#20-September 2000
 ***IN THIS ISSUE***
CLUB NEWS
1. AUGUST'S MEETING WAS FUN! 
2. NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING 
3. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
4. MOVIES AND PANEL FOR SEPTEMBER
5. TIME FOR YOUR FALL CLEANING
6. SEPTEMBER CALENDAR ADVISORY ONE: DVD COLLECTORS
7. SEPTEMBER CALENDAR ADVISORY TWO: THE NEW TV SEASON 
8. 2001 CALENDARS 
9.  ADVERTISING THE CLUB
TV NEWS
10. THE GLASS TEAT
News on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, STARSHIP REGULARS, DEADMAN and re-runs of  PROFILER, LA FEMME NIKITA and PSI FACTOR: CHRONICLES OF THE PARANORMAL. 
11. LA FEMME IS NOT FATALE 
The rescue of LA FEMME NIKITA. 
12. THEY CALL ME "DR." SPOCK 
Leonard Nimoy gets doctored 
13. UPN LINGERS ON 
14. SOMETHING NEW FOR J. M. STRACZYNSKI?
New series underway. 
15. A LOOK AHEAD AT THE 2000-2001 TV SEASON
16. CHANGES TO EXISTING SHOWS 
News (and some spoilers) on ANGEL, BEASTMASTER, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT, FUTURAMA, ROSWELL, SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, SEVEN DAYS, SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE'S THE LOST WORLD, STAR TREK: VOYAGER,and THE X-FILES . 
17. MEET THE NEW KIDS: DARK ANGEL (FOX-TUESDAYS 9P.M.) 
18. MEET THE NEW KIDS: FREAKY LINKS (FOX-FRIDAYS 9P.M.)
19. MEET THE NEW KIDS: FREEDOM (UPN-FRIDAYS 8P.M.) 
20. MEET THE NEW KIDS: GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA (SYNDICATED)
21. MEET THE NEW KIDS: IN SEARCH OF 
22. MEET THE NEW KIDS: LEVEL NINE (UPN-FRIDAYS 9P.M.)
23. MEET THE NEW KIDS: LONE GUNMEN (FOX-THURSDAYS 8P.M.) 
24. MEET THE NEW KIDS: MATTHEW BLACKHEART - MONSTER SMASHER (SCI-FI CHANNEL)
25. MEET THE NEW KIDS: MYSTERIOUS WAYS (PAX-TV) 
26. MEET THE NEW KIDS: NIGHT VISIONS (FOX ON STANDBY)
27. MEET THE NEW KIDS: QUEEN OF SWORDS (SYNDICATED) 
28. MEET THE NEW KIDS: SCIOGRAPHY (SCI-FI CHANNEL)
29. MEET THE NEW KIDS: SHEENA (SYNDICATED) 
30. MEET THE NEW KIDS: THE TICK (FOX-ON STANDBY) 
31. MEET THE NEW KIDS: ULTRAVIOLET (FOX-ON STANDBY)
EVENT NEWS
32. News on MAIN MISSION:2000, GAYLAXICON 2000, FARPOPINT, CHILLER THEATER, ELECTICON and PHILCON 2000.
LITERARY NEWS
33. BABYLON 5 CREATOR J. M. STRACZYNSKI DEBUTS HIS NEW BOOK ONLINE
34. GEORGE ROMERO'S DEATH OF DEATH
35. "MIDNIGHT NATION," NEW STRACYNSKI COMIC, IS SET TO DEBUT
36. LOOK FOR YOUR FAVORITE SCI-FI CHANNEL SHOWS IN THE COMIC BOOK RACK
37. MIKE NELSON'S MOVIE MEGACHEESE
38. CAMPBELL SCOTT AND TIM CURRY STAR ON SCIFI.COM
39. RIGHTING OLD INJUSTICES
40. THE FATHER OF OUR IMAGINATIONS TURNS 80
MOVIE NEWS
41. THE RACE IS ON IN HOLLYWOOD
42. HOLLYWOOD TREMBLES AT GOP BLASTS
43. HOLLYWOOD TREMBLES AT THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET
44. I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR PSYCHO
45. **SPOILER ALERT** BLAIR 2 PLOT DETAILS REVEALED
46. DOH! GET READY FOR A SIMPSONS MOVIE
47. MGM IS SET TO DEVELOP "RISING STARS"
48. SNIPES HONES IN ON BLADE 2
49. RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA BACK ON TRACK!
50. MATRIX 2 SCRIPT IS DONE
51. INSTANT STAR WARS!
52. MARK WAHLBERG GETS THE GORILLA OF HIS DREAMS, MAYBE
53. MOVIE FALLS VICTIM TO "THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY!"
54. THE MUMMY PREQUEL HIT BY A ROCK
55. NEW ANN RICE VAMPIRE FLICK GETS SHOT
56. IMDB GLOSSARY
57. JACKIE CHAN'S HARD ROAD TO FAME
58. INDIANA JONES ITCHING TO CLEAN HIS DAD'S CLOCKS
59. PACINO'S NEXT CO-STAR MAY BE NEW, BUT NOT A "VIRTUAL" UNKNOWN
60. FINAL FANTASY TO HAVE AN ALL VIRTUAL CAST
61. ANTHONY HOPKINS NEXT CO-STARS SET TO "HOG" THE CAMERA
62. HALEY JOEL OSMENT NO LONGER SEES DEAD PEOPLE
63. GEORGE CLOONEY REFLECTS ON BATMAN 
64. CLINT EASTWOOD DENOUNCES HOLLYWOOD AGE-ISM
65. KILMER AND SIZEMORE DENY RUMORS OF MARS ATTACKS
66. MOVIE EXHIBITORS STUMBLE
67. MOVIE PATRONS MAY RECEIVE LESS KERNELS FOR THEIR CASH
68. MAKE WHAT SO? 
69. PATRICK STEWART TO PICARD - MAKE IT GO
70. A NOTE ABOUT SEPTEMBER FILM RELEASES 
71. IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER
News on HIGHLANDER: END GAME, THE WATCHER, THE WAY OF THE GUN, THE EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN and URBAN LEGENDS: THE FINAL CUT.
TECHNOLOGY NEWS
72. COMING SOON: MOVIE PRODUCTION VIA SATELLITE
73. THE LIMIT TO DBS'S GROWTH IS IN SIGHT
74. INTERNET COUNTDOWN
75. DIRECTV TEAMS WITH TIVO
76. TIME WARNER GIVES A BOOST TO REPLAYTV 
77. DIGITAL TV IS ABOUT TO TAKE A GREAT LEAP FORWARD IN BRITAIN
78. IMAX TO MAKE BIG PUSH INTO DIGITAL PROJECTION
79. CONTROLLING THE STREAM
80. SUNDANCE: YOUR ONLINE FILM FESTIVAL
81. XENA'S NEW ADVENTURES HIT THE WEB
82. MGM TO PUT CLIPS FROM 100 MOVIES ONLINE
83. GEORGE ROMERO GOES TO THE ORANGE PROJECT
VIDEO NEWS
84. BLOCKBUSTER SEES THE WRITING ON THE WALL FOR VIDEO RENTAL
85. RETURN OF THE TRILOGY 
86. VIDEOCY 
FAREWELLS 
87. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES 
We say good-bye to Alec Guinness and Loretta Young
IN REVIEW 
88. SEPTEMBER CALENDAR
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1. AUGUST'S MEETING WAS FUN! 
    We had a great time at the August meeting. There was a little confusion over who was to bring the films, but JOHN WARD came to the rescue. We wound up watching the original NIGHT STALKER. The movie's approaching thirty years old, and it still packs a punch. Thanks also go to BOB KUZYK for bringing his gigantic speaker. It really helped the sound. We had an interesting panel from REGINA VALLERANI about MR. SHOW and a very lively business meeting. 
2.NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING 
   Our September meeting will be held on Saturday September 30th 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.
3. HAPPY NEW YEAR! 
    And a most joyous L'Shanah Tovah to all of our members who are celebrating Rosh Hashanah on the evening of our next meeting. We hope everything's going well shofar. When we scheduled this year's meetings we didn't think that too many of our members would be inconvenienced by the co-incicidence of our September meeting and Jewish New Years. If you have any feedback for us, let us know. We'll be scheduling next year's meetings soon. 
4. MOVIES AND PANEL FOR SEPTEMBER 
    Whenever possible, we'll be trying to report the panel topics and film selection a month ahead in "The ICS Files." Our panel topic will be presented by JOHN WARD. He'll be leading a discussion on movies based on comics (no, not like Buddy Hackett and Bob Hope, like Superman and Batman). VINCE DiLEONARDI is giving us three movies from which to choose. We have 
    1-CURSE OF THE DEMON 
    2-CARNIVAL OF SOULS 
    3-THE MAN FROM PLANET X 
You've got until the end of the month to think about the topic and the movies. Come on in and share your thoughts with us. 
5. TIME FOR YOUR FALL CLEANING 
    We plan to have two tables at a show at the Hilton in White Marsh on November 19th. We'll look to do an auction some time after that with the remainders. Please start looking around for books, videos, dvd's, posters, models, magazines and related items. We'll ask if you can donate them to a worthy cause - our club. You can bring them into the meetings on September 30, October 28 and November 18. It will help us clear a loan that one of our members generously made to assist us in buying the projector, help us get a mass mailing out, and give us a little breathing space in our funds. Remember, the more space that you clear in your collection, the more room you'll have to acquire more stuff! 
6. SEPTEMBER CALENDAR ADVISORY ONE: DVD COLLECTORS 
    The calendars located at the end of "The ICS Files" have not reflected which releases are video and which are DVD. You've had to go to the "Videocy" section to find that out. Due to the increasing number of titles available in DVD (often exclusively on that format), starting with this issue, DVD sell-through titles will be noted separately. We can no longer refer to this as "the new format." In the brief time since its launch, DVD has taken off like a rocket. The new provision in our review calendar is overdue. I hope that it helps. 
7. SEPTEMBER CALENDAR ADVISORY TWO: THE NEW TV SEASON 
    Keep your eye trained on the review calendar in the back for the next few months. Dates for the new season and new series premieres will be posted there. As noted below, this is a particularly tough year to track the shoot-from-the-hip decisions that programmers are suddenly making this Fall. Please be patient, excuse outdated info, and keep your eye on the calendar in the back of each issue. 
8. 2001 CALENDARS 
    There was an overwhelming sentiment at the August meeting to have the club issue 2001 calendars, similar to those available for this year. If you have any feedback, have any color horizontal pictures that you'd like to see included, have any special dates or themes that you'd like to see us focus on or if you'd simply like to reserve one, let us know. Either respond to this e-mail or call David at 410-788-4086. 
9. ADVERTISING THE CLUB 
    Thanks, once again, go to VINCE DiLEONARDI, this time for helping us advertise the club with his newspaper, "The Pennysaver." Unasked, Vince took the initiative to get us a free ad in the paper. Thanks Vince! 
    Also, check out my rear license tag. I bought a border for the plate that says "IMAGINATIVE CINEMA SOCIETY" on top and "WWW.ICSFILM.NET" on the bottom. I've become a rolling billboard. 
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10. THE GLASS TEAT
Marsters has grown into his Spike role. James Marsters plays the platinum-blond British vampire Spike on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. He's eager for the coming season. Creator Joss Whedon has said to expect more of the British vamp, who became a regular character last year. Marsters said, "In the beginning, I was afraid. . . . But it's like a roller coaster. A third of the way through, you just throw your head back and begin laughing. I told him, 'Joss, I'll do anything you want.'" The new BUFFY season starts October 3rd. . . . How Sarah Michelle Gellar gets her kicks. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER's star, Sarah Michelle Gellar, keeps herself buff by practicing the ancient Japanese art of Tae Kwon-Do. Gellar prides herself in doing a lot of her vampire slaying stunts on her own for the popular series - although she admits at times she needs a stunt woman for the most dangerous activities. But it's her training in Tae Kwon-Do that keeps her in shape, and helps her bash the vamps. She says, "I do not do all of my stunts but I do a good portion. I'm trained in Tae Kwon-Do and do gymnastics every now and then, but I do have to be able to show up for work the next day.". . . STARSHIP REGULARS makes both its TV and Online debut. Showtime has acquired the television rights to the Icebox.com animated series STARSHIP REGULARS, with plans to turn it into a live-action series which would premiere next year. The comedy series, created by icebox.com co-founder Rob LaZebik (THE SIMPSONS), follows the adventures of men and women living aboard a military spaceship. Three-minute-long  STARSHIP episodes have begun airing on Icebox and Showtime. . . . DEADMAN walking. TNT will develop a television movie - the pilot for a possible series - based on the DC Comics series Deadman. Deadman tells the story of a stunt man who is murdered but allowed to return to Earth as a spirit. In the comics he was a circus performer and could occupy anyone's body temporarily. In the TV version he'll only be able to possess the body of his nerdy brother. Jason Pomerance, who writes the comic series, will also write the movie script. . . . PROFILER returns in re-runs. Court TV will start airing repeats of PROFILER at 8 pm ET & 1 am ET starting Sept. 18th. . . . Nightly doses of NIKITA now available. Starting Monday, September 11th, USA Network will begin running LA FEMME NIKITA late night Mon-Thur nights around midnight.  Monday's will air at midnight or 12:05 am ET/PT and the Tue, Wed & Thur episodes will air at 12:30 am ET/PT. They will start from the beginning with the pilot episode. . . . TNT PSI high. PSI FACTOR: CHRONICLES OF THE PARANORMAL has been acquired by TNT. Look for re-runs daily at 4:00. 
11. LA FEMME IS NOT FATALE 
    USA Network officially announced the return of its canceled series LA FEMME NIKITA under a new agreement with Warner Brothers and Fireworks Entertainment. USA Cable President Stephen Chao announced that the series would return for eight new episodes, starting in "early 2001." USA had canceled the series in a contract dispute with Warner. "The fans of LA FEMME NIKITA have shown us the commitment they have for this show, and while we were determined to keep it on USA Network, their tenacity and obvious desire for the series to continue reinforced our decision to pursue negotiations aggressively for the series' return," Chao said in a statement. 
    Nikita executive consultant Bob Cochran said in his own statement, "We're thrilled to have the opportunity to continue telling the story of Nikita and Section One. We have every intention of making these eight episodes as provocative and unpredictable as any we've seen before on the series. It's going to be a wild ride." 
    The new episodes will bring back regular cast members Peta Wilson (Nikita), Roy Dupuis (Michael), Eugene Robert Glazer (Operations), Alberta Watson (Madeleine), Don Francks (Walter) and Matthew Ferguson (Jason Crawford). "However, because of this season's revised budget, not all actors can be in every episode. [The powers that be] are making the best of this situation by creating a season-long arc where every character plays a role in the overall story. In addition to our regulars, Kate Quinn will return to Comm, and there are plans to bring back one or two notable guest characters from previous seasons as well," Heyn said. Executive consultant Robert Cochran will head the writing staff and will write season five's premiere episode. 
     As we have seen several times now with shows like STAR TREK, QUANTUM LEAP, BABYLON 5 and ROSWELL, fan input makes a huge difference. Heyn thanked all the fans, but particularly those at First Team and the Save LFN Web site for helping bring the show back. "Without your daily efforts in generating literally thousands of letters, e-mails and faxes (not to mention TV sets, remotes, VCRs and fliers handed out personally) to USA and WB, this deal probably would never have happened," Heyn said. 
12. THEY CALL ME "DR." SPOCK 
     Leonard Nimoy is to receive an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Antioch University. He will be presented with the doctorate at the university's McGregor School in Ohio this fall. The 69-year-old actor said that he was "very touched, very flattered and deeply honored". Barbara Gellman-Danley, president of the university's McGregor School branch in Yellow Springs, said she nominated Nimoy because of his efforts to take on Holocaust deniers.
13. UPN LINGERS ON 
    Rupert Murdoch eased the anxiety of fans of shows airing on the beleaguered United Paramount Network. He told reporters during a conference call, "We're not urging CBS to close down UPN at all, and we'd like to see [UPN] develop, maybe with us as a participant." He then added, "But it's very early days yet." In follow-up remarks, Murdoch said that he was "certainly open to discussions" about a partnership between UPN and Viacom to keep the network stay alive and insisted that such an alliance "is not impossible." Pressed again on the matter, he remarked that "informal contact" has already been established about a UPN tie-up and then vowed: "We won't walk away from it. Others may walk away from it, but we won't be the first." 
14. SOMETHING NEW FOR J. M. STRACZYNSKI? 
    BABYLON 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski told fans on a Usenet group that he's signed on to executive produce a new SF television series for an unnamed cable network. Without discussing details of the series, Straczynski reportedly said on the rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5 newsgroup, "It's slated to start with a two-hour pilot, which I'll be writing, and is due no later than December." Straczynski reportedly added, "What's nifty is that while there's a pilot required, as with any new series, in this case they're willing to go into production on the series based just on the script; we don't have to go out and shoot a full pilot first. . . . There's a high profile director attached to the project, and that involvement was one of the real inducements for me to sign on with this because I've always admired his work in TV and film." Straczynski also said the show would likely shoot in Vancouver. "We'll probably begin shooting in February or March for a fall debut. On a personal level, it pays over double what I got on [BABYLON 5] or CRUSADE, which is kind of nice." Stay tuned for further details.
15. A LOOK AHEAD AT THE 2000-2001 TV SEASON 
    Imaginative TV is still hot, based on the number of shows on the air. But not as hot as it could be based on how the major networks are handling it. The only network show of the big three giants that could be considered imaginative TV is THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN on NBC. All of the other shows are airing on the upstarts (Fox, the WB or UPN), on cable channels or in syndication. 
    Twenty of the first-run, imaginative TV shows are returning, down from 23 shows returning last year. This is a surprising number, considering most reports during the season indicated that genre shows are on the decline. The returning figures would seem to indicate otherwise. 
    Premiere schedules are dicier this year than ever. Besides contending with the usual World Series and counter programming against rivals, we've also got later-than-usual Olympics and presidential and vice-presidential debates that will be playing havoc on airtimes. Keep your eye on the calendar section. It will have the most up-to-date information available. 
    There are still a pair of syndicated shows, SHEENA and THE IMMORTAL, for which there is scant information. Some of the details on the shows that are listed may be subject to additions and revisions. Keep your eye on future issues as details become available. 
16. CHANGES TO EXISTING SHOWS 
    ANGEL: New regular characters will be added during the season, two of whom were introduced to viewers last season: the leader of the vampire-hunting gang and the extra-dimensional princess from the episode "She." The season hopes to establish an ensemble of actors ala BUFFY. 
    BEASTMASTER: Season two sees the addition of five new cast members to the show. Dylan Bierk plays a sorceress who pops up in the second half of the coming season. David Paterson will portray the bloodthirsty Nord king, who uses metal weapons to slaughter the Terrons. Sam Healy and Danielle Spencer will play the dual faces of Iara, a deadly serpent demon. Able to transform herself into a beautiful seductress or a venomous snake, Iara sets her reptilian sights on Dar in season two. Marjean Holden plays a fierce, sultry mercenary named Arina. 
    BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: Buffy has a sister named Dawn who everyone remembers except us! She has paranormal abilities, appears towards the end of the season premiere, and each episode thereafter, but we won't find answers until the season's fifth episode. Also, Joss Whedon wants to bring Drusilla, Spike's ex, back to the series next season. He wants to make sure that he brings her in at the worst possible time for Spike. Word has it that Riley (Marc Blucas) may be gone by mid-season. Tara's dark secret gets revealed (something more profound than that she's more than a friend to Willow). We might see Faith pop up this year. 
    CHARMED: In the season premiere the sisters get into a heated battle with a demon. They wind up in court, standing trial for murder. There's more to the district attorney than meets the eye. He becomes a regular love interest for Phoebe. 
    EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT: Lili and Auger are all but gone in the new season, and there'll be less of Da'an and Zo'or, as the series attempts to take new directions in its fourth season. The Taelons' true plans for Humanity are revealed. We meet the Atlantic National Alliance and learn what they have to do with the Resistance. The Jaridians have made contact and they mean it. 
    FUTURAMA: We'll be meeting more celebrity voices this year. Hank Azaria (SIMPSONS regular) will be Dr. Zoidberg's uncle, the famous silent hologram star, Harold Zoid. Bea Arthur is a "fem-puter" that runs an Amazon-like planet that terrorizes Zap Brannigan and Coolio co-stars in the Christmas episode as a "Kwanzaa-bot." 
    ROSWELL: According to Jonathan Frakes, next season will continue the sci-fi emphasis begun late last season and lessen time spent on teen relationships. The biggie for the new season is that the series will add more types of aliens living secretly on Earth, not all friendly. 
    SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH: This show has jumped from ABC to the WB. It now airs at 8:00 on Fridays. 
    SEVEN DAYS: Kevin Christy (DHARMA & GREG) has joined the cast of UPN's SEVEN DAYS, as the team's new technical expert. 
    SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE'S THE LOST WORLD: Season two explores mysteries opened in the first season. Who survived the fall into the ravine? Is the treehouse still standing? Have the raptors learned even more? Watch it and see. 
    STAR TREK: VOYAGER: As the show enters its concluding season, look for the closing of the character story arcs. Seven is obviously going to be continuing her quest for humanity, and becoming more human. Viewers can expect the relationship between Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres to heat up. The Doctor has been exploring his own humanity through the course of the series and his struggle for holographic rights. He'll be up against that very issue in a big two-hour movie, "Flesh and Blood." It's about a holographic uprising that the Doctor gets involved in. The Doctor becomes very politicized by these holograms and becomes a proponent of their cause 
    The rumor is now that the ship & crew will get home in the series' final season. But one of the crew will perish making that happen. Who? The only clue is this phrase in UPN promos: "Some Heroes Die Young." Kate Mulgrew was on THE LATE LATE SHOW with Greg Kilborn. In response to Kilborn's question about Janeway's fate in VOYAGER's last season, she said, "I can't tell you exactly. Now, I may stand alone in this, and I'm sure it's going to be controversial. I think it should be poignant. . . . I think it should be stunning. Unpredictable. Heartbreaking. The audience should guess, but it should be the last frame of the last episode. An extreme close-up of a beloved character. Out." 
    Kilborn asked, "Are we fading to black, or is she?" 
    "I can't, I'm not allowed to say," Mulgrew stammered. "I think you should see the ship go up in flames, deck by deck. Just get to the escape pods." 
    "Wow," Kilborn said. "You're going to . . . you're going to die!" 
    "I was told not to speak of this," Mulgrew said. "As you can see, I'm the biggest blabbermouth in Hollywood." Later, Mulgrew clarified, "I didn't say Janeway was going to die." 
    THE X-FILES: In addition to the new partner for Scully, Chris Carter is talking more seasons. Picture the series as a "Weird Crime" drama where a pregnant Scully is the (role-reversal) believer, with new story-arc mysteries started while the final alien conspiracy threads are explained. Carter hopes it to be a year to breathe new life into the series, maybe even bring back Frank Black (Lance Henrikson's character in MILLENNIUM). Certainly it will be a year of transitioning Duchovny out of the series. Answers to big questions will be forthcoming, like more information on the alien races, whether the Cigarette-Smoking Man is dead, the full stories of what happened to Mulder's sister and to the mind-reading Gibson Praise. Carter hinted that there is also more to reveal about Scully's relationship with Mulder last season and her pregnancy. When asked by Fox entertainment president Gail Berman who was the father of Agent Scully's baby, he answered, "I am. . . . I'm the father and the mother." He was equally coy in response to other questions. Will Scully deliver the baby this year? "I haven't thought about it yet," Carter said. Did Mulder and Scully consummate their relationship? "Viewers will have their prurience indulged." Could Scully turn out not to be pregnant at all? "I would never assume anything in THE X-FILES. But I think that would be a real cheat. . . . It would be like bringing back a dead character." Carter did say that about six or seven of the upcoming 20 or so episodes will deal with the series' mythology. 
    Whatever the show's fate, the show's ultimate finale is bound to disappoint, according to executive producer Frank Spotnitz. "I believe that when we do wrap up the series, whether it's this year or next, there are going to be a lot of people who are going to get to the end and go, 'That's it?'" Spotnitz said. "They're going to be disappointed, because there are so many expectations about what the ending should be and what answers they're going to get." He added, "What I don't think most people are really aware of is how many answers have already been given. We've spread them over the last two years, especially since the movie. We've answered a lot more questions than we've raised, and there are a lot of smaller questions where there will never be a definitive answer." 
17. MEET THE NEW KIDS: DARK ANGEL (FOX-TUESDAYS 9P.M.) 
     DARK ANGEL is James Cameron's first show to television. Set in San Francisco in the year 2020, Jessica Alba stars as the title character, a motorcycle-riding heroine who has escaped from a military project where she gained genetically-engineered abilities. She finds herself in a post-apocalyptic society that has been dramatically changed by an electromagnetic pulse that destroyed all electronics. She is assisted by cyber-reporter Logan Clarke in evading her nemesis, Lydecker, who seeks to return her to the project. James Cameron has promised inspired visuals and a full-season story arc to give the freshman series' more cinematic feel than is usually injected into TV productions. You can look forward to a "big-screen" look to this series. 
    The debut episode will be a little unusual. It's airing on Fox 9-11P.M. That means that most Fox affiliates will have to re-schedule their usual 10:00 newscasts. That's an exercise in pure muscle from Jim Cameron.  PREMIERES 10/3. 
18. MEET THE NEW KIDS: FREAKY LINKS (FOX-FRIDAYS 9P.M.) 
    FREAKY LINKS is a sci-fi drama that combines the interactivity of the Internet with the power of television to spin 
tales of the unexpected, and often unexplained. Both a television drama and an Online series, FREAKYLINKS follows a young Web master whose paranormal Web site leads him to his long-deceased twin, who may be very much alive! We're told to watch for the series to "lighten up" after the first several episodes. Series creator Tommy Thompson (THE PRETENDER) tried to explore darker themes and  fellow co-creators David S. Goyer (writer of BLADE) and Gregg Hale (co-producer of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT) have quit day-to-day running of the series. David Simkins (MERCY POINT) is now at the helm. He's thought to be able to make the show lighter and fluffier. Fox pushed for the new feel. 
   ''It's classic," Goyer said. "How many times have you heard about that happening in Hollywood? I've had four pilots made, and two of those have gone on to [become] series. In every situation, I was brought on board to give the show an edgier feel, and it was always too edgy. They always say they want edgy, but they really just want the same thing over and over again." 
19. MEET THE NEW KIDS: FREEDOM (UPN-FRIDAYS 8P.M.) 
    FREEDOM is set in the near-future. By this time the U.S. is under the totalitarian rule following a military coup. A team of four guerillas use martial arts and futuristic weapons as they fight to restore freedom to America. Stars include Darius McCrary, Bodhi Elfman and Scarlett Chorvat. 
20. MEET THE NEW KIDS: GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA (SYNDICATED) 
    GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA stars former HERCULES star, Kevin Sorbo, as Dylan Hunt, captain of the sentient Commonwealth starship Andromeda Ascendant. The Commonwealth spans three galaxies, a myriad of cultures, but is in decline.Similar to Roddenberry's STAR TREK, Andromeda will have a heroic captain, a starship and a mission. Sorbo will play Dylan Hunt, the captain of the starship Andromeda Ascendant which, with Hunt, was caught in a black hole for 300 years before being rescued. A captain, a starship - that's where the similarity to STAR TREK ends. The show takes place in the far, far future when the Earth is a small part of a larger "Commonwealth." The show crew consists of non-military humans and aliens who attempt to bring order back to the planets of the Commonwealth. Based on an idea proposed by Gene Roddenberry before his death. 
21. MEET THE NEW KIDS: IN SEARCH OF 
    IN SEARCH OF is rather elderly to be a "new kid." Since it originated back in the 70's, in human years that would make it 572 years old! But on TV everything old shall be new again - provided someone can make a buck off of it.  Fox and USA Network have partnered up to revive this disco-era paranormal non-fiction television series. They'll air eight new episodes in the fall on both networks. The episodes will deal with such topics as ancient astronauts, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and voodoo. Those of you Web-saavy sonuvaguns out there can follow the link to their site where they're asking for feedback on various show topics. 
    Okay boys and girls. It's insert your own wisecrack time. It goes like this. "Hey, I got it! Remember [insert title of over-hyped over-bloated big budget cinematic time-killer]? 
Let's go IN SEARCH OF the [a.producer's/b.director's/c.writer's/d.actor's/e.Spock's] brain!" 
    Oh, you cad you! How do you come up with this clever repartee'? Absolutely amazing! 
22. MEET THE NEW KIDS: LEVEL NINE (UPN-FRIDAYS 9P.M.) 
    UPN's upcoming cyber-thriller series LEVEL 9 deals with threats only a few years in the future. It tells the story of a fictional top-secret government task force set up to combat Internet crime. Even though it's set in the future and deals in high-tech stuff ,according to series co-creator Josh Meyers, it's NOT a science-fiction show.  "It's a law-enforcement show. And we're trying to stick very closely to what's real and what's out there. . . . We think that cyber-crime is the big tidal wave that's coming, and federal government's not ready to deal with it. And so we created what we think would be . . . kind of what they should be doing." Myers is also a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and a consulting producer for LEVEL 9. 
    The series stars Kate Hodge as team leader Annie Price and Max Martini as defense intelligence agent Jack Wiley. The series was created by Meyer, novelist Michael Connelly and China Beach creator John Sacret Young. "One of our biggest challenges is making sure that [the writers] don't slip something in that isn't real," Meyer said. "We spend a lot of our time doing research to make sure that stuff is very accurate. We're not going to make anything up." LEVEL 9 comes to UPN in the fall with a 13-episode commitment. 
23. MEET THE NEW KIDS: LONE GUNMEN (FOX-THURSDAYS 8P.M.) 
    LONE GUNMEN is a spin-off of THE X-FILES. The show stars Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund and Bruce Harwood as Frohike, Langly and Byers, the three hi-tech conspiracy investigators who make up the group known as The Lone Gunmen. They are joined by Zuleikha Robinson who portrays a female conspiracy investigator. Expect a lot of character development in this show, as well as unique takes on numerous popular culture and fictitious conspiracies. Word has it that the show will retain both the high-tech tone of the Gunmen episodes on THE X-FILES, as well as the often less than totally serious tone of many of those same episodes. 
PREMIERES MARCH, 2001
24. MEET THE NEW KIDS: MATTHEW BLACKHEART - MONSTER SMASHER (SCI-FI CHANNEL) 
    MATTHEW BLACKHEART - MONSTER SMASHER features a hero who fights "human-like Nazi-engineered creatures in modern-day New York City." Our title character is a re-animated World War II superhero who fights Nazi monsters (maybe he's Captain America's brother). The show is executive produced by veteran movie producer/director Richard Donner and stars Robert Bogue in the title role. 
DEBUTS EARLY 2001 
25. MEET THE NEW KIDS: MYSTERIOUS WAYS (PAX-TV) 
    MYSTERIOUS WAYS stars Adrian Pasdar as Declan Dunn, a college anthropology professor who, following a miraculous excape from death, has committed his life to investigating miracles and the absolute proof of their existence. Rae Dawn Chong stars as his skeptical assistant, Peggy. Together they investigate uncanny, inexplicable phenomena in a quest to explain what science cannot. PAX-TV is a combined network of broadcast and cable stations. 
SHOW HAS ALREADY DEBUTED 
26. MEET THE NEW KIDS: NIGHT VISIONS (FOX ON STANDBY) 
    NIGHT VISIONS aims to fill the void left by the demise of other one-hour anthology series. It purports to take viewers weekly through supernatural adventure, horror and psychological dramas. The punk rocker and actor Henry Rollins (JOHNNY MNEMONIC) will host the new series. It will feature supernatural or paranormal stories starring well-known actors such as Aidan Quinn, Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Brian Dennehy, Gil Bellows and Cary Elwes. The pilot was shot without a host, and series creators and executive producers Dan Angel and Billy Brown noted on several occasions that any host would have to be unconventional. 
27. MEET THE NEW KIDS: QUEEN OF SWORDS (SYNDICATED) 
    QUEEN OF SWORDS is an action-adventure series, that gives birth to a new warrior in the world of heroes. Born of Spanish nobility, Maria Theresa Alvarado (played by newcomer Tessie Santiago) is a rich, fiery and adventurous young woman who journeys to California seeking the truth behind her father's death. What she finds is her hacienda in ruins and the people living in fear and oppression at the hands of an evil military Governor. With Marta, her gypsy mentor at her side, she dons a mask and a new identity - an identity born out of the magic and mysticism of the Tarot. The QUEEN OF SWORDS will ride into glory and legend.
28. MEET THE NEW KIDS: SCIOGRAPHY (SCI-FI CHANNEL) 
    SCIOGRAPHY is a new monthly series that dissects a different classic sci-fi television series in each episode to reveal the circumstances and machinations behind each series. When I first heard about the show, I feared that it would be a prolonged infomercial to get the viewers to watch re-runs on the Sci-fi Channel. Instead it's a sharp, sometimes irreverent documentary about shows that it profile. It is not afraid to bite the hand that feeds it. The series expects to reveal who, what, when and how classic shows were created, blossomed, and ultimately died using exclusive new interviews, never-before-seen footage, rare home videos, outtakes and insights from fans. Known series to be convered include BATTLESTAR GALATICA, QUANTUM LEAP, BABYLON 5, THE INCREDIBLE HULK and THE BIONIC WOMAN. 
SHOW HAS ALREADY DEBUTED 
29. MEET THE NEW KIDS: SHEENA (SYNDICATED) 
    BAYWATCH babe Gena Lee Nolin will be the Queen of the Jungle. She'll have an edge on her cartoon role model. Not only will she be able to communicate with the animals. She'll be able to become one (think of her as Mrs. MANIMAL).
30. MEET THE NEW KIDS: THE TICK (FOX-ON STANDBY) 
    THE TICK stars Patrick Warburton as the comic book defender of justice, The Tick. This half-hour superhero comedy follows in the footsteps of shows like MR. TERRIFIC and CAPTAIN NICE (both from 1967). Here's hoping that it's better than them.
31. MEET THE NEW KIDS: ULTRAVIOLET (FOX-ON STANDBY) 
    ULTRAVIOLET is based on the British mini-series of the same name that aired this summer on the Sci-fi Channel. This one-hour drama is a blend of science fiction and drama from former producers of THE X-FILES and MY SO-CALLED LIFE. It delves deep into a bizarre New York underworld where vampires are fighting a government agency. Can one NYPD cop rescue his partner before the vampires claim him as their own? 

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32. THINGS TO COME 
    OTAKON, August 4, 5, 6 is an anime' convention being held in the Baltimore Convention Center. It started out in State College, Pennsylvania in 1994 with 350 attendees. Last year it blossomed into the second largest anime' con in the U.S. with 4,500 in attendance. Their guest list is made up of the greatest names in anime' today. They're offering Simon Yam, Kunihiko Ikuhara (Be-Papas), Shinya Hasegawa, Hiroaki Sakurai, Yoshitoshi ABe, Yasuyuki Ueda, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and bôa as their featured guests, along with a host of others. Tickets run $45 for the three day weekend, $25 for Friday only, $30 for Saturday and $15 for Sunday. 

  MAIN MISSION:2000 is taking place September 1-3 in New York City at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. According to them, the purpose of organizing MainMission:2000 is four-fold: 1)To raise funds and awareness for the National Parkinson Foundation and for AIDS through the Gay Men’s Health Center; 2) To bring together noteworthy writers, actors, directors, producers, and other film and television celebrities to share their experience and knowledge of the industry for those who are at the early stages of their own careers; 3)To commemorate and celebrate the life and works of one of the finest playwrights of this century, George Bernard Shaw; and 4)To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the highly influential epic television science fiction classic, SPACE: 1999 (which they feel strongly influenced all filmed science fiction to follow [including STAR WARS, ALIEN, etc.] with its groundbreaking special effects work), as well as to pay homage to other quality science fiction television series from the mid-1970s such as BATTLESTAR GALATICA. Not surprisingly, their guest list is made up mostly of people connected with SPACE: 1999. From the show they've gotten Martin Landau (ED WOOD), Prentis Hancock (DOCTOR WHO, RETURN OF THE SAINT ),John Hug, Zienia Merton (DR. WHO, HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR), Barry Morse (THE FUGITIVE), Alibe Parsons (ALIENS), Anton Phillips, Suzanne Roquette (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK), Catherine Schell (RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER, DR. WHO) and Nick Tate (X-FILES, STAR TREK:"VOYAGER). 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, 2001: A  Space Odyssey, Aliens 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 & An Analysis of Battlestar Galacitca), Corinne Orr (actress, voiceover talent Corinne Orr SPEED RACER), Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy Web Page), Chris Trice (Motion Control Model Supervisor, BATTLEFIELD EARTH) and Grace Lee Whitney (Yeoman Janice Rand, STAR TREK), Karen Lynn Gorney (SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER). Tickets are $55 a day or $150 for the three day weekend. For more information either e-mail Tom Lowery at t.lowery3@gte.net or you can reach him at UnitedVision, Inc. 473 Monmouth Street, Suite 6; Jersey City, NJ 07302 

    GAYLAXICON 2000 will take place in Arlington, Va. at the Arlington Hilton on October 6-9. This is the only fan-run science-fiction and fantasy convention for and by Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered people and their friends and is sponsored by the Gaylactic Network. Guests include numerous artists, authors and others working in the field of literary sci-fi. Registration is $45 until September 8 and $55 afterwards. To contact  them click on the above link or write to Gaylaxicon 2000/ P.O. Box 1862/ Annandale, VA 22003-9862 USA 

    FARPOINT will be held on October 6-8 at the Marriott Hunt Valley Inn, just north of Baltimore. Featured guests include Andreas Katsulas (G’Kar, BABYLON 5), Cecily Adams (Moogie, ST:DS9), Aaron Eisenberg (Nog, ST:DS9), Max Grodenchk (Rom, ST:DS9), Chase Masterson (Leeta, ST:DS9), Tucker Smallwood (SPACE, ABOVE AND BEYOND), Lolita Fatjo (Pre-Production Coordinator, ST: VOYAGER) and Astronaut Ed Mitchell (the 6th man to walk on the Moon). A special "Celebrity Showcase" event will take place on Friday night. Max Grodenchik is writing a sci-fi parody to be performed that evening by guests Chase Masterson, Cecily Adams and Aron Eisenberg.  There will also be a Klingon Feast on Friday with live (and appropriate) entertainment. There will be a Saturday night masquerade gala. And of course there'll be a dealer's room, art show, auction, panels and films. The pricing is a bit complex for all of this, depending what package you select. You could do a basic weekend for $45 or a basic weekend with reserved seating for $55. Neither of these includes the Friday night play, which is an extra $20. They have day rates that range from $10 to $40, depending on how many extras that you throw in. For more information, click on the above link, e-mail at farpointcon@bigfoot.com or write to Farpoint, 6099 Hunt Club Road, Elkridge, MD 21075. 

    CHILLER THEATER will take place in New Jersey's Meadowlands on October 27-9. At this point guests include Billy Dee Williams (THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK), James Doohan (STAR TREK), Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris on STAR TREK: VOYAGER), Ethan Phillips (Mr. Neelix on STAR TREK: VOYAGER), Andrew Robinson (STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE 9), Bob May (The Robot from TV's LOST IN SPACE), Dick Tufeld (The Robot's Voice from TV's LOST IN SPACE), Carel Struyken (Lurch from the movie THE ADDAMS FAMILY), three cast members from the 1965 Russ Meyer classic-FASTER PUSSYCAT, KILL KILL (Haji, Tura Satana & Lori Willams), Tina Krause (actress, director, model - "Fracture Films"), Pamela Hazelton (author, designer & The Black Dahlia Web Site), Richard Lynch (BAD DREAMS, INVASION USA), Jospeh M. Monks (author, Cry For Dawn, Agony In Black) and BernieWrightson (legendary horror artist). Tickets ordered before September 29th are $25 for the weekend. Otherwise they're $15 a day. If you're interested hit the above link or write to P O Box 23, Rutherford, NJ 07070. 

    ELECTICON will be held November 10-12 at the Ramada Hotel in Newark, New Jersey. This is a unique convention. It has its focus on fanzines, TV and movies. They have panels, trivia contests, dealers, and most of the things that you'd expect for a convention to have.What they don't have, and have sworn never to have, are guests! This is strictly fan run and fan attended. Registration is $40. For information on attendance contact Kathy Agel; 9-11 Ayres Court; Bayonne, NJ 07002-3510; E-mail: Eclecticon@aol.com or Eclecticon@juno.com
 

    PHILCON 2000 takes place November 17-19 at the Adams Mark hotel in Philadelphia. The guests are yet to be announced. This seems to be more of a celebration of literary science fiction than the visual image. There'll be a ball on Friday night, a belly dancer on Saturday and a masquerade that will have the theme of "Out with the Old Millennium and In With the New Millennium." Registration is $35 until October 25th, $40 afterwards. They can be reached at Philcon 2000; P.O. Box 8303; Philadelphia, PA 19101 or by e-mailing Rich Kabakjian: registration@philcon.org
 

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33. BABYLON 5 CREATOR J. M. STRACZYNSKI DEBUTS HIS NEW BOOK ONLINE 
    Tribulations, a new novel by J. Michael Straczynski, joined the company of  Stephen King and other authors who have used the Web to launch new books. Tribulations appeared exclusively on the Bookface Web site, starting on August 7th. It is being released for free in four weekly installments. The site offers readers the option of buying the paper version of the book through Darktales Publications. 
    Tribulations is described as a contemporary dark fantasy novel set in present-day Los Angeles. Susan Randall, a crime reporter with the Los Angeles News-Tribune, encounters Raymond Weil, a man with a questionable past who believes that the series of murders she is investigating has a supernatural origin.
34. GEORGE ROMERO'S DEATH OF DEATH 
    George Romero has launched a Website that will be featuring his zombie novel, The Death of Death. The novel will be looking, minute by minute, across the globe, at the worldwide rebellion of the dead against the living. Romero will offer the novel up in installments. He'll also take part in monthly online chats and promises more content in the future. He said "My dream (we'll see how it goes) is to shoot another zombie flick and offer it exclusively on the Web."
35. "MIDNIGHT NATION," NEW STRACYNSKI COMIC, IS SET TO DEBUT 
    Straczynski detailed his new, 12-issue Top Cow supernatural comic series "Midnight Nation." "It is set in contemporary America. There is one character, an L.A.P.D. officer, who loses his soul--like that's never happened before," Straczynski quipped. "But he has a chance to get it back, unlike most of the L.A.P.D. It's his journey across America to find what it takes to get it back again. You see a side of the country that you don't normally see, the side of the country that is out of the corner of your eye: the dispossessed, the lost, the disheartened, the thrown-away. There's an education to it on a number of levels, but it's mainly meant to be entertaining."
36. LOOK FOR YOUR FAVORITE SCI-FI CHANNEL SHOWS IN THE COMIC BOOK RACK 
    Andromeda Entertainment will publish a new line of comics based on productions of The Sci-Fi Channel, the company announced. The first series will be based on SCI FI's original series FIRST WAVE, created by Chris Brancato and produced by Francis Ford Coppola and Larry Sugar. "First Wave" comics will appear starting in December. "The fans are gonna love this!" Brancato said in a statement. "Comic books are a bold, fantastic, visual medium and the perfect venue to expand the FIRST WAVE universe. I'm really excited about exploring Cade Foster's mission with the writers and artists at Andromeda." 
37. MIKE NELSON'S MOVIE MEGACHEESE 
    I'm departing from form here. In all the billions and billions of pages of "The ICS Files" you've never read a review from me. You're not apt to again. But I couldn't resist sharing the delights of the former MST3K host and head writer, Michael J. Nelson and his new collection of skewed reviews in Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese. This gives us an idea of what they might have done on MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER if they had the budget to rip into the butt cheeks of big budget Hollywood bloat. Below are a few examples: 

    BATMAN & ROBIN 
    "For those of you who were scared away by the abysmal reviews of BATMAN & ROBIN, let me lay to rest some of the prejudices you might have about the film. It's not the worst movie ever. No, indeed. It's the worst thing ever. Yes, it's the worst thing that we as humans have ever produced in recorded history. (There may have been a viler clay tablet somewhere in prehistory, but we mustn't spend time speculating on that.)" 
    MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (remake) 
    "[Bill] Paxton was actually first in line to play the role of Joe, the two-thousand pound gorilla, convincing the director he could 'do a DeNiro' and pack on the weight himself. He even managed to grow a thick blanket of shiny black hair and was able to fish termites out of hollow logs using pieces of straw. It was only after he first 'presented' and then charged the terrified director, flinging him like a rag doll, that he was shifted to the role of O'Hara." 
    STEPMOM 
    "I approached a point where I thought an ending might be coming (it was illusory) wherein [Susan] Sarandon has the children come and say good-bye to her as she lies dying on the bed. She explains her death to her son by using the analogy of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. She leaves out the part where she squirts the sticky fluid from her spinnerets, covering her body in a hard casing in preparation for her pupal stage." 
    THE POSTMAN 
    "According to THE POSTMAN's recommendations, if you liked THE POSTMAN, you'll also like DEMOLITION MAN and SPHERE. I don't doubt it. However, if you liked THE POSTMAN, you might also enjoy a nine hour coach flight to Fargo, North Dakota, with a small child kicking your seat the entire way." 

    The book is a collection of DVD reviews that he wrote for "Home Theater" magazine. At it's listed price of $15.00, it's less than a penny a laugh! 

38. CAMPBELL SCOTT AND TIM CURRY STAR ON SCIFI.COM 
    Campbell Scott and Tim Curry are the latest actors to star in J. Michael Straczynski's City of Dreams, an original audio production of SciFi.Com's "Seeing Ear Theatre." Scott plays Gregory Ferguson in "Tolling of the Hour," a demanding boss who must pay for his sins by seeing his life fly by ever more rapidly until he has lived an entire lifetime in a single day. Curry portrays Ben Joseph in "Night Calls," which features two parallel story lines. Joseph is called by the Holy One (also played by Curry) to build a second ark, like Noah's. The second, interwoven story line introduces the character Mark, who gives his friend Richie an Internet address to hell. 
39. RIGHTING OLD INJUSTICES 
    The Writers Guild of America has attempted to bring a tragic era of American history to a close by correcting the screen credits of 14 additional films to indicate that they were actually written or co-written by writers who were blacklisted in the 1950s and early '60s. Half of the lot were written by Dalton Trumbo, who died in 1976. Four of the fifties were sci-fi and horror written by Bernard Gordon. The Gordon films were THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (1962 - fronted by Philip Yordan), THE MAN WHO TURNED TO STONE (1957), ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU (1957) and EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS (1956). These last three were all written as "Raymond T. Marcus." Other writers who will receive credit for films produced during the blacklist era include Carl Foreman, Paul Jarrico, Ring Lardner Jr., Hugo Butler, Cyril Endfeld and Ben Barzman. Only Lardner and Gordon are still alive. 
40. THE FATHER OF OUR IMAGINATIONS TURNS 80 
    For good or for ill, much of what I am today, much of my ability to dream, to wonder, to see the unseen and unseeable began when my young eyes raced across the words inscribed by my hero, Ray Bradbury. The same, I think, is true for many of you. Before a packed Burbank, Calif., theater on Aug. 19, this inventor of flight for our imaginations celebrated his 80th birthday. The celebration took place at the Burbank Center Stage, the new home of the Colony Theatre Company, which will open its new season with a revival of Bradbury's musical "Dandelion Wine." 
    "I've been labeled a science fiction writer, but that's not what I am," Bradbury said. "I'm a mythologist, a collector of metaphors. I grew up reading mythology. And when myths collide with the memories of one's own experiences, then a new metaphor is born." 
    Norman Corwin, Stan Freburg, Charlton Heston and William Schallert were among the performers from Bradbury's past who attended the fete. The theater company performed scenes from Bradbury's works, including theatrical versions of  "The Martian Chronicles" and "Fahrenheit 451." 
    Happy birthday Mr. Bradbury. As time goes on you'll be subjected to the iniquities of time to which the human frame is subject. Yet you've already triumphed over that. Your legacy will shine forever. 
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41. THE RACE IS ON IN HOLLYWOOD 
    Film studios are accelerating their efforts to get movies into production before they are hit by an expected strike by writers and actors next year. Susan Tick, a spokeswoman for Columbia, said, "We are trying to get everything done and wrapped up by a June deadline. You don't want to be halfway through a project when the strike hits." Similarly Warner Bros. spokeswoman Barbara Brogliotti said, "We're taking the possibility of a strike very seriously; we are aggressively preparing for it." The newspaper said that producers at 20th Century Fox have been told that no productions will be permitted to start after March. The question arises, if they see a strike coming almost a year ahead of time, why not try to avert it now instead of hunkering down for the disaster? 
42. HOLLYWOOD TREMBLES AT GOP BLASTS 
    The issue of sex and violence in movies and television turned up in the 2000 Republican platform in a section concerning, oddly enough, environmental health risks. The section reads, "Just as environmental pollution affects our physical health, so too does the pollution of our culture affect the health of our communities. There is much to celebrate in contemporary culture, but also much to deplore: The glorification of violence, the glamorizing of drugs, the abuse of women and children, whether in music or videos, advertising, or tabloid journalism." Interviewed at the convention by CNS News, a unit of the conservative media watchdog Media Research Center, Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell praised the platform plank and urged that the entertainment industry be challenged in the courts. "Why not sue them like the tobacco companies?" Falwell asked. "The fact is that television does influence behavior."
43. HOLLYWOOD TREMBLES AT THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET 
    The bottom half of that ticket, to be precise. The decision by Democratic presidential contender Al Gore to select Sen. Joseph Lieberman as his running mate was greeted warily in Hollywood, which has often been the target of Lieberman's political assaults. For example, Lieberman once advocated that the TV show FRIENDS be shown late at night because of its raciness. Asked whether Lieberman's strong views about the entertainment industry could dampen Hollywood's usual support for the Democratic candidate, MPAA chief Jack Valenti, a former aide to Lyndon Johnson, responded, "That would depend on how this is handled in the election, how vehemently it is pressed and how persistently it is pressed." He then added, "I don't think it's going to be an anti-Hollywood campaign." An unnamed TV network insider commented, "I don't think anyone is panicking at the thought of Joseph Lieberman being elected vice president. . . . It's not a sense of panic - but people are waking up sort of sobered at that prospect." 
    At least one person is terrified. Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (BASIC INSTINCT, SHOWGIRLS, AN ALAN SMITHEE FILM) took on the Democratic vice presidential candidate in an ad in the showbiz trade paper Variety. Eszterhas is challenging Lieberman on the Connecticut senator's active opposition to sex and violence in movies and on TV. Under the headline "No More Hollywood Money for Al Gore," Eszterhas writes: "I'm a writer who likes pushing the envelope, and Joe Lieberman frightens me." 
44. I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR PSYCHO 
    Universal Awards Best Scream Universal Studios commemorated the 40th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO, by holding a Best Shower Scene Competition in Hollywood. Chicago receptionist Sue Pelinski screamed for the highest number of decibels - and got to pose with Norman Bates' favorite bathtub toy, Janet Leigh. The fragrant Ms. Leigh once again claimed she is still so affected by the movie that she's altered her hygiene regimen. She says, "I don't take showers. It had left such an indelible impression on my mind that I cannot take a shower. And that's the truth." 
In lieu of showers Ms. Leigh is said to travel once a year to Bayonne, New Jersey for a rigorous three hours of scraping, sand blasting, chemical strippers and a fresh coat of polyurethane. At least, that's what I've  heard.
45. **SPOILER ALERT** BLAIR 2 PLOT DETAILS REVEALED 
    The next chapter of BLAIR WITCH begins with real-life news footage chronicling the hoopla surrounding the first film. The film then segues into a story playing off the BLAIR phenomenon. The main characters include a Maryland tour guide who takes people on tours of the "Blair" area woods, a couple obsessed with details of the Blair Witch legend, a "goth" girl, and a woman who practices Wicca. The group travels to the house seen at the end of the first movie; finds their videotapes buried underneath the house; returns to the guide's big house; and watches as strange things begin to happen. 
    If you were a fan of the shaky hand-held video camera in the last film, you'll be disappointed this time. This movie has a smooth 35 mm look. Amorette Jones from Artisan's marketing said, "We're going after an audience that saw the first movie, but didn't think it totally delivered." Okay, they've created a sequel designed to appeal to people who thought their first film sucked. Which means that they don't seem to care about reaching out to the people who enjoyed the original film. Hmmm. Well, check it out for yourself. Watch for BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2 to open in Burkittsville (and everywhere else) on October 27th. 

46. DOH! GET READY FOR A SIMPSONS MOVIE 
    SIMPSONS creator, Matt Groening, revealed that a film version of the TV series is in the works. Appearing at a London news conference with the actors who provide the voices for the series, Groening said, "It's a little daunting coming up with a half-hour TV episode, let alone a full-length feature. . . . No deals have been struck, but we will do one." Groening replied this way when asked about the future of the TV series: "That is a bit like asking a marathon runner if he is tired. The series is now in its 10th year. There is a shared vision and little disagreement about the direction of the show." 

47. MGM IS SET TO DEVELOP "RISING STARS" 
    In the wake of the success of THE X-MEN, MGM has bought the feature-film rights to BABYLON 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski's "Rising Stars" comic book series. Straczynski will write the script for a movie version of his Top Cow comic series. MGM, Top Cow and Atlas Entertainment/Gold Miller/Third Rail envision turning "Rising Stars" into a trilogy. The comic tells the story of 114 people who develop special powers after their small Midwestern town is struck by a fireball while they were fetuses. Years later, the people begin to disappear.

48. SNIPES HONES IN ON BLADE 2 
    Wesley Snipes said that the upcoming vampire movie, BLADE 2, will touch on themes of urban vigilantism and world domination. "The basic premise is that there's been some genetic engineering between humans and vampires," Snipes explained. He added, "A supervampire is created. This supervampire feeds off other vampires. So the vampires want to call a peace treaty with BLADE, because they need his help to get these other supervampires out of the way. So now his enemies become his allies." Snipes added that BLADE 2 will surpass the original, which was based on the Marvel Comics series "Blade the Vampire Hunter." "The original BLADE is going to look like child's play compared to the sequel," Snipes said. 

49. RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA BACK ON TRACK! 
    Morgan Freeman's dream, announced several years ago, is to produce and star in a movie adaptation of his favorite science-fiction novel, Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous With Rama.  He had originally hoped to open it December 31, 2000. Well, it looks like he'll miss the deadline but not the movie. It's now in active development. More details as they become available. 

50. MATRIX 2 SCRIPT IS DONE 
    Keeanu Reeves announced that Andy and Larry Wachowski have completed the script for THE MATRIX 2. "It's fantastic," Reeves said. "It has even more ambitions than the first one. My character [Neo] is more developed." He added, "There are a lot of physical demands in it. It's more sophisticated in the action sequences and fight sequences." Reeves said that the brothers will try to outdo the previous film's dazzling visuals. "[They're] trying to achieve certain camera perspectives." The cast will assemble in November to begin pre-production training. THE MATRIX 2 and 3 will begin back-to-back production in the spring. MATRIX 2 is slated for a late 2002 release; MATRIX 3 for summer 2003. 

51. INSTANT STAR WARS! 
    The filming of STAR WARS EPISODE II is proceeding along at breakneck speed, thanks to the presence of new technology. "Literally, the day we finish shooting a set, we can take it down," production designer Gavin Bocquet told the site. "Because we're shooting with a digital camera, there's no real need for rushes. Everybody's seeing the final reproduction precisely on a very sophisticated monitor. On the day of shooting they're seeing actually what you see, rather than having to wait until the next day to see the rushes or the transfer from the film to tapes three days later. You get clearance on the set almost the day you finish it." 

52. MARK WAHLBERG GETS THE GORILLA OF HIS DREAMS, MAYBE 
    Mark Wahlberg may have gotten his wish - the beautiful English actress Helena Bonham Carter has been confirmed as his leading lady in new movie THE VISITOR. Mark had spoken of his desire for the English actress to be cast in this Tim Burton's remake of the 1968 classic, PLANET OF THE APES so he could "make out with her". Bonham Carter has signed up to play a simian princess in the film - who believes that humans and apes can peacefully live together. And it is rumored that she will feature in a bestial love scene with Wahlberg's character. He explains, "I think we'll be making out - which will be interesting, very interesting. "I think we're going to push the boundaries out a little bit and actually have sex!" 
    Tim Burton wants it. Apparently, so does Ms. Bonham Carter. And Mark Wahlbery really, REALLY wants it. But the studio suits are a little cool to the idea of human/ape monkey business. One insider explained, "The studio guys think it's too weird and unnatural. They think audiences will recoil. I think Tim is in for a major battle." 

53. MOVIE FALLS VICTIM TO "THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY!" 
    Freak weather conditions on the set of THE MUMMY 2 left cast and crew believing in the curse of the mummy. Stars of the big budget sequel say the on-going shoot has been blighted by atrocious storms - and many believe they have somehow incurred the wrath of evil mystical forces! Actor Oded Fehr, who plays warrior Ardeth Bey, says, "There have been floods, hailstorms, sandstorms - everything you can imagine. We have had the worst weather and it has been so bad that everybody working on the movie now believes in the curse of the mummy!" The special effects-filled sequel will once again star Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. Filming has begun recently in Morocco and is currently continuing in London, with the plot revolving around the mummified body of Imhotep being brought to England. 

54. THE MUMMY PREQUEL HIT BY A ROCK 
    WWF star Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. The Rock) has signed to star in his own scary movie - a prequel to the 1999 film, THE MUMMY. The 28-year-old wrestling champ is currently filming THE MUMMY 2 - playing a brand-new monster called the Scorpion King And studio bosses at Universal are so impressed with the WWF star's character, they've commissioned a prequel movie - telling the monster's epic story. An insider on THE MUMMY 2 says, "Lots of new monsters and creatures have been created for this movie, one of whom is played by The Rock He's done such a good job, Steven Sommers, the writer and director of the two MUMMY films, has been asked to produce a spin-off movie just about his character. This is totally separate to MUMMY 3 which is still in the pipeline." THE MUMMY 2 is set to be released in May 2001. 

55. NEW ANN RICE VAMPIRE FLICK GETS SHOT 
    Stuart Townsend is set to begin filming his new movie THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED in Australia. The film is based on the third novel in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles - but is only the second installment to be brought to the screen. Stuart's role was originally earmarked for Wes Bentley, but he dropped out of the project earlier this year. Directed by Michael Rymer, the film follows the vampire Lestat as he becomes a rock star whose music wakes up the queen of all vampires. 

56. IMDB GLOSSARY 
    For those of you with access to a computer, the Internet Movie Data Base has launched an interesting new feature. It is the most complete film glossary that I've ever seen. It's at http://us.imdb.com/Glossary/. Now you can prattle on and on about the SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound) or the Abby Singer (second to last shot of the day) and further alienate your friends and family! 

57. JACKIE CHAN'S HARD ROAD TO FAME 
    Jackie Chan is renowned for his daredevil stunts - but his antics have cost him dearly. Chan explained that it wasn't easy to become the most famous stuntman in Hong Kong and involved a lot of private pain. He says, "I realized the way to get attention was to try an amazing stunt, fail, then get up and try again. To try and get work I would volunteer to try out dangerous new stunts for free. I would never let anyone see me scream or cry. I would wait until I got home. . . . My neighbors would be banging on the walls of my apartment because I would be howling so loud!" 
    Mr. Chan is currently under negotiations to star in a remake of the Jerry Lewis 1960 "classic" THE BELLBOY. If this project is as lame as it sounds, you'll hear ME banging on the walls of theater in agony. 

58. INDIANA JONES ITCHING TO CLEAN HIS DAD'S CLOCKS 
    Harrison Ford has thrown down the gauntlet to his big screen enemy Sean Connery - claiming he could flatten him in a fight. Ford stunned a TV audience when he bragged that he could "easily take" Sir Sean in a fight. Ford and Connery have been arch foes since they co-starred in INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE 11 years ago as father and son (in real life there's only 12 years difference between the two). Ford didn't flinch when he was asked on a talk show if he could out-punch his rival in a real fight. He said, "You bet I could. I could take Sean Connery in a fight." Careful Indy! If Q equipped him with one of his infernal devices, you could be in for more than you bargained for! 

59. PACINO'S NEXT CO-STAR MAY BE NEW, BUT NOT A "VIRTUAL" UNKNOWN 
    For a few days the axis of the Earth was threatened. All of existence came to a grinding halt, as Hollywood became fixated after taking a big hit from that collective crack pipe called the gossip mill - Al Pacino was said to be facing a new challenge - his next leading lady was to be completely computer-generated. The cyber character, Simone, was to play an actress who becomes a film star overnight. Pacino has been cast as her Hollywood film producer. Writer-director Andrew Niccol, who wrote THE TRUMAN SHOW, was said to have decided to create his own cyberbabe after failing to find the right real-life actress to play the part of Simone. 
    The Screen Actors Guild was outraged! One insider observed, "They better have lists of hundreds of girls he looked at, unless they want SAG to come down on him." A spokesman for SAG speculated cooly, "She won't develop a following. We have plenty of actors and actresses out there who wonder about computer-generated directors." 
    As it turns out, the rumors are false. All's right with the world. The leading lady will be an unknown, but not a virtual actress. 

60. FINAL FANTASY TO HAVE AN ALL VIRTUAL CAST 
    Sony has debuted a Website introducing its virtual cast of cyber characters for next year's release, FINAL FANTASY. They're posting weekly Internet "trailers" in which these realistic human figures are featured for the first time. The Web site currently reveals how seemingly individual strands of human hair were created for the heads of digitized actors. Reporting on the studios' interest in finding ever more sophisticated ways to create human beings on computers, one newspaper commented, "While no one is likely to mistake them for living, breathing human beings, they are the most convincing facsimiles anyone has come up with yet. And even greater advances are promised before the film's release." 

61. ANTHONY HOPKINS NEXT CO-STARS SET TO "HOG" THE CAMERA 
    Thousands of pigs have been fighting it out for some of the most coveted pig roles in movie history since BABE - as man-eating hogs in HANNIBAL. Six thousand pigs were auditioned in an international cattle call - and a final 15 Russian boars were chosen. The animals will pretend to try and eat Anthony Hopkins' character in the long-awaited sequel to the 1991 film, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. But animal trainer Sled Reynolds promises fans they won't be eating humans in real life. He explains, "They really don't attack, they're just trained to go and grab stuff. I mean if they were really crazy, how would you work around them?" This is very unfortunate. I was coming up with a list of actors that I was hoping would "rehearse" with these porcine thespians. I'd pay big money to see Jim Carrey eaten by pigs! Alicia Silverstone anyone? How about Skeet Ulrich? Or maybe all surviving prints of BATTLEFIELD EARTH! 

62. HALEY JOEL OSMENT NO LONGER SEES DEAD PEOPLE 
    Haley Joel Osment has grown sick and tired of people demanding he talk about the supernatural. The 12-year-old actor, who shot to fame with his performance opposite Bruce Willis in THE SIXTH SENSE, is becoming increasingly fed up with his friends, family and fans insisting he discuss ghosts. And on Osment's new movie A.I., directed by Steven Spielberg, the cast and crew have been ordered not to talk about eerie things. A source says, "He is not being a brat or a prima donna. He is just sick of it. It's gotten to the point where it's driving the little fellow crazy." 

63. GEORGE CLOONEY REFLECTS ON BATMAN 
    George Clooney keeps going from strength to strength - because he does exactly what he wants. He learned his lesson from the agonizing 1997 flop, BATMAN AND ROBIN, and vowed afterwards to only do scripts he really likes. He explains, "When you become famous, the first thing is, you're just happy to get a job, so you take every job. Then you learn to be more selective. When I was press-touring BATMAN AND ROBIN, finding ways of dancing around the fact there was no script and I wasn't very good in it, I decided I didn't want to do that - and I was in a financial position where I didn't have to. I decided I just wanted to do the movies I'd like to see, and if my taste is bad then I can die by my own stupidity. I've been lucky; the films I've done haven't been fantastically successful, so I haven't been pigeonholed into one genre: men in rubber suits or something. In fact, I think I buried that genre." 

64. CLINT EASTWOOD DENOUNCES HOLLYWOOD AGE-ISM 
    Clint Eastwood has slammed the Hollywood film industry - accusing it of age discrimination. The 70-year-old star has denounced Tinseltown's studios, claiming they are "faddist" and "copiers". Eastwood says, "You get a little older and they want you to play roles 20 years younger, which is ridiculous. They want you to play a 40-year-old guy. You don't want to play a 40-year-old guy any more. Hollywood is a very faddist community." Now that his new movie SPACE COWBOYS, about "four senior guys going into space", has proved a hit - taking $18.75 million at the American box office in its first weekend - Clint predicts there will "probably be some other movies about four senior guys going into space". He continues, "Hollywood aren't innovators, but copiers. Once in a while, an innovator comes along and writes a script and you go for it." 

65. KILMER AND SIZEMORE DENY RUMORS OF MARS ATTACKS 
    There have been some odd rumors floating around about Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore's relationship on the set of the upcoming Martian epic, RED PLANET. Word was  that tensions ran so high between the two volatile stars that Sizemore took out a restraining order against Kilmer. They now say that reports of their on-set bickering were greatly exaggerated. "There were things going on with Tom that were personal that I got attached to," Kilmer said. "Like this [rumor], which is crazy, [about] a restraining order. As you know, it's just impossible for an actor to do that to another actor on a movie set. ... He and I did a lot of stuff together to make this movie not just good but great, and it's a real shame that things got interpreted in a negative light. Because the movie doesn't deserve it. It doesn't have anything to do with what the experience was or what people are going to see." 
    Sizemore said that reports of the stars' bickering "total bullshit." He added, "If you're a public figure, which I have become and which Val has been for the better part of 15 years, all you need is 'a source said,' and you can print it in the tabloid press. Now we could sue, but that distracts from our movie. It makes it about something that never happened." 
    The movie will debut on November 3rd. Check it out and see if you think that it looks like an angry RED PLANET. 

66. MOVIE EXHIBITORS STUMBLE 
    Several major movie exhibitors are in deep financial trouble. Carmike, a large chain of theatres that has a strong presence in the South,  has recently declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Edwards Theaters has become the latest exhibitor chain to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The 70-theater (735 screens) chain, based in Newport Beach, CA, has been particularly aggressive in building expensive megaplexes, including two giant complexes with 23 and 24 screens in Houston, TX. The massive Loew's chain is said to be negotiating with its creditors, trying to avoid filing in bankruptcy court. Movie attendance is down this year, at a time when theater owners were hoping strong box-office revenue would carry them through the costs of construction as movie mega-centers with stadium seating open across the country. 

67. MOVIE PATRONS MAY RECEIVE LESS KERNELS FOR THEIR CASH 
    Here's something to ponder the next time you're waiting too long at the concession stand. A Pennsylvania physicist has found a way to triple the size of popcorn. Daniel Hong, an associate professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, has discovered that popcorn expands more when popped in a low-pressure environment. He said that he has submitted his research to the journal "Physical Review E." However, Hong told the newspaper that he is uncertain about the commercial potential of his discovery. "Probably no one was interested in making big popcorn," he said. "If they had wanted to make big popcorn, they would have come up with this idea." So when you pony up that $3 for a bag of a half dozen baseball-sized popped kernels, thank Dr. Hong. 

68. MAKE WHAT SO? 
    Patrick Stewart is amazed that he keeps getting cast as a leader. In real life the captain of the Enterprise and the leader of the good-guy mutants is not the type to command. Reflecting on his role as Professor Xavier in X-MEN, he says, "The character is, apart from his mutant abilities, a modern man running this school for gifted children." He was surprised to be cast as a leader again - "It's extraordinary because most of my school reports used to say that I was easily led!" 

69. PATRICK STEWART TO PICARD - MAKE IT GO 
    Patrick Stewart wants to make his final voyage as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the next movie of the series - even though studio bosses are desperate to have him stay on. Stewart has even scripted Picard's death in the new NEXT GENERATION film - which is the early stages of pre-production. Executives at Paramount want to keep all the crew alive for more intergalactic adventures, including an option of another television series. But Stewart plans to concentrate on theatre work for the next year, making it his priority to develop his own projects for screen and stage. He confesses, "If we do this next movie, my feeling very strongly is that it should be the last for the Next Generation at least the last for Jean-Luc Picard. "I have written an ending which nobody has accepted in which we finally kill him off, but they have refused to incorporate it." Hey, maybe if they could get Shatner to take off his toupee' and adopt a British accent they could bring him in as Jean-Luc's brother! 

70. A NOTE ABOUT SEPTEMBER FILM RELEASES 
    Every new release detailed below has one thing in common (this does not count THE EXORCIST retread). Every one of the directors is a first timer. We have a former assistant director, a music video director, a screenwriter, and a composer/editor all grabbing for the brass ring. In some ways it's exciting to think that we have these new names that may blossom into major talents one day. From another point-of-view though it's kind of depressing. There are legions of quality directors out there who have been "between projects" for a long time. It's depressing to think that the best way to get hired as a director in Tinseltown is to present the studio suits with a blank resume'! 

71. IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 
    SEPTEMBER 1ST: HIGHLANDER: END GAME features the complexities of immortality as told by TV's Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul) and the movies' Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). The new movie picks up where the first one left off, ignoring the intervening sequels. Duncan and Connor have to fight side by side to defeat the treacherous Kell and his evil band of immortals. "The story is obviously different, but the construction of the film is close to No. 1 . . . because we are giving lots of thoughts about the joys and the pains of immortality," according to Christopher Lambert. He added, "We are not taking anything from the TV show. But I would say that ENDGAME has the best story so far since HIGHLANDER. . . . The movie is about redemption. It's also about a strong reflection on immortality . . . a romantic movie combined with lots of action, opticals and special effects." It's directed by first-timer Douglas Aarniokoski. He's been the first assistant director of several movies, including THE FACULTY, FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, LIVING OUT LOUD, and FROM DUSK TIL DAWN. 

    SEPTEMBER 8TH: THE WATCHER has Keeanu Reeves as a manipulative serial killer. James Spader is a former Los Angeles FBI agent James Spader, now in hiding in Chicago, fleeing from his tormented past of tracking psychotic killers. He's pushed out of retirement in a cat-and-mouse game, providing him with photos of the next victims, essentially challenging the man who spent 8 years trying to catch him to finally succeed. The cast also includes Marisa Tomei and Ernie Hudson. It's directed by first-time director Joe Charbanic (who has cut his teeth on music videos). 
    THE WAY OF THE GUN is about a kidnapping that goes horribly wrong. Longtime partners Parker (Ryan Phillippe) and Longbaugh (Benicio Del Toro) are hoping for a quick and non-violent pay-off when they abduct Robin (Juliette Lewis), a young woman carrying the surrogate child of a wealthy Southwestern couple. But kidnapping proves to be much more complicated, logistically and psychologically, than other felonies they've committed. Their biggest surprise is when they think that they're in for a non-violent exchange of the hostage for the cash. They didn't count on who the delivery boy would be. They suddenly have to confront an army of killers. The movie was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. He's previously written THE USUAL SUSPECTS. This is his first time out of the box as a director. 

SEPTEMBER 22ND: THE EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN will feature the classic film with an additional 11-12 minutes of footage included. It is not clear yet where this film will be playing. Folks living in Baltimore may need to travel to Washington to see this. If it does well, it may open on more screens in more cities in the following weeks. 
    URBAN LEGENDS: THE FINAL CUT is set at a different college than the first film, a film student (Jenny Morrison) working on her thesis finds her crew members dying one by one in mysterious ways resembling the very legends that they're documenting. There's a killer who wears a fencing mask. The movie marks the premiere of director John Ottman. He has previously worked on several films as a composer and an editor.
 

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72. COMING SOON: MOVIE PRODUCTION VIA SATELLITE 
    Beginning this fall, the technology company NeTune Communications will test a new broadband satellite service, ShowRunner, that will allow filmmakers and studio execs to work together on movies, regardless of where they are located. For example, a director working on a film in Europe could consult with the film's editor in Hollywood, with both watching the same images simultaneously. The service is backed by GM's Hughes Electronics Corp., operator of DirecTV, which has a 30-percent stake in the company. The service will be tested this fall with a film being produced by 20th Century Fox. 

73. THE LIMIT TO DBS'S GROWTH IS IN SIGHT 
    Satellite TV is still growing like a weed. According to a report by Forrester Research, that growth will top off at 20% by 2005. They forsee that companies like DirecTV and EchoStar won't be able to compete with digital cable. Digital cable offers two-way interactive capability that is thought to be years away from being available to satellite users. In addition, the field of cable competitors is about to increase as local hone companies across the nation are offering digital cable service to their customers. 

74. INTERNET COUNTDOWN 
    2,100,000,000: Number of pages that make up the Web (85% are U.S.-based). 
    333,500,000: Number of e-mail accounts in the United States 
    135,000,000: Number of people in this country who get Online via schools, libraries and other shared facilities 
    76,000,000: Active Net users in the U.S. 
    54,000,000: Number of people that have done genealogical research Online. 
    17,500: Number of hours that an average Online surfer will be on his computer in a lifetime (equals 23.5 months). 
    1,746: Number of non-work related e-mails the average Online surfer got last year. 
    76% of Net users are Caucasians. 
    71% of men have shopped Online. 
    70% of Net users have made an Online purchase in the past 90 days. 
    66% of people who've downloaded music have not paid for it (or ever intend to in the future). 
    63% of U.S. surfers like emoticons.  ;-)) 
    60% of Web users are either married or in a committed relationship. 
    58% of women have shopped Online. 
    55% of Online gamblers are women. 
    50% of those polled think that cybersex is equal to cheating on a mate. 
    48% of engaged couples have used the Web for wedding planning. 
    46% of U.S. workers who surf the Net at work use it on the job for personal reasons. 
    44% of Net users have participated in an Online auction in the past 12 months. 
    41% have met a new friend Online. 
    39% know what a cookie is and how to disable it. 
    38% of U.S. Net users have at least a bachelor's degree. 
    32% of Net users say that the Internet will help them decide their vote in November's election. 
    27% of Net using households got Online in the last 12 months. 
    22% are deeply concerned about children's over exposure to the Net. 
    18% rely upon the Net completely or close to it for their daily news. 
    12% have caught their partner viewing Online porn. 
These poll numbers are based on a survey taken by Harris Interactive. They were taken June 23-27th of this year. There were 2,565 respondents. Thanks to "Yahoo! Internet Life" for posting these numbers. 

75. DIRECTV TEAMS WITH TIVO 
    Sony and Phillips Electronics will be offering a new kind of set-top box in September. It will double as both a satellite receiver from DirecTV and a TiVo personal video recorder. It seems that many satellite subscribers also are early users of the personal recording devices. This allows marketers to capture both markets at once. The combo boxes will carry a suggested retail price of $399, with an extra charge for a second tuner to record more than one program at a time. Meanwhile, Philips is about to introduce a new stand-alone recorder that will double its current recording capacity to 60 hours. 

76. TIME WARNER GIVES A BOOST TO REPLAYTV 
    Time Warner is the major investor to the personal recorder company, ReplayTV. They're also the largest provider of cable TV service in the country. A lucky group of 500 cable customers will be given Replay set-top boxes for free on a six-month trial basis. The test will be to see how the units alter purchasing and viewing habits. Ironically, Time Warner's new parent company, America Online, is the largest investor to Replay's arch rival, TiVo. 
    Not to be outdone, the nation's second largest cable provider, Compacts, is offering leased boxes in New Jersey. Burlington County residents can lease ReplayTV units for $11.95 a month. Cherry Hill residents can get TiVo for $18 a month. 

77. DIGITAL TV IS ABOUT TO TAKE A GREAT LEAP FORWARD IN BRITAIN 
    In an effort to accelerate the transition to digital and high-definition TV and sell off the existing analog spectrum, the British government is likely to give away settop converter boxes within the next two years. The plan would allow viewers who refuse or cannot afford to pay for digital TV to continue to receive the stations that now broadcast analog signals as well as certain other free networks due to launch over the next four years. A source close to British Trade Secretary Stephen Byers as saying that the government was prepared to provide more than two million settop boxes at a cost of at least $80 million. The source said that the estimate was based on a "hard core of digital refuseniks" of between 5 percent and 10 percent of all households. With a deal like that, it might be worth becoming a colony again. How about this for a slogan, "NO TAXATION WITHOUT DIGITAL DECODERS." 

78. IMAX TO MAKE BIG PUSH INTO DIGITAL PROJECTION 
    An American, Anglo-Canadian and a Belgian digital projection company all plan to begin marketing production units within the next month, with Toronto-based Imax's Digital Projection International, headquartered in the U.K."Texas Instruments chips are the ones that are becoming the most accepted by Hollywood, and IMAX owns the company that has the strongest relationship with Texas Instruments," according to William Scovin, the managing director at investment bankers Auerbach, Pollak & Richardson. Also in the race are Barco of Belgium and Christie Systems of Cypress, CA. Cost of the new digital projectors is expected to be about $250,000 each, with prices expected to fall to about $100,000. By contrast, a new traditional film projector costs about $30,000. 

79. CONTROLLING THE STREAM 
    Sputnik7.com has listened to complaints from customers that the streaming movies on their site take too long to download. They're trying to address the problem by allowing the would-be user to wait until they don't need to worry about tie-ups. Using the Filmspeed Rip Tide service (available this fall), they will allow people to determine when they'd like a movie downloaded. The pricing would be $3.95 to $4.95 per title. Any of their over 2,000 titles could be downloaded while you're asleep, at work, or whenever you'd like. 

80. SUNDANCE: YOUR ONLINE FILM FESTIVAL 
    Broadband Internet portal StreamSearch has been selected by the organizers of the Sundance Film Festival to create an Online site for the Sundance Film Festival that will showcase many of the festival's entries. Although it was not clear to what extent the entries would be presented Online - apparently filmmakers may have to submit their works separately, once for the actual festival and again for the Online festival - it appeared that the Sundance site would make greater use of them than any other previous film festival. 

81. XENA'S NEW ADVENTURES HIT THE WEB 
    Studios USA Domestic Television has signed a deal to broadcast 3-D animated series created by Internet programmer Brilliant Digital Entertainment on SCIFI.COM and on USA's stable of local TV station and other Web sites nationwide. A Web version of the syndicated television series,  XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS is currently running as the first of Brilliant's library of multipath series to appear on SCIFI.COM and USA's other Web sites. Brilliant is also creating programming based on TV, music or film characters that include Superman, KISS, Popeye and Ace Ventura. 

82. MGM TO PUT CLIPS FROM 100 MOVIES ONLINE 
    As part of a deal with online video provider Microcast, MGM will put three-minute clips from 100 classic MGM movies online, as well as behind-the-scenes footage from current releases and movie trailers. A news release from the two companies did not provide terms of the deal nor indicate when the clips would become available. The release said that they would appear on the MGM Web site (http://www.mgm.com) as part of a Trailers and Clips page. 

83. GEORGE ROMERO GOES TO THE ORANGE PROJECT 
    Horror's legendary director, George Romero (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD), will be doing an original series of seven episodes at The Orange Project's website. "We are honored to have George Romero on board to create original episodic content," said Orange Project chief executive officer Jason Zada. "Working with a filmmaker of George's caliber will help secure the site's position as the premiere destination for original digital entertainment, and fans of George's work will no doubt be thrilled to check out this cinematic mastermind's debut creation in this progressive medium." 

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84. BLOCKBUSTER SEES THE WRITING ON THE WALL FOR VIDEO RENTAL 
    Blockbuster Inc.'s chairman, John Antioco, formally confirmed that Blockbuster Video is positioning itself for the demise of the video rental market. He said that Blockbuster would continue on as "a multi-channel distributor of home entertainment." Their recent deals with rival technologies, such as DirecTV (the personal video recorder that won't accept outside cassettes) and the video-on-demand service that enables consumers to have video titles beamed directly to their TV's, confirms Blockbusters attempts at re-definition. "We're in the business of delivering entertainment at home," Antioco said, "And we're capitalizing on that by marketing [our existing business] to new technology that's available to grow our franchise and grow our profitability." Currently $4 billion of Blockbuster's annual $5 billion annual revenue comes from video rentals. 

85. RETURN OF THE TRILOGY 
    Lucasfilm, which pulled its STAR WARS Trilogy collection from video stores in 1997, announced that it will bring it back in time for the holiday season on Nov. 21. The company said that it will release the trilogy on videocassette only and that it will be available in both pan-and-scan and widescreen versions. The collection will also contain a ten-minute preview of Lucasfilm's upcoming Star Wars: Episode II (2002), including interviews with George Lucas and members of the cast and crew. 

86. VIDEOCY 
Rental titles releasing 9/5: AMERICAN PSYCHO, the movie about a young man whose wall between his life as a rising executive and his passion for serial murdering is beginning to crack; hits store shelves today . It stars Christian Bale, Reese Witherspoon Chloe Sevigny and Jared Leto. 

Rental title releasing 9/12: MISSION TO MARS, the big budget Brian dePalma film with Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins, releases today. . . . No way is BLOODY MURDER a rip-off of other titles. So what if the villain is a murderer with a hockey mask. So what if he brandishes a chain saw? Pure co-incidence! This highly original opus is about how plans for a summer filled with fun and romance turn to terror for a group of young counselors (when Michael Myers and Leatherface's bastard son drops by). The DVD is available for $29.98. 

Rental titles releasing 9/19: ALIEN VISITOR is a love story, first between a man and a woman, then between a man and a planet. A beautiful alien from the planet Epsilon is accidentally transported here and accidentally stumbles upon a lone camper in the Australian outback. She tells him that the people of Earth are considered intellectually inferior because we're destroying ourselves and our planet. They end up falling in love. Just as she decides to remain on Earth, she's transported back. The man is left with her teachings on saving our planet. He travels the world working to prevent environmental destruction. . . . THE PHANTOM LOVER is China's take on PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. An impoverished drama troupe is forced to perform in a burned out theater that was destroyed ten years before. The old place isn't as empty as they thought. The famous lead actor, presumed dead for a decade, seems to be haunting the place. . . . SCHOOL'S OUT is from Fangoria Video. It's grad night and the students body is ready to party. While last minute preparations are being made for the big rave someone, or something, is stalking the corridors of the once familiar halls and classrooms, turning them into a deadly labyrinth. Their fight for survival is the ultimate final exam. Both VHS and DVD are available. 

Rental titles releasing 9/26: FINAL DESTINATION, the thrill ride-like flick that featured a group of friends who were destined to die in a plane explosion now being picked off one-by-one by invisible forces, releases today. Notice the name of the teacher/mentor in the film. Valerie Lewton. Her friends call her "Val" (nudge nudge, wink wink). 

Sell through titles releasing 9/5: MEN IN BLACK Special Edition goes on sale today in DVD and VHS. The disc is available both as a "collector's edition" ($29.95) loaded with special DVD and DVD-ROM features and a two volume "limited edition" ($39.95) that enables the viewer to re-edit certain scenes. . . . Fox is promoting Halloween gift packs today. THE OMEN pack has all four titles. The pack is $24.98 for the VHS and $99.98 for the DVD. You can buy the videos separately for $9.98. The individual discs are $29.98. You have your choice of classic (1958/9) or new (1986/9) THE FLY gift sets. The video will be in a two-pack. The DVD's will feature both movies (new or re-make) on the same disc. The VHS sets are $14.98 ($9.98 individually). The DVD double-features are $34.98. . . . MGM releases eight titles today as part of its Halloween promotion. They've got IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (1958), the  movie credited as being the inspiration for ALIEN; KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (1988) which has everything you need to be a classic sci-fi flick - young people being killed, no one believing them and giant clowns with bright orange fringe hair turning everyone into cotton candy and drinking their blood through big striped curly straws; KONGA (1961) which shows that when an evil scientist gives a growth serum to a chimpanzee he becomes King Kong size and goes on a rampage (that is he becomes a guy in a gorilla suit scampering through miniature sets); SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN (1969) which wastes the powerhouse casting of Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in a movie that combined FRANKENSTEIN, with the public's then fascination with the new procedure of organ transplantation; THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN (1960) from director Edgar G. Ulmer, which is the story of a snag hit in a power hungry ex-major's scheme to have a scientist create a radioactive formula that would allow him to dominate the world with an invisible army;  THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE (1962) which is a tender love story of a scientist that has such a hard time accepting the decapitation of his fiancée in a car accident that he keeps her severed head alive and starts shopping for strippers that he can behead and graft her noodle to; THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN (1977) that tells the story of an astronaut that turns into a carnivorous gelatinous mass and start eating people and THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA (1971) that has Robert Quarry back as the thirsty Count wreaking havoc in a nearby orphanage. You can pick up any of these "classics" for only $12.95. . . . THE SIMPSONS TRICK OR TREEHOUSE three-piece boxed set of the show's Halloween episodes goes on sale today. You can pick up the set for $24.98 or get them individually for $9.98. . . . THE THREE STOOGES: SPOOK LOUDER debuts on DVD today. The six episodes featured include "Spook Louder," "Mummy's Dummies," "Shivering Sherlocks," "Hokus Pokus," "Fright Night" and "The Ghost Talks." The disc sells for #24.98. . . . 8 MAN is a 1992 Japanese knockoff of ROBOCOP. When a ruthless band of drug dealers gun down a promising young cop, the Chief Inspector cannot bear to see him die. An unauthorized experimental operation transforms the dying cop into a cyborg with an electronic brain. Using his new identity and superhuman powers, 8 Man works with the police force to rid Tokyo's streets of violence and destroy the criminals responsible for his death. It's yours for $14.95. . . . HEAVY TRAFFIC is a 1973 animated feature from Ralph Bakshi, the creator of FRITZ THE CAT and COOL WORLD. The film follows a young animator as he struggles to get out of his domestic situation, and to sell his films. The film is an extremely personal account of director Bakshi's own early life. As the story unfolds, the viewer sees the difficulties of growing up in an economically and socially depraved household, as well as in a racist environment. The main character struggles to find out who he is, and what he must do to free himself of all the restrictions around him. This is all a symbolic representation of Bakshi's own struggle to have his bold and adult natured animated films accepted among critics and the film world. It's considered by many to be Bakshi's best work and a powerful influence on today's generation of animators. You can own it for $14.95. . . . STRANGE INVADERS (1983) is a fifties sci-fi flick, made in the eighties. It stars Paul LeMat and Nancy Allen in a story about what happens as a man's life turns upside down. He discovers that his ex is an alien and has been called back home. The movie is a spoof of the genre' that seems to take itself seriously. . . . THE BEST OF FLEISCHER STUDIOS covers the evolution of movie animation from the studio that gave us Betty Boop, Koko the Clown and Popeye The VHS is $14.98, $19.98 for the DVD. . . .Five volumes of documentary called "The Directors" hits today. Of particular interest to club members might be the ones focusing on David Cronenberg and Wes Craven. The other directors featured are Barbara Steisand, Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese. They're $14.95 each for the tape, $19.98 for the disc. . . . THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (1976) David Bowie plays an alien disguised as a human who is put on Earth to find a way to ship water back to his dying planet. This is from the same production team that would later give us the Academy Award-winning film THE DEER HUNTER. Bowie is accompanied by Rip Torn (MEN IN BLACK), Candy Clark (AMERICAN GRAFITTI) and Buck Henry. The tape is $14.95. The disc is $29.98. . . . THE VAMPIRE LOVERS (1970) is Hammer's infamous "lesbian vampire" tale. It was their first film with nudity and was quite graphic for its time. Ingrid Pitt and Madeline Smith are the title characters. You can take them home for $12.95. . . . VIOLENT COP (Japan-1989) is the story of Detective Azuma. He's a Dirty-Harry style rogue cop, only not as gentle. He often uses violence and unethical methods to get results. While investigating a series of drug-related homicides, Azuma discovers that his friend and colleague, Iwaki, is supplying drugs from within the police force. After Iwaki is murdered and Azuma's sister is kidnapped, he breaks all the rules and anyone who gets in his way to dish out his particular form of justice. The VHS is $19.98. The DVD is $29.98. . . . ZERAM (Japan-1991) is about a couple of average guys who get sucked into a showdown between a blood thirsty intergalactic monster (the title character) and a bounty hunter with an obstinate artificial intelligence computer named "Bob" (a name that you don't hear much in Japanese flicks). You can own it for $14.98. 

Sell through titles releasing 9/12: There's no need to fear, THE UNDERDOG COLLECTION is here. The clumsy but lovable crime-fighter has three vintage episodes releasing separately on tape at $9.98 each, or together on disc for $19.98. Golden Book Family Entertainment hopes to make Underdog cool for kids by appealing to their parents' sense of nostalgia. . . . FARAWAY, SO CLOSE, the angelic fantasy (and the sequel to WINGS OF DESIRE) from German director Wim Wenders, releases on DVD today. It looks at the invisible band of angels that secretly watch over and inspire the citizens of Berlin. There's a notable cameo appearance in the film by former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev. It sells for $29.95. . . . LOST UNIVERSE and LOST UNIVERSE2: FLUSHED INTO SPACE, are a pair of new anime' titles releasing today. The VHS goes for $19.98. The DVD for $29.98. . . . Also for anime' fans, there's PHOTON: THE EMPEROR STRIKES BACK. This entry in this popular anime' series sells for $19.99. . . . MARY REILLY releases to DVD today. The 1996 film stars Julia Robert and John Malkovich. It takes a look at the Robert Louis Stevens novel, Dr, Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, from the point-of-view of Henry Jekyll's Irish servant, Mary Reilly. The title got slammed pretty hard by critics and audiences when it got released. For $24.95 you can see what all the shouting was about. . . . THE CARTOONS OF HALAS & BATCHELOR is a celebration of the largest and most influential animation studio in Britain. From small beginnings in 1940, they made over 2000 films ranging from comedy shorts to documentaries and educational films. Perhaps their most famous work is the 1955 feature version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. They earned an international reputation for fine animation and for extending the medium to explain complex ideas with clarity and humor. In John Halas’own words: “animation is the most contemporary form of human expression combining the elements of motion, story-telling, sound and space.” Utilizing a variety of techniques including traditional hand-drawn animation, 3-D pixilation and computer animation, this program clearly demonstrates the wide range of John Halas and Joy Batchelor’s work. The suggested retail is $19.95 for the tape, $24.95 for the DVD. . . . THE CRAFT, SPECIAL EDITION comes out on DVD today. This 1996 film tells the story of a new girl in town who hangs out with a very wrong crowd - a clique of young witches. 

Sell through title releasing 9/14: WICKED CITY is a 1992 high-action Hong Kong title. It's been referred to as a "future noir." The premise of the film is that, unbeknownst to us, the Reptoids, an alien species, will rule us in the future. They live amongst the human populace. They're intelligent, urbane, charming, aggressive and very malevolent by nature. They control most of the international economy, and unknowingly to the people, the Reptoids manipulate most of the human race. They've released a new drug into the world called, "Happiness." It could result in humanity's eventual demise. Chinese Detective Taki (Jacky Cheung) doesn't intend to let that happen. As he and his partner go on the trail of the drug kingpins they discover the whole conspiracy and fight against the invaders. The title sells for $14.95. 

Sell through titles releasing 9/19: AUSTIN POWERS 2: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME is a movie that needs no introduction. It goes on sale today with a recommended retail of $14.98. . . . A pair of movies hit the shelves today from Hong Kong action director, Benny Chan. BIG BULLET  is a 1996 film that pits a by-the-book cop against a band of thieves. BEAST COPS is a 1998 police drama, set in the seamy underbelly of the Chinese underworld. Some policeman fight the chaos by strict adherence to law and order. Others use the same morals as the vermin that they're fighting. Both titles sell for $19.98. . . . In NAKED KILLER, Hong Kong police begin to think something odd is happening when they find a string of victims all castrated with their limbs broken. A clever cop deduces that the killer is a woman. He's only half right. It's actually a team of female assassins. This strange hash of soft core porn and graphic violence electrified Chinese audiences when it was released in 1992 and has inspired sequels. It's yours for $19.98. . . . PRODIGAL SON is a 1983 classic kung-fu film written and directed by Sammo Hung. A rich man's son believes himself to be the best kung fu fighter in Canton. Unfortunately, his father, anxious for his son's safety, bribes all his opponents to lose. After a humiliating defeat at the hands of an actor in a traveling theatre company, the son resolves to find a better teacher. Furious kung fu battles and slapstick comedy. Buy it for $19.98. . . . THE ADVENTURER is from Chinese director Ringo Lam. It tells the story of a young man venturing into Cambodia's Golden Triangle to avenge the murder of his parents in Vietnam years before. He doesn't count on falling for the daughter of the man he's out to kill. Yours for $19.98. . . . Staying with Hong Kong for a moment, a 1997 John Woo gangster film, called JUST HEROES, releases today. A respected and well liked gang-boss is betrayed and killed. One of his three adopted sons are to take his place. One of them is the traitor. Find out which one for $19.98. . . . If you prefer more escapist Chinese entertainment try the 1993 film, GREEN SNAKE. Based on a Chinese fairy tale, a pair of snakes, one white and one green, assume human form. They become very sensuous women. Throw in a zealous monk who hates both humans and animals and a monastery in an uproar and the stage is set for supernatural battles and eventual morals to be learned. You can learn them for $19.98. . . . Today is HELLRAISER day on DVD. You can pick up the original for $29.98 or you can opt for HELLRAISER LIMITED EDITION and THE HELLBOUND HEART: HELLRAISER II DVD combinationfor $49.98. 

Sell through titles releasing 9/26: The marketing for anime' title GASARAKI: THE SUMMONING proclaims, "In a world where giant robots are real, the most dangerous weapon of all is buried in the human mind." Sounds reasonable to me. The dubbed VHS is $19.98. The DVD is $26.98. . . . FIRST KNIGHT is the 1995 release that stars Sean Connery as King Arthur, Richard Gere as Lancelot and Julia Ormond as Guinevere in this new look at classic legend. The price has been dropped to $9.95. . . . Some reaaaallly baaad kung-fu flicks hit the market today. The most outrageous is probably NEW GAME OF DEATH from 1981. The wafer thin plot has an older brother being killed by thugs and the younger brother kicking the starch out of the baddies. The suspect part is having old footage of the long-dead Bruce Lee spliced in to be the dead older brother. Some of it is footage from when he was a kid, some from the top of his career, and - in a show of true tastelessness - scenes of his funeral. Besides this there's  SECRET OF THE CHINESE KUNG FU (1980), SIX DEGREES OF BOXING (1977) and THE INVINCIBLE KUNG KU TRIO (1974). You can pick up any of them for $14.95 on VHS, $19.95 on DVD. . . . SPELL WAR is an anime' feature based on the popular Japanese animated show, SORCERER HUNTER. Own it for $19.95. . . . Pioneer has a big batch of DVD's hitting the market today. For $24.98 each you can buy GHOULS II, HAUNTED, SHADOW ZONE, RAW HEAD EX and GOTHIC. For $29.98n each they've got BRIDE OF THE RE-ANIMATOR, TEXAS CHAINS MASSACRE and THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM. . . . Lucia Fluke's 1981 Italian gore classic, THE BEYOND (or as it was once known E TU VIVRAI NEL TERRORE - L'ALDILA) releases onto DVD today. It's the story of a New Orleans hotel and the portal to hell that lies below it. You can get the regular edition for $29.98 or a bells-and-whistles limited edition for $39.98. 

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87. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES 
    With the passing of Sir Alec Guinness on August 4th, a vital link in the chain of classic English actors of the twentieth century died with him. Perhaps even more profound, was the close of an enigma that will never be resolved - who was Alec Guinness? Peter Ustinov once described him as "the outstanding poet of anonymity." In all the public exposition, all the thousand faces of the performer, one face seemed never to appear: "Alec Guinness himself," said an actor friend, "is perhaps the best-kept secret of modern times, a sort of one-man Tibet." 
    Even his origins are shrouded in mystery. There was not even a record of his illegitimate birth. Though subsequently granted a document testifying that his personal debut occurred on April 2, 1914, in the lower middle class Marylebone section of West London, the event itself went unrecorded at the time, nor could any witness to it ever be found by latter-day biographers. His father, he told an interviewer years ago, was "a bank director, quite wealthy, who generated me in his 64th year and died about three summers later. "He was a handsome old man, white haired. A Scotsman. One saw him only four or five times; was taught to call him uncle, though one supposes one always knew he was one's father." 
    His grim childhood saw him drifting from one coastal resort to another with his working-class mother. He was a quiet child, well-behaved, playing - alone - in corners. At 6 he was packed off to a boarding school, his expenses paid from an education fund set up by his father. "A shy child, thoroughly unprepossessing," he recalled. "Not good at sports, not academically inclined, not handsome, not rich, and not likely to improve. One wonders that one was not stoned to death in the street. . . ." His single positive characteristic in those years, he said, was a habit of amusing himself by building model theaters where he staged whole imaginary plays, performing all the roles himself. When he ventured to try out for a school play, however, the headmaster inspected the scrawny little boy and shook his head. "You'll never make an actor, Guinness," he said. Undaunted, he joined the school's dramatic society. He graduated near the top of his class at 18. 
    After languishing at an advertising agency, he received encouragement from his favorite actor, John Gielgud, to pursue acting. After attending dramatic school in the evenings, he began to catch on to stage performing. He found a profession where he could be disguised with smears of collodion, festooned with mustaches, monocles, wax teeth, plastic eye-bags - almost anything he could find in his makeup kit - his career seemed at times a kind of gleeful masquerade. He frequently played multiple parts in the same play. In his first three years, he played 30 parts in 20 plays by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Pinero, Sheridan and Shaw, and had begun to develop a small but devoted "public." 
    After service in the Royal Navy during the war, he resumed his career, electrifying the stage and quickly taking to the screen. His greatest acclaim early in his film career was in KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS (1949). He gave a tour de force performance in which he portrayed all of the eight male and female members of a noble family who were being systematically murdered by an ambitious young relative. He got nominated for an Oscar for the timid bank clerk turned criminal mastermind in THE LAVENDER HILL GANG (1951). He won an Oscar for his 1957 performance in BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI. In 1958 he received a knighthood. 
    Yet it was his portrayal of a different sort of knight that would give him the greatest acclaim and the the most difficulty. After introducing the world to the Jedi Knights in STAR WARS, he lived to regret it. He once told a British magazine that he had engineered the death of his character to escape having to say "those bloody awful lines."  The power of his name had been a major factor in obtaining financial support for the first film. George Lucas admitted that he had not allowed his backers to read a complete script until the picture was finished and ready for cutting, lest they discover that he intended to kill off Obi-Wan Kenobi halfway through. In his last book, A Positively Final Appearance published last year, he saved his sharpest barbs for STAR WARS, its merchandising and its long-term effect on motion pictures. In one scene, Guinness recalls asking a young fan never to see the movie again; the boy cries, and the boy's mother harangues the actor. "I shrivel inside each time it is mentioned," he wrote. "Twenty years ago, when it was first shown, it had a freshness, also a sense of moral good and fun. But it has led to a worldwide taste for a fantasy world of secondhand, childish banalities." What's interesting about this is that the one role he's most famous for today is one in which he essentially played himself, speaking in his own voice and without character makeup. 
    In the prologue of his book, Blessings In Disguise, he reflected on the profession, "An actor is an interpreter of other men's words, often a soul which wishes to reveal itself to the world but dare not, a craftsman, a bag of tricks, a vanity bag, a cool observer of mankind, a child, and at his best a kind of unfrocked priest who, for an hour or two, can call on heaven and hell to mesmerize a group of innocents." 
    Off-screen he remained the kind of person who finds it difficult to catch the waiter's eye in a restaurant. On screen he was mesmerizing. We are the poorer for his absence. He was 86. 

    Loretta Young was a contradiction. She was radiantly beautiful. She had a pristine aura about her. Young wanted audiences to perceive her as a wholesome, upstanding Catholic. Sometimes, she was hard-pressed to keep up that image. Against her mother's wishes, Young eloped with a freewheeling, hard-drinking vaudeville actor named Grant Withers when she was only 17, flying off to Arizona to obtain a marriage license. They had appeared together in a 1930 film, THE SECOND FLOOR MYSTERY. Typically, she took advantage of the hullabaloo by filming a movie with Withers provocatively titled TOO YOUNG TO MARRY. The hotly publicized union crumbled swiftly, and Young filed for divorce after just one year. 
    That episode exemplified the contradictions between her private life and her public image. Young refused to utter the word "divorce" in a movie, but was herself twice divorced. She set up a puritanical system to fine fellow actors who cursed on the set, but she carried on blazing love affairs with her leading men behind the scenes. And she maintained a devoutly religious image while reportedly passing off her illegitimate child as an adopted daughter. 
    Hollywood has long gossiped about that daughter, Judy Lewis, who says she is the biological child - born out of wedlock - of Young and Gable. Rumor has it that the two stars enjoyed a torrid affair in 1935, while they co-starred in CALL OF THE WILD. Immediately after filming the movie with Gable, Young reported to Paramount Pictures to star in DeMille's epic THE CRUSADES. But as soon as her obligation to that film ended, she took off for Europe - where she vanished from view for several months. She returned to Hollywood in late 1935 and two years later adopted Judy as a toddler. Observers noted that Judy was exactly the right age to have been born during Young's mysterious sojourn in Europe. They whispered that the girl - said to have Gable's flyaway ears and drop-dead smile - might have been conceived during the filming of CALL OF THE WILD. But Young brushed off the buzz, declaring simply that she wanted to forget Judy was adopted and treat her as a biological child. When her daughter published an autobiography in 1994, contending that the old rumors were correct, the 81-year-old Young issued a terse statement: "This rumor is a product of bygone time. As I have in the past, I have chosen not to give it any further credence." 
    For all her feminine wiles and soft smiles, she was known as a tough businesswoman. Long before she abandoned her original name (Gretchen) and adopted her stage name, her sisters had nicknamed her "Gretch the Wretch," in wry recognition of her stubbornness. And as an adult, she was sometimes dubbed "The Steel Butterfly" or "The Iron Madonna." In recognition of her steely moral code that she expected those around her to live up to, she was most notoriously known as "Atilla, the Nun." Yet, it was that very drive that made us remember her long after many actresses of her generation had faded away. 
    She started out in bit parts in silent films (she played an uncredited role as a young Arab child in the Rudolph Valentino 1921 classic, THE SHEIK). In every minor role, Young strove to attract attention. She would run to the front of the pack during crowd scenes to make sure her face flashed prominently before the cameras. Forever courting fame, she was candid about her ambition. "I was always sure," she reportedly said, "that I was going to be a big star, not just an actress." 
     Using that legendary persistence to win her prime roles, Young rushed from movie set to movie set throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Even after her second marriage, she averaged two films a year, a schedule that sent her into occasional bouts of exhaustion. 
    It also won her an Academy Award in 1948 for THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER and an Emmy for THE LORETTA YOUNG SHOW (1953-1961). Fans of suspense movies will remember her playing opposite Orson Welles in THE STRANGER (1946). Lovers of fantasy films will forever cherish her performance in the title role in THE BISHOP'S WIFE. 
    After over a hundred movies and countless TV appearances, her long upward climb has finally reached its end. She died of ovarian cancer at the Los Angeles home of her sister, Georgiana Montalban, the wife of actor Ricardo Montalban. She was 87. 

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88. SEPTEMBER CALENDAR

FRI 1ST- EVENT- MAIN MISSION:2000
           MOVIE- HIGHLANDER: END GAME debuts. 

SAT. 2ND- EVENT- MAIN MISSION:2000 

SUN. 3RD- EVENT- MAIN MISSION:2000 

TUE. 5TH- VIDEO RENTAL- AMERICAN PSYCHO hits the shelves today. 
           VIDEO SELL-THROUGH- MEN IN BLACK Special Edition, THE OMEN 
                    pack, THE FLY gift sets, IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE, 
                    KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE, KONGA, SCREAM AND 
                    SCREAM AGAIN THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN, THE BRAIN 
                    THAT WOULDN'T DIE, THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN, THE 
                    RETURN OF COUNT YORGA, THE SIMPSONS TRICK OR TREE- 
                    HOUSE, 8 MAN, HEAVY TRAFFIC, STRANGE INVADERS, THE BEST 
                    OF FLEISCHER STUDIOS, "The Directors" 5 volume series, THE MAN 
                    WHO FELL TO EARTH, THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, VIOLENT COP and 
                    ZERAM all go for sale today. 
           DVD SELL-THROUGH- MEN IN BLACK Special Edition, THE OMEN 
                    pack, THE FLY gift sets, THE THREE STOOGES: SPOOK LOUDER, 
                    THE BEST OF FLEISCHER STUDIOS, "The Directors" 5 volume series, 
                     THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH and VIOLENT COP go on sale today. 

FRI. 8TH- MOVIE- THE WATCHER debuts. 
             THE WAY OF THE GUN debuts.

MON 11TH-TV-LA FEMME NIKITA re-runs begin airing on USA Network 

TUE 12TH- VIDEO RENTAL- MISSION TO MARS and BLOODY MURDER go up for 
                     rental today. 
           VIDEO SELL-THROUGH- THE UNDERDOG COLLECTION,  LOST 
                    UNIVERSE, LOST UNIVERSE2: FLUSHED INTO SPACE, PHOTON: 
                    THE EMPEROR STRIKES BACK and THE CARTOONS OF HALAS & 
                    BATCHELOR go to sell-through today. 
           DVD SELL-THROUGH- BLOODY MURDER, THE UNDERDOG 
                   COLLECTION, FARAWAY,SO CLOSE, LOST UNIVERSE, LOST 
                    UNIVERSE2: FLUSHED INTO SPACE, MARY REILLY, THE 
                    CARTOONS OF HALAS & BATCHELOR and THE CRAFT, 
                    SPECIAL EDITION go on sale today. 

THU 19TH- VIDEO SELL-THROUGH- WICKED CITY goes on sale today. 

MON 18TH-TV-RELIC HUNTER season 2 will debut this week in syndication. 
                            THE OUTER LIMITS season 6 will debut this week in syndication. 
                            THE PROFILER re-runs begin airing on Court TV 
TUE 19TH- VIDEO RENTAL- ALIEN VISITOR, THE PHANTOM LOVER and 
                    SCHOOL'S OUT hit the rental shelves today. 
           VIDEO SELL-THROUGH- AUSTIN POWERS 2: THE SPY WHO 
                   SHAGGED ME, BIG BULLET, NAKED KILLER, PRODIGAL SON, 
           THE ADVENTURER, JUST HEROES and GREEN SNAKE go on sale 
                   today. 
           DVD SELL-THROUGH- SCHOOL'S OUT, HELLRAISER, HELL- 
                  RAISER LIMITED EDITION and THE HELLBOUND HEART: 
                  HELLRAISER II all go on sale today. 

FRI 22ND-TV-SABRINA season 5 premiere (now on the WB) 
           MOVIE- THE EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN debuts. 
URBAN LEGENDS: THE FINAL CUT debuts. 

MON 25TH-TV- THE LOST WORLD season 2 will debut this week in syndication 

TUE 26TH-TV-BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER season premiere 
                         ANGEL season premiere 
           VIDEO RENTAL- FINAL DESTINATION becomes available today 
           VIDEO SELL-THROUGH- GASARAKI: THE SUMMONING, FIRST 
                   KNIGHT, NEW GAME OF DEATH, SECRET OF THE CHINESE 
                   KUNG FU, SIX DEGREES OF BOXING, THE INVINCIBLE KUNG 
                   KU TRIO and SPELL WAR hit the sale shelves today. 
           DVD SELL-THROUGH- GASARAKI: THE SUMMONING, NEW GAME 
                   OF DEATH, SECRET OF THE CHINESE KUNG FU, SIX DEGREES 
                   OF BOXING, THE INVINCIBLE KUNG KU TRIO, GHOULIES II, 
                   HAUNTED, SHADOW ZONE, RAW HEAD REX, GOTHIC,BRIDE 
                   OF THE RE-ANIMATOR, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE 
                   LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM and THE BEYOND go on sale today.