#23-December 2000
CLUB NEWS
1.WE GAVE THANKS IN NOVEMBER . . .
2.NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
3.DECEMBER IS DVD MONTH
     Bring your favorite DVD for December 
4.DECEMBER IS YANKEE SWAP MONTH
     Bring along a $20 gift for December 
5.DECEMBER SNACKS
    Bring along a holiday snack for December 
6.WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBERS
    We welcome Bob Thompson, Barry Walker and Jeanne Matcovich
7.THE CALENDARS ARE HERE!
8.THE MINI-CONVENTION WAS A ROUSING SUCCESS!
9.WE HAVE A NEW AMENDMENT TO OUR CONSTITUTION CONCERNING GUESTS
10.PEGGY REACHES A NEW MILESTONE!
    Happy Birthday Peggy! 
11.ICS FILE SURVEY RESULTS
12.ELECTIONS REMINDER
TV NEWS
13.THE GLASS TEAT
With news on ANONYMOUS REX,  BATTLEFIELD EARTH animated series, ROSWELL, fans of Donald Bellisario, SMALLVILLE, COLISSEUM, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA animated series, THE MISTS OF AVALON and a DR. WHO movie.
14.SPICE WORLD
    DUNE comes to Sci-Fi. 
15.AIP TO HBO
    HBO will re-make some classic "B" monster pics. 
16.THIS AIN'T "MULDER-LIGHT"
17."IS GILLIAN ANDERSON GAY?"
18.DAVID DUCHOVNY'S DAUGHTER IS ADDICTED TO BLOOD!
19.MISSED IT BY THA-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-AT MUCH
    Garibaldi won't be going to Congress. 
20.DESTINATION MIR WILL NOT BE LOST IN SPACE
21.BUFFY'S BOXING DEMON
22.NO SPEARS FOR BUFFY
23.HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUNN
24.JESSICA ALBA WALKS THE WALK
25.LAY IN A COURSE FOR TNN, MAXIMUM WARP
    TNN will be serving all of your TREK needs. 
26.NEELIX SPILLS THE BEANS ON THE ONCE AND FUTURE TREKS
27.A DIFFERENT VIEW FOR THE END OF VOYAGER
28.SPINER DECLINES WEEKLY DATA
29.WHAT COMES AFTER NINE?
30."I WANT TO LIVE!"
31.KATE MULGREW SETS PHASERS ON BELTRAN
32.PSY-TREK?
33.BABYLON 5 MOVIES TO AIR ON SCI-FI CHANNEL THIS MONTH
34.LUCY LAWLESS LOOKS AHEAD TO THE LAST OF XENA
35.OXYGEN BREATHES IN XENA
36.SCI-FI CHANNEL CHAIN REACTIONS FOR DECEMBER
37.TREY PARKER IS DELIGHTED OVER THE ELECTION'S RESULT
EVENT NEWS
38.THINGS TO COME
News on  KATSUCON
LITERARY NEWS
39.POCKET BOOKS LAUNCHES DEEP SPACE 9 SERIES
40.CAMERON TURNS FROM THE CAMERA TO THE KEYBOARD
41.THE PLANT GOES INTO HIBERNATION
42.ANNE RICE ONLINE
MOVIE NEWS
43.THE 28TH ANNUAL ANNIE AWARDS
44.GOOD NEWS FOR MOVIE FANS LIVING IN CENTRAL MARYLAND!
45.CAT IN THE BLOOD-SOAKED HAT
46.DOUGRAY SCOTT WILL NOT BE ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE
47.JURASSIC CHRICHTON
48.WHAT THE WELL-DRESSED APE IS WEARING THIS YEAR
49.MIBII FINALLY SCHEDULED
50.UNBREAKABLE, THE TRILOGY
51.BRYAN SINGER WANTS NEW X-MEN FOR XMAS
52.AHNOLD I: AHNOLD MEETS THE SEQUEL MONSTER
53.AHNOLD II: AHNOLD GETS A PRIZE
54.AHNOLD III: SHE WHO MUST BE DESTROYED
55.CHECKING BATMAN FOR BATS IN THE BELFRY
56.MINI-ME AND THE SHAQ-ATTACK
57.MILIUS AND THE MATRIX BOYS HUNT FOR SON OF CONAN
58.AUSTIN POWERS' NEXT STOP WILL BE HIS FIRST STOP
59.THE BAGEL CAM  AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
60.THE BAGEL CAM: GRANTER OF WISHES
61.BERMAN DROPS CLUES ON TREKX
62.SPIDER-MAN MAY NEED RESCUING
63.RED PLANET USED TO PROMOTE A MISSION TO MARS
64.NEW BOOK REVEALS STARS' UNUSUAL DEMANDS
65.CLINTON COURTED BY HOLLYWOOD
66.JANUARY 17, 2082
67.SIXNOTNINE,SIXNOTNINE,SIXNOTNINE,SIXNOTNINE . . .
68.THE PRINCESS AND THE PLEA
69.SAMUEL L. JACKSON LOVED OPENING A CAN OF JEDI WHUP-A**
70.LINDA HARRISON WILL NEVER ESCAPE THE PLANET OF THE APES
71.IMAX NIXES THE 3-D SHREK
72.WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
73.THE BILLION DOLLAR ROUND TABLE
74.HOLLYWOOD ALPHABET: NATO RESPONDS TO CONGRESSIONAL THREATS
75.HOLLYWOOD ALPHABET: THE TWO R'S
76.MOVIES DON'T KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE
77.THE GRAVITATIONAL PULL OF THE COMING STRIKE
78.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER
    With a look ahead at DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, PROOF OF LIFE, VERTICAL LIMITCAST AWAY, WES CRAVEN PRESENTS DRACULA 2000 and FAMILY MAN.
TECHNOLOGY NEWS
79.MOVIES ON A CREDIT CARD ARE COMING
80.IMAX, CHRONICLERS OF THE FINAL FRONTIER
81.THE WORLD'S FIRST REAL 'HOLODECK' IS CREATED
82.GEORGE LUCAS AND THE END OF FILM
83.STUDIOS TO TURN THE WEB INTO A THEATER
84.NUON IMPROVED
85.REPLAY-TV HITS THE STOP BUTTON
86.OF LIGHT SABERS AND MOUSE CLICKS
87.THE GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
VIDEO NEWS
88.TEACHING A DEAD DOG NEW TRICKS
    Perfecting BATTLEFIELD EARTH for its video release in Germany.
89.DVD PRICES TUMBLING
90. BLOCKBUSTER GUARANTEES DVD SATISFACTION
91.VIDEOCY
FAREWELLS
92.THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
We say good-bye to the legendary author,
    L. Sprague de Camp
IN REVIEW
93. DECEMBER CALENDAR
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1.WE GAVE THANKS IN NOVEMBER . . .
    . . . for such a wonderful meeting. Many times, when we move the meeting date around for holidays, we've had smallish turnouts. This time we had over twenty people all laughing and having a wonderful time. Thanks go to Dave Henderson for dreaming up "Hell on Wheels" night, which looked at the horror of cars (other than expired warranties, incompetent mechanics and outrageous repair bills). He led us on a verbal tour of cars and horror films. We then got to sample that James Brolin 1977 masterpiece, THE CAR. We wisecracked our way through all 77 minutes of it.  Afterwards, twelve of us went across the street to the Double T Diner and closed the joint. Thanks everyone for making November so memorable!
2.NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
    Our December meeting will be held on Saturday December 30th at 6:00 P.M. at the church hall behind the Perry Hall Presbyterian Church located at 8848 BelAir Road. Take Baltimore Beltway exit 32 north on Belair Road. Turn left onto Joppa Road. Immediately past the miniature golf course turn left into the parking lot. If you miss it there are ample turn-around opportunities. If you get stuck call 410-598-8005. That's Dave Henderson's cell phone. He'll talk you in.
3.DECEMBER IS DVD MONTH
    We're doing something a little different with the movies in December. Instead of one person bringing several movies, we're asking as many people as feel so inclined to tow along your single favorite movie on DVD. Be prepared to tell us why we can't live without seeing it. We'll vote and play one of the movies on a DVD player that we'll have at the meeting.
4.DECEMBER IS YANKEE SWAP MONTH
    Just as we did last year, we'll be asking people who'd like to participate to bring a gift worth about $20 (we voted to raise last year's limit), nicely wrapped, to the December 30th meeting. The gifts will go out on a "Yankee Swap" basis (don't worry, if you don't know, we'll explain it at the meeting). Not only did we have a lot of fun last year, we got and gave some pretty good gifts!
5.DECEMBER SNACKS
    We encourage everyone, as usual, to bring their favorite snacks along. Since we'll be meeting during the holidays, perhaps some of you could bring along some seasonal treats. Maybe some Christmas cookies? How about some candy canes? Or (non-spiked) egg nog. Use your imagination.
6.WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBERS
    We are pleased to welcome three new members to the growing family of the I.C.S.
    Bob Thompson has become a familiar face at our last several meetings. You've seen his smiling face beaming up from his wheel chair. Bob is also an ardent attendee of many local conventions. Welcome aboard Bob.
    Barry Walker is another steady convention goer. You may have traded ideas with him during a panel discussion somewhere. He and Bob are good friends. Welcome Barry.
    Jeanne Matcovich didn't take long to realize that she was a club member. After seeing our "Penny Saver" ad (thanks to Vince), Jeanne visited us at our last meeting and sent in her dues check days later. Welcome Jeanne!
7.THE CALENDARS ARE HERE!
    The 2001 calendars are ready - and they look fabulous! The pristine graphics are thanks to the hard work of one Mr. Charles Nelson Wittig III. Unfortunately, we don't have any extras. If you ordered them though, please be ready to pick them up and pay for them at our December meeting. The calendars are $15.
8.THE MINI-CONVENTION WAS A ROUSING SUCCESS!
    The mini-convention at Hunt Valley on November 25th was very successful for our club. We grossed $700! Deducting the $90 cost of the tables, we did extremely well. Some of the remaining inventory will be put up for sale on eBay. Some of it will appear in a club auction early next year.
Thanks go to the several people who set the tables up, staffed it and helped to break it down. That includes Vince DiLeonardi, Dave Henderson, Joe Plempel, Regina Vallerani and Charlie Wittig. Particular thanks go to the many club members who donated the items to be sold. We're fortunate that that particular list of honorees is so numerous that to recount it we'd inevitably be omitting someone. Please accept our sincere gratitude. Because of your sacrifices, we're all better off. 
    And finally thanks go to our host and hostess, Gary and Sue Svehla. It was their acquiring the space and sending out a mailing to publicize it that enabled us to do so well. Thank-you Gary and Sue. 
9.WE HAVE A NEW AMENDMENT TO OUR CONSTITUTION CONCERNING GUESTS 
    At our last meeting, a new amendment was proposed to our constitution and was unanimously ratified. It concerns the attendance of guests at our meetings. We strongly urge everyone to bring family and friends to our meetings. We grow with the involvement of guests with our club. This new amendment will help us defray some of the cost of the club for guests who are visiting several times as they consider joining us. We also hope that their increasing stake in the club will encourage them to eventually join us. The amendment reads: 

"GUEST  FEES: We enthusiastically encourage guests to visit us. Guests will be asked to leave their names with our club treasurer. Every guest is entitled to attend one free meeting. Each guest will be charged $3.00 for each meeting after their first one. If this guest later decides to become a member of the club, the prior guest fees paid will be applied toward their membership dues." 

    We will start enforcing this new policy in January, 2001.

10.PEGGY REACHES A NEW MILESTONE!
    Congratulations to Peggy Gervasio. She has had a very special occasion recently. She has just celebrated her 80th birthday! Peggy, we can only hope that all of us get to one day celebrate our 80th's too; and with as much style and grace and joy of life as you've always shown. Happy Birthday Peggy. 
11.ICS FILE SURVEY RESULTS 
    Survey results are back from "The ICS Files" survey run last month. It looks like status quo is in. For the most part, folks liked "The ICS Files" just the way it is, thank-you very much. Lets study the results. 
    RE-ACTION TO THE CURRENT FORMAT 
    Some people didn't like the review part at the beginning of each edition called, "In This Issue." Those tended to be people who read every word of every issue. Others found it somewhat helpful. I personally find it tedious to do, but for either casual readers or for folks who are just meeting us it may have some value. The surprise in the results came with the limited popularity of "Literary News." I've felt somewhat guilty in the past for not keeping current in science-fiction, horror and fantasy literature. Apparently that's not shared by fellow club members. Some people didn't have much use for "Technology News." For others it's one of their favorite parts. 
    Following are the raw results from the survey, from lowest to highest scores (they've been rounded to even numbers). A score of "six" to "In This Issue, " "Technology News" and "Literary News." "Eight" to "TV News," "Video News," the obituary section and the calendar. "Event News" drew a "nine." A top score of "ten" went to "Club News" and "Movie News." 
    REACTION TO NEW "ICS FILES" FEATURES
    Some things that I thought people would be crazy for completely bombed. Some of the things that I was dreading people wanted to learn about, to my everlasting relief, also bombed. I thought people would be clamoring for a relief from text and to insert more graphics. Wrong! Once again, literary news, in the form of news on upcoming books and novels, fell flat. I suppose as a club we're more screen starers than page gazers. One of the things that amazed me was the single highest rated option was "reviews." We have a wonderful option on our club's website called "fan-views" that has you, the fan, write a review and post it. Most of you have access to computers. If not, you should be able to get access through a public library (as some of our members have done). Learn to rely more on our homegrown fan reviews. I try not to give reviews (unless it's BATTLEFIELD EARTH!). 
    As before, here are the raw results from lowest to highest. A score of "two" was given to news about trading cards and video games. A "four" was given to including graphics and news about toys & models. A score of "five" went to news of future book and novel releases and to celebrity gossip. The highest score, "eight," went to the idea of reviews. 
    OVERALL SCORES 
    To paraphrase Sally Fields' notorious Oscar acceptance speech, in your overall assessment of "The ICS Files," I can only surmise, "You like it. You really like it!" 
    The most tenuous issue was length. This started out as a svelte little update (issue one was two pages), after being exposed to radiation from a nuclear test, has become a gigantic city eating, power line stomping monster. For the most part, the club seemed to be saying that size doesn't matter. Some people were lukewarm on the issue, others loved the "Attack of the 50' ICS File," saying that they felt like they were getting their money's worth from their club dues. The issue of length garnered a "seven." 
    One of the major changes made to "The ICS Files" since its inception has been the use of links. Issue one had no links. The issue that you're reading now has dozens of them. For those who are reading a print-edition of this, or who have a computer that doesn't digest "HTML," the word "link" refers to little land mines sprinkled liberally through the text of each "ICS File." If you move your cursor over them and click, it will whisk you off to a distant region of hyper-space that (I hope) would be a further enhancement to the story that you're reading. For example, when you read about the movies coming out in the month, each announcement contains a link to the official site for that movie. At least the people who responded to the survey seemed to love the links. It got an overall score of "nine." 
    The final question was about style of writing. I wasn't sure if I was producing the Papa Bear's porridge (too hot) or the Momma Bear's porridge (too cold). Well, I seemed to score a Baby Bear (just right). The style of writing was given a "nine." 
    My goal in doing "The ICS Files" has never wavered, no matter the length or content. If you like Imaginative Cinema and TV, and you're in our club, you should only have to go to one place to be a knowledgeable fan. One source will provide you with the most important news on the club, upcoming conventions, TV, books, movies, video and advances in technology. If anyone has any suggestions on how this newsletter can further achieve that goal, please let me know.
12.ELECTIONS REMINDER 
    We have a completely "chad-free" election coming up in January. If you haven't thought about it seriously before, consider serving the club by offering your services to run for the Board of Directors. If you're interested, please let either of our two tellers, Vince or Regina, know. The deadline is New Year's Day. Those running will have their names posted in the January "ICS Files." 
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13.THE GLASS TEAT
ANONYMOUS REX comes to Sci-Fi. Eric Garcia's SF novel series Anonymous Rex will become a television show from Alliance Atlantis and The Sci-Fi Channel. The books tell the story of a race of dinosaurs who wear latex disguises to pass as humans. . . . BATTLEFIELD EARTH, the series? My Grandma always used to say that all bad pennies roll back. Well Grandma, here's a particularly nasty little coin that is rolling our way. The Tokyo-based Pine Com International will produce an animated television series based on L. Ron Hubbard's novel BATTLEFIELD EARTH. And why not? The movie did so well! Pine Com has licensed the rights to Hubbard's book from Author Services Inc. and will make 20 one-hour segments of the series to be sold into syndication in the spring of 2002. The series has a budget of $4 million. Pine Com also secured the rights to make BATTLEFIELD EARTH computer games and a comic book series, the companies announced. I wonder if Pine Com had many competitors for the rights. . . . ROSWELL continues. The WB has ordered nine more episodes of ROSWELL, ensuring the Monday night sci-fi show will be around for a full season. . . . Good news and bad news for QUANTUM LEAP fans. If you loved QUANTUM LEAP you may be happy to hear that CBS has committed to a pilot from Donald Bellisario, the man who created the series. Unfortunately, it won't be anything like QUANTUM LEAP. This will be set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court. Bellisario will create the drama with novelist and JAG story editor Paul Levine (JAG was another Bellisario show). . . . Next stop, SMALLVILLE. A casting call has gone out for the WB pilot SMALLVILLE, which will chronicle the early adventures of the DC Comics superhero Superman. Actors around age 16 who resemble Clark Kent and Lana Lang are being sought, as is an actor around 21 to play Lex Luthor. David Nutter (DARK ANGEL, ROSWELL) will direct the show's 
hour-long pilot this March. . . . Andrew Dice Clay plays the COLISSEUM. Comedian Andrew "Dice" Clay will star in a time-travel television series, COLISEUM. Clay will play a Chicago fight promoter who is transported back in time to ancient Rome, where he ends up as a talent scout for the Coliseum. The show will be available for syndication early next year. . . .JLA' On the Cartoon Network. The Cartoon Network has greenlit an animated JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA series created by Bruce Timm (BATMAN). . . . AVALON wraps production. TNT's four-hour miniseries adaptation of Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel THE MISTS OF AVALON has recently wrapped principal photography. Uli Edel (PURGATORY) directed Anjelica Huston, Joan Allen, Julianna Margulies, and Samantha Mathis in this story of Camelot told from a female perspective. AVALON will air next year. . . . WHO's on first! The BBC is planning to get into the movie business. Their first venture will be a series of feature films based on its long-running DR.WHO television series. The proposed WHO movies are part of BBC director general Greg Dyke's plans to involve the network in full-scale film production. 
14.SPICE WORLD
    The Sci-Fi Channel's six-hour epic, DUNE, runs in three parts this month. Look for the air times in the "ICS Files" calendar section. John Harrison, who wrote and directed the miniseries, would like to avoid the inevitable comparisons to David Lynch's 1984 feature-film version of Herbert's book. "I didn't set out to correct or remake Lynch's movie," Harrison said. "It's impossible to do justice to the book in a two-hour [feature]. I had the advantage of six, and I just tried to create a faithful adaptation of Frank Herbert's book." 
    There's plenty more DUNE to follow. Harrison will turn to Herbert's Dune Messiah and Children of Dune for a follow-up to the six-hour DUNE.
15.AIP TO HBO
    HBO will produce and air a series of five television films based on Samuel Z. Arkoff's American International Creature Features drive-in staples of the 1950s. Special-effects guru Stan Winston, Colleen Camp and Lou Arkoff will produce the series, with each project budgeted in the $3 million range. 
    Larry Clark, George Huang, Sebastian Gutierrez and Terence Gross are among the filmmakers who will direct the features. Randy Quaid and Nastassja Kinski will star in the series' first movie, THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED, which Gross will direct from Max Enscoe and Annie DeYoung's script. Shooting is scheduled to start Nov. 28 in Los Angeles. 
    Clark will direct TEENAGE CAVE MAN, Gutierrez will take on WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST, and Huang will direct HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER. No director is attached yet for the fifth installment, THE SPIDER.
16.THIS AIN'T "MULDER-LIGHT" 
    Robert Patrick, the new FBI agent on THE X-FILES, said that he doesn't consider himself David Duchovny's replacement. "I don't see it like that," said Patrick, who plays Agent John Doggett. He views Dogget as a new character, not a stand-in for an old one. Patrick added, "I see it from the point of view of, David is a fantastic actor, and I understand that he's at a point in his career where he wants to walk away and pursue other interests, and he's a terrific actor. From my point of view, it's very exciting to be a new character introduced, and I'm a part of the ensemble."
17."IS GILLIAN ANDERSON GAY?"
    The above question is actually the inquisitive title of a major news source. It seems that Gillian Anderson has sparked reports about her sexuality - after cameras caught her kissing Ellen DeGeneres. What was described as a "steamy clinch" took place after the two stars dined together at the trendy Los Angeles restaurant (Indochine) with Ellen's new lover, Alexandra Hedison. An eyewitness said, "It looked like they were really enjoying themselves. It was a very passionate kiss. Ellen and Gillian were obviously having the time of their lives and didn't care who saw them. They kissed for what seemed like more than 60 seconds. Alexandra didn't look very happy." 
    Ms. Anderson first met Ellen two years ago at an all-girl Lilith Fair concert and admitted she was distracted watching her "bump and grind" with her then-girlfriend, Anne Heche. She also fueled further controversy when she began hosting major events to promote gay and lesbian rights. 
    In my humble opinion, the answer to the question posed by the original author of this piece is, "None of your damned business!"
18.DAVID DUCHOVNY'S DAUGHTER IS ADDICTED TO BLOOD! 
    David Duchovny and Tea Leoni's 18-month-old daughter Madelaine already has an addiction - TO BLOOD! Leoni, has her daughter on the set with her while filming JURASSIC PARK 3. She was concerned about her daughter seeing her mother covered in blood. So she devised a way to show baby Madelaine the wounds didn't really hurt - covering her daughter in fake gashes too. Leoni says, "I was really concerned about having blood all over my face in front of her for JURASSIC PARK. Then we figured it out. We told her these wounds were fake ones, that they didn't hurt. and she sat there and looked at it. Then we gave her one and boom! She became a fake-blood addict. Let me tell you, we have more Band-Aids all over the house." 
19.MISSED IT BY THA-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-AT MUCH
    BABYLON 5 star Jerry Doyle was thwarted in his quest to become the first member of Congress with his own action figure. He was solidly thrashed in his Republican bid to unseat Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman in California's 24th Congressional district. Doyle polled just 30 percent (63,040) of the district's voters, while Sherman got 67 percent (142,398). It was waaaaay not too close to call! 
    You might remember that Doyle was running for U.S. Congress in the district that represents parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. He entered the race when the GOP's previous candidate, former Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, pulled out of the race.
20.DESTINATION MIR WILL NOT BE LOST IN SPACE 
    SURVIVOR producer Mark Burnett said that he'll still make a show for wanna-be astronauts, even if Russia's Mir space station falls out of the sky. Burnett had proposed a reality game show called DESTINATION MIR, about contestants competing for a chance to travel into space to the ailing orbital platform. That was before a Russian official said Mir would be allowed to plunge into the Pacific in February. Burnett is not dissuaded. "My inclination is that Mir will stay up because it's been heavily funded," Burnett said "But, regardless of what happens to Mir, a reality show that's set in space will come to be." 
    If Mir falls, Burnett said he'll try to send a civilian to the international space station or build a show around propelling a civilian into orbit around the Earth for a week or so.
21.BUFFY'S BOXING DEMON
    Clare Kramer, who plays the mysterious new villain, Glory, on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, said that she took boxing lessons to prepare for her role battling Buffy. "I've already had a couple of fight scenes with Sarah [Michelle Gellar], and I loved doing them," Kramer said. "I started taking boxing lessons about seven months ago with the same guy who worked with Denzel Washington on THE HURRICANE. It's pretty hardcore, but I love it." 
    Kramer even gave Buffy's double a couple of black eyes. "Oh, that was awful!" Kramer said. "I accidentally punched [Sarah's] stunt double right in the forehead. I called her at home to apologize. She was very nice about the whole thing, but I felt terrible." 
22.NO SPEARS FOR BUFFY 
    As the TV season began there was much speculation that Sarah Michelle Gellar's buddy, the pop star Britney Spears, 
would appear in an episode of BUFFY this season. The word has gone forth - Brittany won't be kicking it with Buffy this year, due to scheduling conflicts. "It's not happening," BUFFY co-executive producer Marti Noxon said. "It's off the plate completely." 
    Noxon said that the character Spears would have played will live on. "We're still going to do the episode," she said. "We're just going to do it with someone else. . . . The [story] idea is still valid, and we're going to go ahead and run with it. But now that [Britney's] not available, we're going to push that episode to a little bit later." Spears' representative said the singer may still show up on BUFFY at some time in the future, but can't schedule anything now.
23.HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUNN 
    J. August Richards, who plays the vampire hunter Gunn on ANGEL, said that viewers will see a more intimate side of his character in coming episodes. "You'll see Gunn get more of an opportunity to let his hair down, so to speak, with Angel, Cordelia and Wesley because of situations that happen," Richards said. He added, "He has more of a reason to trust and like them. So you'll see another side of Gunn, when he's not so much in battle mode, which is all you've really seen him in so far. You'll see him more in chill mode." 
    Richards likes his character's conflicted nature. "What I really like about Gunn is that he'll go to any length to protect the people he loves," Richards said. "I've often described him as a good guy with bad-guy tendencies, and I really like that because it's kind of ambiguous and it's kind of gray. You don't always know whether or not you should like him, but he'll go to any extent to get what he wants, and I really enjoy that about the character." 
24.JESSICA ALBA WALKS THE WALK 
    Jessica Alba, the star of DARK ANGEL, said that she underwent rigorous training to become the genetically enhanced Max. Her training included weightlifting, gymnastics, martial arts and motorcycle lessons. But she didn't do it to be able to do all of her own stunts. She did it to get inside of her character. 
    "It [is] less about the way I look physically and more about the way I carry myself," Alba said. She added that she does do some of her own stunts. "I didn't go through the window, and I didn't plunge 27 stories with two strings attached to me, and I didn't do a wheelie on a motorcycle. But I did most of the martial arts work - rolls and kicks and running up the wall [with a harness]." 
    Alba added, "I do as many of the stunts as I can, because it gives me a different confidence and stride. I think it wouldn't be fair for me to play the role if I couldn't carry her confidence." 
25.LAY IN A COURSE FOR TNN, MAXIMUM WARP 
   In one of those strangely incestuous deals, that get made in Hollywood all the time, Paramount Domestic Television has sold the cable television rights to its three 1980s and '90s STAR TREK series to TNN. TNN, which was originally called The Nashville Network, recently changed its name to reflect a shift away from country music and toward general entertainment. It now wants to be called "The National Network" and, no doubt, hopes this move will help firm up their new identity. The incestuous part of the transaction is that TNN is owned by Paramount's parent company, Viacom. The deal includes the reruns of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE and STAR TREK: VOYAGER, as well as five STAR TREK feature films based on the original TREK. 
    Terms were not disclosed, but Paramount was seeking as much as $364 million for the three series, which comprise more than 500 hours of STAR TREK. That would be a record for such a deal. TNN beat out contenders for the series that reportedly included The Sci-Fi Channel, TNT, Fox Family, Odyssey Channel and FX. 
    TNN will begin airing the first of 179 episodes of TNG in the fall of 2001, 176 episodes of DS9 in fall 2004 and 172 episodes of VOYAGER in late 2006, they announced. Starting in 2001, TNN will also air 1979's STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, 1982's STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KAHN, 1984's STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, 1986's STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME and 1989's STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER.
26.NEELIX SPILLS THE BEANS ON THE ONCE AND FUTURE TREKS 
    Ethan Phillips apparently shares some of the blabbermouth ways with his character, "Neelix" on STAR TREK: VOYAGER.  He recently revealed some of the closely guarded details of the next TREK series and the eventual ending of the current one on which he appears. 
    Phillips said that the new series would be set about 100 years before the era of the original TREK series, which would appear to confirm rumors that the show would concern the birth of the Federation. Phillips added that the cast would consist of three men and two women. 
    As for VOYAGER's last season, Phillips said that executive producers Ken Biller, Brannon Braga and Rick Berman will write the last seven episodes, which will presumably tell the story of Voyager's return to the Alpha Quadrant.
27.A DIFFERENT VIEW FOR THE END OF VOYAGER 
    Bryan Fuller, the executive story editor and co-producer of STAR TREK: VOYAGER, disagrees with "Neelix" on how the show will end. According to Fuller, it will be with a relatively short story arc. "We will definitely not have the 10-episode arc that STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE had to conclude that series," said Fuller, who is one of the show's head writers. "We're currently discussing the last leg of the season. We have stories up through episode 20 or 21, which leaves about three or four shows before what we are currently planning to be a two-hour series/season finale. If there is an arc it would probably be only three or four episodes at the most, but may be limited to as few as the last two hours. That's not to say that there won't be seeds planted in previous episodes that will come to fruition in the finale; it just won't be as serialized as the arc in DEEP SPACE NINE." 
    In the meantime, Fuller said he and executive producer Ken Biller are completing a two-part story for February, entitled "Workforce." "The episode's very much an ensemble show that will have the crew exploring new lives as laborers on an alien world," Fuller said. "I can't say much more about the plot than that, but I will tell you this, as with every good science fiction thriller, there's much more going on than meets the eye." 
28.SPINER DECLINES WEEKLY DATA 
    Brent Spiner, who will reprise the role of Lt. Cmdr. Data in the upcoming 10th STAR TREK film, said that he'd be reluctant to put on the yellow makeup for another weekly series. "Play Data again? I doubt it," he said. "I've done countless hours already. Besides, I'm too old. Enough is enough." 
    Even so, Paramount has gotten Spiner, 51, to consider playing the role in one more movie. "I haven't signed anything, but we've been in serious talks," Spiner said. "It's not a matter of 'if,' but 'when.'"
29.WHAT COMES AFTER NINE? 
    That's a little math riddle that a lot of TREK fans have been asking Paramount. So over a thousand fans of STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE have signed an online petition seeking a DS9 feature film. "With the ending of the original series and THE NEXT GENERATION film series, it seems only logical that DEEP SPACE NINE - left rich in unfinished storylines and possibilities - should be the next film frontier for the STAR TREK franchise," the petition reads. 
    Paramount currently has no plans for a DS9 feature, and many of the cast and crew of the series have moved on to other projects. I've heard cast and crew once affiliated with the show say that Paramount has sworn that there'll never be a DS9 movie or any further series. But, I've also heard Armin Shimerman ("Quark") quoted as speaking of Paramount as "the ultimate Ferengi." Perhaps if fans show Paramount that there's enough gold-pressed-latinum to be made, they'll change their tune.
30."I WANT TO LIVE!" 
    That's more than the title of a 1958 Susan Hayward movie. That's the anguished cry of Capt. Kathryn Janeway of the good ship Voyager, after her alter ego, Kate Mulgrew, has been running around for months championing the captain's death. Mulgrew said that she's no longer eager to see her character's demise in the show's seventh and last season. Her idea of having Janeway to go out in a blaze of glory hasn't been embraced by the show's writing staff. 
    "I've been told by my advisors that it would be very bad if Janeway died," Mulgrew said. "They pointed out to me why it would be so. I had to ruminate on those reasons, and then I came full circle again. I don't quite know how I feel about that anymore. Now I am thinking I should get the ship home. Of course, every actor wants something extraordinarily dramatic, but that may not be what is best for the story." 
    Mulgrew added, "On the other hand, I want an epic ending. It's been an epic run. It's had its ups and its downs, but it certainly has been an extraordinary idea, and I think it needs an extraordinary finish. It deserves one. I want what is best, most appropriate and most thrilling to this particular story. That's the ending that I want: the most provocative and poignant. It should be a tough ending. It was a very tough beginning. It should not be wrapped up in a pink bow." 
31.KATE MULGREW SETS PHASERS ON BELTRAN 
    Last August, in issue #19 of "The ICS Files" a story was reported on VOYAGER's Robert Beltran's dissatisfaction with the show and its writers (see "CHAKOTAY POOPS ON VOYAGER"). He said that the writers were "brain damaged," and that they "didn't care about the show." He went on to hope that his character would be killed off in mid-season so that he could to end his suffering early. 
    Captain Janeway appears to disagree with her first officer. Kate Mulgrew made thinly veiled criticisms of co-star Robert Beltran (Chakotay) in an interview. When an interviewer referred to Beltran's recent complaints that the show was plagued by bad writing, Mulgrew said, "I don't buy that for one minute." Without mentioning Beltran by name, Mulgrew added, "That's a lazy actor's response. 'They didn't let me act'. Really? Go get a job in a cereal commercial. I just don't have any time for it." 
    Beltran has been notoriously vocal about his unhappiness with VOYAGER, complaining among other things that the show's writers have given him little to do as an actor. But, Mulgrew said, "Of course, you can find every opportunity . . . [to] sit in this seat and say nothing. Do it! Be it! Lift it up! We're all trained here, and we're, you know, compensated very nicely."
32.PSY-TREK?
    Self-confessed STAR TREK junkie and former guest star, Jason Alexander (best remembered for SEINFELD) has teamed with DEEP SPACE NINE executive producer Ira Steven Behr to executive produce E.S.P.ers, a one-hour sci-fi adventure project for CBS. Twentieth Century Fox Television will produce the proposed series, which has received a script commitment from the network. 
    Behr, Eugene Tobin and Noreen O'Neill are writing the script, which centers on a detective who investigates paranormal activities with the help of psychics. Alexander has a production deal with Fox. As far as we know, the psychics will not be Betazoids and will not be using Vulcan mind melding techniques. 
33.BABYLON 5 MOVIES TO AIR ON SCI-FI CHANNEL THIS MONTH
    Four BABYLON 5 made for TV movies will air in December on the Sci-Fi Channel. The four are BABYLON 5: THIRDSPACE, in which the crew of Babylon 5 discovers an artifact of unknown origin, then finds the mysterious object displaying powers of mind-control, BABYLON 5: RIVER OF SOULS with a band of Soul Hunters entering the scene seeking a lost vessel loaded with members a long-missing alien species, BABYLON 5: THE  GATHERING which served as the series pilot and BABYLON 5: A CALL TO ARMS which was the exciting launching pad for their lost lamented sequel, CRUSADE. All four films will be shown in letterbox. Check the our calendar section for the dates.
34.LUCY LAWLESS LOOKS AHEAD TO THE LAST OF XENA 
    Lucy Lawless said that she has mixed feelings about ending her run as the star of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, which wraps next summer after six years in syndication. "There are going to be days when I just break down and cry, because these are my best friends whom I've been hanging out with for so long," Lawless said. 
    She added, "As for [co-star] Renee [O'Connor] and I, we will always be close. We've been together longer than a lot of marriages, and she's like my sister. I'll always be there for her, come what may." O'Connor plays Xena's faithful sidekick, Gabrielle. 
    Lawless also had ideas about how the show should end. "I want to see Xena and Gabrielle walking off into the sunset or going out in a burst of glory," she said. "Either way, there should be a blazing final shot."
35.OXYGEN BREATHES IN XENA
    Oxygen Media is a cable channel designed to appeal to women. They have apparently decided that they need a hero. They're close to a deal with Studios USA for the rerun rights to XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, now that its six-year run in first-run syndication wraps up at the end of the season. Oxygen would get first crack at episodes from the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons, the trade paper reported. XENA reruns have been shown on USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel since August 1998.
36.SCI-FI CHANNEL CHAIN REACTIONS FOR DECEMBER 
    The Sci-Fi Channel has blocks of programming called "Chain Reactions." They are great if they're for shows you like, eminently skippable if they're shows you hate. Here is a listing of the "Chain Reactions" for December: 
Sunday, 10th, 7-11P.M. THE INVISIBLE MAN 
Sunday, 17th, 9 A.M. - 3 P.M. BATMAN (classic series) 
Friday 22nd 8A..M.- 6A.M. and Saturday 23rd 9A.M. - 6A.M. "Movie Chain Reaction" (check your TV listings) 
Friday 29th 7A.M. - 6A.M. STAR TREK (the original series) 
Sunday 31st 9A.M. - Wednesday 3rd 3 A.M. THE TWILIGHT ZONE for 42 continuous hours.
37.TREY PARKER IS DELIGHTED OVER THE ELECTION'S RESULT 
    SOUTH PARK creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who have agreed to produce a new live-action sitcom about the presidential family called FAMILY FIRST for Comedy Central, said that the tight finish was, in Parker's words, "great for us, for the show." Regardless of the final outcome, they pointed out, "we're going to have a president that literally half the country doesn't want in there." Parker explained that, as he and Stone saw it, the contest was between two "big dorks" - either of which would make an ideal character for their sitcom. "With Gore it was about a big dork trying to run Washington. And with Bush it was about a big-fish-out-of-water dork trying to run Washington." (By the way, Parker and Stoneboth indicated that they didn't vote.)
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38.THINGS TO COME 
    KATSUCON is coming to the Hyatt Hotel in Crystal City, Virginia on February 16-18. This is a convention dedicated to anime'. Their guest of honor will be Shinya Hasegawa. He is the character designer and illustrator of Revolutionary Girl Utena. In addition, he has worked as an animation producer on Sailor Moon and Neon Genesis Evangelion. They'll also be featuring a slate of other animators, voice-artists, directors and producers. There will also be a host of other special events and panels and a dealer's room available. It costs $40 to pre-register for the weekend, until New Year's Eve. After that, at-the-door registration only will be available. The admission is $45.00 for all three days. Day rates are $20 for Friday only, $25 for Saturday only, and $15 for Sunday only. If you'd like more information either e-mail them at katsucon@katsucon.com or write them at Katsucon Entertainment, Inc./ P.O. BOX 577/ DUMFRIES,VIRGINIA 22026.
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39.POCKET BOOKS LAUNCHES DEEP SPACE 9 SERIES 
    For fans who weren't quite ready to say goodbye to Captain Sisko, Major Kira and the crew of DS9, you can now enjoy their further adventures in print. Pocket Books will launch a series of novels based on STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE. The series takes off in 2001. "We're moving beyond the series' conclusion on television," according to the editor, Marco Palmieri. "The book picks up three months after 'What You Leave Behind' [the DS9 series finale], and because of the departures of Capt. Sisko, Chief O'Brien, Worf and Odo in the finale, we had some empty slots to fill. So we decided to create four new faces who will shake things up a bit." 
    Palmieri said that each of the newcomers belongs to a different species - one of them a race that has been seen in the TREK universe before. Readers may also learn what some of the departed characters have been up to from time to time. The book series opens in May with the two-part Avatar, written by S.D. Perry. 
Cameron Changes Mars Plans.
40.CAMERON TURNS FROM THE CAMERA TO THE KEYBOARD 
    James Cameron said that he's changed plans for his proposed movie or television miniseries about Mars. Cameron had originally planned on directing an IMAX movie focusing on a manned mission to the Red Planet, but now says he will write a novel instead and based his future plans on that. "It's turned out to be a very sneaky project from a writing standpoint," Cameron explained. "Al Reinert and I are working on it, but I've taken the reins back to do my own pass, and I've decided to complete a novel first based on this material, because I just need to know what my priorities are in terms of character." He explained, "[The Mars project] is a fictional miniseries with tendrils in many media. The current plan is to do it as both a TV miniseries and a 3-D IMAX movie."
41.THE PLANT GOES INTO HIBERNATION 
    Stephen King told readers on his official Web site that he will suspend release of chapters of his electronic novel The Plant so he can finish other projects. King will stop issuing new installments of the ongoing story after December's "very long" part six and won't offer new ones for at least a year or two, the author said. "The Plant will be going back into hibernation so that I can continue work on Black House (the sequel to The Talisman, written in collaboration with Peter Straub)," King wrote. "I also need to complete work on two new novels (the first, Dreamcatcher, will be available from Scribner's next March) and see if I can't get going on The Dark Tower again. And my agent insists I need to take a breather so that foreign translation and publication of The Plant - also in installments, also on the 'net - can catch up with American publication. Yet don't despair. The last time The Plant furled its leaves, the story remained dormant for 19 years. If it could survive that, I'm sure it can survive a year or two while I work on other projects." 
    King will offer part six free of charge to thank the 75 to 80 percent of readers who voluntarily paid for the other five segments, he said. 
42.ANNE RICE ONLINE 
    Fans of Anne Rice may want to head to Barnesandnoble.com. They have posted a video interview with her, as the author of Merrick, the latest in her Vampire Chronicles books. The interview is part of the site's "Behind the Words" series produced by the bookseller and the video production company Rain.
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43.THE 28TH ANNUAL ANNIE AWARDS 
    Until 2002, when the Motion Picture Academy begins its new Oscar category recognizing animated films, the highest award any animated project can receive is an "Annie." The awards, which are shaped like a 6" golden zoetrope, are given in numerous categories, including writing, directing, production design, character animation, voice acting, music, effects and story-boarding. 
    This year's ceremonies took place in November. It's noteworthy this year to see which films were nominated for awards and subsequently shut-out from winning. CHICKEN RUN, DINOSAUR, PRINCESS MONONOKE,  THE ROAD TO EL DORADO, STUART LITTLE and TITAN A.E. were all in the running and then completely bypassed by Annie. 
    Disney got the bulk of the awards. This year's biggest winner was TOY STORY 2, strolling off with seven awards, including "Outstanding Achievement in An Animated Theatrical Feature." Not bad for a project that Disney was going to release direct-to-video. FANTASIA 2000 got three awards, all for various individual achievements. 
    The big winner for TV was THE SIMPSONS. Among other things, they got "Outstanding Achievement in a Primetime or Late Night Animated Television Program." 
44.GOOD NEWS FOR MOVIE FANS LIVING IN CENTRAL MARYLAND!
    The landscape is littered with the bones of dead and dying theaters. Over the past several months the General Cinema, United Artists Theater Co., Edwards Theater Circuit Inc., Silver Cinemas Inc. and Carmike Cinemas Inc. chains have all filed for bankruptcy. Screens are going dark all across America. But at the new Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, Maryland, amid the splendor of ancient Egypt, screens are lighting up - 24 of them! 
    The new Muvico Egyptian 24 is slated to open on December 8th. We're not talking a "multiplex." Muvico had a chain of them and has since sold them off. We're talking "megaplex." This is where the pharaohs would have gone if they were going to the movies. The theater has dozens of massive sandstone columns (that would take four men encircling each one to embrace them). Each column is covered in hieroglyphs and faux-Egyptian art. Massive statues of Egyptians gods look mutely on as theater patrons hurry past. Each auditorium has walls festooned with Egyptian art. As for amenities, look for stadium-seating (Muvico pioneered in them), the newest in digital sound, wall-to-wall curved screens, and special cushioned seats with retractable arms so you can cuddle-up with your honey during the show. They'll also have valet parking, on-site childcare and special balcony sections. The snack bar will feature the usual fare along with french fries, chicken, pizza, international coffees and a variety of desserts. 
    This is an interesting blend of 1920's and 30's theater splendor and Disney-esque showmanship. We can only hope that the era of 70's theaters, that were just painted cinder-block bunkers, is dead. This will be Muvico's first venture outside of Florida. If the Egyptian 24 takes hold here, look for a return of massive multi-screened movie palaces in a big way. 
45.CAT IN THE BLOOD-SOAKED HAT 
    Tim Allen can't wait to start production on the next Dr. Seuss project, THE CAT IN THE HAT - and he's decided the story will be horrific. With Jim Carrey's first Seuss success, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, making a massive $55.1 million on its opening weekend, it's all go for the follow up. Allen knows exactly what he's planning to do with the movie. He says, "My dream is to give it the edge that scared me as a child. Like ALIEN, we'll see very little of the cat. He's a human being who turns into the cat - like a werewolf or vampire - as he gets more and more frustrated trying to deal with these children." 
    There's no word yet on what the Seuss Estate thinks of having their most beloved character join the ranks of movie fiends, along side Freddy Kruger and Leatherface. We'll see. 
46.DOUGRAY SCOTT WILL NOT BE ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE 
    Dougray Scott, who some of you may remember as the villain in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, has turned down a role that some actors would gladly kill to get. He's declined to take over the role of James Bond from Pierce Brosnan, who is slated to appear as 007 one last time in the 20th Bond feature coming up in 2002 (tentatively titled BEYOND THE ICE). Scott admitted he felt he couldn't live up to fellow Scott, Sean Connery. 
    "I'm very flattered that people consider me good enough to play James Bond," Scott said. "But I couldn't play that part any better than Sean did. To be honest, I am not convinced I am suave enough for the part. I wouldn't even play one of the baddies, because I've been there and done that already with MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2." Scott was originally slated to play Wolverine in THE X-MEN, but dropped out when filming on MI: 2 went over schedule. 
47.JURASSIC CHRICHTON
    A Chinese dinosaur specialist has named a species of the extinct critters after Jurassic Park novelist Michael Chrichton. Dong Zhiming, lead researcher at Beijing's Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, named a small, armored plant-eating dinosaur "Crichton's ankylosaur" after the author and filmmaker. The creature dates to the early Jurassic period and was identified with fossils discovered 62 years ago in southern China. Zhiming said that he chose to honor Chrichton because of the popularity of his works in China. Dong presented casts of skull bones from the newly identified dinosaur to Chrichton during a ceremony Nov. 14th at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
48.WHAT THE WELL-DRESSED APE IS WEARING THIS YEAR 
    Makeup specialist Rick Baker, who is creating the elaborate costumes for Tim Burton's upcoming PLANET OF THE  APES movie, said that he'll go beyond the makeup in the original 1968 film. "We've taken it to a level far beyond what's been done," Baker said. "We're trying to make something as real and as expressive as possible, and I think we've done it. They're still biped apes, but they resemble the real animals more than the first ones did and are so much more expressive. There are something like 500 apes." If the apes look extremely realistic it should make the much talked about love scene between astronaut Mark Wahlberg and a simian Helena Bonham-Carter very interesting. 
    Baker has been making monkeys out of actors since SCHLOCK (1971), KING KONG (1976), GREYSTOKE (1984), GORILLAS IN THE MIST and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1998). For APES, Baker will have to deal with outdoor filming. "There is a heat factor for the apes," he said. "The gorillas wear black, and it absorbs the heat." APES is slated for a May 2001 release.
49.MIBII FINALLY SCHEDULED 
    After years of rumors Columbia Pictures has finally planned a June 4, 2001, production start for MEN IN BLACK 2. That's the good news. The bad news is that the sequel, to be produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, would begin filming only weeks before a possible actors' strike on June 30, 2001. 
    Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones will again star for director Barry Sonnenfeld. If a strike occurs, the filmmakers will concentrate on special-effects shots that will be unaffected by the strike. 
50.UNBREAKABLE, THE TRILOGY 
    Bruce Willis, said that M. Night Shyamalan's supernatural movie UNBREAKABLE, is intended by the director as the first of three movies. "UNBREAKABLE is the first part of a trilogy of films," Willis said. "I can't tell you about the others, . . . but we're supposed to do two more. You'll understand how it lends itself to a continuing story." 
    Willis was enthusiastic about Shyamalan's technique. "Night set out to do something amazing, and achieved it," Willis said. "There are always one or two shots that are done in one take, either hand-held or what have you . . . very complicated and complex. And so there's generally only one or two of them in films. There are over 30 scenes in this movie that are done in one take. It's astounding." 
51.BRYAN SINGER WANTS NEW X-MEN FOR XMAS 
    Bryan Singer, who is in talks to direct X-MEN 2, said that he's hoping to add new characters to the sequel. "Gambit and Beast are two characters I miss terribly," Singer said. "Beast was in the [first X-MEN] script for a while, but then when you've got Mystique with nine hours of makeup and these challenges, you have to choose your battles." 
    Singer added, "But there are many characters we'd like to have, from Nightcrawler to Proteus to Gambit. Some interesting characters. Some which might translate well to film, and some which might not as easily and some that won't translate until technology advances another 20 years." 
    The upcoming DVD release of X-MEN contains character designs for Beast and Blob, who didn't make the final cut. All of the major cast members of X-MEN are signed for the sequel, which could conceivably begin production next year.
52.AHNOLD I: AHNOLD MEETS THE SEQUEL MONSTER 
    Ahnold Schwarzenegger is a man of principles. He's a man of uncompromising character. He's a man of unquestioned integrity. When he says that he hates money spinning movie sequels, he means it. He explains, "If you don't want to see the same gimmick again then you stay away from it. You don't just look at it and say, 'this made money so let's go for the same cheap shot again.' That's what studios normally do. The studio executives are the most uncreative, low-foreheaded characters, copycats you know. No one wants to be out on a limb." 
    You can next see Mr. Schwarzenegger in TERMINATOR 3 and TOTAL RECALL 2. He plans to squeeze in time to work with Jim Cameron on a sequel to TRUE LIES. He's busy enough with these projects that he probably won't be able to work on the CONAN sequel that he'd hoped to make.
53.AHNOLD II: AHNOLD GETS A PRIZE 
    At 94, Billy Wilder is the embodiment of a living legend. He directed what many people call the first true film noir (DOUBLE INDEMNITY), and the last (SUNSET BOULEVARD). He's worked with Marilyn Monroe (THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH and SOME LIKE IT HOT), Jimmy Cagney (ONE, TWO, THREE) and Lemon and Matthau (in films like THE FORTUNE COOKIE and BUDDY BUDDY). In addition to his numerous Oscars and other awards he's just received some recognition that he's craved for a long time - the Honorary Citizenship Award from the city of Vienna, Austria, this week - despite fleeing the country to escape Nazi murderers during World War Two. 
    He seemed a little puzzled when, in the midst of all this excitement, Wilder had to pause to give someone else an award. He presented fellow Austrian Ahnold Schwarzenegger with the Billy Wilder Award - despite Wilder admitting that he had never even seen a Schwarzenegger film.
54.AHNOLD III: SHE WHO MUST BE DESTROYED 
    Ahnold Schwarzenegger said that his upcoming TERMINATOR 3 will feature a new villain: a female terminator cyborg. "She can disappear, she can mold into someone else, and she is sometimes just energy."  The role has yet to be cast. 
    Schwarzenegger - who will re-team with Edward Furlong in the sequel - added that he had ordered rewrites of the TERMINATOR 3 script. "The two drafts I read were so big that it would have cost $300 million to make it," he said. "So now they're toning it down, because I don't think we need to see a 747 crash-land into all those buildings in downtown L.A. I think we can do it on a football field somewhere so that it doesn't cost that much." 
55.CHECKING BATMAN FOR BATS IN THE BELFRY 
    Darren Aronofsky, the director of the upcoming BATMAN: YEAR ONE, said that he'll take a psychological approach to the Caped Crusader. Aronofsky explained, "I want to introduce some Freudian psychology and answer the question, 'What does it take for a real man to put on tights and fight crime?'"  Hmmm, I wonder if those are two separate questions. Ah well. 
    He added, "I promise that this time, Batman will be a complex character with issues." He said that he will sit down to write the screenplay for the fifth BATMAN movie with Frank Miller, who wrote the 1980s comic series The Dark Knight Returns. "It's not the teen Batman. But we do tell the origins story," Aronofsky said. "We learn how Batman saw his parents killed in front of him by a gunman and then trained himself to fight crime." Is Ben Affleck in the running to don the cape and cowl? "It's really premature," the director said. "Honestly, I haven't thought about it."
56.MINI-ME AND THE SHAQ-ATTACK 
    When you think of an hysterically mismatched pair, who comes to mind? Schwarzenneger and DeVito? Felix and Oscar? Dan Quayle and the Vice-presidency? Well there's a new one in town that trumps them all? Basketball god Shaquille O'Neal and his his pint-sized pal Verne Troyer, who played Mini-Me in AUSTIN POWERS, THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME. The Shaq is warning people not to mess with his little buddy (to borrow a favorite "Skipper-ism") because they'll have to face him. The lean and mean giant accepts his friendship with Mini-Me is odd, but he's determined to stick up for the actor whenever he has to. He says, "Verne is a good friend of mine, so all you out there better listen up. You f* * *  with Verne, you f * * * with me. I'll kill for Verne - just do somebody in who f***ed with him, right there on the spot." 
    Hervé Villechaize, in whatever dark corner of Hell that he's been consigned, must be looking on now, smiling.
57.MILIUS AND THE MATRIX BOYS HUNT FOR SON OF CONAN 
    The hunt is on for an actor to play CONAN THE BARBARIAN for director John Milius' new version of the Ahnold Schwarzenegger classic. Schwarzenegger might play the new star's father in the sequel if he can navigate his way through schedule conflicts. Andy and Larry Wachowski, the brotherly duo responsible for THE MATRIX, will be serving as "creative partners" on the $90 million adventure. Read into this that most of Hollywood action movies and TV series have been struggling desperately to imitate THE MATRIX. The producers for CONAN have decided to go to the source and get the Wachowskis to walk them through it. 
    It is understood Warner Brothers, who have bought the rights to make the third film in the Conan series, see the feature as the link to a series of CONAN tales with a possible TV spin-off. Casting directors have already thrown out a wide net in their search for what a character being described as "aged about 25, with muscles, attitude and a haircut."
58.AUSTIN POWERS' NEXT STOP WILL BE HIS FIRST STOP 
    Director Jay Roach said that he is making plans for a third installment of his AUSTIN POWERS series of movies. Filming on the third movie - which will again star Mike Myers as the titular hero and his nemesis, Dr. Evil - is expected to begin filming next fall. "We have a concept based on a prequel, where Dr. Evil and Austin are together in the 1950s as young men in some academy," Roach said. "Of course, something goes wrong. Dr. Evil goes off to some zone, and Austin launches the British revolution in American music and color, just to annoy Dr. Evil." 
    Roach added, "We've always wanted Sean Connery to do something. We've tried talking to his people, [and] they were very polite - schedules and stuff - but he may just not want to go there."
59.THE BAGEL CAM  AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 
    Although, as with most Steven Spielberg movies, secrecy is a top priority on the set of his new movie AI (standing for "ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE"), the director has set up a Web camera (the "Bagel Cam") in the craft services area (a kind of technicians' snack bar) of the shoot which has captured pictures of Haley Joel Osment's stand-ins and even Spielberg himself since it was turned on. "Curious about what really matters behind the scenes of a big Hollywood production?" the Web site teases (http://www.countingdown.com/ai/index.htm). The camera was in operation on the final days of the shoot, from November 14 to the 17. Anyone desperate to see Spielberg with a bagel and coffee can checkout archived images at the site.
60.THE BAGEL CAM: GRANTER OF WISHES 
    The Bagel Cam is, apparently, the new place to get noticed in Hollywood. A budding film maker who logged onto director Steven Spielberg's "the bagel cam" website, is to have his own film showcased on the site. Josh Meeter, who logged on to watch Spielberg's bagel cam posted a message on the bulletin board asking Spielberg to check out a short film he made. Spielberg, who liked the film, titled AWARD SHOWDOWN, which features a claymation Spielberg fighting with a claymation George Lucas, is going to showcase it on the Internet site this month. But it'll have some competition - Spielberg and his site co- founder, GRINCH director Ron Howard, are both making an animated short film, each starring a caricature of themselves, to be shown on the Internet. Howard and Spielberg will be posting the animated films in December and January.
61.BERMAN DROPS CLUES ON TREK X 
    STAR TREK executive producer Rick Berman revealed that the upcoming TREK X movie will feature the Romulans and a new villain who is the Federation's greatest nemesis since Khan from STAR TREK II. Berman declined to reveal plot details, but said the movie will be "shocking and exciting and fun . . . a rip-roaring humorous adventure." 
    Berman also confirmed that Brent Spiner has signed to reprise his STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION role as Data in the movie and has contributed story points to the script. Patrick Stewart (Capt. Jean-Luc Picard) has already signed on to the film, which is being written by Berman and GLADIATOR screenwriter John Logan. 
    But Berman denied widespread rumors that Data will meet his demise in the movie, or that TREK X will mark the last voyage of the crew from THE NEXT GENERATION. The Trek producer said that the movie won't come out until 2002.
62.SPIDER-MAN MAY NEED RESCUING 
    The new SPIDER-MAN may be in trouble after reports that executives are "unhappy" with the current script. The Sam Raimi film, starring Tobey Maguire, has been shrouded in secrecy - but it has been reported that executives at Sony Pictures don't like the script, and are considering ditching it in favor of an old idea by James Cameron. Cameron wrote his treatment for the movie in 1991, when he had high hopes of directing the movie himself, and Sony only ended up acquiring his treatment in a legal settlement with rival studio, MGM. Cameron was originally at the top of the list to direct, but was kept from the job due to contractual obligations. The current screenplay, set to begin filming in January, is a Scott Rosenberg rewrite based on David Koepp's original. There are also reports that the script may have to be rewritten while the film is being shot.
63.RED PLANET USED TO PROMOTE A MISSION TO MARS 
    Chapters of the Mars Society, a group promoting a manned mission to Mars, have succeeded in persuading several theater owners showing RED PLANET to allow them to set up booths to hand out literature and answer questions about Martian exploration. A Baton Rouge, LA local chapter of the organization successfully staged a membership drive at one theater in connection with the release of the film. And an officer of the society in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada said that a lot of people "come out of the movie wanting to know a little bit more about Mars missions. They see what goes on in the Hollywood version and then we're there to answer their questions about the real mission to Mars and how we're actually going to get there."
64.NEW BOOK REVEALS STARS' UNUSUAL DEMANDS 
    Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Cruise are among an array of stars set to have their unusual on-set demands exposed. James Ulmer's Hollywood Hot List details some of Hollywood's biggest names and their strange requests while they are making movies. Michael Keaton is said to have used a measuring tape to compare his trailer with Melanie Griffith's on the set of PACIFIC HEIGHTS - and complained that she got a chef with hers. The book also describes how on one film, Tom Cruise asked for his Winnebago to be parked closer to the set than the camera truck which meant the production crew had to carry heavy equipment further than necessary. Ahnold Schwarzenegger likes to have a tailor-made gym installed into a room next to his hotel suite along with a personal trainer. Demi Moore asked film  company Castle Rock to send a larger jet to fly her from Montana to New York so her luggage could be loaded side-by-side, instead of on top of each other. Samuel L. Jackson reportedly had two expensive hairdressers on one film set - even though his head is shaved.
65.CLINTON COURTED BY HOLLYWOOD 
    Bill Clinton's career could continue in Washington DC - to be a lobbyist for Hollywood. Sources report there is a definite offer for Clinton to become ambassador for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in America's capital. It has been claimed a group of mega-moguls have put together a whopping offer that tops $1.03 million salary the MPAA currently pays its president Jack Valenti. 79-year-old Valenti is, however, quick to insist his job is not at risk. He says, "None of our member companies would do that without telling me. This is a dazzling and fun job, but it's not a job for Bill Clinton, or any ex-President." A spokesman for the Clinton camp, TV producer Harry Thomason, is also keen to dispel the question. He asks, "Do you know how many multi-million-dollar job offers the President has received?"
66.JANUARY 17, 2082
    For those of you who are planning to set up a Jim Carrey deathwatch, the above date is the magic time to which you should be counting down. If  Jim Carrey gets his newly announced wish to live to 120 that's when he'll make and gasp his final wacky breath. He's preparing to start an acupuncture course, because he's sure that's the answer to longevity. He's quit smoking and drinking and is now planning to start 2001 completely clean by looking for new ways to extend his life expectancy. He says, "I'm a crazy explorer. Acupuncture is really interesting. It's like Eastern preventative medicine. You eat pure foods. I want to live to be 120, because I want to see how messed up things get in a century." 
    It may take until 2082 before THE CABLE GUY and THE MAN IN THE MOON finally earn their money back!
67.SIXNOTNINE, SIXNOTNINE, SIXNOTNINE, SIXNOTNINE . . .
    "SIXNOTNINE," is George Lucas's mantra to all of his expectant fans that are looking forward to a third trilogy of STAR WARS movies set after what are now chapters 4, 5 and 6. He insists that he doesn't have plans for any STAR WARS movies that would pick up the saga after the destruction of the Death Star in RETURN OF THE JEDI, a Lucasfilm spokesman said on the official STAR WARS Website. "At one point early on, George Lucas talked of possibly needing nine movies to tell his tale of the Skywalker family," said Steve Sansweet, director of content management and fan relations in Lucasfilms' marketing department. "But as he actually worked through the storyline, he realized long ago that the story he wanted to tell could naturally be told in six two-hour films." 
    Sansweet added, "The nine-episode mantra, however, refuses to die . . . and, we realize, never will. But George says that the story he has to tell will be complete in the six films, which can then be viewed as one epic saga. He says that he honestly has no story to tell now beyond the destruction of the second Death Star." 
    So for those of you looking forward to a dotage peopled with a puffy vericose-veined Princess Leia, a drooling forgetful Luke Skywalker and a balding Chewbacca, it's time to make other plans.
68.THE PRINCESS AND THE PLEA 
    It's over 20 years since STAR WARS first hit screens - and actress Carrie Fisher still can't shake off the role that made her famous. Carrie, who played Princess Leia in the movie classic, has since written best-selling books and acclaimed films - yet people still only know her as the rebel princess. Carrie, whose new television film THESE OLD BROADS stars Elizabeth Taylor, says, "I was 19 when I was Leia. I had no idea what was going to happen. What would I have thought if someone had said, `You're going to get famous, but you're going to get weird kind of famous.' I was in New Zealand recently on one of those bungee catapults which I was far too old to go on, and just as we were about to be launched into the air, the 21-year-old girl sitting next to me said, 'Aren't you Princess Leia?' and I was like, 'Not now'."
69.SAMUEL L. JACKSON LOVED OPENING A CAN OF JEDI WHUP-A** 
    Samuel L. Jackson can't keep quiet about filming the latest STAR WARS prequel - because he got to swing a light saber. The actor was disappointed not to have any fight scenes in STAR WARS: EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE, but says the new fight scene is one of his highlights as an actor. He says, "There's like nothing in this room but a blue screen and George Lucas says, 'OK, you're in a big battle now,' and I'm like, 'How many people?' 'A lot - and there's a big thing coming at you,' 'How big?' 'Pretty big.' "So there I am swinging this thing around until George says 'Cut,' and I'm one of the best light saber swordsmen in the universe." 
    Jackson went on to give the fans the following piece of encouragement about the latest edition, "This is a much more exciting story. It's closer to the first [STAR WARS movie] than we saw, in terms of its adventurous scope. And there's not so much Jar Jar Binks." Thank God! If I had to see much more of him I was ready to throw myself on my light saber!
70.LINDA HARRISON WILL NEVER ESCAPE THE PLANET OF THE APES 
    Maryland's own Linda Harrison, the actress who played the speechless "Nova" in the original PLANET OF THE APES, said on her official Web site that she will make a cameo appearance as a "Nova-like" character opposite Mark Wahlberg in Tim Burton's upcoming remake. It sounds like Burton's trying to round up as many of the original cast as he can and work them into the film!
71.IMAX NIXES THE 3-D SHREK 
    SHREK continues on its strange, bumpy journey to the screen. To re-cap, this is a dream of Jeffrey Katzenberg, the "K" in "Dreamworks SKG." While he was at Disney he oversaw some of their most successful animated productions of the last ten years, including THE LITTLE MERMAID, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and THE LION KING. SHREK (named for the German actor that portrayed Nosferatu, Max Shrek) is the story of an young ogre who aspires to demonstrate his nobility to attract the perfect wife. It's based on a children's book of the same name by William Steig. It was conceived in 1996 as a large-scale piece of conventional animation. In 1997 Chris Farley was chosen to voice the character. It was also then announced that it would be done as a far more expensive CGI. Farley recorded about a dozen sessions for the character when he passed away at the end of '97. After a long search it was decided to scrap Farley's work and go to Mike Myers. The release date got edged back from 1999 to Christmas, 2000. Earlier this year it was announced that it would be out on May 18, 2001. Then, in time for the video release in December, 2001 a special 3-D version would be shown at Imax theaters with an alternative ending. 
    Wellllll . . . Imax has canceled plans to release SHREK to its 150 digital 3-D theaters because of increased costs related to creative changes made by the studio. Imax originally was scheduled to pay $10 million for the computer programming required to transfer the 2-D cartoon to 3-D. However, Imax has recently had some serious financial setbacks. They're looking to trim costs wherever possible. 
    And the strange, stumbling odyssey of SHREK continues.
72.WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
    I'm going to say a word and I want you to conjure up the image in your mind. "Screenwriter." Okay, what popped up? Maybe a driven man, chain smoking and burdened with an overloaded bar tab, his bloodshot black-ringed eyes looking on as his fingers race desperately over a keyboard, struggling to disinter some hidden inspiration. Maybe that wasn't exactly it, but whatever it was I'll wager that it wasn't the image of an eight year-old girl. 
    You might remember Hallie Kate Eisenberg. She's already one of America's most successful child actors. Hallie has already starred in nine movies, including THE INSIDER, with Al Pacino and Russell Crowe, and BICENTENNIAL MAN  with Robin Williams. She's best known for her role as the curiously mature little girl in the Pepsi commercials. Well now she's turning her diminutive hand to script writing.  Hallie has got Hollywood money men in a feeding-frenzy for her script THREE GENERATIONS, and Jamie Lee Curtis is even said to be interested in a role. And the curly-haired cutie (a description probably never used on Arthur Miller or Paddy Cheyefsky) could be set to earn millions with her writings. "They have genius writers who can turn a few notes on the back of a menu into box office gold," says one agent. "If Hallie had written something a bit rough I can sell it as a synopsis, but she appears to have written narrative and dialogue, which makes it much more exciting and pushes up the price." Hallie has taken her role very seriously and even learned French so that she could spice up the dialogue. "I'm not writing this just for myself," she says, "It's a relationship movie." 
    Perhaps it's a wonderful script and will make a fine film. But is this emblematic of what's ailing Hollywood today? Whatever happened to the days of writing from deep inside, from hard-won experience? I hope that whatever form the final film takes, that its screenwriter is old enough to be allowed into the theater to see it!
73.THE BILLION DOLLAR ROUND TABLE
    There's a very, very exclusive circle in Hollywood. Some studios that have been in operation for nearly a century have never reached it. In a year like this, where overall film revenue has been depressed, it's perfectly understandable why a company couldn't possibly attain it. But Disney has. Disney appears certain to break the $1-billion mark at the box office for the third year in a row and the sixth time in seven years, an unprecedented achievement. "We set $1 billion as our goal," Chuck Viane, president of Disney's Buena Vista Pictures Distribution said. "To be able to deliver on that goal is a tribute to the consistency of our production, marketing and sales teams." Moreover,  it now appears that Universal Pictures, which has taken in nearly $900 million this year to date, will likely set a new company record, surpassing last year's $932.6 million, and has a shot at cracking the $1 billion mark for the first time.
74.HOLLYWOOD ALPHABET: NATO RESPONDS TO CONGRESSIONAL THREATS
    No, this is not the usual NATO responding to the usual Congressional demands. This is the National Association of Theater Owners. They're responding to the hearings from earlier this year that R-rated films were inappropriately targeting underage audiences. NATO has said that it has adopted new guidelines that prohibit the screening of R-rated trailers in theaters showing G- or PG-rated features. (Theater owners would be allowed to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the trailers could be screened in theaters showing PG-13-rated films.) The guidelines also include measures aimed at preventing underage children from being admitted to R-rated movies, including posting extra guards outside theaters showing "extreme R-rated films and all NC-17-rated films." In an interview NATO President John Fithian said, "We want to do as much as we can to be responsible with a voluntary system - and keep it voluntary. We don't want a government mandated ratings system." 
75.HOLLYWOOD ALPHABET: THE TWO R'S
    Top studio executives and theater owners are considering dividing the R-rating into two categories in order to give parents more information about them. The two categories reportedly would cover films that depict violent and/or sexual themes and those that do not. The plan is being put forward as Congress prepares to call theater owners to testify about what steps they are taking to stop children under 17 from attending R-rated films without their parents. "We want to hit this really hard," according to a staff member of the Senate Commerce Committee. "We will apply pressure wherever pressure can be applied."
76.MOVIES DON'T KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE
    Sony of America chairman Howard Stringer took issue with lawmakers who blame Hollywood for inspiring violent behavior.  Stringer told a meeting of the Center for Communication in New York: "If two cities, Toronto and Chicago, have roughly the same size populations, the same number of TV channels, and the same number of movie theaters, why does one city have a murder rate 10 times the other? Is it the difference in national character or the difference in attitude to guns? . . . Last year in Japan, a handgun killed not one child, and yet the appetite for American movies seems undiminished."
77.THE GRAVITATIONAL PULL OF THE COMING STRIKE
    Despite efforts on all sides to play down the possibility of a strike by writers and actors next spring, the president of the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers has acknowledged that members of the organization are already planning against such an eventuality. "There's no question that people are planning their production schedules around the possibility," AMPTP chief Nick Counter said recently. At least two top industry execs, Jonathan Dolgen, head of Viacom's entertainment group, and Warner Bros. Studios Chairman Barry Meyer, are working to head off a strike early. But Counter suggested that their work is being made difficult by the fact that the Writers Guild of America has failed to come forward with formal demands. For its part, the WGA has indicted that it won't enter into early talks with the producers until it knows what their position on the issues will be. 
     Leaders of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists plan to invite several representatives of the major studios and networks to a Dec. 4 meeting for preliminary discussions aimed at heading off a threatened strike next year. 
    At this point the show business industry is looking like a little boy on a toboggan gleefully speeding toward a precipice. Unless some united extra-effort is exerted a strike is looking less like a likelihood and more like an inevitability.
78.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER
    DECEMBER 8TH: DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS is a movie that traces itself to the role playing game that originated about twenty years ago. It focuses in on what happens when Profion, an evil wizard (Jeremy Irons), schemes to dethrone the new empress (Thora Birch) of a mystical land. She recruits a band of adventurers (which includes a sorceress [Zoe McLellen] and a rogue [Justin Whalin]) to find a magical artifact that will foil the wizard's plot. This artifact, the Rod of Dragon Control, gives the bearer the ability to control dragons. . . . leading to a big final action scene featuring dozens (!) of computer animated dragons. Along the way, the evil wizard sends his henchman to also secure the Rod. The race is on to secure this magical instrument or the entire kingdom will fall prey to Profion's evil magic. 
    In PROOF OF LIFE  American engineer Peter Bowman (David Morse) is kidnapped by rebel forces in a Latin American country, who ask for $6 million in ransom. Unable to pay the ransom, his wife, Alice (Meg Ryan) enlists the help of a "freelance hostage negotiator," Terry Thorne (Cameron Crowe). Teaming up with a fellow negotiator, Dino (David Caruso), and a trio of trained mercenaries, Terry leads an effort to rescue Peter. 
    VERTICAL LIMIT shows what happens when a group of mountain climbers on K2, the second tallest mountain in the world, become trapped in a "vertical cave" (essentially a pit on the side of the mountain), the brother  (Chris O'Donnell) of one of the climbers (Robin Tunney) comes out of retirement to lead the effort to save them. Fans of imaginative television should be on the lookout for Alexander Siddig ("Dr. Bashir" on STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE) and Nicholas Lea ("Krycek" on THE X-FILES). 

        DECEMBER 22ND: CAST AWAY: An inspector (Tom Hanks) for Federal Express has a position that requires him to travel around the world, testing the various international shipping offices to make sure they're shipping in a timely manner. An accident, however, leaves him stranded on a remote island for four years. This is the story of how a man must evolve in isolation in order to survive . . . and when he gets back, how he has to deal with having been away from his fiancé (Helen Hunt) for several years. To look right for the part, Hanks grew a beard and lost 60 pounds! Hmmmm. If there's a sequel I want to star in it! 
    WES CRAVEN PRESENTS DRACULA 2000  has a vampire hunter in training (Jonny Lee Miller) who travels from London to New Orleans to rescue Mary Van Helsing (Justine Waddell) from the family's lifelong nemesis, the vampire Dracula (Gerard Butler). VIEW THE TRAILER BY CLICKING HERE
    FAMILY MAN is a fantasy film where a bachelor gets to explore an alternate life that he could have had. Nicolas Cage stars as Jack Campbell, a Wall Street playboy at the top of his professional game . . . with little time for anything else. His lavish, fast-paced lifestyle drastically changes one snowy Christmas night when he unwittingly stumbles into the middle of a grocery store holdup and in a bold display of self-preservation disarms the gunman. The next morning he wakes up in a suburban New Jersey bedroom lying next to Kate (Tea' Leoni), his college sweetheart who he left in order to pursue his career, and to the horrifying discovery that his former life no longer exists. As he stumbles through this alternate suburban universe, Jack begins to feel strangely comfortable in this new role of loving husband and father to two children. Jack finds himself at a crossroad, where he must choose between his high-powered career and the woman he loves.

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79.MOVIES ON A CREDIT CARD ARE COMING
    Wow! It's hard to believe but it will soon be possible to store full-length movies on a flash-memory card about the size of a credit card. Hitachi has announced that it will start selling its MultiMediaCard next year and that Toshiba Corp. and SanDisk Corp. are expected to follow with competing flash-memory devices. Where will it all end?
80.IMAX, CHRONICLERS OF THE FINAL FRONTIER
   Toronto-based Imax and Lockheed Martin have collaborated on the development of two 3D Imax cameras that will be used to produce a film about the construction of the international space station Alpha. Imax said that the first camera was launched on Sept. 8 and has been installed on the station. A second camera has been mounted outside the shuttle Discovery's cargo bay and was first used last month during a 13-day mission to the space station and is due to fly three subsequent missions. It was reportedly used to film the record-breaking four spacewalks conducted by the shuttle crew during the course of the mission. The camera was controlled by the crew from inside the shuttle, using a laptop computer that allowed them to frame shots, focus, set  exposure and choose camera lenses.
81.THE WORLD'S FIRST REAL 'HOLODECK' IS CREATED
    Fans of the latter day incarnations of STAR TREK are familiar with the concept of a "holodeck." It's a chamber that, through the trick of photons, force fields and forced perspectives, gives the illusion of various real settings with real characters. A firm in Southern California has invented a virtual reality system to train soldiers that is described as "version .0001 of the holodeck." Richard Lindheim, executive director of the Institute for Creative Technologies in Marina del Rey said, "It's going to take a long time to get from here to a holodeck. But it's a beginning." One of the principal designers of the interactive system is Herman Zimmerman, who helped create the holodeck concept for STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. 
    The "Experience Learning System," which was commissioned by the U.S. Army, immerses the occupant in a digital sight-and-sound environment that simulates war-torn Bosnia and situations that soldiers could encounter there, such as enemy fire and dealings with local citizens. The simulation involves characters Lindheim described as "artificial intelligent virtual humans, [who] react to what the soldier here in the room is saying to them and what he's doing. And that's the first step towards creating those virtual humans like you see on the holodeck." ICT plans to eventually add smells, temperature and humidity to the environment to make it even more realistic, and sees a day when such systems will be available to everyone.
82.GEORGE LUCAS AND THE END OF FILM
     Following the completion of principal photography of STAR WARS: EPISODE II (using digital cameras), George Lucas has predicted that the era of film photography is nearing its end. "We are in the digital age now," Lucas said, "and trying to hold on to an old-fashioned technology that's cumbersome and expensive - you just can't do it." Lucas observed that the Sony/Panavision cameras used for the shoot produced images that are "technically indistinguishable from film." However, he noted, the cost of videotape stock was about $15,000 versus some $2.5 million that he would have spent on film stock and processing. Lucas also indicated that he will push for digital projection when the movie is released, noting that a significant quality loss results from transfer to film. "When you see it really nice and crisp and clean and beautiful, with these vivid colors, and then you see a lesser version of it, it's sad. It's not just a little thing. . . . I have the feeling that the conversion [to digital] is going to take place relatively swiftly."
83.STUDIOS TO TURN THE WEB INTO A THEATER
     Some of Hollywood's top studios are planning to deliver feature films directly to consumers via high-speed Internet connections. Sony is currently working on a movie site that should become operational next year, while Disney and 20th Century Fox are jointly working on a separate site. Paramount might join the Disney/Fox Internet venture. Yair Landau, president of Sony Pictures Digital entertainment, confirmed the studio's plans, saying, "People want to see movies on the Internet, and we, along with other studios, plan to give them a chance to do that." This could eventually change the economics throughout the movie industry, affecting theaters, video stores and television networks that rely on current releases. Sony's system will allow consumers to download an average feature via high-speed telephone or cable lines in about an hour.
84.NUON IMPROVED
    The basics of DVD hardware has changed little since the players first hit the consumer store shelves in March, 1997. VM-Labs is looking to change that with "Nuon" technology. So far Samsung (Extiva N-200) and Toshiba (SD-2300) have introduced it in their products. More are coming. 
    Nuon's advantages include a composite video output, 5.1 channel audio output, DTS compatibility, smooth scanning in both forward and reverse, a zoom function and the ability to strobe a series of pictures from a fast moving action scene. It has its own graphical interface enabling consumers to navigate a menu and alter various functions, even while a movie is playing. It can play graphically rich interactive games and has the potential for Online connectivity for DVD-ROM features. 
    Look forward to see more of Nuon soon. They expect to have about a third of the DVD hardware market by 2004.
85.REPLAY-TV HITS THE STOP BUTTON
    ReplayTV Inc., one of two leading marketers of personal video recorders (the other is TiVo Inc.), which allow viewers to watch their favorite programs "on demand," said that it will quit selling its devices to consumers. Instead, it said, it will begin offering its know-how to satellite and cable operators and other companies who also plan to offer similar settop devices.
86.OF LIGHT SABERS AND MOUSE CLICKS
     AtomFilms has joined forces with the official STAR WARS Web site to launch the STAR WARS Fan Film Network, which will give fans an official outlet for their parodies, documentaries and other STAR WARS-themed films. AtomFilms is now accepting submissions of STAR WARS fan films for consideration to be showcased on the site. 
    The STAR WARS Fan Film Network will launch later this year. Participants in the STAR WARS Fan Film Network will have access to a library of sanctioned audio clips - from Darth Vader's breathing to the lightsaber wave and rebel blaster fire - to incorporate into their own original works. As an added incentive to submit their short films for consideration, fan filmmakers whose short films are selected for the network will receive royalty payments based on the advertising and sponsorship revenues generated from the site.
87.THE GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
    The Threshold.com Web site has acquired the online gaming rights to Clive Barker's Hellraiser movie franchise. The entertainment site will use the films' mythology for its game, Hellraiser: Hell Online
    Users must unlock a puzzle box to open a gateway into the netherworld. In addition to Hellraiser, the site will unveil several other online genre games in the next six months.
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88.TEACHING A DEAD DOG NEW TRICKS
    John Travolta wants to improve his flop, BATTLEFIELD EARTH, before it's released on video in Germany. The film's German distributor, Intertainment, said that the modifications will delay that country's video release to 2001 from this quarter. 
    "Following the movie's poor reception in the U.S., Travolta wants to make a few improvements in the post-production of the film," Intertainment chief executive Ruediger Baeres announced. No details of the changes were made available. Hard to see how they could make it even better. 
    BATTLEFIELD EARTH, as many of you know, is based on the novel of the same name by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, of which Travolta is an adherent. Germany has mounted an aggressive campaign against the church, arguing that it is not a legitimate religion, but rather a money-making scheme; the church has responded that it is being subjected to religious persecution. 
    Here in the States we'll be treated to the video release of BATTLEFIELD EARTH in January. Oh boy!
89.DVD PRICES TUMBLING
    In a grand effort to further the spread of the new format, DVD prices are continuing to fall. This is both at the wholesale and retail levels. 
    On the wholesale level, Warner and its subsidiary, New Line Home Video, are going back to re-price catalog titles. Both Warner and Paramount are shaving their recommended retail prices by $5.00. Virtually every studio has vowed to increase their output of DVD's for 2001, most likely with reduced prices. 
    Best Buy and Circuit City are in a dogfight to see who can shave their DVD prices the most. Players have dropped as low as $99. Best Buy ignored the suggested retail of $29.98 for the recent release of GLADIATOR. They sold the double-disc set for $14.99. Between customers and rival retailers buying the title for significantly below wholesale cost, they haven't been able to keep any copies on their shelves. Best Buy did similar advertising for X-MEN (dropping from the suggested $22.98 to $9.99), CHICKEN RUN and TOY STORY 2 (reducing both of the last two titles from $26.99 to $13.99) all with similar results. 
    DVD is re-shaping the video landscape. Thanks to these low prices, new releases are becoming more of a sales item than a rental (to the distress of video retailers and the delight of studios). By year's end, 12% of American homes will have at least one DVD player. Considering that it's been available to consumers for about 45 months, that's pretty impressive.
90. BLOCKBUSTER GUARANTEES DVD SATISFACTION
    Like many video rental places, Blockbuster is expecting a fresh onslaught of customers demanding DVD's to rent for their newly acquired players. To meet the anticipated wave of customers they've stocked some 1,000 discs per store and have begun a new "Satisfaction Guaranteed," policy. If, for any reason, a customer is dissatisfied with any DVD rented they can take another one home for free. This is not due to some crazy sense of charity or civic duty on the part of Big Blue. In the words of a spokesman for the company, Blockbuster's strategy is, "to position itself as the ultimate destination for DVD rentals. . . . We want to show our customers that Blockbuster is serious about supporting the DVD format."
91.VIDEOCY
Rental titles releasing 12/5: SCARY MOVIE is a collection of jabs at recent horror films and punctuated with sick perverted humor (I loved it!). The VHS is a rental. The DVD is $29.99. . . . GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS is about how long this remake of a cult classic played in theaters this summer. Angelina Jolie and Nicholas Cage star in this action movie about car heists and big risks. The VHS is rental-priced. The DVD sells for $29.99. . . . THE ST. FRANCISVILLE EXPERIMENT is a BLAIR WITCH wannabe. It's filled with four attractive young nobodies (a psychic, a filmmaker, a ghost hunter and a history student) and a hand-held camera in an overnight stay in a haunted house. It doesn't seem to ever goes from a mild simmer and up to a terrifying boiling-point. Check it out for yourself. The VHS is a rental. The disc is $24.95. 

Rental title releasing 12/12: SHAFT is part re-make, part sequel. Samuel L. Jackson is the nephew of the original John Shaft (Richard Roundtree reprises his original role for this film). The VHS is a rental. The DVD is $29.99. . . . THE LEGEND is a 1993 martial arts film (originally entitled FONG SHI YI). This Hong Kong martial-arts extravaganza tells of evil emperors and true love. Father Fong belongs to the Red Lotus Flower Society, which is committed to the overthrow of the evil Manchu Emperor and his minions. One of his Governors is sent on a mission to retrieve a list of members of that secret society. Meanwhile, a subplot involves Fong's son, Fong Sai-Yuk, who falls in love with the beautiful daughter of a rich merchant, recently moved to Canton. Her father, in an attempt to gain influence in the region and thus improve his business, offers his daughter in marriage to the winner of a kung-fu contest. Some interesting gender rolereversals take place during a 'comedy of errors.' Jet Li plays the son. The VHS is a rental. The DVD is $32.99. . . CRACKERJACK 3 features a group of retired spies, who were once former enemies, that are forced to work together in an attempt to retrieve a neutron bomb stolen by a group of new-wave, high-tech operatives who have supplanted them in the post-Cold War intelligence game. The VHS is a rental. The DVD is $19.95. 

Rental titles releasing 12/19: THE CELL, the film where scientist Jennifer Lopez enters the mind of serial killer Vincent D'Onofrio, becomes available today. The VHS is a rental. The DVD is $24.98. . . . UNINVITED GUEST features a couple who make a terrible mistake. They invite a seemingly harmless stranger into the house to use there phone. As it turns out, he's far from harmless. He is deadly and has designs on the wife. . . . THE HUNGER is the Showtime series from Ridley Scott that specializes in the edgy side of the supernatural. This is a three-tape set that offers "Soul Snatcher;" "Smoke, Mirrors and Paranoia" and "Bump in the Night." Each of the tapes contains three eerie stories. The DVD is $14.98 each. 

Rental titles releasing 12/26: THE ART OF WAR was designed to be a fast action movie starring Jet Li. Somehow, the U.N. covert agent that mixes it up with the Chinese delegation wound up being Wesley Snipes. You can rent it on VHS or buy the DVD for $24.98.. . . We saw GODZILLA 2000 in our July meeting. Here's your chance to see it again! The VHS is a rental. The DVD is priced at $24.95. . . . THE EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN crabwalks its way to video and DVD today. The VHS, even though it's a rental, can be had if you're willing to shell out $45. The disc goes for $24.98. 

Sell through titles releasing 12/5: NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE CLUMPS is releasing directly to the sales rack, hoping to find its way into a few Christmas stockings. Both the VHS and the DVD are $22.98. . . . BOXING HELENA is a story of an unfortunate collision of love, obsession, madness and surgery. Julian Sands is the obsessor. Sherilyn Fenn is the unhappy obsessee. It's directed by David Lynch's daughter, Jennifer Chamber Lynch. This is the unrated version. It's on VHS only for $14.95. . . . BURN WITCH, BURN is a 1962 black & white film that remains fresh today, thanks in large part to a literate script from Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson. The movie was based on Fritz Lieber's Conjure Wife. Peter Wyngarde plays Norman Taylor, a straight-laced college professor whose star is on the rise. Janet Blair plays his wife Tansy, who Norman discovers is using magic to protect them and advance his career. When he makes her stop what he considers to be nonsense, all hell breaks loose. It's available on VHS for $12.95. . . . CRY OF THE BANSHEE features Vincent Price as a harsh Elizabethan lord forced to learn a difficult lesson - if you're going to destroy a coven of witches, don't stop until the job's done!  The surviving witch enlists a banshee to destroy her enemy. It's on tape only for $12.95. . . . CYCLE SAVAGES is a wonderfully awful biker flick from 1969. The bad cycle leader is Bruce Dern. The head of a notorious prostitution ring is Casey Kasem. The bad girl who wants to be good is Melody Patterson (you may remember her as "Wrangler Jane" from F TROOP - in this flick her various nude scenes are more suggestive than revealing). In the movie this band of (apparently ultra-sensitive) biker bad boys is terrified that they can be convicted just based on an artist drawing of them in action. Not film or movies, mind you, just some lousy pencil sketches. They plane to destroy the drawings and mush the artist's hands in a vice. You can adopt this mangy mutt of a movie for $12.95, exclusively on VHS. . . . For a hoot you might want to test drive this three movie DVD. It contains MARIHUANA/ASSASSIN OF YOUTH and REEFER MADNESS all on a single disc. These three hokey drug-scare movies from the thirties make Ed Wood look like Orson Welles. The disc is available for $29.99. . . . MASTERS OF RUSSIAN ANIMATION  is a collection of award-winning animated shorts done between 1986-1990 by some of Russia's world-renowned directors and artists. It's exclusively on DVD for $24.99. . . . TENTACLES is both a horror movie and a mystery. The horror is how this 1977 attempted ripoff of JAWS (only substituting the Great White for a mutant octopus) managed to get made. The mystery is how a cast of A-list actors was drawn into this Italian/American production. The cast includes Henry Fonda, John Houston and Shelly Winters. It's yours (if you want it) on VHS for $12.95. . . . JACK FROST II arrives to spread a little holiday fear. The sinister snowman performs his yuletide killing spree on DVD for $19.98. . . . THE COMEDY OF TERRORS is your chance to see Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff in this 1963 dark comedy. It features Price as a struggling undertaker who decides to become, shall we say "pro-active," in drumming up new business. Besides the considerable talent on the screen, the movie is helped with the direction of one of Val Lewton's favorite directors, Jacques Tourneur. The screenplay is by the accomplished writer (whose works frequently appeared on THE TWILIGHT ZONE) Richard Mathseon. . . . THE DUNWITCH HORROR is one of the most faithful adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft's ever to reach the screen. This 1970 film has a young man (Dean Stockwell) borrow the Necronomicon to converse with the Old Ones, with disastrous results. It's on VHS for $12.95. . . . THE PHANTOM PLANET is an odd little 1961 sci-fi flick. It's about an Earth astronaut who lands on a wandering asteroid, gets miniaturized, and gets drawn into a conflict that its tiny inhabitants are having with another race. It offers us an interesting collection of used-to-be's, never-were's and about-to-be's. Chief among the used-to-be's is silent screen legend, Baltimore's own Francis X. Bushman. If you find yourself in Eutaw Place, in Baltimore, and notice the statue of Francis Scott Key, you're looking at Mr. Bushman. He posed for the statue in 1911. Sadly, after being one of the gods in Hollywood, THE PHANTOM PLANET would be one of Bushman's final roles. Among the never-were's was Colleen Gray, who a year before played the title role in THE LEECH WOMAN, and Marvin Miller, who played the voice of Robby the Robot as well as lawyer Michael Anthony on THE MILLIONAIRE. The best known of the about-to-be's is  Richard Kiel, the seemingly unstoppable giant, "Jaws" in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and MOONRAKER. You can pick up this odd little movie on VHS for $12.95. . . . THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT is a 1955 Hammer film with Quatermass (Brian Donleavy) trying to stop an astronaut who has mutated into a homicidal monster. Buy it for $12.95. . . . TENCHI MUYO: TROUBLE HATCHES, VOL. 1 is for young anime' fans. Tenchi accidentally releases a demon, who turns out to be a beautiful space pirate. Now he's forced to miss school and go into space. Tenchi's adventures can be seen on the Cartoon Network's "Toonami" Block. Toys and apparel are also available in this country. It's in a VHS dubbed version only for $14.98. . . . BUBBLEGUM CRISIS 2040 VOL.10 is an anime' available both on DVD and VHS. The tape is $19.98 and the disc sells for $29.95. . . . CITY HUNTER: SECRET SERVICE is an anime' on VHS only for $19.98. . . . GENERATOR GAWL VOL. 2: FUTURE MEMORY is an anime' selling for $19.95 for a VHS and $29.98 for a DVD. . . . MARTIAN SUCCESSOR: NADESICO VOL. 7-CONTACT is an anime' selling on VHS for $19.95. . . . MONSTER RANCHER VOL. 5 is an anime' selling on VHS for $14.95. . . . NIGHTMARE CAMPUS: A TOTAL NIGHTMARE is an anime' available in either dubbed or subtitled, on DVD only, for $49.99. . . . REBOOT VOL. 2 is an anime' releasing to VHS for $14.95 and a DVD selling for $24.98. . . . THE SAKURA DIARIES VOL. 4 is an anime' selling for $24.98. 

Sell through titles releasing 12/12: THE SOPRANOS first season hits the shelves today. This brilliant HBO series chronicles a dysfunctional, suburban American family in bold relief. And for protagonist Tony Soprano, there's the added complexity posed by heading twin families - his collegial mob clan and his own, nouveau riche brood. In one episode we see him struggling to be a loving supportive father, taking his daughter around to prospective colleges, then slipping away to strangle a mafia squealer with his bare hands. That's typical of this show. It also has a deep and rich cast of supporting players. The usual Mafia drama will have a don say, "Hey Tony, get da' car." In THE SOPRANOS we get to know Tony (and just how he feels about getting the car). You have your choice of a five VHS set for $99.92 or a four DVD set for $99.98. If you haven't seen it yet, check out why so many have called this the best show on television. . . . BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER has Terry McGinnis, the new Batman, while trying to uncover the Joker's secrets, discovers the greatest mystery in the career of the original Batman - the true story of the night Batman fought the Joker for the last time. Though when Bruce Wayne is almost killed in one of the Joker's new attacks, it's up to Batman Beyond to avenge his mentor and put the Joker to rest forever. The VHS is $19.95. The DVD is $24.98. . . . He's the happy little child's clay figure that can never seem to escape his hellish existence. No matter how joyful and optimistic he tries to be, everyone know that dismemberment and flattening await him. Relive the agony and the ecstasy in MR. BILL'S CLASSICS. This DVD of everyone's favorite victim is available for $24.98 for 75 minutes of excruciating humor. . . . TRIBULATION is another sci-fi film with a strong Christian theme and a cast of familiar names. A man wakes up from a coma and discovers his family is gone and he is living in a strange new world where people are branded with the mark of the beast. It has Gary Busey, Margot Kidder, Nick Mancuso and Howie Mandel. Both the VHS and DVD are $19.99. . . . TWILIGHT ZONE VOL. 38 and 39 release today. Vol. 38 has "Mr. Bevis," "The Silence" and "On Thursday We Leave For Home." Vol. 39 contains "The Gift," "Young Man's Fancy" and "The Incredible World of Horace Ford."  Both discs sell for $24.99 each. . . . MAGIC WOMAN M is an anime' available today. It features Meru, a 19-year-old sorceress, who is lost in a forest filled with lustful beasts. The VHS is $29.99. . . . MAZE: COLLECTOR'S BOXED SET is an anime' that contains four volumes - ULTIMATE RAGE, SHOWDOWN, EVIL LABYRINTH, and TIME TRAVELING PLAYBOY. This VHS sells for $19.99. . . . THE SLAYERS: TRY, TRY AGAIN is an anime' available in both a dubbed and a subtitled VHS. It goes for $19.99. 

Sell through titles releasing 12/19: SEVEN a the two disc platinum set re-issue of this instant classic. This DVD sells for $21.96. 

Sell through titles releasing 12/26: THE SIEGE is an uncomfortably-close-to-reality piece of speculative fiction. The U.S. kidnaps a noted Moslem cleric who is behind a string of high-profile terrorist bombings. Deciding to carry their displeasure to the home of their enemy, the Arabic terrorist cell brings a rain of terror on New York City. The question the film then poses is, what would you do to balance security against civil rights. Bruce Willis plays the heavy-handed general that decides to declare martial law to lock up every young Arab male in Manhattan. Denzel Washington is the FBI agent trying to stop him. Annette Benning is the intelligence agent who'll do anything or anyone to achieve her objectives. It's only on DVD and sells for $29.95. . . . ASTRO ZOMBIES is a nasty little piece of cinema landfill from 1969 that is a worthy contender to the crown of "worst film of all-time!" Its complex tangle of plots seems to break down into three main tributaries. 1) A team of detectives are investigating a series of murders where organs are taken from bodies and try to stop a gang of spies. 2) A mad scientist (played horribly by John Carradine) takes the organs and makes a series of astro zombies that run on batteries (when one of them runs out of energy in a fight, he grabs a flashlight, aims it at the solar-cell in his forehead and lumbers back to the lab). 3) A gang of spies, led by Tura Satana (from FASTER PUSSYCAT, KILL, KILL), needs the scientist's information to create their own supermen to take over the world. In some rather painful exposition, we learn of the work of Dr. Demarco, who was working on an indestructible artificial man who could be remote- controlled on spaceflights - hence an "astro-zombie"!   The film itself is amazingly incoherent. Characters are introduced, mutter a few lines, get killed or simply vanish, and we care not a whit for any of them. It's an hour into the film before you figure out who all these characters are and what they are doing, or even who the good guys are. It was directed by that lord of the lousy, that sultan of s***, Ted V. Mikels. It was co-written by Mikels and Wayne Rogers (who some of you may recall as "Trapper John" on M*A*S*H). You can witness this traffic accident of a film on VHS $19.98 or DVD for $24.98. . . . MESA OF LOST WOMEN is another contender in the all-time stinker in the grand Cavalcade of Crap. This one is so bad that it's often (and mistakenly) been attributed to the very Saladin of Sappy Cinema, the master, Ed Wood. The movie, with its race of spider-injected super women, super midget men and stupid spider puppets, along with its endless narration (from Wood regular Lyle Talbot) either telling us exactly what we're seeing or lost in some ersatz reverie on what's occurring on the screen, results in the sort of chomping-on-tin-foil level of irritation that the worst Woodian efforts provoke. The mad scientist behind the spider injections is none other than Uncle Fester (a.k.a. "Jackie Coogan"). You can enjoy every deliciously digital frame of this masterpiece, on DVD, for $24.95. . . . And now for something completely different, PREDATOR comes to DVD today. You get to see Ahnold pull a new emotion from his bag of thespionic tricks - fear! This movie stands out from most of Mr. Schwarzenneger's earlier triumphs in that he spends much of it getting his Teutonic toches kicked around a South American jungle. Also on hand for the festivities are Carl Weathers (from ROCKY) and Jesse Ventura (from the Minnesota state house). At least some of the Predator "hole-in-the-jungle" scenes had an uncredited Jean-Claude Van Damme in the funny suit. He quit the movie after two days because he didn't want to be an uncredited special effect. They actually tried replacing him with a monkey but apparently the ape agreed with Van Damme. He kept taking the suit off! You can see the Iron Man, the Muscles from Brussels and the Governor of Minnesota mix it up on disc for just $29.95. . . . 3X3 EYES DVD Collection. This si based on the comic issued (in the States) by Dark Horse comics. The DVD Collection offers 270 minutes of enetetainment for $59.00. . . . BLACK HEAVEN: SPACE TRUCKIN' VOL. 2 tells the story of Oji and his divided loves. His first allegiance is to his music, to the exclusion of his marriage, his job and his battles with evil aliens. You can get the VHS either subtitled or dubbed for $24.95. The DVD sells for $29.95. . . .  TENCHI UNIVERSE V. 5: SPACE I tells the story of Tenchi and his gang travelling to the planet Jurai, attempting to clear their names and finding more than they bargained for. It's availables exclusively in DVD for $29.98. . . . FATAL FURY is an anime' that's based on the video game of the same name. After their father is murdered Terry and Andy rely on ten years of training in bare-knuckled street fighting to avenge him. It's only available on DVD for $29.98.

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92.THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
    L. Sprague de Camp, an  award-winning Golden Age science fiction author, a prolific writer of novels, short stories and biographies, has died. He was the man who rescued Robert E. Howard and his character, Conan, from obscurity. He was credited with writing some 100 fantasy and science fiction novels in more than a half-century of work, his most popular work was probably "Lest Darkness Fall," a novel of time travel first published in 1941. It was about an American who journeys back to ancient Rome to prevent the onset of the Dark Ages. 
    Born in New York City, he graduated from the California Institute of Technology in 1930 with a degree in aeronautical engineering. Three years later, he earned a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. He was a lieutenant commander in the Navy during World War II. In his post-college days, de Camp initially found work as an editor of technical manuals for appliances such as air conditioners. His life took a turn, however, when his first science fiction story was accepted by "Astounding" magazine in 1937. He readily switched his primary career, although he would sometimes fall back on his talents as a patent expert, publicity writer and educator to supplement his writing income 
    "I found [writing] much more enjoyable than working," he told an interviewer some years ago. "I've found that writing helps me develop and investigate the aspects of life that have always fascinated me." 
    Writing in a clear, wry style that was described by one critic as "often closer to P.G. Wodehouse than J.R.R. Tolkien," de Camp won a series of awards from his peers in the science fiction and fantasy industry, including the Tolkien award for life work in fantasy in 1976, the Grand Master Nebula Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1979 and the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1984. 
    "The best fantasy is usually no more than light wine, the worst mere soda pop. . . ," renowned science fiction writer Robert Heinlein once said. "I would class de Camp's fiction as a very dry martini." 
    During the 1960s, de Camp happened upon the work of the science fiction writer Robert E. Howard, who created the Conan the Barbarian character. Howard, a suicide in 1936, at the age of 30, left a number of Conan manuscripts, which de Camp helped polish for publication. He wrote more Conan stories over the years and is generally credited with not only helping to restore Howard's reputation but also turning Conan into an industry. 
    Working in other fields, de Camp wrote biographies of H.P. Lovecraft; a well-regarded study of the historic Scopes trial over the teaching of evolution; and "The Evolution of Naval Weapons," a textbook published by the U.S. government. He also wrote scores of radio scripts for Voice of America, mostly on the subject of science fiction and fantasy. 
        De Camp's wife of 60 years, Catherine Cook de Camp, who edited and collaborated on much of his work, died in April. De Camp died Nov. 6 in Plano, Texas, where he had lived since the late 1980s, of complications from a stroke. He was 92. De Camp, who served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II, will be cremated, and his ashes, together with those of Catherine, will be interred at the Arlington National Cemetery.
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93.DECEMBER CALENDAR
FRI 1ST - TV: BABYLON 5: THIRDSPACE (LBX) will air on the Sci-Fi Channel, 
                 9:00 P.M. 
SAT. 2ND - TV: BABYLON 5: THIRDSPACE (LBX) will air on the Sci-Fi Channel, 
                    12:00 Midnight 

SUN. 3RD - TV: DUNE PART 1 airs on the Sci-Fi Channel 9:00 P.M. 
                     TV: DUNE PART 1 airs on the Sci-Fi Channel 11:00 P.M. 

MON. 4TH - TV: DUNE PART 1 airs on the Sci-Fi Channel 1:00 A.M. 
                      TV: DUNE PART 2 airs on the Sci-Fi Channel 9:00 P.M. 
                      TV: DUNE PART 2 airs on the Sci-Fi Channel 11:00 P.M. 

TUE. 5TH - TV: DUNE PART 2 airs on the Sci-Fi Channel 1:00 A.M. 
                    TV: DUNE PART 3 airs on the Sci-Fi Channel 9:00 P.M. 
                    TV: DUNE PART 3 airs on the Sci-Fi Channel 11:00 P.M. 
           VIDEO RENTAL: SCARY MOVIE, GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS and THE 
                 ST. FRANCISVILLE EXPERIMENT hit the streets today. 
           VIDEO SELL-THROUGH: NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE CLUMPS,BURN 
                   WITCH, BURN, CRY OF THE BANSHEE, CYCLE SAVAGES, TENTA- 
                   CLES, THE COMEDY OF TERRORS, THE DUNWITCH HORROR, THE 
                   PHANTOM PLANET, THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT, TENCHI 
                   MUYO: TROUBLE HATCHES, VOL. 1, BUBBLEGUM CRISIS 2040 
                   VOL.10, CITY HUNTER: SECRET SERVICE, GENERATOR GAWL 
                   VOL. 2: FUTURE MEMORY, MARTIAN SUCCESSOR: NADESICO 
                   VOL. 7-CONTACT, MONSTER RANCHER VOL. 5, REBOOT VOL. 2 
                   and THE SAKURA DIARIES VOL. 4 go on sale today. 
           DVD SELL-THROUGH: SCARY MOVIE, GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS, 
                 THE ST. FRANCISVILLE EXPERIMENT, NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE 
                 CLUMPS, MARIHUANA/ASSASSIN OF YOUTH/REEFER MADNESS, 
                 MASTERS OF RUSSIAN ANIMATION, JACK FROST II, BUBBLEGUM 
                 CRISIS 2040 VOL.10, GENERATOR GAWL VOL. 2: FUTURE MEMORY, 
                  NIGHTMARE CAMPUS: A TOTAL NIGHTMARE and REBOOT 
                  VOL. 2 all go on sale today. 

WED. 6TH- TV: DUNE PART 3 airs on the Sci-Fi Channel 1:00 A.M. 

FRI. 8TH - EVENT: Muvico Egyptian 24 grand opening. 
                   TV: BABYLON 5: RIVER OF SOULS (LBX) will air on the Sci-Fi Channel, 
                   9:00 P.M. 
                  MOVIE: DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS debuts. 
                  MOVIE:  PROOF OF LIFE debuts. 
                  MOVIE: VERTICAL LIMIT debuts. 

SAT 9TH - TV: BABYLON 5: RIVER OF SOULS (LBX) will air on the Sci-Fi Channel, 
                   12:00 Midnight 

TUE. 12TH - VIDEO RENTAL: SHAFT, THE LEGEND and CRACKERJACK 3 
                      hit the rental shelves today. 
           VIDEO SELL-THROUGH: THE SOPRANOS first season, BATMAN 
                     BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER, TRIBULATION, MAGIC 
                     WOMAN M and THE SLAYERS: TRY, TRY AGAIN go on sale today. 
           DVD SELL-THROUGH: SHAFT, THE LEGEND, CRACKERJACK 3, 
                     THE SOPRANOS first season, BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE 
                     JOKER, MR. BILL'S CLASSICS, TRIBULATION and TWILIGHT ZONE 
                     VOL. 38 and 39 go on sale today. 

SUN 17TH - TV: BABYLON 5: THE GATHERING (LBX) will air on the Sci-Fi Channel, 
                      7: 00 P.M. 
                      TV: BABYLON 5: A CALL TO ARMS (LBX) will air on the Sci-Fi Channel, 
                      9:00 P.M. 

TUE. 19TH - VIDEO RENTAL: THE CELL, UNINVITED GUEST and THE HUNGER 
                      go out for rental today. 
           DVD SELL-THROUGH: THE CELL, THE HUNGER and SEVEN go on 
                      sale today. 
THUR. 21st - EVENT: Golden Globe nominees announced 

FRI. 22ND - HAPPY FIRST DAY OF HANUKKAH! 
                    MOVIE: CAST AWAY debuts 
                     MOVIE: WES CRAVEN PRESENTS DRACULA 2000 debuts 
                     MOVIE: FAMILY MAN debuts. 

MON. 25TH - MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

TUE. 26TH - MERRY KWANZA! 
           VIDEO RENTAL: THE ART OF WAR, GODZILLA 2000, and THE 
           EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN hit the shelves today. 
           VIDEO SELL-THROUGH:  ASTRO ZOMBIES and BLACK HEAVEN: 
                       SPACE TRUCKIN' VOL. 2   go on sale today. 
           DVD SELL-THROUGH: THE ART OF WAR, GODZILLA 2000, THE 
                      EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN, THE SEIGE, 
                     ASTRO ZOMBIES, MESA OF LOST WOMEN, PREDATOR, 3X3 EYES, 
                     BLACK HEAVEN: SPACE TRUCKIN' VOL. 2, TENCHI UNI- 
                     VERSE V. 5: SPACE and FATAL FURY go on sale today. 

SAT. 30TH - I.C.S. MEETING, 6:00