The Official Newsletter of The Imaginative Cinema Society
Written by
David Willard
#36-January 2002
***IN THIS ISSUE***
CLUB NEWS
1.THE DECEMBER MEETING WAS A REAL "HOPPENING"
2.WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBER - TOM PROVEAUX!
3.JANUARY MEETING: THE BASICS
4.JANUARY MEETING: OUR FIRST GUEST SPEAKER
5.JANUARY MEETING: ZOMBIES!
6.JANUARY MEETING: NEW STARTING TIME!
7.JANUARY MEETING: AUDIT!
8.ELECTIONS
9.SLATE OF CANDIDATES
10.SNOW ALERTS
11.CALENDARS
12.SNACKS AND CLEAN-UP
13.DUES NEWS
14.BIG CHANGE FOR THE ICS FILES!

TV NEWS
15.THE GLASS TEAT: with news on SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH, STEPHEN KING'S ROSE RED, the DUNE sequel, ANGEL, DEAD GIRL, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, BABYLON 5: THE LEGEND OF THE RANGERS and WITCHBLADE.
16.ANDROMEDA FACES LIFE WITHOUT ITS CREATOR
17.ANDROMEDA FACES LIFE WITHOUT ITS SHIP'S SCIENTIST
18.THE BUFFY TOON TAKES SHAPE
19.ENTERPRISE CAST MEMBER CRITIQUES VOYAGER
20.DARK ANGEL'S YOUTH REBELLION POLISHED OFF NANA VISITOR
21.JOSS WHEDON PREPARES FOR FIREFLY
22.JEREMIAH TO DEBUT IN THE SPRING
23.MUTANT X SPEEDS UP
24.THE EVOLUTION OF SMALLVILLE
25.FOX NIX TICK
26.TREK PROPS BOLDLY SELL FOR WHAT NO PROPS HAVE SOLD FOR BEFORE
27.X-FILES/EX-CAST
28.LUCY LAWLESS IS DONE WITH THE X-FILES
29.ANNABETH GISH IS FRUSTRATED OVER THE X-FILES' LOW RATINGS
30.TV WRITERS WILL BE FACING TOUGH TIMES

EVENT NEWS
31.THINGS TO COME
With news on  FARPOINT, KATSUCON 8, JOHN CON and CREATION CON.

LITERARY NEWS
32.MOVIES HELP TO RESUSCITATE MARVEL COMICS
33.UP AND DOWN YEAR OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER
34.WRITERS’ BLOCK: HOW BIG BOOK RETAILERS ARE CHANGING THE MARKET
35.HARRY POTTER AND THE HOLY SMOKE OF NEW MEXICO
36.RECENT TITLES: BOOKS ABOUT MOVIES AND TELEVISION
37.RECENT TITLES: MEDIA TIE-INS

MOVIE NEWS
38.QUICK TAKES
With news on THE MATRIX RELOADED, THE MATRIX III, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE MONKEY'S PAW, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, James Bond #20, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S, PLANET OF THE APES and SCARY MOVIE 3: EPISODE I: LORD OF THE BROOMS.
39.CONTENDERS FOR THE NEW ANIMATION OSCARS ARE ANNOUNCED
40.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA AND THE OSCAR BAKE-OFF
41.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA REIGNS SUPREME IN 2001
42.2002: THE YEAR OF THE BIG-BUDGET SEQUEL
43.THE CATWOMAN MOVIE SLOWLY TAKES SHAPE
44.FINAL FANTASY'S DIGITAL CAST IS OUT OF A JOB
45.GET READY FOR A COMPUTER ANIMATED LANDSLIDE
46.THE GOLDEN GLOBES ACKNOWLEDGE IMAGINATIVE CINEMA
47.PETER JACKSON DISCUSSES THE ILL-FATED KING KONG REMAKE
48.RALPH BAKSHI SLAMS PETER JACKSON
49.LORDS IN WAITING
50.JACKSON WON'T CHANGE THE TITLE OF THE NEXT FILM
51.RENNY HARLIN HEARS THE SOUND OF THUNDER
52.OTHER BRADBURY BIG SCREEN NEWS
53.PETER JACKSON TALKS THE LORD OF THE RINGS
54.THE MATRIX IS EVERYWHERE
55.QUEEN OF THE DAMNED ADOPTS TWO BOOKS
56.AALIYAH'S BROTHER LENDS A HAND FOR QUEEN OF THE DAMNED
57.SHYAMALAN'S SIGNS
58.TREK X SPOILERS
59.SAMUEL L. JACKSON - THE DANCING JEDI
60.GABRIEL BYRNE'S IN TALKS TO STAR IN THE FINAL STAR WARS EPISODE
61.THE NEXT STAR WARS COMES WITH A FULLY ACCESSORIZED VILLAIN
62.GEORGE LUCAS AND THE BOYS IN THE BAND I: ATTACK OF THE MARKETERS
63.GEORGE LUCAS AND THE BOYS IN THE BAND II: THE FANS STRIKE BACK!
64.THE LINE HAS ALREADY STARTED TO FORM FOR THE NEXT STAR WARS
65.WARNER BROTHERS FLEXES THEIR MUSCLES WITH T3
66.X-MEN SEQUEL HAS A TITLE AND A RELEASE DATE
67.HUGH JACKMAN BULKS UP FOR THE X-MEN SEQUEL
68.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY
News on the premiere of IMPOSTOR, BLACK HAWK DOWN, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, KUNG POW!: ENTER THE FIST and THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO .

INTERNET NEWS
69.FEW WEB SURFERS ARE BUYING MOVIE TICKETS ONLINE

VIDEO NEWS
70.THE BUCKAROO BANZAI DVD FIXES FLAWS
71.DVDs FINALLY OVERTAKE VHS
72.A QUICK NOTE ON RENTAL PRICING
73.VIDEOCY

FAREWELLS
74.THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
We remember Pauline Moore and Seymour V. Reit.

IN REVIEW
75.JANUARY CALENDAR

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1.THE DECEMBER MEETING WAS A REAL "HOPPENING"
    The December, 2001 meeting was a great way to end the year. We had our annual holiday swap, hopping vampires, and a few other surprises.
    Our Yankee Swap was a blast. With a little luck, I hope that everyone got what they wanted (or at least got to hold it for a little while until it got stolen). I'm amazed at the gentle and respectful attitude of the participants. I've been involved in far more barbaric swaps with lots of thievery.
    Norman Prentiss brought along his collection of Chinese horror films. We watched the original MR. VAMPIRE. Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee look sort of wimpy compared to the hopping monsters of China.
    We had a discussion on how to keep the meetings from running on too long. We've agreed to hold off discussing books and to be a bit more mindful of the time.
    For those of us who like to go dine after the meeting, we tried Valentino's on the corner of Harford Road and Northern Parkway. The general consensus seemed to be - not bad. We might try other places from time-to-time but Valentino's seemed to have been well-received.
    We got involved with some further skullduggery. For further details, read on.

2.WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBER - TOM PROVEAUX!
    Charlie Wittig brought along his buddy, Tom Proveaux, to the last meeting. Tom liked it so much he decided to stick around. Tom was involved with the old Horror and Fantasy Film Society. When he's not watching movies he's working as a denizen of the blackboard jungle in Baltimore City Public Schools. Welcome to the club Tom. It'll be a pleasure to get to know you!

3.JANUARY MEETING: THE BASICS
   Our January meeting will be held on Saturday January 26 at 5:30 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.

4.JANUARY MEETING: OUR FIRST GUEST SPEAKER
    We have a very special treat coming in January. Our first ever guest speaker, Tom Woodward, will be speaking about "The Economics of the Star Trek Universe."
    Tom is Assistant Director for Tax Analysis with the Congressional Budget Office, where he oversees CBO's tax studies and revenue projections. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University. He's worked for the U.S. Congress, in various capacities, for over 20 years.
    He's been able to marry his two great passions, economics and science fiction. He has put together a fascinating Power Point presentation exploring how the use of money as well as costs and scarcity effect a universe where, it has sometimes been said, money is an archaic concept.
    I enjoyed Tom's talk so much that I sat through it twice at the last Shore Leave! I'm looking forward to hearing it again.

5.JANUARY MEETING: ZOMBIES!
    Andrew Kent will be bringing movies to the next meeting. We've got zombies on the menu for the evening!
    Andrew has a slight technical problem that will call for the club's help. He needs a decent copy of the wonderful 1943 Val Lewton film, I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (probably my favorite zombie movie of all time). If you have a copy please let Andrew know. His phone number is (410) 730-7942. His e-mail address is s.kent@home.com.
    Please bear in mind, if you have a copy that's been duplicated at home, our finicky VCR doesn't take too well to slow-speed tapes. If you're bringing in a home tape, please make sure that it has been recorded at regular speed.

6.JANUARY MEETING: NEW STARTING TIME!
    We have people at the church hall as early as 5:00. We agreed at our last meeting that we'll start our meetings at 5:30. It gives our members a chance to socialize before the formal meeting gets rolling. We will start the actual meeting at 6:00 SHARP. Please make every effort to be there before 6:00.

7.JANUARY MEETING: AUDIT!
    Now that we have a new year we're closing out our old books. Regina is going to grab a couple of willing victims to work on an informal audit of our finances. This is not a formal, legally binding, audit. You don't have to hold a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University in order to do it. This is just a review to verify that all those jots and tittles are in place.

8.ELECTIONS
    January is also the month for annual elections for the Board of Directors. Members will be voting for those members who have displayed mature judgment, recognized ability and a sincere devotion to the Imaginative Cinema Society.
    Following are quotes from our constitution concerning elections:

* STRUCTURE OF THE CLUB
The club will be guided by a written constitution. The administration of the club's affairs will be overseen by a Board of Directors. The Board will be composed of a chairman, a secretary, a treasurer, and two at-large members. The Board members will be elected annually from among the members of the club. The members of the Board will enjoy no special powers or privileges for their service. The Board should strive to operate harmoniously among its members and work on behalf of the club to preserve the spirit of fellowship in all club functions.

* ELIGIBILITY: Every member-in-good-standing will be eligible for to vote and to hold office.

* CHARACTER OF THE ELECTION: Those interested in serving on the Board will let that be known prior to election. As a club whose main focus is fellowship, it's important that our elections don't become partisan or divisive.

* PROCESS OF BALLOTING: Members are to vote for the five members that they deem to be the most capable in serving on the Board. Ballots of more than five or less than five will not be accepted.

* DETERMINING ELECTION RESULTS: The five names that have drawn the most votes will make up the Board for the coming year. In the event of a tie a special run-off election between those involved in the tie will be held immediately to determine the outcome.

9.SLATE OF CANDIDATES
    The following people have placed their names in nomination for consideration to serve on the ICS Board:

Dave Henderson
Joe Plempel
Regina Vallerani
John Ward
David Willard
Charlie Wittig
If you will not be able to attend our January meeting we'd be happy to have you cast an absentee vote. If you need to cast an absentee ballot you may send your vote in to either of our two tellers. They are:
Sue Feder                                                Norman Prentiss
3 Goucher Woods Ct                              207-D Donnybrook Lane
Towson MD 21286-5658                          Towson MD 21286-1228
monkshould@home.com                        NPRENTISS@YAHOO.COM
10.SNOW ALERTS
    We're in snow season. January and February are (generally) the two meetings each year where snow could force us to cancel.
    Some of this is common sense. If you can't see your car because of snow drifts, chances are we won't have a meeting. If it has recently snowed, the main roads are cleared but either the parking lot or its entrance is buried or frozen over, we probably won't have a meeting.
    If we need to cancel a meeting we'll do the following:

Everyone will get an e-mail notice.
A general alert will be posted on our site.
A good faith effort will be made to call each member at their home.

11.CALENDARS
    Our 2002 Calendars were made available at the last meeting. They were a hit. This is our first theme calendar (we went with Universal monsters). We'll probably do a 50's sci-fi theme for 2003.
    If you've pre-ordered a calendar, and haven't picked it up yet, please contact a Board member if you won't be able to make it to the next meeting (Mike Schilling, we're holding one for you). They're very popular. After Mr. Schilling gets his we'll only have two left. If no one puts a claim in, it's strictly first come, first serve.

12.SNACKS AND CLEAN-UP
    There was a plea, in the last "ICS Files" for people to please start bringing n more snacks and for more people to stay and help clean up. The club has admirably risen to both challenges. Thanks everyone. Keep it up.

13.DUES NEWS
    It's dues time again. Individuals are $20. Couples are $30. We have given members a grace period until our March meeting (March 23) to continue their membership. Below are a list of renewing members. If you feel that your name has been inadvertently left off, or if you would like to mail your dues in, please contact our treasurer, Regina Vallerani. Her mailing address is 221 Ridgemede Rd #508/ Baltimore, MD. 21210-3042. Her e-mail address is RVALLER107@AOL.COM.

SUZANNE COOPER                              TOM PROVEAUX
SUE FEDER                                             RICK RIEVE
TIM & HEATHER FLEMING                 GARY ROBERSON
DIANE GERVASIO                                MIKE SCHILLING
RALPH & PEGGY GERVASIO              DAVA SENTZ
DAVE HENDERSON                              DONNA SENTZ
ANDREW KENT                                     BRIAN & CINDY SMITH
MIKE LAIRD                                           JACK TYDINGS
JEANNE MATCOVICH                          REGINA VALLERANI
BARRY MURPHY                                   JOHN WARD
JOE PLEMPEL                                         DAVID WILLARD
NORMAN PRENTISS                             CHARLIE WITTIG

14.BIG CHANGE FOR THE ICS FILES!
    Your humble author has some time constraints he'll have to adhere to. I've wondered if there was a way to continue doing "The ICS Files" without it taking over my life.
    I considered farming out the "Videocy" section, that covers upcoming video releases. Believe it or not, that section accounts for 40-50% of my work in doing one of these issues.
    I asked at a Board meeting if anyone would like to give it a try. The request was followed by an odd, "who farted?" sort of silence. I suddenly felt like I was in CURSE OF THE DEMON and I was asking someone else to hold this funny little rune-filled paper.
    The Board, in its great and infinite wisdom, directed me to replace the Videocy section with a group of links that would enable readers to find out the same information.
    I apologize for any inconvenience this causes recipients of the snail-mail edition of "The ICS Files." I simply can't continue on with Videocy and have a life beyond that. Each title that you see may have taken me from 15 minutes to 2 hours each to research. Plus there are dozens of title in each issue that I research but, for one reason or another, do not include.
    January 2002 will see the last of Videocy. Check our obits in February. They'll be a loving remembrance to a part of "The ICS Files" that was a pain in the tush - and also allowed me to have tremendous fun writing it.

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15.THE GLASS TEAT: Jeannie meets SABRINA. Barbara Eden (the genie, "Jeannie" on I DREAM OF JEANNIE) will guest star on an upcoming episode of SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH, on what is intended to be a recurring role as Sabrina's (Melissa Joan Hart) mean great aunt Irma (think "Endora" on BEWITCHED). Eden's SABRINA episode will air Jan. 11. . . . THE LONE RANGER rides again - maybe. As you read this the WB is in negotiations to acquire the rights to THE LONE RANGER. If they're successful we'll be seeing the Masked Rider of the plains for an hour a week. I wonder how they'll handle the relationship between our hero and a politically correct Tonto. . . . . ABC Announces ROSE RED Air Dates. ABC has announced STEPHEN KING'S ROSE RED will air on January 27th, 28th, and 31st. Written directly for TV by King, the six-hour miniseries stars Nancy Travis as an obsessed psychology professor who commissions a team of psychics and a gifted 15-year-old  autistic girl to literally wake up a supposedly dormant  haunted mansion. . . . Sci-Fi greenlights DUNE sequel. Production on The Sci-Fi Channel's CHILDREN OF DUNE miniseries will begin in Prague next April. John Harrison is expected to return to direct this adaptation of Frank Herbert's second and third DUNE novels, DUNE MESSIAH and CHILDREN OF DUNE, which he wrote for the network. It continues the story of the Atreides family saga and recounts the fall of Paul Atreides' empire. . . . ANGEL begins a double-life on the WB. The WB will air ANGEL twice weekly, starting Jan. 10, 2002. The network plans to air repeats of ANGEL on Thursdays at 8 p.m. First-run episodes will continue airing Mondays at 9 p.m. The double runs will continue through February, after which time the network may consider moving the show to Thursdays full-time. . . . DEAD angst on Showtime. Showtime has ordered a two-hour pilot and additional scripts of DEAD GIRL, a proposed supernatural drama series from STAR TREK writer-producer Bryan Fuller. Described as "My So-Called Afterlife,"  DEAD GIRL centers on an underachieving 18-year-old girl who dies in a freak accident. Her spirit returns to Earth as one of many grim reapers assigned to take out the souls of those whose time is up. . . . GLAAD nominates BUFFY. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER was nominated as outstanding drama series by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation as part of its 13th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The GLAAD Media Awards honor individuals and projects in the media and entertainment industries for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives. . . . BUFFY'S boyfriend's back and there's gonna be trouble. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER love interest Riley Finn (Marc Blucas), who was last seen heading off to the jungle to fight demons last season, will return in 2002, according to creator Joss Whedon. "We have him doing an episode for us after Christmas," Whedon said. He added, "Something rather more dramatic happened to him." . . . RANGERS reminder! BABYLON 5: THE LEGEND OF THE RANGERS TV movie will debut on the Sci-Fi Channel Saturday, Jan 19 at 9 PM and again at 11 PM with a third airing on Sunday, Jan 20 at 5 PM.  As a leadup to the movie debut, Sci-Fi will air the other four made for TNT
Babylon 5 TV movies at 9 PM on Mon-Thur, Jan 14-17 plus an airing of BABYLON 5: THE GATHERING at 3:00 PM on Sun Jan 20 right before the RANGERS movie repeat. . . . WITCHBLADE redux. TNT will repeat the first season of WITCHBLADE including the pilot movie starting Monday, Jan 21 at 8 PM with the hour episodes airing at 9 PM with repeat airings on Tuesdays at 11 PM.

16.ANDROMEDA FACES LIFE WITHOUT ITS CREATOR
    Ethlie Ann Vare, co-producer of ANDROMEDA, said that it's been difficult dealing with the show since the departure of co-creator Robert Hewitt Wolfe in September. In particular, Vare is aware of worries about the show's stability. "They're valid concerns, but I hope not accurate predictions," Vare said. "Instability within the writing staff is the surest way for a show to lose its internal logic and story integrity and devolve into that brownish-grayish mess you get when you mix all your water paints together."
    The last episode Wolfe wrote was "Ouroboros," which is scheduled to air in February. He also wrote "Dance of the Mayflies," but Vare said that the episode was rewritten "significantly" following his departure. Wolfe's wife, Celeste Chan Wolfe, is the credited writer on "In Heaven Now Are Three." "But that also was extensively rewritten," Vare said. "Robert was heavily involved in developing 'Immaculate Perception' and 'Lava and Rockets.' Past that, his influence tapers off to the-staff-tries-to-channel-Robert levels."
    Vare also talked about the loss of Trance's (Laura Bertram) tail. "Executives at both Tribune and Fireworks felt that the tail wasn't executed well, and that it's better not to do it at all than to do it poorly," Vare said. "They have a point, actually, although personally I would have opted for spending more time, attention and money on the execution. Yes, there has been an outcry from some fans, and no, I don't think it will make a difference."

17.ANDROMEDA FACES LIFE WITHOUT ITS SHIP'S SCIENTIST
    A month after Robert Hewitt Wolfe abruptly left the series, co-star Brent Stait (who played Rev Bem) has also quit. The character was ANDROMEDA's resident scientist, sociologist and linguist. He also was sort of a big hairy monster. For B5 fans, think Zathras with a better grasp of language.
     According to Seth Howard, Tribune Entertainment's creative executive in charge of production, this was not the result of a smoldering conflict. "Brent Stait chose to leave the show for personal reasons. We miss him and hope that we will be able to play again sometime in the future." Stait had been having problems with the heavy makeup and prosthetics he wore as part of his character. "Brent had a severe allergic reaction to the considerable prosthetics. It became unbearable, although he was a serious trouper," Howard said. Howard offered no details of when and how Rev Bem will be written out of the show. "We miss Rev, and I for one miss that particular quality about him. And although we wouldn't duplicate his character, we can go there in other ways. . . . Keep your eye on Trance."

18.THE BUFFY TOON TAKES SHAPE
    Steven DeKnight, one of the writers of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, said that he and other writers are doing double duty working away on scripts for the proposed animated version of the series. "We have, I believe, five scripts already written," DeKnight said. "I've done one, Jane Espenson has done a couple, and it's a great experience."
    DeKnight said that he was originally considered solely for the animated series. "When I was first brought in to interview, I was brought in to interview for the animated show, and I was shown rough sketches of the characters and some of the sets," he said. "I loved what I saw. I was dying to work on the show, and I was hoping once I was hired on the live-action [show], I would still get a chance to work on it. It's going to be an amazing show. It's funny. It's exciting. It's all the huge, gigantic action that we can't do in a live-action show. So, the sky's the limit. There's a lot of ideas that they've had in the past five seasons that were great ideas, but they just couldn't do, budgetwise. So, we get to do all those cool high-school stories that we couldn't tell back in high school. Plus, it's a return to the classic BUFFY - the way it all started, with all the teen-agers and hijinks. It's going to be absolutely amazing."
    Will the animated show feature Angel or Dawn? "You know, anything's possible in [Buffy creator] Joss Whedon world. I would say, more than likely, you will see a lot of the characters you saw in high school. As to whether or not Dawn will be there, it's completely possible. It could definitely fit into the whole timeline of season five, where Dawn was placed there by the monks, and everybody has a memory of her being there. So, it would be an interesting idea to actually put Dawn there and see how she would fit into all of this stuff."

19.ENTERPRISE CAST MEMBER CRITIQUES VOYAGER
    ENTERPRISE co-star, the British actor Dominic Keating (Lt. Malcom Reed), said that he thinks he knows why the UPN series continues to win stellar ratings, while its TREK predecessor, VOYAGER, declined following its premiere. "I never watched VOYAGER, but VOYAGER got a huge pilot figure, even bigger than ours, dare I say. Why they dropped off? I don't know. It probably got a bit sterile, and that's why Rick Berman and Brannon Braga brought ENTERPRISE back to be a prequel and [brought] it closer to some sort of sense of human drama."
    Keating said that ENTERPRISE is more accessible to its fans. "Our show definitely appeals to an audience now because it's close enough in time where you can get a concept of what it might be like. We live like spacemen in those suits a lot of the time, and we mess up. We don't get it all right the whole time. It's kind of like Lewis and Clark. We're explorers, and it's the first expedition into deep space for humankind. There is an earthy quality to it, even though it's sci-fi drama. It's [also] funny, and it's sexy and altogether more human."

20.DARK ANGEL'S YOUTH REBELLION POLISHED OFF NANA VISITOR
    Nana Visitor, who played Madame X/Renfro in DARK ANGEL said that her character's speedy demise resulted from her decision not to stay with the show. "I think they were angry with me," the actress said. "I know they were angry with me, because they perceived [that I was] trying to manipulate for a lot of money or something like that, when it was really just life. It was just impossible. So they were a bit angry with me, and my demise may have been given a little short shrift." Madame X took a bullet and was burned to a crisp near the end of the current season's premiere, "Designate This."
    Before that, Visitor said that she was initially set to become a series regular. She liked the idea and was ready to relocate from New York to Vancouver, B.C., with her two young sons (one from her first marriage and the other from her marriage to former STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE co-star Alexander Siddig). "That's a big deal when you have two boys at school age," Visitor said. "Then they decided that they wanted to make the show's target audience younger and didn't want anyone over 40, really 35, in the cast. So they fired everyone that was older, except John Savage. And they offered me the same deal that they did him, a recurring role. Well, financially, I couldn't keep up an apartment I own in New York and take two boys to Vancouver. What they wanted me to do was commute. So what that would have meant was having someone else raise the boys while I went back and forth for weeks at a time. I found out afterwards that with the work schedule the way it was, I would have been in Vancouver, and my boys would have been [in New York] with a nanny on 9-11. So it was a heartbreaking decision and a financially difficult one to make. But I had to say no. At a certain point, you can't think about lifestyle. You have to think about having a life." Visitor is now performing on Broadway.

21.JOSS WHEDON PREPARES FOR FIREFLY
    Fox is finalizing a deal with Joss Whedon for a new science fiction adventure drama tentatively titled FIREFLY for the 2002-'03 season. The new ensemble series takes place 500 years in the future and revolves around the crew of a small spaceship whose aft end lights up, just like space vehicles of today.
    Whedon will write, executive produce and direct what's expected to be a two-hour pilot for the series, which is being targeted for a fall premiere. Whedon said the series is based on his reading of an account of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Reconstruction era. The show is part Western, part space drama.
    "I wanted to make something that's about a guy who fought for the South, lost and doesn't like anybody anymore," Whedon said. "This show isn't about the people who made history; it's about the people history stepped on. It's about their lives and their struggles to keep their ship alive - as well as the search for meaning in a very dark place."
    "It is going to be a tough, raw sci-fi drama about a band of nine people that live and die around this cutthroat border of planets, with this kind of feel of the Old West and all of its last-man-standing sensibility to it," Mr. Whedon said. "I have done these other dramas built around champions, heroes and beings with special powers, but I want to do [FIREFLY] as a story about nine ordinary people - some good, some bad, some sketchy - that are still kind of an extended family."
    He adds, it will be nothing like STAR TREK. There will be no aliens or monsters. "There'll be scary-ass humans," he said. "I can make people that are scarier than anything you can put in latex."
    Fox has committed to 13 episodes. It's possible FIREFLY could end up having a dual window on a cable channel as well. The Sci-Fi Channel has indicated its interest in running same-week repeats of the show.

22.JEREMIAH TO DEBUT IN THE SPRING
    BABYLON 5's proud papa, J. Michael Straczynski expects his next brainchild, the science fiction series JEREMIAH, to debut on Showtime in either March or June 2002. "It begins with a two-hour movie, and it stars Luke Perry and Malcolm-Jamal Warner," Straczynski said.
    Straczynski said that he will write about half of the show's 20 episodes. "The main premise is that there's a virus of some kind that gets loose more or less in present day and wipes out about two-thirds of the population - anybody over the age of puberty," he said. "It targets hormones. Whoever has adult hormones gets nailed. It's now 15 years later, and the kids who survived the big death are now coming into their own. They've been riding, if you will, on the ashes of the old world, through clothes they'd grown into and food still in cans. Now they're at a point where they can keep on declining and running out of things, or they can begin to rebuild the world. It's at that cusp of the rebuilding where our story takes place. So it's a story not about endings, but beginnings."

23.MUTANT X SPEEDS UP
     The producers of MUTANT X have been getting grief from their fans. The complaints are about the show's preponderance of slow-motion shots. According to John Shea, who stars as Adam, "That's already been changed." The changes will be evident in episodes airing in January.
    "Every once in a while, there's a moment where you need to slow it down, because something will happen so quickly you can't see it," Shea said. "But what we've done is bring someone in from Jackie Chan's organization to work with us here as one of our stuntmen. Our fight coordinator works with Jet Li and comes from Hong Kong. So what we've decided is that when we shoot a fight scene, we're going to devote much more time to it. We just had a huge fight sequence I was involved in a couple of weeks ago, in an [upcoming] episode called 'A Whiter Shade of Pale.' We devoted an entire day, 10 hours, to shooting this one sequence. It's really cool, and there's no slow motion. In the first few episodes, [the slow motion] was like a new tool the editors had. I think they overplayed their hand. And I think we've got a new style of action that's evolving."

24.THE EVOLUTION OF SMALLVILLE
    Al Gough, executive producer of SMALLVILLE, said that the show will change its storytelling approach in the second half of the season. The series has done very well in the ratings. It's been picked up for a full season. "The second part of the season, some of the shows don't involve Kryptonite, some show it differently and we'll get to see Metropolis," Gough said. "We plan on mixing it up well."
    In future episodes, Gough added, he'd like to introduce a young Bruce Wayne. "It's something we'd love to have happen," he said. "It's all about licensing with DC [Comics], mixing properties. Quite honestly, it's something the show will have to earn the respect so DC will open up to it and make it work on a business level. It's something that would have to happen in the second or third seasons."
    "Down the road, we'd like to explore Lois Lane and Perry White and other characters from the Superman universe," Gough said.

25.FOX NIX TICK
    Fox has announced the cancellation of THE TICK. If you haven't seen it yet, and you enjoy superhero, you might want to check it out before it vanishes. The show is howlingly funny.
    THE TICK faced an uphill battle being stuck in a killer time-slot. Furthermore there seemed to be little attempt by Fox to help the show by pairing it with a lead-in like THE SIMPSONS (a highly-rated show that targeted a similar audience).
    There's a fan-based movement to save the show. Letter-writing campaigns have been key in saving shows from CAGNEY AND LACEY to ROSWELL. It was fan-letters that saved the original STAR TREK TV series and propelled it on to the legendary status it enjoys today.
    Since the Tick's battle cry is "Spooooon!" a movement has sprung up to mail letters of protest to Fox and include a spoon of your choice (plastic is fine - preferably blue). Those who wish to participate should send their polite but assertive missives and dining implements to Sandy Grushow/ Chairman of Fox TV Entertainment Group/ 10201 W. Pico Blvd./ Building 100, Room 5110/ Los Angeles, CA  90035.

26.TREK PROPS BOLDLY SELL FOR WHAT NO PROPS HAVE SOLD FOR BEFORE
    Fans ponied up hundreds of thousands of dollars for props and other items from the original STAR TREK series in an auction to benefit charity. The auction, conducted Dec. 12 by Profiles in History at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum in Los Angeles, included items from the personal collection of Walter Matthew Jefferies, the original series art director, who designed the original U.S.S. Enterprise. Jefferies donated 100 percent of his proceeds to the Motion Picture and Television Fund.
    Among the winning bids: $50,000 for a prop phaser, $45,000 for a tricorder and $42,500 for a scale model of the U.S.S. Enterprise used onscreen in the original series. Two other props, an original-series tricorder from set decorator John Dwyer and a phaser rifle used in STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT, went for $45,000 each. Jefferies' meticulously detailed scale model of the STAR TREK soundstage went for $40,000, as did the gold tunic designed by William Theiss and worn by William Shatner in the show's second season.

27.X-FILES/EX-CAST
    THE X-FILES' remaining original star, Gillian Anderson, has stated that she'll quit at the end of the current season, her ninth. "After this season, yes," she said. "My contract is up." She expressed the hope that the show will conclude when she leaves it next year. "I want the show to end while it is still strong," she said. "You want to go out with a modicum of respect." As it is, a "modicum" is all it may end up with. The once-dominant ratings powerhouse has been ranking around 70th out of 110 primetime shows carried by the six networks. She added that she's still open to reprising the role in any upcoming X-FILES films.
    Chris Carter has said that he's not worried about Anderson's departure. "What's certain is that there's still a tremendous number of stories that can be told," Carter explained. "The trick is exploring them with this new cast of characters," including Agent Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Agent Reyes (Annabeth Gish).
    Anderson's departure also calls into question whether Carter would remain with the show for a possible 10th season. "I never imagined doing what I'm doing on season nine," he said. "It's against all odds. The only reasons I stay are that I feel a tremendous loyalty to the people I work with. I feel that the show still is a good storytelling vehicle, and I feel a responsibility to make good on a promise that I would stay on the show as long as David [Duchovny] and Gillian stayed with it."
    Carter is currently in talks with 20th Century Fox to produce a movie sequel to the show's feature film, which would likely re-team Carter with Duchovny and Anderson.

28.LUCY LAWLESS IS DONE WITH THE X-FILES
    Lucy Lawless said that she won't likely reprise her role as Shannon McMahon in this season's THE X-FILES. McMahon met her demise earlier in the season, but awoke at the bottom of the sea - leaving the door open for a return.
    Lawless said that she has no plans to come back. "I'm halfway through my third pregnancy; I'm due at the end of April," she said. "I don't see how they can use a pregnant supersoldier. So I doubt that will happen. But it was a really great experience, and I'm so glad I did it. I think they can get on just fine without me."

29.ANNABETH GISH IS FRUSTRATED OVER THE X-FILES' LOW RATINGS
    THE X-FILES co-star Annabeth Gish said that she is disappointed by the steep decline in the show's ratings this season, its first without the presence of David Duchovny on even a part-time basis. "It is disappointing when you work this hard," Gish said. "We want to uphold the legacy of something that's been so successful, but, at the same time, the only thing I can take responsibility for is knowing my lines, doing the best job I can possibly do and hoping all good things. There is something to be said for the fact that THE X-FILES is a mythological thing. And Scully and Mulder are certainly myths, legends, in and of themselves. So I have to be realistic in the sense that when it's time for a show to go, it's time for a show to go."
    THE X-FILES is in its ninth season, with Duchovny gone and Anderson there to remind longtime fans of what once was. "I just have to be grateful for what it is now," Gish said. "They've done a great job of trying to integrate us into this old franchise. Who knows what will come? But I couldn't speculate on what that will be like."
    Speaking as a disaffected viewer, I've given THE X-FILES eight years - not all of them have been particularly wonderful. With apologies to Ms. Gish and the cast and crew of the show, I think that's more than enough time. I just can't do any more.

30.TV WRITERS WILL BE FACING TOUGH TIMES
    Workers who earn their livelihoods from the television industry are likely to see drastic cutbacks in income beginning early in 2002. Noting that the television networks, facing escalating costs and decreasing ad revenue, are being forced to retrench. TV writer-producers will be especially hard hit. United Talent Agency partner Peter Benedek summed it up: "Fewer scripts have sold this season; fewer pilots will be made." Disney President Robert Iger, noting that in the recent past, ABC had made numerous expensive deals with writer-producers that failed to pay off, remarked: "The process is bankrupt." The livelihoods of thousands of writers are likely to be hit, as well as those of the lawyers, agents and other members of their "entourage." There are currently about 250 writers with studio deals today (many of them worth more than $1 million a year). The figure, it noted, is already down 25 percent from last year and expected to take another fall in 2002. Writers Guild President John Wells, himself a writer producer (of E.R. and THE WEST WING) acknowledged the downswing. "Everyone will get a little less," he said. "This is not an unusual cycle, but it may be longer, more pronounced. That's what everyone is worried about."

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31.THINGS TO COME
    FARPOINT will take place February 15, 16 & 17 at Marriott’s Hunt Valley Inn on 245 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, MD. Guests include STAR TREK's George Takei (Sulu),  STAR TREK III and IV's Robin Curtis (Lieutenant Saavik ) and STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE's Philip Anglim (Vedek Bareil). Activities include a Dealers’ Room, panels, Vic’s Place on Friday night for Karaoke, a Saturday night masquerade, Ten Forward lounge,  an art show, a charity auction and Klingon Jail. Registration is $45 for the full weekend, $30 for Saturday and $25 for Sunday. You can either follow this link (for Online readers) or contact Farpoint Enterprises, Inc./6099 Hunt Club Road/ Elkridge, MD 21075.

    KATSUCON 8 will take place February 15-17, 2002 at the The New Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore located at 700 Aliceanna Street. This is a major Anime convention. Guests and activities will fit that theme. Pre-registration is $45.00 if postmarked by December 31st. After that registration will be cash-only at the door. All three days are $50.00. Friday or Saturday only is $30.00. Sunday is $15.00. For more information either follow this link (if you're loking at this Online) or drop a note to Katsucon Entertainment, Inc./ ATTN: [The department you want to reach]/ P.O. Box 222691/ Chantilly, VA 20153-2691.

    JOHN CON is an annual gaming convention held on the Johns Hopkins University campus in Baltimore. Hosted by the university's anime and science-fiction/fantasy clubs, JohnCon runs 48 hours NON-STOP beginning at 4 PM on March 1 and ending at 4 PM on March 3. They offer a dealers' room, plenty of games (everything from board games to LARPs), a B-movies theater and 48 non-stop hours of yummy anime goodness. If you pre-register before February 14 the cost is $9. After that both pre-registration and the at-the-door charge is $12. If you need further information you can drop a note to JohnCon '02/ c/o SAC/ Johns Hopkins University/ 3400 North Charles Street/ Baltimore MD 21218 or send an e-mail to JohnCon@jhu.edu.

    CREATION CON is an annual STAR TREK and sci-fi media convention. It takes place on Sat. & Sun, March 9-10, at Valley Forge, Pa. at the Valley Forge Convention Center. The show hours are from noon - 6 PM Daily. Guests signing autographs for a fee include Grace Lee Whitney (Yeoman Janice Rand of the original STAR TREK) Scott MacDonald (who has portrayed various characters on NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE 9 and VOYAGER) Michael Forest (Apollo from the original TREK epsiode, "Who Mourns for Adonais") Peter Woodward (Galen from CRUSADE) and Robert Curtis-Brown (Vedek Sorad on DEEP SPACE 9 and Ledosian Ambassador on VOYAGER).

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32.MOVIES HELP TO RESUSCITATE MARVEL COMICS
    You might recall that Marvel comics, home of legends like Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, had to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Finally it's starting to see light at the end of its reorganization tunnel. By taking a cue from the success of 20th Century Fox's adaptation of X-MEN, Marvel Comics has finally seen an uptick in sales. Ironically, the movie itself did little to spike sales. Readers found the storylines of the books too dense.
    Recently appointed editor-in-chief Joe Quesada said, "What the movie did was remind us how to tell stories. It had a very tight style and you didn't have to know the history of the comic book." Brian Cunningham, the editor of the comic industry journal "Wizard," suggested that the reinvigorated Marvel Comics may attract additional interest from the studios. Although it was sometimes necessary for a reader to know what occurred in issue No. 34 in order to understand what was going on in issue No. 234, Cunningham observed that a studio exec could now be handed a copy of the book and be told, "Here's your story."

33.UP AND DOWN YEAR OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER
    Philip José Farmer was elevated to the station of Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2001. That elevates this science fiction rebel to the ranks of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury. But 2001 has not been entirely kind to Farmer.
    The biggest thing for him at the moment is his recovery from a stroke he suffered in mid-December. He returned home after a few days in the hospital. By following a program of physical therapy he's expected to make a complete recovery. Farmer is
83 years old.
    Perhaps the biggest "up" for him at the moment is the start of production of a movie based on his Riverworld series. The production is in New Zealand. Farmer and his wife are following the project long distance from their home in Peoria, Illinois. Riverworld is scheduled to air on the Sci-Fi Channel as a pilot in 2002.

34.WRITERS’ BLOCK: HOW BIG BOOK RETAILERS ARE CHANGING THE MARKET
    Most of us have been in stores like Barnes & Nobel and Border's Books and seen robust stacks of books everywhere. Did you ever stop to wonder how those books got there? Who made the decision to place them there? What titles and authors are being eliminated in the selection?
    There's something called "co-operative advertising." Under co-op advertising agreements, stores are allowed to retain a pool of money equal to about 3 percent to 5 percent of each year’s net sales from a publisher, about 30 to 75 cents a book. As a result, large retailers and chains charge for everything. Here are some of the typical charges: $10,000 per title for front-of-the-store placement in a cardboard rack or on a table of new books plus inclusion in advertising; $3,500 for the same without advertising; $10,000 per month for "end caps," displays on the end or top of a shelf; $2,500 for such programs as Barnes & Noble’s "Discover New Writers"; $500 to $1,000 per store to defray the costs of an author’s appearance; and additional charges for everything, down to the cards placed on the tables in the cafes.
    The net result of all that is that small publishers, obscure authors, writers whose works are deemed as "midlist" (moderate selling - never a producer of a best seller) are easily lost. Large chains want to go with best sellers, to the detriment of writers and readers.
    All of this was simply meant as a cautionary piece of advice. When you hit a large chain superstore, take your time. If there's a book you want, ask for it. Let the manager know what you want. Your silence may condemn your favorite non-blockbuster writers and up and coming developing authors, to total obscurity.

35.HARRY POTTER AND THE HOLY SMOKE OF NEW MEXICO
    As hundreds protested nearby, a church group burned Harry Potter and other books. Jack Brock, the Christ Community Church founder and pastor, said the books burned that Sunday were "a masterpiece of satanic deception. . . . These books teach children how they can get into witchcraft and become a witch, wizard or warlock.''  Members sang "Amazing Grace" as they threw Potter books, plus STAR WARS items and works by Shakespeare and J.R.R. Tolkien books and magazines, into the fire. The books were burned within a circle of rocks along with pornographic magazine, heavy metal albums and anything else the group deemed unhealthy.
    Across the street, protesters chanting "Stop burning books" stretched in a line a quarter of a mile long. "It may be useless but we want (the church) to know the community is not behind them," said Joann Booth, who protested with her four grandchildren. One protester dressed up as Adolf Hitler.
    Brock told the congregation that he viewed the attention the church received as a blessing. "There are those that are doing their best to make us look bad." Brock said. "But because of this, I've been able to preach the gospel around the world.''
    A letter to the Alamogordo Daily News inviting the community to attend the fire sparked debate in the town of 36,000. Protesters held signs reading "Book burning? Shame on our town" in front of the public library. Inside was a display highlighting the books. Pastor Jack Brock told his congregation the books teach children how to get into witchcraft.
    "Witchcraft is not fictional and it is not fantasy. Witchcraft is real. The devil is real," Brock proclaimed. "Harry Potter books are going to destroy the lives of many young people."
    Brock, whose Christmas Eve sermon was titled "The Baby Jesus or Harry Potter?," described the book burning as part of an effort to encourage Christians to remove everything from their homes that prevents them from communicating with God.
    The author, J.K. Rowling, in an earlier statement issued by her publisher Bloomsbury called the criticisms absurd. "I have met thousands of children now, and not even one time has a child come up to me and said, 'Ms. Rowling, I'm so glad I've read these books because now I want to be a witch,' " she said.

36.RECENT TITLES: BOOKS ABOUT MOVIES AND TELEVISION
    The Man Who Became Sherlock Holmes : The Tortured Mind of Jeremy Brett by Terry Manners, $22.95
Jeremy Brett was, for millions of television viewers worldwide the quintessential Sherlock Holmes. However he became obsessed by the role and his body and soul were taken over in his quest to become the ultimate Sherlock Holmes, until his untimely death in 1995. Terry Manner's insightful biography considers Brett's contribution to the theater, but concentrates on the turmoil of his life as Baker Street's world-famous sleuth, and his battle with manic depression.

    The Mummy in Fact, Fiction and Film by Susan D. Cowie, Tom Johnson, George Hart, $45.00
In 1922, when Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen, much of what was then known about mummies came from the writing of Greek historian Herodotus and from the paintings on the walls of Egyptian tombs. Even before 1922, the mummy had been the subject of fiction, with such writers as Bram Stoker and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tackling the subject, and early films dating back to 1901. In this work, the authors present the religious, social and scientific aspects of mummies as well as an in-depth discussion of facts about them (largely Egyptian, but including other kinds of mummies). Then, how mummies are portrayed in fiction and in the movies is discussed. Stories and films in which the mummy is a focal character are listed.

    The Munchkins of Oz by Stephen Cox and an Introduction by Billy Barty, $18.95
This re-issue is a book about the midgets who played the Munchkins in the 1939 Hollywood classic THE WIZARD OF OZ. Cox tells where they came from (many were European immigrants, and the core of their ranks were professional performers from the troupe Singer's Midgets), how they fared during filming (Toto got paid more per week than any of them), what they did off the set (nothing like the carousing Judy Garland told Jack Paar about 20 years later), and what thereafter became of those among them who stayed in show business. Sidebars on the major regular-sized Wizard participants and other pertinent topics fill out the text, and a huge helping of photos.

37.RECENT TITLES: MEDIA TIE-INS
    The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai : Across the Eighth Dimension by Earl Mac Rauch, $12.95
This is a fun companion novel that will help fans understand more of the 80's cult movie.

    Angel: Autumnal by Christopher Golden, $9.95
In this graphic novel Angel searches an abandoned amusement park to rescue a little girl from a vicious gang of kidnappers. But the kidnappers aren't the only things Angel must contend with - he, the girl, and the thugs have to fight their way past an army of demonic rats! In 'Vermin' we find out why Angel has such a dislike for the furry little buggers. Then in 'Little Girl Lost,' Angel investigates a series of bizarre deaths caused by spontaneous combustion. He soon links the deaths to a teenage runaway and a demon spellcaster. What's the connection? Angel better find out or he might be the one on the hot seat.

    Babylon 5: The Passing of the Techno-Mages 3, Invoking Darkness by Jeanne Cavelos, $6.99
As billions die and the flames of destruction rage unchecked, the Shadows seem poised for absolute victory. Soon the entire galaxy will fall to their evil. But the war isn't over . . . not yet. At long last, in a forgotten corner of the universe, Galen has finally won the Circle's permission to leave the techno-mage hiding place. He is the only mage who has faced the Shadows and lived, the only one who possesses the unstoppable Spell of Destruction. Galen's orders are clear. Though the galaxy is being torn apart by bloody conflict–in which his powers might tip the balance–he is to locate only three key enemies and kill them. But Galen has unearthed the Shadows' darkest secret–and discovered a monstrous truth about himself. In this desperate, apocalyptic battle, there's no telling who will be the victor. Or if there will be any survivors at all.

    Dr. Who : Instruments of Darkness by Gary Russell, $6.95
Earth, 1993: A mysterious group known as the Network is drafting ESP-powered individuals to assist with their mysterious plans. In a small British village, the local squire has allied himself with a pair of enigmatic Irish twins (familiar to regular readers of this series) for equally mysterious reasons. The sixth Doctor and Mel, along with former companion Evelyn Smythe, find themselves caught up in these events, and, as usual, end up facing godlike beings with dubious goals.

    Gene Roddenberry's Earth : Final Conflict: Heritage by Doranna Durgin, $14.95
A Taelon experiment gone horribly wrong will decimate humanity unless Liam can uncover a secret buried in his past.]

    Star Trek the Next Generation : The Valiant by Michael Jan Friedman, $6.99
The Stargazer is sent on a mission to investigate the tales of a pair of visitors proclaiming to be descendants of survivors of the Valiant, presumed lost in an attempt to cross the Galactic Barrier more than three hundred years earlier. Lieutenant Commander Jean-Luc Picard, must assume his first command, as his captain and first officer were casualties of the ship's unexpected encounters. The fate of his own crew and possibly all of Starfleet are seated upon his inexperienced shoulders.

    Star Trek Voyager : Encounters With the Unknown by Nathan Archer, $19.95
This illustrated trade paperback is a collection of several issues of the DC Comics Star Trek Voyager series.

    Star Wars 4: Twilight by John Ostrander, Jan Duursema (Illustrator), Rick Magyar, $12.95
Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos has lost his memory. Not only must he fight to rediscover his past, he must also track down his Padawan, Aayla Secura, who has mysteriously disappeared. With only his lightsaber and a scheming Devaronian named Villie to help him, Quin must face off against deadly gamblers, false Jedi, corrupt officials, and the pull of the dark side if he is to survive! Twilight collects issues 19-22 of the ongoing Star Wars comics series and is Jedi Quinlan Vos' introduction to the Star Wars comics.

    Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice, Book 16: The Call to Vengeance by Jude Watson, $4.99
Tahl was the first woman Qui-Gon Jinn truly loved ­ the first one he was willing to risk his Jedi oaths for. Now she is dead, murdered by a hostile reactionary force on a small planet in the corner of the galaxy. Revenge is not a Jedi trait but it is a human one Can Qui-Gon separate blood lust from justice?

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38.QUICK TAKES
THE MATRIX MIGHT WIN IN A SHOOT-OUT WITH HARRY POTTER. Warner Brothers may delay the release of the proposed third Harry Potter movie to 2004, to allow the studio to release the upcoming two MATRIX sequels in 2003. The studio is considering releasing THEMATRIX RELOADED in May 2003  and THE MATRIXIII in November 2003. Previously, it was expected that Warner Brothers would release a Potter film yearly. The next chapter, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, will release November 2002. . . . RETURN OF RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. William Butler is currently writing a script for a proposed fourth RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD movie. "I'm reinventing the franchise," Butler said. "My take on the sequel is a combination of martial arts, anime and horror." . . . MONKEY'S PAW WILL BE REMADE. RKO Pictures is teaming up with DreamWorks to develop a remake of the classic horror film THE MONKEY'S PAW. No writer or director or cast have been named yet. The original was distributed by RKO in 1932. The original film tells the story of a magical monkey's paw, which falls into the hands of a mother who uses it to bring back her dead son - with unforeseen consequences. The earlier version was directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack, the year before he directed KING KONG. . . . THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. The project, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN has been languishing in "Development Hell" for years at Fox. It's now taken a significant step forward by naming a director - Steven Norrington (BLADE). The movie will be based on a Victorian-era superhero comic series by Alan Moore. Set in 1900, LEAGUE tells the story of a crew of misfits drawn from the period's literature. Their group is led by Mina Harker (from Bram Stoker's Dracula) and includes Allan Quatermain (from H. Rider Haggard's books), Capt. Nemo (from Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), Dr. Henry Jekyll (from Robert Louis Stevenson's book) and Dr. Hawley Griffin (H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man). . . . THE VILLAINS ARE LINING UP FOR BOND #20.  Rick Yune (THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS) will play the lead villain in the upcoming James Bond film. The top-secret story reportedly involves a device that enables facial mutation. Yune will play a North Korean general named Zao, who is being tracked by Bond. Yune will wear facial prosthetics, as his character undergoes facial transformation, but the experiment goes awry, leaving him half-changed. As for the principal villainess, Halle Berry has said that if she does get to play her she would like to have a special power. Something that would top the vise-grip thighs of GOLDENEYE's Xenia Onatopp and the poison-tipped boots of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE's Rosa Klebb. "I think I'd have a tongue that could choke [people]," Berry said. Works for me. . . . NEW ZEALAND LICKS IAN McKELLAN.  Ian McKellen is thrilled with the notoriety that he's receiving in his role as Gandalf in THE LORD OF THE RINGS. He marveled that the trilogy was a phenomenon in New Zealand, even before its debut. "We're on the stamps!" McKellen said. "Christopher Lee [Saruman] and I are on the 40-cent stamps. Everyone sending me a Christmas card from New Zealand is going to lick our backsides and then press us down on [the envelope]. Can you believe that? There's not many people alive that are on a stamp. And a Burger King cup!" . . . HARRY POTTER TAKES ITS PLACE IN BOX-OFFICE HISTORY. Not only did HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE cross the $300-million mark at the domestic box office at the New Year, it also crossed the $500-million mark in total international sales. The film's worldwide sales now stands at $811 million, making it the third biggest international hit of all time, after TITANIC and JURASSIC PARK. . . . APES FOREVER! Each year the National Film Registry selects a list of 25 films that they add to their collection of movies that they'll preserve forever. The newest list just came out. This year the registry has its dirty stinking paws on PLANET OF THE APES - that's the original 1968 version. . . . GET READY FOR YET ANOTHER SCARY MOVIE. The movie that once boasted that it would never have a sequel is getting ready for its third installment. Dimension Films is about to shoot SCARY MOVIE 3: EPISODE I: LORD OF THE BROOMS. It will go into production in March, with a planned release in fall 2002 - just in time to take on the second HARRY POTTER and LORD OF THE RINGS movies and well after STAR WARS: EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES has opened. BROOMS will tell the story of an orphan who embarks on a magical quest around the world and beyond to rid the universe of evil.

39.CONTENDERS FOR THE NEW ANIMATION OSCARS ARE ANNOUNCED
    Nine animated films were declared eligible on Dec. 12 for the first new Oscar category in 20 years: feature-length animation. A committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will pare the list down to three nominees.
    The contenders are FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN, MONSTERS, INC., OSMOSIS JONES, THE PRINCE OF LIGHT, SHREK, THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN, WAKING LIFE, JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS and MARCO POLO: RETURN TO XANADU. A 100-member screening committee chaired by academy governor Tom Hanks will view the contenders and determine the nominees to be announced February 12, along with the rest of the nominees.

40.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA AND THE OSCAR BAKE-OFF
    Five imaginative cinema releases from 2001 are among the eight selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to compete for the three Oscar nominations for visual effects. The films in the so-called "bake-off" were selected by a 40-person subcommittee, highlighting outstanding effects achievements for the year.
    The genre contenders for the nominations are A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, CATS & DOGS, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, JURASSIC PARK III and THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING.
      Notably absent from the list were THE MUMMY RETURNS and THE PLANET OF THE APES. The 200 members of the visual-effects award nominating committee will vote for the final nominees, which will be announced Feb. 12.

41.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA REIGNS SUPREME IN 2001
    For studio execs and the press who still think of science fiction, fantasy and horror as some odd niche market, wake up and smell the box-office. In 2001 three prime examples of imaginative cinema - HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, SHREK and MONSTERS, INC. - were the highest-grossing movies of 2001. HARRY POTTER grossed $286 million, SHREK pulled in $267 million, and MONSTERS, INC. took in $236 million for the year, the news service reported. Among other big money makers, THE MUMMY RETURNS also appeared near the top of the list, with $202 million. The films topped a record year at the box office that included 17 films that exceeded $100 million in ticket sales and a record five movies that cleared the $200 million mark.

42.2002: THE YEAR OF THE BIG-BUDGET SEQUEL
    Somewhere, on the calendar of a strange and wondrous nation called "Tinselvania," 2002 is not the year of the rat, monkey, fog, snake or rabbit. This, my friends, is the year of the big-budget sequel. With studios trying to go for sure things, Hollywood's primary studios will be spending more money on big-budget sequels this year than at any other time in movie history.
    The studios will be shelling out more than $1 billion on sequels to STAR WARS, LORD OF THE RINGS, HARRY POTTER, MEN IN BLACK, STUART LITTLE, AUSTIN POWERS, SPY KIDS, STAR TREK, ANALYZE THIS and the next James Bond movie. Warner Bros. President Alan Horn said, "The notion of doing a sequel carries a certain comfort level because there's a built-in demand, which helps mitigate the risk associated with the high cost of making and marketing movies." Some studio chiefs noted that even when considering new films, they are looking to create a "brand" that will serve them well down the road. "It's a very important part of our strategy," Universal Chairman Stacey Snider commented. "There's evidence now that a successful brand can drive all other businesses. And they're designed to that end."

43.THE CATWOMAN MOVIE SLOWLY TAKES SHAPE
    The Catwoman movie, rumored for sometime, is slowly beginning to take form. There's been a script floating around Online that is an actual first draft of the film. We're told that the finished movie will bear little resemblance to it.
    Ashley Judd will be the feline femme fatale. She will not be playing Selena Kyle, the way that Michelle Pfeiffer did in BATMAN RETURNS. She'll appear as a new character named Patience Price. There's no word yet as to whether Batman will be in the film and, if so, who'll play him (probably not George Clooney).
    Michelle Pfeiffer supports Ashley Judd's casting in the film. She didn't pursue the role in the new movie. "They like to change," she said. "Like with Batman, there's always a new person playing [him]. I thought about it for a while, but Tim Burton isn't involved in it, and I really would have wanted to do it with him. So, it was really, for me, his vision that made it so special."
    Scriptwriter John Rogers will now be given the task of taking the Catwoman film forward. It's a competitive field with Darren Aronofsky and Boaz Yakin working on a Batman prequel and sequel respectively.

44.FINAL FANTASY'S DIGITAL CAST IS OUT OF A JOB
    Seeming to lay waste to the notion that filmmakers will someday soon replace actors with digitally created human images, Japan's Square Co., said that it is looking for a buyer for its movie production unit. Square's first feature, FINAL FANTASY, the first feature ever to star digital actors, grossed only about a third of its $135-million cost. The film version of Square's successful video game for Sony's PlayStation 2 had taken four years to make at a $45-million digital studio constructed in Honolulu. It had employed more than 200 graphic artists and animators from 22 countries. The failure of the film cost Square's president, Hisashi Suzuki, his job.

45.GET READY FOR A COMPUTER ANIMATED LANDSLIDE
    The failure of FINAL FANTASY not withstanding, the box office success of films like SHREK and MONSTERS, INC. will lead to even more computer-animated films in the next few years. That includes Fox/Blue Sky's ICE AGE, the story of a human infant found by a trio of prehistoric animals, which hits theaters March 15.
    Universal Pictures is developing three computer-animated films - films based on the well-known children's books CURIOUS GEORGE and WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and an original sci-fi story called ANT BULLY, which is being developed by Tom Hanks.
    Sony is developing its first all-computer-animated feature film, ASTRO BOY, based on the old Japanese cartoon about a robot boy who uses his powers to protect Earth from an alien invasion. DreamWorks is planning to release a SHREK sequel in 2003.
    With this headlong dive into computer animated films, I'm afraid that the suits have gotten the message that computer animation is hot. It would be nice if they could figure out the real hot commodity in SHREK and MONSTERS, INC. - namely well-written movies with talented voice-over actors.

46.THE GOLDEN GLOBES ACKNOWLEDGE IMAGINATIVE CINEMA
    THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING copped four Golden Globe nominations including best drama film, leading the genre entertainment projects that received nods from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE received three nominations, and the time-travel romantic comedy movie KATE & LEOPOLD got two.
    The Golden Globes, considered a precursor to the Oscars, will be handed out in January 2002. A list of imaginative  nominations follows.

Best Motion Picture, Drama: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: SHREK
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama: Nicole Kidman, THE OTHERS
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Hugh Jackman, KATE & LEOPOLD
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Jude Law, A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Best Director, Motion Picture: Peter Jackson, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, Steven Spielberg, A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Best Original Score, Motion Picture: Howard Shore, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, John Williams, A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Best Original Song, Motion Picture: "May It Be," THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, "Until ...," KATE & LEOPOLD
Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television: Julianna Margulies, THE MISTS OF AVALON

47.PETER JACKSON DISCUSSES THE ILL-FATED KING KONG REMAKE
    Peter Jackson's filmography show that he directed THE FRIGHTENERS, in 1996, and has gone on to direct the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. It's lacking the one that got away. What it doesn't show is the big-budget remake of the 1933 KING KONG.
    He was all set to direct an update of the classic story before signing on to the film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy. "We were developing KING KONG after [1996's] THE FRIGHTENERS, and LORD OF THE RINGS was already a project happening at that stage as well," Jackson said. "The rights were being negotiated [for RINGS], and the concept was to do KING KONG first and then Rings."
    Unfortunately, for Jackson, a movie-releasing collision was underway. "KING KONG coincided with a period of time in which Universal, who were going to finance it, had a very expensive volcano race with Fox over its DANTE'S PEAK and [Fox's] VOLCANO. And they looked at KING KONG, and the way it was scheduled - it was going to be the third movie the same year that MIGHTY JOE YOUNG and GODZILLA came out. So they didn't want to get into another monster-movie race, so they basically canned the film. But we had LORD OF THE RINGS already set up, so we were literally able to finish KING KONG on one day and come in as LORD OF THE RINGS the following day."
    If the trilogy takes off, Jackson's going to be able to pick any project he chooses. In that case, we might yet see a 21st century KONG on the screen (hey, Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lang and Charles Grodin are still around - wonder if they're available).

48.RALPH BAKSHI SLAMS PETER JACKSON
    One of the few sour voices in the chorus of cheers at LORD OF THE RINGS' preview belonged to animation director Ralph Bakshi. Bakshi is the director of the first LORD OF THE RINGS film, a not-very-succesful animated version released in 1978. He is furious with Jackson and others involved in making this movie for not talking with him first. "For a start, the guys doing the picture really don't have the authority to - my contract reads that I have all sequel rights - but I think I'll let it go. And second, none of them have spoken to me, and I find that ungentlemanly. I think Jackson is a good director, but leaves a lot to be desired as a gentleman."
    The 63-year-old Bakshi, who has met with little success and significant critical drubbings in the past decade, may have some nasty words about Sam Raimi next year. Bakshi produced and directed the animated SPIDER-MAN TV series in the late 1960's.

49.LORDS IN WAITING
    Peter Jackson announced that he's finished a rough cut of the next two films, THE TWO TOWERS and THE RETURN OF THE KING. Each film will feature roughly 500 to 600 visual-effects shots and will run between 2 1/2 and three hours long.
    Jackson revealed that THE TWO TOWERS will feature the Ents and Treebeard, with a greater role for the character of the king's son. RINGS actors are scheduled to head back to New Zealand in May and June to shoot any additional footage necessary for the final versions of the films.

50.JACKSON WON'T CHANGE THE TITLE OF THE NEXT FILM
    Peter Jackson has acknowledged that he has qualms about releasing the first sequel of the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy under its original title, THE TWO TOWERS. However, he said that, despite its similarity to The Twin Towers, the alternative name of the World Trade Center, he probably won't change it. "Tolkien fans would kill us," he said. "It's true that I've thought about what that title means now. I just pray that by the time the second movie comes out, it won't cause any controversy."

51.RENNY HARLIN HEARS THE SOUND OF THUNDER
    Ray Bradbury said that the feature-film version of his time-travel story "A Sound of Thunder" should begin production in Mexico's Yucatan in the spring. Pierce Brosnan is still starring - but director Renny Harlin has been fired because he wanted to alter a key element.
    "He's been on the project for more than a year, and he's a fine director," Bradbury said. "But then, about four weeks ago, quite suddenly, [he said,] 'Why don't we take the butterfly out of SOUND OF THUNDER?' Can you believe that? When I heard it, I whooped with laughter. I said, 'Oh my God, . . . if you wanted to be accurate about being stupid, this was it.' So they fired him, and we've got a new director now. I don't remember his name.  They told me, but I didn't write it down."
    In the story, a time traveler journeys back to the past to observe dinosaurs, but inadvertently steps off a designated path onto a butterfly. When the traveler returns to the present, everything has changed. Of Harlin's comment, Bradbury said, "I think that's hilarious, don't you? It's the center of the story. It's been published in 80 anthologies. It's in every school in the country. And if you took out the butterfly, you wouldn't have a film. So, in the middle of all this, the Crusader [Entertainment] producers sent me a huge bouquet of inflated butterflies, six feet tall, beautiful butterflies. And I'm having a recording made by Frank Sinatra of the song 'Poor Butterfly' right now."

52.OTHER BRADBURY BIG SCREEN NEWS
    At the age of 81, Ray Bradbury has never had so many film projects in the works as he has now. In addition to the above mentioned "A Sound of Thunder" film Bradbury is linked to movies based on his classic novels Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, as well as an original miniseries for the Sci-Fi Channel based on The Illustrated Man.
    Frank Darabont (THE GREEN MILE) will write and direct new movie versions of The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury said. "We're doing the Martian Chronicles over," he said. "It was done as a series 20 years ago by NBC. It wasn't bad, but it was boring. Really boring. And they had a lot of good people, but it was a disappointment. So now, Frank Darabont is going to write and direct a new version."
    Darabont said that he is also still thinking of adapting Bradbury's short-story collection The Martian Chronicles, but not for film. "I'm trying to get it set up as a miniseries. The way I've got it broken down, [it's] 13 half-hour [episodes]." Bradbury had said that the book would become a movie.
    Bradbury spoke about Fahrenheit 451. "Mel Gibson was supposed to direct it five years ago, but he's let five years go by, and written 10 screenplays on Fahrenheit. Can you imagine that? If you know the novel, you need to have 10 screenplays? How about one?"
    Darabont confirmed that he is writing the film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. "I'm going to be adapting that next year and hopefully directing it the year after," Darabont said. "I'm definitely going to be writing it. Hopefully I'll get it off the ground."
    Darabont said that he does not plan to modernize the text or make any significant changes to the story. "It'll be true to Ray Bradbury's book, which the [1966 François] Truffaut version wasn't," the director said. "I want to do a really faithful adaptation, and I don't want to pander to what is considered modern or not. It's a very timeless story. Let's keep it timeless. Why try to hip it up for the 21st century?"

53.PETER JACKSON TALKS THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    Ever since the filming of THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy was first announced there has been a rumor that the movie's director, Peter Jackson, has had a life-long obsession with filming Tolkien's masterwork. Flying in the face of these rumors, Jackson recently said, "I've never had a lifelong ambition to make THE LORD OF THE RINGS, which people sort of assume I do. What I have had an ambition to do is to make a fantasy film."
    Following on years of a drought of classic fantasy films like the ones Jackson recalls from his childhood, Jackson shrugs off the irony that THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, that's a half-century old, is sharing the limelight with a wizard named Harry. All of this wizardry doesn't faze Jackson. "We just happen to be in the year that they do make films like this," he said, laughing. "It's actually a very good question [as to why now], but I have no answer to that. It's kind of cool, though. It just occurred to me that normally, if people are making a series of films, like making a movie and sequels and all of that, they're never a year apart. Sequels are always like two or three years apart. And we just happen to totally synchronize where, for the next three years, there's going to be a Harry Potter film at Thanksgiving and a LORD OF THE RINGS film at Christmas." He laughed deeply again. "It's a coincidence. Who would have ever thought that?"

54.THE MATRIX IS EVERYWHERE
    Sets used in the Northern California shooting of the upcoming two MATRIX sequels are invading the world around them. They're being recycled rather than trashed. Filmmakers used more than 8,200 tons of building materials to construct sets that included a six-lane freeway, a huge cave and tenement façades.
    Warner Brothers, the city of Alameda, the ReUse People Inc. and the local waste authority recycled the lumber to help build housing for low-income families in Mexico. The steel was used as is; 48 fire escapes and 60 decorative moldings were sold to local contractors; polystyrene blocks were sent out for use in insulation material; and the freeway set was crushed and will be used as road base.

55.QUEEN OF THE DAMNED ADOPTS TWO BOOKS
    According to Michael Rymer, director of QUEEN OF THE DAMNED, the film compresses events from two Anne Rice novels. "There's two books: The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned. The two books have about a third in common anyway. They cover the same story parts. We've had to do a lot of compressing. Sort of the story about how Lestat becomes a vampire is much more elaborate, and the story of Jesse and her aunt and the aunt's relationship with Akasha is very much diminished [in the film]."
    QUEEN stars Stuart Townshend as Lestat and the late Aaliyah as the vampire queen Akasha. "The people who read the books some time ago love [the film], because it touches on enough things in the book that remind them, and the style of it is very much in keeping with the books," Rymer said. "People who know the books backward have a real problem with the film, because they have a problem with everything. They have a problem with the fact that Lestat doesn't have blond hair, that Akasha's black, all the things that I've done as a filmmaker that I thought were good for the film."
    Rymer defends the resulting film. "I've heard some reactions to HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE that lead me to almost argue if you're too literal about the book, you kill the book. The book is the book. It's a beautiful thing and exists in your imagination. You don't want to see it blow by blow in a movie, because that destroys the book. The movie ought to be its own thing." QUEEN opens in February 2002.

56.AALIYAH'S BROTHER LENDS A HAND FOR QUEEN OF THE DAMNED
    The late actress and pop singer Aaliyah's elder brother, Rashad, has helped touch up her dialogue in the upcoming vampire movie THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED. Aaliyah had completed her title role in the Warner Brothers movie, but partly because she played her role with an Egyptian accent, some dialogue touchup was required to make her lines clearer. Aaliyah died suddenly in a plane crash last summer.
    Her brother stepped in to dub some of Aaliyah's dialogue. Rashad speaks in the same smooth tones as his sister, and he re-recorded a small number of words and stray lines of her dialogue. Rashad's voice was mixed with his sister's to give the lines more force and clarity.

57.SHYAMALAN'S SIGNS
    M. Night Shyamalan next film is SIGNS. It deals with the unexplained phenomenon of crop circles. "I enjoy asking the kind of personal questions that people don't necessarily know the answers to, like is there life after death or are aliens real?" Shyamalan said. "Although I think they're hoaxes, crop circles are intriguing and seemed like a nice starting point for a creepy story."
    SIGNS revolves around a farmer/pastor (Mel Gibson) who has lost his faith and wakes up one morning to find a 400-foot crop circle in his Bucks County, Pa., cornfield. Shyamalan said the discovery of the "signs" leads to an investigation about where they came from and what they mean.
    "Mel can handle action and comedy and still be the guy you believe would protect his family at all costs," Shyamalan said. "It's a thriller, and there are twists, which I won't ruin, but we also throw in some comedy. I want you to laugh before you start screaming." As for the crop circles in the movie, "We actually made them all in the fields," the director said, joking, "We contracted out to some guys a couple of galaxies away."

58.TREK X SPOILERS
    Paramount Pictures has confirmed important plot details of its upcoming 10th STAR TREK film, NEMESIS, including several spoilers. The studio announced the start of principal photography in November on the NEXT GENERATION movie, which will reunite the entire cast under director Stuart Baird.
    Paramount summarized the film's storyline in a news release. "On their way to celebrate the wedding of First Officer Will Riker and Counselor Deanna Troi, Capt. Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise crew are suddenly diverted for an unexpected diplomatic mission to the planet Romulus," the release said. "Longtime enemies of the Federation, the Romulans have expressed their desire to initiate negotiations that will hopefully lead to a long-awaited unity in the galaxy. But upon their arrival on Romulus, the Enterprise crew is faced with a threat that could lead to the destruction of the planet Earth, and Picard comes face to face with a man who may prove to be his most dangerous adversary yet . . . and surprisingly personal nemesis."
    In addition to the regular cast, Ron Perlman (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALIEN: RESURRECTION) will join the cast. He will play the Viceroy, a mentor to Shinzon (the "nemesis" of the titles, played by Tom Hardy). TheViceroy is "Nosferatu-like" with a horrifying appearance that includes long, grotesque fingernails. The Viceroy is also telepathic and helps Shinzon invade Counselor Troi's mind at one point in the film.

59.SAMUEL L. JACKSON - THE DANCING JEDI
    Samuel L Jackson is learning how to dance for his fight scenes in the next STAR WARS installment - because the footwork is so fancy. Jackson, who plays Mace Windu in EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES, has been in intensive training for his fight scenes. George Lucas has tipped him to win an MTV Best Fight Sequence movie award. The SHAFT star admits that the training, which involves watching a lot of Japanese samurai movies, has been pretty grueling. He says, "I'm doing pretty well at it. It's basically a lot more footwork than I thought. For the sword stuff, getting the feet right and getting the steps you can actually do it right. It's a lot like dance choreography. The feet have to be right so that the strikes look correct."

60.GABRIEL BYRNE'S IN TALKS TO STAR IN THE FINAL STAR WARS EPISODE
    Gabriel Byrne says that Lucasfilm is considering him for a role in the next STAR WARS prequel. "They have approached me and they are talking about it, but nothing is definite yet," Byrne said. "The way George Lucas works is not the usual way where they have a script, then they offer you a role. I think they develop characters around particular people as far as I know. They have not said anything to me about what role I would play." Byrne indicated that negotiations with Lucasfilm have been dicey, "because they get into all this secrecy."
    Just remember, you heard this in "The ICS Files" first. And, as always, should you be killed or captured, the secretary will disavow all knowledge of this article.

61.THE NEXT STAR WARS COMES WITH A FULLY ACCESSORIZED VILLAIN
    Rick McCallum, STAR WARS producer, said that the upcoming prequel will have a villain to rival Darth Maul and Darth Vader: Jango Fett, the Mandalorian bounty hunter and father of Boba Fett. "He is the ultimate accessory dude," McCallum said. "Forget all the bullsh*t that we have today - color mobile phones. This dude knows how to party. He comes to it with everything."
    As fans well know, Boba Fett is the bounty hunter who appeared all too briefly in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI and went on to become a fan favorite. Jango will be played by New Zealand actor Temuera Morrison. "He's my favorite," McCallum said of Boba's dad. "He's my dream - to have the ability to walk into a studio meeting with that gear on, and say, 'Dude, I've got an idea.' If one of those young punk studio execs starts with, 'Well, Rick . . . ' BOOM! I would just open up. . . . I can't tell you what I would open up, but it would be brilliant."

62.GEORGE LUCAS AND THE BOYS IN THE BAND I: ATTACK OF THE MARKETERS
    It's official: Lucasfilm has confirmed rumors that boy band N'Sync will appear briefly in STAR WARS: EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES. It's not clear which members of the band have cameos in the movie. The band will be seen for a fleeting moment in a "big scene with lots of extras," a Lucasfilm spokesperson said.
    It's also unclear why Lucas agreed to include the band. The New York Post reported that Lucas acceded to a request from his pre-teen daughters, who are big fans of the band. But Lucasfilm representative Lynn Hale said that Lucas' daughters "didn't have anything to do with it" and that the band's members, who are big STAR WARS fans, asked producer Rick McCallum if they could appear in EPISODE II.
    Not being an adolescent girl, I, for one, hope that their appearance is so brief as to be imperceptible. This has nothing to do with how I feel about N'Sync. The reason I hated Jar-Jar Binks and the Ewoks is that it felt like a marketing ploy. My psyche is being rudely ripped from a galaxy far far away to a crudely done piece of marketing. Believe me, if Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman had paused from a passionate embrace in CASABLANCA to praise the virtues of Listerine, or if the phrase to stop Gort in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL was a thinly disguised ad for Ipana toothpaste, I'd have hated it just as much and complained just as loudly.

63.GEORGE LUCAS AND THE BOYS IN THE BAND II: THE FANS STRIKE BACK!
    Since writing the above story something very interesting has happened. Millions of irritated fans have had an extremely negative reaction to the inclusion of N'Sync in the next STAR WARS chapter. This has prompted George Lucas to drop the proposed cameo appearance by the boy band, according to group member Joey Fatone. Fatone said, "I'm going to make it officially known they dropped it because people made a big deal about it. We're not going to be in it, and I'm not going to comment on it anymore." Lucasfilms is denying this statement, but coming from a band member, it's probably true.
    I think the reason why I enjoyed the original STAR WARS the most is that it was made by a filmmaker with a vision and a story to tell. Each incarnation seems to be pulling Lucas further into the dark side (financial interests over-riding artistic concerns). The bad thing about that is a parade of flimsy marketing ploys like the plainly pre-destined action figures and toys under names like Ewoks and Jar-Jar. The good thing about it is the corporation, Lucasfilm, no longer guided by aesthetic merit, will listen to anything that imperils their bottom line - like the universally angry reaction of the insertion of a pop band in what many are still hoping will be a grand science fiction epic.

64.THE LINE HAS ALREADY STARTED TO FORM FOR THE NEXT STAR WARS
    The wait for the first tickets to see STAR WARS: EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES has already begun. John Guth and Jeff Tweiten, head of Seattle's STAR WARS Society, have taken a spot outside the Seattle Cinerama Theater, vowing to eat and sleep there until the movie opens on May 16. Tweiten said, "We love STAR WARS and I want to create sort of a life art project out of this that can be displayed once this is over with. Over the course of the next four months we plan on capturing our adventures and experiences on the streets of Seattle with our cameras and journals. What we do with it after it's all done with . . . ask us then."
    Tweiten and Guth will have to contend with Seattle's notoriously cold and rainy weather. Severe storms have rolled into Seattle and a series of overnight lows within a few degrees of freezing have set in since the pair began their sit-in. I'd like to think that they've simply fallen prey to a Jedi mind trick.

65.WARNER BROTHERS FLEXES THEIR MUSCLES WITH T3
    Warner Brothers, after announcing they were dropping out of the fierce bidding war for TERMINATOR 3: THE RISE OF THE MACHINES, wound up beating out several other studios for the rights to it. Arnold Schwarzenegger will receive $30 million to reprise the role of the killer cyborg with a heart in the $170 million sequel, to be directed by Jonathan Mostow. Principal photography is slated to begin in April 2002. Edward Furlong's role of John Connor is expected to be recast.
    The movie will be set ten years after T2. It will center on John Connor and his trusty killer companion as they take on a Terminatrix - a new, more powerful, model with morphing abilities.  This is hoped to be the start of a newly re-awakened farnchise for Warner's.
    Warner beat Paramount, DreamWorks and Dimension Films in the bidding for the domestic distribution rights to the sequel. The year 2003 looks like their year. Warner plans to open THE MATRIX RELOADED on Memorial Day 2003, to be followed up by T3 on the July 4 weekend and THE MATRIX 3 in November. As reported above, the studio also plans to  open two new HARRY POTTER movies in 2002 and 2004.

66.X-MEN SEQUEL HAS A TITLE AND A RELEASE DATE
    Twentieth Century Fox announced that the upcoming sequel to X-MEN will be called X² and that it will be released on May 2, 2003. X² is scheduled to begin principal photography in May 2002.
    They also confirmed that X² will introduce several new mutant characters from the X-Men comics universe. The sequel will also reunite all of the principal cast members of the 2000 film, which theatrically grossed nearly $300 million worldwide. The sequel brings back director Bryan Singer; producers Ralph Winter, Lauren Shuler Donner and Avi Arad; and screenwriter David Hayter.

67.HUGH JACKMAN BULKS UP FOR THE X-MEN SEQUEL
    Hugh Jackman is on a strict diet - a protein binge diet. He's working on building himself up for X-MEN 2. Jackman is spending the next six months building up his physique to look like a muscle packed superhero. He admits the grueling work out schedule is leaving him feeling a little sorry for himself. He says, "It's hard to change your body if it doesn't want to. I've been doing nausea-inducing strength training four or five times a week for an hour with my trainer Josh. He's the guy who worked with Angelina Jolie for Lara Croft. I also do 20 minutes of hard aerobic sessions three times a week. And I eat all the time. My breakfast is oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder, an egg white omelet, low-fat baked beans, low-fat cottage cheese, a couple of slices of ham and sautéed spinach. I eat five or six times a day, but I make sure not to eat any sugar, breads or pasta."
    Jackman said that the film may reveal some of his character's dark secrets. "I'm pretty sure there will be some explanation" of Wolverine's leaving at the end of the first film, Jackman said. "I have heard both the writers were including that in the plot."

68.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY
    JANUARY 4: IMPOSTOR is about a weapons engineer (Gary Sinise) who invents the ultimate weapon in a war against aliens. His discovery leads to him being suspected of being an alien himself. Also in the film are Madeline Stowe and Vincent D'onofrio. The movie's based on the short story "Impostor," by Philip K. Dick (upon whose work the films TOTAL RECALL and BLADE RUNNER were also based). It's directed by Gary Felder (DON'T SAY A WORD, KISS THE GIRLS, THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU'RE DEAD). The screenplay adaptation was by Scott Rosenberg (GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS, HIGH FIDELITY). The screenplay itself was by Caroline Case (KISS THE GIRLS), Ehren Kruger (SCREAM 3, ARLINGTON ROAD) and David Twohy (PITCH BLACK, THE ARRIVAL).

    JANUARY 18: BLACK HAWK DOWN is the true story of the Battle of Mogadishu, the longest sustained ground battle involving American soldiers since the Vietnam War. An elite force of 120 American Delta units and Ranger infantry were dropped into Mogadishu on October 3rd, 1993, to abduct two of Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid's lieutenants. Instead, two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were shot down, and what was expected to take an hour lasted 15, resulting in the deaths of 18 Americans, 73 wounded, and hundreds of Somalians dead. In the cast are Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Sam Shepard, Tom Sizemore and Eric Bana. The director is Ridley Scott (ALIEN, BLADE RUNNER, GLADIATOR). Screenwriters are Mark Bowden (who wrote the book and script's first draft), Ken Nolan (making his feature film debut) and Steven Zaillian (AWAKENINGS, SCHINDLER'S LIST, HANNIBAL).

    JANUARY 25: THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES centers on John Klein (Richard Gere), a Washington newspaper reporter who leaves his job after his wife (Debra Messing) dies to investigate strange reports, including psychic visions ("prophecies") and sightings of winged creatures ("mothmen"), in a small West Virginia town, that may be the signs of an alien invasion of Earth. Laura Linney plays a local police officer; Alan Bates plays a scientist investigating the phenomena; Will Patton and Lucinda Jenney play a couple, as they did in REMEMBER THE TITANS. The director is Mark Pellington (ARLINGTON ROAD). The screenwriter is Richard Hatem (cowriter of UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY).
    KUNG POW!: ENTER THE FIST was originally to be called THE DUBBED ACTION MOVIE. This is a loving parody of 70's kung-fu cinema. The movie was produced, directed and written by Steve Oedekerk (who has given us ACE VANTURA: WHEN NATURE CALLS, THUMBWARS and other off-the-wall projects). The story follows The Chosen One (Oedekerk) as he seeks to avenge the death of his parents at the hands of the evil and seemingly indestructible kung fu legend Master Pain (also known as "Betty").
    THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO plays to Hollywood's love of action and love of sequels. Edmond Dantes (James Caviezel, star of FREQUENCY) is a sailor falsely imprisoned for treason in an island prison. He's being persecuted by a man he had taken to be his friend (Guy Pearce, star of MEMENTO). He eventually escapes, becomes rich, and wreaks revenge upon the men who framed him. This is the first of two Alexander Dumas movies scheduled this year (the other being THE MUSKETEERS). The movie is directed by Kevin Reynolds (ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, WATERWORLD). It's written by games show producer Jay Wolpert (THE PRICE IS RIGHT, MATCH GAME).

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69.FEW WEB SURFERS ARE BUYING MOVIE TICKETS ONLINE
    Moviegoers access Online "virtual box offices" such as Moviefone, Fandango and MovieTickets.com for information about show times and reviews but have yet to begin buying tickets on them in large numbers. Moviefone received 3.5 million visitors during October, followed by Fandango with 541,000 visitors and MovieTickets with 324,000. Kim Pillon, an Internet analyst for Nielsen/NetRatings was quoted as saying, "As far as selling Online, it's not a huge portion of their business. It's one that could have potential, but only for these highly anticipated shows that really could sell out and people want to get in the hype right at the first day it comes out."

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70.THE BUCKAROO BANZAI DVD FIXES FLAWS
    W.D. Richter, who produced and directed the cult 1984 film THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8th DIMENSION, said the DVD release of the film corrects flaws in the original video release.
    "First of all, it's a really clean, beautiful print of the movie," Richter said. "The [VHS] video [release] was just a quick and dirty thing that was panned and scanned without any thought about who was speaking or what a possible frame line was. We stuck back the prologue that had Jamie Lee Curtis playing young Buckaroo's mom. We've done our best to jam a lot of strange special features in there. We've gone to Buckaroo lengths to keep this conceit going that Buckaroo's real, and that the [Banzai] Institute is authorizing the DVD. So, if you've really been a fan of BUCKAROO BANZAI and have been waiting for this, what comes is not just the movie plopping on your screen, but a celebration of what you've been hanging on for all these years."
    Richter said that BUCKAROO - the story of a rock-and-roll surgeon adventurer and his band of alien-fighters - was pretty close to being the movie he envisioned. "I have to qualify that," Richter said. "I think every director tells people he couldn't realize what he set out to do. With BUCKAROO, it was hard to have a fixed vision of what it was supposed to be because it was so offbeat a thing on the page." He added, "So we kind of built it incrementally and discovered our vision along the way. We said, 'If we can get John Lithgow, that's one thing. If we can't, that's another. If we can get Chris Lloyd, that's one thing. If we can't, that's another.' We started with Jordan Cronenweth, the guy who shot BLADE RUNNER, as my [director of photography], and [studio executive] David Begelman fired him because David, from his eyes, thought it was going to look like a murky, Rembrandt-lighted I-don't-know-what. From my point of view, it was going to be startlingly interesting-looking. Visually, BUCKAROO is not what I hoped it would be, because they replaced him with Fred Koenenkamp, a very nice man, but who has a totally different lighting style. So, a lot of the storytelling techniques that I'd hoped to use were ripped out from under me. I've always felt a little sad about that, but the caliber of the cast and the way they brought the characters to life and the production design were things I only hoped we could get."

71.DVDs FINALLY OVERTAKE VHS
    For the first time, sales of DVDs last year topped those of videocassettes: $4.6 billion to $3.8 billion, according to the DVD Entertainment Group. The organization also noted that, unlike videocassettes, sales of DVDs far exceeded the $1.4 billion in rentals. Meanwhile, published reports have suggested that DVD players were the primary gift of choice during the Christmas holidays, spurring sales of DVD titles in the last week of 2001 and the beginning of 2002.
    I wouldn't toss out your cassette tapes yet. VHS will be around for a while, but the hand writing's on the wall. DVD's are winning the ass-kicking contest between the two formats.

72.A QUICK NOTE ON RENTAL PRICING
    Previously, when a VHS hit the market as a "rental," if it carried any retail price at all, that price may have been anywhere from $70 to $110. That didn't bother the public much. They were going to rent them anyway. But it put the screws to the retailers. They have their wholesale price fixed as (a modest) discount from the retail price. If a small store has to stock multiple VHS copies of a title that may only have limited appeal, it hurt. If they had to do it enough they'd eventually go under.
    This month the studios have begun to lower the price of VHS that are deemed rentals. You'll see prices in the $40's and $50's now. Once again that is mostly to relieve suffering retailers. But, if there's a movie that you HAVE to own on VHS that you can't wait the customary 90-120 days for the price to drop, you can buy it now without declaring Chapter 11.

73.VIDEOCY
    Rental titles releasing 1/2: BROTHER is a well filmed story punctuated with scenes of extreme violence. After being cast aside by his Japanese brotherhood, a Japanese Yakuza gangster ventures to Los Angeles in search of his younger half-brother. The Yakuza's introduced to his brother's crew of small time drug dealers (including American actor Omar Epps), and a tentative bond is formed between the young punks and the hardened Japanese gangster. Either out of habit or the sheer force of his nature, the gangster turns the ragtag crew into one of the most powerful and deadly crime organizations on the streets of Los Angeles. Teaming up with a rival crime lord, they find their match in the Italian Mafia. The VHS is a rental. The DVD sells for $24.95. . . . THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS is an adrenaline shot of action directly through the eyes and into the cerebral cortex. The movie is loosely based on an article in a magazine about street clubs that race Japanese cars late at night. The movie's a fierce and frenzied look at rival Los Angeles street teams who use street racing as a means of establishing power. The film stars Vin Diesel as the leader of a street gang that is under suspicion of stealing expensive electronic equipment. An undercover police officer that attempts to find out who exactly is stealing the equipment, while falling for the main thief's younger sister. The VHS is a rental. The DVD sells for $26.98. . . . THE GLASS HOUSE concerns a 16 year-old (Leelee Sobieski) who is orphaned when her parents are killed in a car crash. Now, her and her 11 year-old brother must go to Malibu and live with their former neighbors. They live in a beautiful house made of glass, and live a seemingly flawless life. They spoil the kids with flashy toys, video games, clothes, and more. However, slowly but surely, the girl discovers that these people aren't as sweet as they seem. In fact, that might have murdered her parents. The VHS is a rental. The DVD sells for $27.96.

    Rental title releasing 1/8: AMAZONS AND GLADIATORS releases today. In Caesar's era, the beautiful slave Serena kills a drunken Roman senator when he tries to seduce her. He has her family killed and imprisons her. After escaping she vows revenge. Serena joins Queen Zenobia and her Amazon warriors, who teach her how to gain freedom for her people. The VHS is a rental. The DVD sells for $24.99. . . . GANGLAND is set in the post-apocalyptic world of Los Angeles in 2005 (if an apocalypse actually did happen there by 2005, would anyone notice?). "Ganglanders" take civilians captive and force them into slavery while a deadly, flesh-eating disease threatens everyone. Three heroes battle to survive. The VHS might be considered a rental, at $39.98. The DVD is $19.98. . . . JEEPERS CREEPERS starts off with a brother and sister are on their way home from their freshmen year at college. They're followed and tormented by an ominous figure. He turns out to be an evil demon who collects body parts. This movie is able to rise above its status of cheep teen horror film to provide a few legitimate scares. The VHS is a rental, listing at $40.00. The DVD sells for $26.98. . . . WARM BLOODED KILLERS is about a brother/sister assassin team. It seems there in a mess of trouble after killing the wrong person. The VHS is a rental, listing at $49.95. The DVD sells for $24.95.

    Rental titles releasing 1/15: THE CALLING is another one of that odd genre that can only be called, "my son, the Antichrist." On her wedding night, a young woman conceives a child during an hallucinatory encounter (sounds like ROSEMARY'S BABY). Several years later, as her friends and family begin to behave strangely, she pieces together clues that lead to one conclusion . . . her son is the Antichrist (sounds like THE OMEN). There are a few subtle clues along the way that the mother isn't perceptive enough to figure out - like when the kid kills his guinea pig on a stake and then hangs his dog alive. Does his mother get worried, maybe send her kid to counseling? Not in the bad movie universe. She accepts a "boys will be boys" explanation!? This VHS is a rental, selling for $49.99. The DVD sells for $24.98. . . . FATAL ERROR is a made-for-cable (TBS) movie that seems to be inspired by THE X-FILES. A deadly, unidentifiable virus is causing a series of mysterious deaths in Seattle. A disease specialist must team up with a doctor to track down the lethal pathogen and stop its deadly path of destruction. They discover that a computer virus has evolved into a deadly organic virus. Samantha and Nick face a race against time to uncover the deadly source before it is unleashed on an unsuspecting public. The VHS is a rental, at $49.99. The DVD sells for $19.98. . . . THE PERFECT WIFE is about how the passion for revenge transforms a woman into the psycho bitch from hell. A drunk driver hits a young man on a bicycle. A doctor comes across the scene and helps them. He assists the drunken driver, at the expense of the cyclist. The cyclist's death causes the young man's sister to make the destruction of the doctor her life's work. She seduces him into marriage then decides to first destroy his reputation and take away everything he cares about. His ex-wife thinks that there's something peculiar about her, especially when some of his office staff and patients start to die. The VHS is a rental, at $64.99. The DVD sells for $14.99. . . . RIPPER: LETTER FROM HELL is a latter day take on a familiar fiend. Molly (A.J. Cook) is the sole survivor of a massacre. Five years later, she is at university, doing a course on serial killers. Then, one by one, members of her study group start dying gruesome deaths. The m.o. in each crime is eerily similar to the work done by Jack The Ripper. Molly suspects that the killer she eluded first time around is still out to get her. The VHS is $64.99. The DVD is $24.99.

    Rental titles releasing 1/22: KISS OF THE DRAGON is a high action Jet Li film. Lots of lightening-paced martial arts skills are featured in this movie about a secret agent falsely accused of murder, with only one person to help him prove his innocence - a prostitute played by Bridget Fonda. The VHS is a rental. The DVD sells for $26.98.

    Rental titles releasing 1/29: THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION is a Woody Allen 1940's era mystery. Woody plays a crackerjack insurance investigator - an "always gets his man" kind of guy. This latest one, though, really has him stumped. He can't figure out what brilliant criminal mastermind stole the fabulous Jade Scorpion necklace. He doesn't know that HE's the thief. He's committed the crime while under hypnosis. Like most movies nowadays, the movie stars Helen Hunt. It also has Dan Aykroyd, Charlize Theron and David Ogden Stiers. I remember vividly seeing this film in the theater. I saw it on September 11, just to escape the grim images washing out of the television. The VHS is a rental. The DVD costs $24.95.

    Sell through titles releasing 1/4: THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8th DIMENSION releases today. This is about a multitalented adventurer and his followers traverse the eighth dimension, battling invaders of the Planet 10. See the article above for a fuller explanation. This DVD sells for $19.98. . . . MAD MAX SPECIAL EDITION releases today. This 1979 film comes on a newly digitally remastered DVD, bristling with assorted extras. The movie sells for $19.98.

    Sell through titles releasing 1/8: 2069: A SEXY ODYSSEY is more of a public service reminder than a movie. In the bad  movie universe, every single time another planet's population declines what do they do? Put on some Barry White and get some massage oil? No. Maybe get creative with cloning? No way! They come to Earth, the place that must be known around the universe as "Planet of the Sluts." Jeez, I hate that. In this particular documentary, five beautiful and seductive Venusians land on Earth to check out the hot human action. Did somebody write on a rest room wall in Alpha Centauri, "For a good time call Earth?" I just hope that we're never desperate enough that we've got to get all randy with the Denubian Slime Devils on Cestus 3. Yech! If you want to buy this little docu-drama, the VHS is $14.98 and the DVD sells for $29.98. . . . THE CAPITAL CONSPIRACY is a Don "The Dragon" Wilson action film, directed by Fred Olen Ray. A federal agent who has the ability to see into the future (as a result of a secret experiment that was conducted on him when he was a child) is ordered to find the others who were part of that experiment. But, they keep getting killed just before he can bring them in, and now someone wants him dead too. This DVD sells for $9.98. . . . CREMAINS is a direct-to-video anthology of four horror stories. It begins with a framing device in which a mortician is being interrogated by unknown inquisitors. He admits to burning multiple bodies simultaneously in his crematorium to save money, then for some reason, begins to recount some disconnected horror tales. These stories contain a typical assortment of insane cults, serial killers, lesbian vampire ghosts, and the living dead. You get the impression while watching the film that the four segments were not originally intended to be part of the same movie. They feel like disconnected shorts, and vary pretty wildly in quality. None of the stories is exceptionally gory, and the few special effects are simple and unimpressive, but a there is a great deal of soft-core nudity on display. If you are one of those that don't mind no-budget, no-frills scares, with no-acting talent obvious then CREMAINS might work for you. The VHS is $14.98. The DVD is $29.98. . . . DEMON LUST stars Tom Savini and Brinke Stevens. A pair of sad sack bad guys owe money to the mob. They decide to get it by robbing a woman in her home. They pick the wrong woman to mess with. She's a shape-shifting demon. It's a great premise, thwarted by a zero-budget and slap-together production values. You may have seen this 1997 release under its old title, EYES UPON YOU. The VHS is $14.98. The DVD is $29.98. . . . THE DOORWAY offers the viewer exactly what they demand from a low-budget B-movie. Do you want bad acting? THE DOORWAY's got it. Somehow Roy Scheider took a terrible detour off of Hollywood's A-list to founder around in here. With the exception of a couple of talented people, THE DOORWAY shows us "nattering nabobs" pretending to act. Do you want cheesy special effects? THE DOORWAY's got them. Phony fingernails growing from hands, blood that shoots in squirt gun streams, makeup effects from Walmart - it's all here. Do you want wafer-thin plots? THE DOORWAY's got that too. It has the requisite two girls and two guys, the haunted house, and the resident paranormal expert. There are the excuses they make to keep themselves in the house (I mean, after having a severed hand feel you up in the shower, would you seriously stick around?). Do you want nekkid girls? THE DOORWAY's loaded. It's a veritable boob-a-rama. So for those of you suffering B-movie deprivation, take two DOORWAYs (one in VHS and one in DVD - they're both $9.98) and call me on the last Saturday evening of the month. . . . DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY is a 1993 film based on the book Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew, by his widow Linda Lee Caldwell. If you're looking for an accurate documentary of the life of this pioneering martial-arts star, keep looking. The movie gets most of the main facts right and botches everything else. If you want to get a sense of the man and his charisma and the phenomenon around him, check out this movie. It has a couple sweet flourishes that are worth mentioning. The actor who played the director of THE GREEN HORNET in the movie was Van Williams, who played the Green Hornet in the series. When Linda tells Bruce that she's pregnant, a band is visible in the background. The lead singer of this band is played by Shannon Lee, the real-life daughter who is the result of that pregnancy. The VHS sells for $9.98. The DVD sells for $19.98. . . .THE GIFT is an unusual supernatural suspense film from director Sam Raimi. A clairvoyant widow (Cate Blanchett) raising three kids gets by reading fortunes for the townsfolk of her small town. When the daughter of a wealthy businessman (Katie Holmes) shows up missing, she begins seeing things in her dreams about the missing girl's death. The movie also stars Giovanni Ribisi, Keanu Reeves, Greg Kinnear and Hilary Swank. The VHS is $14.95. The DVD sells for $29.99. . . . LOVE POTION #9 is a 1991 flick that gives a (at the time) little-known actress named Sandra Bullock a chance to show her stuff. Tate Donovan plays a frustrated geeky biochemist with no luck at all with women. He's persuaded by his friends to visit a gypsy. She gives him "Love Potion No. 8", an elixir which can potentially force anyone of the opposite sex to instantly fall in love with him. He shares the potion with his friend (Bullock) and together they embark on a "scientific evaluation" that gets out of hand. The VHS is $9.98. The DVD sells for $19.98. . . . MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD is a 1978 Italian cannibal movie (yes, there actually is such a genre' - with titles like CANNIBAL TERROR, EATEN ALIVE and CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST). This outing stars Ursala Andress and Stacy Keach. In the plot. a brother helps his sister search the South American jungles for her missing husband, with the help of a knowledgeable guide. The three head into the jungle, get in more than a few fights amongst themselves, and view lots of gratuitous animal cruelty, notably an iguana getting eviscerated. Other than seeing Ursala Andress nekkid (which will be reason enough for some of you) there's not much going on here. This DVD sells for $19.98. . . . MUMMY RAIDER is carrying a little something unusual in its cargo hold. Shall we take an inventory? Does it have a super-sexy, crime fighting secret agent? GOT IT! And must she save the world from a terrible doom? CHECK! Does it have dastardly neo-Nazis? YUP! Are they trying to resurrect an unstoppable mummy to help establish a Fourth Reich. ABSOLUTELY! And is she doing all this to save her beautiful female lover? WH-WH-WH-WHAT? Up. This movie isn't exactly a high-water mark in the annals of lesbian fiction. It's just a dopey little T&A movie with a peculiar twist. Fortunately it's been released in time for Oscar consideration. That's Oscar Mendelbaum, the pervert down the street. If you simply must own it, the VHS is $14.98. The DVD is $29.98. . . . THE NIGHT DIVIDES THE DAY presents us with a logistical quiz. If a serial killer was known to be in your vicinity, where would you go? Go visit friends in Guam? Perhaps consider a career in the Foreign Legion? Maybe lock yourself in a steel vault? Well, if you're one of the ten geniuses in this movie, you'll get away from the reign of terror by going camping in some nearby woods. Much to our collective shock, they soon discover they're not alone. To find out more shell out $29.98 for the DVD. . . . SECONDS is a 1966 film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Rock Hudson.  An aging banker undergoes surgery that gives him a second chance in life as a young, handsome artist. Living in Mali with other "seconds" and his neighbors are slow to embrace him for fear of him divulging their secret. He soon finds himself wanting his original existence back. This is a fascinating film. Well worth seeing. The DVD is $29.99. . . . VALENTINE is the story of yet another obsessed killer. This one takes revenge on victims who used to torment him in junior high school. David Boreanaz and Denise Richard's star. The VHS is $14.95. The DVD is $19.98.

    Sell through titles releasing 1/15: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: SEASON ONE arrives today. This three-disc set includes all 12 of the episodes from the first season of this hit series. 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 DVD set goes for $39.98. . . . DR. ORLOFF'S MONSTER is a 1964 European film (a joint project of Spain, Austria and France) written and directed by Spanish director, Jesus Franco. An Austrian college student, travels to spend the Christmas holidays at the castle of her uncle (hey it's Europe - everybody's uncle has a castle), a resident mad doctor. She discovers he's re-animating the dead human automatons with a high-frequency command to kill. This is the full length version with sequences shot especially for France. The DVD sells for $24.99. . . . DEAD SIMPLE is perfect for those of you who have a taste for black comedy heavily laced with murder. Daniel Stern is a frustrated country singer living the hellish life of a small-town hotel manager who is the daily victim of a shrewish wife. Through a bizarre chain of events he gets involved with the newly discarded girlfriend of a country idol (the idol is played by James Caan). The newly joined pair embark on a road trip of multiple mistaken killings and body burials. DEAD SIMPLE is quite shocking in much of its content, throwing audiences through a loop every ten minutes with a new twist in this continually bizarre saga. Like in a traditional country song, every character's life is affected differently and every tragedy imaginable occurs. The VHS is $9.98. The DVD is $14.98. . . . DEADLY INVASION: THE KILLER BEE NIGHTMARE is the handiwork of Rockne S. O'Bannon (the creator of TV's FARSCAPE). A swarm of bees infests a small rural town just as a new family moves in to fulfill a dream of owning an orchard. The VHS is $9.98. . . . DEMOLITION HIGH is a crappy little movie by a crappy little director - Jim Wynorski. When a group of terrorists take over a high school making the students in it their hostages, it is up to several of the students to help prevent disaster while the authorities do their part on the other side. It's strictly "round up the usual B-movie suspect plot devices." This VHS sells for $9.98. . . . GHOST DOG: WAY OF THE SAMURAI, from writer/director Jim Jarmusch, is a transfer of the traditional Japanese samurai film and overlays it on a grim American urban setting. Forest Whittaker stars as Ghost Dog, a solitary figure who lives above the world, alongside a flock of birds, in a homemade shack on the roof of an abandoned building. Guided by the words of an ancient samurai text, Ghost Dog is a professional killer. The VHS is $9.98. The DVD sells for $14.98. . . . HALLMARK TV CLASSICS COLLECTION releases today on DVD. The first set includes Hallmark productions of ALICE IN WONDERLAND, CLEOPATRA, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, MERLIN and NOAH'S ARK. The second one has ARABIAN NIGHTS, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, THE LOST EMPIRE, MOBY DICK and THE ODYSSEY. Each set sells for $49.98. . . . Sticking with "set pieces," we've got STEPHEN KING'S HORROR DVD COLLECTION. It contains CUJO, GOLDEN YEARS, THE LANGOLIERS, THE STAND and THINNER. The collection can be yours for $59.98. . . . MELIES THE MAGICIAN is about the cinema's first wizard of special effects, George Méliès. The first is part is "The Magic of  Méliès," a 1997 documentary on the life and art of the French filmmaker, including film excerpts, archival footage dramatizations and interviews with his granddaughter. It reveals Méliès’ innovative work in special effects, hand-tinting, backdrops and costumes. The second is "Méliès’ Magic Show", which is essentially a compilation of 15 restored prints of Méliès’ finest shorts (he made more than 500). In the collection are such delightful, entries as "The Four Troublesome Heads (1898), "The Devilish Tenant (1909) and the famed "A Trip to the Moon" (1902), a 100-year-old sci-fi fantasy film that still plays better than EVENT HORIZON, SUPERNOVA and many other contemporaries. You can pick up this DVD for $29.95. . . . TRON 20th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION releases today. The story of a man sucked into a computer and forced to compete in a game which he designed gets a fresh look today. The VHS is $14.99. The DVD (chock-a-block full with all the usual digital trimmings) is $29.99. . . . ULTRACOP 2000 is a low-budget Hong Kong melding of HIGHLANDER and HARDBOILED. An infamous outlaw from Mars goes on a killing spree on Earth. A tough Chinese cop decides to take him down. This DVD is yours for $9.95. . . . As long as we're in China town, we have a couple of other titles. There's ANGEL ON FIRE. It's part of a series of quickie knock-offs done in the Phillipines, but made to look like a Hong Kong production. A Shaolin Temple relic is stolen by a crime syndicate and a seasoned officer must solve the crime. This DVD sells for $9.95. . . . We also have EMPEROR OF SHAOLIN KUNG FU. It certainly sounds like a likable enough film, with characters with names like "Tu, the butcher" and "one armed nun." Rebels fight and an emperor contemplates his fate in this Kung Fu saga set during the Ming Dynasty. The DVD sells for $9.95.

    Sell through titles releasing 1/22: THE 6th DAY SPECIAL DOUBLE DISC EDITION is the movie that pits Ahnold Schwarzenegger against Ahnold Schwarzenegger. This DVD bowl of clone chowder is served up with the standard luxury perks one would expect from a DVD special edition, including "On the 6th Day": nine (count 'em - nine) behind-the-scenes featurettes. This little baby can be yours for the low, low you gotta be happy price of just $24.95. . . . THE BLAIR THUMB comes to us from the makers of THUMB WARS. Three thumbs travel into the woods to make a documentary film about an urban legend. One year later, their film footage is found and made into this movie. This movie really sounds like thumb-thing! Both the VHS and DVD are $9.99. . . . EVOLUTION: THE ANIMATED MOVIE is an animated sequel to last summer's film. Like the original, this animated adventure is also from Ivan Reitman. Four brave people who were successful in protecting the earth from destruction ONCE are called on to do it again. The alien creatures are back, smarter and stronger than ever! The heroic team of eccentric misfits must regroup to save the world from extinction and keep the extraterrestrial menace in check. The alien life form-called the Genus by Dr. Ira Kane and crew, has evolved and he's not only intelligent and articulate, but nasty and vengeful as well. To combat the new threat, Ira and his team evolve a foul-smelling bloodhound-like alien called Gassie to help track and terminate the alien menace. Will these civilians turned heroes be victorious a second time? You can find out for $9.99 on VHS or $14.99 for the DVD. . . . FARSCAPE #10: NERVE/ HIDDEN MEMORY bundles two episodes of the TV series. In NERVE Crichton and Chiana must infiltrate a secret Peacekeeper Gammak Base to save Aeryn from a near-fatal injury. Crichton meets a ruthless adversary names Scorpius, a terrifying Scarren-Sebacean hybrid. When Scorpius discovers Crichton holds powerful information, he uses the tortuous Aurora Chair to rip the memories from his mind! In THE HIDDEN MEMORY as the crew plans to rescue Crichton, Moya suddenly goes into labor. While Chiana and Rygel remain aboard to deal with the delivery, Aeryn, Zhaan, and D'Argo wage an assault on the base. The VHS sells for $14.98. The DVD is $39.96. . . . TEENAGE ZOMBIES, vintage 1959,  is schlock-meister Jerry Warren's unlikely story is set on an island 30 miles from the mainland that everybody has forgotten! A bunch of teenagers go out for an afternoon of water skiing on a nice day. They come ashore on an island that is being used as a testing center for a scientist and agents from "an eastern power." They seek to turn the people of the United States into easily controlled zombie-like creatures (not unlike modern day advertisers). The four friends are then held captive in cages able only to speculate on their fate. Though they have already been testing the formula on convicts and drunks, the enemy scientist and agents plan to conduct final tests on the teens before they use it on the rest of America. This DVD sells for $19.95. . . . WITCHHOUSE 2 has members of a witch coven rise from the dead after their haunted house is destroyed to make way for a shopping mall. The undead witches wreak havoc on the town in a murderous rampage. C'mon, give me as break. What woman wouldn't love to spend eternity in a mall? If you've ever had to wait for one when the shopping madness is upon them it actually FEELS like eternity. The DVD is $9.98. . . . WITCHHOUSE 3: DEMON FIRE (SPECIAL EDITION) is being released for those few of you who didn't get their appetites sated with this series predecessor. This time, while shooting a documentary film about witchcraft, sinister visions haunt three girls. Lilith the megawitch is resurrected under a shroud of mystery. This DVD goes for $24.95. . . . THE BLAZING TEMPLE is not about a really severe migraine headache. This 1976 film is features a group of 20 Shaolin student-monks who escape after their temple is burned to the ground following an assault by the forces of Emperor. While on the run, the band of monks make it their goal to attempt the assassination of the Emperor while while evading the ever-vigilant pursuing troops. At the same time, a beautiful female fighter named Outlaw Lui has her own plans to assassinate the emperor. Check it out. This DVD is $19.95. . . . FATAL NEEDLES VS. FATAL FISTS is a 1980 Hong Kong film. A fighter kills his own brother by accident and gives up his martial arts practice. When the bandit who began the fight challenges him to a rematch, he seizes the chance to accept to regain his honor and avenge the memory of his brother. The DVD is $14.95. . . . NINJA VS. SHAOLIN GUARD is a 1984 Hong Kong film. Four brothers – all monks from Shaolin Temple - embark on a mission to get the Golden Sutra document to Tibet after the Shaolin Abbot is killed by the monks' traitorous teacher. The teacher has ninjas and assassins at his beck and call and all manner of costumed gangs attack the monks as they make their way to Tibet. This DVD sells for $14.95.

    Sell through titles releasing 1/29: ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE, the Disney animated feature from last summer, releases today. An intrepid team of explorers travels through the depths of the ocean on a journey to discover the mythical lost city of Atlantis, where a long forgotten civilization exists. The movie features the vocal talents of , Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Claudia Chrtistian and Leonard Nimoy. The VHS sells for $26.99. The DVD goes for $29.99. . . . BEYOND SUSPICION (a.k.a. AUGGIE ROSE) stars Jeff Goldblum and Anne Heche in a tightly constructed mystery. An insurance salesman (Goldblum) has his humdrum existence pulled out from under him when a stranger, ex-con Auggie Rose, unexpectedly dies in his arms. Assuming the identity of the dead man, the salesman embarks on a double life, keeping it secret from his live-in girlfriend (Heche). This VHS sells for $9.98. . . . CREEPIN' is, ah, well - I'll let the company do the talking for this piece of art. Here it is, verbvatim from York/Maverick's press release: "A creature named Malik kills the dad of two wealthy kids from the suburbs, but the kids manage to escape and hide in the hood. They felt safe since no creature has ever come into the hood; it's a place the mailman won't even come! Malik manages to find out where they are hiding, but has to find a way in without getting a serious beat down by the homies." If this sounds like your idea of a good time, the price of this DVD (besides your integrity and good name) is $14.99. . . . ENEMY AT THE GATE SPECIAL EDITION brilliantly boils down the massive battle and siege of Stalingrad during World War II to a cat and mouse game between a pair of sharp shooters - Jude Law as the Russian defender and Ed Harris as the German invader. The movie's based on the true story of Russian World War II hero named Vassili Zaitsev. His fame thrust him into a personal war with the Nazis' best sharpshooter. The VHS is $14.95. The DVD is $29.99. . . . GABRIEL OVER THE WHITE HOUSE has got to be one of the strangest fantasy films ever made. Despite having a central character whose receiving angelic guidance, unlike today's CGI-intoxicated filmmakers, this movie never had an angelic figure present, or a happy little elf that nowadays would appear on a Burger King cup. All the divine inspiration was implied, not shown. The film came out in 1933, during the blackest hours of the Great Depression. There were times that Depression audiences booed and stormed out of theaters when the image of President Herbert Hoover came onto the screen in a newsreel. He was widely perceived to be weak and indifferent to his country's pain. Those same audiences would clap and stamp the floor when a strong leader, like Stalin or Mussolini, would be shown. These desperate people got the iron-willed president they wanted in the person of the film's President Jud Hammond, played by Walter Huston. In the beginning of the film we see Hammond as weak and corrupt (as he blithely chases his misstress through the Oval Office). His symbolic recklessness at the wheel of a car changes him after an accident. When he awakes from a coma a strange light appears on his face. He hears the strains of distant music, including a heavenly trumpet. He's suddenly filled with deep wisdom and an iron spirit. He stands before a joint session of Congress and declares martial law until the depression is over. He has gangsters rounded up, given a swift military trial, and gunned down under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty. There's more, a lot more . . . but why spoil it? Check this movie out yourself. This VHS sells for $14.94. . . . GHOST BREAKERS, from 1940, is a not a 3-D film but it still makes audiences today duck - just in case they get sprayed with the rapid patter and razor-sharp one-liners streaming out of a young and funny Bob Hope. A couple played by Hope and Paulette Goddard (after their successful pairing in the comedy remake of THE CAT AND THE CANARY) investigate a haunted mansion off the coast of Cuba despite warnings and death threats. They have to contend with zombies, ghosts and an all-too-human foe. The VHS is $9.98. . . . GLADIATOR is a movie that needs no introduction. You can check out this Ridley Scott sword and sandal epic on VHS for $14.99 or on a 2-disc DVD for $29.99. . . . GROUNDHOG DAY SPECIAL EDITION, the story of a cynical TV weatherman condemned to repeat the same day until he gets it right, releases today. This DVD sells for $24.95. . . . HARVEY, the gentle 1950 fantasy of a mild-mannered grown man with a drinking problem and an (apparent) imaginary friend, releases today. Jimmy Stewart plays Elwood P. Dowd. Havey is played by himself. The VHS is $9.98. The DVD sells for $14.98. . . . HOLLOW MAN is a latter day incarnation of H.G. Welles's THE INVISIBLE MAN. At a top secret military lab, a group of brilliant young scientists have just unlocked the secret of invisibility. We can make people invisible, but at a terrible price - a price extracted from all those touched by the main character (played by Kevin Bacon). The VHS is $9.95. . . . LAKE PLACID is a sort of a fun suspense movie with a very silly premise. We have to believe that a crocodile the size of a Greyhound bus has swum across oceans, from Asia, and winds up in a Maine lake (not the lake of the title either - Black Lake). One of the things that earns the name "lake" is when the body of water in question is completely surrounded by land. Hmmm. Well, putting aside logic and reason, this is a fun and fast-paced movie of a killer croc with an attitude and how the main characters (played by Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson and Betty White) do about it. This VHS is $9.98. . . . LEXX, series 2, volume 5 releases today. This volume of this bizarre Canadian/German production has 4 episodes on it. Both the VHS and DVD are $29.95. . . . MONKEYBONE is has a very surreal setting - inside the mind of a comatose cartoonist. A cartoonist is sent into a coma after a car crash. Together with his horny alter-ego, Monkeybone, they get stuck in a way station for lost souls and must escape "Downtown" before his sister pulls the plug. This VHS sells for $9.98. . . . MR. BILL DOES VEGAS and MR. BILL GOES TO HOLLYWOOD brings the adventures of America's most abused leading man to your VCR. Mr. Hand just has to fork over $9.99 for this VHS. . . . THIRTEEN DAYS, the story of the Cuban Missle Crisis during the Kennedy Administration, releases today. The VHS sells for $14.98. The DVD is $26.98. . . . WES CRAVEN'S VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN stars Eddie Murphy as Maximillian, the dapper vampire who searches for the one woman with whom he can mate and perpetuate the bloodline of the undead. The movie is a spoof of vampire flicks. The DVD sells for $24.99. . . . ZETA ONE is a 1969 soft-core porn/sci-fi spoof. A race of alien women (many of whom run around topless) kidnap earth women to repopulate their world. Their home is called "Angvia" (work out the anagram). Yutte Stensgaard stars. Both the DVD and VHS are $14.99.

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74.THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
    Pauline Moore is not one of the names that's ignited the Hollywood firmament. Through her career in 25 films she was constantly on the verge of being discovered. Her first role was an unbilled part in the 1931 FRANKENSTEIN, as one of the bridesmaids. She appeared in various roles in three Charlie Chan films. She was in CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OLYMPICS in 1937, CHARLIE CHAN IN RENO in 1939 and played a scary psychic in CHARLIE CHAN AT TREASURE ISLAND, also in 1939.
    It looked like her big chance to break out was coming in 1939 when she played Ann Rutledge, Lincoln's love interest, in YOUNG MR. LINCOLN, opposite Henry Fonda. Unfortunately, her character died in the beginning of the film.
    She never made it out of the B's. She cobbled a career in low-budget Westerns and performing in Christian-themed plays. Her death, at the age of 87, like most of her career, has gone mostly unnoticed.
    Yet we at the ICS pause to remember Ms. Moore. When we look back on classic Hollywood, we remember the big movies, the famous faces, the great directors and the memorable lines. The mortar that held all of that together were the Pauline Moores of the world - aspiring performers throwing themselves wholeheartedly into small roles, or into large roles in small pictures, is what makes the great movies of the past come alive. To all the Pauline Moores of the golden age of cinema words can hardly compensate you for all your pain and struggles. We can only say thanks and, unlike the world around you when you were fighting for recognition, we won't forget you.

    Seymour V. Reit, an author and illustrator whose most famous creation was the cartoon character Casper the Friendly Ghost, died Nov. 21 in New York City. He was 83. Reit died suddenly after treatment for a heart ailment, according to his wife, Edmee.
    Reit was a prolific writer whose works were primarily aimed at a young market. He wrote more than 80 titles for children, including easy readers about trucks and animals and young adult nonfiction on subjects ranging from the Civil War to life in the White House. He wrote several books for adults, including "The Day They Stole the Mona Lisa," a 1981 book about the theft of the famous painting from the Louvre in 1911.
    His most enduring creation was the anomalous Casper, the half-pint ghost who was averse to haunting houses and terrorizing the living. Over the last six decades, the affable character has been featured in animated cartoons, comic books and a 1995 live action feature film.
    Its origin was claimed by Reit and Joe Oriolo, the illustrator known in the 1960s for his work on the "Felix the Cat" cartoon series. Reit said he invented the character in an unpublished story in the early 1940s and Oriolo provided the first drawings of the gentle spook with the plumpish head and body.
    Neither man made huge profits on the long-lived character, the rights to which were sold to Paramount's Famous Studios in the early 1940s for about $200. In 1945, the studio released a theatrical short called "The Friendly Ghost." Casper became the studio's biggest draw after Popeye, starring in 55 shorts through the 1950s.
    Throughout his various incarnations, Casper remained a sensitive and sentimental spirit, hurt by rejection but always managing to win a new friend at the end. Casper reflected Reit's essential nature, Edmee Reit said. "Seymour was a very gentle man," she said. "He was only 5-foot-2. Being the underdog made him very much aware of what a small person has to do to make it in a world of big guys and jocks . . . who has to rely on wit and humor to make something of himself."
    For any of us who, as children, were tortured for being too short or too tall, too fat or too thin, too smart or too dumb or anything else that might act as a lightening rod for the cruelty of bullies, the character of Casper has always had a special resonance. He's always been a patron saint for the rejected and estranged. There was always something very comforting in seeing his endless cheeriness in the face of a world which reviled him. For all that we can only say, thank-you Mr. Reit.

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75.JANUARY CALENDAR
WED. 2: VIDEO RENTAL: BROTHER, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, and
           THE GLASS HOUSE release to rental shelves today.
           DVD SELL-THROUGH: BROTHER, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS,
            THE GLASS HOUSE, THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI
            ACROSS THE 8th DIMENSION and MAD MAX SPECIAL EDITION
            release to sell-through bins today.

FRI. 4: MOVIE - IMPOSTOR debuts.

TUE. 8: VIDEO RENTAL: AMAZONS AND GLADIATORS, GANGLAND,
            JEEPERS CREEPERS and WARM BLOODED KILLERS become
            rentable today.
           VIDEO SELL-THROUGH: 2069: A SEXY ODDYSEY, CREMAINS,
            DEMON LUST, THE DOORWAY, DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE
            STORY, THE GIFT , LOVE POTION #9, MUMMY RAIDER, hit VHS
            sale shelves today
           DVD SELL-THROUGH: AMAZONS AND GLADIATORS,  THE
            CAPITAL CONSPIRACY, CREMAINS, GANGLAND, JEEPERS
            CREEPERS, WARM BLOODED KILLERS, 2069: A SEXY ODDYSEY,
            DEMON LUST, THE DOORWAY, DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE
            STORY, THE GIFT , LOVE POTION #9, MOUNTAIN OF THE
            CANNIBAL GOD, MUMMY RAIDER, THE NIGHT DIVIDES THE
            DAY, SECONDS and VALENTINE hit sell-through today.

TUE. 15: VIDEO RENTAL: THE CALLING, FATAL ERROR, THE PERFECT
            WIFE, RIPPER: LETTER FROM HELL become rentable today.
           VIDEO SELL-THROUGH: DEAD SIMPLE, DEADLY INVASION: THE
            KILLER BEE NIGHTMARE, DEMOLITION HIGH, GHOST DOG:
            WAY OF THE SAMURAI and TRON 20th ANNIVERSARY
            COLLECTOR'S EDITION hit VHS sale bins today.
           DVD SELL-THROUGH: THE CALLING, FATAL ERROR, THE
            PERFECT WIFE, RIPPER: LETTER FROM HELL, BUFFY THE
            VAMPIRE SLAYER: SEASON ONE, DR. ORLOFF'S MONSTER,
            DEAD SIMPLE, GHOST DOG: WAY OF THE SAMURAI,
            HALLMARK TV CLASSICS COLLECTION, STEPHEN KING'S
            HORROR DVD COLLECTION, MELIES THE MAGICIAN, TRON
            20th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION, ULTRACOP 2000 and
            ANGEL ON FIRE, EMPEROR OF SHAOLIN KUNG FU go on sale
            today.

FRI. 18: MOVIES -  BLACK HAWK DOWN premieres today.

TUE. 22: VIDEO RENTAL: KISS OF THE DRAGON goes out for rent today.
           VIDEO SELL-THROUGH: THE BLAIR THUMB, EVOLUTION: THE
            ANIMATED MOVIE, FARSCAPE #10: NERVE/ HIDDEN MEMORY
            goes on sale today.
           DVD SELL-THROUGH: KISS OF THE DRAGON, THE 6th DAY
            SPECIAL DOUBLE DISC EDITION, THE BLAIR THUMB,
            EVOLUTION: THE ANIMATED MOVIE, FARSCAPE #10: NERVE/
            HIDDEN MEMORY, TEENAGE ZOMBIES, WITCHHOUSE 2,
            WITCHHOUSE 3: DEMON FIRE (SPECIAL EDITION), THE
            BLAZING TEMPLE, FATAL NEEDLES VS. FATAL FISTS and NINJA
            VS. SHAOLIN GUARD go on sale today.

FRI. 25: MOVIE - THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, KUNG POW!:
        ENTER THE FIST and  THE COUNT OF MONTE
        CRISTO all premiere today.

SAT 26: ICS MEETING

SUN. 27: TV - STEPHEN KING'S ROSE RED debuts tonight on ABC.

TUE. 29: VIDEO RENTAL: THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION, comes to
            rental shelves today.
           VIDEO SELL-THROUGH: ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE, BEYOND
            SUSPICION, ENEMY AT THE GATE SPECIAL EDITION, GABRIEL
            OVER THE WHITE HOUSE, GHOST BREAKERS, GLADIATOR,
            HARVEY, HOLLOW MAN, LEXX, series 2, volume 5, MONKEYBONE,
            MR. BILL DOES VEGAS, MR. BILL GOES TO HOLLYWOOD,
            THIRTEEN DAYS, and ZETA ONE go on sale today.
           DVD SELL-THROUGH: THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION,
           ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE, CREEPIN', ENEMY AT THE GATE
            SPECIAL EDITION, GLADIATOR, GROUNDHOG DAY SPECIAL
            EDITION, HARVEY, LAKE PLACID, LEXX, series 2, volume 5,
            MONKEYBONE, THIRTEEN DAYS, WES CARVEN'S VAMPIRE IN
            BROOKLYN and ZETA ONE hit sale racks today.

JANUARY 4:  is about a weapons engineer (Gary Sinise) who invents the ultimate weapon in a war against aliens. His discovery leads to him being suspected of being an alien himself. Also in the film are Madeline Stowe and Vincent D'onofrio. The movie's based on the short story "Impostor," by Phillip K. Dick (upon whose work the films TOTAL RECALL and BLADE RUNNER were also based). It's directed by Gary Felder (DON'T SAY A WORD, KISS THE GIRLS, THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU'RE DEAD). The screenplay adaptation was by Scott Rosenberg (GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS, HIGH FIDELITY). The screenplay itself was by Caroline Case (KISS THE GIRLS), Ehren Kruger (SCREAM 3, ARLINGTON ROAD) and David Twohy (PITCH BLACK, THE ARRIVAL).

    JANUARY 18:
is the true story of the Battle of Mogadishu, the longest sustained ground battle involving American soldiers since the Vietnam War. An elite force of 120 American Delta units and Ranger infantry were dropped into Mogadishu on October 3rd, 1993, to abduct two of Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid's lieutenants. Instead, two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were shot down, and what was expected to take an hour lasted 15, resulting in the deaths of 18 Americans, 73 wounded, and hundreds of Somalians dead. In the cast are Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Sam Shepard, Tom Sizemore and Eric Bana. The director is Ridley Scott (ALIEN, BLADE RUNNER, GLADIATOR). Screenwriters are Mark Bowden (who wrote the book and script's first draft), Ken Nolan (making his feature film debut) and Steven Zaillian (AWAKENINGS, SCHINDLER'S LIST, HANNIBAL).

    JANUARY 25: CLUB MEETING