1.OUR OCTOBER MEETING WAS DELICIOUS!
2.IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT OUR NOVEMBER MEETING: DATE
3.IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT OUR NOVEMBER MEETING: LOCATION
4.NOVEMBER PANEL AND MOVIES
5.WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBERS - TIM AND HEATHER FLEMING!
6.WATCH YOUR BUTT
A warning for smokers
7.DEALER'S ROOM: LOOKING FOR STUFF TO SELL AND FOLKS TO SELL IT!
8."THE ICS FILES" SURVEY
9.ELECTIONS IN JANUARY
10.STANDING FOR ELECTION
11.INSIDE THE I.C.S.: EQUALITY
12.THE GLASS TEAT
News about CLEOPATRA 2525, EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT, THE FUTURE IS WILD, JEREMIAH, THE WORLD ON FIRE, The Sci-Fi Channel, MR. BEAN animated series, THE PROTECTORS, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH spinoff, a UPN Wes Craven Pilot, BALL AND CHAIN and DARK ANGEL.
13.X-MEN: EVOLUTION' PREMIERES
A new animated show
14.TREK FOR SALE: SPOCK'S EARS HIT THE AUCTION BLOCK
15.TREK FOR SALE: OLD TREK
16.TREK FOR SALE: NEW TREK
17.TWILIGHT ZONE: ROD SERLING'S LOST CLASSICS
18.BABYLON 5: IN THE BEGINNING AIRS ON SCI-FI
20.BUFFY MAY BE ON THE MOVE
21.JAMES MARSTERS WANTS SPIKE RE-FANGED
22.THE X-FILES PLAYS WITH ITS VIEWERS' HEADS
Waving different scenarios under our noses for the identity of the happy farmer who planted the seed in Dana Scully.
23.AGENT MULDER, HAPPY AT LAST!
Duchovny loves his limited role.
24.ROSWELL GETS A HARDER SCI-FI EDGE
25.7 DAYS UNDERGOES A MID-COURSE CORRECTION
26.XENA'S SUN SETS
27.PRODUCER, DAVID ABROMOWITZ, TALKS ABOUT QUEEN OF SWORDS
28.ROBERT HEWITT WOLF PUTS ON A HAPPY FACE
29.KEVIN SORBO SAYS THEY'LL GET IT RIGHT IN SEASON TWO
30.WITCHBLADE TO BECOME A SERIES
31.THE INDIAN TOMB COMES TO TCM
32.THE LOST WORLD TO COME TO THE BBC
33.A MIR MISS?
34.THE SIMPSONS' KRUSTY THE KLOWN IS BASED ON REAL LIFE
35.THE PRETENDER TO BE MADE INTO A MOVIE, TWICE OVER
36.THINGS TO COME
News on ECLECTICON and PHILCON 2000 . .
37.STRACZYNSKI TO WRITE SPIDER-MAN
38.HARLAN ELLISON STORIES AVAILABLE ONLINE
39.THE KING OF BROADWAY
40.LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES? TRY SLASH FICTION
41.NEW BLAIR eBOOK PUBLISHES
42.NEW TREK eBOOK PUBLISHES
43.ANTHONY HOPKINS TAKES ON THE DEVIL
44.JET LI IS THE ONE
45.GHOSTBUSTER NEEDS A GHOSTBUSTER!
46.JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE BLOOD-SUCKING EARTH
47.CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH: AHNOLD VS. YODA
48.LINDA HAMILTON WON'T BE BACK
49.TOBEY MAGUIRE GETS BUFFED FOR SPIDEY
50.MALKOVICH JUST SAYS NO TO SPIDEY
51.FRANK MILLER TO WORK ON BATMAN: YEAR ONE
52.THE BATMAN SHUFFLE
53.THE GANG IS BACK FOR MIBII
54.DUCHOVNY RETURNS TO SCIENCE-FICTION
55.JACKIE CHAN IS POPULAR, WHERE EVER HE GOES!
56.BARBARELLA PRODUCERS AREN'T FONDA EARLIER VERSION
57.WILL IT BE CALLED THE BLAIR MACWITCH PROJECT?
58.LOOKING AHEAD TO BLAIR WITCH 3!
60.FRASER ON MUMMY 2: "THIS ONE IS GOING TO BE MUCH BETTER"
61.THE KING OF THE WORLD TO SURVEY HIS KINGDOM FROM SPACE
62.BLAIR ATTRIBUTES HER LUCK TO THE EXORCIST, BOTH GOOD AND BAD
63.TRAVOLTA COMPARES BATTLEFIELD EARTH TO BLADE RUNNER AND 2001
64.SOMEBODY TELL HIM
65.THE LONG AWAITED HITCHHIKER FILM IS IN JEOPARDY
66.HOLLYWOOD'S OBSESSION WITH YOUTH CONTINUES
67.PANIC IN HOLLYWOOD
68.LET THE BARGAINING BEGIN!
69.MOVIE EXHIBITORS FLOCK TO BANKRUPTCY COURT
70.EXHIBITORS HAVE BEEN FORCED TO PUT TECH UPGRADES ON HOLD
71.IMAX COMES CRASHING DOWN
72.EVEN TOY MAKERS ARE HAMMERED BY THE THEATER MELTDOWN
73.HOLLYWOOD SPENDS BIG ON ADS
74.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER
75.STARS ON THE NET ON SCI-FI.COM
76.MOVIEMAKERS INCREASINGLY TURNING TO CAMCORDERS
77.THE DEATH OF VIDEO STORES I: MOVIES BY PHONE
78.THE DEATH OF VIDEO STORES II: MOVIES BY NET
79.THE BEST PLACE FOR SPIDER-MAN? THE WORLD WIDE WEB!
80.INTERNET VIA SATELLITE
81.MYSTERYCLOCK.COM, BROUGHT TO YOU BY ALEX PROYAS
82.WANNA BE A PRODUCER?
83.MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH
84.DINOSAUR ATTACKS ON AN L.A. MUSEUM
86.THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
We bid farewell to:
Frederick S. Clarke, owner and publisher of "Cinefantastique"
Curt Siodmak, the man who sired the Wolf Man
Ann Doran, character actress
Ring Lardner Jr., Oscar-winning screenwriter and the last survivor of the Hollywood Ten
87. NOVEMBER CALENDAR
|1.OUR OCTOBER MEETING WAS DELICIOUS!
We walked away from our October meeting energized by our gathering, refreshed because of our films and very well-fed thanks to the potluck dinner that we collectively enjoyed. Thanks to everyone who brought so much wonderful food. It was a terrific success. Thanks also go to Regina Vallerani for bringing an interesting array of movies. We attempted to watch THE STORY OF RICKY. No, it wasn't about the frustrations of a Cuban nightclub singer and his wacky redheaded wife. This was an Asian film with lots of exploding body parts. Sadly, it wouldn't play properly on our equipment. From there we went to DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING, a dubbed Italian film about child murders in a small village. About a dozen of us stayed for a late night showing of CUBE, a 1997 Canadian sci-fi flick about a group of strangers trying to escape a seemingly endless series of cubes filled with deadly traps. It was a terrific meeting. Thanks everyone!
|2.IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT OUR NOVEMBER MEETING: DATE
We have moved from our usual last-Saturday-of-the-month schedule for our next meeting. We have shuffled our usual time so that we did not conflict with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Our November meeting will be held on Saturday November 18th at 6:00 P.M. Please make sure that you note the change.
|3.IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT OUR NOVEMBER MEETING: LOCATION
The church will be having a special event in their hall on the evening when we would ordinarily use it. As a result, we have a slight move. Come to the church as you ordinarily would, but instead of going to the hall where we usually meet, go to the main building, diagonally opposite the hall. You'll see red metal double-doors. Go through those and go to the room at the end of the hall. We won't have kitchen facilities. We can still bring snacks in though. This is only for this meeting. We'll be back to the usual place in December.
|4.NOVEMBER PANEL AND MOVIES
Dave Henderson will be bringing movies and leading our panel discussion for November. We've got this automotive thing going on. The theme will be "HELL ON WHEELS!" The panel theme is "Star Cars in the Movies and TV." We have the following cinematic treats to chooses from:
DEATH RACE 2000
Hope to see you there.
|5.WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBERS - TIM
AND HEATHER FLEMING!
We're pleased to welcome our two newest members, Tim and Heather Fleming. Tim and Heather have risen to national prominence with their efforts to rescue the show that was the follow-up to BABYLON 5 - CRUSADE. Check out their
"Crusade for CRUSADE" site that we've linked to our home page. They live in Greenbelt, Maryland and working on completing their Ph.D.'s in astrophysics. They may be leaving the area soon to pursue work in their field so get to know them now.
Welcome aboard Tim and Heather! We're pleased to have you with us.
|6.WATCH YOUR BUTT
|7.DEALER'S ROOM: LOOKING FOR STUFF TO SELL AND FOLKS
TO SELL IT!
As reported previously, there will be a mini-dealer's room set up on November 25th at the Hunt Valley Inn from 10-4. It will be sponsored by Midnight Marquee Press. The proceeds from our sales will go to benefit the club. To make this successful we need two things:
FIRST-WE NEED ITEMS TO SELL.We're looking for the sorts of things that we've seen at our auctions. We're talking videos, lasers, DVD, books, magazines, figures, collectibles and anything else that might of interest to fans of imaginative cinema and television.
SECONDLY-WE NEED PEOPLE TO STAFF THE BOOTH. So far we've had Dave Henderson, Joe Plempel, Regina Vallerani and Bob Thompson (who isn't even a member yet!) volunteer. If you're able to volunteer, e-mail Dave Henderson at email@example.com or call him at 410-529-0726. We'd like to have enough people that we could rotate people on shifts.
|8."THE ICS FILES" SURVEY
In an effort to serve your needs better, you'll be receiving a survey with this issues that is geared to helping me make "The ICS Files" a better publication. Here's the chance for you to vent all that pent-up joy and happiness in your heart every time you get a new issue! Please take the time to fill it out and return it to me. Thank-you (in advance).
|9.ELECTIONS IN JANUARY
Provisions for our elections have been established in our constitution. Below are some citations from our constitution about our elections. For a copy of our constitution please either visit our web site (click here) or ask at one of the meetings. We'll get you a copy.
|10.STANDING FOR ELECTION
Anyone who is a member-in-good-standing is eligible to be elected. If you are interested in standing for election please let either of our two tellers know by January 1st, 2001. Our tellers are:
Regina Vallerani Vince DiLeonardi
221 Ridgemede Road #508 901 Northfield Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21210 Pasadena, Maryland 21122
|11.INSIDE THE I.C.S.: EQUALITY
It's important for all of us to remember the whole idea of status in the club. What's the difference between someone who serves on the Board and those who don't? What about the difference between those who've been with the club since its founding and those who have just joined? How about the difference between those who attend every meeting and those who we seldom see. What's the total sum of those differences? ZERO!
To quote once again from our club's constitution, this time under "STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:"
"This club, the Imaginative Cinema Society, exists to
promote fellowship among those interested in all films,
with an emphasis on science fiction, horror and fantasy
We are a club of fellowship, of people who enjoy films and each other. Rank, status or ego have no purpose in our midst. We must be vigilant within ourselves. As long as we continue to function in a spirit of true harmony and unity we will continue to be strong.
|12.THE GLASS TEAT
The quest to rescue CLEOPATRA! Nearly 800 fans of the syndicated half-hour series CLEOPATRA 2525 have signed on online petition to save the show, which has been put on indefinite production hiatus. The remaining episodes of CLEO, the feminine half of the BACK2BACK ACTION HOUR, will run through January, after which time its fate is uncertain. Fans are circulating the petition to be delivered to executives at Studios USA and Renaissance Pictures, which produce the show and its companion JACK OF ALL TRADES, which was canceled. "We . . . believe that CLEOPATRA 2525 was not given the time to develop into a show that fulfilled its true potential and hope that it will be given the opportunity to do so, and we will be given the opportunity to watch it grow," the petition said. "It is for these reasons that we are imploring Studios USA and Renaissance Pictures to reconsider any present possible plans to cancel Cleopatra 2525.". . . EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT on Sci-Fi. The Sci-Fi Channel reported that it has struck a deal with Tribune Entertainment to air reruns of the syndicated series EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT. Sci-Fi bought the rights to 88 episodes of the series and will buy the rights to another 22 if there is a fifth season. EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT will join the Sci-Fi lineup in the fall of 2001. EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT has recently begun its fourth season in syndication. . . . The Discovery Channel peaks ahead at evolution. The Discovery Communications' Animal Planet cable network will premiere THE FUTURE IS WILD, a computer-animated show that speculates on what kind of animals may roam the Earth in 100 million years. The one-hour show will be part of ANIMAL PLANET'S WATCH WITH THE WORLD event, set for the end of 2001. The pilot episode of WILD will be followed by a 13-episode series, which will premiere in the first quarter of 2002. The series will take a look at evolutionary theory and the projections of leading scientists. Some of the speculative future animals include a 20-foot-long armor-plated animal called a "rattleback," a flying hybrid of a bat and a vulture, and a giant land squid. . . . News of the new Straczynski show leaked. The new J. Michael Straczynski show, mentioned in "The ICS Files" #20, item 14, has been leaked. The pilot is for Showtime and is to be called JEREMIAH, based on a long-running European science-fiction comic series of the same name. The pilot, from Lions Gate Entertainment, will tell the story of Earth 15 years after a virus has killed everyone who has reached puberty. Joe Dante will executive produce the pilot, which could develop into a Showtime series. The script was slotted to be turned in by Nov. 1. . . . Yet another Straczynski show may be in the wings. Straczynski said Warner Brothers wants to shop his proposed television series THE WORLD ON FIRE, which he worked on with Chris Carter, in the spring. . . . The Sci-Fi Channel kicks butt! The Sci-Fi Channel reported record ratings in the third quarter of 2000. The quarter's 0.9 household rating was up 13% from the like quarter a year earlier and represented the third record ratings quarter in a row. For the second quarter in a row, Sci-Fi has made it into the list of top 10 highest-rated cable networks. Sci-Fi attributed the strong ratings performance to original series such as FARSCAPE and THE INVISIBLE MAN, a new on-air look and a no-repeat "Summer of Sci-Fi" programming strategy. In September, Sci-Fi ratings grew 25% to 1.0 from last year's previous record-breaking September. Then there's the one monster demographic that most networks would kill for - Sci-Fi is currently ranked No. 1 among all television networks year-to-date in its concentration of adult viewers aged 25-54. With successful numbers like these, perhaps the networks may eventually end their complete shut-out of imaginative TV. . . . Rowan Atkinson is no has-BEAN. The cartoonish British comedy show, MR. BEAN, starring Rowan Atkinson, will be transformed into an animated series, with Atkinson providing the character's voice. The newspaper said that the show's original production company, Tiger Aspect, will oversee the $15-million project, and that Robin Driscoll, its original writer, will script the cartoons, which presumably will be targeted at adults. . . . TBS Orders PROTECTORS Pilot. TBS has ordered a two-hour pilot for THE PROTECTORS, a supernatural action series, from writers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. Mel Gibson and Jet Li could executive produce any resulting series. The martial-arts thriller tells the story of a team of chosen people who battle a band of bad angels who influence human actions. . . . Riley in for the long-haul. Despite persistent rumors that the character of Riley, Buffy's love interest on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is about to croak, actor Marc Blucas has said that he's planning on sticking around. Blucas has said his character is a regular "for the season, as far as I know now." Blucas added that he's eager to see where BUFFY creator Joss Whedon takes Riley this year, the series' fifth. "I'm looking forward to seeing where he takes my character this season, because Riley is learning the gray areas now. And that's a hard time, but that's an interesting, fun time as well. But I think he'll finally let his hair down a little and relax. But knowing Joss, my shirt'll probably be off a lot, too." . . . New SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH series coming. The WB must be thrilled with their acquisition of SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH. Later this year look for a plotline that will be a setup for a new series to be spunoff from it. The spinoff's concept will be introduced in the 15th episode of this year's show and will revolve around a bad witch who's sent off to a school for mischievous witches and warlocks. The eventual show is described as a cross between WELCOME BACK KOTTER, THE FACTS OF LIFE and CHARMED. The as-yet-untitled spinoff could wind up as a companion to SABRINA in the fall of 2001. . . . UPN craving Craven. UPN has ordered pilot from horror legend Wes Craven. The network has asked Craven to produce and direct an as-yet-untitled pilot about a millionaire and a woman who specializes in artificial intelligence as they explore the paranormal. . . . BALL AND CHAIN on Fox. Fox Broadcasting Company has ordered a pilot for a live-action version of Scott Lobdell's comic book series BALL AND CHAIN, about a divorcing couple who inadvertently acquire superpowers that will keep them together. It's set in San Francisco at a time when the city is overrun by intergalactic bad guys masquerading as humans. A lone human crusader who knows where the aliens are hiding is about to be zapped with special crime-fighting powers by a benevolent alien sheriff when an earthquake hits and deflects the beam onto a battling couple passing by. The couple's powers work only when they're together, so the lone crusader must become a marriage counselor while helping the couple fight the good fight to save humanity. . . . DARK ANGEL has does well at Fox. Fox is apparently pleased with the performance of its new show, DARK ANGEL. Although the show hasn't done as well in its regular airings as it did with its premiere, it must be doing well enough. Fox has committed to carry it for the entire season.
|13.X-MEN: EVOLUTION' PREMIERES
KIDS WB!'s new animated series X-MEN: EVOLUTION premiered in early November. It's shown on Saturday mornings at 10:30. Set at a high school watched over by Professor Xavier, the series begins with Nightcrawler's introduction to the young group, and also prominently features Cyclops and Toad, as they discover one another's powers.
|14.TREK FOR SALE: SPOCK'S EARS HIT THE AUCTION
Poor Mr. Spock. First they steal his brain, now they're selling his ears! That guy's going to have to start wearing a hard hat! It seems that the auction house Christie's (at their Los Angeles branch) is planning to auction four pairs of Vulcan ears that Leonard Nimoy wore when he played Mr. Spock on STAR TREK - as well as the mold that was used to produce the ears. They will be included in a sale of numerous STAR TREK artifacts, part of the estate of makeup artist Fred Phillips, due to go on the block on Nov. 15. Other Hollywood memorabilia to be offered at the same auction include two original Energizer Bunnies, a handwritten diary by Errol Flynn that he kept as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War and handwritten and typed lyrics written by John Lennon for the Plastic Ono Band album.
|15.TREK FOR SALE: OLD TREK
Paramount is selling reruns of its three STAR TREK series from the 1980's and 1990s to cable networks for a record license fee of $364 million. The Sci-Fi Channel, TNN (The Nashville Network), TNT, Fox Family and F/X, and the Odyssey Channel are keenly interested in acquiring the TREK reruns. Sci-Fi is already running the original STAR TREK series.
The three series are, of course STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE and STAR TREK: VOYAGER. VOYAGER is wrapping up its seventh and last season on UPN; the other two series ran for seven years each in syndication.
|16.TREK FOR SALE: NEW TREK
NBC, the spawning ground for classic TREK, is interested in the newest incarnation. An NBC spokesperson said that the network has told Paramount that "if a STAR TREK series becomes available, NBC would definitely be interested in it." No talks have taken place yet.
NBC isn't alone in their interest. Fox was known to have inquired about the availability of the new STAR TREK series some months ago. It remains unclear whether Paramount is shopping the project or intends to take it directly to UPN. The future of UPN itself is up in the air, following the merger of UPN's parent, Viacom, and CBS.
Other than assuring us that there will be a new TREK and that it will the very essence of the spirit of the show, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga have remained tight-lipped about the show.
|17.TWILIGHT ZONE: ROD SERLING'S LOST CLASSICS
This is a TV movie that airs on the Sci-Fi Channel on Tuesday, November 28th at 9 P.M. It dramatizes a pair of stories written by original TWILIGHT ZONE creator by Rod Serling. In "The Theater," a young girl goes to the cinema to see an romantic comedy only to find scenes from her own life eerily played out on the screen. Could the scenes hold the outcome of her future? In "Where the Dead Are," a patient's strange death on the operating table leads a university doctor to a mysterious island where he meets a scientist conducting clandestine experiments in tissue regeneration.
|18.BABYLON 5: IN THE BEGINNING AIRS ON SCI-FI
This serves as a "prequel" to the BABYLON 5 series. It tells the story of how a series of accidental conflicts lead to a full-fledged battle between the Earth's military forces and the alien Minbari. This made-for-television feature is told in semi-autobiographical form by series regular Peter Jurasik (who plays Londo Mollari). Look for most of your favorite characters to appear. It will be shown on the Sci-Fi Channel on November 10th at 9P.M. and at 12 Midnight.
David Boreanaz, star of ANGEL, said that his tortured vampire character will grow in the show's second season. "I take the character for what he is, and I think every day there's something new and exciting about him that I learn with every script," Boreanaz said. "Within each episode, I learn something different about the character." Boreanaz added, "He has a tortured soul, and he has a guilty conscience. But at the same time, he's trying to rebuild that and make amends, for his own true sanity, to make himself become a better person. And I think we'll see that happen slowly but surely. In the beginning, he sure is going to feel a lot pain, and he'll be suffering. But it will be humorous pain."
|20.BUFFY MAY BE ON THE MOVE
There's a war being waged away from our view . At stake is the future of BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Its production company, Fox, wants to boost its revenue from $1 million per episode to $2 million (about what's being paid now for a show like PARTY OF FIVE). Its present home, The WB doesn't want to pay it. They argue that BUFFY is just a niche series that appeals to a limited audience (read between the lines - young teenage horror geeks). This argument is being offered despite the fact that the show is not only up 12 percent among adults 18 to 34 but recently posted its best ever performance among young women.
In support of Fox's position about the diversity of BUFFY's fans, Stu Bloomberg has been a big fan of the show since its debut. Mr. Bloomberg is the co-chair of ABC's Entertainment division. He's been after Joss Whedon for years to create a show for them, based on his love for BUFFY. If talks with The WB fizzle, look for the show to move to its parent network, Fox, or over to ABC.
Don't look for anything to happen this season. Official talks between Twentieth Century Fox and The WB don't begin until January. No word yet on how this would effect ANGEL, if at all.
|21.JAMES MARSTERS WANTS SPIKE RE-FANGED
James Marsters, who plays the vampire Spike on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, has said that he's got ideas about how to make his character dangerous again. You may remember that Spike was rendered harmless last season by a computer chip in the noggin. "He has powers; he just can't use them against human beings because The Initiative put that damned computer chip in his head," Marsters said. "Basically, the writers had to find a way for Spike to stop trying to kill Buffy all the time, because he can't really kill her - and he can't keep failing at it, or he'll look pathetic." Marsters has suggested to Joss Whedon that Spike make a move. "I'm hoping to go on ANGEL again, because I think I can draw more blood there," he said. "I could be a full-blown villain over there, because I can still mess with other vampires. And I hate the man anyway, because he took my girlfriend, so let's go!"
Marsters added that the girlfriend - the vampire Drusilla, played by Juliet Landau, will return. "She's going to be on a few ANGEL episodes and at least one BUFFY," he said. "And I get to kiss her. It's fabulous to have Juliet back again, because there's a very romantic side of Spike, which I haven't gotten to play on since Dru left. We were supposed to be a Sid and Nancy, so we were always trying to act perverse, in a real subtle way. Doped up and horny, that's Spike and Dru all over!"
|22.THE X-FILES PLAYS WITH ITS VIEWERS' HEADS
Frank Spotnitz, executive producer of THE X-FILES, said that the upcoming season may reveal the father of Scully's baby. "It could've been Mulder," Spotnitz said. "There is a very violent debate whether that would be a good plot development. Other things I've heard is that somehow it's an alien pregnancy. And there was an episode last season where Scully was in the company of Cigarette-Smoking Man and she was unconscious and woke up in a bedroom. Those are the three scenarios." He added, "You'll get more information early in the new year, probably sometime after Christmas. Since Mulder is missing, I think it would be difficult for Scully to get real hard answers." Geez, I hope that wasn't intended to be a play on words.
|23.AGENT MULDER, HAPPY AT LAST!
After a lot of well-publicized whining and moaning about not wanting to continue on THE X-FILES, David Duchovny seems to finally be happy with his abbreviated part in the show. He's so pleased, in fact, that he hasn't ruled out appearing for an additional year in a similar capacity. He said that the current arrangement "is working exactly the way I wanted it to. . . . I get to do a movie while I'm doing the show. . . . If I could work out something like that, I wouldn't rule it out." He'll appear in the last six episodes of the eighth season. "I've been home at 6 o'clock the last four months in a row," said Duchovny, who lives in Malibu with his wife, actress Téa Leoni, and their one-year-old daughter, Madelaine West Duchovny. "I was never home at dinnertime before."
As for his replacement, Robert Patrick, Duchovny said, "He's really excited to be here, and I think it's good to have someone come in and smack everybody and say, 'Wake up! This is a great job!' I wasn't going to be that guy.
|24.ROSWELL GETS A HARDER SCI-FI EDGE
STAR TREK graduate Ronald Moore, who's now co-executive producer of theWB's teen alien series ROSWELL, said that he likes the harder science fiction direction the show is taking in its sophomore year. ROSWELL, executive produced by STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION'S Jonathan Frakes, is playing up the alien mythology in its sophomore year. Moore joined the show last May. "There is a balance between the relationship aspect of the show and the science fiction elements, and when those elements are in balance, the show really has hit its stride," Moore said. "If you watch the first season, you can see them - like any show in its first year - feeling their way and deciding what direction the series is going to go. Eventually, they realized that they needed to bring more science fiction into the series. Where we are right now is just in a really good place, where the heart and soul of the show is still the relationships among the characters, and especially the relationship between Max [Jason Behr] and Liz [Shiri Appleby]. But now the stakes are higher." Moore added, "There is a stronger alien presence going on. There's a bigger canvas to tell stories upon, and it just makes everything, all the relationships, even more important and more crucial. It's like there is this little group of teen-agers in Roswell that share a secret, and they are thrust into these situations. Because only they know the secret, it strengthens the bonds between them, and it makes those relationships more complicated when things aren't working out."
The show may need to hone its sci-fi edge even harder this year. This season it's been anemic in the ratings up to now. It's creeping past last year's numbers but will need to do far better to continue on. The teen romance angles that have sustained it up to now don't seem to be working. They're going to need to further diversify to a wider audience while holding on to their core.
|25.7 DAYS UNDERGOES A MID-COURSE CORRECTION
Thomas Ropelewski, executive producer of UPN's time-travel series 7 DAYS, said that the third season will switch gears to focus more on the show's current characters and had introduced one new regular. "One of the things we learned in the second season is how flexible and malleable the style of storytelling in the show actually is," Ropelewski said. "Last year I would say was about experimentation in storytelling. We would jump genres. . . . The third season is going to be more about characters and exploring our family of characters and their interactions."
This season, the show introduces a new character: Andrew "Hooter" Owsley, a boy computer genius played by Kevin Christy. Owsley will bedevil his mentor, Ballard, played by Sam Whipple. "He'll start at about episode five or six," Ropelewski said. He'll "bring a different kind of dynamic to the show, because he's this puppy dog in this high-technology toy store. . . . Frank Parker is his hero. . . . [Owsley is] filled with energy. . . . And he needs a little guidance and training, and Parker will try to guide him."
Created by television veteran Christopher Crowe, 7 DAYS tells the story of a top-secret government project in which a chrononaut "back-steps" in time seven days to fix a problem. Justina Vail won a Saturn Award this year for her portrayal of the brainy but sensual Olga.
Expect upheaval in the upcoming season, Ropelewski said. Donovan, played by Don Franklin, will act on his career frustration; Olga will have to deal with her attraction to Parker; Ramsey (Nick Searcy) may find himself in charge of the "Back-Step" program; and Talmadge (Alan Scarfe) may have to deal with a nervous breakdown. The third season may also see the return of a chrononaut from the future who was featured prominently in last season's finale.
Since its debut as a sci-fi action-adventure series, 7 DAYS has evolved into a show about moral choices, Ropelewski said. "What the show has . . . become is . . . sort of like a GROUNDHOG'S DAY, where the questions it asks are, 'What would you do if you could live last week over again?' . . . I think some of the best 7 DAYS episodes we've done are about moral choices. And I think it's probably the only show on the air that traffics in irony. . . . Why [do] those small things that you change have huge significance that you don't even know about when they first happen?"
|26.XENA'S SUN SETS
The upcoming sixth season of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS will be the last. The announcement was made by Studios USA Domestic Television president Steve Rosenberg and series creator and executive producer Rob Tapert.
This final 22-episode season will feature episodes in which Xena and Gabrielle return to their respective childhood homes. Xena will find her village of Amphipolis haunted by evil and will be sucked into a battle against Mephistopheles, which will involve the archangels Michael, Raphael and Lucifer.
In Gabrielle's hometown of Poteideia, meanwhile, the duo will discover that Gabrielle's niece Sarah has been captured by the raider Gurkhan. They will set sail for North Africa on a rescue mission and will intervene to help unite two tribes of warring nomads in a campaign to defeat their Roman enemies.
The season will also feature a three-episode Viking arc that takes Xena and Gabrielle north when a Norse warrior named Beowulf approaches Xena for help.
|27.PRODUCER, DAVID ABROMOWITZ, TALKS ABOUT QUEEN
Tessie Santiago, the leading lady in the new syndicated program, QUEEN OF SWORDS, had studied acting at the University of Miami, but she'd never acted professionally, much less carried a television series, before she was chosen as QUEEN. David Abramowitz discussed his choice. "We saw hundreds and hundreds of actresses. [Santiago] had a quality that wouldn't let us say, 'Let's go to somebody else.' She's beautiful, she looks Castilian Spanish, she speaks Spanish fluently and English fluently, she's the right age - we wanted someone young. There was a freshness there, a newness, a brightness. And when she did her test, she gave off light. We trained Tessie for months in L.A. before she went to Spain with sword and whip and taught her how to throw a punch."
Santiago also had a touch of the modern that appealed to the producers. "She's supposed to be a little contemporary," Abramowitz says of heroine Tessa. "Certainly Xena [as a character] is contemporary. The hope was to do this as BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER meets ZORRO. It can't feel too old-fashioned."
The premise for the show is that a wealthy young woman seeks vengeance for her father, killed by a corrupt Spanish government in their California colony. The parameters provided for Abramowitz and head writer/supervising producer James Thorpe were fairly broad in terms of developing the series' premise. "It wasn't very much," he reports. "A female, kind of Xena, kind of Zorro character. But these are basic archetypes. You look at Batman - he loses his parents and comes from a family of wealth. You look at Robin Hood - he lost his father and comes from a family of wealth. The character of Montoya is the Sheriff of Nottingham. There are certain character archetypes that play out through the Lone Ranger, the Scarlet Pimpernel, through Robin Hood, through Batman, through Green Hornet. They're classic archetypes of the orphan going to right justice and [pretending to be in society] a character somewhat different from who he or she is."
|28.ROBERT HEWITT WOLF PUTS ON A HAPPY FACE
Robert Hewitt Wolfe, head writer and co-executive producer of the syndicated TV show GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA, said that the series is on track to be the No. 1 new show in syndication. ANDROMEDA is entering its fourth week, and "overall, the numbers have been great. . . . We deal within a lot of markets from one week to another, so obviously the people out there who are watching it are digging it, because they're coming back for more."
Wolfe was philosophical about the critical reaction to the show. "Well, it's been a little bit mixed," Wolfe said. "I think there's been a lot of positive response. I think that there's been some negative response. Mainstream critics have been a little tough, but then, that's not unexpected with a syndicated sci-fi show - a genre show in general. They tend not to get them for a while." He added, "I think a lot of people who might have come in expecting something very, very much like STAR TREK, for example, or had preconceived notions about what they thought the show should be, have probably been disappointed, because it's definitely a different dish. We get a lot of complaints about our tech being inaccurate, because we don't use things like tractor beams, transporters, phasers and force fields. So that's kind of funny."
|29.KEVIN SORBO SAYS THEY'LL GET IT RIGHT IN SEASON
Kevin Sorbo said that his show, GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA, is still finding its way. "I still think we're going through teething pains," Sorbo observed. "Season two will be great. I think all of us actors on the show are still trying to find our feet. We've come a long way." So far 17 of the first 22 episodes of the series are in the can. It's shot in Vancouver, Canada. "I think shows have gotten better," Sorbo said. "I think there's a couple here that didn't turn out as expected [gosh, they musta been the two that I watched - DW]. It's interesting when you're reading scripts and you say, 'This is going to be awesome!' but when you shoot it and look at it, you go, 'Oh my God!' Of the 17 [filmed] we have three right now that I'm not crazy about. I think we can save one of them. All the shows coming up for the November sweeps are going to be unbelievable. I'm happy with about 70 percent. That's pretty good odds. On [HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS], I'd be happy with about 50 percent or 40 percent."
Sorbo also acts as a producer of the show, which has earned healthy ratings in syndication since it premiered last month. "Right now we're still trying to figure out where the characters are going," Sorbo said. "The writing is excellent. I think we need to get back to some of the basics of what Capt. Hunt is trying to do. What he's trying to re-establish with the Commonwealth. I think we need to go out there and explore strange new worlds and not stay on the ship so much. The writers are trying to lighten the view on who's Capt. Hunt. Who's Trance? Who's Harper? Give them backstories. That will come in time. I really believe this series will go five or seven years."
|30.WITCHBLADE TO BECOME A SERIES
Based on the success of its two-hour WITCHBLADE original movie in August, TNT has ordered 11 episodes of a new series based on the Top Cow comic series of the same name, the network announced. WITCHBLADE, starring Yancy Butler, is slated to premiere in the summer of 2001.
The WITCHBLADE movie was the No. 1 original movie among adults 18-49 and 25-54 for the year to date, TNT reported. It was also the top movie for the week of Aug. 21-27, earning a 4.5 rating (3,491,000 households) and was the top movie among adults 18-49 (3,157,000) and among adults 25-54 (3,631,000).
WITCHBLADE tells the the story of New York detective Sara Pezzini (Butler), who has acquired a mysterious ancient gauntlet that confers supernatural powers. She uses it to battle the forces of evil. J.D. Zeik wrote the movie.
|31.THE INDIAN TOMB COMES TO TCM
A grand German silent epic, THE INDIAN TOMB, comes to Turner Classic Movies this month. The story of a grand tomb and a treacherous husband is filled with magic and intrigue. The 1921 Conrad Veidt classic was thought to have been lost. Check it out on November 12th.
|32.THE LOST WORLD TO COME TO THE BBC
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel, The Lost World, has gone through a lot of wear and tear. It's been made into a movie in 1925, 1960 and 1992. It had its title and its dinosaurs borrowed by Steven Spielberg for his JURASSIC PARK sequel in 1997. Since 1998 it's been a (not very good) syndicated TV show with Conan Doyle's name affixed to the title. Well now the BBC is going to try to get it right. Christopher Hall, the producer for the BBC's upcoming miniseries said that the series will be faithful to the book. The only major change will be the addition of a female character to provide romance [grumble, grumble,grumble]. Hall said, "We plan to start shooting some time in the new year and are at present looking at New Zealand as our major location." Tony Mulholland will write the script for the two-part miniseries, which is slated to air on British television around Christmas 2001. No word as to when we might see it on this side of the pond.
|33.A MIR MISS?
The Russian Mir Space station has become big business. It looks like it's about to blowup in the faces of its stockholders.
Having already landed bookings from film studios, television producers, and individual multimillionaires, MirCorp, an Amsterdam-based company, has been trying to commercialize the Russian Mir space station. They'd announced plans to list its shares in New York, London and Singapore. NBC has already paid $35 million for rights to the upcoming DESTINATION MIR TV series being developed by Mark Burnett, who created the SURVIVOR series. MirCorp. is due to get $20 million of that sum.
It looks like those inconsiderate Russians may have spoiled all of our American game show fun! The Russians have just announced that they intend to bring the space station down in February. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov left open an interesting door. He said that there is the possibility that Mir would remain in orbit if enough private funding is raised to stabilize the facility. It remains to be seen if this will be viewed as an attempt at a shakedown to extort more funds from MirCorp.
|34.THE SIMPSONS' KRUSTY THE KLOWN IS BASED ON REAL
THE SIMPSONS' Krusty the Clown is based on a real TV clown called Rusty Nails. Creator Matt Groening used to watch the "Christian clown" when he was a kid in Portland, Oregon, and was always confused why the nice guy had such a nasty name. He says, "I couldn't get past the idea that this was a nice clown with the scariest name possible, because you were told as a kid, 'Always avoid rusty nails.'"
|35.THE PRETENDER TO BE MADE INTO A MOVIE, TWICE
Acting before its sets are torn down and its cast becomes tied up, 20th Century Fox TV said that it is producing two original episodes of THE PRETENDER that are being added to the rerun package sold to Turner's TNT channel. Calling the episodes "original movies," TNT programming exec Ken Schwab said in a statement that he expects them "to bring new viewers to the series on TNT while offering its strong fan base fresh material."
|36.THINGS TO COME
ECLECTICON 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. Their special guests include Hugo and Nebula award-winning-author Vernor Vinge, legendary author Poul Anderson, and paleontologist and dinosaur reconstruction expert Bob Walters. 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 $40. They can be reached at Philcon 2000; P.O. Box 8303; Philadelphia, PA 19101 or by e-mailing Rich Kabakjian: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|37.STRACZYNSKI TO WRITE SPIDER-MAN
J. Michael Straczynski confirmed in a post to the rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated newsgroup that he will write for Marvel Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man series, according to the Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5 Web site. "As a long time Spidey fan, this is something I'm looking forward to enormously," Straczynski wrote. "You can expect to see the first JMS-written issue of [The Amazing Spider-Man] probably around March or April of next year."
Straczynski has been busy with his own comic series, Rising Stars, produced under his Joe's Comics imprint for Top Cow. Straczynski said he is also producing a screenplay for a feature-film version of Rising Stars, tentatively titled BORN IN FIRE, which he will turn in around mid- or late November. "MGM read the outline, loved it, had a couple of very smart suggestions . . . and as of Wednesday, I've been put to script," he wrote.
|38.HARLAN ELLISON STORIES AVAILABLE ONLINE
The Fictionwise.com have landed Harlan Ellison. That's no mean feat considering Mr. Ellison's disdain for ol' WWW. They've gotten e-rights to 35 stories, some of them award winning-classics and some of them impossible-to-find out-of-print stuff. The stories are available in the most popular e-Book formats for handheld devices and personal computers, including Acrobat, Rocket, Palm and Microsoft Reader. Most Fictionwise.com eBooks retail for between 39 cents to $2.
In the words of the great man himself, on why he went with Fictionwise.com, "Watching all the blue-sky IPO Web sites come and go, promising the riches of Araby, but delivering ashes and excuses, functioning only as sucking black holes draining off investment capital, it is some small miracle - in my view - the way Fictionwise.com operates with calm, determined professionalism to put the work out there on the Web. . . . If one needs a metaphor for their way of doing business, for their attention to detail and quality, their scrupulous honesty and respect for the creative talent in the milieu that is lousy with hot-air hustlers, adolescent hacker-thieves and just plain inept buffoons, try this: the 300 Spartans who took on all of Xerxes' vast and endless armies. Here's wishing Fictionwise.com a long and smooth highway." The analogy may be unfortunate. Those 300 Spartans who met Xerxes' army on the plains of Thermopylae fought valiantly, and ultimately their actions saved Greece, but they were all slaughtered. Hope that Fictionwise.com fares better.
|39.THE KING OF BROADWAY
Stephen King is collaborating with rocker John Mellencamp on a "haunted musical." King and Mellencamp are working on a show aimed for Broadway that tells the story of estranged brothers and their father who find themselves stranded in a cabin inhabited by ghosts of their ancestors. Mellencamp took the idea to King, who quickly signed on. "I was in Florida, so John came down and told me the plot," King said. "It was kind of a ghostly thing, which is why he thought of me, I guess. I liked the story." The pair are now working on the musical book and score.
|40.LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES? TRY
Slash fiction is one of the hottest trends in fan fiction today. But it's definitely NOT for everybody. It started with STAR TREK. Fans were writing imagined liasons with a Kirk/Spock pairing (read "Kirk SLASH Spock"). Since its TREK roots its been sweeping the web. There are Mulder/Krycek matings, Janeway/Seven and just about any odd coupling that you can think of. The stories often feature (though not exclusively) gay encounters. The authors are often straight women.
You can find slash fiction now that covers ER, SCOOBY DOO, LAW AND ORDER, HIGHLANDER, MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. and anything else your mind can conceive. And if you can't find it, write it! Hey how about a romantic encounter between Odo, the shape-shifter from STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE and the (seemingly) sentient black oil from THE X-FILES!
|41.NEW BLAIR eBOOK PUBLISHES
The Peanutpress.com Web site announced that it will release Blair Witch: Graveyard Shift, a new eBook novel for Palm handheld computers that will complement the upcoming movie BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2. No print editions are planned for the book, which provides the bridge story between Showtime's BLAIR WITCH 2 broadcast in August and BOOK OF SHADOWS.
|42.NEW TREK eBOOK PUBLISHES
NewMedia Publishing announced that it will publish the Star Trek S.E.C.-Starship Corps of Engineers series of eBooks. Three titles will be available for download for $5 each. The Belly of the Beast tells the story of an investigation of an alien starship led by the U.S.S. Enterprise's Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge with Capt. Gold and the crew of the S.C.E. ship U.S.S. da Vinci. Fatal Error tells the story of a thriving civilization completely run, maintained and administered by a giant sentient computer on the planet Eerlik. Hard Crash tells the story of an alien starship of unknown origin, which crashes into a planet inhabited by a large civilization.
|43.ANTHONY HOPKINS TAKES ON THE DEVIL
Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin will star in THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER, based on the story by Stephen Vincent Benet. It was filmed before, in 1941, with Edward Arnold playing Daniel Webster, the New Hampshire statesman and orator who argues for the soul of one of his constituents. This will be a very special film for Alec Baldwin. He'll make his feature-film directing debut with this movie. Production is slated to start Jan. 15 in New York. Hopkins will play publisher Daniel Webster and Baldwin will play writer Jabez Stone in the updated version of Benet's story, about a writer who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for fame and fortune. Pete Dexter (Michael) adapted the story for the screen, and Bill Condon and Nancy Cassaro did a rewrite.
|44.JET LI IS THE ONE
Martial arts superstar, Jet Li (ROMEO MUST DIE and THE BLACK MASK) will star in the supernatural thriller THE ONE, the next movie from the team that did FINAL DESTINATION, director James Wong and his writing partner Glen Morgan. You might remember them as former producers of such television series as MILLENNIUM, THE X-FILES and SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND.
Li, who will be paid upwards of $7.5 million for his role, will play a cop who must fight his evil twin from a parallel universe to save the world. The production is scheduled to start in January 2001 with an eye to an August 2001 release. Like everyone else, they're racing to wrap by May to beat the writer's and actor's strike.
The Rock, aka Dwayne Johnson, was originally slated to star in THE ONE, but dropped out to star in THE SCORPION KING. Morgan and Wong are rewriting the movie for Li. Li will also be in both sequels to THE MATRIX, which are in pre-production.
|45.GHOSTBUSTER NEEDS A GHOSTBUSTER!
The ghost of Dan Akroyd has been scaring the hell out of his housekeeper. And he's not even dead! Dan Aykroyd insists he's a spook in real life. He claims that he haunts his housekeeper without even knowing it. He says, "My housekeeper's said she's heard my voice and seen me in the Californian house when I've been in Canada. . . . Everyone leaves a bioelectric residue behind them as they walk through life. So it really is possible for a living being to haunt a place where they are well known."
|46.JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE BLOOD-SUCKING EARTH
Who better than the suits over at Fox to divine what Jules Verne was really getting at when he wrote Journey to the Center of the Earth? Why vampires, of course! Fox 2000 will develop a new feature-film version of Jules Verne's classic novel, based on a pitch from writers Travis Wright and John Glenn, with a horror twist to it. The new movie will tell the story of a group of scientist/adventurers who embark on a journey that turns into a quest for the origins of vampire mythology. Hmmmm.
The film will be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.
|47.CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH: AHNOLD VS. YODA
Ahnold Schwarzenegger, that big ol' bag of Austrian muscles, musta' fallen prey to some clever Jedi mind-tricks lately. How else could we explain his taking seriously the following e-mail query: who'd win in a match between him and Yoda. Arnie says, "I've seen the STAR WARS films a few times and what I can say about Yoda is that he's a character with a strong, serious mind and a disciplined will. To become a Jedi Master, Yoda would have had to work very hard and make tremendous sacrifices. By now, I think you'll see what I'm getting at: becoming a Jedi Master is not unlike becoming a champion bodybuilder, or becoming an actor, and that takes discipline and willpower first. The mind is actually more powerful than the body." He adds, of the outcome, "Possibly Yoda would win, but I'm sure I'd kick his butt in a pose-down."
Poisoanlly, I gotta' go with the Ahnold-meister. After all, Yoda is just a Muppet. I think that Ahnold could mop the floors with him - literally!
|48.LINDA HAMILTON WON'T BE BACK
Linda Hamilton has pulled out of TERMINATOR 3. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Edward Furlong have signed up for the second sequel, but Hamilton feels she's had enough of the role of a mom trying to save the planet from robots. She says, "I was asked. I turned it down. I felt it was more courageous not to do it. I spent nine years trying to get the image of my TERMINATOR character out of people's minds. I'm tired of being ever-earnest and stricken." Instead, Hamilton has signed up to take to the Los Angeles stage in a revival of the haunting romantic mystery "Laura" - and she admits she's terrified. She adds, "I go home and burst into tears. We've been rehearsing for four weeks and it feels like forever."
|49.TOBEY MAGUIRE GETS BUFFED FOR SPIDEY
Tobey Maguire is being put through his paces as he goes through rigorous training for his part as superhero SPIDER-MAN. He's been working out intensively, limbering up for his insect-inspired role. Director Sam Raimi says, "We're kicking his a** in the training room. He's working out every day with a stunt co-ordinator and with his yoga instructor. He's on special diets. He is undergoing a tremendous physical metamorphosis. He's got a great desire to see Spider-Man up on the screen. He already had a good body but he's now developing the body of a superhero." And Raimi says Maguire is even studying spiders themselves. He adds, "Tobey's already been working with a wire man, he's got really good physical motion and I think he's studying right now how to move in an insectoid style so he's working on it."
|50.MALKOVICH JUST SAYS NO TO SPIDEY
Despite Sam Raimi's confirmation that John Malkovich will play the villain, the Green Goblin, in SPIDER-MAN, Mr. Malkovich has flatly denied it. "I won't be doing SPIDER-MAN," Malkovich said."It's not really my genre particularly, and there were scheduling difficulties." Asked about the scheduling conflict, Malkovich explained, "It was everything, way too much time, not enough money, not enough of anything. I mean, if I'd have loved it obviously I would have done it, but those sort of films aren't art films, they're business propositions." Raimi's confirmations were apparently some strange form of wish-fulfillment.
Who knows, maybe he's cracking up! Raimi explained that he's anxious about directing a movie based on such a cultural icon. "I live in fear every moment on this picture. I absolutely do. It's terrifying," Raimi said. "There are tremendous challenges. How do we pull off this shot? How do we make SPIDER-MAN look real? How do we make the web look like a real spider's web? But the biggest challenge, I think, is in meeting the fans' expectations of what this fantastic character should be. That's really my goal."
|51.FRANK MILLER TO WORK ON BATMAN: YEAR ONE
Most of the best Batman stories told on comic book pages over the last several years share a common birthplace, the mind of Frank Miller. Miller has been tapped by BATMAN: YEAR ONE director Darren Aronofsky to co-write the movie. The pair had previously worked together on RONIN. Miller may be a little gun-shy of Hollywood, after the butchering of his script for ROBO-COP II, for which he took the blame. Looking forward to the coming project, he reflected, "The movie business is wild. There's so much money involved, and so many people, that anything can happen. Maybe Darren and I will set the world on fire. Maybe our script will wind up sitting next to all the other could-have-beens that litter the shelves of studio execs. I'm certain we can do a good job - but anybody who isn't financing his own movie himself is foolish to predict his fate - or his involvement in it. . . . I expect to have a lot of fun with YEAR ONE. From the get-go, I see many things that need changing - but ultimately, even if the movie gets made, mine will only be one of many voices calling the shots. I'll bring my very best efforts to the script. I won't write a single line I don't believe in."
|52.THE BATMAN SHUFFLE
It will not come as a shock to anyone, least of all George Clooney, that he has been formerly axed as Batman. He has been replaced by Kurt Russell (who is a full decade older than Clooney). Producers feel his face is more "adaptable" (this is a rare instance where an older actor has won a role over a younger one). A Warner Brothers executive explains, "George is a brilliant actor, but is unsuited to the new-style superhero we need. He's too good looking. The two new films are going to be a lot more grittier and more adult. We had to find someone whose features we could mask and mould over four decades. Kurt is ideal - he's 49 but looks considerably younger."
|53.THE GANG IS BACK FOR MIBII
Will Smith said that there will be some familiar faces in the upcoming MEN IN BLACK 2. "The whole gang is back!" Smith referring to co-stars Tommy Lee Jones and Linda Fiorentino. "Oh and how they bring Tommy's character back! . . . I can't let it out, but it's so brilliant." Smith added, "It's great when a sequel can have a better script, because it is so rare that the second film is better than the first one. But this one is ridiculous! . . . [Director] Barry Sonnenfeld has the script and is working on it now, but the [threatened actors' union] strike is kind of holding things up."
Smith said things are less certain for a follow-up to INDEPENDENCE DAY. "We've been talking about it," Smith said, referring to Dean Devlin and director/writer Roland Emmerich. But, he added, "when you've got a movie that made that kind of money, rest assured somebody is talking about a sequel."
|54.DUCHOVNY RETURNS TO SCIENCE-FICTION
Now that his days of arm-wrestling aliens on the small screen are coming to an end, David Duchovny will once again defend the Earth as he stars in Ivan Reitman's comedy/sci-fi film EVOLUTION, playing "a professor who is charged with saving the world from aggressive aliens." Duchovny will be starring opposite Julianne Moore (who kind of looks like Dana Scully). She is currently winding up work in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS sequel, HANNIBAL, in which she plays Clarice Starling, the character played by Jodie Foster in the original film. Asked about appearing in another sci-fi movie, Duchovny remarked, "I think that it's a transition that will take me away from the X-FILES towards other roles."
|55.JACKIE CHAN IS POPULAR, WHERE EVER HE GOES!
While filming THE LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER Jackie Chan received yet another reminder of his superstar status. He was on the set preparing for a dangerous stunt by wrapping himself up with protective pads. An unexpected urge prompted him to run off the set just before the cameras rolled. A curious crowd followed him. He says, "I was doing this stunt with four umbrellas which I use like a parachute, and I'm putting on the knee pads and the elbow pads, and then I just think I'll go to the bathroom first. Then there are about 400 people following me to the bathroom. They thought I was going to do the stunt, but I was just going to have a pee!"
|56.BARBARELLA PRODUCERS AREN'T FONDA EARLIER VERSION
Producers of the up-and-coming BARBARELLA remake are attempting to distance themselves from the Jane Fonda's 1968 version. They insist their film is based on the original books. Drew Barrymore is to play the title role. But producers Nancy Juvonen and Laura Zislin are saying that the movie is less of a remake of the Fonda version and based solely on the series of comic books by Jean-Claude Forest's French epic book series. The movie's producers insist the story for Barrymore's latest flick is taken from Le Semble Lune and Le Miroir au Templates, two of the last books in the Barbarella series.
|57.WILL IT BE CALLED THE BLAIR MACWITCH PROJECT?
Joe Berlinger, the documentary filmmaker who recently directed BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH PROJECT 2, is now planning to remake the most frightening film ever to come out of Scotland, THE WICKER MAN, setting it in the U.S. When it was originally released in 1973, the Robin Hardy movie gave a lift to the U.K. film industry, and it continues to have a wide cult following in Britain. "I originally saw THE WICKER MAN about 18 years ago and really liked it," Berlinger said, while being interviewed by a Scottish reporter. "I thought this would be a perfect film to remake on U.S. soil, which I know will drive people crazy." Berlinger's apprehension seemed justified when a spokesman for the film organization Scottish Screen said in an interview: "You attempt a remake of a film so beloved by so many at your peril."
|58.LOOKING AHEAD TO BLAIR WITCH 3!
Artisan Entertainment is already working on the next sequel to THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, though the second one, BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2, has just hit theaters. "We actually have the third film slated for next year," Artisan marketing vice president Amorette Jones said. She added, "It's a prequel, directed by [Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez,] the guys who directed the original BLAIR WITCH. It's set in the mid-18th century, and the focus is on Elly Kedward, who is the original Blair witch. It's about everything she went through. She came across the Atlantic and settled in Maryland. It should be an interesting film, and different from the others."
Many of us remember Charlton Heston as the astronaut attempting to hang onto the final shred of humanity's dignity in the 1968 film, PLANET OF THE APES. He has signed on to appear in the Tim Burton remake that's currently under production. In this one, he'll be one of the apes! I guess we'll just need to keep our eyes open for the most heavily armed monkey on the screen.
|60.FRASER ON MUMMY 2: "THIS ONE IS GOING TO BE
Brendan Fraser says he's convinced the sequel to his 1999 hit film, THE MUMMY,will be even better than the original. >From my point-of-view that won't be that tough. I felt that the strained attempts at slapstick ruined the film's first incarnation. Brendan will reprise his role as a confused treasure hunter in the big-effects sequel, THE MUMMY RETURNS. He's certain that even tough nuts like me are going to love it. He says, "I'm going to go out on a limb and say this one is going to be much better. We're not doing a remake. We're taking what worked in the first one and making that even better!" Fraser is just as enthusiastic about his co-star, The Rock - even though the two never met. He explains, "In Morocco where we filmed, The Rock is a myth, a legend and, in our movie, one scary guy. I never got to meet him because he left Morocco before I got there, but all the Moroccans were in awe of him. The Rock has been cyber-scanned. It's going to be really fun and chilling for the audience."
|61.THE KING OF THE WORLD TO SURVEY HIS KINGDOM
James Cameron is about to become the first film director to really spend time among the stars. Not the usual kind of stars, anyway. This is the big, burning, gaseous - oh wait, I guess that is the usual kind of stars for most directors! These are the twinkle in the night-sky ones. Cameron is planning a stay on board the Russian space station Mir. He's undergone medical tests at the Russian Institute for Medical and Biological Problems. Cameron merited nary a "nyet" from the Russian doctors. No word as to when he'll lift off.
|62.BLAIR ATTRIBUTES HER LUCK TO THE EXORCIST, BOTH
GOOD AND BAD
Actress Linda Blair admits that she owes her stardom to THE EXORCIST - but she also blames it for her years of misfortune. Her chilling performance as the Satanically-possessed Regan turned her into a major Hollywood icon in 1973, at the age of 14. The performance earned her an Oscar nomination - but it also brought her years of bad luck. First of all her role convinced a number of disturbed fans to stake out her Connecticut home. She says, "There were some people who felt they had a weird connection to THE EXORCIST and some scary weirdos felt like they needed to be near me. The studio (Warner Brothers) hired security to watch our house for six months." She also found it tough to win roles in major movies such was her association with THE EXORCIST - and was forced into making the box- office bomb EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC and a string of film flops. She was also involved in several drug arrests and complains, "The police and courts went after me because I was famous. It took years for me to understand their mentality and forgive it." But after some TV series work and several stage roles, Blair's career is fully back on track. She adds, "I don't know what my life would have been like without THE EXORCIST but I know it wouldn't have been the same."
And I don't know what our lives would have been like without Linda Blair classics like WILD HORSE HANK, ROLLER BOOGIE or CHAINED HEAT. But I'd be willing to give it a try.
|63.TRAVOLTA COMPARES BATTLEFIELD EARTH TO BLADE
RUNNER AND 2001
Look, it's not my fault. I'm willing to pretend that BATTLEFIELD EARTH never happened and to just move on. But John Travolta won't let it go. He insists that BATTLEFIELD EARTH will go on to become a cult classic, comparing it favorably to BLADE RUNNER. In his eyes (and perhaps his only), the much-hyped science-fiction epic was not a major box-office or critical disaster. Travolta admits he was disappointed with the critical panning the film received, but was not surprised. He says, "I did my research. Critics traditionally don't like science-fiction. Many critics didn't give ALIEN, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY or BLADE RUNNER good reviews on their initial releases, but have since revised those opinions. I feel that's going to happen with BATTLEFIELD EARTH. There are already whole Internet fan sites devoted to the movie [hey John, I can find sites that consider ROBOT MONSTER a legitimately great piece of film making and THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS a neglected jewel-DW]." Travolta predicts, "The movie will have as faithful a following as the novel does."
So by Travolta's twisted logic, all a movie has to do is to be a science-fiction film and to have received poor initial reviews to have a shot at the Halls of Valhalla. That's great! This means that THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION may go on to be declared a national treasure! UNIVERSAL SOLDIER II: BROTHERS IN ARMS may yet reach cultural icon status! And THE BARBARIC BEAST OF BOGGY CREEK II may be heralded as the high water mark of American cinema. But, sorry John, until these things happen, I'm still going to consider BATTLEFIELD EARTH a piece of crap.
|64.SOMEBODY TELL HIM
Travolta is sooooo thrilled with BATTLEFIELD EARTH that he has confirmed previously announced plans to proceed with the sequel. OK kids, lets do the math. How much did BATTLEFIELD EARTH cost? That's right Johnny, $73 million dollars. And how much U.S. box office did BATTLEFIELD EARTH generate? Very good Joey. That's right, only $21 million. OK class, now all together now. Subtract the movie's cost from its box-office and what do you get? STINKER! Very good.
But apparently the Church of Scientology has taught Travolta, a loyal devotee, a new way of looking at math."The bottom line is that I feel really good about it," Travolta claimed. "Here I was taking big chances, breaking a new genre [oh, if only bad science fiction were a new genre!]. . . . I am so thrilled, believe it or not, at the outcome, because I didn't believe I could get it done. . . . When I felt better about everything was when George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino and a lot of people that I felt knew what they were doing saw it and thought it was a great piece of science fiction."
Geez, THANK-YOU George and Quentin.
|65.THE LONG AWAITED HITCHHIKER FILM IS IN JEOPARDY
Fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book/tv show/radio show have waited for decades for the adventures of Arthur Dent and his associates to hit the big screen. That wait may be stretching out into infinity. Director Jay Roach said that he's trying to revive his feature-film version of Douglas Adams' satiric novel. It seems that Disney has put the much-anticipated movie on hold. "It's quirky and expensive, and it's hard to sell," Roach said. He estimates that the movie would cost between $85 million and $100 million. "It's a risk, but AUSTIN POWERS was rejected at every studio before New Line took it," Roach added.
|66.HOLLYWOOD'S OBSESSION WITH YOUTH CONTINUES
Hollywood's mindless rush for the youth market continues. Once again, in November, two key projects, CHARLIE'S ANGELS and RED PLANET, have been entrusted to young rookie directors without a single directoral credit to their names or any indication that either man had ever been on a Hollywood feature film soundstage before being hired. Their insistence on pursuing young, inexperienced people in crucial positions has co-incided with the worst year, in terms of box office, in over a decade.
It seems that the pandering to youth has reached past the director's chair to the man (or woman) at the keyboard. A group of TV writers has filed a $200-million lawsuit against TV networks, studios, production companies, talent agencies and other entertainment firms alleging that they are victims of a "systematic pattern or practice" of age discrimination. The 28 writers, who are seeking class-action status for their suit, name 50 defendants, including Viacom (which owns CBS), NBC, Disney, Time Warner, Fox, the William Morris Agency, International Creative Management, Creative Artists Agency and the Carsey-Werner Co. They claim that the TV networks have engaged in a purge of writing staffs of those above age 40 in an effort to attract a younger audience. Talent agencies, they charge in the lawsuit, have abetted the networks' discrimination by refusing to represent older writers. The group cites statistics indicating that only 5 percent of shows broadcast in the 1997-98 season hired writers over 50, despite the fact that writers in that age bracket account for about one-third of the membership of the Writers Guild of America.
|67.PANIC IN HOLLYWOOD
In a front-page article, the New York Times reported that "Hollywood is in a panic mode" as it braces for a possible strike by writers and actors next year. Producer Scott Rudin, whose films include THE TRUMAN SHOW, SOUTH PARK, ANGELA'S ASHES, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, and SHAFT, told the Times: "Everyone's working under a [strike] deadline. . . . If you think you'll be shooting in June or July, you're in a state of diminished mental capacity." Nevertheless, Screen Actors Guild president William Daniels was quoted as saying, "I just wish people would stop talking about a strike. WE HAVEN'T EVEN STARTED NEGOTIATIONS[that's my added emphasis]. Let's not panic."
|68.LET THE BARGAINING BEGIN!
Movie producers have called for early bargaining to prevent what would be a cataclysmic strike from happening. Warning that a "de facto" shutdown of the motion picture and television industries is shaping up as studios and filmmakers speed up production time tables to complete projects before union contracts expire next year, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) called for bargaining to begin "as soon as practical." AMPTP execs have already contacted the Writers Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists about beginning early talks. SAG issued a statement saying that it hoped to begin talks "in the next two months." WGA president John Wells said in another statement that the guild was "ready to sit down with the AMPTP as soon as we have reason to believe that the companies are serious. . . . (However), if the AMPTP is going to come forward with rollbacks, that would signal they are not serious." Meanwhile, Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles county Economic Development Corp., has said that a strike could cost the local economy $1.8 billion-$2 billion. There's no estimate on how it would effect the already crippled theater chains and greatly diminished video retailers.
|69.MOVIE EXHIBITORS FLOCK TO BANKRUPTCY COURT
General Cinema is the latest exhibitor to wind up in bankruptcy court. Its parent company, GC Cos., filed for Chapter 11 reorganization Wednesday, blaming the "over-saturation" of megaplexes in many markets. While, unlike its rivals, the company did not build up huge debt in construction costs, it nevertheless saw many of its patrons flock to rivals who did. In an interview Gail Edwards, General Cinema's CFO, suggested that the construction binge has failed to attract more moviegoers. "With so many new theaters, all we're doing now is taking the pie and cutting it into smaller pies," she said. The company recently was forced to close 36 unprofitable theaters with 264 screens. It said that it plans to close another 17 theaters with 103 screens before the end of the month.
|70.EXHIBITORS HAVE BEEN FORCED TO PUT TECH UPGRADES
We've been hearing for some time now about the technological marvels that await our viewing and listening pleasure when we step into the nearest google-plex. Well, we'll all have to wait a little longer. Strapped theater owners are no longer able to afford the equipment to keep pace with home entertainment systems, according to a Dolby Labs executive. Ioan Allen, who also heads the SMPTE committee on digital cinema, observed that the current "economic environment" is often tempting movie chains to compromise on technical enhancements and delay the conversion to digital exhibition.
|71.IMAX COMES CRASHING DOWN
After all the attention brought to Imax earlier this year with the exclusive showing of FANTASIA 2000, and even with other major motion pictures planning special runs on their massive screens, they've shown that they're not immune to bruising from the current economic meltdown. The Toronto-based company has said that it will post a loss for the third quarter, indicating that the financial turmoil affecting theater chains has slowed down the introduction of Imax theaters in planned and existing multiplexes. Shares in the company have tumbled on a nose-bleeding 70% free-fall from $15.25 to $6.55.
|72.EVEN TOY MAKERS ARE HAMMERED BY THE THEATER
Citing plunging sales of Pokémon and STAR WARS items, toy manufacturer Hasbro warned investors that sales are expected to fall below expectations for the second half. It also announced that it plans to cut 550 jobs, representing five percent of its workforce. Shares in the company declined 13 percent to $10.06, a 52-week low. J.P. Morgan analyst Dean Gianoukos said,"What happened to Hasbro is not new to the toy industry. . . . They geared up to produce some popular products, then people stopped buying them, and they're still geared up with all the associated overhead."
|73.HOLLYWOOD SPENDS BIG ON ADS
In an effort to bring a reluctant public into the theaters, spending on movie advertising has spiraled upwards in 2000, according to data compiled by New York-based Competitive Media Reporting. According to the data, the leading ad spenders this year were GLADIATOR, with $29.5 million, CHICKEN RUN, with $27.5 million, and THE PERFECT STORM, with $25.6 million. Each of them exceeded last year's leaders, MAN ON THE MOON, THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER and TARZAN, ($20 million to $22.5 million).
|74.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER
NOV. 3RD: CHARLIE'S ANGELS: In this outing, the Angels save a kidnapped soon-to-be billionaire from a dastardly abductor. There were supposed to be a few cameos of some of the 1/2 dozen former Angels from the TV show, but that seems to have fallen through. There's been a lot of speculation on the final roster of Angels to appear in the film. At various times the producers have talked to Angelina Jolie, Liv Tyler, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jordana Brewster, Thandie Newton and Lauryn Hill. The new (and improved?) Angels consist of Drew Barrymore as Dylan, Cameron Diaz as Natalie and Lucy Liu as Alex. John Forsythe returns to give voice to the mysterious Charlie. Bill Murray is the new Bosley. The despicable villain is played by Tim Curry. The rest of the cast consists of Crispin Glover, Tom Green, LL Cool J, Matt LeBlanc, Kelly Lynch and Sam Rockwell. Director Joseph McGinty Nichol is, once again, a first time director with numerous music videos on his resume'.
NOV. 10TH: RED
PLANET: Earth is dying, choking on its own waste. The only hope for
humanity is the colonization of Mars. Mission Commander Kate Bowman (Carrie-Ann
Moss) is the the pilot of the mission to investigate what went wrong with
the Mars Terraforming Project, and to repair it. However, a crash landing
leaves them without scientific, communication, or escape equipment, and
transforms their mapping and exploration robot into an enemy, on a mission
to hunt down the crew it's supposed to be working for. (That's the cat-like
robot that you see in the trailer). Defying orders from Houston, Bowman
refuses to leave the rest of the crew (Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Benjamin
Bratt, Simon Baker and Terrence Stamp) on Mars. Like many recent films,
this one's in the hands of first-time director Antony Hoffman (a director
whose previous experience has been in making commercials). If you really
REALLY love this movie, check out the auction of memorabilia for this and
other Warner films at warnerbrosauction.com.
Beginning November 8th, Warner Bros. will entertain bids for RED PLANETodds
and ends, as well as production exclusives from MARS ATTACKS!, GREMLINS
2, Warner Bros. feature animation THE IRON GIANT and other props and collectibles
offered directly from the Warner Bros. vaults. All auction items are DNA
Codemarked and come with a Certificate of Authenticity.
NOV. 17TH: THE
6TH DAY: In this one Ahnold plays a helicopter pilot that returns home
to his wife (played by Wendy Crewson) and finds himself replaced by a clone
(designed by Robert Duvall's scientist character). Soon enough, there is
a team of assassins (Michael Rooker and Sarah Wynter) sent out to scratch
out the original Ahnold . . . if they can figure out which is which. Tony
Goldwyn plays the film's villain, the clone of an industrialist who wants
to kill Schwarzenegger's character because he knows that what Goldwyn is
up to is illegal. The film is directed by veteran director Roger Spottiswoode
(TOMORROW NEVER DIES, TERROR TRAIN, AIR AMERICA). It was, at one time,
entitled ON THE SIXTH DAY, referring to the creation of man in the Book
NOV. 22ND: UNBREAKABLE: Bruce Willis is forced to confront something about himself when he emerges uninjured from a train wreck that mangled and killed all of the surrounding passenegers. He may be a special kind of person - one who never suffers sickness or injury. He may be "unbreakable." The movie also features Samuel L. Jackson and Robin Wright Penn. This is the first feature directed by M. Night Shyamalan since last year's THE SIXTH SENSE.
|75.STARS ON THE NET ON SCI-FI.COM
The Sci-Fi Channel's Website has been running (what amounts to) a series of radio dramas Online on their "Seeing Ear Theater." They've recently begun a series of 13 new Tales from the Crypt episodes. Just like the TV show, each episode will be introduced by "The Crypt Keeper" (John Kassir). They'll be debuting new episodes every Thursday.
The first one is "Island of Death." It stars Gina Gershon (of FACE/OFF) and Luke Perry (from BEVERLY HILLS 90210). Gershon plays Galatea Hapsburg, the hostess of the reality television show MANTIS. Galatea sleeps with "dot-com" millionaire Quinn Dillon (Perry), then proceeds to hunt him down through a camera-filled deserted island jungle. "Island of Death" was originally published in the comic "The Vault of Horror."
|76.MOVIEMAKERS INCREASINGLY TURNING TO CAMCORDERS
Looks like last year's BLAIR WITCH PROJECT may have started an odd trend. Usually, when I write about technology I'm writing about something with a strong "gee-whiz" Buck-Rogerish factor. Here's a new trend among filmmakers that's a major step BACKWARDS in technology. Low-cost digital cameras are increasingly being used in filmmaking to cut costs.We're talking the kind that you'd find in BestBuys and Circuit City. Spike Lee said that he shot his latest film, BAMBOOZLED, with a $1,200 Sony VX-1000 digital camcorder, which allowed him to make faster set-ups than would have been the case if he had used studio equipment. "We did not have a lot of money to shoot this film, so we really needed to move," he said. Director Jon Shear noted that he shot his film URBANIA on 16mm film, then transferred it to digital for post-production. Other films employing consumer video cameras for all or part of the production include the Coen Brothers' O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? and Lars Von Trier's award-winning DANCER IN THE DARK.
|77.THE DEATH OF VIDEO STORES I: MOVIES BY PHONE
Hoping to bring "the depth of a video store in your home," the Cincinnati-based company, Broadwing announced that it will begin testing a system in November that would eventually allow consumers to watch any movie at any time via a settop box hooked up to high-speed DSL telephone lines. The homes participating in the test will be serviced by Culver City, CA-based Intertainer Inc, which currently provides an on-demand service via cable.
|78.THE DEATH OF VIDEO STORES II: MOVIES BY NET
Most members of the entertainment industry (52 %) who specialize in high-technology applications believe that a "mainstream delivery application" will be developed within the next two years that will allow full-length movies to be presented over the Internet, according to an informal survey conducted by Showbiz Data, an Online entertainment portal. In addition, 53 % of those participating in the survey indicated that they do not believe that the piracy issue can be "successfully addressed."
|79.THE BEST PLACE FOR SPIDER-MAN? THE WORLD WIDE
Marvel has sold out of "The Ultimate Spider-Man" on the newstands. They've decided to accomodate fans by posting a free downlodable issue at Marvel.com. It will be offered in four 13-page weekly installments. The comic marks the launch of the Marvel.comics portion of the Web site, where readers will be able to download future issues of Marvel's top-selling comic titles. The Online editions have been created with Flash technology, enabling readers to read the story by enlarging individual panels as they go.
|80.INTERNET VIA SATELLITE
The World Wide Web can now be delivered to you from the heavens as a new deal with the DISH Network, providers of satellite service and Geocast Network Systems Inc., providers of broadband Internet service, takes effect next year. Geocast will deliver service through a GeoBox hooked to the computers of subscribers. The GeoBox contains a 40 GB hard drive that can store broadcast-quality audio and other content. It's going to be a little while before DISH's 4.3 million subscribers have a crack at it. The rollout isn't scheduled until the third quarter of 2001. Pricing hasn't been announced.
|81.MYSTERYCLOCK.COM, BROUGHT TO YOU BY ALEX PROYAS
Filmmaker Alex Proyas has launched a multimedia Web site called mysteryclock.com. The site features games, animation, short films and other genre-themed entertainment. Proyas directed such films as DARK CITY (1998) THE CROW (1994) and the Australian sci-fi film SPIRITS OF THE AIR, GREMLINS OF THE CLOUDS (1989).
The site features Multiverse, a Flash-based sci-fi animation series; "Consequences," a screenwriting game in which Proyas will write the first two pages and users will be invited to submit subsequent scenes; "Minute Movies," a series of very short shorts; "Book of Dreams," an anthology of dream stories; and Mind Games, described as "visual treats for the eyes and mind." The site will also offer extracts from Proyas' private journals; quotes about his creative process; stills, storyboards and sketches from THE CROW and DARK CITY; two of Proyas' early short films, STRANGE RESIDUES and SPINELESS; and a selection of Proyas' TV commercials and music videos.
|82.WANNA BE A PRODUCER?
Lions Gate Films is offering you a chance to become a cigar-chomping, cuthtroat, backstabbing, power-crazed Hollywood fatcat. They have teamed with the Online company Hollywood Stock Exchange to recruit "virtual producers" for its upcoming film SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE, about the making of the silent vampire movie NOSFERATU. Under the program, the filmmakers would allow Online visitors to follow the movie via the Internet through various stages of its production and marketing campaign and to suggest ways to improve them. Participants will get a screen credit, but only if you also pay $10 for associate virtual producer credit or $50 for executive virtual producer. In exchange, virtual producers will split $150,000 if the movie grosses $10 million domestically, $300,000 if it grosses $15 million and $500,000 if it grosses $20 million. Since VAMPIRE is completed, the virtual producers will have a chance to make suggestions about the film's DVD features, but not on the movie itself.
|83.MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH
There was a race on to sell special combo boxes to consumers in time for the holidays. Looks like that will have to wait until January, at the earliest.
Microsoft Ultimate TV offers an all-in-one satellite, digital video recorder and Internet access device in a single unit. A similar unit from AOLTV will also be delayed. The delay gives a headstart to the TiVo/Direct TV unit that's recently hit stores, which combines satellite and a digital recorder.
|84.DINOSAUR ATTACKS ON AN L.A. MUSEUM
Universal Studios Home Video staged a velociraptor attack at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History to promote its release of JURASSIC PARK and THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK DVD's. Flipped cars, torn-up trees and toppled light posts greeted the press outside the museum, where the dinosaurs will become a permanent display.
Rental titles releasing 11/7: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 is coming to video today. The title stars Tom Cruise and is directed by John Woo. You can rent the VHS or buy the DVD for $24.95. . . . THE PATRIOT shows us how Mel Gibson won the Revolutionary War (thanks Mel). The VHS is rental priced. The DVD is $27.96. . . . TERMINATION MAN is Steve Railsback as a genetically enhanced super-agent who takes on Serbian terrorists threatening U.N. peacekeepers. Rent the video or buy the DVD for $19.98.
Rental titles releasing 11/21: GLADIATOR, last spring's big sword and sandal release, gets released today. The VHS is priced as a rental. The DVD comes with all the fixings in a special two-disc set for $29.98. . . . INVASION was originally entitled TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN during its limited release last year. It's set in the fifties in the tiny town of Exceptional Vista. The residents are pre-occupied over two things - fishing and sex! Their preoccupations prevent them from noticing that the town residents are slowly being consumed by invading space aliens. The movie is meant to be a loving tip of the hat to fifties B-sci-fi flicks. The video is priced to rent. The disc sells for $24.90. . . . OCTOPUS stars Jay Harrington, David Beecroft and Carolyn Lowery in this story of an elite American nuclear submarine on a classified mission is ordered to travel through a frightening area of ocean where 27 ships have been attacked by an octopus with 100-foot long tentacles. The VHS is a rental. The DVD sells for $24.99.
Rental titles releasing 11:24: ISLAND OF THE DEAD releases on an a-typical Friday. Malcom McDowell, whose gone from the A-list to "will act for food," appears in this little B flick. A group of people are stuck on an island where the dead have mysteriously been burped up out of the ground. But it's not what you think. They don't go on a brain-eating expedition. But they do draw flies - large vicious supernatural killer flies. The strandees have to find a way to survive. The VHS is priced to rent. The DVD is $19.98.
Rental titles releasing 11/28: ALIEN BLOOD is from Troma. It's described as an extra-terrestrial tale of motherly love and extreme violence full of eerie vampiric images, sex and bloodshed. The VHS is a rental. The DVD sells for $19.98. . . . WHEN PIGS FLY stars sixties pop-icon Marianne Faithful in this 1993 story of a lonely jazz musician who help's two spirits seek revenge on the murdering husband of one of the ghosts. It's in VHS only.
Sell through titles releasing 11/7: Today is a day for holiday ghost stories! First up we have the universal favorite, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, from 1951 and starring Alistair Sim. You can get the VHS either in colorized or beautiful black & white for $14.99. You can pick up the DVD either in black & white or as a special double-sided edition with black & white on one side and colorized on the others for $19.99. . . . The other holiday ghost story is 1940's BEYOND TOMORROW. Three wealthy bachelors take pity on a struggling young couple on Christmas Eve and invite them in for dinner. When the trio suddenly dies, one of them returns to help them find the happiness in life that eluded him. The benevolent ghost is played by Charles Winninger. Before he wrestled with the alien in IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953), tussled with THE MAGNETIC MONSTER (1953) or hassled THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) Richard Carlson took time from his busy monster-killing schedule to co-star in this movie as the male half of the needy young couple. It's yours, in VHS for $14.99, on DVD for $19.99. . . . Part of a rush of SOUTH PARK DVD's releasing today is the festive CHRISTMAS IN SOUTH PARK. This features three episodes of holiday fun on one DVD. SOUTH PARK CHEF EXPERIENCE gives us three episodes starring Chef. These two DVD's are $19.98 each. There's a slimmed down version of these two titles, each with two episodes along with a BEST OF SOUTH PARK, also featuring two episodes. These are $14.95 each, or in a three pack for $39.98. . . . In anime' we've got BRAIN POWERED VOL. 6 "WORLD'S END" on VHS for $29.95. . . . DESTINY was Fritz Lang's first film, back in 1921, and some people consider one of his finest ever. It's based on a childhood dream that he had. This gothic fantasy focuses in on a young couple traveling on their way to their wedding. They stop at an inn for lunch. Death captures the groom-to-be and holds him in a doorless, windowless room. His bride discovers what's happened. Death shows her three other stories of couples in similar peril. To rescue her fiancee' she has to intervene in one of the stories and save a life. Every description that I've read of this film keep using words like "haunting," "beautiful" and "extraordinary." It's on DVD only for $24.99. . . . For those of you who like your film-noir classic and your sexual tension crackling, the 1946 film GILDA makes its way to DVD today. Glenn Ford plays the American gambler rescued from oblivion by a ruthless Buenos Aries crime lord. Rita Hayworth, at her most sultry and alluring, is the gangster's new American wife that threatens to tear everything apart. Buy the DVD for $29.95, sit back and enjoy it and remember to "Put the Blame on Mame." . . . There's more for mystery fans. If you're looking for a seldom seen treat check out the 1929 BULLDOG DRUMMOND. The movie marked the screen debut of both the title character on the screen (there were nearly twenty BULLDOG DRUMMOND movies) and the actor who played him - Ronald Colman (who got a Best Actor nomination that year for the Oscars). In this movie Hugh 'Bulldog' Drummond is a British WWI veteran who longs for some excitement after he returns to the humdrum existence of civilian life. He gets what he's looking for when an American girl (Joan Bennett) requests his help in freeing her uncle from a nursing home. She believes the home is just a front and that her uncle is really being held captive while the culprits try to extort his fortune from him. Colman is plays it witty, charming and unapologetically violent (like the scene where he gleefully strangles a man to death with his bare hands). It's available on VHS only for $9.94. . . . An interesting documentary debuts on video and disc today - HOWARD HUGHES: HIS WOMEN & HIS MOVIES. It tells the amazing story of how much influence Hughes had in Hollywood and how that re-shaped the ways films were made. The video is $19.98. The DVD sells for $24.98. . . . THE MOUSE ON THE MOON is the 1963 sequel to THE MOUSE THAT ROARED. The Duchy of Grand Fenwick enters the space race as they persuade the Americans and Russians to finance their endeavors. What they really want is money to repair the plumbing in the castle. It's on VHS only for $14.95. . . . THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL served as a model for later super heroes. In this 1934 film, Leslie Howard plays an 18th century aristocrat who leads a double life. He's a foppish socialite by day and the fearless leader of an underground resistance rescuing French nobility from the excesses of the French Revolution and the guillotine by night. The VHS is $14.95. . . .THE SLAYERS NEXT DVD COLLECTION is reserved for the most avid fans of this anime' series. For $129.99 you can join the not-so-heroic adventures of Lina Inverse - the super-cute sorceress who steals from the rich and keeps it for herself! . . . TITAN A.E. comes to VHS. This high profile animated space adventure features the voices of Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Bill Pullman, Nathan Lane, Tone Loc and Jim Bruer. The movie's set a thousand years in the future. Earth has been destroyed by attacking aliens. A human teenager makes a dangerous journey to find a starship holding the last survivors of the planet. It sells for $19.98. . . . UFO THE TRUE STORY OF FLYING SAUCERS is a 1956 documentary that boasts of footage of actual encounters with "Unidentified Flying Objects" (it's pretty blurry and tough to see). It's exclusively on VHS and sells for $14.95.
Sell through titles releasing 11/14: The big news in sell-through today is a direct-to-the-sales-rack release of last summer's hit, THE PERFECT STORM. The VHS is $22.98. The DVD is $24.98. You can get a DVD "Deluxe Collector's Edition" for $79.98. Besides the usual bells & whistles the Collector's Edition is packaged in a luxury fitted slipcase and contains: senitype images from the movie and a 35mm film clip, 8 lobby cards; 6 black & white stills, a 27" x 40" original one-sheet movie poster, production stills set to John Mellencamp's PERFECT STORM theme, "Yours Forever," the "HBO First Look" Making Of, "Witnesses to the Storm" Making Of, "Creating the Emotion" Making Of with composer James Horner and both full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats. You can elect to skip some of the fixings and buy the "Deluxe Mini Collector's Set" for $49.98. . . . THE X-FILES, THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON is now available on DVD for $149.98. This collector's edition set has seven discs that includes all the second season episodes. Disc seven special features include: interviews with Chris Carter, "The Truth About Season Two," documentary, behind-the-scenes clips, deleted scenes, DVD-ROM game and more. . . . For George Pal fans today we have THE PUPPETOON MOVIE. It's a collection of the best of George Pal's stop-motion animation for $29.95 on DVD. . . . Today is, apparently Troma Day. For those who don't know them they're the guys who've given the world SURF NAZIS MUST DIE, THE TOXIC AVENGER and CANNIBAL WOMEN IN THE AVOCADO JUNGLE OF DEATH. Today we've got KILLER NERD, featuring a homicidal rampage when a geek gets dissed and BRIDE OF THE KILLER NERD, featuring a homicidal rampage when a geek and his girl are dissed. Troma also gives us A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM on VHS today. I'm sure they'll honor the Bard here as much as they did in their earlier TROMEO & JULIET. They also did ROCKABILLY VAMPIRE in which a young obsessed Elvis fan discovers that the Elvis impersonator that she's just fallen for is a vampire. Troma also has THE DAY THEY CAPTURED BIGFOOT from 1979. You can witness the mayhem for $14.95 on VHS only. . . . CHANG: A DRAMA OF THE WILDERNESS is a little curiosity from 1927. It's a documentary, shot in Siam at the end of the silent era, by Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper, six years before the two of them would team up to give us KING KONG. It's many scenes of rampaging and hostile animals would be echoed in KONG later. The year that it was released it was nominated for an Oscar for "Best Picture, Unique and Artistic Production." That was the one and only year that category was ever a part of the Academy Awards. It's available on DVD for $29.95. . . . FANTASIA comes out today. You can get the original 1940 FANTASIA on VHS for $69.99. The DVD is offering the FANTASIA ANTHOLOGY which contains three discs, FANTASIA (classic title), FANTASIA 2000 and FANTASIA LEGACY offering supplemental material to the prior two discs. The DVD is also $69.99. . . . HORROR OF SPIDER ISLAND is a 1960 German exploitation film that is one of the counter-arguments to anyone who says the PLAN 9 was the worst movie ever made. A plane load of beautiful babes crashes near a deserted island that is loaded with pristine beaches, swaying palm trees and radioactive spiders whose bite turns their victims into spiders. Actually we only see one chihuahua-sized arachnid, but we'll take the filmmaker's word for it. What we see mostly is 1960 cheesecake. The women's clothing gets mysteriously, and strategically, tattered as soon as they hit the water. This timeless gem is available exclusively on DVD for $24.95. . . . TWILIGHT ZONE VOL. 36 and 37 go up for sale today. Number 36 contains three episodes: "Hocus Pocus and Frisby," "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville," and "Mr. Garrity and the Graves." Number 37 has three episodes: "The Chaser," "The Rip Van Winkle Caper" and "The New Exhibit." They're both on DVD for $24.99. . . . Today in anime' we've got 3X3 EYES VOL. 2 "LEGEND OF THE DIVINE DEMON,"You can pick it up dubbed or subtitled, VHS only, for $29.95. . . . FUSHI YUGI, THE MYSTERIOUS PLAY is another anime' release for today. You can get VHS dubbed or subtitled for $24.95. . . . TRIGUN: ANGEL ARMS VOL. 5 is anime' selling for $24.98 for the VHS dubbed and $29.98 bath for the VHS subtitled and the DVD. . . . TENCHI UNIVERESE: TIME AND SPACE ADVENTURES V. 4 is another anime' on DVD today for $29.98. . . . LOST UNIVERSE VOL. 3 sells on VHS for $19.98 dubbed and $29.98 subtitled. The DVD is dubbed only for $29.98. . . . MASQUERADE: DARKNESS OF LOVE is on VHS for $29.95. . . . MAZE: EVIL LABYRINTH is on VHS for $19.95. . . . REBOOT comes out on VHS for $14.98. . . . RURONI KENSHIN: BETRAYAL comes in VHS only for $29.95. . . . THE SLAYER'S TRY COLLECTOR'S BOX 2 comes in VHS, subtitled or dubbed, for $69.99. . . . THE SLAYER'S TRY: SHOWDOWN comes on VHS for $19.95.
Sell through titles releasing 11/21: X-MEN, last summer's blockbuster,
bypasses rental and goes directly to the sale rack today. The VHS is $22.98.
The DVD sells for $29.98. . . . The STAR WARS TRIOLGY, in a boxed set,
comes out today. It contains the original three films, IV - A NEW HOPE,
V - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and VI - RETURN OF THE JEDI. They're available
on VHS only in either widescreen or pan-and-scan for $39.98. . . . CHICKEN
RUN last summer's hit featuring stop-motion animated chickens in a sort
of light-hearted remake of THE GREAT ESCAPE, goes directly to the sale
rack today, in time for the holidays. Both the VHS and the DVD sell for
$26.99. . . . Perhaps, not surprisingly, timed to release with CHICKEN
RUN is the series that creator Nick Park has been most famous for - THE
INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF WALLACE AND GROMIT. It has three fun shorts featuring,
including "A Grand Day Out," "The Wrong Trousers" and "A Close Shave."
It's available on VHS only for $19.95. . . . The 1981 Kurt Russell/John
Carpenter action classic, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, hits DVD today. It goes
for $19.98. . . . For those of you who'd like to see an earlier version
of Russell Crowe, before he was sanitized to become an American A-list
actor, check out ROMPER STOMPER on DVD. Crowe plays the leader of a band
of Australian Nazi skinheads at war with their new Vietnamese neighbors.
It's $26.98. . . . SPACEWAYS is a 1953 British production. It marked England's
first sci-fi film since THINGS TO COME in 1936. It was also Hammer Studio's
first trip into science fiction. It's set at a secret rocket base in England,
where scientist Howard Duff is accused of committing the perfect crime
- murdering his adulterous wife and her Russian spy lover and disposing
of their bodies by firing them into space aboard a satellite. To prove
his innocence, he must go into space and retrieve the orbiter with fellow
scientist, lovely Eva Bartok, who insists on accompanying him, possibly
never to return! It's exclusively on DVD for $24.99. . . .
Sell through titles releasing 11/28: SISTERS OF SIN, from Troma, is the story of Johnnie Blake, a man who has decided to spend his life fighting the dark forces of the occult as "The Monk." He has top take on three demon-spawned sisters, each using supernatural wiles to woo him into the darkness. . . . FUSHIGI YUGI: THE MYSTERIOUS PLAY is a popular anime' series. Now all 26 episodes (over 26 hours!) of the second season are available in an eight volume DVD set for $198.00. . . . SERIAL EXPERIMENTS: LAIN is an anime' series that comes in a special limited-edition lunchbox. The four-volume series is $119.98, exclusively on DVD. . . . DUAL! STUDENT HOUSING is anime' selling on VHS for $24.98 (dubbed or subtitled) or DVD for $29.98. . . . Both ROYAL SPACE FORCE: THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE and MACROSS II: THE MOVIE are anime's debuting on DVD for $29.98 each. . . . GASRAKI 2: THE CIRCLE OPENS is anime' with giant robots. The VHS sells for $19.98. The DVD goes for $29.98. . . . ZERO WOMEN: THE HUNTED is the anime' story of a beautiful assassin who has been marked for death. It's in VHS only for $29.99.
|86.THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
Most of us have not heard the name Frederick S. Clarke, but many of us have enjoyed the magazine that stands as his legacy. Mr. Clarke was the owner and publisher of "Cinefantastique" magazine. He died on October 17 of undisclosed causes. He was 51.
The magazine will continue to publish with no changes to the staff of seven. He left behind many loyal contributing writers and devoted readers as well as his wife, Celeste Clarke; his children, Whitney and Caitlin; and his stepchildren, Drew and Ann Sikula.
In all likelihood, no one has written more screenplays
in the field of Imaginative Cinema than Curt
Siodmak. In his long career he has created more than
70 screenplays in this country and in his native Germany.
was everywhere! This veteran character actor appeared in over 500 motion
pictures and 1000 television shows, by one count. Starting at the age of
four, she appeared in hundreds of silent films under assumed names so her
father's family wouldn't find out. Rarely a featured player she provided
many wonderful performances in support of the leads.
Jr., the last surviving member of the Hollywood Ten,
a group of screenwriters who were jailed and blacklisted during the McCarthy
era in the 1950s, has died. Lardner's satirical screenplays earned him
two Academy Awards, but he was best known for his refusal to tell the House
Un-American Activities Committee if he had ever been a Communist. Lardner
was a Communist but held that his political views were none of the government's
business. "I could answer the question exactly the way you want," he said
under questioning in 1947 from Rep. J. Parnell Thomas, a Republican from
New Jersey. "But if I did, I would hate myself in the morning." Ironically,
Congressman Thomas became one of Lardner's fellow inmates after his conviction
on defrauding the government by putting fictitious workers on his Congressional
FRI. 3RD - MOVIES CHARLIE'S ANGELS debuts
SUN 5TH: TV- FUTURAMA season premiere
TV - THE SIMPSONS season premiere (250th episode)
TV - THE X-FILES season premiere
TUE. 7TH: VIDEO RENTAL: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2,THE PATRIOT and TERMI-
FRI. 10TH - MOVIES RED PLANET debuts
SAT 11TH - EVENT - ECLECTICON
SUN 12TH: TV - THE INDIAN TOMB world television premiere on TCM
TUE. 14TH: VIDEO SELL-THROUGH: THE PERFECT STORM, KILLER NERD,
FRI. 17TH - MOVIES THE 6TH DAY debuts
SAT. 18TH - ICS MEETING, 6:00 P.M.
SUN. 19TH - EVENT - PHILCON 2000
TUE. 21ST: VIDEO RENTAL: GLADIATOR, INVASION and OCTOPUS become avail-
WED. 22ND - MOVIES UNBREAKABLE debuts
FRI. 24TH: VIDEO RENTAL: ISLAND OF THE DEAD hits rental today.
TUE. 29TH: VIDEO RENTAL: ALIEN BLOOD and WHEN PIGS FLY hit rental