for the Hubbell Space Telescope), Dr. Leslie Katzel
(physician and biophysicist with the University of Md. School and
Medicine), Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer (NASA aerospace scientist), Ray
Villard (public information manager for the Hubbell Space Telescope) and
Skip Westphal and Bill Hathaway (discussing star gazing). There'll be an
art show, a masquerade, a Klingon Feast and, of course, a sprawling
dealer's room. For more information visit them on line at
http://www.shore-leave.com/index.htm or write them at Shore Leave 22, PO
Box 6809, Towson, MD 21285-6809.
MIDNIGHT MARQUEE'S CLASSIC FILM FEST 2000 will be held July 28-30 at
the Hyatt Hotel in Crystal City Virginia. Their stellar line-up includes
Sam Arkoff (co-founder of American International Pictures), Veronica
Carlson (Hammer Film Star), Roger Corman (legendary director), Robert
Dwan (director of YOU BET YOUR LIFE), Linda Harrison (PLANET OF THE
APES), Jonathan Haze (LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS), Candace Hilligoss
(CARNIVAL OF SOULS), Patricia Hitchcock (daughter of Alfred Hitchcock),
Betsy Jones-Moreland (CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA), Janet Leigh
(PSYCHO), Kevin McCarthy (INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS), Ib Melchior
(cult sci-fi director, writer and producer), Yvonne Monlaur (Hammer film
star), Paul Naschy (Spanish horror legend), Margaret O'Brien (former
child star), Jessica Rains (daughter of Claude Rains), Robert Skotak
(Oscar winning special effects artist), Elena Verdugo (HOUSE OF
FRANKENSTEIN) and Dana Wynter (INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS). It's $60
for the weekend, $20 daily. For more information go to
http://www.midmar.com/filmfest.html or contact Midnight Marquee Press;
9721 Britany Lane; Baltimore, Md. 21234.
MAIN MISSION is taking place September 1-3 in New York City at the
Crowne Plaza Hotel. According to them, "Our 'main mission' in organizing
this event is three-fold: 1) to revitalize SPACE: 1999 fandom; 2) to
build momentum for an eventual relaunch of the SPACE: 1999 series; and
3) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this epic television classic."
Not surprisingly, their guest list is made up mostly of people connected
with SPACE: 1999. >From the show they've gotten Prentis Hancock,John
Hug, Zienia Merton, Barry Morse, Alibe Parsons, Anton Phillips, Suzanne
Roquette, Catherine Schell and Nick Tate. They also have creative and
technical people from the show, including George Bellak (SPACE: 1999
writer, debut episode, "Breakaway"), Johnny Byrne (SPACE: 1999 Writer
and Story Editor), Brian Johnson (SPACE: 1999 Special Effects Director),
Chris Penfold (SPACE: 1999 Writer and Story Editor), David Tomblin (THE
PRISONER, SPACE: 1999 Director) and Keith Wilson (SPACE: 1999 Production
Designer). Additional guests include Richard Hatch (Captain Apollo,
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA), John Muir (author of Exploring Space: 1999),
Corinne Orr (actress, voiceover talent Corinne Orr Web Page), Phil Plait
(Bad Astronomy Web Page), Chris Trice (Motion Control Model Supervisor,
BATTLEFIELD EARTH) and Grace Lee Whitney (Yeoman Janice Rand, STAR
TREK). Tickets are $50 a day or $150 for the three day weekend (!). For
more information either e-mail Ton Loery at email@example.com or you can
reach him at MainMission:2000; c/o UnitedVision, Inc.; Registration
Department; 473 Monmouth Street, Suite 6; Jersey City, NJ 07302
|16. JOE ESTERHAS TELLS ALL!
Joe Eszterhas (the guy who wrote BASIC INSTINCT, JAGGED EDGE, and
SLIVER), has fallen into disfavor since pooping out SHOWGIRLS and AN
ALAN SMITHEE FILM. He's exacted his revenge the only way that a writer
can--he's written a book. It's called Hollywood Rhapsody and claims to
expose the "lurid scandals and greed" of some of the show business
personalities he has dealt with, including Sharon Stone, Michael
Douglas, Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere. Apparently, however their
actual names will not be mentioned. Eszterhas' novel will resemble
Primary Colors, the only-the-names-have-neen-changed account of
President Clinton's first election campaign. His agent has said, "Yes,
it's shocking and it will upset a lot of people. But it's great fun,
too." Serialization rights to the book have been picked up by Miramax's
Talk magazine for $45,000 (a piddling amount given the fact that
Eszterhas once commanded millions of dollars for script ideas that he
pitched to executives over lunch).
|17. STEPHEN KING PONDERS ANOTHER TRIP TO THE DIGITAL
With the success of "Riding the Bullet," horror writer Stephen King
is asking his fans whether he should publish his next novel in
electronic form. In a letter to fans posted on his official Web site,
King proposed offering up "The Plant" in 5,000-word installments at $1 a
pop. King said subscribers would be on the honor system, and added that
he'd do it if he thought eight or nine people in 10 would pay. "I was
intrigued by the success of 'Riding the Bullet' (stunned would probably
be a more accurate word) and since then have been anxious to try
something similar," King wrote. "Bullet," which was available for $2.50
at some sites and free at others, was downloaded by more than 500,000
readers. "If this idea interests you, will you e-mail the Web site and
say so?" King asked. "By the same token, if it sounds like a bad idea,
will you tell me that?" As of June 13, nearly 95 percent of people who
answered King's online poll urged him to offer the book online. But only
72 percent said they thought people would comply with the honor system.
"The Plant" tells the story of a "vampire vine" that takes over the
offices of a paperback publishing company, offering financial success in
trade for human sacrifices, King said. King abandoned the novel in the
early 1980s after writing about 25,000 words of it because "other
projects intervened," the writer said.
|18. BABYLON CRUSADE UNPRODUCED SCRIPTS BECOME AVAILABLE
J. Michael Starcynski will publish unaired scripts for his aborted
TV series CRUSADE, as well as short stories and a novel, on the
Bookface.com Web site. The advertiser-supported site offers free online
books and other fiction through a browser-based interface. He said,
"Bookface is ... presenting my last two CRUSADE scripts, 'To the Ends of
the Earth,' designed to be that season's arc-starting episode a la B5's
'Signs and Portents,' and 'End of the Line,' slated as the first-season
Crusade finale," Starcynski said. "This is the best chance for people to
find out where the show was going. . . . As a gift to B5 fans who've
supported us in the past, I'm making my new novel--the first novel I've
had time to complete in 12 years, my first two other novels having been
published in hardcover by Dutton--Tribulations, available for FREE
online reading at Bookface.com starting later this month, in four
serialized sections." Bookface will also offer a new Straczynski short
story, "Cold Type," and reprints of the previously published stories
"Say Hello, Mister Quigley" and "We Killed Them in the Ratings."
|19. A NEW MOVIE MAGAZINE'S COMING WITH AN INTERESTING
In September a new movie magazine, entitled "Total Movie Magazine,"
will be at your newsstand. Each issue will contain a DVD featuring
theatrical trailers as well as original shorts and deleted scenes from
various films. It will cover both major releases and independent films.
It's starting as a bi-monthly and hopes to go monthly by April.
|20. VIRTUAL HUGO!
Alexandria Digital Literature has, for a very modest fee, enabled
readers to download short stories, novellas and novelettes nominated for
this year's Hugo Award. The fees range between $.85 and $3.00. The works
available are "macs" by Terry Bisson, "Fossil Games" by Tom Purdom,
"The Winds of Marble Arch" by Connie Willis, "Hunting the Snark" by Mike
Resnick, "Sarajevo" by Nicholas A. DiChario, "Hothouse Flowers" by Mike
Resnick, "Scherzo with Tyrannosaur" by Michael Swanwick, "The Secret
History of the Ornithopter" by Jan Lars Jensen, "The Chop Girl" by Ian
R. MacLeod, "The Astronaut from Wyoming" by Adam-Troy Castro and Jerry
Oltion, and "Ancient Engines" by Michael Swanwick.
|21. BATTLEFIELD EARTH CLAIMS A CASUALTY
The giant sucking sound that you may be hearing is BATTLEFIELD EARTH
sinking in it's own mess. The movie was such a spectacular failure that
Travolta's next film, NUMBERS, a Nora Ephron comedy, has been delayed
from its July 14th opening. Execs felt like they needed more distance
from the smell of the Psychlo-stinker.
|22. TRAVOLTA GOES PSYCHLO!
John Travolta rose out of his chair in anger when grilled by a
French journalist about the Church of Scientology while promoting his
film BATTLEFIELD EARTH in Barcelona, Spain. Travolta's people
confiscated the reporter's videotapes. When the reporter got them back,
they were wiped clean.
|23. BATTLEFIELD OUCH!
Looks like BATTLEFIELD EARTH is sinking as fast overseas as it did
here. The Warner Bros. sci-fi epic took in what the Daily Variety
described as a "pitiful" $1.5 million in Italy, Spain, the U.K., Holland
and Scandinavia in its debut in those countries. Apparently it also
received the same sort of caustic reception from critics abroad as it
|24. QUOTH, THE PSYCHLO "I'LL BE BACK?"
Well, finally, we may yet get a chance to spend some more feel good
time with Jonnie Goodboy Tyler and his Psychlo pals Terl and Ker.
Director Roger Christian has said that, despite the box office meltdown,
he's still discussing the possibility of a sequel with producer/star
John Travolta. This could sink his career farther than MOMENT BY MOMENT
or STAYIN' ALIVE ever did.
|25. TITAN A.E. CLAIMS A CASUALTY
On the heels of TITAN A.E.'s disappointing box-office performance,
Fox will close its 2-D animation studios. The Phoenix-based 20th Century
Fox Animation Studio was run by TITAN A.E.'s director/producers Don
Bluth and Gary Goldman. This was the third animated film from the
studio, which was formed to make traditional 2-D animated movies. TITAN
A.E. had earned only $16.8 million in its first two weeks of release.
The film cost $80 million to produce. Fox will continue to make
computer-animated films out of its Blue Sky Studio in New York.
|26. STALLONE SET TO "TROD THE BOARDS"
In an ever-present drive to prove to us that he's an "artiste,"
(which is beginning to feel like Jethro claiming he's a great director)
Sylvester Stallone is looking for a play to appear in for the London
stage. British audiences will be treated to an evening of the ol'
Demolition Man searching and destroying his way through some innocent
playwright's opus. Hey, what if we made Hamlet an aspiring boxer with a
girlfriend named Adrienne?
|27. ANOTHER ENTRY IN THE JOURNEY OF SHREK
The movie SHREK has had a strange itinerary. It was intended as an
animated feature years ago with Chris Farley to play the voice of the
the giant title character. Then, while the film was in pre-production,
Chris Farley died. Since then it has been through numerous hands, all
with the bold new ideas. The boldest has just been announced. DreamWorks
will release the animated fantasy movie to Imax's 150 digital 3-D
theaters in December, 2001. The film will hit the Imax theaters about
six months after its release in traditional theaters. SHREK now stars
the voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, John Lithgow and
Linda Hunt. It tells the story of an ogre whose swamp has been overrun
by annoying fairy-tale creatures. The Imax release of SHREK will have an
ending that differs from that in the conventional release to take
advantage of the 3-D format.
|28. HOLLOW MAN GETS A SURPRISE RATING
The MPAA has given Paul Verhoeven something that's he's never
seen--an "R" rating without having to make any cuts. Everything from
ROBOCOP and TOTAL RECALL to BASIC INSTINCT all got NC-17 ratings and
resulted in cuts and battles. But he assures us that it's a well-earned
"R." "It's still an R; it's not a PG-13, and I couldn't make it a PG-13.
The muscular body, and the way he is sometimes expressed in certain
forms, is too scary for a PG-13. He is sometimes seen in layered form,
and certainly during the transformation he is mostly of course layered,
in between. Later, he is seen in layered forms or muscular form. So it's
|29. RENE RUSSO SAYS FAREWELL TO THE FLESH
If you want to see actress Rene Russo nude, go rent THE THOMAS CROWN
AFFAIR. According to her, that will be your last chance. "I think
probably I will never take my clothes off in a film again," she
declared. "We can pretty much say that is an absolute truth." She says
that she only stripped down for CROWN because she was playing a
character that used her sexuality to manipulate. "The only way I would
take my clothes off is for a character like that and I probably wouldn't
play her again," she says. Ms. Russo turned 46 this year.
|30. AHNOLD WAFFLES
After proclaiming that he'll have no involvement with TERMINATOR 3
without James Cameron's commitment to the project, suddenly Mr.
Schwarzenneger's announced "I'll be back!" Arnold Schwarzenegger has
signed on the dotted line to return as the killer cyborg in TERMINATOR
3. The third installment in the TERMINATOR franchise is slated to go
before cameras in Los Angeles in the spring of 2001.We're looking at a
summer 2002 release. There's no indication that TERMINATOR creator James
Cameron will sign on to direct. Schwarzenegger has repeated his desire
to work with Cameron on T3. Apparently the relationship is tenuous
between Cameron and T3 producers Andy Vajna and Mario Kassar, and that
Cameron has yet to meet with either about the project. Those infamous
"unnamed sources" have said that Cameron has read the T3 script and that
Schwarzenegger is lobbying hard to bring Cameron on board. The film will
have a budget of $100 million. No studio has agreed to distribute the
|31. STAR WARS II--LOOKS LIKE THE CLONE RANGER RIDES
There has been conjecture that the next installment of the STAR WARS
epic will focus on the Clone Wars. That dovetails nicely into this news
item from the movie's Downunder location. The casting director has begun
looking for Australian preschoolers to perform as extras in STAR WARS:
EPISODE II. He's looking for three sets of children with matching looks,
the news release said. "Generally, I've been looking for twins," casting
director Ros Breden was quoted as saying. "Then I try to find a third
child who is a close match." Shooting for the film began on June 26th,
exactly three years to the day after the start of Episode I. Look for it
in 2002 (you may want to start standing in line now!).
|32. OTHER BIG TITLES ABOUT TO GO BEFORE THE CAMERA
Mark Wahlberg will play the role originally done by Charlton Heston
in Tim Burton's new PLANET OF THE APES remake. The film will start
shooting in late July or early August. Look for it next year on July
Australian actor Sam Neill will return as Dr. Alan Grant in JURASSIC
PARK III. Joe Johnston (JUMANJI) will direct for Spielberg's Amblin
Entertainment. It's 18 week shoot begins in the fall. They're also
aiming at a July, 2001 release. We'll have to wait to see if one the
these studios blinks.
|33. A GLIMPSE OF THE NEXT STAR TREK MOVIE
Executive producer Rick Berman has said, "We have now completed our
story for the film; we have submitted it to the studio, and we are
waiting for a go-ahead to go to script. The story line revolves around
the NEXT GENERATION crew. . . . We've never done a film that I wouldn't
say to you at this stage, 'This is going to be the biggest and the
best.' And there is no difference with this one. We have a writer who
has never done STAR TREK before and has an extremely fresh approach to
this. We are dealing with a story that is extremely poignant in ways
that I wish I could tell you. It is a story that will focus around a
remarkable villain, and is a very action-oriented space film. A lot
higher percentage of this film will take place in outer space than in
our previous films. It is tentatively scheduled for Thanksgiving of
2001." Apparently Patrick Stewart is already committed to the project.
|34. FREDDY VS. JASON MAY ACTUALLY HAPPEN
A movie that has been rumored for years, FREDDY VS. JASON, may
actually happen, according to Freddy's portrayer, Robert Englund.
Guillermo Del Toro's name has been attached to the project for some
time. According to Englund, Del Toro's out. Stephen Norrington (director
of THE BLADE) would both write and direct. We'll see.
|35. GEE, THIS SOUNDS LIKE THAT "WITCH MOVIE"
A kinda' documentary horror film, called THE ST. FRANCISVILLE
EXPERIMENT, will be opening this September. It purports to be a record
of a night that four people, a history student, a film student, a
psychic and a "ghost hunter"--for a night in a house supposedly owned by
Delphine Lalaurie, a 19th-century slave owner whose treatment of her
charges made Hannibal Lecter look like Mother Teresa. Armed with three
cameras, the four people set out to investigate reports that the
Lalaurie house is haunted by the spirits of the tortured slaves. One of
the four, 24 year-old history student Ryan Larson said the movie is like
a combination of THE X-FILES, THE REAL WORLD and SCOOBY-DOO. But don't
mention that witch movie to Larson. "I've never seen it," she said. "I
really, honestly hate scary movies. I never see scary movies. THE BLAIR
WITCH PROJECT was scripted; it was based on a fake story. That's the
difference. These things really happened. . . . Without giving away the
movie, a lot of unexplainable, very frightening, very scary things
happened that night," she said. "You're going to see a lot of things
unfold in this house that I have no explanation for. This was not
scripted. We went into this haunted house ... not knowing what to
expect." Another difference with that witch movie? Larson and her three
companions came out of the experience alive and well. So does she
believe in ghosts now? "That's a tough question," she said. "I was the
skeptic going in. ... I'm a minister's child, and I was always told
those things don't exist. . . . Coming out, I still have no explanation
for the things that happened. I still hold back from saying what they
were, because I honestly don't know, but still, I can't explain them."
|36. MISSION: IMP
This is a spoof of Tom Cruise's MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2. It debuted on
the Entertaindom.com web site in June. The 10-minute film stars Verne
Troyer ("Mimi-Me" in AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME) as Ethan
Runt. A chain called Winchell's doughnuts is giving away MISSION IMP
trading cards to customers who buy a dozen or more doughnut holes.
|37. WATCH OUT FOR THE ATTIC
Tse Tse Fly Productions has opened an official Web site for its
independent supernatural horror film THE ATTIC EXPEDITIONS. The film,
which is now in post-production, stars Seth Green (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE
SLAYER), Jeffrey Combs (STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE) and Andras Jones
(NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET). The film tells the story of a man convicted
of murder who is sent to a peculiar halfway house, where dreams and
reality intertwine, leading to the deaths of the house's inhabitants.
|38. MTV AWARDS HONOR IMAGINATIVE CINEMA
THE MATRIX won high praise in the 2000 MTV Awards. It was recognized
for best movie, best male performance and best fight sequence. BUFFY THE
VAMPIRE SLAYER star Sarah Michelle Gellar won best female performance
for her starring role in CRUEL INTENTIONS. She and co-star Selma Blair
won the award for best kiss in that film. Mike Myers won best villain
honors for his performance in AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME, and
Myers and co-star Verne Troyer (Mini-Me) were named best on-screen duo.
Haley Joel Osment won for male breakthrough performance in THE SIXTH
SENSE. George Lucas won best action sequence for the pod race in STAR
WARS: EPISODE I. Spike Jonze won the award for best new filmmaker for
his directorial debut in BEING JOHN MALKOVICH.
|39. SATURN AWARDS RESULTS
In June the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films
handed out the annual Saturn Awards, recognizing the best in Imaginative
Cinema. Following is a list of the winners:
Best Science Fiction Film: THE MATRIX
Best Fantasy Film: BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
Best Horror Film: THE SIXTH SENSE
Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film: THE GREEN MILE
Best Actor: Tim Allen in GALAXY QUEST
Best Actress: Christina Ricci in SLEEPY HOLLOW
Best Supporting Actor: Michael Clarke Duncan in THE GREEN MILE
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Clarkson in THE GREEN MILE
Best Performance by a Younger Actor: Haley Joel Osment in THE SIXTH
Best Direction: Andy and Larry Wachowski for THE MATRIX
Best Writing: Charlie Kaufman for BEING JOHN MALKOVICH
Best Music: Danny Elfman for SLEEPY HOLLOW
Best Costume: Trisha Biggar for STAR WARS: EPISODE I
Best Makeup: Nick Dudman & Aileen Seaton for THE MUMMY
Best Special Effects: Rob Coleman, John Knoll, Dennis Muren & Scott
Squires for STAR WARS: EPISODE I
Best Network Television Series: NOW AND AGAIN, CBS
Best Syndicated Television Series: STARGATE SG-1
Best Single Television Presentation: STEPHEN KING'S STORM OF THE
Best Actor on Television: David Boreanaz in ANGEL
Best Actress on Television: Margaret Colin in NOW AND AGAIN
Best Supporting Actor on Television: Dennis Haysbert in NOW AND AGAIN
Best Supporting Actress on Television: Justina Vail in SEVEN DAYS
Special Saturn Award Winners: Dick Van Dyke, Life Career Award
Life Career Award: George Barris
The George Pal Memorial Award: Douglas Z. Wick,
|40. IMAGINATIVE CINEMA MADE AFI'S LIST
Some of our favorite films made the American Film Institute's 100
funniest films list. DR. STRANGELOVE (OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING
AND LOVE THE BOMB) came in at number three. Other films on the list were
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974), GHOSTBUSTERS (1984), GROUNDHOG DAY (1993),
HARVEY (1950), BIG (1988), ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948),
TOPPER (1937), SLEEPER (1973), BEETLEJUICE (1988) and THE NUTTY
|41. WILLIAM FREIDKIN STILL FIGHTING FOR THE EXORCIST
After nearly thirty years, William Friedkin is still battling on
behalf of THE EXORCIST. A trailer announcing its September 22nd
re-release has been banned by the MPAA as too intense. Freidkin
responded that "rejecting it on the grounds that it was too intense is
like rejecting it on the grounds that it's too funny. It makes no sense
at all and seems to be contrary to the purpose of the ratings board,
which is not to judge content, but simply to issue a rating based on
certain material in the shots--nudity, excessive violence or
language--and this trailer has none of that." The trailer is currently
available online on "Ain't it Cool News."
|42. SONY PUTS GODZILLA 2 ON THE "SLOW-TRACK"
The Entertainment Chairman for Sony Pictures, John Calley, said
recently that the studio is in no rush to make a sequel to the 1998
American version of GODZILLA. Instead, the studio will distribute
GODZILLA 2000, a Japanese
produced movie that will be dubbed into English and released Aug. 18.
Calley said that GODZILLA 2000 doesn't preclude Sony from making its own
sequel. But, he added, it "is not a priority at this time. It's not a
picture that people are rushing around the studio trying to get made."
He added that it "would be made for much less money." The original film
"cost too much, took a lot of time, a lot of marketing and a lot of
technology development. It was a killer." GODZILLA director Dean Devlin
said that he and his partner Roland Emmerich are not interested in a
scaled-down sequel. "They wanted to tailor it budget-wise, so it didn't
make sense for us creatively," Devlin said.
Calley did say that Sony is actively planning sequels for two other
popular films. They're working on sequels for MEN IN BLACK and JUMANJI.
|43. FANS OF HITCHHIKER ARE STILL WAITING, AND WAITING,
AND . . .
Douglas Adams said in an interview recently that the long-delayed
feature film version of his satirical SF novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to
the Galaxy won't be coming out for at least a couple of years. "It's now
looking like it will be released in 2002," Adams said. "I can tell you
nothing original or startling or new about this, except that it's
Hollywood doing what it does best, which is take one step forward, two
steps back. The director is Jay Roach, who did AUSTIN POWERS; the
producer is Roger Birnbaum, who has had his fingers in all kinds of
[including RAIN MAN, G.I. JANE and THE SIXTH SENSE]." When asked who
might appear in the film, Adams said, "There's a lot of talk about
different actors, but nothing I can tell you about yet. It's not being
cast quite yet, and it's just being budgeted. So we're basically waiting
for the green light . . . I finished an all-new draft of the screenplay
. . . and Jay loves it. It's the first time in all these years that
we've had a screenplay which clearly works and seems to solve all the
problems of it needing to be both a real version of Hitchhiker and also
a proper movie. It's been a very hard circle to square." Adams warned,
"Don't believe anything you read here that doesn't come directly from
me, especially anything from so-called 'informed, insider sources,' most
of which belongs in the Half-Witted Crap Forum."
|44. THERE'S A NEW KID IN HOLLYWOOD, AND HIS NAME
Some eight years after the great man's death, Isaac Asimov has
suddenly become "hot" in Hollywood (although most likely not based on
the performance of the ersatz BICENTENNIAL MAN). Fox has optioned the
late author's epic Foundation series of novels for the movies. Shekhar
Kapur (ELIZABETH) will direct a film based on the series. The Foundation
series is set thousands of years in the future during the waning
centuries of a vast Galactic Empire. This is only one of several Asimov
film projects in the works. Warner Bros. will adapt Asimov's story "The
Ugly Little Boy," a time-travel drama about a nurse who cares for a
Neanderthal boy. Denise DiNovi and Demi Moore will produce the film,
which will star Moore. Paramount wants TOTAL RECALL co-writer Gary
Goldman to adapt Asimov's End of Eternity, an SF romance, for director
Ridley Scott (GLADIATOR). Sony Pictures Family Entertainment will make
an animated film based on Asimov's Norby, the Mixed-Up Robot series of
children's novels, with Asimov's widow, Janet, acting as creative
|45. TOUGH GIRLS RULE!
A couple of Hollywood ladies are getting pumped for their new bad
grrrrls roles in upcoming films. Courtney Love is preparing to star as
the lead in JOHN CARPENTER'S GHOST OF MARS. Love will play the tough
leader of an expedition to Mars sent to investigate the disappearance of
colonists. "I have to work out every day for four hours," Love said.
Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie is in heavy training to play Lara Croft in the
upcoming feature film version of the Eidos video game TOMB RAIDER. "I've
been in England for three weeks, and we're there over a month more, just
doing training," Jolie said. Training includes a regimen of "bungee
ballet, diving, weapons training with special forces [and] kick-boxing,"
Jolie said. "I'll train through the whole film. It's been great for me
at this time in my life. I get up and do yoga at 7:30, which is insane.
And I'm on protein shakes. They've taken my cigarettes and alcohol and
sugar away from me." Jolie added that she'll share the screen with her
new husband, Billy Bob Thornton. "Billy's playing a barber. He's cutting
hair, and I'm shooting guns."
|46. TOUGH GUYS LEAVE
After years of waiting Nicholas Cage has finally announced that, if
Warner Brothers ever comes together to make SUPERMAN LIVES, he won't be
a part of it. The studio had eyed a summer 2002 release. But Cage, who
has been in line to put on the blue suit, has apparently had enough.
"It's just been too long," Cage said. "At first it seemed like a good
idea and would've been a lot of fun, but, uh ... it's just too much time
has passed and I wanted to part company with it."
|47. IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF JULY
July 7th: SCARY MOVIE- This spoof of present day slasher films has
had a rocky history already. It began when two separate scripts were
sold. The two spoofs were to be called LAST SUMMER I SCREAMED BECAUSE
FRIDAY THE 13TH FELL ON HALLOWEEN (based on a screenplay from Shawn
Wayans, Marlon Wayans and Phil Beauman--cowriters of DON'T BE A MENACE
TO SOUTH CENTRAL WHILE DRINKING YOUR JUICE IN THE HOOD)and SCREAM IF YOU
KNOW WHAT I DID LAST HALLOWEEN (based on a script by Jason Friedberg and
Aaron Seltzer--cowriters of SPY HARD). The producers kept the
Friedberg/Seltzer title until post-production when it became SCARY
MOVIE. They hired Wayans brother Keenan Ivory to direct (who did I'M
GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA). It features Anna Faris, Regina Hall, Jonathan
Abrahams, Carmen Electra, Shannon Elizabeth (Nadia in AMERICAN PIE),
Lochlyn Munro, Cheri Oteri, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans and Marissa
July 14th: X-MEN- Is set in a world where genetic mutations have
created a new race of "mutants" (also called Homo Sapiens Superior), two
groups align against each other. Magneto, the master of magnetism, seeks
to rule over humanity before they get a chance to wipe out all mutants,
and in his cause, he has recruited a band of mutants. On the other side
are the X-Men, which are a paramilitary group of students taught by the
super-psychic, Professor Xavier. Their mission is to provide positive
role-models of how mutants can serve humanity, rather than rule over it.
This film follows the adventures as these two very different groups
conflict during one of Magneto's bids for world dominance. As a sign of
what rivals companies expect from this film, no other movies will be
opening against it this weekend. The cast includes Patrick Stewart
(Professor Charles Xavier), Sir Ian McKellen (Magneto), Hugh Jackman
(Wolverine), Famke Janssen (Jean Grey), Halle Berry (Storm), James
Marsden (Cyclops), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Ray Park (the Toad), Rebecca
Romijn-Stamos (Mystique), Tyler Mane (Sabretooth) and Bruce Davison
July 21st: WHAT LIES BENEATH- The wife ( Michelle Pfeiffer) of a
college genetics professor (Harrison Ford) in Vermont starts seeing
visions of a woman who might or might not be a ghost. It appears to be
the ghost of a woman that the professor had an affair with, and now,
she's possessing his wife's body. The movie was directed by Robert
Zemeckis, based on a story by Steven Spielberg.
July 28th: NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS- In an attempt to remove
his "Buddy Love" personality, Dr. Klump extracts the Buddy DNA from his
system, but this only leads to Buddy becoming his own person. Buddy and
Dr. Klump soon become locked in a race to claim a new youth serum that
Klump has created, which he hides in the home of his family, the Klumps.
|48. CONTROL AN ARMY OF ROBOTS!
Specifically "shopbots." You can now cruise to Pricegrabber.com or
MySimon.com and instruct their army of nano-Internet trolls (tiny
artifical intelligence robots called "shopbots") to find the lowest
online price for video and DVD releases. There is some question as to
whether non-participating retailers would be listed. If you're connected
to the Net, you might want to give it a try. Let's face, when's the next
time that you're apt to have a robot army subject to you whim?
|49. TIVO RIDING HIGH
You might remember that TiVo as one of a few set-top recorders that
record programs onto a computer hard drive. The guys are TiVo are
feeling pretty good lately. America Online has announced that it will
invest $200 million in the company and incorporate the TiVo system into
its upcoming AOL-TV interactive-TV service. TiVo stock price has soared
through the stratosphere. Keep your eye trained here. TiVo is trying to
position itself to be the only company that offers hard drive TV
|50. THE BIG BOYS GATHER THEIR FORCES
Microsoft, DirecTV and Thomson Multimedia are coming together to
produce a new satellite TV package, to be called UltimateTV, aimed at
creating a converging point for satellite TV, video recording and the
Internet. The receiver, to be manufactured by Thomson, presumably under
its RCA logo, will be able to record 30 hours of digital-quality TV
broadcasts -- even two programs airing simultaneously if need be.
However, a new online magazine called "Inside" reported that at a New
York news conference, "the thing didn't work."
|51. BIG NEWS ON TINY TECHNOLOGY
IBM announced in June that it will begin shipping this month "the
world's smallest hard drive," a one-gigabyte device the size of a
quarter that can hold the equivalent of a thousand novels or 18 hours of
high-quality digital music. It pointedly did not indicate how much video
storage the device could accommodate (presumably because of the
potential for using it to store bootleg movies), but it did say that it
expected it to be integrated into future video cameras and handheld PCs.
The device weighs under an ounce and will be available for less than
|52. SONY DELAYS DIGITAL TV'S
We'll have to wait a little longer for Sony to lead us to the
digital promised land. They have indefinitely delayed the introduction
of digital/HDTV sets in the U.S. because of a software "engineering
hurdle" and uncertainty about technical standards for such sets. The
company had planned to begin distribution of the sets in the U.S. next
fall. Our deliverance from analog is once again delayed.
|53. THE D-VHS DEBATE GOES ON. AND ON. AND ON AND
. . .
In June, at a REPLItech conference in Miami, the fate of Digital VHS
(D-VHS) was once again debated. Those lucky few who have seen it have
said that its picture is far superior to DVD. It's a technology that
actually predates Digital Video Discs. Studios have sat on it for years.
With its flawless ability to record images, it sends chills down the
backs of studio fat cats, imagining a world where we're pirating their
stuff mercilessly. Particularly with the advent of HDTV, any movie
recorded off the airwaves would have the same quality as any title
professionally duplicated. Matsushita (aka Panasonic) owns a majority
interest in D-VHS. They also have a huge stake in DVD, the budding
format that would be hurt with the introduction of D-VHS. So don't look
for them on store shelves anytime soon.
|54. ECLIPSE DEBUTS ON SCIFI.COM
ECLIPSE, a Flash animated weekly dramatic series, premiered on the
Sci-Fi Channel's website, SCIFI.COM, on June 20. New episodes will
follow every Tuesday for 13 weeks. Eclipse comes from animator Daniel
Gover and writer Russell Wicks, and is described as SCIFI.COM's most
ambitious, original dramatic series yet. The story is set in the year
3552, where humanity is engaged in a battle against an alien force and
is on the brink of extinction. Two human soldiers, Gavin and Thomas, are
brought from their homes centuries ago into the future. There, they
serve Mette, a mysterious, exotic woman. Gavin and Thomas must risk
everything to ensure the survival of humankind.
|55. STRACYNSKI DREAMS ON SCIFI.COM
BABYLON 5's "great maker" J. Michael Straczynski has created a new
online audio series called "City of Dreams," for SCIFI.COM's Seeing Ear
Theatre. Steve Buscemi (Fargo) stars in the first episode, "The Damned
Are Playing At Godzilla's Tonight," which will premiere on July 10. The
second installment of the 13-episode weekly drama will feature FREQUENCY
star Andre Braugher and Braugher's real-life wife, Ami Brabson, in an
episode called "Rolling Thunder." Kevin Conway, the voice of the
storyteller in The Outer Limits and the star of the PBS television movie
THE LATHE OF HEAVEN, will narrate the entire series. "City of Dreams" is
a compilation of Straczynski 's independent stories--which range from
the dark and ominous to the supernatural and hopeful--produced for
|56. MOTION PICTURE ACADEMY DRAWS A LINE IN THE
The Motion Picture Academy has announced that it will bar any film
from Oscar contention that debuted on the Web. They made this rule to
show their support for the primacy of theatrical distribution. The
website iFilm and the theater chain AMC are planning to create a
theatrical showplace for films -- particularly short films -- to satisfy
the Academy's requirement. Under the rules of the Academy, a film must
be shown for at least three days in a movie house to qualify for an
|57. VIDEO STORES CONTINUE TO CLOSE
According to the National Association of Video Distributors, video
stores across the country are closing at a somewhat slower rate. In 1998
an average of 183 stores a month bit the dust. By 1999 that figure
slowed to 117 a month. As the numbers dwindle the closures have dropped.
In the first quarter of this year, there were an average of 95 stores a
month going belly-up. It's impossible to predict if this slowing in
closures is the long-term healing of a brutal business cycle or a flux
in the midst of a long term shakeout. Loosing a 100 stores a month is
still not very healthy. I'll keep you posted on this.
|58. REEL.COM REACHES THE END OF ITS REEL
Internet video retailer Reel.com has bit the dust after Hollywood
Entertainment, which operates the Hollywood Video retail chain, said
that it had been unable to raise sufficient funds to keep the Internet
company in business. " I've just given up on the ability to make a
profit on the e-commerce business," Mark Wattles, chairman and chief
executive of Hollywood Entertainment said. "The losses of the e-commerce
business have been very large." In the 18 months that Hollywood had the
online venture they lost $82 million. Anyone clicking over to purchase
movies is being routed to Buy.com.
|59. DVD EMPIRE STEPS UP TO THE PLATE
E-tailer DVDEmpire.com has entered the arena of discounting. They're
offering 40% discounts on pre-ordered titles. They say that it's
directed at their "loyal customers." It may be to capture the customers
|60. A FORK IN THE AMAZON
Mega retailer Amazon.com has recently split its departments for DVD
and VHS. Visitors to the site will find separate tabs for the newly
created departments. Once inside DVD visitors will find two new
departments. The first, labeled "BUILD YOUR OWN COLLECTION," features
categories such as "Starter Kit" and "Maximum Impact," enabling shoppers
to choose from various lists compiled by Amazon's staff. The second
department is simply labeled "BARGAIN DVD'S." They have also added a
"BARGAIN VIDEO" section. The DVD and video areas will be heavily linked
for easy crossover.
This split may be the result of a highly unfavorable report
circulated by Lehman Brothers in June. It criticized the company for not
operating profitably, holding them to the same standards as any
business. Amazon's stock dropped by 19%. They have sworn to be in the
black by the fourth quarter of this year in books, music and video.
|61. BIG DOINGS ON DISC
With this month release of JAWS to DVD, there will be some very big
classic titles over the coming months debuting on the new format. PLANET
OF THE APES: THE EVOLUTION hits DVD, featuring all six of the famous
monkey movies, will be on store shelves August 15th. On August 29th
CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY and
BRAVEHEART get introduced to us on Digital Video Disc.Look for MEN IN
BLACK on September 5th. JURASSIC PARK and THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK
go on sale on October 10th. TOY STORY 1 & 2 will hit October 17th. The
principle duplicators have doubled their capacities since last year and
still can't keep up with the pace of orders. The studios are finally
beginning to understand the potential of DVD. Now we can all add our
favorite movies to our collection of the same titles on VHS, Beta and
Rental titles releasing 7/4: JILL THE RIPPER features Dolph Lundgen as a
detective searching for his powerful brother's murderer. He finds
himself in twisted realm of sexual bondage, political corruption and
extreme violence. . . . SCREAM 3, the last of the SCREAM trilogy,
releases today. . . .
Rental title releasing 7/11: PLAYING DEAD features a young man who
Rental titles releasing 7/18: THE NINTH GATE, with Johnny Depp, haunts
Rental titles releasing 7/25: ISAAC ASIMOV'S NIGHTFALL is about the
Sell through titles releasing 7/4: DIVINE TRASH is an in-depth look
Sell through titles releasing 7/11: JAWS makes it's much heralded
Sell through titles releasing 7/18: STORM OF THE CENTURY goes on
Sell through titles releasing 7/25: Artisan Entertainment is releasing
|63. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
Nicholas Clay was a British actor known for his performances in
classics and epic fantasies. Clay's 30-year career spanned the stage,
screen and television. Club members may remember him as Henry Clerval in
VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN (1977) (aka TERROR OF FRANKENSTEIN), as Sir Lancelot
in EXCALIBER (1981), as Jack Stapleton in the TV version of THE HOUND OF
THE BASKERVILLES (1983) and as Dr. Percy Trevelyan in THE ADVENTURES OF
SHERLOCK HOLMES II (1985). He was the Prince in SLEEPING BEAUTY (1987),
Menelaus in the TV mini-series THE ODYSSEY (1997) and Lord Leo in TV's
MERLIN (1998). He died, too soon, at his home in London after loosing a
fight with cancer. He was 53.
He was one of those actors who needed no introduction.
He also needs
|64. JULY CALENDAR
TUE 4TH: VIDEO RENTAL- JILL THE RIPPER and SCREAM 3 release today.
FRI 7TH:EVENT- SHORE LEAVE 22
SUN 9TH:EVENT- SHORE LEAVE 22
TUE 11TH: TV-X-MEN: THE MUTANT WATCH airs on Fox
FRI 14TH:MOVIE- X-MEN debuts today.
TUE 18TH:VIDEO RENTAL- THE NINTH GATE, WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM?,
FRI 21ST:MOVIE- WHAT LIES BENEATH debuts today.
SAT 22ND: I.C.S. MEETING AT 6:00
TUE 25TH: VIDEO RENTAL- ISAAC ASIMOV'S NIGHTFALL, MAGNOLIA, INTER-
FRI 28TH:EVENT- MIDNIGHT MARQUEE'S CLASSIC FILM FEST 2000
SAT 29TH:EVENT- MIDNIGHT MARQUEE'S CLASSIC FILM FEST 2000
SUN 3OTH:EVENT- MIDNIGHT MARQUEE'S CLASSIC FILM FEST 2000