1.OUR SEPTEMBER MEETING WAS A CUT ABOVE
2.THE ICS WELCOMES IT'S NEWEST MEMBERS: JIM AND BETSY CHILDS
3.THE ICS WELCOMES IT'S NEWEST MEMBER: RICHARD SMITH
4.THE ICS WELCOMES IT'S NEWEST MEMBER: SKIP PHILLIPS
5.OCTOBER MEETING: THE BASICS
6.OCTOBER MEETING: GROOVY VAMPIRES
7.OCTOBER MEETING: DECORATING
8.OCTOBER MEETING: HALLOWEEN POTLUCK
9.OCTOBER MEETING: SCARY STORY TIME
10.OCTOBER MEETING: THE ALL-NIGHTER
11.OCTOBER MEETING: CALENDARS
12.OCTOBER MEETING: COSTUMES
13.THE ICS TAKES A TRIP!
14.ICS MEMBERSHIP CERTIFICATES
15.AHEAD FOR THE IMAGINATIVE CINEMA SOCIETY
16.THE GLASS TEAT
With news on SMALLVILLE, JEREMIAH, LA FEMME NIKITA, SENSING MURDER, THE SIMPSONS and LORD OF ILLUSION.
17.24 HOUR KICKING AND LEAPING ON BLACKBELT TV
18.ANGEL'S NEW PRODUCER TALKS ABOUT THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES BATTLE
19.THE FUTURE OF BUFFY
21.DREAM A LITTLE DREAM FOR SCI-FI
22.THE COLLAPSE OF THE FARSCAPE UNIVERSE
23.STUNNED REACTIONS TO FARSCAPE'S DEMISE
24.THE CRUSADE FOR FARSCAPE
25.FARSCAPE: ALTERNATE UNIVERSE
26.FUTURAMA LANDS ON THE CARTOON NETWORK
27.INCUBUS GETS ITS WORLD TELEVISION PREMIERE
28.A&E ENTERS THE LOST WORLD
29.ARE YOU READY TO DANCE THE TIME WARP SHUFFLE YET AGAIN?
30.THE ANIMATED SPIDEY IS HIS OWN MAN
31.THE TEEN TITANS ARE HEADED FOR THE AIRWAVES
32.THE TWILIGHT ZONE ON YOUR RADIO!
33.TNT SAYS GOOD-BYE TO WITCHBLADE
34.THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE - IT JUST KEEPS CHANGING CHANNELS!
35.TV: HALLOWEEN MOVIES ON TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES
36.TV: HALLOWEEN MOVIES ON AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS
37.THINGS TO COME
With news on CAPCLAVE 2002, CHILLER THEATER, ECLECTICON, PHILCON, and EVE CON 20.
38.STEPHEN KING REALLY CALLS IT QUITS!
39.THE ACKERMANSION IS BEING SOLD
40.THE MUGGLES GROW RESTLESS
41.THE HEADMISTRESS OF HOGWARTS RESPONDS
42.RECENT TITLES: BOOKS ABOUT MOVIES AND TELEVISION
43.RECENT TITLES: MEDIA TIE-INS
44.RECENT TITLES: OTHER BOOKS OF INTEREST
With news on DIARY OF A YOUNG LONDON PHYSICIAN, MIMIC SENTINEL, USED GUYS, SAMURAI JACK, CABIN FEVER, HELLRAISER IV: DEADER, GLADIATOR II, THE MASK OF ZORRO sequel, LADYKILLERS re-make, KING KONG on stage, new additions to the Oxford English Dictionary, and the faste of Schwarzenegger's hometown Terminator statue.
46.CAGE GETS BACK UP
47.PARAMOUNT GETS ITS BAD GUY
48.JESSICA ALBA WANTS TO BE A BEAUTIFUL KILLER
49.PIERCE BROSNAN MIGHT QUIT BOND AND BECOME AN ACTOR
50.THE DEVIL IS DEAD
51.FRANCE - IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT JERRY LEWIS ANYMORE!
52.FREDDY VS. JASON VS. RENFRO
53.IS DANIEL RADCLIFFE OUTGROWING POTTER?
54.HITCHHIKER FINALLY GETS A GREENLIGHT
55.PROYAS WORKS ON ASIMOV AND ELLISON
56.ARAGORN: THE LADY'S MAN?
57.NEW WRITERS FOR THE OUTER LIMITS
59.INDIA - THE LAND OF DOGS AND SNAKES
60.SHYAMALAN THINKS HALEY WAS ROBBED OF AN OSCAR
61.KUNG-FU FAIRY TALE
62.SPIDER-MAN, SPIDER-MAN - DOES WHATEVER A PULITZER PRIZE WINNING WRITER SAYS HE CAN
63.RICK BERMAN AND FURTHER GENERATIONS OF TNG
64.BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN VS. SUPERMAN
65.ANGRY FANS PROTEST WARNER'S SUPER-TAMPERING
66.T3 AND TOILET TRAINING
67.JACKIE CHAN FINDS THE TUXEDO A BAD FIT
68.LOOK FOR MORE IMAX MOVIES
69.MOVIEGOERS TOP TEN COMPLAINTS
70.IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER
With news on RED DRAGON, BELOW, KNOCKAROUND GUYS, THE TRANSPORTER, TUCK EVERLASTING, ABANDON, FORMULA 51, THE RING and GHOST SHIP.
71.MOVIES ONLINE TAKE A LEAP FORWARD
72.WHO'S THE FASTEST VIDEO ON DEMAND SERVICE? THE U.S. POST OFFICE
73.ANTIMATTER HAS MOVED TO "SCI" FROM "FI"
74.RECORDABLE DVD'S INCH AHEAD
75.WARNING: YOUR TV MAY BE OBSOLETE BY 2007
76.3D TV IN YOUR LIVING ROOM
77.MICROSOFT'S PC FOR COUCH POTATOES
78.THREE BIG RETAILERS ARE PLUGGING IN D-VHS
79.BLOCKBUSTER WINS OVER RENTERS
80.E.T. DROPS IN, THEN GOES HOME
81.COMING TO HOME VIDEO BY NOV. 1 - SPIDER-MAN
82.STAR WARS: THE SEARCH FOR THE METAL BIKINI
83.EHH, WHAT'S UP, DOCUMENTARY?
84.THE AUSTIN POWERS DVD ENCOURAGES VIEWER PARTICIPATION
99. SEPTEMBER CALENDAR
|1. OUR SEPTEMBER MEETING WAS A CUT ABOVE
Our September meeting was excellent. We had Part II of our presentation on Martial Arts Cinema. We had Part I In May with "The World of Wuxia" where we looked at the great martial arts films of China. In Part II we had "The World of Bushido." We examined the great samurai films of Japan. We watched YOJIMBO (a movie that was later remade as A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS). We also saw Chapter 8 of "The Mysterious Dr. Satan." We followed all of that up with a spirited business meeting and a trip to the Double T Diner on Route 40. We had a blast!
2.THE ICS WELCOMES IT'S NEWEST MEMBERS: JIM AND BETSY CHILDS
The Imaginative Cinema Society welcomes Jim And Betsy Childs to the club. Jim and Betsy have had some experience with samurais. They both have worked for Chesapeake Knife and Tool which sells decorative recreations of samurai swords. Becky said, "in working there I have talked with numerous customers and many employees that were fascinated by the samurai lifestyles and how they were there for so many years. I have learned a lot about the history but didn't appreciate it all until [the meeting]."
We're looking forward to getting to know both of you. Welcome to the ICS!
3. THE ICS WELCOMES IT'S NEWEST MEMBER: RICHARD SMITH
Welcome to our newest member, Richard Smith, who lives a spit and holler from where we meet in Perry Hall. We met Richard at Fanex last August. Welcome aboard Richard. We're looking forward to getting to know you.
4. THE ICS WELCOMES IT'S NEWEST MEMBER: SKIP PHILLIPS
Our September meeting was actually Skip Phillip's second meeting. He enjoyed himself enough in August that he figured he'd join up in September. Skip also met us at Fanex. He lives in Glen Burnie, MD. Welcome to the ICS, Skip.
5. OCTOBER MEETING: THE BASICS
Our October meeting will be held on Saturday October 26 at 5:30 P.M. at the church hall behind the Perry Hall Presbyterian Church located at 8848 BelAir Road. Take Baltimore Beltway exit 32 north on Belair Road. Turn left onto Joppa Road. Immediately past the miniature golf course turn left into the parking lot. If you miss it there are ample turn-around opportunities. If you get stuck call 443-570-6455. That's my cell phone. I'll talk you in.
6. OCTOBER MEETING: GROOVY VAMPIRES
Dave Henderson is presenting "Those Groovy Vampire of the Seventies." The possible candidates include HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, BLACULA, WEREWOLF VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMAN, SALEM'S LOT, DRACULA (with Jack Palance), ZOLTAN: HOUND OF DRACULA, HANNAH, QUEEN OF THE VAMPIRES, COUNT YORGA, and possibly LUST FOR A VAMPIRE, VAMPYRES and DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS. It should be a lot of fun.
7. OCTOBER MEETING: DECORATING
We're going to need some help with decorating this year for our Halloween meeting. If you'd like to decorate please show up at 3:00. Dave Henderson and Regina Vallerani will be in charge of organizing the decorations.
We probably have enough decorations but if you have any favorite screaming skulls, rubber bats, dancing skeletons or anything else that strikes your fancy, bring them along. You can never be too rich, too thin or have too many Halloween decorations.
8. OCTOBER MEETING: HALLOWEEN POTLUCK
We're having our annual potluck dinner during our Halloween meeting. We encourage everyone to bring a main dish, appetizer, side dish, salad, dessert, beverage or other related things along this line with you. If you're not able to bring something along, come anyway. We'll need help eating all this food!
Below is a list of what we have coming so far. If you're inclined to bring something else check the list below and try not to duplicate.
9.OCTOBER MEETING: SCARY STORY TIME
JIM & BETSY CHILDS
12.OCTOBER MEETING: COSTUMES
Jim Childs (90% sure)
|16. THE GLASS TEAT
Show your love for SMALLVILLE. Do you love SMALLVILLE? Do you love it so much that you'd wear your heart on your sleeve - and your back, front, top and bottom? Now you can. The WB's launched a site where you can attire yourself in stuff from the nonexistent "Smallville High School Store." You can buy T-shirts, caps, book bags, a pen and pencil set - even a varsity jacket (for only $364.95). . . . The return of JEREMIAH. J. M. Straczynski's Showtime series, JEREMIAH, has been renewed for a second season. There's no word when we'll see new episodes. . . . La Femme La Oxygen. As part of its ongoing effort to be Not Your Sensitive Aunt's TV Network for Women, Oxygen has picked up rerun rights to LA FEMME NIKITA. They began running the show at 5 PM Monday through Thursday beginning Sept. 30. They've paired it with another series about a woman who can kill you in a number of ways - XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS. The show also airs at 1 AM every day and 10 AM on weekends. . . . I sense more psychics hitting the air. Fox Television Studios will develop a North American version of the Danish hit TV series SENSING MURDER, in which professional clairvoyants aid police in investigating unsolved. The project is being shopped to networks. Fox will produce the show in association with the Danish producers of the show. . . . THE SIMPSONS debuts with their Halloween episode. THE SIMPSONS' season premiere episode will be their annual Halloween show, "Treehouse of Horror 13." Fox has released a promotional image of it. We see a confused Homer standing among thousands of confused Homer clones. Look for it on Sunday, Nov. 3. . . . Showtime considers a LORD OF ILLUSION series. Clive Barker is developing a cable television series based on his 1995 film LORD OF ILLUSION. The proposed series would follow the latest adventures of supernatural private investigator Harry D'Amour, played in the feature by Scott Bakula. Don't look for Bakula to give up ENTERPRISE to star in this series.
17. 24 HOUR KICKING AND LEAPING ON BLACKBELT TV
The martial arts tend to attract that Holy Grail of demographics for advertisers - the young male. There's about to be a network that will make them their primary target. The world's about to get a 24/7 cable network called "Blackbelt TV." It's scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2003.
Six of 10 major multiple system operators have agreed to carry the new network. It's backed by the producers of MORTAL KOMBAT. The ad-supported network will launch with a nearly 15,000-hour library, including feature films from Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Films on Blackbelt will include ENTER THE DRAGON, ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA, THE KARATE KID, DRUNKEN MASTER and DOUBLE IMPACT. The network will also feature such television series as KUNG FU and MORTAL KOMBAT CONQUEST. Blackbelt also plans to telecast kickboxing from Thailand, martial arts from Japan, boxing from Europe and America and judo from Korea, along with health and fitness and self-defense programming and Japanese anime.
"Martial arts has permeated our pop culture today," said producer Larry Kasanoff (MORTAL KOMBAT), the network's chairman and the former president of Lightstorm Entertainment, director James Cameron's production company. "You can see outstanding martial arts sequences in virtually every blockbuster film and hit TV show." Primary investors in Blackbelt TV include Threshold Entertainment, Fusient Media Ventures and Sirius Investment Corp.
18. ANGEL'S NEW PRODUCER TALKS ABOUT THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES BATTLE
ANGEL producer and new show runner Jeffrey Bell talked about the behind-the-scenes drama that resulted after the departure of David Simkins, who'd been brought in to replace series co-creator and co-executive producer David Greenwalt. Simkins lasted about six weeks. "It won't really affect what you see," Bell said. "It was sad that David [Greenwalt] left. He co-created the show and had done a fantastic job, and he's still consulting and giving us notes and helping out. Tim Minear had already been tapped to go toward FIREFLY; otherwise, I think he would have been running [ANGEL] down here. So in that absence, Fox, I believe, wanted someone with experience to come in. David Simkins - a smart man, a good man - came in. It would have been a miracle for anyone from the outside to succeed. Joss has a very specific sensibility. So I think it simply came down to that. When they came to their creative differences I'd been the man under David Simkins, and was under Tim Minear and David Greenwalt last year. I'd been delegated a lot of responsibilities, so evidently it made sense to those around me to have me carry on in their stead [following Simkins' exit], which is what I'm doing."
19. THE FUTURE OF BUFFY
Marti Noxon stated that producers are already mulling options for how to continue BUFFY beyond the seventh season, with or without star Sarah Michelle Gellar. Among the possibilities: a show centered on Buffy's little sister Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) or one centered on wayward slayer Faith (Eliza Dushku). Gellar's contract expires at the end of the new season, and she has expressed doubts about returning full-time.
An eighth season of Buffy "is a discussion that we've begun to start having . . . with both [producing studio] Fox and UPN," Noxon said. "But it's really . . . stages. I think the main thing that Joss feels, and I also feel, is that we wouldn't continue if we didn't feel that we had something exciting to bring to the table. If it felt like we were desperately trying to keep the franchise alive, that's not something that I think interests him. I think it's much more about, can we come up with a concept that might be either Sarah-free or Sarah-light that feels, you know, like a show worth doing? And if we're all excited about doing it and have the same level of passion, then gung ho, you know? But if we don't, I think nobody sort of wants to see a pale imitation of what was. It's a tough call. It's a tough thing. We'll see. But we do have some ideas. And Joss has some great ideas. And we're kicking those all around. And we don't know. Sarah has not said definitively no, but I think it's pretty likely that she'd at least want to scale her involvement back."
In the upcoming seventh-season premiere, viewers will see a much more active Dawn. Is that setting the stage for Trachtenberg to take up Gellar's stake and cross? "We don't really have a firm plan," Noxon said. "I mean, that's obviously one of the possibilities. But we haven't settled on that at all. . . . I think it was just time to grow Dawn up a little bit. And it's just sort of a natural thing that she would want to sort of follow in Buffy's footsteps. So it's much more about story. And if at the end of that process, we're like, 'Wow, she's a natural replacement,' then that might happen. But it's not a foregone conclusion at all."
Trachtenberg seems open to the idea of BUFFY morphing into DAWN THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. "I'm a fan of Dawn," Trachtenberg said. "I like her as a character. I like playing her. I love the show. So whatever happens, it's up to Joss. I'd want the original heart of BUFFY to be there. If there's one second where someone would doubt BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, we probably shouldn't go on. But whatever they decide, I'll be here. I'll be thinking about Dawn and having fun."
Noxon confirmed that Faith will return toward the end of the seventh season. But whether or not she's poised to replace Buffy "depends entirely on [Dushku]," who has an active film career, Noxon said. "But it's definitely a very interesting possibility. I know some fans . . . are pretty excited about that. So we'll see. I mean, I can really see that show. I know what that show is. And so that's nice, you know? She's such a good character. And Eliza's very charismatic. So I can see what that show would be. But again, many, many hurdles. And I don't even know if Eliza's interested."
20. DINOTOPIA DELAYED
This may not bode well for the confidence level that ABC has for their new show, DINOTOPIA. ABC will delay the premiere of the series until Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving night). They're doing this so they can make room for reruns of USA Network's hit of last summer, MONK. MONK began airing Thursdays at 8 PM on September 26.
In ABC's defense, MONK was one of the highest rated shows ever to air on basic cable (second only to last summer's other USA hit, THE DEAD ZONE). It did very well for ABC when they ran it last summer. Nevertheless, the producers of DINOTOPIA must be reeling to find their new big-budget fantasy nudged by primetime cable reruns.
21. DREAM A LITTLE DREAM FOR SCI-FI
The Sci-Fi Channel is inviting viewers to submit their dreams for possible analysis on its upcoming original reality series THE DREAM TEAM With Annabelle and Michael. During the show, expert Michael Lennox and co-host Annabelle Gurwitch will dissect and explain the dreams of audience members and call-in viewers.
Viewers can submit their dreams by telephone at (323) 520-5683 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Dreams must be recent ones so that the details are fresh in memory. THE DREAM TEAM will premiere in January 2003.
Any dreams that involve seeing me with no pants on at an ICS meeting are strictly prohibited.
22. THE COLLAPSE OF THE FARSCAPE UNIVERSE
The Sci-Fi Channel announced that it will not pick up FARSCAPE for a fifth season. The fourth season episodes scheduled to run in January will be the end of the line for the series. In August and early September executive producer Brian Henson of The Jim Henson Company, and Hallmark Entertainment (the producing partners in FARSCAPE) had been negotiating feverishly with the Sci-Fi Channel in hopes of striking a deal for a fifth season. But with the series' ratings in decline - in stark contrast to the rising ratings of STARGATE SG-1, which recently joined the Friday-night schedule, the cost of continuing production in Australia proved prohibitive.
"There are no bigger fans of FARSCAPE than we here at Sci-Fi Channel," the network said in a statement. "It was one of Sci-Fi's first original series and quickly became a critical and fan favorite. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to reach a broader audience, FARSCAPE has been unable to grow beyond its core fan base. That, coupled with the extreme and growing cost of production, has led to the difficult decision to end the series at the conclusion of season four."
FARSCAPE, produced in Australia by the Jim Henson Company and Hallmark Entertainment, had consistently been one of the channel's highest-rated shows. However, cable channels can rarely justify the expense of original series programming. FARSCAPE was believed to be particularly costly to produce.
Executive producer David Kemper and star Ben Browder ("Commander John Crichton") made the announcement on Sci-Fi's Internet chatroom, with Kemper commenting: "We are all hugely sad. I am shaking as I write this. Yesterday we all cried on the set. Yet, as we are . . . just the people who make the show and not the corporate entities that fund and air it, we are as helpless as anyone."
23. STUNNED REACTIONS TO FARSCAPE'S DEMISE
Fan's are in a fury over FARSCAPE's sudden disposal. They're charging the Sci-Fi Channel with a bad decision. The Channel wanted to pay less per episode of Season Five. While FARSCAPE's ratings have experienced a mild drop they're still strong.
They compare Sci-Fi's recent action with glowing Valentines like this one, delivered last June by Thomas Vitale, Senior Vice- President of Acquisitions, Scheduling, and Program Planning at Sci-Fi. "Sci-Fi has been able to continue ordering seasons of FARSCAPE because the show performs strongly in the ratings. This is very satisfying to us at the network, as well as to FARSCAPE's producers, since it clearly shows that the series has struck a chord with viewers. Happily, because enough viewers keep watching this terrific series, we can afford to keep making it."
Critics are baffled and by the cancellation. Matt Roush of TV Guide likened it to the short-sighted cancellation of STAR TREK by NBC in 1969. (Which was saved from cancellation in 1968 by a massive write in campaign to the network.) He also said "For Sci-Fi to cite economic reasons for denying fans a final year of FARSCAPE would seem to be at odds with the network's mission as an entertainment brand." Robert Bianco of USA Today states his disappointment with the decision as well. " . . . for a network to back off from a commitment and dump the best original series it has ever had - well, that isn't the kind of thing that inspires a lot of confidence in either the Hollywood or the critical communities."
The show's creator, Rockne O'Bannon, commented on the Sci-Fi Channel's decision. "I don't know what this bodes for Sci-Fi Channel. I'm not bitter. I understand the economics and all that, but if it were me, I'd see the value of the series in terms of, 'I'm the Sci-Fi Channel, and many say this is among the best, most well-regarded, science fiction series. I would think it's cool to be the one to have that on my network.' But they don't see that."
24. THE CRUSADE FOR FARSCAPE
FARSCAPE fans are taking solace in this bit of advice from Winston Churchill. "Never give in - never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.''
A massive campaign is underway to reverse the decision with telegrams, faxes, phone calls and e-mails pounding the Sci-Fi Channel and it's sister company, USA Networks. There's an Online petition drive underway. Fans have produced wanted posters for the fifth season. They're writing letters to USA NETWORKS/ SCIFI CHANNEL AUDIENCE SERVICES/ 1230 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS, F115/ NEW YORK, NY 10020-1513 and The Scifi Channel/ Rockefeller Center/ PO BOX 331/ NY, NY 10185. They're calling 212-413-5000, 212-413-5821 and 212-413-5577. They're e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
CNN Headline News carried a "Hotwired" feature about the Internet campaign to save FARSCAPE. They were stunned when, in response, they received 1,200 email messages from all over the world within 24 hours.
Some fans have taken to sending in boxes of crackers or empty cracker boxes as part of a campaign strategy, with the slogan "Crackers DO Matter." That's a reference to an episode entitled "Crackers Don't Matter." The strategy is borrowed from fans of ROSWELL, who swamped the offices of The WB and, later, UPN with tiny bottles of Tabasco sauce in an effort to get that show renewed (in the series the aliens loved Tabasco sauce). That strategy helped to keep the show on the air at critical junctures.
If you'd like current news on the progress of the campaign go to http://farscape.wdsection.com and http://farscapeweekly.com. Those are the nerve centers for the war.
25. FARSCAPE: ALTERNATE UNIVERSE
FARSCAPE fans aren't willing to stop their campaign with the Sci-Fi Channel. They are also taking the campaign to other networks. TNT, UPN and Showtime have been targeted as possible homes for FARSCAPE. They've also gotten this encouraging announcement from The Jim Henson Company:
"FARSCAPE is a flagship show for The Jim Henson Company. We are proud of its achievements over the past four years, which have included international critical recognition, three Saturn Awards, and a recent Emmy nomination. As always, your show of support is a true inspiration for our company and has been integral to our success.
"Although Sci-Fi Channel has chosen not to pick up a fifth season, The Jim Henson Company is in active development on a new FARSCAPE film, an anime project and is currently discussing syndication of this highly acclaimed series. We are eager to move forward with the FARSCAPE creative team in developing new projects that will resonate with our overwhelmingly loyal fan base."
26. FUTURAMA LANDS ON THE CARTOON NETWORK
The Cartoon Network has bought the cable-TV rights to the 72 half-hour reruns of FUTURAMA. They'll schedule FUTURAMA somewhere in its weekly Adult Swim block, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sundays, starting in January 2003. Jim Samples, the general manager and EVP of Cartoon Network, said, "FUTURAMA is a perfect fit for Adult Swim and Cartoon Network. We could not be happier about having the opportunity to showcase the brilliant work of Matt Groening."
FUTURAMA was actually a Sunday-night success on Fox since its debut in March 1999. Apparently someone at the network hated it. The show was constantly being bumped for NFL games. Audiences had a hard time figuring when, and if, it's on.
Fox hasn't made it official, but the show is unlikely to come back after it burns off its final original 16 or so episodes during the upcoming 2002-'03 season. Fans can take solace in knowing when the show will be on and being able to catch up on all the ones they missed.
27. INCUBUS GETS ITS WORLD TELEVISION PREMIERE
The Sci-Fi Channel is taking a bold risk by airing a "cursed" film. INCUBUS stars a pre-STAR TREK William Shatner. It's the first (and last) film ever shot in Esperanto, the "universal language" developed in 1887 by Dr. L.L. Zamenhof. All Esperanto words are spelled as pronounced. All nouns end in -o, all adjectives end in -a, and all verbs have only one form for each tense or mood.
The curse attached to the film is legendary. A year after it came out the actor in the title role, Milos Milos, killed Mickey Rooney's ex-wife and then killed himself. The leading lady, Ann Atmar, committed suicide. A French lab mistakenly destroyed the negative and all prints of the film.
But the curse wasn't all bad. Within a year of the movie's release the leading man was cast as "Captain Kirk" in STAR TREK. INCUBUS's cinematographer, Conrad L. Hall, got his first Academy Award nomination (he would later win for BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID in 1969 and AMERICAN BEAUTY in 2000). A print of the film itself was recently discovered in the permanent collection of the Cinémathèque Française in Paris. From that sole surviving print, INCUBUS has been digitally restored with remastered sound.
Directed by THE OUTER LIMITS creator Leslie Stevens, INCUBUS is set on the mysterious island of Nomen Tuumm. It's inhabited by succubi, female demons who lure and corrupt men to an untimely death. The island is thrown into turmoil when one of the women falls for Shatner's noble character. The leader of the succubi, the Incubus, is summoned to end the affair.
INCUBUS will make its world television debut on Sci-Fi on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 1 AM, immediately following WILLIAM SHATNER'S FULL MOON FRIGHT NIGHT.
28. A&E ENTERS THE LOST WORLD
A&E has also announced when their LOST WORLD miniseries will debut this month. This is not to be confused with the syndicated series. Like the miniseries, this is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's adventurous tale of a team of 1911 explorers in the Central Amazon, facing living dinosaurs. This version (the seventh) stars Bob Hoskins and Peter Falk.
Part 1 will air on Sunday, Oct 6th at 8 PM. Part 2 will be on Monday, Oct 7th at 8 PM. This is a co-production with the BBC and A&E.
29. ARE YOU READY TO DANCE THE TIME WARP SHUFFLE YET AGAIN?
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW is set for a makeover with a new celebrity cast and new tunes. Lou Adler, who produced the 1975 movie, is putting the finishing touches to a new cast list, and he hopes to have a new TV movie version of ROCKY HORROR ready for Halloween 2003.
PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT moviemaker Stephan Elliott is on board to direct the remake, while MOULIN ROUGE composer Marius De Vries has been signed up to add original music. Adler admits the project has taken a long time to come together because he has been unable to find a replacement for Curry, who played Frank N Furter in the original. The producer says, "I just never found the right person but now I have. We're going to wait until March and then probably do it for next Halloween." No casting details have been released, although speculation in Hollywood suggests Marilyn Manson is a front-runner for the Frank N Furter role.
30. THE ANIMATED SPIDEY IS HIS OWN MAN
Neil Patrick Harris, who provides the voice of Peter Parker in MTV's SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, said that he's not basing his work on Tobey Maguire's performance in this summer's hit movie. "They want Spider-Man himself to be more of a street-talking, sh-t-talking basketball kind of guy, and for Peter Parker to be much more stammery and a different pitch. They have specific inflections that they want, and it really doesn't have much to do with the film. It's a cartoon, so it's chock full of one-liners. It's fun that during the battles with the villains, he gets to comment on their wardrobe and their lack of skills."
Harris described some of the new villains that Spidey will face in his weekly adventures and confirmed that some of the characters would be voiced by rock stars. "Just by the nature of there being more than one plot, there's got to be more than one villain and more than one situation that he has to fight and win," he said. "We're on our fourth and fifth show, and they're doing a lot of music crossovers. So one of the villains last week was Rob Zombie, and I think Pink might do one. Since it's on MTV, they're doing the music crossovers as best they can. [Zombie] played the head of a bandit organization, a rogue organization that was trying to disrupt the city."
Harris said that fans can expect to see some favorite comic-book villains amongst the new characters. "They're bringing back Dr. Octopus and some regular characters, but we have to do 22 [episodes], so we have to keep adding new people."
31. THE TEEN TITANS ARE HEADED FOR THE AIRWAVES
Warner Bros. has made an official announcement regarding the TEEN TITANS. The animated show will be on the Cartoon Network and Kids’ WB. It will follow younger superheroes such as Robin (of "Batman &"), Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire and Raven. It will debut on Cartoon Network in 2003, followed by broadcast on Kids’ WB.
TEEN TITANS is set in a future of intergalactic strife and interplanetary battles. The five teen superheroes unite to form a defensive force to protect the Earth from a new generation of villains.
Why are we seeing this series? According to an exec at the network it's because of the success of a similar show. "Cartoon Network has experienced great success with JUSTICE LEAGUE, so we know we have a loyal audience ready to embrace this exciting new show," according to Jim Samples, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Cartoon Network. "These DC Comics characters have incredible powers, but struggle with how to use them. TEEN TITANS will mesh perfectly with our other action-adventure programming and thrill our viewers."
Teen Titans made their DC comic book debut in 1964 and soon grew into its own Teen Titans monthly comic book series that ran for seven years. The basis for the animated television series, however, is the wildly successful revamped version of the original junior superhero formula. The New Teen Titans debuted in 1980 and was DC’s most popular comic book of the decade that followed. The adolescent angst and emotional depth of The New Teen Titans made the series an instant classic with a whole new generation of comic book readers.
32. THE TWILIGHT ZONE ON YOUR RADIO!
A company called Falcon Picture Group has signed a licensing agreement with CBS Enterprises to turn scripts from the original, Rod Serling-created TWILIGHT ZONE into radio dramas. Stacy Keach will serve as host for the radio series.
The radio production is not connected to UPN's new incarnation of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. It will reproduce Serling's scripts, expanding each half-hour TV episode into a 60-minute audio format and using the show's original theme and score as background music.
Falcon has lined up a number of actors to take part in the radio series. Among them are Jeremy Piven (who stars in a future episode of the UPN series), Jane Seymour, Ed Begley Jr., Frankie Muniz and Lou Diamond Phillips.
The "Twilight Zone" radio dramas will be syndicated to stations beginning in late October. For more information, if you're reading this Online, click here.
33. TNT SAYS GOOD-BYE TO WITCHBLADE
TNT has canceled WITCHBLADE, though the series concluded its second season with healthy ratings. The series went on temporary hiatus earlier this year, when its star, Yancy Butler, underwent alcohol rehab.
The cancellation came even though the series drew at least a 2.0 cable rating during both its first and second seasons. Steve Koonin, TNT's executive vice president and general manager, said that the cancellation was "a very tough decision. Our criteria for this show was really fourfold," he said: that it be advertiser and cable operator-friendly, that it differentiate the network from its competitors, that it build ratings and that it lay groundwork for the network to be in the summer series business. "WITCHBLADE did all of that great for two years," Koonin said. "We just felt to stretch it to a third year could hurt some of those areas."
Network execs aren't in the business of killing off shows that are making them money. In all likelihood it had to do with the problems of Yancy Butler. In Hollywood it's almost a rite of passage to drink and drug yourself into rehab. It's considered a faux-paus when it interferes with a shooting schedule.
34. THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE - IT JUST KEEPS CHANGING CHANNELS!
The Sci-Fi Channel is kicked off their exclusive weekday-primetime run of THE X-FILES on Tuesday, Oct. 1. The network is dedicating two primetime nights a week to the series, with 4-hour blocks every Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 7 PM both nights.
TNT began airing X-FILES episodes weekday nights at 6 PM beginning Tuesday, Oct. 1. The THE X-FILES current cable home, the FX network, broadcast its last episode of the series on Friday, Sept. 26.
To welcome the show, Sci-Fi held an Online poll to determine the top 8 episodes. The winning episodes will christened the show's first week on Sci-Fi.
The network will also feature a themed X-FILES week once a month, with every episode focusing on a particular aspect of the series. October's theme week is "Freaks." On Tuesday, Oct. 8 and Wednesday, Oct. 9, the network will run eight episodes featuring the weirdest creatures ever to cross paths with Mulder and Scully.
35. TV: HALLOWEEN MOVIES ON TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES
For club members with cable and satellite October serves up a feast of possibilities on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Movies, some which haven't made their way to DVD or even VHS, are everywhere. It's what our military would call a "target rich environment."
Below is an alphabetical list of films airing this month on TCM. This is a VCR friendly list. That means a movie airing on what a TV listing would call "late Tuesday" at 2:00 AM will be listed here as Wednesday.
You'll notice at least one very unusual title below. On Halloween night Turner Classic Movies has a showing of the 1927 lost classic, LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT. Would that this were some newly discovered complete print. This is the next best thing. A film historian has pieced together a still photograph re-creation of what the movie must have looked like, based on current knowledge. For now this is as close as we're going to get to seeing the film itself.
There's also an abundance of other silent features. You have your pick of 1918's EYES OF THE MUMMY, 1920's DER GOLEM, 1921's THE INDIAN TOMB, 1922's THE HAUNTED CASTLE and NOSFERATU, and 1927's THE UNKNOWN.
There's also an assortment of little seen cult favorites like VAMPYR and FREAKS (both from 1932), most of the MR. WONG series and assorted other delights.
For those of you reading this issue Online all titles listed are linked to the Internet Movie DataBase (the IMDB). All the titles below are listed by air date and time in the calendar at the end of this issue.
AUDREY ROSE (1977) 10/24 TCM 8 PM
|37. THINGS TO COME
CAPCLAVE 2002 arrives on a new date - October 18 - 20, 2002 (last year was September) - and a new location - the Hilton Silver Spring located at 8727 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. The theme of the convention is "Celebrating the Short Story in Science Fiction." The guest of honor is Stanley Schmidt, editor of Analog. The artist guest of honor is Alexis Gilliland, winner of four Hugos for best fan artist. At this writing they're still building the rest of their guest list. They'll be featuring literary discussions with authors, readings by authors, a dealer's room, art exhibits, science presentations, a con suite, parties, chances for conversations and a relaxed atmosphere. The membership rate is $30 until September 3rd, $35 through September, and then $40 at the door. To register, send your name, preferred badge name, email address, and snail-mail address and phone number to: Capclave 2002 Registration/ c/o Bob MacIntosh/ 7113 Wayne Dr./ Annandale VA 22003-1734.
CHILLER THEATER is being held October 25-27 at the Sheraton Meadowlands in E. Rutherford, NJ. From VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA they've got Alan Hunt, Kevin Hagan, Terry Becker and Warren Stevens. From LOST IN SPACE they have Mark Goddard and Jonathan Harris. From THE LOVE BOAT they have Bernie Kopell, Jill Whelan and Ted Lange. From LAND OF THE GIANTS they have Deana Lund, Don Marshall, Heather Young and Stefan Arngrim. From THE EVIL DEAD they have Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker and Sarah York. They have memebers from two different STAR TREK casts. From the original series they've got Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig. From DEEP SPACE NINE they have a pair of Klingon Chancellors - J. G. Hertzler and Robert O'Reilly. They're also featuring Kenny Miller (I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF), a tentative appearance from Maryam D'Abo (THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS), Tippi Hedren (THE BIRDS), Felix Silla (THE ADDAMS FAMILY), Valerie Leon (BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB), scream queen Brinke Stevens and Boris Karloff's daughter, Sara Karloff. They have Disney artist Frank Dietz ( Disney's TARZAN), comic book artist Bernie Wrightson ("Swamp Thing"), author and editor David J. Schow (Seeing Red), model Barbara Leigh (The Original Vampirella) and, of course, TV horror host Zacherley. The schedule will be Friday October 25 - 6 PM - 11 PM, Saturday October 26 - 11 AM - 7 PM and Sunday October 27 - 11 AM - 5 PM. The Sheraton Medowlands is located on Rt. 3 East (across from Giants Stadium) in E. Rutherford, NJ. Their phone number is (201) 896-0500. Early bird advance tickets are $12 per day, or $30 for all three days. Pre-show tickets give you access to the show one hour earlier than the general public on Friday night or Saturday morning. Ideally, pre-show tickets are usually purchased by those wanting access to very limited sale items at the show before general ticket holders enter the show. Pre-show tickets give you access to purchase limited model kits, movie classic items and other items. These tickets cost $20 each (per day, US Funds) at the show. Pre-Show & VIP Tickets are available in advance only. They enable ticket-holders entry for the entire weekend plus one hour early on Friday or Saturday they're selling for $35. Pre-show both days, plus all day Sunday is $45. Children age 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult. The mailing address for tickets is Chiller Theatre Inc/ P O Box 23/ Rutherford NJ 07070.
ECLECTICON is a media fanzine conventions, focusing on fanzines and the varied fandoms that inspire them. It will be held on November 8 -10 at the Ramada Hotel at Routes 1 & 9 South in Newark, NJ. This is a convention that prides itself on having everything other conventions have EXCEPT celebrity guests. They'll still have dealers, panels, gaming, discussions and the other things associated with other conventions. Programming at ElectiCon is comprised of four tracks: General Interest, Fandom, Media, and Writing/Editing/Publishing. There's no further information available on what will be contained in those tracks. Registration for the weekend is $40. If you'd like further information either hit the link on this article or, for snail-mailers, drop a note to Eclecticon/ PO Box 3165/ Bayonne, NJ 7002-0298.
PHILCON, the oldest science fiction convention in America, takes place December 13-15 at Marriott Center City, 1201 Market Street in Philadelphia. This is a literary convention. The Principal Speaker is writer Connie Willis (winner of six Hugo and six Nebula Awards). The Artist Guest Of Honor is Donato Giancola. Special guests include authors David Gerrold, Nalo Hopkinson and Spider and Jeanne Robinson. There'll be a large dealer's room, panels, speakers, an art show, a charity auction and a ball. Pre-registration is available until 12/2. A weekend membership is $45, children $20. For more information either follow the above link, e-mail Jeff Linder at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the toll-free hotline at 877-744-2315.
EVE CON 20 takes place December 27 - 29 at the Sheraton Hotel, 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston VA. To quote the convention Website, "If you've never been to one of our conventions - this is an ideal place to find others who share your interests in things such as sci-fi, fantasy, horror, weirdness, centuries past and future, cultures near and far, art, music, movies, books, games. If you feel out of place in the mundane atmosphere of day-to-day life, this will be a homecoming for you." There's no exact schedule available yet, but trust that there'll be a variety of talks, workshops, discussions, gaming, and an art show. Registration is $25 if postmarked by December 13, and $30 at the door. For more information go to the above link, send an e-mail to email@example.com or call (301) 292-5231.
|38. STEPHEN KING REALLY CALLS IT QUITS!
In last February's issue of The ICS Files (issue 37) there was a story called "Stephen King is calling it quits." It's taken some months to confirm it but confirm it we did. Stephen King publicly announced that he will indeed hang up his pen for good after he completes several more books. First, his new novel about a troop of Pennsylvania state policemen and their relationship with a possessed vintage car, From a Buick 8, will come out.
After that, King said he will finish the final three installments of his projected seven-volume fantasy series The Dark Tower. "This finishes it. It's the sequel to everything. And in a sense, once these books are done, there's nothing else to say," King explained. "People are going to say a year and a half from now that the talk of retirement was ridiculous, because those will come out, but after that. . . . I'd never stop writing, because I don't know what I'd do between nine and one every day. But I'd stop publishing. I don't need the money."
King added that he'd just as soon file the manuscripts in a drawer. "Why not?" he asked. "What's wrong with that? J.D. Salinger's been doing it for years! There's a story I heard about this lady who works in a bank in New Hampshire, where Salinger has a safety deposit box. And every year he'd go in with a wrapped box. And if you've ever worked in publishing, you know what an 8-by-10 box is - it's a manuscript. So she said, 'Are those books you're putting away?' And he said yes. And she said, 'Are you ever going to publish them?' And he looked down his nose at her and said, 'What for?' And it's one of those stories where you gotta say, 'If it ain't true, it oughta be.'"
He must have been smiling when he said, "I've killed enough of the world's trees."
39. THE ACKERMANSION IS BEING SOLD
"I Am Legend" would be as good a title as any for the amazing life story of Forrest J. Ackerman. He's the man who coined the term, "sci-fi." He was the former literary agent for such authors as Ray Bradbury. He may be best known as the founding editor of the cult magazine "Famous Monsters of Filmland." He's also very famous for his amazing collection of movie memorabilia. He loved to give private tours of his home (which he named the "Ackermansion"). Ackerman led more than 50,000 fans on personal tours of the house and his amazing collection of memorabilia, including movie posters, paintings and masks of screen legends like Boris Karloff, as well as costumes and props from classic movies. Some members of our club have been on that tour. That era has sadly come to an end.
Ackerman is selling off his legendary Hollywood house, (or as he calls it "Horrorwood," located in "Karloffornia") and his collection of movie memorabilia to pay legal bills. The two-story, 5,800-square-foot mansion, perched on a winding street in the hills above Hollywood, once had more than 300,000 sci-fi and horror film items crammed into every corner.
Ackerman is selling the house, which was listed for $1.3 million and is now in escrow. In addition, Ackerman, 85, said he is liquidating his memorabilia collection to raise money to pay for an expensive legal fight against his onetime business associate, Ray Ferry.
Ackerman now lives in a rented five-room house in Los Angeles. He still has a few of his most-treasured items, including a replica of the female robot from his favorite film, METROPOLIS.
40. THE MUGGLES GROW RESTLESS
Elaborate plans to coordinate the marketing of the new Harry Potter book to fit neatly between the release of the DVD and video of HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE and the November premiere of the second movie, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, have gone up in smoke. To her rapacious public J.K. Rowling is seemingly under some sort of spell. The British author hasn't been able to finish her fifth installment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, in time to be published this summer, as fans had hoped.
Rebecca Salt, the London-based spokeswoman for Rowling, said the eagerly anticipated book might not be ready until 2003. "It could be this year and it could be next year," said Salt, while rejecting the notion that the now very rich and married Rowling was suffering from writer's block.
Salt also insisted there had never been a specific deadline, although Rowling had produced a book a year between 1997 and 2000 and was believed to have promised to keep doing so, in step with the seven years Harry's enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Rowling has previously admitted to feeling the pressure of her worldwide success. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has grossed more than $317 million in the U.S. alone, and that doesn't include the vast amount of tie-in merchandise crowding store shelves. Her last book missed the prescribed deadline by two months after she made changes to the plot. Still some fans were blaming hasty work for big mistakes, notably an error in the timing of Potter's parents' deaths, which conflicted with reports of the tragedy in the earlier books.
There is speculation that the increasingly darker tone of Rowling's books might have given her pause, especially following the terrorist attacks of September 11, and led to reworking preconceived ideas for the fifth volume. And, with Harry and his pals now 15 and no longer tweens, some think that Rowling might be having difficulty handling their burgeoning sexuality.
41. THE HEADMISTRESS OF HOGWARTS RESPONDS
J.K. Rowling has some very good excuses for delaying her new book. First of all she said that the lawsuit that claimed she stole ideas from a series about a Larry Potter was distracting her. Rowling said that she was enormously relieved after a U.S. court threw out rival author Nancy Stouffer's claims that she stole words and characters from Stouffer's books. With that suit behind her, Rowling said that much of the book has been written and insisted, "I really am getting there." She added, "I'm so relieved. This court case has dragged on for a few years. I'm a really happy woman today."
As for the effect of the suit on her writing, Rowling said, "It has affected it, obviously. Anyone who's been involved in a court case will know that it's time-consuming. It plays on your mind. There have been times when I've been writing, and that's been uppermost in my mind, whereas what should have been uppermost in my mind is what's going on with Harry and company."
One other possible reason for her being late is that she's, uh, late. Very late. She and her new husband, Dr. Neil Murray, are expecting their first child. The new addition is due this spring.
So when will Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix appear? "I'd rather not say, just in case I have a bus accident, and things get knocked off track! It won't be too long. There's a lot of the book done. That's all I want to say, because if I give it a date, and then I pass it, everyone will be upset. I will say that I have a beginning, a middle and an end. You could read it all the way through, and I know a lot of Harry Potter fans will say just to give it to us. But I'm a perfectionist, and I want a bit more of a tweak."
42. RECENT TITLES: BOOKS ABOUT MOVIES AND TELEVISION
Bite Me! An Unofficial Guide to the World of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER by Nikki Stafford, $19.95
This is a revised and up-to-date guide to BUFFY. It includes an episode-by-episode examination of both BUFFY and the first three season of ANGEL.
Conrad Veidt on Screen: A Comprehensive Illustrated
Filmography by John T. Soister, $65.00
The Dinosaur Filmography by Mark F. Berry, Donald
The Frankenstein Archive: Essays on the Monster,
the Myth, the Movies, and More by Donald F. Glut, $28.50
Horror: A Thematic History in Fiction and Film
by Darryl Jones, $16.95
Horror at the Drive-In: Essays in Popular Americana
by Gary D. Rhodes (Editor), $45.00
Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir,
How to Shoot a Feature Film for Under $10,000
(And Not Go to Jail) by Bret Stern, $14.95
Lips of Blood: An Illustrated Guide to Hammer's
Dracula Movies Starring Christopher Lee by John Jewel, $17.95
Moonwatcher's Memoir: A Diary of 2001: A SPACE
ODYSSEY by Dan Richter, Arthur C. Clarke, $17.95
Reel Shame: Bad Movies and the Hollywood Stars
Who Made Them by Christopher Holland, Scott Hamilton; $14.99
Spielberg: The Man, the Movies, the Mythology
by Frank Sanello, $17.95
Uncharted Territory: An Unofficial and Unauthorized
Guide to FARSCAPE by Scott Andrews, $7.95
DOCTOR WHO: Ghost Ship by Keith Topping, $17.95
STAR TREK: Starfleet Survival Guide by David Mack,
STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Mission Gamma, Book
One: Twilight by David R. George III, $6.99
STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE - Mission Gamma, Book
Two: This Gray Spirit by Heather Jarman, $6.99
Hobbits, Elves, and Wizards: Exploring the Wonders
and Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien's the Lord of the Rings by Michael N. Stanton,
Science Fiction After 1900: From the Steam Man
to the Stars by Brooks Landon, $18.95
Vampire Legends in Contemporary American Culture:
What Becomes a Legend Most by William Patrick Day, $29.95
|45. QUICK TAKES
DR. JEKYLL AND MR. MAMET. David Mamet recently completed directing DIARY OF A YOUNG LONDON PHYSICIAN, based on his own adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for Warner Brothers and Franchise. Jude Law and Penelope Cruz star. . . . BUGS REDUX. In last month's ICS Files I mentioned that J. T. Petty has signed on to write and direct the MIMIC sequel, MIMIC SENTINEL (the story was "The Bugs Are Back In Town"). I've got some more news on that. Amanda Plummer, John Kapelos and Lance Henriksen will star in the sequel. Production has recently begun in Romania. . . . SO WHAT HAVE YOU GOT IN A FAT MIDDLE-AGED WHITE GUY? I usually shy away from rumors, but this one is too good. Rumor has it that director Jay Roach (of, among other things, the AUSTIN POWERS series) is looking at USED GUYS, a sci-fi comedy with Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. It's set in a near-future Los Angeles in which women buy and trade men like used cars. The film was originally written in 1998 and recently put into turnaround at Columbia. . . . SAMURAI JACK IS COMING TO A THEATER NEAR YOU. Brett Ratner said he will still direct a live-action feature film based on the Cartoon Network animated series, SAMURAI JACK. Don't get in line yet, though. We won't see it until after 2004, when he wraps his next two projects. "I'm a young man," Ratner explained. "I'll do it after SUPERMAN and RUSH HOUR 3.". . . ARE YOU PLANNING ON CATCHING CABIN FEVER NEXT SUMMER? CABIN FEVER is a new horror film that left audiences screaming in the aisles at the Toronto Film Festival. In this EVIL DEAD-like plot five college friends, vacationing in a remote cabin in the woods, face true horror when one of them contracts a deadly flesh-eating virus and it spreads amongst them. Lions Gate picked the movie up for theatrical distribution. They're planning on releasing it theatrically next summer. . . . HELLRAISER IV IS ABOUT TO GO TO PRODUCTION. Production is slated to start Oct. 21 in Romania on HELLRAISER IV: DEADER, the seventh installment in the franchise. The film is likely headed for a straight-to-video release. Rick Bota is directing. Neal Marshall Stevens (THIRTEEN GHOSTS) and Tim Day (HELLRAISER: HELLSEEKER) wrote the script. Doug Bradley will reprise the role of Pinhead. The story revolves around Amy Klein, a London reporter who receives a tape showing a person being killed and brought back to life, and Amy travels to Bucharest to investigate. . . . GLADIATOR II. Screenwriter John Logan, who cowrote the original GLADIATOR script, was hired to write GLADIATOR II, which will pick up 15 years after the end of the first installment. Since his character died in the original, Russell Crowe is not expected to return for the sequel. . . . LOOKING FOR ZORRO. If the intended sequel to the 1998 THE MASK OF ZORRO is going to happen in won't be with its former lead. Antonio Banderas has refused to reprise his role. He was offered $20 million to co-star opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones in a follow-up movie, but snubbed the offer to concentrate on "other things." Antonio says, "I could have been rich. It would have been $20 million for each sequel. But I would prefer to concentrate on other things, theatre maybe." . . . TOM HANKS - LADYKILLER. Tom Hanks is joining the Coen brothers' remake of the classic 1955 Alec Guinness-Peter Sellers comedy LADYKILLERS. It's about a group of thieves who try to kill a seemingly harmless old lady. . . . A SINGING, DANCING KONG? British theatrical producers are working on bringing the 1933 KING KONG to the stage in a lavish production that will employ an animatronic Kong and other prehistoric monsters depicted in the movie. Debbie Isitt, the writer of the current London hit "The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband" is working on the stage adaptation. . . . THE O.E.D. LEARNS ICS-SPEAK. The newest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary now includes "Jedi" "Klingon" and "warp drive" among the new entries. Not making the cut, however: "Muggles." . . . PROJECT TERMINATED? A couple issues back we ran a piece about how the folks in Schwarzenegger's hometown of Graz, Austria were going to put up a statue of their favorite son, as "the Terminator" to co-incide with the release of the latest film. Ahnuld sent a letter to the group back home, requesting they not build the 82-foot Terminator statue in the city's park. The figure, holding a globe over its head, would have towered over more traditional statues. The Grazians said, "[Arnold] was flattered but that he thought it would be better to spend the money on social projects and the Special Olympics."
46. CAGE GETS BACK UP
Nicolas Cage is attached to star in BACK UP. It's a science fiction thriller described as MEMENTO meets FACE/OFF. It will star Cage as a cop who is brought back to life to investigate his own murder.
BACK UP is set in the near future, when technology allows for the resuscitation of humans and the "backing up" of their memories onto a computer. Cage plays a cop who gets "backed-up" and wakes up 90 days later with a gap in his memory. Learning that he was murdered and his wife has left him, Cage's character is intent on hunting down his murderer and figuring out what he did during the missing days that ruined his life.
47. PARAMOUNT GETS ITS BAD GUY
Paramount Pictures is in negotiations to pick up feature film rights to "Bad Guy", an independently published comic book, that has, at this writing, only produced one issue! Barry Josephson and screenwriter David Hayter will produce. The comic's creators, Jason Harris and Zack Morrissette, will write the screenplay, which will be supervised by Hayter, writer of X-MEN and THE SCORPION KING.
"Bad Guy" is set in a world in which those who wish to be superheroes can interview at the Oden Co., which then puts candidates through various genetic, physical and mental tests. Oden then decides on an appropriate superpower, costume and city in which the chosen ones will be based to fight crime. When the superheroes get bored on the job and begin abusing their powers - using them for evil rather than good - a mortal named John takes it upon himself to fight the villains via contract killings.
48. JESSICA ALBA WANTS TO BE A BEAUTIFUL KILLER
Jessica Alba is set to become a big screen super-hero with an adaptation of Black Bull's comic BEAUTIFUL KILLER. Universal Pictures and Strike Entertainment are developing the concept for the former DARK ANGEL star.
The BEAUTIFUL KILLER comics focus on a young girl out to avenge the murders of her spy parents. The movie will not keep the comics title.
"This is very cool, dark material that at its core is about a girl who loses her family to mysterious killers, flees and ultimately chooses to exact revenge," Alba said. "The chance to shape a character and story from inception is a luxury for an actress. I had the opportunity to collaborate that way with James Cameron and Chic Eglee from the very beginning (on DARK ANGEL), and it is an experience I hope to repeat."
Marc Abraham and Eric Newman are producing for Strike while Alba and Chris Henze will get executive producer creds. No writer is signed yet, but they hope to have one on board in time to roll when Alba next becomes available.
49. PIERCE BROSNAN MIGHT QUIT BOND AND BECOME AN ACTOR
Pierce Brosnan admits that being a movie star is "boring." Despite the fact that he's making movies on a regular basis, "I haven't done much acting for awhile."
While he was promoting his new film, EVELYN, he explained his concerns. "I love doing James Bond, but it's not what I call real acting. Aside from this film [EVELYN], I think the last movie I really acted in was THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR. Other than that, there really isn't much effort from my part."
When asked how long his stint as James Bond will last, he said "One more, and then we'll see."
As to the slew of Bond wannabes out there like Vin Diesel and Mike Myers, he smiled, "Let them try. I think Bond is a tradition that goes back several generations and when audiences go see a Bond movie, they know what to expect. I'm not threatened."
50. THE DEVIL IS DEAD
Anthony Hopkins said that the new film version of Stephen Vincent Benet's short story "The Devil and Daniel Webster" will never be finished. "They pulled the money out, apparently, so it'll never be seen," Hopkins said. "The producers have no money to finish it."
This version was set in our era, in New York City's literary world. A struggling writer makes a deal with the Devil to become a hot New York Times best-selling author in exchange for his soul in ten years. Those ten years go by like hours and soon, the author must implore the help of Daniel Webster, an ace lawyer and the head of the most powerful publishing firm in the City, to get him out of the deal. This results in a rousing, climactic battle of wits and words as the Devil and Daniel Webster go to trial over the author's soul.
Hopkins played Webster. Alec Baldwin made his directoral debut and co-starred in the film as the writer, Jabez Stone. Jennifer Love Hewitt starred as the Devil. Hopkins was positive about Baldwin's take on the short story, which was previously made into a play and a 1941 film. But he added that even Baldwin has abandoned the project. "He's good, a fine director," Hopkins said. "He's good to work with, but I don't know if Alec is even interested in [completing] it. We finished filming it a long time ago."
Filming wrapped in March 2001. Baldwin refused to start postproduction for fear that there wasn't enough money to complete the process. He stated that he and others were not paid during the last four weeks of production. The production company, Cutting Edge seemed to have no idea what he was talking about. They stated that they racked up so many good sales at Cannes that there was "more than enough money to cover what's outstanding, which is why Alec's comments are so shocking."
Both sides later wound up in court. It looks as though this film, though completed, will rust in peace.
51. FRANCE - IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT JERRY LEWIS ANYMORE!
The French government honored Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg (eXistenZ, THE FLY, THE DEAD ZONE, SCANNERS) with the National Order of the Arts and Letters during a presentation of the director's latest film, SPIDER, at the Toronto International Film Festival. The award will bump the director from French Chevalier to the rank of officer.
The order is given out twice annually to a few hundred people worldwide. The recipient receives a certificate and is entitled to wear an insignia, a medal suspended from a ribbon of white stripes against a green background.
52. FREDDY VS. JASON VS. RENFRO
Brad Renfro has left the FREDDY VS. JASON. He's being replaced by Jason Ritter (SWIMFAN). Monica Keena and Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland also star in the movie.
Ritter and Keena will play members of a group of friends who team up to spark a battle between Freddy and Jason. Renfro's exit was attributed to creative differences. Ritter is the son of actor John Ritter.
53. IS DANIEL RADCLIFFE OUTGROWING POTTER?
There are reports that HARRY POTTER star Daniel Radcliffe is getting too big for his robes. A recent photograph of the13-year-old Radcliffe, who is reported to be 5 feet 3 inches tall, shows him easily towering over his mother, Marcia Gresham. Radcliffe appears to have grown at least six inches in the last year. The sequel movie HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS was rushed into production to avoid a growth spurt on the part of Radcliffe and his co-stars, Rupert Grint (Ron) and Emma Watson (Hermione).
The person most aware of the changes is Radcliffe himself. He says, "In a couple of years, I might have changes so much that I look wrong for the part - even though Harry grows with the books. So I'm enjoying the fame while I can - after all, I might do these films and then disappear or something might go horribly wrong and I'll never act again."
So what happens when a young wizard ages? Does his wand get hair on it? Does he spend a lot of time working on x-ray vision spells while standing around the girl's locker room? I guess we'll all get to find out.
54. HITCHHIKER FINALLY GETS A GREENLIGHT
After more than a decade of waffling, lapsed commitments and false starts, THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY may finally be coming to the screen. Screenwriter Karey Kirkpatrick (CHICKEN RUN) has been hired to co-adapt the Douglas Adams' screenplay. Adams wrote his own feature adaptation before he died last May and will receive a posthumous producing credit on the proposed film. Jay Roach (the AUSTIN POWERS franchise) is attached to direct.
HITCHHIKER has already had an outrageous number of lives. It started out as a BBC radio series. It was adapted as a novel, then a TV series and a video game. It centers on Arthur Dent, who starts his morning off by finding out his cozy English home is being immediately demolished to make way for a new highway bypass. By the time brunch is being served, Arthur's morning goes from bleak to miserable as he finds out his cozy blue-green planet is being immediately demolished to make way for a new interstellar hyperspace bypass. He's whisked away by a friend who turns out to be a visiting alien from Betelgeuse, and then his life begins to get very strange.
55. PROYAS WORKS ON ASIMOV AND ELLISON
Director Alex Proyas (DARK CITY) is trying to adapt Isaac Asimov's classic I, ROBOT for the screen. Proyas said that he's not sure a movie version of the book is feasible. "The visual effects are really, really challenging, and I just want to know if I go into it, that I can actually pull this stuff off with total believability," Proyas said. "We're trying to push the envelope a little bit technically. It looks very positive at this point."
Proyas also said his production company just got a draft for a script called DRIVE, a sci-fi film based on Harlan Ellison's short story "Along the Scenic Route," which is "basically about futuristic road rage," the director said. That project is still in early stages.
56. ARAGORN: THE LADY'S MAN?
The next installment of THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy will involve a love triangle between three central character that does not appear in the book. Tolkien purists already enraged by the passion between Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn and Arwen, played by Liv Tyler, are set to be further upset by the introduction of Miranda Otto's Lady Eowyn. The character will spice up the clandestine relationship by diverting Aragon's attention from the Elvish princess.
Someone connected with the production said, "There's going to be a romantic triangle in the next one. We sexed it up a bit. No, you won't get to see Viggo's butt. But there will be plenty of tension between the three."
57. NEW WRITERS FOR THE OUTER LIMITS
MGM has hired Douglas Cook and David Weisberg (THE ROCK) to rewrite the film adaptation of THE OUTER LIMITS. MGM hopes to put the adaptation of the 1960s TV series into production as quickly as it can, with Rupert Wainwright (STIGMATA) directing.
MGM originally hired Gerald Di Pego (PHENOMENON) and his sons Justin and Zachary to write the screenplay earlier this year. Mark Victor and Michael Grais of Victor/Grais are producing THE OUTER LIMITS, along with Trilogy Entertainment's Pen Densham (UPN's THE TWILIGHT ZONE), Guy McElwaine and John Watson.
The hope is to make THE OUTER LIMITS a movie franchise. Franchises have become the new "buffalo" for movie studios. When they perform well they'll feed the tribe forever.
58. RAMBO REDUX?
It was once a big event when Sylvester Stallone released a new movie. He ROCKY'ed and RAMBO'ed his way to the top. Despite obvious lemons like his arm wrestling movie, OVER THE TOP (1987), his country-western movie RHINESTONE (1984) and the indescribably awful STOP OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT (1992) his career still chugged along. Then something happened that Hollywood finds unforgivable - his movies started loosing money. JUDGE DREDD cost $90 million to make and earned just $35 million. GET CARTER cost $40 million and earned $15 million. DRIVEN cost $72 million and earned $33 million.
Perhaps he's craving a taste of little of the old days. Stallone, who last appeared as Rambo in 1988, announced at a press conference at the Deauville Film Festival in France that he may be bringing the character back to life in a new movie. "We're talking about doing another Rambo because I think it's time to combine action with politics," he said.
That should work. Just ask Tom Laughlin about BILLY JACK GOES TO WASHINGTON. I think I saw him working the counter of a 7-11 recently.
59. INDIA - THE LAND OF DOGS AND SNAKES
The Hindu activist group Shiv Sena has vowed to mount a protest against the screening of a Bollywood version of Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS. The movie, titled KAANTE features a number of song-and-dance numbers. It's due to be released across India soon.
Shiv Sena has denounced the American cultural values that it says are displayed in the film (the film was shot entirely in L.A.). The group has already begun destroying posters for the movie and has threatened to unleash venomous snakes in any theater showing it. That threat was denounced by animal-rights activists.
One question - where were these guys when BATTLEFIELD EARTH came out? Dodging cobras and black mambas would have been more fun than watching Rastafarian aliens and Hollywood cavemen mix it up.
60. SHYAMALAN THINKS HALEY WAS ROBBED OF AN OSCAR
M. Night Shyamalan is convinced his THE SIXTH SENSE star Haley Joel Osment was robbed of an Oscar at the 2000 Academy Awards bash. He was deeply disappointed when Haley missed out on the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor to Sir Michael Caine.
Shyamalan says, "Movies become what they're eventually gonna be over a period of time, you never really know straight away. Neither THE SIXTH SENSE nor AMERICAN BEAUTY were the films that people think they are now when they first opened. If I said to you, 'Gosh Michael Caine gave one of the greatest performances ever in CIDER HOUSE RULES,' you know I'd be lying. I don't think you'd ever hear anybody say that. But you could easily hear somebody say, perhaps ten years from now, that Haley Joel Osment gave the best child performance ever, in (my) film."
61. KUNG-FU FAIRY TALE
Disney is in talks with the famed Chinese choreographer Yuen Wo Ping. They want him to direct a live-action martial-arts version of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. Instead of the dwarfs, however, Snow White will team with seven Shaolin monks. The film was at first titled SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN SHAOLIN. The deal would mark Yuen's English-language-film directing debut.
Written by Josh Harman and Scott Elder, the SNOW WHITE update is set in the 1890's. It follows a woman who returns home to Hong Kong to attend her father's funeral, only to discover that her stepmother is plotting against her. She escapes to mainland China, where she seeks solace with seven Shaolin monks who, in turn, come to believe the woman holds the fate of the world in her hands.
62. SPIDER-MAN, SPIDER-MAN - DOES WHATEVER A PULITZER PRIZE WINNING WRITER SAYS HE CAN
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon has been hired for a rewrite on SPIDER-MAN 2, now referred to as THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Chabon is well-known as the author of the comic book-themed, Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and the novel upon which the movie WONDER BOYS was based.
Chabon was approached by Fox in 1996, when the studio was still seeking a writer to crack THE X-MEN. Although the author wrote an impassioned letter outlining his take on the story, he ultimately wasn't selected for that project.
Chabon is said to be getting paid a mid-seven figures for the work. Previous authors on the screenplay include Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (SMALLVILLE) and the first film's writer David Koepp. It sounds like the studio will pay and do anything to get this movie right.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is slated for production early next year. It's due out May 7, 2004.
63. RICK BERMAN AND FURTHER GENERATIONS OF TNG
Rick Berman said that the latest NEXT GENERATION film may, or may not, live up to its billing as "a generation's final journey." He explained, "There may be [truth to that]. We'll see. It's coming from the powers that be. I mean, it's not coincidental. . . . This is not happening behind my back. The film is being promoted as 'The final journey is about to begin.' Now there are a lot of ways that one can interpret that, and I'm not about to help you interpret that. You'll have to wait and see."
It's been speculated that NEMESIS could mark the final film for the cast of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, though various cast members have previously said they think Paramount would make another one if NEMESIS does well at the box office.
As for the film's progress, Berman said, "We've screened it for Paramount. They're crazy about it. We're going to be having some test screenings soon. But the picture's pretty much done."
You'll soon be able to judge for yourself. NEMESIS will be in theaters on Dec. 13.
64. BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN VS. SUPERMAN
If you've been anxiously waiting to see the Man of Steel tangle with the Dark Knight you may been in for a very long stretch. Warner's has put BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN on the backburner in favor of a new SUPERMAN movie.
The film with the two heroes tangling was deemed too dark by studio execs. They were wowed by the upbeat optimistic SUPERMAN script by J.J. Abrams, the creator of ALIAS and THE GILMORE GIRLS (see more on that below).
After a shake-up with directors (McG's out, Brett Ratner's in) the new SUPERMAN movie's in very early pre-production right now. This film looks to re-invent the entire franchise and to be the first of a trilogy (once again, see below).
The only announced casting at the moment is Anthony Hopkins as Superman's Kryptonian father, Jor-El. Brett Ratner's talking about possibly using an unknown to play Superman. He said, "To be honest, I want a total unknown in the tights. I'm going to do a massive hunt for my Superman first. I also have no idea who would be good for Lois Lane." Maybe they can get Marlon Brando to play Krypton.
65. ANGRY FANS PROTEST WARNER'S SUPER-TAMPERING
Warner studio execs have glowed over J.J. Abrams' "upbeat" script for SUPERMAN. It's new director gushed, "It will be the origins story with a fantastic script that explains more than you've ever seen before."
The screenplay was leaked to "Ain't It Cool News." A review and synopsis, along with hundreds of hurt, puzzled and enraged fan reactions, were posted Online. The well-known Superman mythos, as easily to recite as the pledge of allegiance (and for some, as sacred), has been substantially altered. What follows is a distillation of some of that.
Before beginning keep in mind that the script that was reviewed was a first draft. Abrams is said to already be deep into a second draft. Some of the story elements that fans likely found offensive may already be out. Nevertheless, this is the screenplay that got greenlighted and drew such exuberant reactions from studio execs (and got BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN jettisoned).
KRYPTON doesn't explode. Jor-El has already visited Earth and deliberately picked the Kents to be Kal-El’s new parents. The movie shifts between Earth and Krypton.
SUPERMAN doesn't just rely on super strength to win battles. He's also a high-flying martial arts master. His uniform seems to have a mind of its own (throwing in elements of THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO). One somewhat unusual thing that Superman does in this first of three movies is die. We get to witness lots of artificial grief and a lengthy, pointless funeral sequence. Lois gets to cry. Everyone gets to be very solemn. We KNOW he can't die, because he's a flagship character for DC Comics and this is the beginning of a trilogy. There's no way he’s staying dead. They decide to bring him back with New Age voodoo. Jor-El “senses” the death of his son all the way from Krypton, so he slices his own stomach open and goes to Heaven. Jor-El actually argues his son out of being dead.
LEX LUTHOR is CIA Special Agent Dr. Lex Luthor. He’s described as being in his 50s with closely cropped hair. At first they make him sound like Fox Mulder. He’s the Director of the Special Operations Division of the CIA, which means he chases UFO activity and tries to either verify or debunk it. He gets fired over his insistence that Congress connect Superman with a strange space pod that the government's found. We later discover he's got a few surprises under the hood. He's not only an evil ex-CIA Director - he's a super-villain. That pod that got him fired was his. Lex and Superman fly through the air in a prolonged super-battle.
SPEAKING OF BATTLES, in one battle with a gang of evil Kryptonians waged over Washington much of the city is destroyed (the public turns on Superman, blaming him for the bad guys ever coming to Earth). The question arises how much entertainment value audiences are going to find post 9/11 in watching beloved Washington landmarks being destroyed.
JIMMY OLSEN's a little younger. He's described as “Brooklyn-born and somewhat effeminate.” Perry White makes jokes about Jimmy’s boyfriend later in the scene.
Abrams has said that the third-act revelation about the true nature of Lex Luthor has been discarded. He said that Jimmy Olsen is not portrayed as a gay character, although Abrams said he never intended that. The line of dialogue in the movie that suggested the character was gay was merely a joke intended to underscore how good-looking Olsen is (don't forget, Jon Peters is involved with this project - that's the same Jon Peters that insisted earlier that Superman be given a robot-dog companion - a gay robot dog companion). The changes involving Krypton might stay. Abrams would only say, "We'll see."
66. T3 AND TOILET TRAINING
Arnold Schwarzenegger talked about details of a key fight between his cyborg character and a new female Terminator, played by Kristanna Loken, in T3: THE RISE OF THE MACHINES. Schwarzenegger and Loken shot the fight scene, which takes place mainly in a modern public bathroom, over the course of a week at studios in downtown L.A., just before film production wrapped in September.
"Everything has gone extraordinarily well, except we took a little bit more time, I think, than anyone expected, because there were so many visual-effects shots," Schwarzenegger said. "But it's going to be a real spectacle, because we've never really seen a fight scene of two people who are actually machines. One weighs two thousand pounds and one a thousand pounds. So every move you make, towards any piece of wall or door or anything, [it] immediately breaks. So everything has to be rigged. . . . Like, for instance, there's a scene where I grab her by the jaw, lift her up in the air and then just throw her down on the ground. So as soon as I throw her down into the ground, the tiles on the ground just break. And then I lift my foot up really high and just step down on her head. And that then makes her whole head crush into below the floor of the bathroom. You have to rig all that stuff, and then you have to cut, and then you have to put the dummy down, because I can't step on her head, otherwise it breaks her nose. It's very extraordinary to see the effect it has when two of those machines start letting loose in small quarters like the bathroom area - what happens to the walls, to the ceilings, to the pipes. There's one scene where I throw her against the toilet bowl, and the whole thing just explodes and water shoots out everywhere. Whenever you cause some damage, you have to show also the effects of it. The water coming out, the gas from the gas pipes, water pipes, and all that stuff, sparks flying and all this. It takes a lot of setup and work."
Don't look for a lot of Hong Kong style kicks in this. "In general we stay away from all martial arts-type of movements because it would be ridiculous that a terminator would have a block - block for what? He's made of steel! So why would he be blocking? If she hits him in the head he can stand there smile and then pick her up and throw her against the wall," Schwarzenegger explained.
The 5-foot-11-inch Loken, said that it was sobering taking on Schwarzenegger at first. "At first, it was a bit out-of-body in the sense that I am supposed to be overpowering him, and I'm like, 'Yeah, but it's Arnold.,' But then after a while, you just start believing it, and he's been extremely accommodating and really great to work with, and just such a powerful, wonderful presence. [He's] so skilled in what he does, and it's just been a really wonderful learning experience."
As for the fight, Loken said, "This whole sequence is pretty much the culmination of the big fight. It takes place on three different sets, and the majority of it happens in the bathroom. . . . It's different in the fact that you haven't seen anything like it, because it's just sheer force. With the weight of the Terminators and everything, it's a lot of really violent, large-scale things."
When T2 came out 11 years ago its quantity and quality of special effects shots stunned the world. It had a total of 47 visual-effects shots. T3 will have between 350 and 500. New technology is being pioneered to accomplish the look they're going after.
Unfortunately you'll have to wait to see the dueling Terminators abuse the plumbing and the other magic box of effects. The movie's set for a July 2, 2003, release.
67. JACKIE CHAN FINDS THE TUXEDO A BAD FIT
Recently a room full of aggressively loud reporters fell into stunned silence at an announcement by Jackie Chan. While on a press junket, publicizing his latest, THE TUXEDO, he proclaimed, "I don't like THE TUXEDO, I don't like the story. I only think I like Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks - that's all."
He went on to commit the ultimate faux pas at the round table - he started asking the journalists interviewing him if they liked the film. Only one reporter dared to say "No."
"See! That's my old fan, you watch all my Hong Kong films, right?" he asked the reporter.
It appears that Chan's fans aren't the only ones who think his American films don't compare to his Chinese ones.
"So many scripts they give me are like RUSH HOUR. No! I don't like that movie. Two cops? Not interested. But they say, 'Jackie, please try. You have to try," he explains. "But the action, compared to my Hong Kong films is terrible, right? The dialogue - I don't understand it. I'm right - why? Because RUSH HOUR is a big success in America, but in the Asian market, nobody is going to see it."
He refers to his African-American co-star and some of the funniest lines in RUSH HOUR and adds, "In the [Asian] theater, 'What up n---a?' - the whole theater didn't understand what n---a meant. Nobody was smiling."
"I realize that I'm making American films, that I'm learning American culture, I'm learning what American audiences like - but I have to go back to make Asian films."
Before you jump to the conclusion that Jackie Chan is moving back to Hong Kong, let it be known that he just finished filming SHANGHAI DAWN, the sequel to SHANGHAI NOON with Owen Wilson, and next he starts filming a remake of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS for Paramount. Plus, he's already attached to another RUSH HOUR sequel, RUSH HOUR 3 with Chris Tucker. He's definitely still Hollywood-based, yet with all the sequels and franchises, he says he's itching to do something different.
"All these years I've been looking for some other new things, even like I'm tired of myself doing DRUNKEN MASTER 1, 2…I'm tired, RUSH HOUR 1,'" he emphatically says. "I want to do something new, something with real action, something with special effects, something pure drama. That's what I'm looking for right now."
"I always tell my manager, please tell the studios to give me something like SPY GAME or KRAMER VS. KRAMER - some drama," he adds, also citing the film GLADIATOR.
But while Asian audiences may be open to seeing him do something other than risky stunts or Chan's famous blend of action-comedy films, American audiences are still being introduced to who he is and what he can do.
"It's really not fair to me; Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro - they only have one kind of audience, I have two kinds of audience, the ones that have been watching me for 20 years and the new audience who like RUSH HOUR" Chan says.
Spending a little time to please his old fans, Chan is also planning a return to Hong Kong film - he is expected to shoot the film TITANIUM RING shortly and is currently writing ARMOR OF GOD PART III."
Perhaps not helping Chan's lack of enthusiasm for the film is the fact that many of the fight scenes were shortened in order to keep the film's rating a PG-13.
"I'm just a little bit disappointed; at the end we have a lot of fights, at the beginning we have a lot of fight," he says, describing how a rope scene where he ties up to bad guys was severely shortened. "I don't understand. Probably the studio decided that it’s a family movie and that they can not do so many fights, we're too long at the end, we must shorten. Sometimes we can not have the final cut - it really makes me frustrated."
But at the end of the day, he says he's still open to doing a sequel to THE TUXEDO.
"DreamWorks is talking to me about part 2. I said, 'No, let's wait. If the box office is good, I get more money," he smiles. "I want to gamble. We both gamble. If it's no good, then it's good for you [that I don't sign], if it's good, then it's good for me, then I get a high pay."
68. LOOK FOR MORE IMAX MOVIES
IMAX is about to explode. They've limped along for three decades on a steady ration of documentaries with "gee-whiz" visuals and an occasional Hollywood bone in the form of an adapted feature tossed their way. They've been trying to draw folks in by showing blockbusters like GLADIATOR and LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. The problem is that they've been showing 35-milimeter prints projected on the giant IMAX screen. The pictures got bigger and grainier. The folks at IMAX have solved that problem.
They've developed a process that can convert 35 millimeter to the IMAX 70-milimeter. It's called Digital Remastering (or DMR). First, each frame of the film's original 35-milimeter print is scanned at the highest-possible resolution into digital images. Then, with the filmmaker looking over their shoulders, IMAX technicians enhance and clean up each frame, removing grain, correcting color and sharpening the image where necessary. Finally these digital frames are put back onto IMAX's 70-millimeter film.
The first film that gets the new treatment is the 1995 Ron Howard movie, APOLLO 13. Both Ron Howard and Tom Hanks were deeply skeptical. Hanks said, "When I first heard the idea I thought, 'Well, yeah, O.K., that might work for the big action sequences.' But what about the close-ups and the dialogue scenes? Are they going to be able to see every hair and pimple on my face?"
It didn't take long to win him over. "To me the clincher was when I saw the close-up of Kathleen Quinlan," who plays the wife of Mr. Hanks's character, an astronaut, "during the launch sequence," Mr. Howard said. "It was already a great performance, but somehow seeing it that big made it even better, even more emotional."
The system's still not perfect. The biggest flaw is running time. IMAX projectors can accommodate movies of two hours or less. So a film like APOLLO 13, which is longer than two hours, must be trimmed. Ron Howard cut his from 2 hours and 19 minutes to just under 2 hours.
We'll be seeing several movies hitting IMAX screens soon. STAR WARS: EPISODE II - ATTACK OF THE CLONES will screen in 70 of their theaters, starting Nov. 1. Fox plans to play EPISODE II in about 50 IMAX commercial venues in the U.S. and Canada and another 20-30 IMAX theaters in science museums and other institutions for about seven weeks. It will be shortened by 23 minutes to fit the 2-hour limit.
The new Ben Affleck superhero film, DAREDEVIL and Steven Spielberg's MINORITY REPORT might be headed for the very, very big screen too.
69. MOVIEGOERS TOP TEN COMPLAINTS
A new survey of moviegoers by Zagat, the restaurant guide people, lists their top complaints. They are:
1. People talking
OCTOBER 11: BELOW is a haunted house story set
in the confines of a World War II submarine under attack. An American sub,
the USS Manta, is in desperate trouble with Nazi U-boats above. The Manta
rescues three survivors, including a nurse (Olivia Williams) from a sunken
British hospital ship. The crew begins to wonder if the Nazis are their
only threat. They slowly realize that not everyone aboard the Manta is
still alive. The dead are feeding on the living. The cast also features
Matt Davis as the captain and Bruce Greenwood as his first officer. The
director is David Twohy (PITCH BLACK, THE ARRIVAL and a pair of interesting
films in development - RIDDICK: PITCH BLACK 2 and a movie version of the
classic OUTER LIMITS episode, DEMON WITH A GLASS HAND). The screenwriters
are Darren Aronofsky (PI, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM - he was once in talks to
direct this film), Lucas Sussman (making his debut) and David Twohy.
OCTOBER 18: ABANDON is a psychological thriller
about Katie Burke (Katie Holmes), a senior at a prestigious university.
Under pressure to complete her thesis and earn a top job at a very competitive
firm, she's still coping with the sudden unexplained disappearance of her
first love, Embry Langan (Charlie Hunnam) two years before. A police detective
(with plenty of his own inner-demons, played by Benjamin Bratt) is called
in to investigate. His investigation uncovers facts so disconcerting that
it threatens to destroy both the student and the cop. The movie was written
and directed by Stephen Gaghan. Gaghan has previously written RULES OF
ENGAGEMENT and TRAFFIC. This movie marks his debut as a director. The film's
based on the novel Adam's Fall, by Sean Desmond.
OCTOBER 25: GHOST SHIP is about a salvage crew
that discovers a long-lost 1953 passenger ship floating lifeless in a remote
region of the Bering Sea. Once they begin towing the ghost ship towards
harbor, a series of bizarre occurrences happen and the group becomes trapped
inside the ship, which they soon learn is inhabited by a demonic creature.
The movie stars Gabriel Byrne, Alex Dimitriades, Ron Eldard, Desmond Harrington,
Julianna Margulies, Karl Urban and Isaiah Washington. It was directed by
Steve Beck (13 GHOSTS - prior to his directing career he was the effects
supervisor for INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, THE ABYSS and HUNT FOR
RED OCTOBER). The screenwriter is Mark Hanlon (BUDDY BOY). This film is
a remake of a 1952 British movie of the same name that starred Hazel Court
and Dermot Walsh.
|71. MOVIES ONLINE TAKE A LEAP FORWARD
IBM announced that it has signed a deal with Movielink, a joint venture of all the major studios except Disney, to provide the technical equipment for the Online video-on-demand service. Movielink has been on hold for the past year, as the studios attempted to find a secure method for delivering a huge library of films to broadband users. Users who download a film will have 30 days in which they can watch it. Once they do, the film "disappears" within 24 hours. Pricing for the new service has not been set.
The announcement came as Warner Bros. announced that it plans to put HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE Online via a similar video-on-demand Internet service called CinemaNow.com, which plans to charge $3.99 to view the film. It will take approximately 2 hours on a broadband connection to download it.
72. WHO'S THE FASTEST VIDEO ON DEMAND SERVICE? THE U.S. POST OFFICE
Despite claims by the motion picture industry about rampant piracy of DVDs over the Internet, the New York Times pointed out that it would take a week for the average PC user equipped with a 56K modem to download all of the data on a single DVD movie disc.
On the other hand, a DVD ordered over the Internet from companies like Netflix, CafeDVD, QwickFlicks or DVD Avenue, would likely take a couple of days to reach a customer. That makes the U.S. Postal Service the fastest video-on-demand carrier.
Experts don't anticipate a change soon. David Farber of the University of Pennsylvania, who was an early architect of the Internet, told the Times, "It's going to be years before we get the bandwidth," Mr. Farber said. "When I sit back, I want the quality that comes with a DVD; I don't want to look at a 2-by-2 hole, which is what you get with [movies on] the Internet."
|73. ANTIMATTER HAS MOVED TO "SCI" FROM "FI"
Anyone who's ever read much science fiction, or ever seen an episode of STAR TREK, knows about antimatter. It's the juice that makes all those futuristic gimcracks go. It's just moved from "science fiction" to "science fact."
Physicists working at CERN (the particle physics laboratory outside Geneva) announced in September that they had passed through nature's looking glass and had created atoms made of antimatter, or antiatoms, opening up the possibility of experiments in a realm once reserved for science fiction writers. Such experiments, theorists say, could test some of the basic tenets of modern physics and light the way to a deeper understanding of nature.
Matter and antimatter are like the good and evil twins of nature; they are endowed with equal and opposite characteristics like charge and spin, so if they meet they obliterate each other, releasing a flash of energy upon contact. Weird as it sounds, antimatter is a normal feature of the real, unfictional universe. Scientists see the creation of antihydrogen atoms is the first step toward testing some physicists' deepest notions about nature, which hold that antimatter should look and behave identically to ordinary matter.
In science fiction, antimatter, with its perfect convertibility to energy, is the ultimate rocket fuel, but the CERN scientists see their antihydrogen atoms as a ticket not across the galaxy but in effect to a different mathematical universe, in which positive is negative and left is right.
According to the standard theories of physics, the antimatter universe should look identical to our own. Antihydrogen and
hydrogen atoms should have the same properties, emitting the exact same frequencies of light, for example. But some theorists have speculated that the symmetry between matter and antimatter might be violated in some versions of theories that seek to unite Einstein's theories on gravity with the weird rules of quantum mechanics. The most ambitious such "theory of everything," which portrays particles as strings wriggling in 10-dimensional space-time, seems to preserve the matter-antimatter symmetry, but theorists do not really understand why.
As for me, I'm not worrying about such things. Instead I'm putting my wish list together. I'd like a small Starship, my own replicator and, most importantly, my own holodeck - one engineered so that the holodeck safetys never fail!
74. RECORDABLE DVD'S INCH AHEAD
The two industry groups fighting to set a rewritable DVD standard are showing no interest in working together. Until they resolve their differences the rewritable DVD drive market will be limping along. Companies are butting heads over establishing their respective formats as the industry standard for rewriting and recording content to DVD discs. The dispute is causing customer confusion over what discs work with which drives. There are several types of DVD drives, and at least four versions of media, none of which is completely compatible with the other. Technology tricks and behind-the-scenes talks could inch the sides toward a compromise.
The DVD+RW Alliance, an industry group promoting one of the chief DVD recording formats, came away from a quarterly meeting in September resolved to hold its ground in the standards fight. The DVD Forum, which promotes the DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM formats, doesn't appear to be budging either.
A number of companies, though, are working on products to get around the format showdown. Sony Electronics announced two new drives that will be able to read and write to both DVD+RW and DVD-RW discs. Intel is also interested in standards, and plans to speak with both groups to work out a possible compromise.
Intel has a vested interest in brokering a DVD peace. As part of its plans to promote the "extended PC"- a scheme in which TVs, stereos and other devices would be linked - Intel needs consumer electronics companies to hammer out conventions and standards.
Sony, Intel and Microsoft, for instance, are now working together to ensure new devices can talk to PCs. The three companies will soon announce their plans.
Still, a complete breakthrough may still be a ways off. Representatives from the DVD+RW Alliance said that Sony's solution of an all-in-one drive is simply short term. The group includes Hewlett Packard, Dell Computer and Philips, all advocates of the DVD+RW format. The DVD Forum, whose members include Apple Computer, Hitachi, NEC, Pioneer, Samsung and Sharp - promote and develop the DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW formats. The group also frowns on Sony's early efforts.
A compromise isn't impossible, however. Intel intervened in the first DVD standards wars in the late 1990s. At the time, Sony and Philips struggled with Panasonic and Toshiba over whether to allow PCs to read DVD discs. Intel apparently stepped in to broker a deal.
75. WARNING: YOUR TV MAY BE OBSOLETE BY 2007
A draft bill is being circulated by a group of bipartisan Congressional lawmakers that would force TV broadcasters to end analog transmissions by 2007. It's encountering massive opposition from consumer groups even before it is introduced in committee. The deadline exists under current rules; however, many analysts until now have predicted that it will be extended. The new bill would preclude such an extension. It is designed to light a fire under broadcasters to redouble their efforts to offer more HDTV and other digital programming. In a statement Louisiana Congressman Billy Tauzin, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said: "While we prefer marketplace solutions, clearly it is time for us to provide leadership in this area. By doing so, we hope to ensure that consumers benefit in a meaningful way from this exciting transition."
76. 3D TV IN YOUR LIVING ROOM
Sharp Corp. has exhibited a new type of television monitor that will give viewers the illusion of 3D without their having to wear special glasses, the company announced Friday. The monitor, which was developed at Sharp's laboratories in Oxford, England, employs a "parallax barrier" that helps keep right-eye and left-eye images separate. However, viewers are able to see the 3D images if they sit in front of a "visual point indicator" that is displayed at the bottom of the monitor. For that reason, the screens will initially be produced in relatively small sizes, 15-, 8-, and 4 inches. (It is expected that they'll be quickly incorporated into video game devices.) The first sets using the 3D displays are expected to hit retail outlets in the second quarter of next year.
77. MICROSOFT'S PC FOR COUCH POTATOES
Microsoft is teaming with several computer manufacturers to develop an operating system that will give personal computers the ability to operate as an efficient home entertainment center, with everything from digital video recording technology to DVD playing to Dolby quality audio. "Every digital media enthusiast, every college student, every teenager, every apartment dweller will love this technology," according to Microsoft VP Jim Allchin. "It's an example of how innovation continues to make the PC even more central to people's lives."
The Windows XP Media Center Edition has been sent to computer manufacturers, including Hewlett-Packard and Samsung, with the notion that they will incorporate the operating system into computers that will be available this holiday season. The Media Center computers will look like any other PC, except they will have a larger screen and an additional connection slot for cable or satellite set-top boxes for either TV viewing or high-speed Internet access. Prices for HP's version of the equipment is expected to be in the $1,500-$2,000 range.
These puppies will come loaded with a package of features from corporate giants.
The HP version will come with a DVD RW/R drive and a CD RW drive.
|79. BLOCKBUSTER WINS OVER RENTERS
Fifty-two percent of Americans who rent DVDs prefer Blockbuster Video, with Hollywood Video far behind in second place with just 13 percent of the rental market, according to a recent survey conducted by Video Store magazine. The study also indicated that households with DVD players rented 4.3 DVDs and 3.1 videocassettes during an average four-week period. That compares with just 2.7 cassettes for the average VHS-only household.
80. E.T. DROPS IN, THEN GOES HOME
Universal will release E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL on DVD Oct. 22, but for only 10 weeks. Universal Studios Home Video will release both original and 20th-anniversary versions of the 1982 film. After the 10 weeks, the title will go on moratorium indefinitely.
Universal will release the E.T. Limited Collector's Edition DVD, a two-disc set featuring the 2002 version of the movie in either letterbox or full-frame formats for $22.95. The E.T. Ultimate Collector's Gift Set will include the original theatrical version, the 2002 theatrical version, a CD soundtrack, a script from the original feature and a collectible senitype for $69.98. A VHS full-frame version of the movie will be priced at $14.95.
The two-disc set will also contain a track with John Williams' live orchestral performance of his score, which accompanied the 20th-anniversary premiere of the movie in Los Angeles earlier this year. Other DVD highlights include a new interview with director Steven Spielberg, a reunion of the cast and crew, the evolution of the E.T. character and Universal Studios Total Axess, a DVD-ROM feature.
81. COMING TO HOME VIDEO BY NOV. 1 - SPIDER-MAN
Sony has set Nov. 1 for the release of the SPIDER-MAN video. They're expecting it to surpass sales of the original MEN IN BLACK and to become the best-selling DVD to date. Sony is giving the video a rare Friday release date in order to capitalize on Halloween-night retail events. The two-disc DVD will include a collection of drawings from the Marvel comic book archives.
82. STAR WARS: THE SEARCH FOR THE METAL BIKINI
STAR WARS producer Rick McCallum denied a long-running rumor that scenes were shot with Natalie Portman to be inserted into some future release of RETURN OF THE JEDI. "No," McCallum said in response to a fan question. "There would be no reason to do that. . . . Unless maybe we could find that metal bikini!"
83. EHH, WHAT'S UP, DOCUMENTARY?
On Oct. 22, Warner Bros. Home Video is releasing an all-new DVD edition of CHUCK JONES: EXTREMES AND IN-BETWEENS, A LIFE IN ANIMATION. Produced and directed by Emmy and Peabody Award winner Margaret Selby, the retrospective brings together the late animator’s most famous characters and the celebrities who love them.
CHUCK JONES: EXTREMES AND IN-BETWEENS features original pencil sketches from Jones’ personal archive, as well as clips from such classic cartoons as “The Rabbit of Seville,” “Duck Amuck” and “What’s Opera, Doc?” Famous fans such as Matt Groening, Steven Spielberg and Robin Williams pay posthumous homage the wonderful warden of Warner’s “Looney” bin, whose cartoons struck a hilarious, precarious balance between visual slapstick and verbal wit.
But wait. Th-th-th-th-that’s not all, folks! The new DVD edition also features two classic Looney Tunes shorts directed by Jones: “Feed the Kitty” and “Duck Dodgers and the 24 ½ Century.”
“Warner Home Video is delighted to remember one of the true pioneers of animation with the first-time DVD release of this retrospective celebration,” says Ewa Martinoff, Warner Bros.’ vice president of family entertainment marketing.
Jones, who died on Feb. 22, 2002, of congestive heart failure, helped create over 300 animated films during the course of a career that spanned eight decades. Three of his films -- “For Scent-Imental Reasons,” “So Much for So Little” and “The Dot and the Line” - won Oscars. Jones himself was awarded an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in 1996.
“Animation isn’t the illusion of life,” Jones once said. “It is life.”
CHUCK JONES: EXTREMES AND IN-BETWEENS shows viewers just how correct that statement was. Animated characters such as Marvin the Martian, Pepé le Pew, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote live on beyond their creator’s death and will doubtless keep audiences laughing for generations to come.
84. THE AUSTIN POWERS DVD ENCOURAGES VIEWER PARTICIPATION
The new GOLDMEMBER DVD has the usual bells and whistles - and one new and very interesting feature.
It has the Infinifilm's signature pop-up navigation menus throughout the film with supplemental materials, including information on characters, stunts and more. The DVD also has commentary with writers Jay Roach and Mike Myers, deleted and alternative scenes with commentary, music videos, featurettes and trailers. But wait, there's more!
It also has a DVD-ROM feature, "Austin Powers Re-Voice Studio." It will let viewers record and listen to their own voices doing dialogue in scenes from the film!
New Line's AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER hits store shelves on Dec. 3. The VHS will be $22.94 and the Infinifilm DVD goes for $26.98.
|85. OCTOBER CALENDAR
THUR. 3 TV - THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1945) TCM 8 PM
TV - THE HAUNTING (1963) TCM 9:30 PM
TV - THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (1959) TCM 11:30 PM
FRI. 4: MOVIE - RED DRAGON premieres.
SAT. 5: TV - BLACK SUNDAY (1960) TCM 2 AM
SUN 6: TV - ANGEL season premiere
MON. 7: TV - EYES OF THE MUMMY (1918) TCM 12 MID
TUE. 8: TV - KING KONG (1933) TCM 3:30 AM
WED 9: TV - BIRDS OF PREY series premiere
THUR. 10: TV - DINOTOPIA series premiere
FRI. 11: MOVIE - BELOW, KNOCKAROUND GUYS,
SAT. 12: TV - THE EVIL EYE (1963) TCM 2 AM
SUN. 13: TV - INCUBUS has its television premiere on the Sci-Fi Channel
MON. 14: TV - DER GOLEM (1920) TCM 12 MID
WED. 16: TV - CLONE HIGH series premiere
THUR. 17: TV - FREAKS (1932) TCM 8 PM
FRI. 18 - SUN. 20 - EVENT: CAPCLAVE 2002 in Silver Spring, MD
FRI. 18: MOVIE - ABANDON, FORMULA 51 and THE RING premiere.
SAT. 19: TV - BLACK SABBATH (1963) TCM 2 AM
SUN. 20: TV - THE CANTERVILLE GHOST (1944) TCM 12:15 AM
MON. 21: TV - THE HAUNTED CASTLE (1922) 12 MID
TUE. 22: TV - SUSPICION (1941) TCM 6 PM
WED. 23: TV - THE PHANTOM OF CHINATOWN (1940) TCM 7:30 AM
THUR. 24 - TV - A GUY NAMED JOE (1943) 10/24 TCM 2 PM
FRI. 25 - SUN. 27 - CHILLER THEATER in E. Rutherford, NJ
FRI. 25: MOVIE - GHOST SHIP premieres.
SAT 26: ICS MEETING
TUE. 27: TV - JAWS (1975) TCM 6 PM
MON. 28: TV - NOSFERATU (1922) TCM 12 MID
TUE. 29: TV - 24 season premiere
THUR. 31: TV - PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (1949) TCM 1:30 AM
FRI. 1: TV - ISLE OF THE DEAD (1945) TCM 1 AM