#37-February 2002
CLUB NEWS
1.JANUARY'S MEETING MAY HAVE BEEN THE BEST YET
2.NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
3.WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBER: TOM WOODWARD
4.WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBER: SCOTT HURD
5.THE ICS VS. WAGNER
6.BARRY INTRODUCTION OF THE FEBRUARY MEETING
7.ELECTION RESULTS
8.AUDIT RESULTS
9.DUES NEWS
10.THREE YEARS IN THE DARK
11.AHEAD FOR THE ICS
12.CONSIDER SIGNING UP FOR MOVIES
13.A POOL OF OSCARS
14.WANTED: A FOOD COORDINATOR
TV NEWS
15.THE GLASS TEAT
With news on Leonard Nimoy, new pilots on NBC for CARRIE and LOST IN SPACE, ALEXANDER THE GREAT, GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA, SMALLVILLE, STARGATE SG-1, HISTORY OF THE 21st  CENTURY, a BUFFY/ANGEL crossover, ENTERPRISE, SHEENA and DAN AYKROYD'S OUT THERE. 
16.ABC DISCOVERS IMAGINATIVE TV
17.BIRDS OF PREY - MIGRATING TO THE WB
18.THE BUFFY CARTOON IS STALLED
19.BUFFY'S GETTING DARKER
20.USA ENTERS THE DEAD ZONE
21.THE DINOTOPIA TRAILER IS NOW ONLINE
22.ABC OKs DREAMKEEPER
23.I DREAM OF BROADWAY
24.JEREMIAH'S COMING IN MARCH
25.ODYSSEY 5 IS HEADED FOR SHOWTIME
26.ROSWELL GETS YET ANOTHER REPRIEVE
27.LEX IS STILL GOOD IN SMALLVILLE
28.SPECIAL UNIT 2 IS AXED
29.SPIDER-MAN IS SET TO ROCK MTV
30.SCI-FI JOURNEYS TO STRANGE WORLD
31.ABC AND FOX  AND DUELING TIME TUNNELS
32.X-FILES FINALLY RUNS OUT OF GAS 
33.DUCHOVNY IS WILLING TO RETURN FOR THE FINALE
34.THE ICS SPEAKS: FAVORITE TELEVISION SHOWS OF THE 2001/2 SEASON
EVENT NEWS
35.THINGS TO COME
With news on FARPOINT, KATSUCON 8, JOHN CON, CREATION CON, JOHNS HOPKINS FILM FESTIVAL, FILMFEST DC and  CHILLER THEATER SPRING EXPO .
LITERARY NEWS
36.STEPHEN KING IS CALLING IT QUITS
37.RECENT TITLES: BOOKS ABOUT MOVIES
38.RECENT TITLES: MEDIA TIE-INS
39.RECENT TITLES: OTHER BOOKS OF INTEREST
MOVIE NEWS
40.QUICK TAKES: 
With news on PLANET OF THE APES, STAR TREK: NEMESIS, SHREK 2, Matt Helm, CHARLIE'S ANGELS 2, Oscars for Robert Redford and Sidney Portier and WARRIOR QUEEN. 
41.THE BLAIR WITCH LIVES!
42.JERRY BRUCKHEIMER IS THINKING OF TACKLING 9/11
43.RIDLEY SCOTT PONDERS ALIEN 5
44.AUSTIN POWERS 3 IS NO LONGER A GOLDMEMBER
45.TARANTINO MIGHT HAVE HAD THE BOND FRANCHISE SHAKEN AND STIRRED
46.A CONAN SEQUEL IS ON THE WAY . . . EVENTUALLY
47.THE ADVENTURES OF HARRY POTTER AND THE FATIGUED BUTTOCKS
48.INDIANA JONES IS A GO
49.THE MATRIX SEQUEL MAKES ONE HELL OF A BLAST
50.ROBOCOP REVISITED
51.SCHWARZENEGGER BLAMES HOLLYWOOD MOVIE VIOLENCE FOR 9/11
52.LUCAS WAS DRAWN TO THE DARK SIDE OF VADER
53.C-3PO SHOWS HIS FACE BUT LOSES HIS VOICE
54.LOOKING FOR EPISODE II SPOILERS?
55.AHNOLD TALKS T3
56.A TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
57.TRUE LIES 2 MAY HAVE TO WAIT
58.TREASURE PLANET IS IMAX-BOUND
59.THE ICS SPEAKS: THE BEST AND WORST MOVIES OF 2001
60.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY
News on the premieres of COLLATERAL DAMAGE, ROLLERBALL, DRAGONFLY and THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED.
INTERNET NEWS
61.MOVIES ONLINE? OOOHHH, GROSS!
TECHNOLOGY NEWS
62.THANK GOD, MORE TIME FOR ADS!
63.THAT TAKES SOME MOXI!
64.HOW TO SET UP A HOME THEATER WITHOUT FILING BANKRUPTCY
65.DIGITAL TV EXPANDS IN EUROPE - BUT HOW DO YOU USE THE REMOTE?
66.THE FORMAT THAT WOULD BE KING: THREE OUT OF FOUR'S NOT BAD
67.THE FORMAT THAT WOULD BE KING: UP CLOSE WITH THE DVR-7000
68.THE FORMAT THAT WOULD BE KING: D-VHS CLEARS A HURDLE
VIDEO NEWS
69.CUTTING THE TAPE
70.SAY GOOD-BYE TO THE BIG BLUE SHACK
71.RIDLEY SCOTT IS REDOING BLADE RUNNER FOR DVD
72.THE RINGS DVD WILL ADD UNSEEN FOOTAGE
73.SHREK SEES GREEN
74.THE BEST OF 2001 ON VIDEO
75.UPCOMING RELEASES
IN REVIEW
76. FEBRUARY CALENDAR
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1.JANUARY'S MEETING MAY HAVE BEEN THE BEST YET
    January was, by all accounts, an amazing meeting. We started with our first ever guest speaker, Dr. Tom Woodward, talking about "The Economics of the STAR TREK Universe." A guest speaker is when someone who is not a club member comes and speaks. As you'll see below, that's no longer the case for Tom Woodward. We had our annual election (see below) and audit (see below). We got to watch I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, thanks to Andrew Kent. We celebrated our third anniversary with not one, but two cakes (thanks go to Regina Vallerani and Charlie Wittig). In our business meeting we talked about our new starting time, buying a VCR, calendars, coming attractions, signing up for movies, some other possible guests at our meeting and the coming CreepCon convention.
2.NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING 
    Our February meeting will be held on Saturday February 23 at 5:30 PM at the church hall behind the Perry Hall Presbyterian Church located at 8848 BelAir Road. Take Baltimore Beltway exit 32 north on Belair Road. Turn left onto Joppa Road. Immediately past the miniature golf course turn left into the parking lot. If you miss it there are ample turn-around opportunities. If you get stuck call 410-598-8005. That's Dave Henderson's cell phone. He'll talk you in.
3.WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBER: TOM WOODWARD 
    The Board of Directors gave a year-long membership to Tom Woodward in thanks for his excellent presentation on "The Economics of the Star Trek Universe." In a note to the club Tom said, "I appreciate how warmly I was welcomed and received. . . . I have already learned a number of new things just by attending the meeting (about zombie movies if nothing else).  And I feel like I met a number of new friends.  I certainly hope to attend some future meetings." 
    Tom, we certainly hope you do too. Welcome to the club!
4.WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBER: SCOTT HURD 
    You may have seen Scott Hurd at our last meeting. He's the brother to Donna Sentz and uncle to Dava. January was his first meeting. He joined on the spot. He had a great time. Scott, I'm sure I speak for the club when I say we're looking forward to getting to know you. Welcome aboard!
5.THE ICS VS. WAGNER 
    You may have met our recent member, Tom Proveaux. Did you know he's an opera fan? He had a choice to make. Our club meeting nights were falling on his opera nights. For those of us who don't know the beauty of Bizet, the value of Verdi or the marvels of Mozart you may not understand the dilemma. So suppose there were club meetings fell on nights when there was another event that you really loved? Suppose, also, that you'd only just started coming to the meetings? Well, for Tom, the ICS won. He's arranged to keep a Saturday night a month open for us. 
    Thanks Tom. It's dedication like that that has made our last three years such a success and will see us well into the future. 
6.BARRY INTRODUCTION OF THE FEBRUARY MEETING 
    What follows is Barry Murphy inimitable introduction of his serial presentation and his movie selection. Here, in his own words, is Mr. Murphy. 
"The last chapter is titled The Skipper's Last Stand. It's kinda like a potpourri of stuff that I haven't touched on that includes my favorite plot device (the villain guessing game), imaginative use of stock footage and best cliffhanger endings.  Also have some interviews with some serial folks such as writer (Barry Shipman), director (William Whitney) and actresses (Linda Stirling & Peggy Stewart).

"The movie theme could be called The Good, The Bad And The Absurd.  Titles planned so far include . . . 
THE OLD DARK HOUSE
HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM
YOU'LL FIND OUT
CIRCUS OF HORRORS
BILLY THE KID VS. DRACULA

"Good grief, I have the serial presentation, I bring a bunch of serials to choose from for the next 12 months chapter per meeting and I have the movies for the night.  I think after the February Meeting, ICS members might be a little tired of seeing my pretty face. Perhaps I should take a few months off." 
Barry, I wouldn't worry. I get the sense that this club is not even CLOSE to being Skippered-out.
.ELECTION RESULTS 
    For the first time ever the ICS has the same Board two years in a row. Our present Board consists of Dave Henderson, Joe Plempel, Regina Vallerani, David Willard and Charlie Wittig. Even though he wasn't elected, we want to thank John Ward for running. It shows a deep level of care and commitment to run for the Board. We strongly encourage everyone to consider running each year. The more candidates we have to choose from the stronger the Board and the club will be. We are blessed with an abundance of talent in this club. If we don't get to use you for the Board we hope we'll find other ways to use your abilities for the good of the ICS.
8.AUDIT RESULTS 
    Our crack treasurer, Regina Vallerani, helped Vince DiLeonardi audit our books for last year. We're happy to report that 2001 is in fine shape. All the bank statements balanced and the books are in order. Anytime anyone in the club has any questions about the club's finances just let the Board know. Our books are always open.
9.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.
 

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

10.THREE YEARS IN THE DARK 
    We've spent three years gathered together on the last Saturday of every month watching movies. I thought it might be fun to look back and remember what we've seen. When you look at the titles you might recall the meeting the title was shown at, how good or bad it was and if there were any good wisecracks coming from the audience. Here, for your viewing pleasure is a look at how we've spent the last three years.
 

THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE IT: THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE
THE CAR KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE
THE CAT AND THE CANARY THE KILLER SHREWS
THE CAT PEOPLE THE MAN FROM PLANET X
CASINO ROYALE (TV) THE MIRACLE MILE
THE CORPSE VANISHES (MST3K) MR. VAMPIRE
THE CRIMES OF DR. CRESPI THE MUMMY'S CURSE
THE CRIMSON GHOST THE NIGHT STALKER
CURSE OF THE DEMON THE PHANTOM SHIP
DARK INTRUDER SABOTAGE
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL SHE DEMON
DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING THE SON OF DRACULA
THE GIANT CLAW A STUDY IN TERROR
GODZILLA 2000 THRILLER: YOURS TRULY, JACK THE RIPPER
THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD TREMORS
THE HEADLESS GHOST WORLD WITHOUT END
I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE X-THE UNKNOWN
THE IRON GIANT
11.AHEAD FOR THE ICS 
    We have an exciting year ahead of us in 2002. Here's a look at what's coming up. 
    In March we've got our next round of our fast-paced trivia show, "ICS Academic." Regina will bring movies in that month. 
    In April we've got an extravaganza planned. We'll have our first-ever "All-Dayer." We'll start showing movies at 12 noon. At 4:00 we'll hold an auction that day. Later, following a brief business meeting we're attempting to set up a guest speaker who'll be showing a feature film that he directed. 
    In May we have part one of my presentation and films. It will be entitled "Martial Arts Cinema I: The World of Wuxia," looking at classic Chinese martial arts cinema. 
    In June Tim and Heather Fleming will be bringing movies. The topic is to be determined. 
    We're still working on July but it should be fun. 
    In August Donna and Dava Sentz will be doing a presentation and movies featuring Hammer Studios. 
    In September I'll be back with "Martial Arts Cinema II: The World of Bushido," looking at classic Japanese samurai movies. 
    Dave Henderson's got a surprise for us at our Halloween blowout in October. 
    Charlie Wittig will be talking about "Computers in the Movies" in November. 
    We'll end the year with our annual Yankee Swap and films by Mike Schilling
    Besides all of that, they'll be trips to conventions and gatherings at movie premieres. After our membership renewal is over in March I'll be submitting our membership list to a company for everyone to receive special sneak preview movie passes for upcoming films. 
    This year will be an exciting year. Thanks for joining us!
12.CONSIDER SIGNING UP FOR MOVIES 
    What you're about to read may sound silly but please think about it. Even though our next available open month for bringing in movies is April 2003 (!) consider signing up to bring them in. We'd especially like to hear from someone who hasn't brought them in before. This is your chance to dazzle us with your collection. If you'd like to sign up for doing a presentation the same night you'll be bringing titles in, it's not mandatory, but it would be terrific. If you don't sign up now then, come April 2003, you'll be thinking about doing it, but you'll have to wait until July 2004. 
    If you'd like to sign up, see our secretary Dave Henderson at a meeting, e-mail him at imhendo@hotmail.com or call him at (410) 529-0726.
13.A POOL OF OSCARS 
    At our next meeting John Ward is going to walk us through an Oscar betting pool. The winner(s) will get half the pot. The other half will go to benefit the ICS. Look for John's announcement at our next meeting. 
14.WANTED: A FOOD COORDINATOR 
    We've created a new position that needs filling. We need someone to oversee the snacks. We'll need to have somebody pull duplicate or similar snacks (like chips) off to the side and, when the food's getting low, place them back out. We want to avoid opened bags when only one handful of chips is removed from a large bag by the end of the night. There may be a few other things for juggling and coordinating snacks that we'll need for you to do. It's not tough, it won't take much time, and it would help the club. Please consider serving as our new food coordinator. We'll talk about this at our February meeting.
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15.THE GLASS TEAT 
Mr. Spock makes sure we keep watching the skys! Leonard Nimoy and his wife, Susan, donated $1 million to the renovation of Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory. The massive remodel, which began Jan. 7, will include construction of the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater, a 200-seat proscenium-arch-style auditorium for special events. The three-year renovation is the first in the 66-year-old landmark's history and will be completed in 2004. . . . NBC contemplates Carrie White and Dr. Smith. NBC is mulling a remake of the classic Stephen King horror film CARRIE and a new two-hour TV movie update of LOST IN SPACE as pilots for possible series. MGM Television will produce the new CARRIE, and Fox TV Pictures will produce LOST IN SPACE. While NBC has so far ordered only scripts for both projects, they are likely to end up on the air. Bryan Fuller will write the new CARRIE, which will closely follow the plot of the original 1976 Brian De Palma movie. The update will be set in the present and feature greatly enhanced special effects. LOST IN SPACE will receive a complete makeover, but will include references to the original 1960s series. It can only be better than its 1998 theatrical incarnation. . . . Swords, sandals and HBO. HBO's next epic miniseries will be the 10-part  drama ALEXANDER THE GREAT. Produced by Mel Gibson & Bruce Davey's Icon Productions, the 2004 event will be based on Mary Renault's best-selling novels Fire From Heaven and The Persian Boy, chronicling the rise and fall of Alexander. Production is scheduled to begin in mid-2002. . . . ANDROMEDA has a new executive producer. You might remember the story that the syndicated program GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA was left without an executive producer when the show's creator, Robert Hewitt Wolf, left. A replacement has been found. Veteran writer-producer Robert Engels is the new boss. Engels worked on David Lynch's TWIN PEAKS, co-wrote the film TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME and served as co-executive producer on the series SEAQUEST DSV. Supervising consultants Matt Kiene and Joe Rienkemeyer and consultants Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz are returning for the series' third season. . . . ANDROMEDA gets renewed. Tribune Entertainment has locked up its series ANDROMEDA for at least two more seasons. The series has been cleared on 39 of the top 40 stations through the 2003-2004 season, covering 78 percent of the United States. The show's 2.9 average weekly rating is the highest rated for any first-run syndication hour this season followed closely by another Tribune distributed series - MUTANT X. . . . The WB Renews SMALLVILLE. The WB is picking up its series SMALLVILLE for another full season. It's The WB's highest-rated program this season among adults 18-34, men 18-34, men 18-49, males 12-34 and male teens. It has improved in ratings among adults 18-34 and over 35 and in ratings among adults 18-49 year-to-year. . . . Corin Nemec joins STARGATE SG-1. Corin Nemec (PARKER LEWIS CAN'T LOSE) joins the cast of STARGATE SG-1 when the series begins its sixth season on the Sci-Fi Channel in June. Michael Shanks, who played Daniel Jackson, leaves the show at the end of the current season. Nemec will play Jonas Quinn, a human leader from another planet, who visits Earth and becomes entangled with the SG-1 team. Quinn is introduced in the season-five finale. . . . HISTORY OF THE 21ST CENTURY. Glenn Morgan and Jim Wong (FINAL DESTINATION, THE X-FILES, MILLENIUM) are developing an NBC drama entitled HISTORY OF THE 21st  CENTURY, based on former JPL mission director Gentry Lee's upcoming book of the same name. HISTORY chronicles the 21st century from the perspective of a historian in 2112. . . . A BUFFY/ANGEL crossover is not out of the question. Joss Whedon said recently that a crossover between BUFFY and ANGEL may still be in the works, even though the two shows air on rival networks and producers have previously downplayed the likelihood of a pair-up. "It's not something we're pursuing this year, but it's something we might get into next year if things have cooled down between the two networks." . . . Odo's on ENTERPRISE. STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE regular René Auberjonois (who played Security Chief Odo) will guest-star in an upcoming episode of ENTERPRISE. Look for it later this season. . . . SHEENA is toast. Sony has canceled the low-rated syndicated series SHEENA, which starred Geena Lee Nolin. . . . Sci-Fi Shelves OUT THERE. You might remember a report on a coming show on the SCi-Fi Channel to be titled DAN AYKROYD'S OUT THERE. Well, the smart alec response to that title is, "no he's not." the Sci-Fi Channel has shelved it. They say they'll overhaul the show before rolling it out. Whether they will or the show is simply aborted remains to be seen. OUT THERE was to have featured Aykroyd hosting an informal round-table discussion about the paranormal.
16.ABC DISCOVERS IMAGINATIVE TV 
    ABC has ordered up several genre pilots as potential series for the 2002-'03 season. They include THAT WAS THEN, an hour-long drama about a 30-year-old man who longs to go back in time to relive a week in high school and an as-yet-untitled drama about a family that fights for justice with martial arts skills. They're looking to develop series that may stand as long-term franchises. Among the others there are: 

VERITAS, From Touchstone/Storyline Productions, an Indiana Jones-style two-hour backdoor pilot about a father-son team of archeologists. 
ASTRONAUTS, from 20th Century TV/Industry, about astronauts looking to win a spot on a mission to Mars. 
PARANORMAL GIRL, from Touchstone, about a teen-age girl who discovers she has weird powers and is recruited by the FBI to help solve crimes.
17.BIRDS OF PREY - MIGRATING TO THE WB 
    The WB is far along in its development of BIRDS OF PREY, based on the DC Comics superhero series. The WB entertainment president, Jordan Levin, announced, "We're starting to go into casting right now and are [eyeing a] fall premiere. And there are some other [comic-based] properties that we're playing around with, too." 
    BIRDS OF PREY tells the story of computer intelligence expert Oracle, the wheelchair-bound Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) and her field operative partner Black Canary. "I think it's important that it's accessible," Levin said "I mean, I love comic books. I'm a comic-book junkie, but that's a niche form of storytelling. I think that for broadcast television, you have to balance the ability to not alienate that audience, but also make it accessible and bring in a new audience. I think that SMALLVILLE is successful in that largely." 
18.THE BUFFY CARTOON IS STALLED 
    BUFFY executive producer Marti Noxon has said that the proposed animated version of the series may be stalled. "The animated series is still in the works," Noxon said. "I think that . . . there's been some problems with Fox Family TV. So I'm not sure it's going to go on, . . . not because of anything having to do with the show, but because I think Fox is not sure that they want to do more family programming like that. . . . It's not going away, because scripts are written and stuff has already been done. But right now, the question is where it's going to end up airing." 
    Noxon said that Whedon and other BUFFY writers have already written a half dozen scripts for the animated series. "Almost everybody except me," she said with a laugh. The animated show is "really funny. It's really charming. It's got to get on the air. It's definitely one of those animated shows that skews both for adults and kids. It's going to kick Spongebob's ass! Just kidding." 
    David Boreanaz said that he won't be voicing the vampire character in the animated show, which is supposed to be set back at Sunnydale High School. "Joss came to me, and he said, 'We're doing the BUFFY animated thing, and you're more than welcome to come down.' And I've just been so tied up now with work that it just hasn't happened. So I don't think it's going to happen."
19.BUFFY'S GETTING DARKER 
    Marti Noxon said that the show will turn darker as it enters the home stretch of its sixth season. "One of the questions we've been getting a lot of is there doesn't seem to be a big bad this season," Noxon said. "And what I can say is that the climax is going to be big. There may not be a big bad, but there's a big bad climax coming. I think basically what people can expect is that the seeds that have been planted throughout the season, the kind of troubles that have been brewing with all the characters, are all going to come to a head. But . . . this whole season has been very character-driven. There's not so much stuff coming from the outside." 
    This year, the show's characters have dealt with the issues of growing up and facing young adulthood, Noxon said. "Buffy is dealing with a ton of adult issues, because of the fact that Giles has left and Joyce has passed away. And she's got her sister to deal with. But I also think the adult responsibility of how you deal with sexuality and relationships." Among other things, Buffy and Spike's relationship will reach a turning point. "She's made a choice right now that is very adult, because she's in a relationship that is a lot more sexual and less romanticized. But there's also going to be a price to pay for that, because it's obviously not the healthiest situation. So she's dealing with something that I think only happens when you get out of that sort of dreamy, romantic teen-age period. And then, you know, obviously Xander facing marriage and the responsibility of being a husband. And then Willow dealing with how she deals with her power and addiction." 
    Even the three nerd villains are part of the season's overriding theme. "The trio are also a reflection of that, because they're trying to do anything to sort of shortcut having to do adult things, like get a job or go to school," Noxon said. "So really the whole thing is either about evading or accepting responsibility, which is sort of what the 20s are all about, baby! The faster you run, the worse it gets." She added, "I think you can expect that we're not going to play them totally for laughs for the rest of the season. Right now, they've been played mostly for comic relief, which I think is why people haven't felt them as really threatening. But things are definitely going to take a turn. It's not going to stay quite as comedic."
20.USA ENTERS THE DEAD ZONE 
    USA Network announced that it will air THE DEAD ZONE, a new paranormal one-hour dramatic series based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, starting in June 2002. The series, starring Anthony Michael Hall, was originally slated to appear on UPN at mid-season this year. It's been developed by Michael Piller and Shawn Piller (STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE). USA Network has picked it up for a full 22 episodes in addition to the already filmed pilot episode. 
   Hall will play Johnny Smith, an ordinary man who emerges from a coma to discover that his fiancée has married another man, that he has a son who doesn't know him - and that he has developed strange psychic powers. Nicole De Boer (STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE) co-stars as Sarah Bracknell. The series also co-stars Chris Bruno and John Adams. 
    According to a USA Network VP "We are building the show from the pilot, and it will be a somewhat different show for USA than it would have been for UPN. We have a slightly older, broader target audience than UPN's younger guys. So it will affect the creative balance." Gosh, a show for people who are no longer in high school? Sounds like fun!
21.THE DINOTOPIA TRAILER IS NOW ONLINE 
    ABC has posted a trailer and other information on an official Web site for DINOTOPIA, its upcoming miniseries based on James Gurney's best-selling children's books. The network also announced that the six-hour miniseries from Hallmark Entertainment will air starting May 12 at 7 PM. 
    DINOTOPIA tells the story of Frank Scott (Stuart Wilson), a wealthy American, and his two teen-age sons, Karl (Tyron Leitso) and David (Wentworth Miller), who survive a plane crash and find themselves castaway on a lost continent where humans and dinosaurs peacefully coexist.
22.ABC OKs DREAMKEEPER 
    ABC has given the green light to DREAMKEEPER, a miniseries about the myths and legends of Native American culture. Robert Halmi Sr. and Hallmark Entertainment will produce the four-hour miniseries, which is set to begin production in May. The miniseries is slated for a November 2003 premiere. 
    Framed by the story of an American Indian boy and his grandfather, the miniseries will explore seven or eight Native American legends, including one about a rain god who falls in love with a mortal woman and another about an outcast child who attempts to tame a water beast and save his village. 
    The cast will be made up almost entirely of Native American actors, as will a huge chunk of the crew. The miniseries will make use of next-generation computer graphics to bring the lavish fables and myths to life. John Fusco (THUNDERHEART) wrote the script; Steve Baron (MERLIN) will direct.
23.I DREAM OF BROADWAY 
    Sidney Sheldon, creator of the classic TV series I DREAM OF JEANNIE, has granted rights to develop the show as a stage musical, eyeing a Broadway run. Scott Steindorff and Stone Village Productions will produce the musical, with Sheldon executive producing with Michael Viner and Deborah Raffin. 
    Steindorff had the idea of the transformation of the sitcom into a musical. Viner, who's executive producing a movie version of  JEANNIE with Sheldon at Columbia, got the creator aboard.
24.JEREMIAH'S COMING IN MARCH 
    Showtime will premiere JEREMIAH, a new series from BABYLON 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, on 8 PM March 3. The show stars Luke Perry and Malcolm-Jamal Warner and will open with a two-hour episode. Regular one-hour episodes will air Fridays at 10:45 PM. 
    The show's based on a European comic series, Jeremiah tells the story of Jeremiah (Perry) and other survivors of a future epidemic that has spared only those who have not yet reached puberty.
25.ODYSSEY 5 IS HEADED FOR SHOWTIME 
    Showtime has ordered up a full season of ODYSSEY 5, a time-travel series, for 2002. The network ordered a feature-length pilot and 18 one-hour episodes. 
    ODYSSEY 5 tells the story of astronauts who go back in time to avert an apocalypse on Earth. The series stars Peter Weller (ROBOCOP), Sebastian Roche (MERLIN), Christopher Gorham, Leslie Silva and Tamara Craig Thomas. Manny Coto executive produces the series and wrote the pilot script. David Carson (STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION) directed the premiere. 
    ODYSSEY 5 begins as an orbiting space shuttle crew witnesses a catastrophic event on Earth. Through alien technology, they are able to return home to their lives as they were five years earlier, with the knowledge of what's ahead and all the memories of those intervening years - and the chance to change not only the fate of the Earth but also the course of their own lives.
26.ROSWELL GETS YET ANOTHER REPRIEVE 
    Jason Katims, executive producer of ROSWELL, said that UPN has picked up seven more episodes of the current season, for a full year's complement. "They picked up another seven, so we're doing 20 episodes this year, a total of 20, which is good. We're shooting now the 14th episode. . . . We're more than halfway into shooting." The season finale, which will count as two episodes, will be aired in a two-hour block. 
    The show has faced stiff competition from The WB's SMALLVILLE. ROSWELL has been in danger of disappearing altogether, as it has for most of its life. As for whether UPN will pick up the series for a fourth season, Katims said, "For next year, we're essentially where we always are around this time of year, which is we don't know. This is where we were the first season and the second season, which is we're kind of at this point not sure about whether the show is going to come back."
27.LEX IS STILL GOOD IN SMALLVILLE 
    Michael Rosenbaum, who plays Lex Luthor in SMALLVILLE, said that he knows his character is destined to be evil - but he doesn't want it to happen right away. "I talk to the writers, and when there's something that's questionably evil, I say, 'You know what? Not yet,'" Rosenbaum said. "And they're like, 'No, no. This is good, because then we show that it was OK, like he had good intentions.' [But] he does things that show that dark side. People will f--k with him. That's when you see Lex. [But] he's [still] a good guy. He's a good judge of character." 
    Rosenbaum said it's doubtful Luthor will turn evil before the end of the show's current season. "But there will be a lot of fun stuff ahead," he said. "We've already done a lot of great things that are kind of secretive. . . . I shoot a machine gun in one episode, but I can't tell you why I do that. It's always interesting when you're coming on the set." 
28.SPECIAL UNIT 2 IS AXED 
    SPECIAL UNIT 2 has been canceled by UPN, despite the network already having picked up the series for a full season. Series creator and executive producer Evan Katz made the announcement, citing changes in UPN's management at the reason for the cancellation. "I could give you a lot of frustrating details, but the bottom line is the new management of UPN feels differently about the show than the old management. Our back order of nine episodes has been rescinded." 
    UPN has been undergoing some backroom restructuring recently, with the decision by parent company Viacom to merge UPN with its CBS Television Unit. Both networks now report to one chief executive - CBS's Leslie Moonves. UPN's former president Dean Valentine and President of Television Programming at Paramount Kerry McCluggage have both recently parted company with the network. 
    SPECIAL UNIT 2 premiered last April. It came in as a mid-season replacement for SEVEN DAYS. It was renewed for a second season as the lead-out show for ENTERPRISE. The show's 2.36/3.62 average rating through its first 13 broadcasts this season make it the network's third highest rated drama (behind BUFFY and ENTERPRISE) and its average currently outranks three other UPN series - THE HUGLEY'S, ROSWELL and UPN's NIGHT AT THE MOVIES. Obviously its 58.75% average retention rate of lead-in ENTERPRISE didn't help matters, making it the third worst retention rate on the six major networks - only THE AGENCY (51.06%) and ANGEL (57.36%) rank lower. 
    If you go to the Yahoo! Special Unit 2 message board you'll see that many fans are upset with the concellation. They have mounted an Online petition and letter-writing campaign to try to save the show.
29.SPIDER-MAN IS SET TO ROCK MTV 
    Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis confirmed that he is developing an animated SPIDER-MAN TV series for MTV. Bendis said, "It's too early to go into a bunch of specifics. It's not airing until the fall, but I can tell you that I am one of the executive producers and have written the pilot. I am writing a smattering of episodes in the first season, but not all of them. . . . This is a [computer-animated] series, but you have never seen CGI like this. Forget what you are picturing. It does not look like that. It's using CGI to create a traditional and really spectacular Spider-Man. Great character acting and animation. This is not the ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN TV show, as has been rumored. It is based on movie continuity, if continuity matters to you, but it has the same feel and tone of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. . . . As MTV announced earlier in the week, the show is green-lit and in physical production."
30.SCI-FI JOURNEYS TO STRANGE WORLD 
    If you were a fan of the short-lived ABC series, STRANGE WORLD, or if you were thinking about giving it a shot, you never had much of a chance. ABC bought thirteen episodes. Starting in March, 1999 they aired three of them before they canned the series. Ten of them have never seen the light of day - until now. 
    Howard Gordon, the defunct series' executive producer, is thrilled that all of the episodes will finally come out of hiding when the Sci-Fi Channel begins airing them at 8 PM, February 8. STRANGE WORLD is about a man with a mysterious disease who investigates abuses of science. 
    The 13 episodes will answer questions raised in the pilot, Gordon said. "Fortunately, because I think we smelled the end,  I think our most successful episode frankly was the very last one we did, which really does tell a close-ended story. In a sense it works as a limited-run series. Obviously, we left our door open in case we were to come back, but we also closed up what we needed to do so a lot of the questions are answered in the last episode. In the end, we discovered the secret of this thing was really telling it from the point of view of someone who himself was a science experiment. Who was at once the beneficiary and the victim of a science that was beyond what we have. He has this incurable disease, but here he was being cured on a provisional basis and used by this woman for purposes which it seems were to uncover abuses of science. Clearly whoever she was, and however nefarious she seemed, however obtuse, the mission seemed to be the reason he was kept alive, to uncover these corporate and individual excesses of science."
31.ABC AND FOX  AND DUELING TIME TUNNELS 
    ABC and Fox may fight over competing remakes of the Irwin Allen series, TIME TUNNEL. ABC optioned the rights to TIME TUNNEL, the 1964 book by William Jenkins, published under the pen name Murray Leinster. It's now developing a script based on the book through its Touchstone Television unit. 
    Fox, meanwhile, partnered three months ago with its sister studio 20th Century Fox TV and Regency Television to create a series based on Allen's TIME TUNNEL series. The show ran on ABC during the 1966-'67 season. 
    At issue is whether the original TV show was based on Jenkins' book. The Supreme Court has ruled that owners of a book on which a filmed property is based are entitled to profits from that property should those rights expire. ABC believes that 20th's rights to the Jenkins work expired in 1992, and, since they weren't renewed, ABC believes it could have a say in how any TV series based on THE TIME TUNNEL proceeds. Fox argues the book rights were purchased only to bring Jenkins into the camp of the TV series creators and to avoid public confusion from any future Jenkins written TIME TUNNEL sequels. The actual series, Fox argues, was based on an original Allen story. 
   The TIME TUNNEL series differs in several respects from the Jenkins novel. Fox said that the U.S. copyright office doesn't note any similarity between the Jenkins book and the Allen series. The Writers Guild didn't credit Jenkins for the TV series.
32.X-FILES FINALLY RUNS OUT OF GAS 
    Chris Carter confirmed that the once-powerhouse series will end its nine-season run on Fox in May. Carter said the decision came Jan. 16, following a meeting in which Carter told Fox Entertainment Television Group chairman Sandy Grushow and entertainment president Gail Berman that he was ready to end the series. 
    "It's the ninth inning," Carter said. "We want to go out on top. We wanted to go out as a strong show." Some think he's a couple of seasons too late for that. 
    The show will wrap with a two-part episode written by Carter - the show's 201st episode. Carter said, "I hope to answer as many questions as I feel that I should answer, but hopefully this season finale will lead us in a very clear way towards this next movie that we'd like to do." 
   Carter expects to develop the characters in a second X-FILES feature film, which remains in the works at Fox. "This show's afterlife will be strong," Carter said." 
    It will be interesting to see what sort of "legs" the show has in its afterlife. If it had a couple of seasons back, had a "death with dignity," the way some classic series have, it might have been well remembered and cherished. As it is, it has become sort of a large, stitched together mass of assorted anatomical parts roaming the electronic countryside. Will people be able to remember the show it once was and line up for movie tickets as a result? We'll see. 
33.DUCHOVNY IS WILLING TO RETURN FOR THE FINALE 
    David Duchovny is willing to return to help lay to rest the series that he helped to bring to life and, in turn, brought life to his career. Chris Carter said his desire to have Duchovny return has moved closer to reality. "David was open to it and now the legal and logistical complication of trying to get it done comes." The legal problems are Duchovny's law suit against the series, which is related to his share of revenues from the series. Carter adds, "I just have to make the show as interesting as possible, not just for David but for the fans." 
    If Duchovny does return, it will represent a reversal of his previous stand on the series. As late as November, he maintained he would not return to the TV series, but was open to possibly appearing in a second film spun off from the show. I'll keep you updated on this and let you know how it's going. 
34.THE ICS SPEAKS: FAVORITE TELEVISION SHOWS OF THE 2001/2 SEASON 
    The ICS has interesting viewing habits. Of the questionnaires given at the last meeting, 9 of 27 were left blank on the TV part. Either people weren't following directions, they watch shows that weren't part of the poll or they don't watch television. Of the two thirds of us who do watch, and did answer, the following is a list of what people look at. I combined the regular watchers with the occasional. I split them up in the questionnaire to get a sense of how deep the support was for a show. You'll notice several instances of tie votes. You'll see 3 third place, 2 sixth place and 5 eighth place shows. 
1. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER 
2. ENTERPRISE 
3. ANGEL 
3. SMALLVILLE 
3. X-FILES 
6. FARSCAPE 
6. THE OUTER LIMITS 
7. SPECIAL UNIT 2 
8. CHARMED 
8. DARK ANGEL 
8. FUTURAMA 
8. SHEENA 
8. THE TICK 
    Of the shows on the list the following had more occasional viewers than die hard fans: THE OUTER LIMITS, SPECIAL UNIT 2, CHARMED, FUTURAMA and SHEENA. 
    The shows that didn't get any response were BEASTMASTER, GENE RODDENBERRY'S EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT, THE IMMORTAL and MUTANT X. That last show, MUTANT X, is one of the highest rated syndicated sci-fi shows out there. Apparently its ratings can't be attributed to our club.

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35.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).

    JOHNS HOPKINS FILM FESTIVAL will take place from April 11-14 on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. Stand by for further details as they become available. 

    FILMFEST DC will hold its fifteenth annual festival beginning on April 17, running to the 28. They'll be bringing thirteen days of outstanding new cinema from around the world to the nation's capital. The screenings will take place throughout the city. The list includes theaters, clubs, museums, the French Embassy and the World Bank. Details of the festival will be posted on the festival Web site as they become available. The complete catalog will be distributed as an insert in The Washington Post on Friday, April 13. Tickets are moderately priced at $8.00 for most screenings. Advance ticket sales will be available starting April 5 through Tickets.com at (703) 218-6500. If you'd like more information go to the link provided. You can also contact Diana T. Kaiser via e-mail  at kaiserd@hisaokapr.com, or by phone at 202-466-6286. 

    CHILLER THEATER SPRING EXPO will take place April 19 - 21 at the Sheraton Meadowlands, Rt. 3 East in E. Rutherford, NJ. It's too early to give you a guest list and ticket details, but it's not too early to book a room at the Sheraton if you plan to attend. For reservations, call: (201) 896-0500 and ask for the Chiller rate.

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36.STEPHEN KING IS CALLING IT QUITS 
    Stephen King said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that he may hang up his pen for good. He said that ROSE RED will be one of his last projects. 
    He'll soon have a book of short stories, due in March; a novel, From a Buick Eight, in the fall; the last three novels in the Dark Tower series, to be completed in the coming year; and a limited series about a haunted hospital for ABC. "Then that's it. I'm done," he told the Times. 
    King added, "You get to a point where you get to the edges of a room, and you can go back and go where you've been and basically recycle stuff. I've seen it in my own work. People, when they read Buick Eight, are going to think Christine. It's about a car that's not normal, OK? You say, 'I've said the things that I have to say, that are new and fresh and interesting to people.' Then you have a choice. You can either continue to go on or say, 'I left when I was still on top of my game. I left when I was still holding the ball, instead of it holding me.' I don't want to finish up like Harold Robbins. That's my nightmare." 
37.RECENT TITLES: BOOKS ABOUT MOVIES 
    The End of Cinema As We Know It : American Film in the Nineties by Jon Lewis (Editor), $18.95 
This book takes a critical look at the decade that just past and sees how it changed American cinema. It gets its title from an observation by the French director, Jean-Luc Godard, who said, fifty years ago, "I await the end of cinema with optimism." The way films are made and exhibited has changed significantly. Films, some of which are not exactly "films" anymore, can now be projected in a wide variety of ways-on screens in revamped high tech theaters, on big, high-resolution TVs, on little screens in minivans and laptops. But with all this new gear, all these new ways of viewing films, are we necessarily getting different, better movies? The thirty-four brief essays in this book look at a variety of topics, from film censorship and preservation to the changing structure and status of independent cinema-from the continued importance of celebrity and stardom to the sudden importance of alternative video. Whole chapters are given to some of the bigger hits of the decade, such as JURASSIC PARK, THE MATRIX and INDEPENDENCE DAY. 

    Horror Film Stars by Michael R. Pitts, $39.95 
This is a revised edition of a twenty year old book. The lives of eighty stars are discussed. The diverse list includes John Carradine, Jamie Lee Curtis, Yvonne DeCarlo, Faith Domergue, Boris Karloff, Otto Kruger, Bela Lugosi, Jack Palance, Vincent Price, Santo, and George Zucco. The author has revised much of the information from the two previous editions and has added several more performers to the lineup of horror film stars. The performers are given well rounded career bios and detailed horror film write-ups, with complete filmographies provided for those most associated with horror, science fiction, and fantasy movies, and genre-oriented filmographies for the lesser stars. 

    The Rough Guide to Cult Movies by Paul Simpson, $11.95 
This book is filled with trivia, behind-the-scenes info and interesting stuff on the odd little backwaters of cult movies.
38.RECENT TITLES: MEDIA TIE-INS 
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer : The Book of Fours by Nancy Holder, $6.99 
The ghosts of Slayers past come to Sunnydale in this novel based in the show's third season. Certain elements are out of whack in Sunnydale; hurricanes, flash floods, and fires plague the town. The Slayers, Buffy and Faith, as well as their friends, realize something supernatural is behind the natural disasters when mysterious axe-wielding figures appear amid the chaos. The spirits have been summoned by a powerful sorceress to kill the Slayers and feed their essence to the Gatherer, a being made up of pure evil. If the Gatherer manages to kill and feed on both Slayers, it will rise from the box in which it is imprisoned, leading to eternal chaos. In order to defeat the Gatherer, Buffy and Faith must call upon the ghosts of Kendra and India, two slain Slayers who encountered the Gatherer in their lifetimes. 

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Creatures of Habit by Tom Fassbender, $17.95 
An old friend of Spike is in town, and he's getting every teenager in Sunnydale to trip the light fantastic at some very special underground raves. He has a plan that could mean big things for vampires everywhere, and Spike agrees to help him out. Everyone who is anyone is rolling at these after-hour parties, including a whole posse of vampires. Buffy and the Scooby gang are going out and getting down to put an end to what's become a euphoric feeding frenzy for some the baddest baddies in town. 

    Doctor Who: Mad Dogs and Englishmen by Paul Magrs, $6.95 
Professor Reginald Tyler's The True History of Planets was a twentieth century classic; an epic of dwarves and swords and wizardry. And definitely no poodles. Or at least it was when the Doctor read it. Now he tells the true tale of how the queen of the poodles was overthrown; it's been made into a hit movie, and it's going to cause a bloodbath in the dogworld - until the Doctor, Fitz and Anji (and assorted friends) can sort it out. The Doctor infiltrates the Smudgelings, Tyler's elite Cambridge writing set of the early twentieth century; Fitz falls for the flamboyant torch singer Brenda Scoobie in sixties Las Vegas, and Anji experiences some very special effects in Hollywood, 1978. Their intention is to prevent the movie ever being made. But there is a shadowy figure present in all three time zones who is just as determined to see it completed . . . so the poodle revolution can begin. 

    Enterprise : By the Book by Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Brannon Braga, $6.99 
This is the first stand-alone novel based on this new TREK series. The crew of the Enterprise finds itself in on a first contact mission. Captain Archer goes into this experience a novice and quickly finds the issues of first contact with alien species to be more difficult than a simple "hello" and a handshake. 

    Star Trek: In the Name of Honor by Dayton Ward, $6.99 
This book features the original series characters. It bridges the gap between the series and the movies. It's set at the height of the border skirmishes between the Klingons and the Federation. Klingon border patrols are crossing the neutral zone and taking prisoners and putting them to work on a jungle planet in the mines. When Captain James T. Kirk hears about the prisoners, he mounts a rescue mission. Kirk has to find a Klingon ally to help him. We have Klingon vs Klingon, Kirk trying to get the job done and the Klingon government determined to obliterate any knowledge of the gulag. 

    Star Wars: The Approaching Storm by Alan Dean Foster, $26.00 
In the years since the events of STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE, the Republic has continued to crumble, and more and more, the Jedi are needed to help the galactic government maintain order. As STAR WARS: EPISODE II opens, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker have just returned from a mission on a world called Ansion. The Approaching Storm tells the story of that daring mission.
39.RECENT TITLES: OTHER BOOKS OF INTEREST 
    Ghastly Terror : The Horrible Story of the Horror Comics by Stephen Sennitt, $19.95 
What were 1950s horror comics like? What were the stories about? And were they as frightening and as subversive as their critics made out? For the first time in book form, Ghastly Terror! addresses and answers all these questions-and more, tracing their development from the grotesque, psychotic visions of the ultra-primitive 'pre-code' horrors, through to the relatively sophisticated graphic nightmares of Warren and Skywald. 

    Nightmare at 20,000 Feet by Richard Matheson, Stephen King (Introduction), $24.95 
This is a collection of classic horror stories by Richard Matheson that have insinuated themselves into our collective imagination. They include "Duel," the nail-biting tale of man versus machines that inspired Steven Spielberg's first film; "Prey," in which a terrified woman is stalked by a malevolent Tiki doll, (and the basis for the 1996 TV movie, TRILOGY OF TERROR II); "Blood Son," a disturbing portrait of a strange little boy who dreams of being a vampire and "Dress of White Silk," a sinister tale of evil and innocence.

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40.QUICK TAKES: 
EVEN THE FREAKIN' CAST MEMBERS DIDN'T GET IT. Paul Giamatti, who played a wisecracking orangutan in Tim Burton's PLANET OF THE APES, when asked to explain the film's "strange ending," replied, "Strange is a nice word for it. I don't know what it was supposed to mean. I can't lie to you. I have no idea. It was cool. I liked it, but I don't know what it was supposed to mean." . . . A STAR TREK SANDWICH.STAR TREK: NEMESIS, the tenth TREK film, will open on Nov. 22. It will be sandwiched in between HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS and LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS. We hope, for their sake, that, despite the sandwiching, the big boys aren't going to eat TREK for lunch. . . . FAMILIAR VOICES RETURN FOR SHREK 2. Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz have all agreed to return to voice characters in the SHREK 2. Myers will again voice the green ogre, Murphy will play Donkey and Diaz will voice Princess Fiona. John Lithgow's appearance is unlikely. . . . MATT HELM IS BACK! DreamWorks has optioned the movie rights to a series of 27 Matt Helm spy novels by Donald Hamilton. Australian director Robert Luketic (LEGALLY BLONDE) is attached to the project. We can only hope that they'll be better than the (now) unwatchably kitschy 1960's movies that starred Dean Martin. There was also a short-lived 1975 TV show on ABC. The Helm books were published as pulpy paperbacks from 1960 to 1993. . . . WANTED - NEW BOSLEY. For the moment CHARLIE'S ANGELS have no Bosley to help them with their missions. Bill Murray has refused to appear in the film's sequel. Murray turned down millions of dollars to reprise his role and crew members have blamed his rift with Lucy Liu during filming of the original movie. Both Murray and Liu have "creative differences" and Liu is alleged to have punched the actor leading to one day's filming being canceled. A crew member says, "Once Bill knew Lucy was coming back, he wasn't interested in the sequel." . . . REDFORD AND PORTIER WILL RECEIVE HONORARY OSCARS. This year Robert Redford and Sidney Portier will receive honorary Oscars. Redford's will be in recognition of his work on both sides of the camera, and as founder of the Sundance Institute, which encourages aspiring film-makers. Portier's will be for his "extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen." . . . CHICKS IN SANDALS. After surviving THE MUMMY twice and the German army in ENEMY AT THE GATES, Rachel Weisz has her eyes on a new target. She's taking on a new tough-girl role - as Roman Queen Boudicca. Weisz will team up with fellow British star Dougray Scott for the movie - WARRIOR QUEEN. The actress will play rebellion leader Boudicca, with Scott taking the role of her macho lover. It will tell the story of the first-century uprising against the Romans led by Boudicca, the head of the Iceni tribe who revolted against the occupying forces after her husband died and her daughters were raped.
41.THE BLAIR WITCH LIVES! 
    A proposed BLAIR WITCH 3 sequel film may still have momentum. Artisan met with Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, writers and directors of the 1999 THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, before the New Year and reaffirmed its commitment to the project, eliciting a commitment from them to begin work on a script, the trade paper reported. 
    The new project comes in the wake of Artisan's merger with Landscape Pictures. The first sequel, BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2, went into production without Myrick and Sanchez's participation. Directed by feature documentary maker Joe Berlinger, BLAIR WITCH 2 grossed a disappointing $26 million.
42.JERRY BRUCKHEIMER IS THINKING OF TACKLING 9/11 
    Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of the action extravaganzas ARMAGEDDON, PEARL HARBOR and CON AIR, is said to be considering making a film on the tragedies surrounding  September 11. "I love making pictures that make a difference, about people who make a difference," Bruckheimer said. When asked if this meant that he could make a movie about the terrorist attacks he replied: "Sure. I think there will be stories that will come out of [the terrorist attacks on the United States] and they will be very heroic and worthwhile telling and somebody is going to have to sit down and write it." 
    There was a sense in Hollywood (if there can be said to be any sense in Hollywood) that no one wanted to make money off the misery generated by those terrible attacks. It will be interesting to see if this is the beginning of a paradigm shift, or if this is Bruckheimer being an insensitive idiot.
43.RIDLEY SCOTT PONDERS ALIEN 5 
    Director Ridley Scott is seriously considering making a new ALIEN film - explaining where the terrifying creatures came from. He says, "I'm seriously mulling it over. I think it would be a lot of fun, but the most important thing is to get the story right. We should go back to where the alien creatures were first found and explain how they were created. No one has ever explained why. I always figured a battleship carrying bio-mechanical organisms that could be weapons was sent into space with some space jockey who didn't last."
44.AUSTIN POWERS 3 IS NO LONGER A GOLDMEMBER 
    The Motion Picture Association of America has ruled "inadmissible" the title AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER, following a protest by MGM/UA, which owns the James Bond franchise. MGM and Bond producer Danjaq Productions had argued that the title of the New Line sequel was an unauthorized parody of 1964's GOLDFINGER. 
    New Line quietly took down its online promotional sites and began rescinding marketing materials the day after the ruling was handed down by the MPAA's three-member title administration arbitration panel. However, they've vowed to appeal the decision. Until the issue is resolved, New Line said that it would refer to the film as "the third installment of AUSTIN POWERS." They'd better move fast. The movie is scheduled for a July 26 release.
45.TARANTINO MIGHT HAVE HAD THE BOND FRANCHISE SHAKEN AND STIRRED 
    Quentin Tarantino is bummed out. He's lamenting his chance to write a James Bond movie. The man who gave us PULP FICTION  and RESERVOIR DOGS was desperate to write one of the Bond adventures. It seemed he'd get the chance when Bond producers Eon approached Tony Scott to direct a film. Scott directed Tarantino's TRUE ROMANCE, and was keen to have his buddy write the potential 007 flick. Scott said, "I actually got involved in the latest Bond film for a minute. I'd love to do it and I'd love to get Quentin Tarantino to write it, but then they got cold feet. If you had Quentin writing something like Bond it would be brilliant, but I think they were worried it would shift too far from the marketplace. But Quentin would be great for that stuff. He'd love to write a James Bond." 
    The Bond franchise, after THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, looks flabby and flatulent. It's gone from cutting edge action to a safe paint-by-the-numbers formulaic middle age. I think Tarantino is just what this franchise needs.
46.A CONAN SEQUEL IS ON THE WAY . . . EVENTUALLY 
    Ahnold Schwarzenegger said that writer/director John Milius is working on a new draft of the proposed KING CONAN, the sequel to CONAN THE BARBARIAN. Schwarzenegger explained, "He's rewriting it as we speak, because he has written it, and it was a 168-page script." 
    Schwarzenegger said it was the advice of the MATRIX creators, the Wachowski brothers, that prompted Milius to cut his script down. "One of the Wachowski brothers called and told him the script would take too much time and be a three-and-a-half-hour movie, [that] he should cut it down to 120 pages and take certain things out. And that's what he's doing right now." 
    There is no finish date in sight yet for the script. "As you know, with John, things take time," Schwarzenegger said. "He's not the quickest guy in town."
47.THE ADVENTURES OF HARRY POTTER AND THE FATIGUED BUTTOCKS 
    A January issue of "Entertainment Weekly" looked at the page-to-minute ratio of HARRY POTTER AND THE 
SORCERER'S STONE, and what it could mean for the sequels, which have a higher page count. With the 309-page STONE resulting in a 149-minute movie, the 341-page CHAMBER OF SECRETS would turn into a 164-minute movie, while the 435-page PRISONER OF AZKABAN might be 210 minutes in length, and the 734-page GOBLET OF FIRE could run as long as 354 minutes. 
    POTTER producer David Heyman has said "Christopher Columbus and I have talked about making two films [from the fourth novel]." The November release would then likely have a cliffhanger ending which would continue in a theatrical sequel released the following month.
48.INDIANA JONES IS A GO 
    Steven Spielberg has confirmed that he will produce a fourth Indiana Jones movie starring Harrison Ford and Spielberg's wife, Kate Capshaw. Spielberg said that the Indiana Jones film will be his priority once he completes CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, set for release in December. "We have a title, but we're not ready to announce it," Spielberg said. "I will give you one clue, though. Kate is in it." (Capshaw co-starred in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM in 1984.)  Harrison Ford said, "It was always about getting the right script, and now we have it."
49.THE MATRIX SEQUEL MAKES ONE HELL OF A BLAST 
    Producers of THE MATRIX RELOADED have filed for a permit to set off an enormous explosion at a power station near Sydney, Australia that ceased operations in 1983. The filmmakers plan to build a $200,000 set at the White Bay station, then explode it with such force that it will create a 65-foot fireball and a noise reaching 110 decibels (the maximum sound level permitted for a rock concert). The application states that the producers intend to set off the explosion at midnight ("to ensure maximum darkness") on Feb. 14.
50.ROBOCOP REVISITED 
    The original ROBOCOP director, Paul Verhoeven, has unveiled plans to bring the cyborg cop back to life. Verhoeven made the first movie of a three-film series in 1987 - with Peter Weller as the crime fighting cyborg. Two sequels were later made by other directors, one with Weller as Robocop. And now the Dutch movie-maker says he wants to bring Weller back to make a proper sequel, and he has a 95 page petition collected by an internet fan site to help convince movie giant  MGM to back the project. Verhoeven says, "About four weeks ago I was having lunch with Ed Neumeier, writer of ROBOCOP and STARSHIP TROOPERS, and during our conversation we got into ROBOCOP again and we both felt that it would be interesting to do something again, especially that we are now 15 years later in time. I would not redo the first one, I would probably do a sequel, the first real sequel. I think if you were to do it now you would have to reflect the world we live in now. I would start from scratch and find an innovative story, that would satisfy all the people that are basically longing, like me, for a good sequel."
51.SCHWARZENEGGER BLAMES HOLLYWOOD MOVIE VIOLENCE FOR 9/11 
    Ahnold Schwarzenegger thinks violent movies are partly to blame for the September 11th terror attacks on America. He told the German magazine, "Hoerzu," that he thinks some action films inadvertently pass on ideas to criminals. He said, "Hollywood has no moral code when it comes to violent films." 
    Gee Mr. Schwarzenegger, if you really think that violent movies are the cause of violence, than stop making those kinds of movies.
52.LUCAS WAS DRAWN TO THE DARK SIDE OF VADER 
    George Lucas said that the upcoming STAR WARS: EPISODE II - ATTACK OF THE CLONES will set the stage for Anakin Skywalker to become Darth Vader. "The issue . . . becomes, what is it in Anakin's personality that makes him turn bad?" Lucas pondered. "What is his flaw? He has a couple. The groundwork is put forward in this movie much more clearly. What brought me back to finish the whole thing off was the question of why, and how, Darth Vader became evil. The whole reason for going back and doing the backstory on STAR WARS is that there is an evolution from this very good person, very kind person, very loving person, into something that one would describe as evil." 
    Lucas also offered a few spoilers for the plot. Amidala (Natalie Portman) is now Senator Padme. Anakin (Hayden Christensen) falls in love with Padme while serving as her bodyguard. His loyalties are torn because the Jedi oath forbids romantic love. "Like Anakin, we all have to make choices, following instinct, reasoning and our heart," Christensen said. "We're continually being presented with influences, sometimes very opposing ones, that motivate us and affect our decisions. Hopefully we choose wisely."
53.C-3PO SHOWS HIS FACE BUT LOSES HIS VOICE 
    After playing the droid C-3PO since 1977 STAR WARS actor Anthony Daniels is finally showing his face in the next episode. In ATTACK OF THE CLONES he gets to play Lieutenant Faytonni. This is the fulfillment of a long-held dream of his. 
    As you know, C-3PO is known for his non-stop chatter. Ironically the role of Faytonni is a non-speaking part.
54.LOOKING FOR EPISODE II SPOILERS? 
    If you're looking for plot spoilers for STAR WARS: EPISODE II - ATTACK OF THE CLONES then I have just the place for you to go. A reviewer on the Dark Horizons Website is claiming to have seen the script and has posted a glowing review. I'll give you a couple non-spoiler things from his write-up. He writes, "The difference between the second prequel and its lackluster predecessor is the return to a sense of adventure. The second main asset of the second prequel is the introduction of a new theme in to the STAR WARS series: that of the Chandleresque detective story. . . . This script delivers: it delivers all the things that Lucas promised to with THE PHANTOM MENACE but failed. An old fashioned and sometimes cheesy adventure and love story, it was an immensely enjoyable read and I can not wait to see it on the big screen! Well done George, you have, at last, excelled yourself!!!!" 
    With apologies to readers getting the snail-mail edition, if you want any more of this review, with a very detailed plot summation, you'll need to go to the Website. Some of us still want to be surprised.
55.AHNOLD TALKS T3 
    Ahnold Schwarzenegger has said that the upcoming TERMINATOR 3 sequel film will begin shooting on April 15 under the direction of Jonathan Mostow. T3 begins with John Connor in his early 20s, with a new actor replacing Edward Furlong - a role that has yet to be cast. Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton in the previous two TERMINATOR films) will have died prior to the sequel's opening. T3 is subtitled RISE OF THE MACHINES. 
    Schwarzenegger explained "[Sarah Connor] is in the movie as flashbacks and stuff like that [Linda Hamilton will reprise her role], but I think they felt like they didn't want to have the exact same cast and have them be limited with the story, but really take certain people out, and just let's assume that she has died already. John is on his own, rather than having still [with] the mother there, whining away, saying, 'Get it straight. You have to be the savior. You can't do this, and you can't date this girl.' Jonathan was very adamant [that] he wanted the kid now to be 22 or 23, the mother's died, and let's move on. Let's have him be on his own. Let's have him have a girlfriend. And let's go to the next level. So that was the idea." 
    Schwarzenegger said that he was confident about turning the series over to Mostow after James Cameron declined to participate. "First of all, Cameron was not interested in doing the movie, because he felt like he does not want to tie himself down to any time schedule, period, on any movie," Schwarzenegger said. "He just finished shooting an IMAX movie, and he will be finished editing it this summer. Then he will be thinking about the next thing, whatever that is. So when you buy something like that, a movie like that, I think you have to move on, because the amount of money you put out is extraordinary. So the next thing was, let's find someone that is young and that has this young spirit of new ideas and all that. And when we saw the submarine movie Jonathan did, U-571, we all felt that he had the kind of talent and patience and know-how to work with special effects, visual effects and all of that. Then when we met him and had subsequent meetings with him, it became more and more clear that he has the right personality and calmness to do the film. And he has since then proven that by hiring the best of the best people around him, from [Industrial Light & Magic] to stunt coordinators to cameramen. He's been extremely good at prepping the movie and reworking the script."
56.A TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY 
    Michael Bay (PEARL HARBOR) is working on a remake of the 1974 horror classic THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE for his Platinum Dunes film company. Tobe Hooper, who directed the original film (as well as 1982's POLTERGEIST), is working with his original co-writer Kim Henkel on a draft of a new script. 
    There were three TCM sequels, the last in 1994 starring Renée Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey and Robert Jacks. It earned a ghastly $94,558. That wouldn't make me want to remake the movie. Maybe that's just me.
57.TRUE LIES 2 MAY HAVE TO WAIT 
    Jim Cameron has completed his script for TRUE LIES 2, which has been approved by Arnold Schwarzenegger, but the actor has indicated it may not go before the cameras before next year. Schwarzenegger said, "I'm going to go away for a long time to do TERMINATOR 3, and it's not my style to go away again so quickly and do another huge movie. I like to do one movie a year at the most." Schwarzenegger said that while "we have a good script," some changes will need to be made "because it deals with some terrorists' act of some sort." 
    Asked about repeated reports that he intends to run for office in California, Schwarzenegger remarked: "Do you honestly think I could run for office while I'm doing TERMINATOR 3 and then TRUE LIES 2. Be honest. I can't do all of it! I'm only human."
58.TREASURE PLANET IS IMAX-BOUND 
    Disney announced that it will release its upcoming animated movie, TREASURE PLANET, on Nov. 27 in both regular and IMAX formats. TREASURE PLANET will be the first major studio feature specifically formatted for the giant screen to be released at the same time as the regular film. 
    Based loosely on Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, PLANET comes from John Musker and Ron Clements, the creative team behind THE LITTLE MERMAID, ALADDIN and HERCULES. The movie features the voices of Emma Thompson, David Hyde Pierce, Martin Short, Brian Murray and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
59.THE ICS SPEAKS: THE BEST AND WORST MOVIES OF 2001 
    We presented a list of 59 titles and asked members to select their favorite and most disappointing titles for 2001. Following is the pick of the litter - the best of 2001: 
1. LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING 
2. SHREK 
3. CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON 
4. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE 
5. HANNIBAL 
6. MONSTERS, INC. 
7. THE GIFT 
8. SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE 
9. A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 
10. PEARL HARBOR 

    What follows is the bottom of the barrel. You'll notice some familiar titles on here (some of our titles share time on the best and worst list). Again, as in the TV list, there were several ties. They're reflected in the ranking. So, from most to least hated: 
1. PEARL HARBOR 
2. JURASSIC PARK III 
2. PLANET OF THE APES 
2. TOMB RAIDER 
5. JOHN CARPENTER'S GHOSTS OF MARS 
5. THE MUMMY RETURNS 
5. SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE 
8. 13 DAYS 
8. SWORDFISH 
8. HANNIBAL 

    Most of the titles on the best list also received votes on the worst list. Only six titles received no votes at all. They were THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT, BONES, HEIST, JUST VISITING, OSMOSIS JONES and SOUL SURVIVORS. 
60.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY 
    FEBRUARY 8: COLLATERAL DAMAGE is the long awaited Schwarzennegger film that was delayed after the September 11 attack. It tells the story of family man, a firefighter named Gordon Brewer (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who is plunged into the complex and dangerous world of international terrorism after he loses his wife and child in a bombing credited to Claudio "The Wolf" Perrini (Cliff Curtis). Frustrated with the official investigation and haunted by the thought that the man responsible for murdering his family might never be brought to justice, Brewer takes matters into his own hands and tracks his quarry ultimately to Colombia. He teams up with an unlikely ally - the wife of the terrorist (Francesca Neri). The director is Andrew Davis (THE FUGITIVE, A PERFECT MURDER, CHAIN REACTION, UNDER SIEGE). The story was co-written by Ronald Roose (who's done most of his work as an editor) and David and Peter Griffith (a pair of rookie Brits who went on to write the screenplay). 
    ROLLERBALL is a big budget Hollywood remake that's gotten a lot of press. In the future America of 2005 (they're only going 3 years in the future), "Rollerball" is a violent game whose players sometimes die. The film focuses on two players, the star of the team, Jonathan E. (Chris Klein) and his rambunctious friend (LL Cool J), who play for a Russian businessman (Jean Reno) who's willing to kill to get high ratings. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos is also on the team. Her character's name is "Aurora." The film was directed by veteran action director, John McTiernan (DIE HARD, LAST ACTION HERO, PREDATOR). It was written by Larry Ferguson (ALIEN 3, HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, HIGHLANDER) and John Pogue (THE SKULLS, U.S. MARSHALLS) based on the short story and 1975 screenplay by William Harrison. 

    FEBRUARY 22: DRAGONFLY is described as a "supernatural thriller." A man (Kevin Costner) believes that his deceased wife is trying to communicate with him through the near-death experiences of her patients and the mysterious dragonflies (in various forms) that haunt him, reminding him of her. The film was directed by Tom Shadyac (PATCH ADAMS; LIAR, LIAR). It was written by David Seltzer (PROPHECY, THE OMEN) and first-timers Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson. 
    THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED is based on the third of Anne Rice's vampire books (The Vampire Chronicles) and incorporates part of the second (The Vampire Lestat). Lestat (Stuart Townsend) has become a rock star, and it's that music that awakens the 6,000-year-old Egyptian vampire, Akasha (aka The Queen of the Damned, played by Aaliyah). She soon sets out on a plan of revenge against many of the male vampires that followed her, in the hopes of ruling the Earth with Lestat at her side. Meanwhile, there's a young female vampire hunter, Jessie Reeves (Marguerite Moreau), who begins to fall in love with Lestat. Lena Olin plays Jessie's "vixen aunt" who tries to stop her from seeing Lestat perform. It was directed by Michael Rymer (a director of a few small indie and direct-to-video films). It was adapted for the screen, from Anne Rice's novel by Scott Abbott and Michael Petroni (a pair of new writers with limited experience). 
    Anne Rice has put her stamp of approval on the movie, via a prerecorded telephone message (just call 504-522-8634). She proclaims "QUEEN OF THE DAMNED is an energetic and innovative rendition of the Vampire Chronicles, featuring fine performances and a magnificent look. . . . Well-directed, elegant and intriguing, the film is surely destined to take its place among notable modern interpretations of vampire mythology." 

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61.MOVIES ONLINE? OOOHHH, GROSS! 
    Despite the fact that a growing number of Internet users have access to broadband services, few people are interested in downloading and watching movies on their personal computers. Web-delivered movies will account for just 2 percent of all video distribution even by 2005, when broadband services are expected to predominate. The survey found that 75 percent of those who had never used a computer to watch a movie said they were "not very" or "not at all" interested in ever doing so.
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62.THANK GOD, MORE TIME FOR ADS! 
    What's that you ask? They can send a man to the moon, so why can't someone find a way to jam even more advertising in commercial TV? Well good luck, buddy, thanks to the executives of Prime Image your prayers have been answered. 
    They've invented something they call the Digital Time Machine. It's a device that, according to its developers, can shorten television programs unnoticeably so that additional commercials can be inserted into them. The device, according to the execs, merely hunts down duplicate frames that are present in virtually all programs, and eliminates them. "We don't change the pitch, you cannot detect that the images aren't there. You see everything, you hear everything, just in a shorter period of time," Bill Hendershot, who created the technology. He also noted that the system could be applied to movies shown on TV, allowing stations to fit a film into a designated time period without having to remove entire scenes. 
    Just think, no more long dramatic moments or tense pauses. From now on it's just action-action-action-ad-ad-ad-ad-ad-ad-ad-ad-action-action-ad-ad-ad-ad-ad . . . . Life is beautiful.
63.THAT TAKES SOME MOXI! 
    Steve Perlman, the man who is the inventor and co-founder of WebTV and who has worked for such companies as Atari, Apple Computer, and Microsoft has a new venture called Moxi Digital. The Moxi Media Center is a multifunction, IP-capable set-top box that promises to store, stream, and serve up just about every entertainment experience you can think of from a single, in-home server. Acting as the cerebrum of digital content for the home, the Moxi MC will play your DVDs and CDs, act as a cable or DSL router, store your digital music, and function as a PVR (a Personal Video Recorder, like TiVo) all in one box. Add to this the ability to browse webpages, send instant messages, and provide video-on-demand services, and the Moxi MC could be the last set-top box you'll ever need to purchase. 
    As a DSL or cable router the Moxi MC provides DHCP services with firewall security connecting not just the PCs in your home but Moxi MC remote terminals as well. With these terminals, called MCxs, users can connect their second and third sets of speakers and TVs in other rooms in the house via wireless or Ethernet uplinks. These feature-limited terminals can access unused video streams from your satellite dish or cable feed, providing customized video and audio on demand to pretty much every room in the house. 
    Pricing for the Moxi MC and MCx remote terminals will largely depend on cable and satellite providers and the services they want to include as a package. Figure it for around $450. It's just hitting the market now.
64.HOW TO SET UP A HOME THEATER WITHOUT FILING BANKRUPTCY 
    Yamaha has the answer to that little conundrum. Buy their DVX-S100. They've proven that you don't have to throw down a lot of money to get a decent home theater system. For $999 you not only get a progressive-scan DVD player and preset remote, but also four satellite speakers, a triple-woofer center speaker, and a 50-watt powered subwoofer. Once they're all set up, you'll be listening to all your favorite DVDs in full 51. Dolby surround sound. The DVX-S100 also supports CD-R/RW and DVD-R/RW/+RW discs. 
    Yamaha built the amplifier for the home theater system directly into the subwoofer. This has allowed Yamaha to dramatically reduce the size of the player. When it sits on your TV, it's only about half as tall as standard VHS players. Another nice thing about the Yamaha is that it features Dolby Pro Logic II, which provides two-channel surround processing from any stereo source - even two-channel CDs, tapes, VHS, and LPs.
65.DIGITAL TV EXPANDS IN EUROPE - BUT HOW DO YOU USE THE REMOTE? 
    Despite the relatively fast-paced growth of digital TV in Europe, few consumers have been able to figure out how to use their remote device for interactive services like home shopping. Only 6 percent of consumers have bought anything at all using the remote feature and of those, most have bought only low-priced items like pizza. In fact, 75 percent of French users and 50 percent of British users are not even aware that they can use the remote for home shopping.
66.THE FORMAT THAT WOULD BE KING: THREE OUT OF FOUR'S NOT BAD 
    The Recordable DVD Council (yes, there is such a thing) has announced a compromise meant to clear the log jam around the emergence of recordable DVD players. There are currently four formats warring for dominance, each incompatible with the others. There will be a new hardware specification. Many players will come out marked "DVD-Multi." 
    These recordable players will be able to handle three of the four current standards. They can accommodate DVD-R, DVD-RAM and DVD-RW. The real prize is to be able to provide a DVD player that has the flexible recording ability of the VCR. The Council asserts that the standard that can comply is DVD-R. Unfortunately, this is the format that currently allows a single recording on a disc. 
    Not surprisingly, Philips Electronics disagrees. They're the owners of the one format left out, DVD+RW. 
    Of the current purveyors of recordable DVD players with the new DVD-Multi label, only Samsung would commit to a firm launch date. Look for their players in stores in February. There's hope that by the end of this year recordable DVD players will cost about $400.
67.THE FORMAT THAT WOULD BE KING: UP CLOSE WITH THE DVR-7000 
    The DVR-7000 wraps Pioneer's DVD-RW recording technology into a user-friendly component that could replace a VCR as a video recording device. Capable of recording to either DVD-R or DVD-RW media, the DVR-7000 offers the flexibility of using write-once media for the best compatibility with standard DVD players or rewritable DVD media for day-to-day recording tasks. Pioneer incorporated two recording modes into the DVR-7000: the standard DVD video format and the DVD Forum-approved video recording (VR) format, which offers some flexible recording options. Write-once media is limited to the DVD video format, whereas rewritable media can be initialized for either DVD video or VR recording modes. 
    Within the DVD video format, two recording quality levels are offered. At its highest quality setting, the DVR-7000 records at 10 megabits per second (twice that of standard DVD video) allowing up to an hour of content to be stored on a disc. A standard quality mode matches the current DVD video format (5 Mbps), allowing up to 120 minutes of video to be recorded to a blank disc. 
    In VR mode, the DVR-7000 offers 32 levels of recording quality. With VR mode, users may choose between longer recording times and improved image quality. The lowest quality setting provided six hours of recording time per disc, but critics say the quality is unimpressive. The four-hour recording mode seems to offer the best balance between image quality and storage capacity. One caveat with VR mode recording is that the discs will not play back in a standard DVD player. 
    The  DVR-7000 lacks a hard drive, which precludes true nonlinear editing and eliminates the possibility of using the DVR-7000 as a PVR with TiVo/ReplayTV-like functionality. It does offer a handful of editing features, most are only available when using the VR recording mode - the mode that isn't compatible with standard DVD players. If you simply want to dump your DV camera content to a DVD-R for archiving or sharing, the DVR-7000 provides the means. If you want to attempt some basic editing with an infrared remote as an interface, you will end up with a disc that will not function in a standard player. 
    As for price, the good new is that there's been a $700 price drop since its first incarnation as an earlier model. The bad news is that at $1,800 it's still $800 more expensive than Panasonic's DMR-E20. 
68.THE FORMAT THAT WOULD BE KING: D-VHS CLEARS A HURDLE 
    JVC has had D-VHS players available for years. Unfortunately, if you don't attend international electronic shows you've never seen one. They pre-date DVD's, produce a superior picture to DVD's and they're recordable. Therein lies the rub. They produce such a pristine picture that studios have been terrified to release movies onto this format. Pirates would have flawless copies. 
    JVC has announced a new standard for copy-protecting called D-Theater. It's designed to prevent both copying and Internet uploading. 
    JVC has been furiously hawking these new units, reminding anyone who'll listen that today's generation of VCR's will be inadequate for the new HDTV requirements. At the moment JVC's DH-3000 player lists at $1,999. Studios are still skeptically looking at it.
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69.CUTTING THE TAPE 
    Some studios are already beginning to cut back on their VHS tape inventory. Columbia TriStar has reduced their deep catalog titles by 500. Anchor Bay has eliminated a couple hundred titles from their catalog. Only about a quarter of Anchor Bay's new releases will be offered on cassette. MGM Home Entertainment will only replenish their top 200 catalog titles on VHS. 
    Other studios are pledging their support for VHS, as well they should. Despite the recent upsurge in DVD players, VHS tape is still the dominant format. Last year over 1/2 billion VHS tapes were sold. Even Anchor Bay had to admit that they're still seeing growth in children's and fitness videos and older film titles from the 30's and 40's. We'll have to see if VHS will be the star player in a high tech version of "Premature Burial." At this point, that looks likely.
70.SAY GOOD-BYE TO THE BIG BLUE SHACK 
    Several months ago we reported that Blockbuster Video (aka "Big Blue") went into a trial marriage with Radio Shack. Ten million bucks went into 130 locations in four test markets to see how consumers would react to having Radio Shack stores available inside Blockbuster stores. If the test was successful Radio Shack was prepared to spend between $200 to $300 million to roll out locations in all 5,000 Blockbuster locations. 
    Don't hold your breath. Radio Shack c.e.o. Leonard Roberts wouldn't say that the test was a bust, but simply, "There are more cost-effective ways to extend our reach." 
    Blockbuster, on the other hand, was ecstatic. While not everything did well, some things did. Based on the test look for Blockbuster to start offering DVD's, VCR's, cellular phones, surround-sound systems and accessories like cables and connectors. They'll probably be doing more things like the promotion they ran on Thanksgiving Day that awarded a free DVD player to anyone that bought a $199 52-week DVD rental card. The more of those deals they sell the more customers they lock in and the less they need to spend on marketing and promotions.
71.RIDLEY SCOTT IS REDOING BLADE RUNNER FOR DVD 
    Some movies just never seem to be done! Ask Ridley Scott. He's overseeing production of a definitive director's-cut DVD of BLADE RUNNER, which will be released later this year. "What we're doing is re-mixing digitally and reprinting off the original negative," Scott said. "So we'll have a new version." 
    However, don't look for any cataclysmic changes. "It won't be dramatically different, but it will be as beautiful as it should be. BLADE RUNNER was a beautiful-looking film, and what most of this generation has seen are bad tapes. Thank God for DVD, because DVD at least resurrects the thing to the original sound and picture quality. I'd love people to be able to see it big, and that's what I'm doing." 
    The happy ending and Harrison Ford's voice-over, both forced on Scott in 1982, will vanish. "He is a replicant," Scott said, referring to Ford's character, replicant hunter Deckard. Scott acknowledged that he would consider revisiting the world of his other classic, ALIEN. Word is that he's already met with Sigourney Weaver to discuss Ripley's next possible (and likely final) adventure. "Oh yeah," he said. "I would do it."
72.THE RINGS DVD WILL ADD UNSEEN FOOTAGE 
    Peter Jackson said that the upcoming DVD edition of his first RINGS film will include an extra 30 minutes of footage. The new FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING footage will include a performance by New Zealand actor Ray Henwood as a man from Lake-town in the scene at Rivendell. 
    "I don't really want to call it the director's cut," Jackson said. The new footage is "all drama. There is this thing on the [Internet] about all this gory stuff I was supposed to have shot, but I didn't. We were going for a PG-13, and you can't waste time shooting stuff that you know is going to get cut." The DVD release "will tee everybody up before the release of THE TWO TOWERS" in December, Jackson added.
73.SHREK SEES GREEN 
    SHREK was only released on November 2. In that relatively short time in managed to secure a place on the top 50 best rental title list for 2001. The 21 million VHS and DVD's that have sold have raked in $420 million, maybe in the second biggest selling title of all time, behind LION KING. In just four weeks it has rocketed to the best selling DVD of all time, surpassing GLADIATOR. 
    Not bad, especially for what was considered a troubled production that was nearly abandoned several times.
74.THE BEST OF 2001 ON VIDEO 
    The year just past was a big one for video. Stores that were hanging on by their fingernails have suddenly become robust thanks to the DVD revolution. Following are some lists to give you an idea of just what's happening out there. 
    THE OVERALL BEST OF THE YEAR: What follows is a combination of VHS and DVD as well as sales and rentals. These were the biggest money makers of 2001: (1) SHREK, (2) DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, (3) PEARL HARBOR, (4) DINOSAUR, (5) REMEMBER THE TITANS, (6) MEET THE PARENTS, (7) THE MUMMY RETURNS, (8) CAST AWAY, (9) THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE, (10) JURASSIC PARK III. 
    THE OVERALL TOP RENTERS OF THE YEAR: Once again, this combines VHS and DVD: (1) MEET THE PARENTS, (2) WHAT WOMEN WANT, (3) CAST AWAY, (4) MISS CONGENIALITY, (5) WHAT LIES BENEATH. 
    THE OVERALL TOP SELLERS OF THE YEAR: Combining VHS and DVD: (1) SHREK, (2) DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, (3) PEARL HARBOR, (4) DINOSAUR, (5) THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE. 
    A conspicuous absence from any of these lists is STAR WARS I: PHANTOM MENACE. On the overall list it only scored #30. It doesn't register on any of the top rental lists. It's #16 on the top sales figures. Its DVD release rescued it from obscurity. It was the sixth biggest selling DVD of the year.
75.UPCOMING RELEASES 
    As mentioned in the prior issue, I will not be doing the awesomely detailed "Videocy" section any more that gave a blow-by-blow  of upcoming video releases. With apologies to those of you who rely on a snail mail version of "The ICS Files," in place of the old "Videocy" section, here's links that will give you a title by title breakdown or coming video attractions. 
    The main link is for Hive4Media. They're at http://www.videostoremag.com/. Click on "calendar." They're great for title and pricing. The descriptions for the films listed tend to be notoriously inaccurate or incomplete (my favorite one of their mistakes is for the David Duchovny film EVOLUTION - they provided the description for a PBS series about Charles Darwin that had the same title). If you're in doubt about a release, cross check it on the Internet Movie Data Base. If it's a special DVD set, try Amazon.com. If it's Chinese, you might want to try the Hong Kong Movie Data Base. And finally, if all else fails, type (or copy/paste) the title into Google.com.
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76.JANUARY CALENDAR
FRI. 8: MOVIE - COLLATERAL DAMAGE and ROLLERBALL 
            premiere. 
           TV - STRANGE WORLD debuts on the Sci-Fi Channel. 

TUE. 12: EVENT - Academy Awards Nominations announced. 

FRI. - SAT. 15-17: EVENT - FARPOINTand KATSUCON 8 will take 
            place. 

FRI. 22: MOVIE - DRAGONFLY and THE QUEEN OF THE 
        DAMNED premiere. 

SAT 23: ICS MEETING