#49-50 February/March 2003
CLUB NEWS
1.   THE STARS OUR DESTINATION
2.   NEW STAFF TAKES OVER THE ICS FILES
3.   REPORT ON JANUARY'S ELECTIONS
4.   OUR FEBRUARY MEETING 
5.   NEWS OF OUR MARCH MEETING: THE BASICS
6.   MORE AND MORE - JOHN CARPENTER
7.   AND MAYBE CHARLIE WILL EXPLODE SOME PEEPS FOR US
8.   LAST WILL BE A FIRST
9.   OSCAR MADNESS 
10. FOUR YEARS AND 50 MEETINGS AND STILL COUNTING! 
11. AHEAD FOR THE ICS
12. WELCOME TO THE CLUB!
      TOM NOLL, BOB HYATT, and JOSHUA BLANKMAN
13. SPY MUSEUM FIELD TRIP
14. SON OF FANEX
15. DUES NEWS
16. ICS OSCAR PICKS
TV NEWS
17. BUFFY DEPARTS SHOW
18. BUFFY ENDS IN MAY
19. TREMORS PREMIER MARCH 28
20. SCI-FI CHANNEL TO AIR HERBERT’S CHILDREN OF DUNE
21. HOLY REUNION, BATMAN! WEST AND WARD REUNITE
22. TWO CATWOMEN BETTER THEN ONE
23. NETWORK RENEWS 24, ALIAS
24. G-FORCE TO HELP IN BATTLE OF THE PLANETS RETURN
25. STARBUCK IS NOT JUST FOR COFFEE ANYMORE
26. AH AHAHAH AH!  TARZAN TO SWING AGAIN!
27. WE’RE TOO BUSY SINGING
28. THE NEXT STAR WARS . . . CARTOON
29. DOH!!!
30. LOWE IS STAKED OUT IN SALEM’S LOT
EVENT NEWS
31. CONS, FILM FESTS AND MONSTER FLICKS
With news on Son of FANEX, Johns Hopkins Film Festival 2003, and Chiller Theatre Spring Expo 2003.
LITERARY NEWS
32. TO GET IN THE SPY MOOD
33. BARKER CREATES . . . VERY SCARY BOYS AND GIRLS
34. COME TO DRACULAND FOR A FUN FAMILY AFTERNOON
35. HARRY POTTER’S PHOENIX RISES AGAIN
36. THE DISAPPEARING ACT
TECHNOLOGY NEWS
37. UNDERSTANDING CYBER TALK
38. PLAYING ON THE WEB
39. FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH GETTNG CHEAPER
INTERNET NEWS
40. NETFLIX CELEBRATING 1 MILLIONTH CUSTOMER 
MOVIE NEWS
41. ELEKTRA DOES RETURN
42. HEARTWRENCHING WEREWOLF BY NIGHT
43. MAN OF STEEL, NO, MAN OF IRON!
44. TROOPERS SEQUEL TO SHOOT
45. SUPER VILLIAN DOC OCK TAKES ON THE WEBSLINGER 
46. FLYING IN TOMORROW
47. FREE ENTERPISE 2 OR MAYBE IT IS FREE WILLY (SHATNER)?
48. REDDICK ADDING IN DENCH AND FEORE
49. CRONENBERG TAKES PAINKILLERS
50. WE HAVE FOUND A DUMBLEDORE!!!
51. THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!!
52. 3-D KIDS HAS DEPTH
53. RINGU DIRECTOR HELMING TAKES HELM OF TRUE BELIEVERS
DVD/VIDEO NEWS
54. XENA IS COMING OUT!
55. LUCAS TALKS ABOUT STAR WARS AND FUTURE OF DVDS\
FAREWELLS
56. VIRGINIA HEINLEIN, ANTHONY EISLEY, KENNETH TOBEY
IN REVIEW
57. IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY/MARCH
     WILLARD, AGENT CODY BANKS, THE HUNTED, DREAMCATCHER, THE CORE, PHONE BOOTH, HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES
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1. THE STARS OUR DESTINATION
                     By Dave Willard-
As science fiction fans, as Americans, as human beings, our hearts go out to the seven families whose lives were forever changed by the sudden loss of the shuttle, Columbia. A calamity of this magnitude; coming at a time of economic uncertainty, a possible war, terrorist alerts and other chaotic situations that make the world seem to wobble drunkenly on its axis; make the grief and shock that we share all the more poignant.
    As a people we have always been defined by the outer limits of our abilities. As civilization was formed, and we took to the seas for commerce and exploration, we were a sea-faring people. A century ago, when a pair of bicycle mechanics from Ohio forever broke humanity's ties to the air, we became people of the air. Our sense of trade, travel and diplomacy has been shaped around this notion.
    Since Yuri Gagarin became the first man to escape the gravity well of Earth on April 12, 1961 we have become a space-faring people. To say our destiny is in the stars is not a prediction - it's inevitability.
    Our leaders have two choices - they can assist this evolution or they can get out of the way. There is no third option.
    The rich harvests of exploration have been watered with the blood of brave martyrs who had the vision to journey over far horizons. The deaths of the crew of the Columbia have contributed to this difficult historic process. If we use this demise to attempt to delay humanity's forward march into space their passing will no longer be simply sad – it will be tragic - a tragedy that could impact the lives of generations yet unborn.
2. NEW STAFF TAKES OVER THE ICS FILES
    We have a new staff of writers here at the ICS Files.  It took seven of us to replace the wondrous work that Dave W. did for this newsletter.  We ask for patience in the next couple months as we get this all together and working smoothly.  The new staff is Joe Plempel, Charlie Wittig, Jeanne Makovich, Tim Fleming, Regina Vallerani and John Ward, and myself, Betsy Childs.
    We are also looking for more assistance, so if you are on the internet everyday anyway, give me an email and let me know what your interest is – we can have more then one person working on a section.  After just a month, I am amazed at how the heck Dave did this by himself for so long.
Feel free to email me at ICSfileseditor@yahoo.com.  Thanks!
3. REPORT ON JANUARY'S ELECTIONS
 For only the second time since the ICS was formed we have the same members on the Board. Our present Board consists of Dave Henderson, Joe Plempel, Regina Vallerani, David Willard and Charlie Wittig. Even though they weren't elected, we thank John Ward and Betsy Childs for running. It shows a deep level of care and commitment to run for the Board. We strongly encourage everyone to consider running each year. The more candidates we have to choose from the stronger the Board and the club will be. We are blessed with an abundance of talent in this club. If we don't get to use you for the Board we hope we'll find other ways to use your abilities for the good of the ICS (like writing for The ICS Files!).

4. OUR FEBRUARY MEETING 
    Our February 2003 meeting chronicled the adventures of Troy Murdoch and Co.  Joe Plempel, Tim Fleming, John Clayton and Dave Willard contributed tales of deathbed confessions, noir cliffhangers and bad weather one-upmanship.  Their stories were very creative, and with much ado of Lily White and her long legs, they blended well together. 
     Special thanks go to John Ward for bringing in the Ray Harryhausen movies (we watched 1956 classic, EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS).   John provided us with a great night of stop motion fun.  From the action figures of Cyclops to a nice background presentation on how Harry got started.  With so many movie selections to choose from, the members voted on a lesser-known film.  I know I picked that one mainly because I had not seen it before and wondered.  I am glad, it was a gem. 
Taylor spoke briefly about her fun at the anime con, Katsucon held in DC.  She said that the con went well and that most of these cons are primed more for the dealers’ room then anything else.  This con is a place to pick up rare treats that are not normally available in the USA.
Betsy spoke briefly about Farpoint the Star Trek con held at Hunt Valley.  It was a quiet con because of the blizzard.  The guests were very amicable –when they got snowed in they came out of their rooms and joined the con.  Farpoint opened the convention to any hotel guests and extended the media room and game room hours so entertainment was available.
5. NEWS OF OUR APRIL MEETING: THE BASICS
  Our APRIL meeting will be held on Saturday April 25 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 Dave Willard’s cell phone. He'll talk you in.
6. MORE AND MORE - JOHN CARPENTER
  It will be an evening of “All you wanted to know about John Carpenter.”  So please, don’t be afraid to ask questions to Mike Schilling as he delivers part two of his presentation on the films of John Carpenter.  His part one presentation had us watching THE FOG, a movie that made me worry about small town history and DJ’s in lighthouses.
7. AND MAYBE CHARLIE WILL EXPLODE SOME PEEPS FOR US
  Bring in your favorite DVD Easter Eggs this month – whether it be deleted scenes, bloopers or a behind the scenes look at your favorite film.  We will vote on 3 Easter Eggs to watch prior to the main feature.  There is lots of interesting extra information to be found in DVDs.  The people that mix them all together may have as much fun as we do in watching and finding them!
8. LAST WILL BE A FIRST
  Put on your detective hat!  The movie for the March meeting will be THE LAST OF SHEILA.  Dave Henderson will stop the movie before the killer is revealed and club members who have not seen this film before will make their best guess as to the killer’s identify and motive.  The person who guesses correctly will win a gift certificate.
9. OSCAR MADNESS
  John Ward is in charge of our 2nd annual Oscar poll.  Twelve ICS members have made their best guesses of which person or which film will be the winner in each Oscar category.  He has written a summary of the categories and a count of the ICS picks.  An interesting tally to check as you are watching the Academy Awards that night.
The winner will be announced at our March meeting.  Good luck to all entered and thanks for organizing it, John!
10. FOUR YEARS AND 50 MEETINGS AND STILL COUNTING!
    Our next meeting will be an anniversary of sorts – our 50th meeting.  Thanks to everyone for his or her support and participation.  We couldn’t have made it without each of you!
    On January 24, 1999 we formed the Imaginative Cinema Society. Since then, we've spent four years gathered together on the last Saturday of every month watching movies. It might be fun to look back and remember what we've seen. When you look at the titles you might recall the meeting the title was shown at, how good or bad it was and if there any memorable events of the evening. Here, for your viewing pleasure is a look at how we've spent the last four years.
 

THE HEADLESS GHOST
9 DEATHS OF THE NINJA
ALL MONSTERS ATTACK
HORROR OF DRACULA
BLOOD SIMPLE
I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE
THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE
THE IRON GIANT
THE CAR
IT: THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE
THE CAT AND THE CANARY
KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE
THE CAT PEOPLE
THE KILLER SHREWS
CASINO ROYALE (TV)
THE MAN FROM PLANET X
COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT
THE MIRACLE MILE
THE CORPSE VANISHES (MST3K)
MR. VAMPIRE
COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE
THE MUMMY'S CURSE
THE CRIMES OF DR. CRESPI
THE NIGHT STALKER
THE CRIMSON GHOST
THE PHANTOM SHIP
CURSE OF THE DEMON
SABOTAGE
DARK INTRUDER
SERIES 7: THE CONTENDERS
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
SHE DEMON
DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING
THE SON OF DRACULA
FIST OF LEGEND
STAKES
THE FOG
STING OF DEATH
GENERIC MAN'S NOTEWORTHY EXCURSION
A STUDY IN TERROR
GHOST BREAKERS
THRILLER: YOURS TRULY, JACK THE RIPPER
GHOST WORLD
TREMORS
THE GIANT CLAW
WORLD WITHOUT END
GODZILLA 2000
X-THE UNKNOWN
THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD
YOJIMBO
HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE

11. AHEAD FOR THE ICS
   On April 26 Dave Willard will be doing a presentation on early origins of cinema.  Mike Laird is doing movies that night. He'll present "Great Movie Parodies."
    On May 31 we'll have another round of our trivia quiz show, ICS ACADEMIC. 
Joe Plempel has movies that night. He'll offer "The Best of Science Fiction Cinema." 
    We have a very special meeting for June 28. Author Tom Weaver will be holding us spellbound with his stories of movies and the people who've made them.
    The project was originally a pilot for a series. Should the movie do well it could still happen. However, Levin concedes that the network's options with the cast have expired and producing a western on a regular basis is an extremely costly proposition.
12. WELCOME TO THE CLUB - TOM NOLL, BOB HYATT, JOSHUA BLANKMAN!
    Greetings go to Tom, Bob and Joshua.  Tom checked out us last year and joined in 2003.  Tom and Dave Willard have been buddies since childhood.  So Tom, prepare the anecdotes and prepare to be welcomed aboard!
    Bob Hyatt.  Bob has a great film background – he used to run an art film house in Pikesville.  We look forward to getting to know you, Bob! 
     Greetings go to Joshua Blankman, who is Bob Hyatt’s grandson.  Welcome to the club, Josh!
13. SPY MUSEUM FIELD TRIP
 On Saturday, May 10, we are taking a field trip to the Spy Museum in Washington DC.   We plan to start lining up early.  The museum opens at 10:00 and really packs in a crowd.
 If you really want to have some fun, check out the literary section for a great spy novel to read on your way down to DC.
14. SON OF FANEX
    Fanex is scheduled to take place from Friday April 11 to Sunday April 13. Anyone with an ICS badge gets in for free. This should be a fun time and we encourage everyone to join us. We're going to need your help to pull this off. 

     DEALER'S ROOM: We'll need your help staffing our information booth in the dealer's room. All you need to do is tell people about about the club. It's fun, easy work. We'll need people throughout the weekend helping out. 
     MOVIE ROOM: This is an incredibly laid back job. All we need is to make sure that movies are loaded into the appropriate player at the appropriate time, notify someone in case there's any problems, and make sure that no one tampers with the equipment.
  We already have several volunteers, but are always looking for more support.!  The board members will generally be there throughout the entire convention. 

Other volunteers are:
FRIDAY: Jim & Betsy Childs at the booth, 7-8 PM
   Dava Sentz in the video room, 5PM – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY: Norman Prentiss at the booth, 11AM – 12 NOON
   Betsy Childs at the booth, 2-5 PM
   John Clayton in the video room, 12 - ? 
Andrew Kent in the video room 6PM and for as long as needed
SUNDAY Andrew Kent at the booth 1- 4 PM
15. DUES NEWS
    Dues are due New Years day each year. We give members a three-month grace period to renew. The renewals are $20 for an individual and $30 for a couple.  Family plans are $20 for the first family member and an additional $10 for each additional member.
    What follows is a list of paid-up people for 2003. If you've paid, and find your name's missing, check with Regina Vallerani

JOE AUSLANDER 
BILL BEESE 
JOSHUA BLANKMAN
LISA CASPER 
BETSY CHILDS 
JIM CHILDS
JOHN CLAYTON 
SUZANNE COOPER
DAVID DELLMAN
SUE FEDER 
HEATHER FLEMING
TIM FLEMING
LITA FREEMAN 
PEGGY GERVASIO
RALPH GERVASIO
DAVE HENDERSON 
SCOTT HURD 
BOB HYATT
ANDREW KENT 
KELLY KLEIN 
MITCH KLEIN 
MIKE LAIRD
JEANNE MATCOVICH
BARRY MURPHY
TOM NOLL
AMY PEARLMAN
SKIP PHILLIPS 
JOE PLEMPEL 
NORMAN PRENTISS
TOM PROVEAUX 
RICK RIEVE
GARY ROBERSON 
RUTH ROBERSON 
MIKE SCHILLING 
DAVA SENTZ
DONNA SENTZ
BLAKE SHERBLOM-WOODWARD
TAYLOR SHERBLOM-WOODWARD
BRIAN SMITH
CINDY SMITH
RICHARD SMITH
COURTNEY SPIES
JOHN TYDINGS 
REGINA VALLERANI 
BETH VAUGHT
STEVE VAUGHT 
NEIL WAGENFER 
JOHN WARD 
DAVID WILLARD 
CHARLIE WITTIG
TOM WOODWARD

16. OSCAR PICKS BY THE ICS MEMBERS  by John Ward

Well, ICSers, after dipping a toe into the club's Oscar pool, I discovered several things.  First, we all have some very definite opinions about how this year's Academy Awards will shake down.  Second, there are several races that are too close to call (and our own club's tally supported this.)  And third, no one around here thinks Paul Simon has a rat's chance at winning Best Song.
Last year, Sue Feder took the club Oscar crown by voting her head, not her heart.  Those of us with our collective hearts pinned to Peter Jackson's bountiful sleeves were tossed into the flames of Mount Doom.  So this year, I vowed to vote my head.  Listed below, you will find a brief handicap of this year's race, the club's consensus pick for each category, and my own personal thoughts and/or choices because, well, as the club's resident Oscar handicapper, it's the only perk I've got.  Enjoy, and I'll see you on March 29 with the announcement of the winner (or winners?)

BEST PICTURE
    CHICAGO was the club's clear favorite here with 9 votes, followed by GANGS OF NEW YORK with 3 votes.  No other film received a vote, including the one about the hobbits.  I think this will be Chicago's year; it has received the lion's share of press among the major nominees, although there is some sentimental support for Scorsese and GANGS OF NEW YORK.  It won't be enough.
BEST ACTOR
    Jack Nicholson was the early favorite among critics and the end-of-the-year lists, but Daniel Day-Lewis has been gathering support.  Day-Lewis is the club's choice, with 8 votes.  I think he will take it.  I just don't see Nicholson winning so soon after winning for AS GOOD AS IT GETS.
BEST ACTRESS
    In the first of several surprises, the club voted a dead heat here between Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger, with 5 votes each; Salma Hayek and Diane Lane garnered an additional vote each, and Julianne Moore was shut out.  I think that Nicole Kidman will win this; she will edge Julianne Moore.
SUPPORTING ACTOR
    The club gave a slight edge here to Paul Newman (4 votes), but the votes were all over the map: everyone got at least one vote.  I think Chris Cooper will win; he won the Golden Globe, not to mention 90% of the critics' awards.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS
    Julianne Moore was the club's favorite with 4 votes, but again, everyone had at least one vote of support.  I voted for Kathy Bates, but this one is almost a toss-up.  If CHICAGO turns out to be a steamroller Mar. 23, then Queen Latifah or Zeta-Jones could sneak in.  Then there's Meryl, who won the Golden Globe, so who knows?
DIRECTOR
    Another dead heat: 6 club votes for Rob Marshall of Chicago, 6 for Martin Scorsese of GANGS OF NEW YORK.  Just the other day, Marshall won the Director's Guild award, and this award has deviated from the Oscar only 5 times since 1949.  I think this will be no. 6.  I think there is just enough support in Hollywood circles to reward Scorsese for his career (and not the movie, which isn't even in the top 3 of his films).  This support will just barely edge out Marshall and the CHICAGO bandwagon.  Hey, Marshall's a first-time movie director, and the only first-timers that Oscar likes to recognize have acting pedigrees: Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, etc, etc.  We shall see; this has the potential to be the most interesting category of the night.
CINEMATOGRAPHY
    CHICAGO is the clear club favorite, with 6 votes.  I would not be surprised if it won, although I was the only club vote for ROAD TO PERDITION.  I think that the late Conrad L. Hall will be recognized for his last piece of film, even though he won for AMERICAN BEAUTY.  (Yeah, I know that goes against my reasoning for Best Actor, but hey, it's my handicap.)
ANIMATED FEATURE
    In a perfect world, SPIRITED AWAY would win this award, because it's a stunning piece of anime by the acclaimed director of Princess Mononoke.  Acclaimed in Japan, that is, not to mention serious fans of anime around the world.  Unfortunately, those folks don't vote.  I wouldn't mind if ICE AGE won, but I think many voters will see this as the last gasp of the Disney animation studios.  A slight edge to LILO & STITCH.  Club pick: ICE AGE, with 4 votes.
EDITING
    I voted my head here, as did most of the club: CHICAGO, with 8 votes.  I think this will be a bandwagon vote that will roll right over LOR: THE TWO TOWERS.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
    The closest thing to unanimous: 11 of 12 clubbers voted for Michael Moore's BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE.  I think this will be a recognition award for Moore, long overdue.  (Daughter from Danang?  Andrew, do you know something we don't?)
DOCUMENTARY SHORT
    TWIN TOWERS is the club's choice, with 7 votes.  It might draw a lot of sentimental and/or patriotic support.  Many Academy members might look on it as a chance to show that they have feelings and emotions!
LIVE ACTION SHORT
    A c-r-a-p shoot.  The club edge goes to INJA with 4 votes, but who the heck knows?  Who watches these things, anyway?
ANIMATED SHORT
    Okay, clubbers, fess up how many of you voted for THE CHUBBCHUBBS! because the title sounded cool?  I voted for MIKE’S NEW CAR because it's a recognizable Pixar piece, and it might be the most accessible of the bunch to Academy voters; after all, it's tacked onto the MONSTERS INC. DVD.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
    Many folks out there think the best foreign films weren't even nominated by their respective countries:  Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN and TALK TO HER.  So one was nominated for Best Screenplay, the other for Best Director.  What's left is another c-r-a-p shoot.  Or maybe just c-r-a-p.  Club vote: a tie between HERO and ZUS & ZO. (4 votes)  Hmmm, another funny title picks up votes.
SOUND EDITING
    Ten out of 12 clubbers went with LOR: THE TWO TOWERS, including myself.  I think this will be the first of several techie awards the movie will win.  But...
SOUND
...I could not swing the same for this category.  I think this is a prime category for the musical excesses of CHICAGO.  But it's a dead club heat, 5 and 5, so Mr. Fleming, if LOR: THE TWO TOWERS wins this, I'll gladly buy you a soda at the Double T.
COSTUME DESIGN
    Another clear club favorite for CHICAGO, and another bandwagon vote.  The way some of these early categories go is usually a good signal of how the rest of the evening will turn out (Remember TITANIC?)
ORIGINAL SCORE
    No clear favorite here, either: 3 votes each for CATCH ME IF YOU CAN and THE HOURS, 2 each for the other three.  John Williams is a perennial favorite here and might score another Oscar for CATCH ME.  Hey, at least Randy Newman's not up for anything this year.
ORIGINAL SONG
    The club favors “I Move On” from CHICAGO (7 votes), but there is strong support for U2's “The Hands That Built America” (4 votes) from GANGS OF NEW YORK.  I think this will be seen as another chance for the Academy to look hip (Remember Springsteen and “Streets of Philadelphia”?)  Of course, the truly hip would vote for Eminem and “Lose Yourself”, as one lonely soul in the club did.  I can't remember who it was, and I'm too tired now to go back and check my notes.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
    A dead heat between GANGS OF NEW YORK  and MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (6 votes each)  This category is often seen as a small crumb to throw at a picture that would otherwise be looking at a complete shut-out.  (Movies like Dog Day Afternoon and Pulp Fiction come to mind, although the latter might have won in the Adapted category.  Following that line of thinking...it could go either way.  But since GANGS is up for a bunch of other stuff, I'll throw my support to BIG FAT Liar.  Whoops, sorry, wrong movie...
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
    Dead club heat (Again!!!) between CHICAGO and ADAPTATION (4 each).  I tabbed ADAPTATION on my own ballot, but I'm beginning to think CHICAGO might pull this out.  How do I know this?  Well, it's late, and I'm tired...
ART DIRECTION
    Once again, I'm voting my head.  Sorry, Mr. Fleming.  And no, if LOR: THE TWO TOWERS wins this, I am not buying you dinner to go along with the soda.  The club favors CHICAGO, and so do I.  This category is the one that musicals were born to win.  (6 votes for CHICAGO, 4 for TWO TOWERS.)
VISUAL EFFECTS
    The closest thing to a bet-the-mortgage virtual lock for the entire night.  10 out of 12 clubbers (including me...I'm not that tired) think that if LOR: THE TWO TOWERS doesn't win this for Gollum, Helm's Deep, etc, etc, there's no justice.  Sorry, SPIDEY.  (But at least no one voted for the CLONES.)
MAKEUP
    You know, the amazing thing about this category isn't that they couldn't find more movies to nominate than FRIDA and THE TIME MACHINE.  No, the truly amazing thing is that 5 of us actually think the FRIDA makeup crew should get an award for finding a way to stitch Salma Hayek's eyebrows together.
    If we count dead heats as two separate votes, then the ICS Virtuo-Club Member thinks that CHICAGO will rule the evening with a whopping 10 awards.  My own picks have CHICAGO indeed ruling the evening, with a much more scaled-down 4 awards.  I think this is a year to throw it around to a bunch of movies.  Thank you for your time.  I'm going to bed now.
-John "Hire the Handicapper" Ward

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17. BUFFY DEPARTS SHOW
    Sarah Michelle Gellar is putting her marriage to Freddie Prinze Jr. first as she plans to quit playing TV vampire slayer Buffy.  She says, "I'm 26, I'm married and I never see my husband.  There have been times when it's difficult.  The show, as we know it, is over.  I need a rest.  Teachers get sabbaticals, actors don't."  But Gellar admits she'd like to return to the role from time to time in a possible spin-off:  "I would love to come back. The moment I say all this, I'm going to get the last script and go, 'Oh my God, this is so scary.  I love this job, I love the fans.  "But will it all matter anyway, now that the show is ending.  BUFFY will be missed on the small screen.
18. BUFFY ENDS IN MAY
    After seven memorable seasons as one of television's favorite and most critically lauded programs, 20th Century Fox Television and UPN officially announced today that BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER will end production in April and will broadcast its final original episode on Tuesday, May 20 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on UPN.
    "It's hard to believe it's over," said Joss Whedon, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER executive producer and creator.  "I'm just glad I can say we did our best on every single episode. . . . I truly believe that in years to come, people will look back and say 'that was a show that was on TV.' Yessir. I truly do."
    "BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER will go down in history as one of television's best shows and an enduring testament to the vision and genius of its creator Joss Whedon," said Dana Walden, President of 20th Century Fox Television.  "For seven years, Joss, his team of writers led by Marti Noxon and an extraordinary cast led by Sarah Michelle Gellar captured the cultural zeitgeist and effortlessly combined drama, action and humor.  Without question, BUFFY will live on for generations to come."
    BUFFY premiered on UPN on Oct. 2, 2001, made its television debut on March 10, 1997.  It spawned a spinoff show, ANGEL, which launched in the fall of 1999.  With its finale in May 2003, the total number of episodes produced will be 144.  Over the past seven seasons, BUFFY won two Emmys.  The American Film Institute also nominated the show in 2002 as Best Drama and star Sarah Michelle Gellar received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in 2001.
    BUFFY has proven to be an international audience favorite and has become a successful franchise dominating almost every element of media and entertainment.   Discussions regarding the future of the 'Buffy' franchise and a possible spin-off are ongoing.
    We are losing a good show here.  However, it is going out before it goes down.  Goodbye Buffy.
19. TREMORS PREMIER MARCH 28
    Sci-Fi Channel's TREMORS: THE SERIES premieres on March 28 2003. The weekly one-hour series stars Michael Gross, who reprises his role as paranoid survivalist and monster-hunter extraordinaire Burt Gummer from the acclaimed TREMORS film franchise.  Gummer must keep Perfection Valley safe from Graboids, Shriekers, AssBlasters and all the monsters he's sure the government's been developing in their countless secret labs across the country. He and his handful of neighbors share their sleepy desert town of Perfection with El Blanco, an albino male Graboid that's protected by the government as an endangered species.
20. SCI-FI CHANNEL TO AIR HERBERT’S CHILDREN OF DUNE
    The Sci-Fi Channel will air the six-hour, three-night miniseries sequel FRANK HERBERT'S CHILDREN OF DUNE on March 16th.  The Plot: under Paul "Muad'Dib" Atreides' rule as Emperor, the planet Arrakis has enjoyed a renaissance. However, the revolution that Muad'dib inspired has transformed into a brutal jihad that has plunged all of humanity into a bitter, never-ending cycle of interstellar war. With the rule of Arrakis and the freedom of all humanity hanging in the balance, Leto must risk sacrificing his own humanity in order to save those who would see him destroyed.  This show stars Alec Newman and Julie Cox with appearances by Alice Krige (GHOST STORY) and Susan Sarandon (THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW).
21. HOLY REUNION, BATMAN! WEST AND WARD REUNITE
    Thirty-seven years after Adam West and Burt Ward put on skintight suits to keep Gotham City safe from the villainous Penguin, Joker and Riddler, the Dynamic Duo is back together for a peek at what really happened behind the scenes.  In the two-hour movie, RETURN TO THE BATCAVE: THE MISADVENTURS OF ADAM AND BURT, West, 74, and Ward, 57, are forced to relive their past to find clues to recovering the Batmobile after it's stolen from a Hollywood charity event.  West and Ward play off each other as well as they did during the swinging '60s in the CBS which airs March 9th.  The adventure reunites them with Frank Gorshin (Riddler), Julie Newmar (Catwoman) and Lee Meriwether (Catwoman).
22. TWO CATWOMEN BETTER THEN ONE
    Former Catwoman Lee Meriwether told TV Guide Online that she would make an appearance in the upcoming CBS movie RETURN TO THE BATCAVE, but not as Catwoman. "I was hoping that I would get to play Catwoman along with Frank Gorshin as the Riddler," Mariwether told the site. "But darn it, Julie Newmar was available. My daughter [stuntperson Lesley Aletter] got to be her double, though, so that was cool."
    Meriwether will appear in a cameo role as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant. She told the site that she has no hard feelings towards Newmar and that there was no animosity on the set. "Julie and I actually get along just great," Meriwether said. "Besides, we worked on separate days.".
23. NETWORK RENEWS 24, ALIAS
    Fox has renewed the real-time cliffhanger thriller 24 for a third season, (YEAH!) and ABC has ordered another run of the female spy adventure ALIAS that will also be in its third year.  Despite critical praise, both shows have remained only modest hits — although both saw a rise in viewers this year.
24. G-FORCE TO HELP IN BATTLE OF THE PLANETS RETURN
    BATTLE OF THE PLANETS is in production for a fall 2003 return to American television in BATTLE OF THE PLANETS : THE NEW EXPLOITS OF G FORCE.
   New animation will be combined with animation from the original 105 Gatchaman episodes to produce 52 half-hour episodes.  In addition, eight new BOP features will also launch.  For many of us who grew up in the late seventies BATTLE OF THE PLANETS represents our first exposure to Japanese animation and science fiction.  It was a great show and its return is welcome.
25. STARBUCK IS NOT JUST FOR COFFEE ANYMORE
    The SCI FI Channel has cast the key roles of Starbuck and Apollo for its upcoming original miniseries BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, based on the 1978-'80 TV series. Oregon native Katee Sackhoff (HALLOWEEN), 22, will play a female Starbuck in the series, SCI FI announced.
    Meanwhile, British actor Jamie Bamber (HBO's Band of Brothers), 29, will play Apollo. In the original series Starbuck was a male character played by Dirk Benedict, while Richard Hatch played Apollo.
    The four-hour BATTLESTAR GALACTICA miniseries is slated to debut later this year.  This could be interesting.  The Format for GALACTICA offers many storytelling possibilities.
26. AH AHAHAH AH!  TARZAN TO SWING AGAIN!
    Mitch Pileggi, who portrayed assistant director Walter Skinner on THE X-FILES, has joined The WB's TARZAN pilot. He's has been cast as Tarzan's uncle, Richard Clayton, a key role in the drama pilot. 
    Clayton, a Gotham businessman, discovers his nephew in the jungle then becomes Tarzan's caretaker in the Big Apple.
    Pileggi will next be seen in upcoming NBC miniseries FIRST TO DIE. Calvin Klein model Travis Fimmel already has been cast as the new Tarzan.
27. WE’RE TOO BUSY SINGING
    Isn’t it just groovy! NBC has given the go ahead sign to a half-hour pilot reviving a 70’s classic, THE MONKEES. 
    The pilot is being produced at NBC Studios with Rhino Films as well as 19 Television. Josh Elvis Weinstein and Bill Oakley wrote the script and are executive producers, as are Harold Bronson and Simon Fuller.  Josh’s writing credits include THE SIMPSONS, FUTURAMA, and early episodes of MST3000.  This should be interesting.  Anyone out there remember the 80’s remake of this show?
28. THE NEXT STAR WARS . . . CARTOON
    It could be very interesting.  An animated twist to the Lucas industry.  Cartoon Network's upcoming slate of changes, notably including a series of 20 three-minute interstitial shorts titled STAR WARS: CLONE WARS, backfilling the Clone Wars portion of the STAR WARS mythos. The series is to be produced by Gennady Tartakovsky and the creative people behind SAMURAI JACK. 
    Other additions to the animation outlet include DUCK DODGERS, a new Daffy Duck series; TEEN TITANS; and LOW BROW, in which an anime-rendered slacker and his robot defend the world from Jersey City.

29. DOH ! ! !
    Harry Potter and Shakespeare take on the Simpsons!  It is true J. K. Rowling and Ian McKellen will be doing guest spots on an upcoming episode of THE SIMPSONS in which the yellow-skinned family visits the United Kingdom. 
    Rowling will meet the family at a bookstore, while Sir Ian McKellen's performance of MACBETH will be jinxed as a result of a Simpson's saying the name of the play aloud.  Oh this one should be very interesting indeed!
30. LOWE IS STAKED OUT IN SALEM’S LOT
    Rob Lowe is set to star in a television remake of Stephen King's SALEM’S LOT for TNT, Lowe will play Benjamin Mears, a journalist who returns to his New England hometown to find that it has become infested with vampires.
    TNT will lay out more than $15 million for the four-hour miniseries, which begins production in Australia in about two months. Peter Filardi (The Craft) wrote the new adaptation and Mikael Salomon will direct. Lowe previously appeared in the 1994 miniseries THE STAND, which was also based on a novel by King.

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31. THINGS TO COME
     Son of FANEX is happening April 11-13, 2003 at the Days Hotel Timonium. Chase away those winter blahs by making a trip to the Son of FANEX.  GUESTS are Hammer leading man Edward DeSouza (Kiss of the Vampire, Phantom of the Opera and The Spy Who Loved Me) in his first trip to the states; Susan Gordon (Bert I. Gordon's daughter, who appeared in Attack of the Puppet People, Picture Mommy Dead and Tormented, plus the Danny Kaye film The Five Pennies; plus musician Sean Yseult of the group whose former name was Famous Monsters.  Comic Artist Neil Vokes will debut a new comic at the show.  Also included in the 3 day weekend are panel discussions, presentations, rare films and a dealer’s room.  Room rates are $75 a night and include a continental breakfast.  Call the hotel at 410-560-1000 and ask for FANEX rates.  ADMISSION prices are DAILY $10 and WEEKEND $30.  FANEX Dealers Tables are $125 for dealers who attended and supported FANEX 16 $150 for all others.

Johns Hopkins Film Festival 2003 is happening Thursday, April 17 through Sunday, April 20.   Check out the site.  A list of accepted film submissions will be posted online by March 1.  Submission deadlines for 2003 have passed.

Chiller Theatre Spring Expo 2003 is happening in the Swamps of New Jersey April 25 - 27, 2003.   The huge guest list includes:
 

Angus Scrimm
Andrew Robinson
Angela Cartwright
Barney Martin
Ben Chapman
Bill Mumy
Carol Lynley
Caroline Munro
Cynthia Rothrock
David Carradine
David J. Schow
Dee Wallace Stone
Frank Dietz
Jeff East
Jeremy Bulloch
John Saxon
Jonathan Breck
Joseph M. Monks
Julie Adams
June Lockhart
Kane Hodder
Larry Matthews
Leo Rossi
Linnea Quigley
Liz Sheridan
Marc McClure
Mark Goddard
Marta Kristen
Musetta Vander
Pamela Sue Martin
Reggie Bannister
Rowdy Roddy Piper
Scott Wilson
Soupy Sales
Stella Stevens
Tony Todd 
Virginia Hey
Yvette Vickers
Yvonne Craig
And last but not least:
Zacherley!

 
AT THE DOOR: General admission is $15 per day.
PRE-ADVANCE: General admission is $12 per day, or $25 for all three days (VIP). PRE-ADVANCE Price good through 02/28/03.  Orders postmarked after 03/31/03 will cost the at-the-door prices.
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32. TO GET IN THE SPY MOOD
    Pick this one up for the ride to DC and the SPY MUSEUM on May 10th.  Robert Parker's new novel Back Story is intense.  In 1974, a revolutionary group calling itself The Dread Scott Brigade held up the Old Shawmut Bank in Boston's Audubon Circle.  A woman named Emily Gordon, a visitor in town cashing traveler's checks, was shot and killed.
    The twist - no one saw who shot her.  Despite security-camera photos and a letter from the group claiming responsibility, the perpetrators have remained at large for nearly three decades.  The lack of clues and a missing FBI intelligence report force Spenser to reach out in every direction including the mob.  Here’s hoping that Hawk shows up to bail Spenser out of trouble at the last minute! 
33. BARKER CREATES . . . VERY SCARY BOYS AND GIRLS
    Clive Barker creates a magical world for young people. Barker presents the reader with disturbing characters including deformed men created from mud, giant moths formed from mummified corpses, and a powerful magician who comforts himself by literally drinking in his insane thoughts. 
    It starts with the character, Candy Quackenbush (any Marx brothers fans out there?) who is attempting to escape the monotony of chicken-processing plants in Minnesota.  Candy walks out of school to an abandoned lighthouse.  John Mischief, a thief, carries Candy to another world called Abarat where an island represents a different hour of the day.  Candy’s role in the changing future of the islands will be greater than she could have thought. 
    Without encouraging too many nightmares, Barker tempers the horror factor with elements of fantasy and adventure that will entertain and fascinate his readers.  Barker spent four years designing spectacular full-color paintings that completing to illuminate his fantastic tale.  The paintings are often integrated into the text, enhancing the atmosphere of the story and drawing the reader further into the world they depict.
34. COME TO DRACULAND FOR A FUN FAMILY AFTERNOON
   Since its first publishing in 1897, Bram Stoker’s revolutionary supernatural novel Dracula has since spurred hundreds of books, movies and even TV shows with the vampire as its focal point. 
    But come on, who would ever have thought…a theme park? 
    It’s true, Romania will open a Dracula theme park at a lakeside resort near the burial site of Vlad the Impaler, the real-life Romanian prince who inspired the vampire myth.
    After a year of wrangling between building the tourist attraction deep in the Transylvania region or closer to Bucharest, officials announced the park will be built near Snagov Lake, an upscale resort 25 miles north of the capital, the wire service reported.
    Estimated to cost $31.5 million, the parks planned attractions will include restaurants, hotels, a zoo, a golf course and a Gothic castle with spooky effects. The park will be built on government land and could cover up to 520 acres, said Tourism Minister Dan Matei Agathon.
    The body of the sadistic count, who inspired Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, is said to be buried in a monastery he built on a small island on the lake, the AP reported. 
    Yes, there was a real Dracula, and he was a true prince of darkness. He was Prince Vlad III Dracula, also known as Vlad Tepes, meaning "Vlad the Impaler”.  He was the prince of Walachia, but, as legend suggests, he was born in Transylvania, which at that time was ruled by Hungary.
    Vlad Tepes was born in November or December 1431, in the fortress of Sighisoara, Romania. His father, Vlad Dracul, at that time appointed military governor of Transylvania by the emperor Sigismund, had been inducted into the Order of the Dragon about one year before. The main goals of such a secret fraternal order of knights was mainly to protect the interests of Catholicism, and to crusade against the Turks. 
    There are different reasons why this society is so important to us. First, it provides an explanation for the name "Dracula;" "Dracul," in Romanian language, means "Dragon", and the boyars of Romania, who knew of Vlad Tepes' father induction into the Order of the Dragon, decided to call him "Dracul." "Dracula," a diminutive that means "the son of Dracul," was a surname to be used ultimately by Vlad Tepes.  A second major role of this Order as a source of inspiration for Stoker's evil character is the Order's official dress - a black cape over a red garment - to be worn only on Fridays or during the commemoration of Christ's Passion. 
    But his favorite method was impalement on stakes, hence the surname "Tepes" which means "The Impaler" in the Romanian language. Even the Turks referred to him as "Kaziglu Bey," meaning "The Impaler Prince." 
    But it's Dracula's cruelty that most non-Romanians remember. After becoming prince, Dracula supposedly invited many beggars and other old, sick and poor people to a banquet at his castle. When his guests had finished eating their meal and drinking a toast to him, Dracula asked them, "Would you like to be without cares, lacking nothing in this world?"
    “Yes!” they said enthusiastically, never knowing what was in store for them.
So, Dracula had the castle boarded up and then it was set on fire. Nobody made it out alive - and that was the end of their problems, as he had promised. "I did this so that no one will be poor in my realm," he said.
    Despite all this, Dracula's subjects respected him for fighting the Turks and being a strong ruler. He's remembered today as a patriotic hero who stood up to Turkey and Hungary.  He was so scornful of other nations that when two foreign ambassadors refused to doff their hats to him, he had the hats nailed to their heads. 
    Sounds like it could make a great addition to the Theme Park, right next to the Blood Drive and the Stakes on a stick is the ‘guess how many nails it takes to keep your hat on’ booth.
35. HARRY POTTER’S PHOENIX RISES AGAIN
    Harry Potter is great fantasy for everyone.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets grossed $568.2 million being the third highest international release.  J.K. Rowling will add Harry Potter and the order of Phoenix (Book V) to the series on June 21, 2003.  Orders are currently being taken with free shipping. 
Harry Potter lives in a classical paradise.  Government is weak while private industry thrives.  Hogwart accepts all students with magical talent from all backgrounds.  Upon graduation, wizards will barter for wages since there is no minimum wage even for wizards.
Harry Potter – Book V portrays a monetary system that resembles the British Civil Service.  Wizards use precious metals as currency rather than the English fiat.  The wizard’s power doesn’t prevent them from dealing with the private sector for basic needs.  Wizards trade items of more value than paper money such as gold galleons, silver sickles, and copper knuts. 
Shareholders will continue to delight in their profit with the release of this new story in June.  It will in be in U.S. currency, not knuts.
36. THE DISAPPEARING ACT
    Jeffery Deaver author of eighteen best-selling suspense novels has released The Vanished Man.   The scene takes place at a prestigious music school in New York. The killer flees and locks himself in a classroom.  The police surround him in minutes.  The door is broken down and a gunshot is fired.  But the room is empty.  Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are requested to assist with the investigation.  Lincoln is a quadriplegic who must rely on his protegee to investigate the crime area.  Lincoln and Amelia prevent an act of vengeance.
    The actual story was inspired by a performance of the Big Apple Circus.  A clown changed his costume quickly for the next act.  Jeffery Deaver thought it would be scary if a criminal could change his appearance and become whole different person in a matter of seconds.  Lincoln and Amelia are chasing a killer with the ability to transform into various characters. 
    Jeffrey has been nominated for four Edgar Awards from Mystery Writers of America. Jeffrey’s latest novel is as enjoyable as The Bone Collector is.
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37. UNDERSTANDING CYBER TALK
    TCP/IP has nothing to do with going to the bathroom, but did you ever wonder what that term meant?  Well, if you have a burning desire to Trace route your ICP packets and PING your neighbor, go to: http://www.webopedia.com/
    It’s a technical site that allows you to look up almost any piece of that technical jargon you hear about, but are too afraid to ask about.  Now you have the ability to sound as geeky as say . . . Charlie Wittig for instance.
38. PLAYING ON THE WEB
    Infosay, Inc has announced the release of VisualHunt WebsitePlayerTM.  This is a new way to get a lot more then the norm from your Internet connections.  VisualHunt WebsitePlayer first introduced a player and recorder concept into Internet navigation. It is a web browser software plug-in that turns your web browser into a website player and recorder. So, it works kinda like a DVD player.  You type in the URL, and it “plays” the site for you.
    Two catches: Ya gotta have Internet Explorer 5.0 or better (not Netscape) and the trial copy works for 30 days or 100 plays.  Price: $37.95 (don’t ask me how they came up with that figure)
    A free trial copy can be downloaded at http://www.infosay.com/websiteplayer.htm
39. FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH GETTNG CHEAPER
    Ok all you vanity buffs out there, I personally am not worried about wrinkles, though I do still count the hairs clogging my tub drain on a daily basis.  However, if you want a facelift without the knife, listen up.
    LED technology for skin care, pioneered by NASA and the Russian Space programs, may soon be affordable to the general public. The treatments, called Photo Rejuvenation, promote the body's production of collagen and tissue repair. A series of 5 or 6 (laser) treatments may cost as much as $3000 and are available only at dermatologists and spas. Quantum Skincare hopes to market a device in 24 months that will offer a more affordable alternative that can be used at home for under $1000. The device will use LED’s instead of the more costly laser 
    Quantum Skincare is currently seeking 1000 participants in a nationwide one year free trial study of their prototype. Interested persons should go to web site http://www.quantumskincare.com for more information on the study.
    Sounds like they got this idea from of a movie . . . which one was it – bring the answer to the next ICS meeting.
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40. NETFLIX CELEBRATING ONE MILLIONTH CUSTOMER
    If you haven’t heard already, there is a great way to avoid ‘late fees’ at the local video store.   NetFlix is an online DVD rental service.   For $19.95 per month, Netflix subscribers can rent as many DVDs as they want (though only up to three at a time) out of a library of 13,500 titles.  The discs are delivered for free via the mail, with no dues dates or late fees imposed.  At year-end 2002, about 857,000 people had subscribed, up from 456,000 at the end of 2001. 
    Netflix Inc.  has surpassed the 1 million-subscriber mark, the online DVD rental service announced Thursday.   The company believes the achievement validates its business model.  "Any service that gets to a million subscribers is becoming an enduring part of the consumer landscape," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. 
The rapid subscriber growth surprised even company insiders.  "We thought it would be more like AOL.  It took six years for them to reach a million, from '88 to '94.  So we figured it would take us at least six years," Hastings noted.  "We're stunned that it's taken us three and a half years."
    Netflix's next mission is to hit the 5 million-subscriber mark, or 5% household penetration, a threshold Hastings believes can be reached in the next four to seven years.   To that end, the company is continuing to open new distribution centers to increase the percentage of Netflix customers who can receive their DVD rentals overnight via the mail.  It can take a few days for mail to get to those living in more remote areas or far away from distribution centers.
    This service is interesting enough to look into if you are not happy about the video store trek and fees, but read it all with thought.  Has anyone tried it yet?
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41. ELEKTRA DOES RETURN
    It has been officially announced there will be a movie based on Elektra, 20th Century Fox and Regency Enterprises have said.  This is in addition to a DAREDEVIL sequel.
    The Elektras’story will be set after the events depicted in DAREDEVIL.  Jennifer Garner will reprise the role she brought to life in that film and script development will begin immediately.
    Elektra first appeared in "Daredevil" comics in 1980 with words and art by comics legend Frank Miller. The character is the daughter of powerful and rich Greek business tycoon Nikolas Natchios and the girlfriend of Matt Murdock / Daredevil. Although she possesses no superhuman abilities, Elektra is a consummate practitioner of the martial arts, and wields a pair of three-pronged daggers, or sai.
42. HEARTWRENCHING WEREWOLF BY NIGHT
    Things are looking good for, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs – he has been tapped by Dimension Films to write the script for the Marvel comic-book adaptation “Werewolf by Night”. 
    "It is our aim to bring the werewolf genre to mainstream audiences in the same character-driven way we have done with our other superhero films," Marvel Studios' Avi Arad said. "WEREWOLF BY NIGHT is at its core a beautiful love story reminiscent of the great Shakespearean tragedies. It needs the meticulous heartfelt crafting that Robert Nelson Jacobs is known for."
    Well folks, those are some of the more interesting stories making the genre rounds these days.   Please keep your hands inside of the boat; it is dangerous out there.  What often seems great in development can come out wrong, just wrong…horribly wrong.
43. MAN OF STEEL? NO, MAN OF IRON!
    There is an adaptation from New Line Cinema of Marvel Comics' “Iron Man” series for the big screen. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, creators of The WB's SMALLVILLE, will write the screenplay adaptation.  New Line Cinema will team with Avi Arad's Marvel Studios and Don Murphy's Angry Films on the project, which is slated for a 2005 release.
    “Iron Man” first appeared as a Marvel comic in 1962 and tells the story of Tony Stark.  He was an inventor and owner of Stark Enterprises, whose work in corporate espionage and international terrorism leads to an accident that forces him to go on life support in the form of a high-tech bodysuit – a suit that makes him almost invulnerable and able to fight evil.
    Iron Man” becomes the latest Marvel superhero making the transition to the movies, after “X-Men”, “Spider-Man”, “Daredevil” and the upcoming “The Hulk”.  Interesting to now see the heroes in the comics come to life. 
    All together now “I am Iron Man ! ! !”
44. TROOPERS SEQUEL TO SHOOT
    A sequel to 1997's STARSHIP TROOPERS will begin filming in Los Angeles in May. Phil Tippett, who supervised visual effects for the first STARSHIP TROOPERS, will direct the sequel.  Paul Verhoeven helmed the original movie, which was based on Robert Heinlein's classic SF novel. Edward Neumeier will return to script the sequel, about a small group of soldiers who find themselves taking refuge in an abandoned outpost as they attempt to fight the bugs, not realizing that a much graver danger is infiltrating their unit.
45. SUPER VILLIAN DOC OCK TAKES ON THE WEBSLINGER
    Alfred Molina will join Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco in Columbia Pictures' highly anticipated sequel to SPIDERMAN. 
    Molina will portray Spider-Man's new archenemy "Doc Ock" in the second installment to Columbia Pictures' 2002 worldwide phenomenon SPIDERMAN that grossed more than $820 million worldwide and became the fifth highest grossing movie in U.S. history. SPIDERMAN is based on the classic Marvel Comic book series.
    The sequel will reunite the cast and filmmakers from the original blockbuster, including Maguire, Dunst, and Franco along with director Sam Raimi, and producers Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad.  Raimi will begin principal photography in April and the new film will be released in 2004.
    "Alfred Molina has a remarkable facility for everything from classic drama to mainstream comedy and he is the ideal choice for 'Doc Ock,'" said Pascal. "We wanted an actor that would bring irresistible depth and dimension to this role and we are all tremendously excited to be working with Alfred."
46. FLYING IN TOMORROW
    Angelina Jolie will play an aviatrix in THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, an independently financed SF movie that will also star Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow.  Kerry Conran will make his directorial debut and also wrote the script. Jon Avnet is producing with Marsha Oglesby, Law and his wife, Sadie Frost.
    Giovanni Ribisi and Bai Ling are also in talks to join the film, which is financed by Italian-based producer Aurelio De Laurentiis, who is executive producing along with Raffaella De Laurentiis and Bill Haber.
    The pre-World War II adventure tale stars Jolie as a pilot matched with a swashbuckling colleague (Law) and a probing journalist (Paltrow) and has science-fiction elements.
47. FREE ENTERPISE 2 OR MAYBE IT IS FREE WILLY (SHATNER)?
    Mark Altman said that he and Robert Meyer Burnett are developing a sequel to 1998's FREE ENTERPRISE.  Altman also said it's possible a TV series could happen based on the movie.
    "Well, there is some truth to that [TV series possibility], although it's more likely that we'll be doing a sequel first," Altman said.  "I didn't really want to do a sequel, but Rob and I came up with a great idea that we took to Shatner that he loved and proceeded to make even better, and now it's taken on a life of its own.”
    The original film starred Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) and Rafer Weigel as two Trekkers who happen to meet William Shatner in a bookstore and are shocked to discover what their idol is truly like.
48. REDDICK ADDING IN DENCH AND FEORE
    Judi Dench is in final talks to star opposite Vin Diesel in Universal Pictures' CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, the sequel to David Twohy's SF hit film PITCH BLACK.  Colm Feore, meanwhile, has come aboard to play the lead villain in the film.  Twohy will write and direct for Radar Pictures and One Race Productions.  Production is to start in April.
    In the sequel, Riddick (Diesel) is now a hunted man and finds himself in the middle of two opposing forces in a major crusade.  Feore will play Lord Marshal, a warrior priest who is the leader of a sect that is waging the 10th and perhaps final crusade 500 years in the future.  Dench will play Aereon, an ambassador from the Elemental race.  She is an ethereal being who helps Riddick unearth his origins.  This is perhaps the best SF news this month.
49. CRONENBERG TAKES PAINKILLERS
    Director David Cronenberg (eXistenZ, The Dead Zone) said that his next film, Painkillers, will find him once again tapping into the SF vein.  "I've been saying that it's about performance artists in the future, but in the near future," Cronenberg said in an interview.  "That's all I can really say, because I'm rewriting it, and it's sort of a deep rewrite.  I haven't looked at it in a while, and now I'm coming back to it."
    Cronenberg confirmed rumors that both Nicolas Cage and Ralph Fiennes (who appears in the director's upcoming SPIDER) are considering playing the lead character in PAINKILLERS.
    "No one is attached," he said.  "No one has made a deal.  But yes, Nicolas Cage has read the first draft and liked it and said he was interested.  And, yes, Ralph has read the same script and said he would be interested in doing it.  So that's good.  Maybe I should get them both in the movie.  Now that would be interesting."
50. WE HAVE FOUND A DUMBLEDORE ! ! !
    Actor Michael Gambon will fill the wizard’s robes of Dumbledore in the upcoming HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN. 
    Also cast is Gary Oldman, as the film's apparent nemesis, the prison escapee Sirius Black.
51. THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO ! ! !
    Interesting note, former ER star Anthony Edwards has signed to star in the live-action film version of the 1960s cult U.K.  TV puppet show Thunderbirds for Working Title Films and Universal Pictures.
    Edwards has signed up for the role of ‘Brains’, the man behind International Rescue's machinery.  The movie follows the Tracy family and its top-secret international rescue organization that travels around the world carrying out covert missions deemed too dangerous or difficult for local rescue outfits.  This is largely due to their equipment, ‘the Thunderbirds’, which is a set of five vehicles ranging from a rocket to a space station.
    Edwards joins Bill Paxton, who plays the Tracy family head Jeff, and Academy Award-winner Ben Kingsley who is signed to play the evil international master criminal The Hood.
    Kingsley and Paxton lead a cast of other largely unknowns, which sits with the producers' aim to focus much of the movie's $50 million plus budget -- Working Title's biggest ever -- on extensive special effects work.
52. 3-D KIDS HAS DEPTH
    The Spy Kids expand their dimension according to director/writer Robert Rodriguez.  He is filming the next installment of the successful franchise in 3-D.  America's favorite sibling spies will literally come to life in the highly anticipated action film that promises to be fun for kids of all ages.  SPY KIDS 3D:GAME OVER will be released on over 2000 screens on July 25.
    "The story line takes the spy kids into a virtual-reality videogame," says Rodriguez, "where anything is possible.  In fact, Ricardo Montalban at 82 y.o. gets to lava surf and ride an ultra-cool motorbike.” It should be interesting for filmgoers as Rodriguez adds, “once the characters go into the video game, the audience will put on the glasses, and it's in 3-D.” He said also "The technology has advanced significantly, thanks to the advent of high-definition digital moviemaking."
    Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino are reprising their roles as Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez.  Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara will return as Carmen and Juni Cortez.  Steve Buscemi, Alan Cumming, Ricardo Montalban, Bill Paxton, Holland Taylor, and Danny Trejo also make repeat appearances.

53. RINGU DIRECTOR HELMING TAKES HELM OF TRUE BELIEVERS
    Japanese director Hideo Nakata has been set by MGM and Cheyenne Enterprises to make his English-language feature debut with the MGM supernatural thriller TRUE BELIEVERS.  Nakata directed RINGU and a sequel that inspired the Gore Verbinski-directed DreamWorks film that is in the process of getting a sequel.
   "Believers" is an adaptation of the Doug Richardson novel about the intersecting paths of a senator with White House aspirations, a woman who wants to have a child and a death row inmate who thinks he is a messiah who must carry on his bloodline.

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54. XENA IS FINALLY COMING OUT!
    Anchor Bay Entertainment will release XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS - Season One on DVD coming out on April 29 with its biggest marketing push in history.
    The seven-disc, first-season package of XENA, priced at $89.95, will include the 24 episodes from 1995.  The rights were acquired by Anchor Bay in a deal with Davis-Panzar Productions, whish also yielded fellow syndicated weekly action drama HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS as well as episodes of the HIGHLANDER series it didn't already own.
    Besides print, radio and TV advertising, the "multimillion-dollar" campaign will include a "$100,000 Quest for the Golden Sword Sweepstakes," an entry-form based promotion that will culminate with the winner receiving a life-sized regulation XENA sword cast in solid gold at next summer's VSDA convention.  The release will also include bonus goodies, such as a commemorative XENA coin.
    The marketing push also covers the Hercules and Highlander titles.  "We're not going to be afraid to step up and spend some real money to market this thing," said Peter Davis, head of Davis-Panzer.
    XENA, a spin-off of Hercules, was distributed by Studios USA Domestic Television and was among the top-rated weekly syndicated shows when it went out of production at the end of the 2000-01 season.  The show and its escalating production costs succumbed to TV's weak advertising market rather than a decline in popularity.  The show did have a strong cult following and several conventions were held with a XENA theme. 
    Anchor Bay already distributes THE EVIL DEAD, the landmark camp-horror feature and a favorite with this group, was created by XENA executive producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi.   Neither Tapert nor Raimi--or star Lucy Lawless, for that matter--lend commentary for the first-season DVD release, but Anchor Bay officials said they hope to secure their services for future full-season releases.  The next is due in September.
55. LUCAS TALKS ABOUT STAR WARS AND FUTURE OF DVDS
    George Lucas told fans not to expect DVDs of the original versions of the first three Star Wars films.  Speaking at a tribute to his Industrial Light & Magic visual-effects house and Skywalker Sound in Hollywood, Calif., Lucas said that upcoming DVDs will contain only the updated special editions of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the site reported.
    The special editions are what Lucas said he wanted the films to be originally, but time and money restraints did not allow him to make them at the time.
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56. TO SAIL BEYOND THE SUNSET
    Some think it was because of her red hair and athleticism as a young woman, that Virginia Heinlein, who died January 18, 2003 at age 86, was by many considered to be the template for a number of the female characters in science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein books.  She was the third wife of the author, she is said to have given him the original idea for his most popular novel,“ Stranger In A Strange Land”. 
    Many fans also believe Heinlein put both her and himself in various stages of age in the many of his later novels.  She was a support and an inspiration for a grand master of science fiction.
WASP WOMAN B MOVIE STAR
    When Warner Brothers cast Anthony Eisley as Tracy Steele on HAWAIIAN EYE with Robert Conrad and Connie Stevens, that was the show that blossomed his career.  Frederick Glendinning Eisley was better known to his fans as ANTHONY EISLEY, the 1950s TV star, died January 29, 2003.  Out of Warner Brothers stable of stars, he showed up all over TV in the 50s, 60s,and 70s. 
    He studied drama in college, once saying, “I took the easy way out to get a degree”.  After appearances on a number of shows in the early 50’s such as THE REAL MCCOYS and PERRY MASON, he finally got his big break and for the next 20 years he guested on a myriad of TV series including THE OUTER LIMITS, THE WILD,WILD WEST, DRAGNET, THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO, and even THE DUKES OF HAZARD.
    In 1959 he starred in the genre film THE WASP WOMAN and soon after developed a reputation as a suave B-picture leading man.
    He made a number of exploitation, horror and sci-fi movies after that such as THE NAKED KISS (for director Sam Fuller), THE NAVY vs.THE NIGHT MONSTERS, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF TIME, THE WITCHMAKER, THE MIGHTY GORGA, DRACULA vs. FRANKENSTEIN, and MONSTER. 
    "Eisley's science-fiction pictures turned out to be truly outlandish ones.” Tom Weaver said after his death. "He even played a monster himself in a picture that went unreleased for decades because it was so awful, THE MUMMY AND THE CURSE OF THE JACKALS.  But with all the stage training and then all the experience he got in front of a camera in his TV days, he invariably looked and acted more professional than everyone and everything around him in those pictures, he was sometimes the best thing about them.” 
    In an interview after he retired he told Weaver he had no regrets, “The business was good to me, in the sense that overall I had a good time and I made a living and my kids, none of ‘em starved.”
    Anthony Eisley was born January 19, 1925 in Philadelphia, PA and though he never achieved true stardom he leaves a legacy as a more than competent actor and an icon of the Golden Age of Television.  He was 78 years old.
HEADS UP FOR KENNETH TOBEY
    Heads up (“KeepWatching the Skies”) and hats off to Capt. Patrick Hendry, our fearless leader in “THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD”. 
    Yes, sorry to report that one of our all time favorites from 50s sci-fi movies, Kenneth Tobey has passed away.  He died on Dec. 22, 2002 in Rancho Mirage, Ca. of natural causes. 
His role in “THE THING” as the no nonsense, quick thinking military hero was one of his best on film and became a guide for other genre films to follow. 
    The Ken Tobey type character part showed up later in such films as “NOT OF THIS EARTH” (Morgan Jones),“20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH” (William Hopper), “THE DEADLY MANTIS”(Craig Stevens) and of course “THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS” where it is played oddly enough by Kenneth Tobey. 
    Once asked by interviewer MARK FRANK, who directed “THE THING”? Tobey said, “Howard Hawks” and added “Technically, of course, Chris Nyby directed it and is given screen credit for it… He was new at directing and Mr. Hawks maintained kind of overseeing on the picture” According to a TOM WEAVER interview he said, “Hawks directed it all except for one scene. Nyby was learning to direct from Hawks but Hawks didn’t let him learn by doing”
He was born in Oakland, Ca. April 21, 1914 and after briefly studying for a career in law he got into acting at the University of California Little Theater.  After working on Broadway and in stock he made his Hollywood film debut in a Hopalong Cassidy western. 
    Working steadily in film mostly in small parts throughout the 40s, he got the role of Capt. Hendry, his first Science Fiction part in 1951.  He was to work in this genre again and again, in films such as “IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA”, “THE VAMPIRE” and “STRANGE INVADERS”.  He also worked extensively in other types of films that included “THE MAN IN THE GREY FLANNEL SUIT”, “GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL” (as Bat Masterson), “MARLOW”, “MACARTHUR”, and “AIRPLANE”. 
    Tobey also has a long list of TV credits including his own series in 1957, “WHIRLYBIRDS”, a sort of “SEA HUNT” in the air.  Other TV credits include appearances on “DRAGNET”, “SCIENCE FICTION THEATER”, “GUNSMOKE”, “KUNG FU”, “ROCKFORD FILES”, “NIGHT COURT”, and “STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE” as well as numerous made for TV movies.  This is just a small list of Kenneth Tobey’s work over six decades. 
    He will always be remembered fondly by myself (and at least one or two others that I know of) and will be sorely missed by the film community and film fandom in general.  Kenneth Tobey was 83 years old.  Thank you Capt. Hendry.
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57. FEBRUARY/MARCH CALENDAR
WILLARD –Release Date - March 14th
    This is a remake of an earlier movie, but brilliantly cast.  His coworkers pester Willard, a shy young man, to the point of abuse.  Well he exacts a bloody revenge when one of his pet rats, his only friends, is killed at work. Led by the unusually intelligent (and lethal) rat, Ben, an army of rats descends on those who did Willard wrong, in a series of writhing, creepy murders.
AGENT CODY BANKS – Release Date - March 14th 
    The story goes like this - the U.S. government recruits Cody Banks to be a special agent.  One that they call upon when they're faced with a mission that can only be accomplished by someone who wouldn't normally be old enough for such a mission for another ten years or so.  Make sense? Well we are talking about the logic of the U.S. Government here.  So, Cody gets training in spy gadgetry and lesson in the art of being a teen spy.  His parents are unsuspecting and Cody gets to have a lot of fun for a teenager.
THE HUNTED – Release Date - March 14th 
    This is the story of an FBI "deep woods tracker" who captures an assassin who makes a sport of hunting deer hunters in the forests outside Portland. When he escapes in the city, the tracker must team up with a female FBI agent to hunt the assassin down before he comes hunting for them . . . the assassin kills for fun. 
DREAMCATCHER – Release Date - March 21st 
    Four men in Derry, Maine, who have been friends since childhood reunite for a hunting trip to a cabin deep in the northern Maine woods called "Hole in the Wall."  They are tied together through a telepathic bond they gained as children.  It was gained while saving a Down Syndrome child from bullies.  The arrival of a strange man to their cabin soon plunges the four friends into a fight against an invading alien force that takes control of human beings like puppets. 
As a side note, they will be releasing this film with a MATRIX 2 related 9-minute CGI animated short attached to the beginning called "The Final Flight of Osiris."
THE CORE – Release Date - March 28th 
    When something happens to cause the core of the planet to change in temperature, threatening to stop the planet from revolving, a band of NASA "terranauts" is formed to pilot an experimental deep-earth ship to try to fix it by setting off a nuclear detonation. 
PHONE BOOTH – Release Date - on April 4th 
    A movie for Hitchcock lovers for sure.  One location like in REAR WINDOW, this movie is set in a phone booth in New York.  A slick New York publicist who picks up a ringing receiver in a phone booth is told that if he hangs up, he'll be killed . . . and the little red light from an infrared rifle sight is proof that the caller isn't kidding.  The movie is filmed in ‘real time’ which means that the adventure will be as long as the movie. 
HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES – Release Date - April 11th   (Limited release area)
    This movie is set in the 1970's, this is the tale of a group of two young couples looking for a mysterious figure known as "Dr. Satan”.  They are in rural Texas and after getting completely lost, they seek refuge from a storm at a strange sort of "house of horrors" which turns out to be a horror itself. 
    There is an interesting music note - the soundtrack will be a combination of 1970's-era songs and spooky horror.