#52 May 2003
CLUB NEWS
OH HECK…JUST READ THEM ALL

TV NEWS
11.BUFFY FINAL COUNTDOWN GOES ON
12.FANS AUCTION BUFFY PROPS 
13.TO BOLDLY GO. . . 
14.ROBIN AND DAFFY 
15.ASTRO BOY BACK IN 2003 
16.DONALD & HAUER BITE INTO SALEM
17.ANGEL FINALE UPENDS THINGS 
18.ANOTHER CLASSIC ZONE 
19.UNAIRED MIRACLES
EVENT NEWS
May 23 - 26    BALTICON 37  science fiction con
Best of all -AN ODD SPACEDY a play starring an ICS member, Jim Childs – Saturday at 3pm
June 13-15    BUFFYCON 
June 15-16 Asian Fantasy Film Expo 
July 4-6 CastleCon 16 
July 11-13  Shore Leave 25
LITERARY NEWS
20.STEAMPUNK JLA DEBUTS
21.POTTER IS BACK ON THE SHELVES
22.JEANNES BOOKSHELF-REVEIWS
MOVIE NEWS
23.THE MUSEUM CURATOR’ RUSE….
24.DRACULA – IN BLACK AND WHITE
25.X2 SNATCHED 
26.X2 SETS NEW RELEASE RECORD 
27.AND THERE WILL BE MORE X TO COME 
28.THE ANTI-X MOVIE 
29.K.I.T.T TO RIDE AGAIN

MOVIE NEWS
30.KONG WILL BE ALL KIWI
31.HARRY POTTER 4 MAY END AS 4 AND 5 
32.TRAVEL HAS WARNERS OPTION 
33.THE TWO TOWERS HITS THE TOP FIVE 
34.CLASSICS RETURNING TO STAR WARS 
35.GOTHIKA STARTS SHOOTING 
36.THERE’S HALF MAGIC TO BE FOUND
ACTION FIGURE NEWS
37.BK JLA
38.COLLECTIBLES CORNER
MUST SEE MOVIES 
IDENTITY, CONFIDENCE, X2, MATRIX, HULK, 28 DAYS LATER, LEAGUE
INTERNET NEWS
40.FINDING IT FOR LESS! 
41.ARE YOU GA GA OR DO YOU SAY YAHOO! 
42.BOTH GAS AND DVD RENTAL PRICES GO DOWN
TECHNOLOGY NEWS
43.DVR—AN EXPANDING ROLE? 
44.WHERE WILL YOU HANG YOURS?
FAREWELLS
45.A FAVORITE STAR TREK ALIEN DIES
46.MORLEY DIES AT AGE 93 
47.ICS FAVORITE GONE

THE LAST "WARD"
 

ICS CALENDER

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1.APRIL MEETING - PART 1 – N-ICS-ELODEON
    Our April 2003 presentation was a pleasant surprise to those of us expecting to sit back, relax and watch the presenter do all the work!   Dave Willard kept us on our toes with a lively night of audience participation on the early days of films and film fandom.  The energy was high as we took turns reading factoids from Dave’s handout.  And luckily for those of us who are monolingual, Francophone Beth Vaught did an excellent job of reading a poem from Dave’s handout – the highlight of which was rhyming au fait with okay (I kept thinking it was pronounced ‘ow fat’, not ‘oh Fay’).  Great job on the show, Dave!  We’ll look forward to part 2 of your presentation in 2004.  And let’s also give a big thank you to Charlie Wittig for assisting with the visual part of the presentation.

2.APRIL MEETING PART 2 – JILLA JALLA PEHECHAAN HO!
    Our official club song, “Do The Jellyfish” from the 1965 classic, STING OF DEATH, has some competition.  The contender is “Jaan Pehechaan Ho”, the song from the dance clip in GHOST WORLD.  We watched it for the second meeting in a row.  Some of the translated lyrics include:  “Lets get to know each other / it will make life easier / oh you heart stealer / don't shy away, tell me your name!”  Contrast that to the lyrics from “Do The Jellyfish” – “Wella, I'm saying fella / Forget your Cinderella / And do the jella  / The jilla-jalla jella!”  It’s going to be a long summer as devotees of each song argue as to which is better suited to represent our club.

3.APRIL MEETING PART 3 – DR. SATAN NEEDS THE JAWS OF LIFE
    After 15 exciting episodes of barely escaping numerous death traps, the Copperhead finally triumphed and THE MYSTERIOUS DR. SATAN concluded on Saturday night.  Next month, Barry Murphy will bring in more serials for our consideration.  So, keep ‘em coming, Barry and stay tuned for more serial-mania!

4.APRIL MEETING PART  4 – MAY THE SCHWARZ BE WITH YOU!
    Our movie theme was Great Movie Parodies, courtesy of Mike Laird.  SPACEBALLS was the winner.  Many club members were laughing non-stop at this classic gem.  Thanks for the entertainment, Mike!

5.NEWS OF OUR MAY MEETING: THE BASICS 
  Our May meeting will be held on Saturday May 31st (the weekend AFTER Memorial Day) 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.SON-THING SPECIAL
  A Texas-size round of thanks goes to all club members who volunteered their time for April’s Son of Fanex convention!  Volunteers had a chance to enjoy both the convention and the comraderie of their fellow club members.  Long-time film fan Mike Schilling walked away the ICS Academic prize!  Way to go, Mike!

7.THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE – ONE ICS ACADEMIC WINNER, THAT IS!
  Starting poring over film trivia now, everyone!  ICS Academic #3 is slated for our May meeting.  For those of you unfamiliar with ICS Academic, we divide the players into 3 teams.  Each team has a buzzer.  MC Dave Willard will ask the questions and the first team to buzz in with the correct answer gets a point.  The team with the most points wins double vote cards.  The members of the winning team then play a final round amongst themselves to come up with the winner.  The grand prize is a set of DVD’s.  For those of you seeking an unfair advantage, buddy up with past winners of ICS Academic – Norman Prentiss and Brian Smith (unfortunately Mike Schilling is disqualified from this game because he won at Fanex).  No matter what your level of film knowledge is, it’s going to be a fun time! 

8.MINIMUM BID KID FAVORITES!
  Also in May, Joe Plempel, AKA The Minimum Bid Kid, is going to bring in a potpourri of favorite films.  Because Joe has an interest in a wide variety of films, this should be an evening of many choices.  Those double vote cards might just come in handy!

9.THIS TOPIC WILL SELF DESTRUCT ON MAY 10
 The group trip to the Spy Museum is now scheduled for Saturday May 10th.  Charlie is the person to contact for more information about meeting time, place and carpooling.

10.FROM ONE VAMPIRE TO ANOTHER
 VAMPIRE SISTERS, the newest Don Dohler/Joe Ripple thriller will be shown at the upcoming Balticon convention over Memorial Day weekend.  This event is noteworthy because our own Mitch Klein did a superb job on the CGI effects and score.  Also, check out Mitch’s cameo – it is one of the funnier scenes in the film!  Mitch’s work can also be seen in the Vampire flick, STAKES, which we viewed at our January meeting.  Atta boy, Mitch!

“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." Nada:   THEY LIVE (1988)

“I think we need a bigger boat!”     Brody   JAWS  (1976)

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11.BUFFY FINAL COUNTDOWN GOES ON
    There's no time to waste in the third-to-last BUFFY and Buffy was right about what needs to be done to get an edge over the First.  As a result, everyone except Buffy is getting deeper in trouble, which isn't to say it was a mistake to throw Buffy out last week. In fact, they did her a favor.
    Before Buffy can get things back in order, she has to get over the insecurity that hung over her after some deaths occurred in the line of duty and her friends and loved ones wondered about doubts on her leadership.  Some relief  will come largely from Spike who, after berating the ''ungrateful traitors'' at Casa de Summers, seeks out Buffy and tells her eloquently and convincingly why he loves her.  In the process, he proves, once again, that he's earned the right to be respected and -- yes -- even loved by her.  He also reminds the Slayer who she is and helps her recover from the self-doubt that was making her so weary.
    It may seem sad that the Slayer had to cut herself off from everyone, but the truth is, she works better alone.  Freed from the burden of protecting, training, leading, and inspiring all the accumulated hangers-on, and armed with Spike's confirmation that Caleb is guarding something important at the vineyard, Buffy steps up and outsmarts the evil preacher. 
    In BUFFY where dialogue is often as much metaphor as communication, she takes control right away with her opening line, which tauntingly echoes their first confrontation (''Heard you got something of mine'').  Then, when Caleb runs out of clever oration and resorts to calling her a whore, she mocks his pathetic name-calling (''You really should watch your language.  If someone didn't know you, they might think you were a woman-hating jerk.'').  The advantage has shifted to Buffy and then she finds her Excalibur.
    Last week it looked as if members of the Sunnydale crew were better off without Buffy. But, at least until they rally behind her again, it seems that she's better off without them.
    With Buffy back on top of her game, holding the weapon that should give her the winning edge, she's ready for another tricky encounter: the reappearance of Angel (David Boreanaz) in the last two episodes. 

12.FANS AUCTION BUFFY PROPS 
    Fans of Nicholas Brendons, the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER star (Xander) are auctioning show props to benefit charity.  NickBrendon.com is selling two prop pieces as part of its annual fund-raiser for the Stuttering Foundation of America.
    The items are an autographed hospital bracelet Xander wore after his encounter with Caleb in the episode "Dirty Girls" and an autographed yellow hard hat.
    Brendon has served as honorary chairperson of the foundation's Stuttering Awareness Week for three consecutive years, and fans have donated more than $5,000.

13.TO BOLDLY GO. . . DOWN THE RODDENBERRY HIGHWAY 
    A Texas state legislator has proposed renaming Interstate 10 "the Gene Roddenberry Star Trek Memorial Highway," in honor of the Trek creator and El Paso native.  Rep. Pat Haggerty (R-El Paso) presented the legislation to the House Border and International Affairs committee.
    Roddenberry was born in El Paso in 1921, but spent much of his childhood in Los Angeles.  He died in 1991.
    Hundreds of Star Trek fans supported Haggerty's bill, HB 949, through e-mails to the Texas capital.  The Star Trek fans are infamous for working together towards one goal.  Back when the original series was to be cancelled they formed a letter writing campaign to let the networks know that the show was popular 

14.ROBIN AND DAFFY ON CARTOON NETWORK 
    The Cartoon Network will premiere two new animated series this summer, one featuring a teenage Robin and another bringing a Space-Age Daffy Duck to the screen, the network announced.  The new shows-Teen Titans and Duck Dodgers-will join returning shows The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and The Justice League.
    In Teen Titans, based on the DC Comics series, Robin the Boy Wonder unites teen superheroes Cyborg, Starfire, Beast Boy and Raven as they join forces to defend the world against a new generation of supervillains, all the while dealing with the horrors of being a teenager.  Teen Titans premieres July 19. 
    Looney Tunes characters Daffy Duck and Porky Pig find themselves in the 24-1/2 century in Duck Dodgers.  Daffy's Duck Dodgers and Porky's Space Cadet must save the Earth from Martian Commander X-2 (Marvin the Martian).  Each episode consists of two 11-minute cartoons; the show premieres Aug. 23.

15.ASTRO BOY FROM 1963 AND BACK IN 2003 
   The Kids WB has ordered 26 episodes of a new U.S. version of the classic animated Japanese anime ASTRO BOY.  The original ASTRO BOY launched in 1963 as one of Japanese TV's first anime-style series.
    ASTRO BOY centers on an atomic-powered robot, created in the image of a grieving scientist's dead son, who fights for peace and justice in Metro City.  The original ASTRO BOY was set 50 years in the future, which placed the birth of the character in the year 2003. 
Happy 50th Birthday!

16.DONALD & HAUER BITE INTO SALEM
    Rutger Hauer will play Kurt Barlow, an antiques dealer and vampire, in TNT's upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's novel Salem's Lot.  It's not the first time the Dutch-born actor has played a bloodsucker; he has played vampires several times in movies and TV, mostly famously as Lothos in the original BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER movie.
    Donald Sutherland will be right at his side in this TV movie of SALEM’S LOT.  Sutherland has joined the cast and will play Richard Straker, a mysterious antique store owner and right-hand man to the head vampire.
    Sutherland rounds out a cast that includes Rob Lowe, Andre Braugher, James Cromwell and Samantha Mathis.  Peter Filardi (Flatliners) wrote the script

17.ANGEL FINALE UPENDS THINGS 
    Tim Minear, consulting producer on The WB's ANGEL, said that the show's upcoming fourth-season finale will act as a "pilot" for the series' next season, should the network renew the vampire drama.  "We tried to design it so that it would basically be a pilot for next season," Minear said.  "It's setting up the new configuration for the show
    Minear wrote and directed "Home," the season finale, in which the outcome of the battle against Jasmine draws the attention of Wolfram & Hart, which makes Angel and his crew an offer they can't refuse, the site reported.
    ANGEL started out of the gate a little slower than BUFFY as far as finding its identity, but the series has gone on to become BUFFY’S equal in storytelling and character build up.  There's no denying that this season of ANGEL is one of the best any television show has ever had.
    While the climax with Jasmine in "Peace Out" may have seemed just a bit of an anticlimax after the events of the season, there's nothing anticlimactic about the fourth-season finale, "Home."  This fully satisfying episode tackles some of the emotional loose ends of the season while offering the same mix of humor, horror and angst that has become the trademark of the series. 
   As with its best episodes, "Home" works as a completely believable story that fits within the ANGEL universe while also being a metaphor for the human condition.  Connor's fury and Angel's anguish are totally believable and true to the characters.  Characters in a Joss Whedon universe may not live happily ever after, but they do live and breathe through the kind of rich characterizations that are seldom seen on television. 
    With FIREFLY snuffed out, FARSCAPE gone, and BUFFY about to leave the airways, ANGEL looks to be one the very few great genre shows left on television.  It seems like all the good ones are going by the wayside.  What will we watch?

18.ANOTHER CLASSIC ZONE 
    Producers of UPN's new TWILIGHT ZONE series are once again going back to the well with a remake of another classic episode, "Eye of the Beholder," written by Rod Serling. 
    Molly Sims stars as Janet, a woman desperate to conform to her society's physical ideal by going under the plastic surgeon's (Reggie Hayes) knife for the 11th time.  This final effort leads her into a literal chamber of horrors. David Ellis (Final Destination 2) directed from Rod Serling's script.
    The original "Eye of the Beholder" aired Nov. 11, 1960, and starred Donna Douglas (The Beverly Hillbillies) as Janet.

19.UNAIRED MIRACLES 
    Richard Hatem, creator of ABC's canceled supernatural series MIRACLES and said that he hopes the remaining unaired episodes eventually come out somewhere.  "I simply don’t know," Hatem said.  "I’m too new at the TV game.  All I know is, we are still 100 percent dedicated to getting the fully completed 13 episodes out there for people to see.  We agree: The show is too good to not see the light of day."
    Hatem added the he'd welcome a DVD set of all 13 produced episodes.  He stated that "A DVD collection would be amazing: 13 hours of beautifully produced suspense stories that have a series-wide beginning, middle and end".

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May 23 - 26    BALTICON 37 will be held Memorial Day Weekend, at the Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore. They offer activities and guests for a wide range of interests for science fiction fandom. Their literary programming will feature philosophical debates, story crafting tips and ideas, author readings and book signings. 

There will be separate poetry, academic, literary and media tracks, including a writer's workshop. Their science program continues with the kind of briefings you see for industry, academic and government leaders. There will also be special sessions about art, costuming and children activities for kids 4-12. There'll be filking (science fiction-oriented folk music), a masquerade, a large dealer's room, a gaming room, a computer room, L.A.R..P. (Live Action Role Playing gaming), and a gaming room. 
Best of all is the live theater -AN ODD SPACEDY a play which is also starring an ICS member, Jim Childs – Saturday at 3pm). Come listen to him do his Thurston Howell the third impression!
Tickets are $45 until 4/30 and $50 at the door. For tickets or answers to questions contact BALTICON 37/ P.O. Box 686/ Baltimore, MD., 21203-0686 or phone (410)JOE-BSFS [410-563-2737], e-mail: balticoninfo@balticon.org, or go to the above link. 

June 13-15    BUFFYCON will be held at the Holiday Inn in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. It is a fan-run convention for BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, Angel, and all the associated comics and novels. 
Guests include Robin Sachs (Ethan Rayne) and Laura Ann Gilman. 
Pre-registered memberships are $30 prior to 4/28.  Contact information is: BUFFYCON/P.O. Box 1935/New York, NY 10159-1935 or 617-776-3243 (Fax) or email info@buffycon.org.

June 15-16 Asian Fantasy Film Expo! America's ultimate Japanese giant monster & sci-fi event kicks into its 3rd big year.  It’s being held on at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center in Saddle Brook, New Jersey with an all new line-up of celebrity guests, professional presentations, exhibits, film screenings, a HUGE dealers room chock full of the latest Japanese sci-fi collectibles, a model kit building contest and lots more! Stay tuned to the web site for all the latest news and information as it develops.

July 4-6 CastleCon 16 "The Washington area's most unique convention".  Featuring Gaming, LARPing, dealers' Room, Music, Dancing, Poetry, Art Gallery (and Art Auction on Sunday), Discussions, Workshops, Movies, Miniatures-Painting.
July 11-13  Shore Leave 25: The Ultimate Trek Con in the Baltimore area!!!
This years Guests include:
John Rhys-Davies Gimli in Lord of the Rings, Sallah in Indiana Jones, Professor Arturo in Sliders.
Marina Sirtis Cmdr. Deanna Troi in ST:TNG 
Andrea Thompson Talia Winters in Babylon 5
Marc Singer Dartanus in Beastmaster, Mike Donovan in V 
Vaughn Armstrong Admiral Forrest in Enterprise; played ten more different roles in four Star Trek series
Carolyn Seymour Cmdr. Toreth in TNG, 
Phil Morris Lt. John Kelly in VOY, other Trek/B-5 guest roles Alan Ruck Captain John Harriman in Star Trek: Generations 
BarBara Luna Lt. Marlena Moreau in Star Trek
Robert O'Reilly Klingon Chancellor Gowron in ST:TNG and ST:DS9
J.G. Hertzler Klingon General Martok in ST:DS9, Hirogen in Voyager
Denise Crosby has just joined the party and will be doing some filming for her sequel movie called TREKKIES 2.  They are looking for participants for that.

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20.STEAMPUNK JLA DEBUTS 
    Adisakdi Tantimedh, writer of DC Comics' Justice League: Age of Wonder miniseries, says that H.G. Wells inspired his steampunk alternative superhero saga.  Age of Wonder, part of DC's Elseworlds series of alternate histories, places Superman and the Justice League in 19th-century America and looks at their influence on the Industrial Revolution, among other things.
    "The initial spark for the story was the question 'What if H.G. Wells wrote a Superman story?'" Tantimedh said in an interview.  "Since superheroes are an offshoot of science fiction, Superman and the Justice League were the perfect vehicles with which to explore themes of history and technological change."
    In the comic, Clark Kent, the Green Lantern, the Flash and Starman create the League of Science, witnesses to and catalysts of the dawn of a new age of science.  But when industrialist Lex Luthor turns against them, the League must battle against the encroaching forces of chaos.
    "The Industrial Revolution was an interesting era.  It was a no-brainer to stick Superman and the Justice League in that time just to see how they would affect the late 19th century and create an alternate history from the one we know," said Tantimedh, who is also an independent filmmaker.  "The series explores how rapid technological change can alter a world and how the direction the world goes in can be hijacked by the agendas of businessmen and politicians."

21.POTTER IS BACK ON THE SHELVES
    A federal judge ordered Harry Potter books back onto an Arkansas school district's library shelves Tuesday, rejecting a school board's claim that tales of wizards and spells could harm school children.
    Ruling in favor of a fourth-grader's parents, U.S. District Judge Larry Hendren ordered the Cedarville School District to put the four books in J.K. Rowling's popular series back in general circulation

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22.JEANNE'S BOOKSHELF – Read and enjoy! 
This section will be short reviews on books new and old and all read in this month

ENDER’S GAME  By ORSON SCOTT CARD  $6.99
    Ender's Game is one of the 100 top books of the twentieth century.  The story is told on a straight forward manner and with the tenderness of an adult looking at a child they care about deeply.  The result is that it gives an emotional attachment that doesn't get weaker as the story goes on, but rather seems to intensify it. 
   From the very beginning our hearts are with the Ender, and Ender's heart is with his sister, who he is not allowed to see.  In a very real sense the book is a love story about siblings, friends, and teachers and students. 
    The book's science fiction aspect provides only a setting for the story and should not influence you one way or another, it enriches the story development.  This is about real human emotions, and about reflecting on who we are as individuals and as society.  It's full of compelling moral dilemmas, bitter rivalries, and surprising exciting.
    Orson Scott Card is well known in the fantasy field for his many contributions.  He has also written several science fiction books and a horror novel Lost Boys (not the movie).  That one is recommended for the strong of heart.  It is a horror story in the true sense of the word.

WHEN THE WIND BLOWS  By JAMES PATTERSON  $13.95
    James Patterson is one of the top-selling novelists in the world today.  His novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, won the Edgar Award for the best first mystery novel. It was published by Little, Brown in 1976 when he was just twenty-seven years old, after being turned down by more than two dozen other publishers. 
    James has national bestsellers  include  Cross: Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, Jack & Jill, Cat & Mouse, Pop Goes the Weasel, Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Cradle and All, When the Wind Blows, and Hide & Seek. 
    In When The Wind Blows we find the main character, Frannie O'Neill, a young and talented veterinarian living in Colorado.  Plagued by the mysterious murder of her husband, David, a local doctor, Frannie throws herself into her work. 
    It is not long before another bizarre murder occurs and Kit Harrison, a troubled and unconventional FBI agent, arrives on her doorstep.  Late one night, near the woods of her animal hospital, Frannie stumbles upon a strange, astonishing phenomenon that will change the course of her life forever. Her name is Max. 
    With breathtaking energy, eleven-year-old Max leads Frannie and Kit to uncover one of the most diabolical and inhuman plots of modern science.  When the Wind Blows is as unique a story as has ever been told, filled with suspense and passion.  This is by far James Patterson's best book to date.

If any ICS members would like to share their view on a recent book that they’ve read – fiction or non-fiction, please email it  attn betsy at ICSBETSPOTS@aol.com.

We are a cinema club, but many movies we watch were started in book form with our own imaginations creating the images that come to life in the films we love.
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37.BURGER KING BRINGS OUT THE JLA
    Get your taste buds ready for some burgers!  Burger King and Cartoon Network have joined forces to bring the JLA to the kids of America.  BK has 7 JLA members as its happy meal toy this month.  They come with a small comic to tell their story.  I was chuckling because the comic came with the toy but in a small plastic bag.  Not unlike a collectors bag – to keep it in mint condition I guess! 
    The BK website has them all listed and even has a game that you can interactively play.  I found it amazing how they interconnected various aspects of the media and the children of today’s interests.  Someone on their marketing team was thinking back to when he was a kid.  Check out the JLA members at BK today!

38.COLLECTIBLES CORNER                                                  BY GARY ROBERSON 
    Every year the ICS has an auction, and I often sit and wonder about just where do all the items come from.  What stores backrooms got raided or eBay sites got hit to pick up some of the stuff we see at the auction.
    For instance, where did that Admiral Nelson puppet come from? Where did so and so get that portfolio of THREE'S COMPANY as interpreted by Neal Adams? Why would anyone put out a set of Johnny Lightning DUKES OF HAZZARD cars without including a miniature figure of Daisy with it?
    Access to collectibles from our favorite movies and TV shows can be a challenging thing. You'll go to TOYS R US to pick up the latest figure from LORD OF THE RINGS and you'll find out that
            1. there are 500 Annakin Skywalkers in Tatooine Diapers but no LOTR figures
            2. there were some cool LOTR figures, but Tim Fleming bought them all up....
            3. there is the exact LOTR action figure that you want, but the packaging (if you're concerned about this) looks like it was trampled and thrown around when the Teamster's Union had  their last strike against said toy store.
            4. there is the exact LOTR action figure that you want, but what they're selling it for could buy you a pair of Liv Tyler's underwear, personally autogra-phed (or Viggo Mortensen's, if you're female, or so inclined...)

    Having said all that, and giving you much food for thought, I will be writing a column on collectibles and where you can get them.  What is out and what is new and what is hot!
    More importantly, where you can get them at a more reasonable cost!!!  Last time I looked, we didn't have any Donald Trumps in the club, and so what you dish out for your particular item is always a factor.
    This is all for now. I'm learning to use WORDPAD and  as I'm about as computer literate as an old moss-covered rock, this column is, a Work in Progress.
    Next month, more to come on what is new, and what is hot!!!!!

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39.THE SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS 
    The summer season of blockbusters doesn't officially kick off until May 2 (when X2: X-MEN UNITED, but until then, there are plenty of exciting options, both in theaters and on DVD, particularly for fans of thrillers.
    May finds that two biggest openers are crime dramas.  In CONFIDENCE, Ed Burns plays a con man who rips off the wrong guy (Dustin Hoffman) and has to mastermind a $5 million score to make amends.  Things go wrong ... or do they? 
    In IDENTITY we find an Agatha Christie-style whodunit, with John Cusack and Ray Liotta are among a group of 10 strangers who arrive at a motel where folks keep turning up dead.  Can anyone pinpoint the killer?
    THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN hands us a wonderful adaptation of a comic that not enough have read.  And Sean Connery looks like he is having so much fun!
Here are some release dates and cast info –
Confidence   Release Date: April 25th, 2003) MPAA Rating: R (for language, violence and sexuality/nudity) 
Cast: Edward Burns (Jake Vig), Rachel Weisz (Lily), Dustin Hoffman (King), Andy Garcia (Gunther Butan), Paul Giamatti (Gordo), Donal Logue (Lloyd Whitworth Director: James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross,  The Chamber, 1996's Fear, At Close Range) 
Premise: This is the story of a con man (Burns) whose latest scam puts him in debt with the mafia, when it turns out that his victim, an accountant, is a *mob* accountant, leading the kingpin (Hoffman) to hire an enforcer (G.) to shadow his every move, even as the con man and his crew work to pull off another scam for the mob to pay off the debt completely before they... come collecting. 

Identity   release date April 25, 2003, MPAA Rating: R
Starring: John Cusack, Jake Busey, Rebecca DeMornay, Clea DuVall, Ray Liotta 
Directed by: James Mangold 
PREMISE -- This is the story of ten complete strangers who are stranded at a remote desert motel during a raging storm who soon find themselves being murdered... as their numbers thin out, they turn on each other, as each tries to figure out who is the killer.

X-Men 2 - Release Date: May 2nd, 2003 MPAA Rating: PG-13 
Cast: Hugh Jackman(Wolverine), Patrick Stewart (Prof. Charles Xavier), Shawn Ashmore (BobbyDrake, AKA Iceman), Halle Berry (Storm), Brian Cox (William Stryker),Daniel Cudmore (Piotr Rasputin, AKA Colossus), Alan Cumming (Kurt Wagner,AKA Nightcrawler), Bruce Davison 
Premise: The stasis quo of Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart) and his School for Gifted Youngsters is turned upside-down as it is invaded by a former U.S. 

Matrix reloaded - Release Date: May 15th, 2003
MPAA Rating: R Distributor: Warner Bros. 
Cast: Keanu Reeves (Neo), Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity), Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus), Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith), Jada Pinkett-Smith (Niobi Director and screenwriter: Andy Wachowski and 
Premise: Eagerly awaited sequel to 1999’s the Matrix.  Fighting the bad guys again.
The Hulk - Release Date: June 20th, 2003 
Cast: Eric Bana (Dr. Bruce Banner), Jennifer Connelly (Betty Ross), SamElliott (General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross), Nick Nolte (Dr. David Banner)
 Premise: The story of Dr. Bruce Banner, exposed to Gamma Rays and transformed into the Hulk, a creature of incredible strength. Lots of CGI and fun with a comic favorite.
28 Days Later  Release Date: June 27th, 2003 
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Megan Burns, Christopher Eccleston 
Premise: A virus that locks those infected into a permanent state of killing rage, is accidentally released from a British research facility. Carried by animals and humans, the virus is impossible to contain, and spreads across the entire planet. Twenty-eight days later, a small group of survivors are trapped in London, caught in a desperate struggle to protect themselves from the infected. As they attempt to salvage a future from the apocalypse, they find that their most deadly enemy is not the virus, but other survivors. 
All I can say is that the Preview seen at X2 gave me goosebumps!
League of Extraodinary Gentlemen  Release Date: July 11th, 2003 (wide) 
Distributor: 20th Century Fox (this is one of at least three comic-based projects they've got due in 2003, including X2 and Daredevil; another 2003 possibility is Fantastic Four) 
Cast: Sean Connery (Allan Quatermain), Tony Curran (Rodney Skinner, AKA The Invisible Man), Jason Flemyng (Dr. Henry Jekyll), Tom Goodman-Hill (Sanderson Reed), David Hemmings (Nigel), Richard Roxburgh (M), Max Ryan (Dante), Naseeruddin Shah (Captain Nemo), Stuart Townsend (Dorian), Shane West (Detective Thomas Sawyer), Peta Wilson (Mina Harker nee Murray) 
Premise: Set in a version of Victorian Era England (1900) where many characters of fiction actually exist (indeed, their fictional characters are often people who really did exist), this is the story of a band of unusual figures brought together by the royal government, whom are famous literary figures (from our point of view): Dr. Jekyll (Flemyng), the Invisible Man (Curran; renamed Rodney Skinner due to copyright issues with the H.G. Wells estate), Captain Nemo (from novels by Jules Verne, including 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) (Shah), Mina Harker (nee Murray) (Wilson) (from Bram Stoker's Dracula), and the adventurer famous for finding King Solomon's Mines, Allan Quatermain (Connery), who serves as the group's leader (though in the comic books, Ms. Harker, with her scarf-covered neck, is actually the leader), the youthful Dorian Gray (Townsend), and their American liaison, Detective Thomas Sawyer. 
    The reason for their being brought together is to foil a madman's ("The Fantom") evil plans for world domination by turning the nations of the world against each other in something called a "World War" (if the script is anything like the comic books, the nature of the villain, and what fictional source he's from, may be kept secret until the end, for a "big surprise").

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40.FINDING IT FOR LESS! 
    DVD/video releases – here is a plug for DVD PRICE SEARCH!!!  If you have a computer, go to this site - it's a wonderful resource and easy to use.  Just type in the title or artist you're looking for and they'll give you at least 5 different outlets and what they're charging for it.
41.ARE YOU GA GA OVER GOOGLE OR DO YOU SAY YAHOO! TO YAHOO?
    Challenging the rival Google search engine Internet search provider Yahoo unveiled changes to its technology to insert directly information such as maps, yellow-page listings and weather forecasts into search results.  Yahoo is trying to offer more relevant, precise and comprehensive data in response to Web users' search queries.  For instance, if you  type "New York weather" or "DVD players" into the search-query box, Yahoo will return weather symbols and information about the forecast for New York or specific DVD product data and pictures at the top of the search results.
   Currently, such a search on Yahoo typically returns a list of sites that offer weather forecasts or information about DVD players, requiring users to click on links to those sites to get specific data.  By extracting details from such sites on an initial page of results, the new search technology is designed to eliminate at least one step for users.
    Yahoo is hoping to attract new users to its search service and entice existing Web surfers to stay longer, eventually driving up the amount of advertising revenue it receives per search. 
    Search is one of the top two most-popular applications on the Web; the other is e-mail.  Advertisers like putting their promotions in front of search users because it helps them get prospective consumers. and marketplace. 
    Yahoo, which started as a type of Yellow Pages directory to the Web, initially made a name for itself as the place that Internet users went to search for information.  It developed a directory powered by human "surfers," who act as librarians sorting and reviewing data to add to Yahoo's directory.
    Google, by contrast, relies entirely on computer technology to sift through the Web to find search results.  It sells its search services to Yahoo, which uses them on its own online site in addition to directory listings.  As Google's popularity has grown, however, the two companies are looking more like competitors for advertising dollars. 
    In December, Yahoo signaled the need to develop its own search technology by buying Inktomi Inc. for $235 million.  The Internet firm said it wanted to manage that service itself, because it is too important to its strategy of broadening its business beyond ad revenue and improving its products. 
    But Google has tremendous momentum.  The Mountain View, Calif., concern maintained more than 100,000 advertisers.  More people on the Internet visit top-ranked Google for Web searches than No. 2 Yahoo,

42.BOTH GAS AND DVD RENTAL PRICES GO DOWN
    The price of renting a videotape or digital video disc fell 9 percent in March compared with a year previously and shows no sign of stopping.

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43.DVR—AN EXPANDING ROLE? 
    TiVo and ReplayTV haven't won vast numbers of converts, but those they have won swear by their digital video recorders (DVRs). Also known as personal video recorders (PVRs), these hard-disk–based devices are revolutionizing TV viewing as we've come to know it, allowing users to skip commercials, play "catch –up" with programs as they are recorded, perform seamless fast-forward and review, and free them from the tyranny of network scheduling.
    Despite opposition from broadcasters who perceive an economic threat in DVR's ability to skip commercials, DVRs are winning begrudging acceptance from cable and satellite services.  Cable converter boxes and satellite receivers will increasingly be offered with inboard hard-disk recorders with TiVo-like capabilities.
    One unanticipated application for DVRs is accessing content on a user's personal computer On April 8, CNET News reported that TiVo has announced a software upgrade that will allow its Series2 digital video recorders to tap content stored on a home PC. The $99 upgrade to Home Media Option allows TiVo boxes to access and distribute content such as music files or digital photos stored on computer hard drives—both Macintosh and Windows PCs—and send them to video displays or audio systems through wired or wireless home networks. 
    Your PC could become an audio or video jukebox or an archive of photographic art to be displayed anywhere in your home.  In a properly networked system, the computer's hard drive could also be used as the storage medium for TiVo-accessed programming, making the two devices' functions somewhat interchangeable.
44.WHERE WILL YOU HANG YOURS?
    Affordable Plasma TVs ARE HERE!!!  Although we can’t find any reviews yet on it, Gateway Computer Corporation is moving boldly into the home theatre arena and hopefully, into your living room with their entrance level plasma wall screen.  This 42” widescreen TV comes with all the capabilities of the “HD capable” TV’s currently out there.  Coming in at just under 70 pounds and 3.7 inches thick, you can hang this baby on your wall with the appropriate hardware or sit it on it’s optional stand.  Who said big screen plasma’s are priced too high.  This one goes for only $2,999.00.  Sounds like a bargain – when you all get one, give us a call and the party can start there! 
 


“We'll give him more than chains. He's always been king of his world, but 
we'll teach him fear. We're millionaires, boys! I'll share it with all of 
you! Why, in a few months, it'll be up in lights on Broadway: Kong, the 
Eighth Wonder of the World! “      Carl Denham   KING KONG  (1933)

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45.A FAVORITE STAR TREK ALIEN DIES
    Kathie Browne McGavin, prolific T.V. actress of the 1950’s and 60’s and wife of actor Darren McGavin has died at age 63. 
    She appeared in “The Sentry” episode of KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER and the “Wink of an Eye” episode of STAR TREK.  Over the years she also appeared on such series as PERRY MASON, 77 SUNSET STRIP, WAGON TRAIN, MY FAVORITE MARTIAN, MANNIX, GUNSMOKE and HONDO.
    Among the actress' other credits were the motion pictures THE BRASS BOTTLE starring Tony Randall and Burl Ives, CINDERFELLA with Jerry Lewis and MURDER BY CONTRACT. 
46.MORLEY DIES AT AGE 93 
    Karen Morley, who starred in such 1930s films as SCARFACE opposite Paul Muni, with Greta Garbo in MATA HARI and Jean Harlow in DINNER AT EIGHT , has died. Her genre movies included the MASK OF FU MANCHU and THE PHANTOM OF CRESTWOOD in 1932 and GABRIEL OVER THE WHITEHOUSE in 1933.
    She was born Mildred Litton on Dec. 12, 1909, in Ottumwa, Iowa and was adopted by  well-to-do parents who moved her to Hollywood.  After studying acting at The Pasadena Playhouse she was signed as a contract player by MGM and started her film future.
    After appearing in such other films as ARSENE LUPIN, MAN ABOUT TOWN, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, SAMSON AND DELILAH and the 1951 remake of M, Morley's career was ruined 50 years ago by the Hollywood horror of the Blacklist/McCarthyism that was going on then. 
    In 1999 she told the San Francisco Weekly, "I was what you'd call a 'pillow red.' I became a communist because I happened to fall in love with a man who was a red and entered the Army to take care of the fascists, and I knew it would please him if I became one".  She was 93.
47.ICS FAVORITE GONE
    Andrea King who was born in Paris, France with the birth name of Georgette Andre Barry has died at age 84 of natural causes. She was a “strikingly beautiful” actress appearing in a variety of films, including ICS favorites THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS starring Peter Lorre and Robert Alda, RED PLANET MARS with Peter Graves, HOUSE OF BLACK DEATH with John Carradine and Lon Chaney Jr., and 
BLACKENSTEIN with John Hart. 
    She started at 14 and went on from there to be signed to a contract in 1944 by Warner Brothers her stage name was changed by Jack Warner from Georgette McKee to Andrea King.
    She was most often cast in "bad girl" and "other woman" roles in the 1940s and '50s and appeared in films such as THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU, GOD IS MY CO-PILOT, HOTEL BERLIN, MY WILD IRISH ROSE as Lillian Russell, MR. PEABODY AND THE MERMAID, THE LEMON DROP KID, DARBY’S RANDERS and DADDY’S GONE A-HUNTING. In the 1950’s when film roles dropped off somewhat, she turned to television starting with live appearances. The last big screen film she appeared in was THE COLOR OF EVENING in 1994.
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THE LAST WARD…
by John Ward

 I have never been to the Bengies Drive-in, and at this point in time, I may never get there.  My wife isn’t keen on the idea; our cars don’t exactly lend themselves to sustained, stretch-out-and-relax comfort.  And I’m not even sure my son would be willing to go, unless of course he was permitted to take along his Game Boy and a boatload of Double-As.  Which makes me kind of wistful, because I have some very fond memories of drive-ins.
 Whenever I go into my crotchety things-just-aren’t-the-same mode, I usually end up thinking about how we Americans have lost our collective innocence, and one of my favorite arguments in that regard is the near-extinction of the drive-in movie.  There used to be thousands of drive-in movie theaters across the country; now, there might be a few hundred.  The reasons for the drop-off are numerous, and I’m not sure I agree with some of them.  For example, some folks think the drive-ins have faded because there is a greater competition for the entertainment dollar; that’s a joke.  There were plenty of choices for entertainment in the heyday of the drive-in, too; they were just different choices.
 No, I think the real reason for the death-knell of the drive-in is a matter of convenience, I’m sorry to say.  Why squeeze into your Family Truckster and schlep twenty miles to watch Piglet’s Big Movie on a giant screen with your kid screaming in your ear, when it’s so much easier to wait until the little Spongebob groupie is asleep in his bed at home so you can pop in a DVD of The Day the Earth Stood Still?  (Or, if your wife’s in the room, maybe Unfaithful…)
 I would love to jump into the car and check out Bengies sometime.  The only other drive-in I know of around the area is outside Churchville, up in Harford County.  It’s a bit of a hike, but we’ve made the trek before to play the superb miniature golf course across the street.  (Last summer, our family became mini-golf connoisseurs.)  Either place would be fine; I’m not especially picky.  I just want to recreate the drive-in experience of my youth.
 The problem is, I’m not sure which drive-in experience I mean, because they came in stages.  I have memories of my early childhood, when my folks would toss my brother Bill and me into the back of the Ford station wagon and head 12 miles up the road to the Palace Gardens Drive-In, a family operation just outside Indiana, Pennsylvania.  I mention the location because, wonder of wonders, this place is still in existence, and I believe it’s still run by the same family.  My brother and I certainly didn’t have any input into the choice of movies; we were still in our sleepers, after all.  But usually it was my dad’s choice, which explained why I was the only kid in my third grade class who knew the words to The Ballad of the Green Berets.  Once in a while my mom put her foot down, which is also why I have a very clear memory of Elizabeth Taylor rolling out of the carpet in all of her cleavage as Cleopatra.
 My brother and I still had a good time on these trips; we never lasted more than an hour or so before we conked out, anyway.  But we loved running around the king-size playground equipment that was placed below the screen, and my folks always let us choose something special at the snack stand.  The Palace Gardens is also where I developed a lifelong love of movie trailers; they used to pack a bunch of them in front of the feature.  I still have a clear memory of watching the trailer for Vincent Price’s Diary of a Madman, in which he smashes a marble bust of a head, only to discover real skin and a real eye beneath.  I asked my dad if we could come see that one, and he looked at me and said, “Are you nuts?”  (This was around the time he took me to see The Birds.  I couldn’t sleep for days.)
 There was a second stage to my drive-in experiences, when I was a little older and my folks got divorced.  My mother moved the four of us (including my younger brother Chris, who joined the family in ’68) to Indiana, a college town 15 miles north of Blairsville, my original hometown.  I was excited because, where Blairsville had one movie screen, Indiana had five:  three theaters and two drive-ins.  I thought I had died and gone to movie-lover’s heaven.
 My mother occasionally took us to the drive-in, but it was usually to see Disney flicks like Bambi and – oh, Lord -- $1,000,000 Duck.  We still checked out the playground, but by now I was too old to get on the swings and I was simply drafted to ride herd on my brothers while my mom talked to her friends:  other single moms with kids.  One of the moms was willing to drive the car sometimes to take us older kids to see the movies we really wanted to see:  The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Frogs, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, The Cowboys, among others.  And, of course, the snack stand was still in operation.  Sometimes I thought it never closed.
 My third stage of “drive-in magic” came along a few years later, when I was in high school and got my first job:  doorman at one of the theaters downtown.  The company that owned the theater where I worked also owned the second drive-in in the area, the Super 422 Drive-In.  The Super 422 showed drive-in movies in the truest sense of the word:  The Great Texas Dynamite Chase, Gator Bait, Boxcar Bertha, Night of the Living Dead, The Toolbox Murders, Breakout, Race with the Devil, Dirty Mary/Crazy Larry… I could go on, but you get the picture.  This was the drive-in that never showed Disney movies.  They did occasionally show those cheesy outdoor pictures from Sun International, like Grizzly Adams and The Adventures of the Wilderness Family.  But if you wanted the family stuff, you usually went across town to the Palace Gardens.
 Well, as a “company employee,” I got into all the movies for free.  That included the Super 422, so I was a popular guy around school whenever the 422 would run $3-a-Carload Night.  We’d pack six guys into the car, and two more in the trunk.  As long as I was driving, the whole car got in for free.  Not a bad deal.
 And yes, there was a natural progression from this third stage to the fourth stage, which involved dating.  (Actually, that natural progression was more of a sudden acceleration.)  Now I had to take the young lady’s interests into account, rather than simply head straight for the Super 422 and the latest sleazy blow-‘em-up.  Some of these choices were better than others:  Blade Runner, for instance.  My date and I both liked that one.  And, believe it or not, A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2, which my date actually picked, I swear.  But then I remember dragging my date to Final Chapter: Walking Tall.  I never saw her again.
 I have rarely had a bad time at the drive-in, even when I had to take my youngest brother and all of his friends to see Benji.  (I simply parked next to the snack stand for that one, and spent most of the evening talking to the girl who ran the popcorn machine.)  The only bad experience I can recall was the time I went to see Night of the Living Dead…by myself.  I really wanted to see it, but couldn’t talk my girlfriend into it.  So I went anyway.  It was late October, the season was winding down, and the snack stand closed early.  I had to keep the window cracked for the speaker, but didn’t dare run the car’s heater because that meant turning it on, and my car battery was on its last couple of volts.  So I sat there, huddled behind the steering wheel, my breath steaming the windshield so badly that I had to wipe it with my sleeve every couple of minutes.  I sat like this through both features, since Night… was the late show.  The first one was an Italian slasher flick called Torso, a real piece of garbage.  Which was perfectly in keeping with how the evening was going.  I was so cold by the time Night... started up that I had to get out of the car and walk around, which meant I couldn’t hear the picture.  I think this ranked as one of my all-time worst movie-going experiences, but that sounds like a topic for another column.
 When I relate these memories to my wife, she really doesn’t get impressed.  She doesn’t have the same memories of drive-ins that I do.  And frankly, I suspect she’s sold on the convenience angle.  When I think of  “Torso Night,” I can’t say I blame her.  But I’d still like to recreate those times, at least once more.  I tell her that it’s what the psychologists mean by “going through your second childhood.”  She just laughs and says for me to qualify for that criteria, I’d have to leave my first childhood behind.
 She has a point.

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MAY CALENDAR
MAY 2  X2 Opens

MAY 10  SPY MUSEUM FIELD Trip 

MAY 15  MATRIX RELOADED Opens

MAY 23-25  BALTICON – See ICS member JIM CHILDS in Live Theater.

MAY 31  ICS MEETING  5:30 p.m.– and its ICS academic night!