#24-January 2001
CLUB NEWS
1.THE SURPRISES OF DECEMBER
2.NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
3.JANUARY  AND THE CHAD-FREE ELECTIONS
4.JANUARY ANNIVERSARY
The I.C.S. turns 2!
5.JANUARY MOVIES
6.DUE NEWS
7.CALENDARS
8.SNOW ALERTS
9.BADGES? WE DO NEED THOSE STINKING BADGES!
10.THE HOUND OF THE FLEMING-VILLES
11.HELLO TO GARY ROBERSON
12.GET WELL TO DIANA GERVASIO
13.MEETING DATES FOR 2001
TV NEWS
14.THE GLASS TEAT
News on DUNE, FREEDOM, MYSTERIOUS WAYS, FREAKY LINKS
and imaginative TV"s Golden Globe nominees. 
15.PLEASE REMAIN STANDING WHILE WE EXPLORE THE GALAXY
16.ANDROMEDA KICKS BUTT
17.ANGEL IN ENGLAND
18.THE EVIL LAWYER'S READY TO STOP GETTING POUNDED
19.KICKIN' IT WITH THE BLACK SCORPION
20.BUFFY TURNS 100!
21.EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT WILL BE BACK
22.J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI MEETS JEREMIAH
23.THE SECRET LIFE OF JULES VERNE
24.NEXT STOP - SMALLVILLE
25.VOYAGER'S FATE STILL HANGS IN THE BALANCE
26.ROBERT BELTRAN HAS BEEN ASSIMILATED
27.TRAGEDY AND SEVEN OF NINE
28.BLAH TREK: RONALD MOORE ON TREK'S FUTURE
29.THE X-FILES GETS YET ANOTHER NEW CAST MEMBER
EVENT NEWS
30.THINGS TO COME
With news on KATSUCON and CREATIONCON.
 LITERARY NEWS
31.A COMIC THAT LOOKS AT THE NATURE OF EVIL AND REDEMPTION
SPECIAL - CINEMA 2000
32.2000 - THE WORST YEAR EVER FOR MOVIES?
33.A PRESCRIPTION FOR FILMMAKERS: OVERCOME FEAR
34.A PRESCRIPTION FOR FILMMAKERS: TRUST THE SCREENWRITER
35.A PRESCRIPTION FOR FILMMAKERS: STOP EQUATING QUALITY WITH PROFITABILITY
36.A PRESCRIPTION FOR FILMMAKERS: FORGET THE FORMULA
37.AND ANOTHER THING . . .
38.HERE'S WHAT THE ICS THOUGHT
MOVIE NEWS
39.HOW THE GRINCH STOLE THE BOX OFFICE
40.DEMON WITH A GLASS HAND IS WORKING ITS WAY TO THE BIG SCREEN
41.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA AND THE GOLDEN HANDSHAKE
42.2001: A SEATTLE ODYSSEY
43.TOD BROWNING'S DRACULA WILL LAST FOREVER
44.SIR STEVEN OF SPIELBERG
45.AHNOLD'S LOVE LIFE DANGLING BY A CHAD
46.AHNOLD THINKANATOR?
47.HANNIBAL SCREENPLAY DEPARTS FROM THE BOOK'S ENDING 
48.HANNIBAL 'S SCREENPLAY DEPARTS FROM THE ITS PREDECESSOR'S AUTHOR 
49.MOVIES DON'T KILL PEOPLE, GUNS DO 
50.BIGGER AND BADDER REPTILES FOR JURASSIC PARK 3
51.JURASSIC TROUBLES
52.A PRODUCTION TO REMEMBER
53.SIMIAN HIGH
54.DARKNESS COMES TO STAR WARS
55.MATT DAMON'S BATHROOM SURPRISE
56.THE SPIDER-MAN OF BALTIMORE
57.SAM RAIMI DISCUSSES CASTING AND STORY FOR SPIDER-MAN
58.STAR TREK X TEASERS 
59.LOOK FOR A NEW RACE OF DROIDS IN THE NEXT STAR WARS 
60.TOMB RAIDER HELPS TO BRING CAMBODIA BACK FROM OBLIVION 
61.SHYAMALAN SAYS DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR AN UNBREAKABLE SEQUEL
62.BUSH IS IN, BALDWIN AND ALTMAN ARE OFFERED HELP LEAVING
63.SLAVES FOR DISNEY 
64.STADIUM SUING 
65.HOLLYWOOD AND THE VANISHING "R"
66.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY 
News on the release of 13 DAYS, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, SNATCH, THE GIFT and SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE.
TECHNOLOGY NEWS
67.VIDEO-ON-DEMAND TAKES ANOTHER STEP TO BECOMING A REALITY
68.INDREMA IS THE NEXT STOP ON THE ROAD TO CONVERGENCE
VIDEO NEWS
69.A COMMIE MONSTER WITH SEOUL
70.A GIANT STEP FOR DVD RETAILING
71.THE SIXTH SENSE TOPPED THE YEAR'S RENTALS
72.VIDEOCY
FAREWELLS
73.THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES 
We remember Marie Windsor, Hoyt Curtin, Jack S. Lieberman, Barney McNulty, Billy Barty and Ray Walston. 
IN REVIEW
74.JANUARY CALENDAR 
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1.THE SURPRISES OF DECEMBER 
    I guess we can think of our December meeting as a gift. After we were told that chance of a major storm on the Saturday of our meeting was 100%, we got nary a flake. We had a lot of stuff going on. We had our Second (Annual?) Yankee Swap. With this year's limit of $20, we got and gave some pretty fine gifts (I want to thank whoever gave me the McFarland King Kong, it is now the centerpiece in our downstairs bathroom re-decoration, we're going with a King Kong theme!). For our first ever DVD night, we decided to put some coal in our collective stocking. We elected to watch Barry Murphy's copy of the 1962 film of the year, THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE. After we recovered as best we could, we had a spirited discussion about the films of the year 2000 (that discussion is continued in this issue - see the "SPECIAL SECTION - CINEMA 2000"). If you missed it, you missed an excellent meeting.
2.NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
    Our January meeting will be held on Saturday January 27th 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.JANUARY  AND THE CHAD-FREE ELECTIONS 
    Our annual elections take place in January. We strongly encourage all members to exercise their right to vote. The election will be to decide the five members of our Board of Directors. Technically anyone that is a member can be voted for, but we give anyone who'd like to stand as a candidate the chance to do so. So far we have six candidates for seats on the Board. The six candidates, in alphabetical order, are: 
Dave Henderson 
Joe Plempel 
Mike Schilling 
Regina Vallerani 
David Willard 
Charlie Wittig 
    If you aren't able to attend the meeting in person, but would like to vote, then please cast an absentee ballot. Vote for FIVE, no more, no less. A ballot with any more or less names will be considered invalid. Votes should be sent to John Clayton/ 10354 Windstream Drive/ Columbia, MD. 21220. Please write on the outside of your envelope "BALLOT" so that John can be sure to bring it with him to the elections.
4.JANUARY ANNIVERSARY 
    On January 24, 1999 something amazing and wonderful happened. THE IMAGINATIVE CINEMA SOCIETY WAS FOUNDED! We have moved with incredible speed to draft a constitution, agree on a name, elect a Board, find a secure meeting facility, have a monthly newsletter, raise over $2,000 for a video projector and grow our membership. Besides everything else, January's meeting will be a celebration of those accomplishments and a look at the road ahead. We hope that everyone can join us for the festivities.
5.JANUARY MOVIES 
    Mike Schilling will be bringing movies along in January. Here's a tentative list of the movies that he'll be bringing. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD, STAR TREK VI:THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, TIME BANDITS, MAD MONSTER PARTY, TRON, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, THE DARK CRYSTAL, and ED WOOD.
6.DUE NEWS 
    It's January. The dues, true to their name, are due. We ask for $20 per individual and $30 for a couple. You can mail your dues check (made out to "The Imaginative Cinema Society") to John Clayton/ 10354 Windstream Drive/ Columbia, MD. 21220.
7.CALENDARS 
    Calendars were sold at the December meeting. For those of you who ordered calendars and haven't yet picked them up, either call or write to John Clayton (his phone number address appear at the end of the "DUES NEWS" item above).
SNOW ALERTS 
    We had a very close call with our December meeting. The foot high blizzard that had been prophesied by the whether oracles mysteriously missed us. In the event of snow, the best thing to do is to use your common sense. We won't meet in a blizzard. BUT sometimes that's not enough. There are plenty of iffy nights when it's hard to judge what will happen. In the next "ICS Files" I'll run the phone number and e-mail addresses of the new Board. Charlie will post a notice on the Website ("WWW.ICSFILM.NET"). I'll send out a general e-mail to everyone. We will also attempt to call everyone. If you weren't at the last meeting we'll need to get your current address and phone number. You can call Dave Henderson at 410-529-0726, or email him at HENDO8@JUNO.COM
BADGES? WE DO NEED THOSE STINKING BADGES! 
    Some of us that have been around for a while have some terrific name badges done by Dave Henderson. They have your name and a picture from your favorite movie on them. Please try to remember to wear them at our meetings. We have several people that have joined us over the last several months. Out of courtesy for our newer members (and to help everyone else whose memory may be as bad as mine) please make an effort to wear them to meetings. 
    If you haven't yet received a badge, write down on a slip of paper your name and your favorite film. Give it to Dave Henderson. He'll have a badge ready for you at the following meeting.
10.THE HOUND OF THE FLEMING-VILLES 
    Holmes had his hound. Daniel his lion. Tim Fleming encountered his animal adversary in the form of Buttons, the Lhasa Apso from hell! For those of you not familiar with this particular form of demon, Lhasa Apsos are tiny dogs, not much more than ankle high. They have bodies that are about a foot long and draped in long luxurious fur. When Tim offered his hand to one that looked like it may be lost, Buttons sank his cute little teeth into what must have looked like a buffet table to the pugnacious pooch. Unfortunately, Buttons' owners couldn't be tracked down, leaving Tim to undergo a series of painful and expensive rabies shots. Tim, we hope that you're okay. Heather, you might want to keep an eye on him during the next full moon. If he starts looking shorter, cuter and furrier, you know what to do.
11.HELLO TO GARY ROBERSON 
    Gary Roberson is one hell of a member. He drives down from Philadelphia and spends $80 to spend the night in a hotel. We really appeciate all that he does to be with us. Unfortunately, we won't be seeing his smiling face around for a while. He's got work scheduling conflicts that are going to keep him in Philly during meeting times. We won't see him again until spring. Gary, we'll miss you. We look forward to seeing you again!
12.GET WELL TO DIANA GERVASIO 
    Peggy Gervasio was all set to come to the last meeting but couldn't make it. Diana was feeling sick. She was wrestling a nasty cold. Being a battle-scarred veteran of the phlegm-wars myself, I know they're no fun. Diana, we hope that you feel better soon and that we see as many Gervasios as possible at the next meeting. 
13.MEETING DATES FOR 2001 
    There was a request at the last meeting that, for those who didn't pick up an official ICS calendar for 2001, that we run the dates for the year 2001 in this issue. We're sticking to the basic rule that the meeting takes place on the last Saturday of the month, unless there is a holiday conflict. We're changing our meetings for Memorial Day and Thanksgiving this year. So get out your date books. Cue the PalmPilot. Here are the dates. 
JANUARY 27TH 
FEBRUARY 24TH 
MARCH 31ST 
APRIL 28TH 
MAY 19TH 
JUNE 30TH 
JULY 28TH 
AUGUST 25TH 
SEPTEMBER 29TH 
OCTOBER 27TH 
NOVEMBER 17TH 
DECEMBER 29TH 
    And for the really obsessive/compulsive personalities in our midst, the January 2002 meeting is scheduled for the 26th of that month.
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14.THE GLASS TEAT 
DUNE kicks butt! The Dec. 3 airing of part one of The Sci-Fi Channel's original miniseries DUNE drew the largest audience in Sci-Fi's history. With an average Nielsen rating of 4.6 for the 9 p.m. broadcast, DUNE reached 3.06 million households. That is almost double the number of households chalked up by Sci-Fi's previous ratings record holder, the June premiere of INVISIBLE MAN. Sci-Fi has already committed to a sequel to DUNE from writer and director John Harrison. DUNE will not air again on Sci-Fi until the second quarter of 2001. . . . FREEDOM's end. UPN has canceled their end-of-the-world show, FREEDOM after six episodes. At this point its companion show, LEVEL 9, will continue to air. . . . A MYSTERIOUS return to NBC. MYSTERIOUS WAYS will once again air on NBC, beginning Monday, January 1st, at 8pm. Adrian Pasdar and Rae Dawn Chong star in the series about an anthropology professor and psychiatrist friend investigating miracles. This show aired on NBC last summer and then moved to the PAX cable channel in the fall. This would make MYSTERIOUS WAYS the only Imaginative programming on one the big three networks. . . . The return of FREAKYLINKS. Fox brought back its FREAKYLINKS on Fridays at 9 p.m., as of Jan. 5. Only five of the show's 13 episodes have aired so far. No decision has been made on whether Fox will order more episodes of the series, which has been struggling in the ratings. . . . Imaginative TV and the Golden Globes. The Golden Globe Awards are primarily a movie award, but they do throw the occasional bone to imaginative TV in their scattering of TV awards. Two shows merited consideration this year. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Drama (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and DARK ANGEL: Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Drama (Jessics Alba). See below for details on the nominees for imaginative cinema.
15.PLEASE REMAIN STANDING WHILE WE EXPLORE THE GALAXY 
    Executive producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe has gone to some lengths to see that his new show, GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA, does not resemble his old show, when he served as a writer and producer for STAR TREK (with the possible exception of the "Roddenberry" used in the show's title). According to the show's production designer, Ken Rabehl, the show uses a ship that is, "jewel-like, extremely sophisticated and dangerous at the same time," rather than what Rabehl called the STAR TREK "gray-white vacuum-formed shapes that are very functional." But they may have gone a tad overboard when it came to designing the bridge. On ANDROMEDA you'd best be able to think on your feet. There's no where to sit down! Rabehl explained, "One of the comments that [executive producer] Robert Wolfe made was that he didn't want anybody sitting. His model for that concept was that on nuclear submarines, there is a more standing-oriented sort of environment. We carried that concept into the bridge, where all of the stations are standing stations, so that would probably be the only real 20th-century military model." 
    So just remember VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. Think of the Andromeda Ascendant as a "flying sub" that's about a kilometer long!
16.ANDROMEDA KICKS BUTT 
    GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA was the No. 1 new first-run weekly syndicated television program during the November sweeps rating period. ANDROMEDA averaged a 3.9 rating during the all-important period, during which advertising rates are set. 
    Among other new first-run weekly genre shows, SHEENA ranked No. 3, with a 1.9 rating; QUEEN OF SWORDS ranked fourth, with 1.6; and THE IMMORTAL came in sixth, with 0.8. 
    Generally, we don't play with rating numbers (or box-office numbers for movies) here in "The ICS Files." For those who are fans of imaginative TV, however, we often forget that the suits who control the destiny of our favorite shows don't care about character and story arcs, the way we do. Truth be told, many of them never watch these shows. They look at ratings and demographics and advertising revenue - ONLY. Where appropriate, I'll try to be more aware of ratings. If your favorite show is teetering near the precipice, you may want to start or join a letter-writing campaign to try to save it from extinction.
17.ANGEL IN ENGLAND 
   It seems that Britain's commercial broadcaster, Channel 4, just can't win when it comes to their airing of ANGEL. The British TV watchdog, ITC, has reprimanded them for airing the show at a time when children might be watching. The ITC said that it had received more than 80 complaints about the show, many of them arguing that it was often "reminiscent of a late-night horror film." Channel 4 claimed that it had edited episodes so that they could be enjoyed by both younger and older viewers. And indeed, the BBC reported that several viewers had complained about the heavy cuts. So both groups are upset about cuts, either on the screen or in the film.
18.THE EVIL LAWYER'S READY TO STOP GETTING POUNDED 
    Christian Kane is ready, even eager, to stop getting the stuffing beaten out of him by everyone on ANGEL. Kane, who plays the nefarious lawyer Lindsay McDonald, hopes that one day his character will get in a few good licks. He said, "Even when Lindsay has temporarily set aside his evil ways to help [Boreanaz's] Angel, he STILL gets the crap beat out of him. Every episode! I'm always getting the s--- beat out of me. I've been choked, cut. You know, Angel cut my hand off. I got beat up by a blind woman; I got beat up by Darla [Julie Benz], who's dying of syphilis. One of these days, Lindsay's going to kick someone's ass. All the writers have to do is put pen to paper, and I'm ready to go." 
    Kane has dreams of  that special day when he's the guy opening up the can of whup-ass. "My fantasy plot line is, Lindsay gets super powers. He ditches the lawyer suits, he ditches the rubber hand, and he's got . . . he's got a METAL CLAW! And a leather jacket. And he's a badass. You get beat up a lot, stuff like that goes through your head." 
    In real life, Boreanaz and Kane are longtime friends. "I'd met Boreanaz when I was starting to do Fame L.A. and he was just starting on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We went to the same gym. We always said, 'We're going to work together.' But you don't ever think you're going to work with your buddies. [In 1999,] I auditioned for Buffy, for the role that Marc Blucas has [as Buffy's boyfriend, Riley]. Later, they called me in for ANGEL. I went in, played one scene, and that was it."
19.KICKIN' IT WITH THE BLACK SCORPION 
    Michelle Lintel, star of The Sci-Fi Channel's upcoming original series Roger Corman's BLACK SCORPION, said that she's no stranger to martial arts. Lintel spends her down time practicing krav maga, the self-defense regimen of the Israeli army. "Krav maga is really great for a girl to know because . . . you can basically take on a guy 100 pounds over your own weight," Lintel boasted. "It's a really serious, multiple-weapon, five-people-coming-at-you kind of discipline. I really wanted to do it for myself, but it's worked well with the series." 
    Lintel, who also knows tae kwon do, said she will perform most of her own stunts in BLACK SCORPION, in which she will play a masked superhero. "I want to get out there and kick some more ass, basically, but in a good way!" she said. BLACK SCORPION will premiere on The Sci-Fi Channel  on Jan. 5.
20.BUFFY TURNS 100! 
    May's season finale BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER will also be the show's 100th episode, with rumors that departed cast members may put in an appearance. The 100-episode mark is important because it is the number of episodes a series needs in order for its reruns to be sold into syndication. Departed BUFFY cast members Seth Green (Oz) and Eliza Dushku (Faith) may show up in episode 100, as will current regular Marc Blucas, whose character, Riley Finn, left for regions unknown in the last original episode in December. 
    BUFFY producer and writer Marti Noxon said that the finale will feature other surprises. Buffy creator "Joss [Whedon] came in early with a notion of where we were going, and it's pretty huge," Noxon explained. "Because it's the 100th episode, he's aiming for a really huge climax. So everything's going to spin wildly out of control any minute. It's going to be cool. It's pretty major, that's all I can say!"
21.EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT WILL BE BACK 
    GENE RODDENBERRY'S EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT has been given approval for a fifth season. The fifth season will begin in October 2001. There's no word on storylines or cast changes for the next season. 
    In the series' fourth season, which began Oct. 2, Melinda Deines joined the cast as the cyber punk "J" Street, and former regulars Lisa Howard (Lili Marquette) and Richard Chevolleau (Augur) saw their roles reduced. Jayne Heitmeyer joined the cast in season three as Renee Palmer. The fourth season also marked the year in which the series became the first episodic television production to make use of Sony's high-end 24-frame-per-second digital video camera, the same cameras used by George Lucas to shoot STAR WARS: EPISODE II.
22.J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI MEETS JEREMIAH 
    BABYLON 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski is setting to work writing a new two-hour pilot for a television series based on Hermann Huppen's "Jeremiah" sci-fi comic book series. It will be directed by movie director Joe Dante. The producers are currently waiting for an air date from the Showtime cable network, likely in the fall of 2001 or 2002. 
    The proposed series is set in the near future, when a society of children attempts to rebuild the world after a catastrophic virus annihilates everyone over the age of 12. The series would alter the storyline of the comic series created by Huppen, a Belgian comic book creator and graphic artist.
23.THE SECRET LIFE OF JULES VERNE 
    Gavin Scott, creator of The Sci-Fi Channel's upcoming original series THE SECRET LIFE OF JULES VERNE, said that the show asks the question: What if there was a bit of reality behind Verne's classic science fiction tales? "What if he'd actually experienced a lot of the amazing things he described in his books and then disguised them as fiction to avoid getting into trouble with powerful people?" Scott said. "I went over the history of the period, we're talking about the 1860s, and tried to see where all these things might have happened and been kept secret. For example: What if Verne's giant gun from From the Earth to the Moon had been built in the Ural mountains by a group of Russian aristocrats who wanted to prevent the czar from emancipating the serfs?" 
    The series, which premiered Jan. 5, combines stories from Verne's science fiction with the characters of his time, from Napoleon III to Jesse James. Scott said at least one book; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; was loosely based on real people. "It was originally about a submarine war between Russia and Poland," Scott said. "Jules' original idea for Capt. Nemo was a Polish nobleman whose family had been killed when Russian troops suppressed a rebellion in Poland. He'd built the Nautilus to revenge himself on the czar. Verne's publisher, Hetzel, read the manuscript and said they'd both go to jail if it was published. . . . Jules had to choose between sticking to his guns and having a best seller. After about five minutes' hard thinking, he took out all references to the Russians and the Poles and got the best seller. The ships flying the Russian flag became 'the ships that fly no flag' and so on."
24.NEXT STOP - SMALLVILLE 
    The WB's upcoming series SMALLVILLE, about the teen adventures of Superman, will give a different twist to the  story of 15-year-old Clark Kent. The series will deal with Clark's emerging powers and his fears that he may be responsible for a string of weird occurrences in his rural hometown. It will feature a 21-year-old Lex Luthor, the son of Metropolis pesticide king Lionel Luthor. In a departure from the DC Comics mythology, the series will blame Luthor's hair loss on an accident during a trip with his father. Lex is later sent to Smallville to turn around the family's struggling fertilizer plant, and Lex and Clark become friends after Clark saves his life (hmmm, I wonder how long that friendship will last). The series will also feature Lana Lang as Clark's 15 year-old love interest, an orphan and the most popular girl in school.
25.VOYAGER'S FATE STILL HANGS IN THE BALANCE 
    I'm sure that Captain Janeway and the crew of the good ship VOYAGER wouldn't be happy to hear that even now, as the end of their journey draws near, writers and producers are still haggling over their final fate. Will they be stranded in the Delta Quadrant forever, doomed to wander like some Federation Flying Dutchman? Will they return to Earth with enough time to resolve their various character arcs? Or will they just be parallel parking their ship in front of headquarters as the credits for the final episode roll across the screen? Writer and producer Bryan Fuller says, "I'm torn on that question. There's a part of me that would like to see the adventures of Capt. Janeway and her intrepid crew continue in the Delta Quadrant because they're in a very unique situation. There are certain stories that couldn't be done if they were just another ship in the fleet. But on the other hand, this has been a series about a captain struggling to get her crew home. Somehow it only seems fitting that she should accomplish that goal. But my opinion is just one among many." 
    Fuller also let slip that there'll be a couple of gentleman callers knocking on VOYAGER's door. The first one's coming may not be so well received among fans. The second one's will. 
    Kate Janeway will be able to tear herself away from her holographic honeys long enough to welcome a weary traveler into her boudoir. "Capt. Janeway will have a romance with a real, live, flesh-and-blood he-man come February sweeps," Fuller said. "Stay tuned." It does take a little of the sparkle out of it when you hear that a character is doing anything to be timed with "the February sweeps." How would it be to lovers of Shakespeare to hear that Ophelia will be committing suicide and Hamlet will find Yorick's skull co-inciding with February sweeps? Oh well. 
    The second visitor is a perennial fan favorite. According to Fuller, "There is a distinct possibility that Q [John de Lancie] will return." I'm sure that as an all-powerful being Q can just will it to become a sweeps period when he shows up.
26.ROBERT BELTRAN HAS BEEN ASSIMILATED 
    That's the only way to explain Beltran's sudden change-of-heart about all things VOYAGER. He must have been assimilated by a sensitive new-age Borg collective because now the occasionally grumpy second-in-command on STAR TREK: VOYAGER, said that despite his recent criticism of the show, he'd play Chakotay in a VOYAGER film. "Sure, I'm all for keeping the fans happy," Beltran claimed. "If that's what the producers think will keep the fans happy, then I'm happy to do it." 
    As his nose continued to grow he added, "I've always said that this has been a good gig, and the fans have been very loyal to me. I appreciate them very much. I've done things where I've played the same character regularly, and that's a different kind of fulfillment that you get. I appreciate the fact that the fans of the show enjoy it. I don't put them down for it." 
    This is the same Robert Beltran that has been vocal in his criticism of the show's writing staff, arguing that they ignore suggestions by the actors and give him little to do. Just to show that he hasn't gone stark raving mad, he did add, "My analysis of STAR TREK is that it gives the appearance of being very complex, and it's all done with smoke and mirrors. . . . The storylines are about as thin as the thinnest wafer you can possibly eat."
27.TRAGEDY AND SEVEN OF NINE 
    There's always been tragedy associated with the Seven of Nine character from VOYAGER. That tragedy has usually been associated with the testosterone storm she's ignited in millions of frustrated adolescent boys. According to Jeri Ryan, some tragedy will be shared on screen. Viewers can expect Seven to "do some kind of experiments with her humanity and her sexuality and trying to re-experience the emotions that she felt for the first time in 'Unimatrix Zero' at the beginning of the season  . . . And I think that Seven is going to be . . . more of a tragic figure as we end the series, which I think is an interesting choice." 
    As for when Voyager will return to Earth, Ryan said, "I don't know. They won't tell me how the season is ending either, so I don't know if we're getting back. I assume that we'll get back, that's my prediction, but that's with no inside information."
28.BLAH TREK: RONALD MOORE ON TREK'S FUTURE 
    When it comes to TREK, Ronald D. Moore knows whereof he speaks. He was a producer for both THE NEXT GENERATION and DEEP SPACE NINE. He has written for VOYAGER as well as the movies STAR TREK GENERATIONS and STAR TREK FIRST CONTACT. When this Hugo Award-winning writer (who now works on ROSWELL), says that the TREK franchise is at a critical juncture in its history, it's worth listening. "I think it's at a crossroads . . . They really have some hard decisions to make. They're going to go ahead and make a new series. It just feels like they're not ready to do that. . . . It feels to me that if you're going to do another STAR TREK series after VOYAGER, you've done three series that were based on the premise of a crew on a starship going someplace, and you've done one series that was based on a space station. I think the next one has to be something different. And I'm just afraid that when all is said and done, we're going to have another group of characters on another bridge, looking at another view screen, falling out of another set of chairs. And that worries me because it feels like there's a sense out there in the audience that we've seen this." 
    The problems are already evident, Moore added. "There's a real fear factor. I don't know why it is, but they're just afraid of making ongoing change and evolution. There's just this real need to pull back as soon as they get to someplace really interesting. . . . By the end of the [VOYAGER] pilot, they had stuffed all the Maquis into Starfleet uniforms, which was just a profound mistake. That symbolic gesture really defanged the Maquis permanently on VOYAGER. . . . With Seven of Nine, she's a great character, and a great actress, and I think she was a good, strong addition to the series . . . but why can't she look like a Borg? Why does she have to be this supermodel with a couple of pieces of tech on her head? . . . If you're going to bring her aboard because she's a Borg, that's a threat and an odd thing."
29.THE X-FILES GETS YET ANOTHER NEW CAST MEMBER 
    Annabeth Gish will join THE X-FILES as a new FBI agent in a three-episode arc this season, with an option to return in the fall as a regular. Gish will play an as-yet-unnamed character in the FBI's New Orleans office, where she has been working with reports of satanic cults. Gish's character will team up with Agent John Doggett, played by Robert Patrick, with whom she has a personal history. Gish's first episode will air Feb. 25, when she joins the hunt for the missing Agent Fox Mulder. 
    If the show returns for a ninth season, Gish will become a regular, but she will not replace anybody, according to Chris Carter. "It seems to me that we have benefited from the addition of Robert Patrick to the cast, and we're hoping that we can expand the cast even further and as successfully with Annabeth," he said. Carter is in preliminary talks about coming back next season.
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30.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's a host of other special events and panels and a dealer's room available. Pre-registration is no longer 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. 

    CREATIONCON is coming to the Valley Forge Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday March 3-4, 2001. This is a corporate-run convention. Because it has big money backing it they can attract some interesting celebs and offer a large dealer's room. Because it's operated as a for-profit business everything is quite expensive. 
   Saturday's guests include Marina Sirtis (Counselor Troi of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION), Keith Hamilton Cobb (Tyr Anasazi of ANDROMEDA), Majel Barrett Roddenberry (Nurse Chapel of STAR TREK, Executive Producer of EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT and ANDROMEDA) and William Gregory Lee (co-star of DARK ANGEL and Virgil of XENA). On Saturday night Michael Hurst of HERCULES will perform a special one-man show of stories and songs. A reserved seat in the front is $60. A general admission seat for Saturday night is $25. Sirtis and Cobb are charging $25 for their autographs. Lee is $20. Majel Barrett Roddenberry will sign at the dealer's room for free. 
    The special guests for Sunday are Kevin Sorbo (star of ANDROMEDA, and, of course HERCULES), Michael Hurst (Iolaus of HERCULES), Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris of STAR TREK: VOYAGER), Majel Barrett Roddenberry (Nurse Chapel of STAR TREK, Executive Producer of EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT and ANDROMEDA). Kevin Sorbo does not sign autographs. McNeill is $20. Hurst is $25. 
    During the weekend there will also be a half a dozen actors on hand who've made guest appearances on selected shows. The list includes Stewart Moss (from the original TREK), Carolyn Seymour (from STAR TREK TNG, VOYAGER and BABYLON 5), Neil Dickson (BLAKE'S 7), Jack Donner (from the original TREK), Paul Carr (from the original TREK as well as VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA and TIME TUNNEL) and Deborah Downey (from the original TREK). 
    The pricing is by the day, rather than for the weekend. The rather complex pricing offers a $70 gold seating plan (which includes a reserved seat in the front sections of the theatre and an autograph from each star appearing on that day), a $45 preferred seating plan (that's a reserved seat in areas behind Gold Seating and does not include autographs) and general admission, which is $17 in advance and $20 at the door. Kids 6-12: $10 at the door. Children under six are free. General admission and preferred seating tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster one month prior to the event. 
    For more information, for you Web slingers out there, surf over to the Website on the above link. Otherwise call Creation at (818) 409-0960 ext. 225, 9:30am - 3pm Pacific Time. Or you can send checks or money orders to Creation Tickets/ The Galleria Tower/ 100 W Broadway #1200/ Glendale, CA 91210.

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31.A COMIC THAT LOOKS AT THE NATURE OF EVIL AND REDEMPTION 
    There's a new comic coming. A very unusual comic. It's called "Obergeist." It's been almost ten years in development by Tony Harris and Dan Jolley. It tells the story of Jurgen Steinholtz, a Nazi scientist who worked under Josef Mengele. Steinholtz is transformed by a Jewish telepath and made to understand the immensity of his crimes. "Obergeist" follows Steinholtz's journey all the way to Armageddon and to a shadow-filled America in 2147, where he has a chance to undo some of the world's evil. "Obergeist" begins in April and will run for six issues.
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32.  2000 - THE WORST YEAR EVER FOR MOVIES? 
    Most people wouldn't argue that 2000 was a great year for the movies. In a year when box office revenue fell, many blockbusters went bust and theater chains across America were entering bankruptcy, it would be hard to argue that the year just past was anything other than disappointing. Critic Leonard Maltin has called it, "the worst year yet." Searching through his memory of the history of the talking picture, he went on to say, "I can't even think of another year that comes close." He's not alone. Similar sentiments are being muttered in many circles. Gerald Peary, a film historian and a critic for "The Boston Phoenix" agrees. "There was not one film of great merit that came out in the whole year," he said. "That has never happened." The "USA Today" critic Mike Clark says there is an especially stark contrast between 2000 and 1999. He noted that last year brought us such strong films as AMERICAN BEAUTY, THE IRON GIANT, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, THE SIXTH SENSE, SLEEPY HOLLOW and TOY STORY 2, among others. 
    Following this line of thought, in the next few pieces we'll take a look at what problems that critics are saying need to be addressed to get back on track. We'll conclude with hearing what members of the Imaginative Cinema Society think of cinema, vintage 2000.
33.A PRESCRIPTION FOR FILMMAKERS: OVERCOME FEAR 
    "Hollywood is run by a lot of fearful people who are afraid they will lose their jobs if they don't do another tent-pole," says Peter Travers, film critic for Rolling Stone. One or two of these wannabe blockbusters can financially redeem an otherwise horrendous summer or holiday movie season. 
    "When everything costs $100 million, of course you want to be careful where you put your money," says John Wilson, who runs the group that gives the Razzie award to the worst movie each year. But he says that if executives spent equal time developing low- and medium-budget films, there would be more winners onscreen — and in the audience.
34.A PRESCRIPTION FOR FILMMAKERS: TRUST THE SCREENWRITER 
   Studio execs and producers often hire a platoon of writers to rewrite what others have already written. After a few "polishes," the voice and point of view that made the project appealing are lost. "Everyone knows that the more screenwriters a film has, the worse the film is," says Gerald Peary, film critic for The Boston Phoenix. "But studios persist because an original vision strikes them as too risky." 
    Adds Susan Stark, critic for The Detroit News : "The process prevents anything daring or original getting on the screen. The script goes through the bland machine, the safe machine." 
    And let the writer get the script right — before shooting begins, even if you'll lose the big star. "Too often the studio head takes the coward's way out," says film critic Leonard Maltin of Playboy and Entertainment Tonight. "They say, 'I can't lose Harrison Ford, I can't lose Eddie Murphy, I can't lose Julia Roberts, let's shoot now.'" 
35.A PRESCRIPTION FOR FILMMAKERS: STOP EQUATING QUALITY WITH PROFITABILITY 
    "This is how the movers and shakers of Hollywood delude themselves into believing they're geniuses," says Maltin. "They fool themselves into believing they made a good movie when in fact they didn't. They just made a profitable movie." 
    Stop letting the marketing tail wag the movie dog. "The energy that used to go into the creative element is now spent on second-guessing who's going to go see it and how much money it's going to make," Wilson says. "Even before the movie is approved." 
    If the studios would focus on making the movies as good as possible — and stop test-marketing to easily bored or confused high school kids in malls —movies would improve. 
36.A PRESCRIPTION FOR FILMMAKERS: FORGET THE FORMULA 
     "The biggest hits are usually films that are fresh and original," Maltin says. "But the studios are looking for something they think they can sell to the broadest possible audience — and that's why they make the crap they do. They retreat to sequels, rehashes of TV series and big-budget formula films." 
    Adds Stark: "I've read that Columbia Pictures may concentrate on sequels from now on. But I don't think the world needs a second go-round for STUART LITTLE or JUMANJI." 
37.AND ANOTHER THING . . . 
    Stop ruining movies with tell-all trailers. "I really didn't want to know if Tom Hanks got off the island in CAST AWAY before I saw the movie," says Berge Garabedian, whose JoBlo's Movie Emporium (www.joblo.com) collects reviews from regular moviegoers. Other victims: FINDING FORRESTER, WHAT LIES BENEATH. 
    Make smarter movies. "They are assuming that nothing can be left to the moviegoer's imagination or intellect," Wilson says. "They're afraid if you have to interpret for a nanosecond, you're going to get lost." 
    It is possible to make a crowd-pleasing movie that has a brain and something to say, Travers says. "My favorite movies reach a large public while actually moving that audience by reaching out to do something unusual. Look at THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER, PART II." 
    And they should reach beyond the teen audience. "The over-40 market means nothing," Peary says. "Directors in their 50s who can make personal films can't find work." 
    The sad state of movies is hardly all Hollywood's fault. One big problem is the critics themselves, particularly local TV outlet "blurbmeisters" who will rave about even the worst movies to get their names in ads. "These critics are actually called by the studio and asked to give a positive quote," Peary says. "They'll get on their knees and do it." With every movie boasting raves, moviegoers don't know which way to turn. 
    Another problem: the moviegoers themselves. "Why should Hollywood knock itself out making good movies when it's cheaper to sell snake oil with a savvy marketing campaign?" asks Travers, urging, "Next time you smell junk, just say no." 
38.HERE'S WHAT THE ICS THOUGHT 
    At our December meeting, members were surveyed concerning their favorite movies of the year just past and their greatest disappointments. The list was comprised of all of the movies mentioned over the past year in "The ICS Files" section for new films debuting in the month. Of 58 titles mentioned, members had an opinion on 44 of them. 
    The favorite top five films of 2000 resulted in a list of six films, owing to a tie. Our five favorite films for 2000 were (from the top vote getter, on down) X-MEN, THE EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN, FREQUENCY, GLADIATOR, FANTASIA 2000 and U-571. 
    The top five biggest bummers of the year, beginning with the biggest bummer of 'em all, BATTLEFIELD EARTH, followed by MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2, MISSION TO MARS, RED PLANET and DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS.
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39.HOW THE GRINCH STOLE THE BOX OFFICE 
    HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS is the highest-grossing movie of 2000, surpassing MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II in only 33 days. The film grossed over $250,000,000. In a statement, Universal's distribution chief Nikki Rocco said, "THE GRINCH is a textbook example of a mega-hit: a film that's been so embraced by the public that everyone feels they have to experience it, and many people are experiencing it over and over again. Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Jim Carrey have not only given us the film event of the holidays, but the film event of the year." Tough year. 
    Thanks to this and a couple of other holiday heavyweights, Hollywood was able to pull year 2000 out of the dumper. After thudding along at a zombie-like pace for almost the entire year, box-office 2000 managed to nose out 1999 by a hair. This still doesn't repair the devastation visited on the movie industry throughout the past year.
40.DEMON WITH A GLASS HAND IS WORKING ITS WAY TO THE BIG SCREEN 
    Some of you may remember the classic OUTER LIMITS episode entitled "Demon with a Glass Hand." It starred Robert Culp as a man who wakes up in a room with no memory and a glass hand, missing several fingers, that talks to him. He's being pursued by some strange looking people and he doesn't know why. It originally aired in 1964. It won a Writers' Guild of America Award for outstanding script for its author, Harlan Ellison. 
    Now Ellison is collaborating with filmmaker David Twohy (PITCH BLACK) on a feature-film version of  Ellison's classic story. Dimension Films, a unit of Miramax, is developing the project. Ellison and Twohy are slated to deliver a script by June 1, 2001. Twohy would direct. 
    Just remember folks, this is Hollywood, the land of broken promises and aborted projects. But, if it actually happens, it could make one hell of a film.
41.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA AND THE GOLDEN HANDSHAKE 
    The Golden Globe nominations are in. As expected, this wasn't a huge year for imaginative cinema (it wasn't a great year for anything!). However, there were a few noteworthy nominees. Take a look below. 
    CAST AWAY: Best Actor Drama(Tom Hanks); 
    CHICKEN RUN: Best Motion Picture-Comdey/Musical 
    CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON: Best Director (Ang Lee); Best Original Score 
    GLADIATOR: Best Motion Picture-Drama; Best Actor (Russell Crowe); Best Supporting Actor (Joaquin Phoenix); Best Director (Ridley Scott); Best Original Score 
    HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS: Best Actor Comedy/Musical (Jim Carrey) 
    OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU: Best Motion Picture-Comdey/Musical; Best Actor Comedy/Musical (George Clooney) 
    SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE: Best Supporting Actor (Willem Dafoe) 
    The 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards will be given out in a televised ceremony on Sunday, January 21st at 8:00 P.M. on NBC.
42.2001: A SEATTLE ODYSSEY 
    In an apparent New Year's tribute to Stanley Kubrick's classic film, anonymous artists placed a black steel monolith in Seattle's Magnuson Park. The monolith, which resembled those that appeared in the movie, showed up on Dec. 31 on the park's Kite Hill, visible to the masses strolling along the lakeshore below. News of the monolith's appearance circulated late New Year's Eve on Capitol Hill as the Infernal Noise Brigade, a marching band of anarchists, led a peaceful parade downtown, where a bonfire was lit. Apparently, the anarchists were Seattle's version of bone tossing ape men.
43.TOD BROWNING'S DRACULA WILL LAST FOREVER 
    Tod Browning's 1931 classic, DRACULA, has been granted eternal life by the National Film Registry. Every year the Registry at the Library of Congress chooses 25 films, from a list numbering in the thousands, to preserve forever. As long as the Library of Congress stands future generations will be able to see Bela Lugosi's ethereal and menacing performance. So far there are 300 films on the list.
44.SIR STEVEN OF SPIELBERG 
    Steven Spielberg is to receive an honorary knighthood. Spielberg will be awarded the Insignia of a Knight Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire at ceremonies at the British Embassy in Washington on Jan. 29. The award to Spielberg will be presented on behalf of the queen by British Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer. Only two other American entertainers have ever received the title, comedian Bob Hope and conductor Andre Previn.
45.AHNOLD'S LOVE LIFE DANGLING BY A CHAD 
    Ahnold Schwarzenegger complained that the U.S. election turmoil has interfered with his sex life. As most of you know, Ahnold is a fervent Republican but he's married to a woman who is genetically Democratic. Maria Shriver is a member of the Kennedy family. The 53 year-old Man of Iron observed, "When Gore was ahead in the polls Maria was fantastic, wanting to make love all day. When Bush was ahead I found her bedroom door locked!" I'm tempted to make a pun here about "Bush" and "pole" but, having been seized with an uncharacteristic fit of discretion, I'll defer to the wit of my readers. 
46.AHNOLD THINKANATOR? 
    Like his co-star in PREDATOR, Jesse Ventura, it seems that when we think "Ahnold Schwarzenegger" we should be thinking more brain than body. He swears that he's turned his back on his tough guy image - to make "more intellectual" movies. He's desperate to revamp his image with more intelligent roles. He says, "In the 1980s men were not very secure and were happy to see a man with muscles. Now no one is interested in that." And Arnie has a definite plan about how to recreate himself - he's planning a project with Woody Allen. He adds, "We are talking about the script at the moment." 
    Hmmm. Maybe it'll be SLEEPER 2. Ahnold will have to fight his way out of the orgasmitron.
47.HANNIBAL SCREENPLAY DEPARTS FROM THE BOOK'S ENDING 
     Many people in the club who've read Thomas Harris's sequel to SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, HANNIBAL, loved the novel but hated the ending. Screenwriter Steven Zaillian agrees. Without giving anything away, the relationship between F.B.I. agent Clarice Starling and the predatory Hannibal Lecter takes an unexpected turn. Zaillian shared his concern with Harris and was invited to see what he could do with it. Reports are that Harris was happy with the screenplay.
48.HANNIBAL 'S SCREENPLAY DEPARTS FROM THE ITS PREDECESSOR'S AUTHOR 
    Ted Tally, who wrote the screenplay for THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, passed on writing the screenplay for HANNIBAL because he was troubled by the "excesses" of author Tom Harris in two vital plot points. The original screenplay for HANNIBAL was written by David Mamet, then turned over to Steven Zaillian for rewriting after Jodie Foster called it "too grisly." (Foster later declined to appear in the sequel).  Tally is now working on a new film script for RED DRAGON, the novel in which Harris first introduced the Hannibal Lecter character. It was originally released on film under the title MANHUNTER in 1986. "I think Anthony Hopkins will do it," Tally said.
49.MOVIES DON'T KILL PEOPLE, GUNS DO 
    I don't know when this happened but Catherine Zeta Jones isn't the only unusual thing in Michael Douglas's life. When we weren't looking he got himself declared the United Nations Messenger of Peace. Hmmm. Well, be that as it may, in that capacity he recently spoke up in defense of violence in the movies. He believes that blaming movies for violence is just an excuse for the real problem, which is gun control. He stated, "FACE/OFF, for example, was a tremendous hit in Canada and a big hit in Japan but nobody's getting shot over there because they don't have guns! I'm out of the school where violence in the media can be an issue. But for me it's a little bit of an election year issue and sort of camouflage for the problems that our country has got an awful lot of guns."
50.BIGGER AND BADDER REPTILES FOR JURASSIC PARK 3 
    Hollywood reminded us (endlessly) with their GODZILLA promos, that size does count (in Hollywood). So the boys at the Universal Studios production department for JURASSIC PARK 3 are thrilled to announce that their new critter, a spinosaurus, can kick any of the t. rex's butt from the first two films. The spinosaurus is described as a 44-foot long, 11-ton monster with 'raptor-sized arms and a fin on its back. The movie will also feature 10 other dino species. 
    The film will begin with an airplane crash on Isla Sorna, the Site B of THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK. Sam Neill's JURASSIC PARK character, Alan Grant, is hired by a divorced couple, played by Téa Leoni and William H. Macy, to find a boy who was lost in the crash. Neither John Hammond (Sir Richard Attenborough) nor Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) appear in the film.
51.JURASSIC TROUBLES 
    William H. Macy, star of the upcoming JURASSIC PARK 3, said that the production has been troubled. "What you want to say is, 'Who launched a $100 million ship without a rudder? And who's getting fired for this?'" . . .  But that's the way it goes with these movies. I think someone should be shot, but you know, I'm not in charge." 
    Despite the movie's problems, Macy said, "there will be a moment that will bring all of us to our knees, a Frank Capra moment where we're so childishly delighted in the magic that just happened."
52.A PRODUCTION TO REMEMBER 
    Many of the cast members of LORD OF THE RINGS won't soon forget their involvement in the movie. They'll be reminded with every shower, splash on the beech and trip to the doctor's. They have a permanent reminder on their skins. To celebrate the wrapping of the 274-day marathon shoot, stars Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Orlando Bloom, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen and John Rhys-Davies were all tattooed with a Rings Brotherhood motif, designed especially by conceptual artist Alan Lee, at the production's invitation-only wrap party. 
    Their work is far from over. Besides the extensive effects shots that need to be created, they'll be a little dubbing to do. Sound technicians on set say only about 2% of the dialogue recorded during filming will be usable, due to the noise of smoke machines and planes flying overhead.
53.SIMIAN HIGH 
    Actor Glenn Shadix, who will play an ape in Tim Burton's upcoming PLANET OF THE APES movie, said that the cast has to attend a special "ape school" for the role. "Ape school is a trip," Shadix said "We stretch and warm up, and then learn specific movements and posturing. I play an orangutan, and my posture and movement is different from that of a chimp or a gorilla. There is a lot of pre-production work with our makeup, which includes personalized ape dentures that require some getting used to, as well as some work with how to handle props in an appropriately ape-like manner, using our 'ape extremities.' We also spend time examining ape psychology in terms of how it affects behavior and movement." Hmmm, I wonder if they teach them that throwing crap thing?
54.DARKNESS COMES TO STAR WARS 
    Look for STAR WARS: EPISODE II to be far darker than its predecessor. The upcoming prequel will begin to deal with Anakin Skywalker's transformation into Darth Vader. "He's cursed by the same flaws and issues that he has to overcome - that all humans are cursed with," Lucas noted. "There's a lot going on there. It must be a real challenge to handle the transformation from the kid we saw in EPISODE I to the Darth Vader that we see in EPISODE IV." 
    He added, "The whole point is - and the reason I started the story where I did - is that Anakin is a normal, good kid. And how does somebody who is normal and good turn bad? What are the qualities - what is it that we all have within us - that will turn us bad?" 
    Lucas said the EPISODE II will be darker than its predecessor. "It's definitely getting a little bit more intense," Lucas said. "The next one will probably be the darkest of all of them. Ultimately, I have to tell a story. So the story comes first. And I can't really play it to an audience. I mean, the story is what the story is. I knew that it was going to go very dark. You know, it may not be very successful when I get down that dark. But, you know, at least the thing will be finished, and it will have been good to me. There's not much I can do about that. I can't take a story that's basically very, very dark and make it happy. Because it's not. . . . You're going to find that there's a lot of similarity between what Anakin goes through and what Luke goes through. They follow the same path. And it's a similar situation with some of the other characters, such as Boba Fett." 
55.MATT DAMON'S BATHROOM SURPRISE 
    Celebs just never know when they're going to be called on for service. A little while ago Matt Damon, who'd been dining in a Hollywood restaurant, excused himself to visit the men's room. Much to his shock, a girl fan followed him into the toilets, stripped and offered him her body. According to reports, he turned her down and ran out "pale and stunned". And here I thought that I was the only one this ever happened to.
56.THE SPIDER-MAN OF BALTIMORE 
    For those of you who can't wait for Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN to hit the big screen, relief is here! Baltimore fan Dan Poole has already made a Spidey flick, 10 years ago! You can see it on the web. Poole played the web slinger himself and did all the stunts (including hopping onto a moving car). In the movie, entitled GREEN GOBLIN'S LAST STAND, we see Spider-Man's efforts to stop Norman Osborn from becoming the villainous Green Goblin.
57.SAM RAIMI DISCUSSES CASTING AND STORY FOR SPIDER-MAN 
    Sam Raimi has announced that casting is all but complete on SPIDER-MAN. Of course we've got Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker. Kirsten Dunst will play Mary Jane. After several false announcements (involving stars like John Malkovich, Jim Carrey and Robin Williams) Willem Dafoe will play Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin. Cliff Robertson will be Uncle Ben, Rosemary Harris will appear as Aunt May and a there'll be a surprise appearance by Bruce Campbell (who worked with Raimi in the three EVIL-DEAD movies). Campbell will play a ring announcer during a fight sequence in the film 
    Raimi also confirmed rumors that the movie's script, credited to David Koepp (JURASSIC PARK), has been the subject of numerous rewrites. "I would say that the script is always in need of work," Raimi said. "I'm not happy with it yet. But I think it's a very good script now. What we need to do is make it more than great, though. That's the problem. The expectation is so high that a very good script that I would have shot, and happily, isn't good enough. So I would say it's true, but that's the relative terms that it's true in. But no, the studio . . . [is now] happy. Now it's worse than that. Now I've got to get happy." 
    Raimi also revealed the film's theme and said he wouldn't resort to the flashy camera tricks of his early films, such as DARKMAN. SPIDER-MAN is "the story of a young man who is irresponsible and is selfish and has petty goals. And it's a story of how he learns to be a responsible young man," he said. "So it can't be about the shots. It's got to be about the character. Now I also have a responsibility to make it as exciting as possible. That's my conflict. I think I have to move the camera in such a way and so fast and so much so that it's exciting, and you're flying and swinging with Spider-Man, but not so much that you think it's a cool shot. [I have to] somehow [tread] that line."
58.STAR TREK X TEASERS 
    John Logan, writer of the upcoming tenth STAR TREK feature film, said that the movie will be mindful of the long legacy of the series. A longtime fan of the franchise, Logan hinted that the movie may feature Federation races rarely seen beyond the original STAR TREK series and may allude to STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE's Dominion War and Worf's assignment on Qo'noS, the Klingon homeworld. 
    There will also be new things, including a worthy adversary for Capt. Jean-Luc Picard on a par with Khan in STAR TREK II. "Picard needs an adversary or a foe that is up to his level," Logan told the site. "That's why James Bond should always fight Blofeld; that's his adversary. We hope this adversary will be every bit as memorable not only for who he is, but how and why he behaves as he does." 
    Logan confirmed earlier reports that the Romulans will appear in TREK X. He added, "I have some great new races and ships in this script, and I already have a shelf cleared off for the new merchandise for the movie."
59.LOOK FOR A NEW RACE OF DROIDS IN THE NEXT STAR WARS 
    John Duncan loves robots. All kinds of them. It began with TV shows like LOST IN SPACE and movies like FORBIDDEN PLANET and METROPOLIS. His life long passion led him to the job of designing the battle droids for STAR WARS: EPISODE I. He was invited back to come with new and different robots in EPISODE II. Duncan, and his model-making partner John Goodson, will gradually shift the aesthetic from the smooth, streamlined designs of EPISODE I to the more plate-and-armor look of the classic STAR WARS trilogy. 
    "You're definitely starting to see things that are going to integrate these first movies into the original three films," Goodson said. "There's definitely that theme that's starting to come in. There were a few things that looked like traditional STAR WARS, the Federation battleship and the Republic cruiser in particular had that kind of plated look, with little chunks taken out of the edge of the plating and little chips for detail. But we're now seeing things that are starting to kind of cross that line."
60.TOMB RAIDER HELPS TO BRING CAMBODIA BACK FROM OBLIVION 
    For years Cambodia has been in the grips of a hideous blood-soaked nightmare, from which it has only begun to emerge. In its aftermath devastation and hopelessness are still gripping the Southeast Asian nation in their merciless reign. Shooting the $100-million TOMB RAIDER in Cambodia has resulted in an enormous boost to the country's impoverished economy. One report from Angkor Wat observed, "There is not a single person in or around the temple complex who does not know that Hollywood and its big bucks have arrived in Angkor Wat after a 36-year break." (The last Hollywood film to shoot in Cambodia was 1965's LORD JIM which starred Peter O'Toole.) The devastation that occurred during the interim - when the country was wracked by civil war and thrown into the violent chaos of the Khmer Rouge regime - have made TOMB RAIDER a difficult shoot. The Cambodian army had to be brought in to repair blown up roads and bridges so that camera equipment and sets could be trucked in from Thailand. 
    The screen version of the electronic game stars Angelina Jolie (as Lara Croft). She said that she was awed by Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples "I feel very blessed and very lucky to be able to be part of this film, part of this whole experience," Jolie said. "This has changed my life, being here in this country. . . . It makes me feel differently about everything - about my life, about work, about what we can all do. . . . It's the most amazing place I've ever been to in my life."
61.SHYAMALAN SAYS DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR AN UNBREAKABLE SEQUEL 
    Contradicting statements by his star, Bruce Willis, UNBREAKABLE's director M. Night Shyamalan has clearly said that he's not interested in making a sequel, much less a trilogy as Willis said. Shyamalan said, "I'm definitely not the kind of guy who wants to do sequels or be known for just one type of movie. I want each movie to be very, very original, the most original movie you can think of. It's kind of a conflict for me. If one day down the line I come up with an emotional story to tell that I'm feeling that [the UNBREAKABLE characters] David and Elijah could tell, then I'll use them to tell the story. But if I was going to do another movie with these two characters, then it would have to be a whole revisiting of the idea in a different way. But I have no plans for that right now. It's certainly not going to be the next movie." 
    Shyamalan added that his next movie will be lighter in tone than either UNBREAKABLE or its predecessor, THE SIXTH SENSE. "I just started writing it about a week ago," he said. "I've been traveling, promoting the film and writing in hotel rooms. I'm really enjoying this story." 
62.BUSH IS IN, BALDWIN AND ALTMAN ARE OFFERED HELP LEAVING 
    In 2000, in the heat of the election, director Robert Altman and actor Alec Baldwin swore that they'd leave the country in the event of a Bush victory. Well now a letter that's been circulating on the Internet by some Bush loyalists is trying to help them do just that. The tongue-in-cheek missive reads, "We need volunteers to help pack and to load moving vans. We also need airfare for these irreplaceable national treasures so they can relocate before they change their minds. For the cost of a small SUV, you can sponsor one of these celebrities and their unfortunate relocation. Operators are standing by."
63.SLAVES FOR DISNEY 
    A Hong Kong church group has accused the Walt Disney Co. of contracting with toy factories in southern China at which workers are underpaid, overworked and sometimes exposed to highly dangerous conditions. A report by the Christian Industrial Committee accused Disney of failing to inspect conditions at the plants of its contractors. The group said that its undercover inspectors had found that workers in the factories were paid the equivalent of $46-$80 a month for working between 13 and 17 hours a day, seven days a week.
64.STADIUM SUING 
    Donald Stern, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, is taking National Amusements Inc.and the Hoyt's theater chain to court. The suit, being brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, alleges that stadium seating discriminates against people with disabilities. The rationale is that those who are either in wheel chairs or who are too frail to climb stairs are relegated to inferior seats. At a press conference Stern noted, "I don't think it reflects well on corporate America that these [stadium-style theaters] are being built." 
    So, what do you think? Does your blood boil at the thought of those frustrated wheel and walkers thudding uselessly on the bottom step of a tiered theater? Or do you hate the litigious nature of a society that would seek to tear down the first real innovation in theatrical exhibition in decades? Let's talk about it at our next meeting.
65.HOLLYWOOD AND THE VANISHING "R" 
    In the year 2000, there was a marked decline in the number of films released with an "R" rating. In 1999, of 150 feature films 87 (58%) were rated "R." In 2000 that number became 58 out of 147 releases (39%). That's nearly a 20% drop from one year to another. 
    The drop is another example of Hollywood's herd mentality. Producers and studios are spooked by the intense pressure on Hollywood film companies, including demands that exhibitors strictly enforce restrictions on admitting children to R-rated fare. So rather than move to comply with at the exhibitor level, to see to it that young children aren't subjected to inappropriate materials in previews, companies are overseeing the Disney-fication of American motion pictures. 
    Producer John Davis said, "Everyone wants PG-13 now with all the government scrutiny. . . . That's Washington having an input." But Disney distribution chief Chuck Viane observed, "I think anybody who studies the top 10 movies in history sees they're all G and PG."
66.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY 
    JANUARY 12th: 13 DAYS recounts a time in American history when the nuclear threat wasn't posed by giant grasshoppers or ants. It was real and imminent. For two weeks, in October 1962, the world seemed to dance drunkenly on the edge of total annihilation. The movie takes place in the inner circle of JFK's (Bruce Greenwood) White House as news of missile in Cuba create an atmosphere of fear and danger, as seen through the eyes of Kennedy's Chief of Staff (Kevin Costner). Will the U.S. become locked in a nuclear war with a threat so close to its border? See it and find out. 
    One other note, there's a special treat for audiences tucked among the trailers. There'll be a new trailer for LORD OF THE RINGS running with 13 DAYS. 
    CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON is Ang Lee's filming of the fourth part of a  five-part novel by Wang Dulu. An already announced prequel and sequel will address the rest of the novel. In 19th century Qing Dynasty China, a warrior (Chow Yun-Fat) gives his sword, Green Destiny, to his lover (Michelle Yeoh) to deliver to safe keeping, but it's stolen, and the chase is on to find it. As the search leads to the House of  Yu, the story takes on a whole different level, including the manipulations of the wicked warrior, Jade Fox (Cheng Peipei), a mysterious young woman (Zhang Ziyi), and her desert lover (Chang Chen). Make no mistake, this is not the typical martial arts film. You'll see the explosive moves that you've become accustomed to enjoying, but you'll see characters dealing with real issues, like fear and death. The movie was shot in Mandarin (actually an archaic form that would be like Elizabethan English compared to our modern speech). It has English subtitles. The fights were choreographed by the finest martial arts director in the world, Yuen Woo-ping (who, among many other projects, choreographed the fight scenes in THE MATRIX). FOR A FASCINATING ARTICLE ON THIS FILM CLICK HERE

    JANUARY 19TH: SNATCH is a complex crime/comedy from the new Mr. Madonna, Guy Ritchie. If you'v ever seen Ritchie's earlier film LOCK, STOCK AND 2 SMOKING BARRELS, you'll get the idea. The plot on this one involves a diamond deal gone terribly wrong, the dark world of underground boxing, a colorful Irish gypsy and a dog. You've got to see it to figure it out. The ensemble cast includes Benicio del Toro, Dennis farina and Brad Pitt in a co-starring role. 
    THE GIFT is set in the 1950's. A psychic (Cate Blanchett) helps police in a small Southern town find a missing woman (Katie Holmes) who they think may have been murdered. Keeanu Reeves plays a vicious wife-beating suspect. Hillary Swank plays his victim/wife. Giovanni Ribisi plays a young man who helps the psychic. Greg Kinnear plays Holmes' fiancé. The film is directed by Sam Raimi. 

    JANUARY 26TH: SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE is a fictionalization of the story of the German actor Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) while he was filming the 1922 German silent classic, NOSFERATU. In the film either Max Schreck is indeed one of the finest method actors, and all that he says and does is just part of his conviction, or he's just a bloodthirsty, craven vampire as he appears. The question of Schreck's humanity (or the lack thereof) is at the heart of the film. John Malkovich plays NOSFERATU's director, F.W. Murnau.

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67.VIDEO-ON-DEMAND TAKES ANOTHER STEP TO BECOMING A REALITY 
    Blockbuster and Enron Broadband Services have begun testing a video-on-demand service in Seattle, Salt Lake City and Portland, OR. The service employs Enron's $600-million fiber-optic network system, allowing consumers to watch movies at any time, as if they had rented them from a Blockbuster store, and to pause, rewind and fast-forward them, all without leaving their homes. Assuming the service tests well, it will go nationwide in the next couple of years. Video-on-demand has long been the most dreaded nightmare of video store retailers.
68.INDREMA IS THE NEXT STOP ON THE ROAD TO CONVERGENCE 
    "Convergence" is the magic word in technology. It's the dream of electronics and machines that perform multiple tasks and integrate with their users needs and with the other appliances and electronic hardware around them. This is a cutting edge that will continue to be honed as technology progresses. The Indrema box, named the L-600, could be a significant milepost on the march to that goal. 
    It's being hailed as the next generation of video game technology, but it's more than that. Far more. One box combines a DVD player, a digital TV recorder (along the lines of TiVo), a search engine for Internet video channels as a way to download movies and games onto the system and a means of downloading MP3 files onto the hard drive of a portable MP3 player. It has four USB ports allowing everything from video game peripherals to video cameras to be plugged in. An add-on 56K modem will be available as well as an ethernet port for broadband. It will plug into other existing household devices, such as stereos. 
    Indrema's dream machine will be available next summer. It should retail for $299.
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69.A COMMIE MONSTER WITH SEOUL 
    The story behind how PULGASARI: THE LEGENDARY MONSTER got to the screen in 1985 is far more compelling than the movie itself. PULGASARI is a gigantic city-stomping monster that hails from ultra-Communist North Korea (the guy who plays Pulgasari is none other than Kenpachiro Satsuma, who played Godzilla in the 1980's). The movie, set in 14th century Korea, shows the monster starting out as the toy of a little girl named Ami ("Pulgasari" means "immortal" in Korean). When she cuts herself and sheds some blood on him he comes to life. He eats any iron that he can find and he starts to grow. He saves the girl (Ami) from execution, and then rescues the farmers from greedy land tyrants (he is a Communist monster, after all). He turns on the villagers until Ami sacrifices herself to him. 
    The effects in the movie fluctuate between weird and laughable. The original doll that is given to Ami is made out of partially chewed food. The gigantic monster effects were, at times, done with projecting footage of the monster on a drive-in screen and having people run away in terror. Other times they'd use a still fuzzy photograph to terrify the population. Remember, this is was done in a deeply impoverished country. 
    Now here's where it gets strange. It's directed by Sin Sang Ok and produced by none other Kim Jong-Il, the son of North Korea's former commie captain, Kim Il Sung. Recently Kim Jong-Il took over as the communist party as general secretary. Apparently he's quite the film fan. He had Sin Sang Ok and his wife kidnapped in 1978, from South Korea, in order to make films in the north. Kim jr. had the plug pulled on distributing the film after Sin defected to the United States. It would have vanished altogether had it not been for the Japanese film critic Jun Edoki, who saved the film from the scrap heap and arranged for its world premiere in Tokyo in 1998. 
    The movie has recently been picked up by an American distributor for video-release. You might want to take a look at it. It's apt to be the only film that you'll ever see produced by a Stalinist-style dictator and directed under duress by a victim of kidnapping.
70.A GIANT STEP FOR DVD RETAILING 
    BestBuy, with its 400 retail outlets nationwide, is the largest seller of DVD's in the U.S. They account for 15% of all DVD's sold. That number is about to ratchet up. In an acquisition expected to be completed early in 2001, BestBuy is about to acquire Musicland's 1,331 stores. That includes Suncoast and Sam Goody. Once the deal's done Best Buy is expected to promote the same sort of aggressive pricing and depth for the DVD format that has led it to pioneer in the field.
71.THE SIXTH SENSE TOPPED THE YEAR'S RENTALS 
    THE SIXTH SENSE was the most popular movie rented at Blockbuster Video stores in the year 2000. It topped both the VHS and DVD lists issued by the company. For the first time, Blockbuster released separate lists for each format, breaking the top ten this way. 
    VHS: 1. THE SIXTH SENSE; 2. THE GREEN MILE; 3. DOUBLE JEOPARDY; 4. GLADIATOR; 5. THREE KINGS; 6. THE PERFECT STORM; 7. BLUE STREAK; 8. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II; 9. RUNAWAY BRIDE; 10. RANDOM HEARTS. 
    DVD: 1. THE SIXTH SENSE; 2. THE PERFECT STORM; 3. GLADIATOR; 4. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II; 5. THE GREEN MILE; 6. X-MEN; 7. THE PATRIOT; 8. THE WHOLE NINE YARDS; 9. SLEEPY HOLLOW; 10. THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH.
72.VIDEOCY 
Rental titles releasing 1/2:WAY OF THE GUN has a pair of petty thieves (Phillipe and Bencio DelToro) who get in way, way way over their heads when they kidnap a surrogate mother (Julliette Lewis) that is about to give birth to a mob-connected businessman. The edgy violence that results is reminiscent of films from Sam Peckinpah and Quentin Tarrentino. The first time director, Christopher McQuarrie, has won an Oscar for his screenplay THE USUAL SUSPECTS. The VHS is a rental. The DVD sells for $24.98. . . . THE HOLLOW MAN is an updated telling of H. G. Welle's The Invisible Man. Kevin Bacon plays a scientist whose experiments in invisibility bringing out his homicidal tendencies. It has some great special effects. The VHS is priced to rent. The DVD is $24.95. 

Rental title releasing 1/9: ANIMAL FACTORY is the story of a 21-year-old first-time felon (Edward Furlong) sentenced to two years in a crumbling prison. We also find Willem Dafoe, Mickey Rourke and Tom Arnold there in the Big House. The movie was written by ex-con Edward Bunker. The director was Steve Buscemi. . . . . HORRORVISION is the ultimate rough trip on the Internet. A Web master stumbles onto an Internet site that kills all who access it. This is available in VHS only. . . .ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA is a Jet Li film  filled with breathless action and thundering fights. Jet Li plays the real life fighter Wong Fei-Hong, a legendary 19th figure who fought against Western imperialism. In this movie he's repulsed by the his countrymen being sold into slave labor for the California gold barons. When a much-loved cousin is sold into prostitution against her will, that's the last straw. What follows is some of the most blistering display of martial arts ever to burn its way on the screen. The VHS is a rental. The DVD sells for $24.98. 

Rental titles releasing 1/16: PYTHON purports to be "This year's LAKE PLACID." Gee, I didn't much enjoy last year's LAKE PLACID. You can see Casper Van Dien, Robert Englund and Jenny McCarthy take on this "sixty feet of pure terror" for yourself. The VHS is a rental. The DVD is $34.99. . . . BATTLEFIELD EARTH is the most expensive cinematic piñata to emerge from 2000. You can rent the VHS or buy the DVD for $19.95 and cheer on Johnny Goodboy as he whups them nasty ol' Psyclos. . . . In SPIDERS a scientist accidentally alters the DNA of an ancient arachnid species discovered among the remains of a mummified alien. The result is a replicating species of massive spiders with jaws that can rip through metal and killer venom. The VHS is a rental. The DVD is $24.99. 

Rental titles releasing 1/23: FRANKS HERBERT'S DUNE comes to VHS today. This is the same version that appeared on the Sci-Fi Channel in December. Though you'll most likely rent this, the more eager among you can buy the VHS for $39.98. A special edition DVD will be available in March. . . . THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE is about the struggle of moose and squirrel as they attempt to stop Boris and Natasha from world conquest, now that they've found a way to move from cartoons to our world. The tape is a rental. The DVD is $24.98. . . . CECIL B. DEMENTED, John Waters' story of an underground filmmaker and his guerilla tactics backfiring on him, hits the streets today. . . . TERROR FIRMER, from Troma, wanted to give their characters a real twist - something big to overcome. Okay, so they made the main character a blind low-budget film director. Fine, but he still needs more of a challenge. Alright, his cast and crew are all freaks and misfits. No, not challenging enough? Alright, how about this - making the film has become tougher since his cast and crew keep falling prey to a serial killer. NOW we got us a Troma film! . . . 

Rental titles releasing 1/30: WHAT LIES BENEATH, the ghost film that stars Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer, makes it way to stores today. 

Sell through titles releasing 1/2: THE BEST OF THE ORIGINAL AVENGERS is a six-episode set of the episodes considered by Patrick MacNee the best of the show's long run. They include episodes with sidekicks Honor Blackman, Dinan Rigg and Linda Thorson. The three VHS set is $29.95. The two DVD set is $39.95.  . . . PORTRAIT OF AN ASSASSIN is a 1949 French crime movie, starring Erich VonStroheim. This is a story of lies, treachery seduction and murder, all at a French circus. On VHS for $29.95. 

Sell through titles releasing 1/9:THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS gets re-released today. You can watch Hannibal and Agent Starling spar on VHS for $9.94. . . . Three new entries from the Sci-Fi Channel's show, LEXX: THE DARK ZONE come out today. EATING PATTERN with Rutger Hauer, GIGA SHADOW with Malcom McDowell and I WORSHIP HIS SHADOW with Barry Bostwick. Each of them sells for $7.99 on VHS. . . . Five new entries from STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE arrive today. Episode 86, "Return to Grace," episode 87, "The Sons of Mogh," episode 88 "The Bar Association," episode 89, "Accession," and episode 90, "Rules of Engagement" all release today. The VHS are selling for $14.95. . . . A pair of landmark John Woo/Chow Yun Fat movies release today. A BETTER TOMORROW is the film that started it all, full of John Woo's now classic trademarks of action and gunfire mayhem. Chow Yun Fat stars in this story of suave gangsters and renegade cops who discover that in a world bound by honor, revenge comes at the speed of a bullet. Written and directed by John Woo, this is the breakthrough film that made international stars of both Woo and Chow Yun Fat. A BETTER TOMORROW II shifts locales. This time, the mayhem blasts its way from New York City to Hong Kong as renegade gangsters and hot shot cops take on the syndicate in a showdown of honor, loyalty, and bullet-riddled revenge. Considered by many fans to be superior to the original, A BETTER TOMORROW II has a  final epic gun battle is one the most amazing sequences of John Woo's entire career. The VHS copy of each film is $9.99. The DVD sells for $24.98 each. . . . From LEXX: THE DARK ZONE comes TALES FROM A PARALLEL UNIVERSE with Tim Curry. The VHS sells for $7.99. . . . Today is heaven for BUFFY fans. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: THE SLAYER CHRONICLES comes to video today. Each of the three volumes has  two episodes on it. Volume 1 has "Bad Girls" and "Consequences." Volume 2 contains "Enemies" and "Earshot." Volume 3 has parts one and two of "Graduation Day." You can buy them for $14.98 each or a three-pack for $39.98. You can also get BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON COLLECTOR'S EDITION. This three-tape or three-disc set includes all 12 of the episodes from the first season of show. The DVD special features include an interview with and commentary by creator Joss Whedon, a DVD-ROM, a photo gallery and an original pilot episode script. The VHS set is $39.98. The DVD collection sells for $59.98. . . . THE DEVIL'S ARITHMETIC was a 1999 Showtime movie. Kirsten Dunst plays a modern day Jewish girl who's reluctantly conforming to her religion. Everything changes for her when she's swept back in time to live within a prisoner of a Nazi concentration camp. It comes in VHS only for $9.98. . . . DOOM RUNNERS is basically sci-fi with training wheels on. This story of a post-apocalyptic world where a group of children move from one uncertain world to another in their quest for sanctuary. Is actually aimed at a young audience. Tim Curry vamps it up as the evil, mind sucking, Dr. Kao, who delights in tormenting his assistant with constant threats of mind-wipes when he screws up. There are some echoes of his ROCKY HORROR performance here. This VHS only film sells for $9.98. . . . DEMON WARRIOR KOJI is an anime' with a preternatural monster that is out for blood. Only the man-demon Koji can hunt it down. The VHS is $29.95. . . . MAZE: BEATING HEART is an anime' that has our titular heroine Maze taking a trip to a hot spring and getting trapped in the magic water. The VHS film is $19.99. . . . MIDNIGHT DETECTIVE is an anime' series. This contains episodes 1-4. A vampire detective keeps the streets safe from the excesses of supernatural scum. The VHS is $19.99. . . .  SILENT SERVICE is a submersible anime'. The clock is ticking as the most dangerous submarine ever created has gone renegade. Top military leaders must annihilate the ship. You can view their animated sweat on DVD for $29.99. . . . VIRGIN FLEET New from the creator of SAKURA WARS. Girl cadets in the super-secret Virgin Fleet face "stiff competition" as they are trained to use their "virgin energy." Hmmmm. Your fantasies can come true on DVD for $29.99. 

Sell through titles releasing 1/16: No Roman numerals after the name. Here, simply, is the one that started it all. HIGHLANDER: DIRECTOR'S CUT hits the shelves today. It stars Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown and Roxanne Hart. It's on VHS for $9.99. . . . SISTER, SISTER is a tale of supernatural "Southern gothic." A pair of  sisters Charlotte (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Lucy (Judith Ivey) Bonnard live together in the gloomy Louisiana family mansion that they've turned into a guest house. But when a mysterious young man (Eric Stoltz) enters their lives, the sisters are forced to confront a dark past filled with forbidden passions and deadly secrets. It was directed and co-written by Academy Award winner Bill Condon (GODS & MONSTERS). It's on VHS for $9.99, DVD for $24.98. . . . THE BOILER ROOM is about a young hustler looking to get rich quick. He gets more than he bargained for in some shady Wall Street dealings. It's only on VHS for $14.98. . . . CURSE OF THE VOODOO is a 1964 British film. A big game hunter in modern day Africa bags a lion on Simbasa territory and is cursed by the tribe, who revere lions as gods. What results would be like watching the 1942 CAT PEOPLE only done by someone without Val Lewton's genius to sustain a thread of suspense without showing the monster. Our hunter seems to be haunted with lions and Simbasa warriors in both Afica and England, but we just don't much care. It's yours, on VHS, for $9.99. . . . HORROR HOSPITAL is a British 1973 blood-drenched comedy. It's about a mad doctor giving lobotomies to teenagers so he can turn them into controllable zombies. Meanwhile Jason, a member of a 60's pop group, decides he needs a break at a country retreat. Guess which one he unknowingly chooses. It's on VHS for $9.99. . . . INSEMINOID is a 1981 flick that blurred the line between sci-fi and horror. A group of scientists are working in a lab located on a distant planet. One of them, Sandy, is attacked, raped and impregnated by a monstrous creature. She then becomes a space vampire, stalking her colleagues one by one, killing them and drinking their blood. The VHS is $9.99. . . . A PERFECT MURDER COLLECTOR'S EDITION is a very clever 1998 re-make of the 1954 Hitchcock classic, DIAL "M" FOR MURDER. Watch Michael Douglas, Gweneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen play cat-and-mouse on VHS for $14.98. . . . THRILL SEEKERS has a reporter who uncovers the strange truth surrounding a group of time travelers who are present during all the major catastrophic events in history. It stars Casper Van Dien, Catherine Bell and Martin Sheen. Both the VHS and the DVD sell for $14.99. . . . CARDCAPTORS: POWER MATCH offers edge of your seat excitement (NOT) as Li learns how to capture the Clow Cards and she continues to criticize and challenge Sakura. You can savor every scintillating second on VHS for $14.98 or DVD for $24.98. 

Sell through titles releasing 1/17:  SLEEPWALKERS is a 1992 movie from Stephen King. A teenage boy and his mother are supernatural, shape-shifting, nocturnal creatures that must feed on innocent young girls for survival. This DVD sells for $24.99. . . . DEATH WISH is a 1974 Charles Bronson classic, newly arrived to DVD. A New York City man turns vigilante after his wife and daughter are brutally raped in their own apartment. He gets a lot of publicity for hunting down criminals. and the cops aren't sure whether to stop him or let him do their job. The disc sells for $29.99. 

Sell through titles releasing 1/23: THE BLACK SCORPION and THE BLACK SCORPION II are Roger Corman's entry into the strange twilight world at the intersection of superheroes, low quitsch and T&A. The tapes are $9.98 each. The DVD's are $14.98 each. . . . DOGMA - SPECIAL EDITION includes the outrageous religious fantasy where a pair of rebellious angels try to use a loophole in Catholic dogma to gain re-entry into heaven and erase all of creation at the same time. This special DVD edition also includes lots of commentary; the documentary, "Judge Not. In Defense of Dogma;" a complete set of storyboards from three major scenes; 100 Minutes of Deleted Scenes;  cast and crew outtakes; Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash Spot (hmmm); and character and actor bios, all in widescreen anamorphic format. The souped up disc runs $29.95. . . . IN THE DEAD OF SPACE is available on DVD and VHS. In checking the reactions of viewers who've seen it I've found comments like, "Don't buy it! Don't rent it! Don't even touch it! This has got to be one of the worst movies ever," and "I can only comment on the first 45 minutes of this movie - I couldn't stand to watch any more than that! . . . Between the horrible acting (fake accents which come and go, robotic delivery of dialog and clumsy fist fights), a jumbled plot, awful editing and 1970's quality special effects, this movie has no redeeming qualities." If you're interested in a touch of chez' stinker you can pick up the VHS or DVD for $9.98. . . . KNOCKING ON DEATH'S DOOR is a Roger Corman haunted house flick. The story follows a just-married husband and wife team of paranormal investigators who buy "Sunset House" and honeymoon there because of the ghost-rich history of the old place. Once inside, they don't have to wait long before not one but two ghosts take an interest in the wife (Kimberly Rowe). There are some truly scary and disturbing images here, and the production values are really high if you grade on a curve for King of Low Budgets having been responsible for the film. Both the VHS and DVD are $9.98. . . . AMAZING NURSE NANAKO VOL 3: THE LAST SPIRAL has Tibetan soldiers breaking into Dr, Ogami's hospital and try to steal Nanako's secret, interrupting a cloning attempt. You have your choice of subtitled or dubbed, VHS for $24.98 or DVD for $29.98. . . . BUBBLEGUM CRISIS: TOKYO 2040 VOL. 11 The Knight Sabers are mankind's last defense against a half-machine beast with a million eyes and the mind of a crazed child. The either subtitled or dubbed VHS is $19.98. . . . CARD CAPTOR SAKURA: EVERLASTING MEMORIES has Sakura standing up to the challenge of three new cards, the Jump, the Illusion, the Silent and the Thunder. Buy the VHS for $24.98, the DVD for $29.98. . . . FUSHIGI YUGI: THE MYSTERIOUS PLAY VOL. 3 - REFLECTIONS has the Suzaku Seven continuing to try to recover Tamahome's memories. You have your choice of dubbed or subtitled VHS for $24.98. . . . GASARAKI 3: BETRAYAL is set back in Japan (for those of you who haven't been keeping up. The T.A. team members find themselves prisoners in their own country. You can find out how they react with your purchase of the VHS for $19.98 or the DVD for $29.98. . . . GUNDAM WING VOL. 8 & 9 TOONAMI - BEHOLD, WING ZERO offers us more adventures from the brave Gundam Wing pilots. The VHS is $14.96 each. . . . LOST UNIVERSE VOL. 4 is about how Dark Seeder wants to destroy Kain Blueriver to avenge an old grudge. Kain reunites with an old friend who leads him on a dangerous mission. It comes in both subtitled and dubbed versions. The VHS and DVD are both $19.98. . . . MARTIAN SUCCESSOR NADESICO: DANGER ZONES is an anime' DVD for $29.98. . . . TRIGUN VOL. 6: PROJECT SEEDS features the latest adventure of the heroic but ruthless futuristic gunfighter, Vash the Stampede. It comes in both subtitled and dubbed. The VHS is $24.98. The DVD is $29.98. 

Sell through titles releasing 1/30: DINOSAUR, the mega-budget Disney film about a group of dinosaurs seeking shelter from extinction, hits the stores today. The VHS is $17.95. The DVD is $19.95. . . . BLACK MOON RISING has master thief Sam Quint (Tommy Lee Jones) getting hired by the government to steal top-secret data from a crime organization, he hides the stolen data in the experimental supercar, The Black Moon. But when the car is then stolen by high-tech auto thief Nina (Linda Hamilton), Quint must pull off the most daring heist of all: break into an impenetrable skyscraper and steal it back. With time running out and all sides closing in, Quint and Inna take The Black Moon on one final white-knuckle ride. It also stars Robert Vaughn, Richard Jaeckel, Bubba Smith and Keenan Wynn. It was written by John Carpenter. It's on VHS for $9.99, DVD for $24.98. . . . Something's rotten under the city of New York; and it's hungry. Time to come up and grab a bite! Meet C.H.U.D. (or "Cannabalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers").John Heard, Daniel Stern and Kim Greist star in this 1984 movie. It's on VHS for $9.99, DVD for $24.98. . . . THE JACKIE CHAN GIFT SET contains the feature films GORGEOUS, WHO AM I and MIRACLES. The VHS sells for $31.95. The DVD special features include Chan's first audio commentary, a making-of featurette and a music video for GORGEOUS. The DVD sells for $53.95. . . . THE PHANTOM is a DVD that contains all 15 chapters of this 1943 serial. You can cheer The Phantom (and his alter ego, Godfrey Prescott) as his superhuman strength and his canine sidekick Devil work their way through avalanches, poison gas, flaming pyres and explosions as he pits himself against the evil Dr. Bremmer. The Phantom is played by Tom Tyler. Dr. Bremmer is played by Kenneth MacDonald. Devil Is played by Ace, The Wonder Dog. The disc sells for $29.99. . . . STARRY NIGHT is a fantasy/fable in which Van Gogh comes back to life in the present day. When he finds out how much his paintings are worth, he decides to take them back (since he only sold one during his lifetime, he assumes that the rest are still his) and sell them to raise money for scholarships for art students. Along the way, he runs afoul of art critics and manages to keep one step ahead of the police. This movie has only been shown at a handful of film festivals, and its been a steady crowd pleaser. It's on DVD only for $24.99. . . . GHOST CHASE focuses on a pair of horror filmmakers in desperate need of money think they are about to cash in when one of their grandfather's dies leaving an inheritance behind, but they're not so sure when the bequest turns out to be a pawn ticket. This 1987 film was written and directed by Roland Emmerich. As one viewer said, after seeing it, he was "surprised that Emmerich got work after this." It's on VHS for $9.98. . . . BIO HUNTER: SPECIAL EDITION is an animated horror movie that centers around two molecular biologists who are out to stop a deadly virus that turns humans into killers with demonic powers. It's on DVD only for $24.95. . . . DUAL VOL. 3: ARTIFACTS  has our main character, Kazuki, wounded in battle. He's startled to wake up in the clutches of the evil Miss Rah. You have your choice of dubbed and subtitled, with the VHS selling for $24.98 and the  DVD going out at $29.98. . . . GUNDAM WING - OPERATION 5 gives us more adventures from the brave Gundam Wing pilots. This DVD only release sells for $24.98. . . . TENCHI UNIVERSE COLLECTION VOL. 6: SPACE II is about how Tenchi and his friends are wanted by the Galaxy Police. They're forced to flee through space. It's exclusively on DVD for $29.98.

farewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewells
73.THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES 
    Marie Windsor had THE look. That look could freeze water at twenty paces and put the toughest tough guy in his place. She made a career of playing strong, independent women. She showed how tough she was in such film noir classics as FORCE OF EVIL (1948), THE KILLING (1956) and THE NARROW MARGIN (1952). Club members might remember her from THE JUNGLE (1952), CAT-WOMEN ON THE MOON (1953), THE DAY MARS INVADED EARTH (1962), CHAMBER OF HORRORS (1966) and SALEM'S LOT (1979). Throughout her 76 films she worked to earned the titles "Queen of the B's" and "best of the female heavies." 
    She was born Emily Marie Bertelsen and raised in Marysvale, Utah. She set her sights on show business early on. She started acting lessons at 11. After winning two local beauty pageants and majoring in drama at Brigham Young University, she headed for Hollywood in 1940 to study with Maria Ouspenskaya (the old gypsy woman in THE WOLF MAN). She took a job as a cigarette girl at Mocambo, a Sunset Strip nightclub, where, one night, she was weeping about her inability to pay the rent. A club patron, movie producer Arthur Hornblow Jr., noticed her distress and recommended her for a part in the comedy ALL-AMERICAN CO-ED (1941). That was the start of her long and productive career. 
    Recently she reflected back on film-noirs and the charcaters she became famous playing. "Film noir engaged the audience, let them use the gray matter between their ears." Of her characters, she had mixed feelings: "I liked the parts, but had I met them in real life, I wouldn't have liked them." 
    Even though she was stricken with severe arthritis in recent years, she remained politically engaged and active throughout her life. She championed conservative causes in a mostly liberal industry. She counted Charlton Heston and Ronald Reagan as close friends. 
    She died in her Beverly Hills home of natural causes. She was one day short of her 85th birthday. 

    Hoyt Curtin is a name that you're guarenteed not to know. He was a musician whose works became alot more famous than their composer. If you've grown up since the 1950's his stuff is almost certainly hardwired into your brain. 
    Can you sing any of THE FLINTSONES theme? How about THE JETSONS? You can either thank, or blame, their creator, Hoyt Curtin. If you've ever watched any Hanna-Barbera productions; such as HUCLEBERRY HOUND, QUICK DRAW McGRAW, YOGI BEAR, SCOOBY DOO, MAGILLA GORILLA, TOP CAT or JONNY QUEST; then your still young and growing brain was shaped to the sound of Hoyt Curtin's music. 
    Curtin dreamed of being a movie composer since he was young. He wound up pitching  jingles for commercials. He was scoring a Schlitz beer spot in the late 1950s that was being produced at MGM by two men named William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. A few weeks after completing the ad, they called Curtin and asked if he would be interested in collaborating on the music for a cartoon series they were creating for television. Curtin, who had scored music for "Mr. Magoo" theater shorts in 1953, agreed to help. 
     His mode of collaboration with Hanna and Barbera was uncomplicated. "They would call me and read me a lyric and say, 'Go write a tune and send it to us as fast as you can,' " he said. They called him with the lyrics for the show RUFF AND REDDY. Within five minutes, Curtin had a score and called them back to sing it to them. When his performance was met with silence, he thought, "Uh-oh, I bombed out." Then he heard Hanna and Barbera offer him a deal to record the tune. The year was 1957. Hanna and Barbera quit MGM to start their own company, taking Curtin along for what would be a rollicking ride into cartoon history. 
     Curtin wrote the songs for THE FLINTSONES and THE JETSONS the same way he did with RUFF AND REDDY - back and forth on the telephone. Later he would match the scores to videotapes or artists' storyboards of the cartoons, watching to ensure that his music accentuated the characters' every physical movement and mood. 
    "We'd all have a good time, and I think the music shows it," Barbera recalled in 1986. He called Curtin "a true genius" who he hoped was "still writing sweet music wherever he is." 
    Hoyt Curtin died on Dec. 3 at a hospital in Thousand Oaks, California. He was 78. 

    Jack S. Liebowitz never wore a cape and tights in public. As far as we know he never changed the course of mighty rivers or bent steel with his bare hands. Yet this mere mortal may have fired the imagination of more people and created more modern myths than anyone else in the twentieth century - a century with which Mr. Liebowitz was intimately connected. Jack Liebowitz, the father of earth's mightiest heroes and popular culture's most enduring icons,  was born with that century and died at its close. 
    He was born Jacob S. Liebowitz in Proskurov, Ukraine, on Oct. 10, 1900. His family migrated to the Lower East Side of New York in 1910. He worked as a magazine distributor before teaming up with Harry Donenfeld, the publisher of lurid pulp magazines like "Spicy Detective," to print glossy covers for the handful of comic book titles available during the Depression. 
    In March, 1937 Liebowitz and Donenfeld set the comic-book world on fire with the debut of "Detective Comics." It was the first successful comic book series devoted to a single theme. The title's initials gave the fledgling company its name, DC Comics. In May 1939 Batman made his first appearance in Detective Comics, which remains the longest continuously published line of comic books. 
    Mr. Liebowitz also started the series "Action Comics" and acquired the story of a superbeing from the planet Krypton, created by two shy, Clark Kent-ish cartoonists from Cleveland, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Mr. Liebowitz said that the decision to run "Superman" was "a pure accident" based on deadline pressure, but the rest is comic-book history. The first issue of "Action Comics" appeared in June 1938, with a thrilling cover showing a caped, superstrong figure hoisting a car overhead, an image that Mr. Liebowitz selected. The first print run was 200,000 copies, but newsstands clamored for more, and sales soon approached one million a month. 
      Mr. Liebowitz was also a partner in a sister company, "All American Comics," whose roster of characters included The Flash, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. The two companies merged in 1944. 
    In 1961 DC Comics became National Periodical Publications, a publicly held company. Mr. Liebowitz remained president until the company merged with Kinney National Services in 1967. Kinney acquired Warner Brothers the next year and formed Warner Communications. Mr. Liebowitz was a board member of Warner Communications and then Time Warner until 1991, coming into the office every day when he was over 90. 
    He died at his home in Great Neck, Long Island on December 11, leaving behind his legacy in numerous charities and in the hearts of readers everywhere. "Some people viewed comics as just a passing fad," Mr. Liebowitz said in 1985. "Not me. From the beginning, I felt that comics could be a vital part of the publishing field. They had a broad appeal and a great potential for telling stories." 

    Barney McNulty is another of those anonymous people whose name is a mystery but whose legacy is legendary. Mr. McNulty invented something that is still used on TV today, and perhaps will go on for ever. He invented that little thing called the "cue card." 
    McNulty came to Hollywood in the footsteps of his older sister, actress Penny Singleton, the "Blondie" of radio and film and the voice of television's Jane Jetson. During World War II, McNulty served in Army Air Corps communications, perfecting a skill that presaged his future - swiftly transcribing Morse code into block letters. 
    After the war, he became an usher at NBC, and by 1949 was working on THE ED WYNN SHOW. When Wynn became ill, the veteran entertainer feared that his medication would interfere with his memory on the live show. So McNulty was asked to put the entire script on large sheets of cardboard. The young usher stayed up until 4 a.m. completing the task and then flipped the cards for Wynn during the show, launching his own career. 
    He called his freelance cue card business Ad Libs. Eschewing computerized electronic TelePrompTers as they were developed, McNulty preferred cardboard and fast-drying ink. His most vivid memories were trying to keep cue cards dry by placing them under airplanes in rainy tour sites, coping with frozen marker ink in Korea and having cards blow into the Pacific during a Hope performance on an aircraft carrier. 
     McNulty tailored his lettering to each performer, writing in large letters for nearsighted George Burns, Jimmy Durante and Dorothy Lamour, and especially Hope toward the end of the comedian's active career. McNulty's travels with Hope highlighted his life with celebrities, all of whom he seemed to admire. 
    Globe-trotting for Hope to entertain military personnel meant transporting from 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of cue (or "idiot") cards, putting the right ones aboard helicopters for specific shows, and then flipping them in proper sequence with proper timing. The cue-card man became a backstage fixture in Hope's entourage, busy with his marking pens and cards as he quickly printed up new cards to accommodate any sudden script changes. Equally familiar were Hope's impatient microphone asides, "All right, Barney, get those cards up, get 'em up." Hope clearly appreciated McNulty's efforts. At the end of one tour, the comedian gave the cue-card king a gold watch inscribed, "To Barney, from the idiot." The two men worked together for 43 years. 
     McNulty amassed more than 100,000 of his cue cards, noting in 1983, "I want to keep them because it's a continuing history of show business." McNulty was something of a walking history of entertainment. He flipped the cards to cue Lucille Ball for the pilot of I LOVE LUCY and Groucho Marx for the pilot of YOU BET YOUR LIFE. And he was personally requested by Orson Welles, for what would be the final performance by the great actor and producer, on the TV show MOONLIGHTING. He also cued Hubert Humphrey, the former vice president, at a political convention. 
    In 1990 the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences formerly dubbed Barney McNulty "the King of the cue-crads." He was 77. 

    Billy Barty got his start in show business because of a trick his father taught him. Born William John Bertanzetti, in Millsboro, Pa. his family relocated to Los Angeles after his father found work as a carpenter at Columbia studios. Shortly afterwards, they spotted a film crew on the sidewalk. Barty made his way through the legs of the crew, tugged on director Jules White's pants leg, and demonstrated spinning on his head. That was enough to get him a part in the short, "Wedded Blisters," and to launch a 70-year career in movies. 
    Barty remained the most dwarf working in show business for years. The 3 foot, 9 inch actor worked tirelessly for rights and medical assitance for short-statured people around the world. he started two organizations, the Little People of America and the Billy Barty Foundation. 
    His career took him from movies to vaudeville to radio and to television. His credits in imaginative cinema are varied. He was ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1933), LEGEND (1985), WILLOW (1988) and LOBSTER MEN FROM MARS (1989). 
    At the time of his death he was finishing work on his autobiography. He was 76. 

    Ray Walston had a long career that stretched from his first stage appearnce in 1939 to his final screen performances in 2000. Yet despite all the varied roles, for many of us he will always be our very favorite Martian. 
    He first came to national attention in 1956 when he won the Tony award for best actor as the devil in the Broadway production of "Damn Yankees." His TV fame came from 1963 to 1966 when he played "Uncle Martin," the visitor from Mars, on MY FAVORITE MARTIAN. He was never terribly fond of the show. He said, "The MARTIAN show, which was a ridiculous, silly show, was never recognized . . . [although] I don't blame the Academy," he said of the series' lack of critical acclaim. It was a recurring theme for Walston, who back in 1964, when the sitcom was on the air, told a reporter: "I had to think twice before I agreed to play a character with wires sticking out of his head who does tricks. I knew I was laying my career on the line." It remained a chip that Walston could repeatedly play, appearing in the forgettable 1999 film version of the series and earlier in a TV ad campaign for AT & T. 
    He reached a new generation in 1982 playing the grim-faced Mr. Hand in FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. His portrayal of the history teacher wise to the tricks of Sean Penn's Jeff Spicoli struck terror in the hearts of slackers everywhere. 
    TREK fans remember him as the Starfleet Academy gardener, Boothby. He's been on episodes of both STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and STAR TREK: VOYAGER. 
    Ray Walston was 86.

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74. JANUARY CALENDAR
TUE. 2ND - VIDEO SELL-THROUGH: THE BEST OF THE ORIGINAL AVEN- 
                    GERS and PORTRAIT OF AN ASSASSIN go on sale today. 
              DVD SELL-THROUGH: THE BEST OF THE ORIGINAL AVENGERS 
                     goes on sale today. 

TUE. 9TH - VIDEO RENTAL: ANIMAL FACTORY, HORRORVISION and ONCE 
                    UPON A TIME IN CHINA hit the rental shelves today. 
             VIDEO SELL-THROUGH: THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, LEXX: 
                    THE DARK ZONE, LEXX: EATING PATTERN, LEXX: GIGA SHAD- 
                    OW, LEXX: I WORSHIP HIS SHADOW, STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE 
                    NINE episodes 86-90, A BETTER TOMORROW, A BETTER TOMOR- 
                    ROW II, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: THE SLAYER CHRONI- 
                    CLES three volumes, THE DEVIL'S ARITHMETIC, DOOM RUNNERS, 
                    DEMON WARRIOR KOJI, MAZE: BEATING HEART and MIDNIGHT 
                    DETECTIVE go on sale today. 
             DVD SELL-THROUGH: ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA, A BETTER 
                   TOMORROW, A BETTER TOMORROW II, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE 
                   SLAYER: THE SLAYER CHRONICLES three volumes, SILENT SERVICE 
                   and VIRGIN FLEET hit the sale bins today. 

FRI. 12TH - MOVIE: 13 DAYS  and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON debuts. 

TUE. 16TH - VIDEO RENTAL: PYTHON, BATTLEFIELD EARTH and SPIDERS 
                      become rentable today. 
                VIDEO SELL-THROUGH: HIGHLANDER: DIRECTOR'S CUT, SISTER, 
                      SISTER, THE BOILER ROOM,  CURSE OF THE VOODOO, HORROR 
                     HOSPITAL, INSEMINOID, A PERFECT MURDER COLLECTOR'S 
                     EDITION, THRILL SEEKERS and CARDCAPTORS: POWER MATCH 
                     go on sale today. 
                DVD SELL-THROUGH: PYTHON, BATTLEFIELD EARTH, SISTER, 
                       SISTER, THRILL SEEKERS and CARDCAPTORS: POWER MATCH 
                      go on sale today. 

WED. 17TH - DVD SELL-THROUGH: SLEEPWALKERS and DEATH WISH go on 
                       sale today. 
FRI. 19TH - MOVIE: SNATCH and THE GIFT debuts. 

SUN. 21ST - EVENT: The Golden Globe Awards 

TUE. 23RD - VIDEO RENTAL: FRANKS HERBERT'S DUNE, THE ADVENTURES 
                      OF ROCKY AND BULWINKLE, CECIL B. DEMENTED and TERROR 
                      FIRMER go out for rental today. 
               VIDEO SELL-THROUGH: THE BLACK SCORPION, THE BLACK 
                     SCORPION II, IN THE DEAD OF SPACE, KNOCKING ON DEATH'S 
                     DOOR,  AMAZING NURSE NANAKO VOL 3: THE LAST SPIRAL, 
                     BUBBLEGUM CRISIS: TOKYO 2040 VOL. 11,  CARD CAPTOR 
                     SAKURA: EVERLASTING MEMORIES, FUSHIGI YUGI: THE 
                    MYSTERIOUS PLAY VOL. 3 - REFLECTIONS, GASARAKI 3: 
                     BETRAYAL, GUNDAM WING VOL. 8 & 9 TOONAMI - BEHOLD, 
                     WING ZERO, LOST UNIVERSE VOL. 4 and  TRIGUN VOL. 6: 
                     PROJECT SEEDS go on sale today. 
              DVD SELL-THROUGH: THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BUL- 
                     WINKLE, THE BLACK SCORPION, THE BLACK SCORPION II, 
                     DOGMA - SPECIAL EDITION, IN THE DEAD OF SPACE, KNOCK- 
                     ING ON DEATH'S DOOR, AMAZING NURSE NANAKO VOL 3: 
                     THE LAST SPIRAL, CARD CAPTOR SAKURA: EVERLASTING 
                     MEMORIES, GASARAKI 3: BETRAYAL, LOST UNIVERSE VOL. 
                     4, MARTIAN SUCCESSOR NADESICO: DANGER ZONES and 
                     TRIGUN VOL. 6: PROJECT SEEDS go on sale today. 

WED. 24TH - HAPPY 2ND ANNIVERSARY TO THE I.C.S. 

FRI. 26TH - MOVIE: SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE debuts. 

SAT. 27TH - ICS MEETING 

TUE. 30TH - VIDEO RENTAL: WHAT LIES BENEATH goes on rental today. 
                VIDEO SELL-THROUGH: DINOSAUR, BLACK MOON RISING, 
                      C.H.U.D., THE JACKIE CHAN GIFT SET, GHOST CHASE and DUAL 
                      VOL. 3: ARTIFACTS go on sale today. 
                 DVD SELL-THROUGH: DINOSAUR, BLACK MOON RISING, 
                       C.H.U.D., THE JACKIE CHAN GIFT SET, THE PHANTOM, 
                       STARRY NIGHT, BIO HUNTER: SPECIAL EDITION, DUAL 
                      VOL. 3: ARTIFACTS, GUNDAM WING - OPERATION 5 and 
                       TENCHI UNIVERSE COLLECTION VOL. 6: SPACE II go on 
                       sale today.