#54 July 2003

The ARHNOLD Report



Gregory Peck, Hume Conin, Bill Marshall


JULY 11 – Movie -League of Xtra Gents Opens
JULY 11-13 – Shore Leave Con
JULY 19 – ICS at Bengies Drive In Night 
JULY 26 – ICS meeting – Pizza night and HBJ night

Editor-Betsy Childs, 
Staff Writers- Regina Vallerani,Tim Fleming, Taylor Sherblom Woodward, Mike Laird, Jeanne Matcovich, Gary Roberson, Charles Wittig, Joe Plempel, John Ward
    Our June 2003 presentation and movie were a smashing success thanks to writer and film historian Tom Weaver.  Tom treated us to a lively talk about how he starting writing, tales from his most (and least) favorite interviewees and secrets behind the evening’s film – THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON.   And I think we may all pay a little extra attention to THE GIANT CLAW’s leading lady next time it’s shown and look the bubbles escaping from the top of the creatures head in REVENGE OF THE CREATURE!  I have to dig out my old “Fangoria’s” and look for Mr. Weaver’s articles. 

The warm weather didn’t deter 40 loyal ICS members from this great meeting!  Thanks to Barry Murphy for arranging Mr. Weaver’s visit!  And to our newest honorary member, Tom Weaver, a Big ICS Thank You!  Feel free to visit us again if you’re in town on the last Saturday of the Month.

It’s no secret that John Clayton is a talented writer – he has often placed very well in screen-writing contests and has written enjoyable pieces for ICS fiction night.  Now, thanks to a chance meeting, John’s screenplay is being read by Sony!  John’s script for WILDFIRE is about a Gen-Y James Bond.   Best of Luck to you, John!   (Maybe you can put in a good word for MONSTER PLANET when you make it to Hollywood!)

    In order to streamline the clean up process at the end of the night, we had a 15 minute break between the film and the business meeting to pack up the projector, do general clean-up and have a last call for snacks and drinks.  It worked well and we’re adopting this as the official ICS clean up procedure!  Thanks to Hendo for organizing it!

  Our May meeting will be held on Saturday July 26th 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. 

  Remember how it felt to arrive at your first ICS meeting when you didn’t know anyone?  We’re a friendly bunch and we try to greet all newcomers, but in case we’re busy setting up casa ICS, volunteers Steve Vaught and Dava Sentz will be in charge of officially greeting all newbies and handing out welcome packets.  Thanks for volunteering for this important job, Steve and Dava!

  Two guests graced our last meeting.  ICS Academic winner John Weber brought Mike Scheeler, a fan of FANEX and Lacey Burke brought her brother, Matt, who has seen just about every new movie out there (and has an opinion on all of ‘em!).  Hope to see both of you at a meeting again!

  Okay everyone, the big July event is coming… No, not Independence Day… It’s the officially ICS Pizza Party!  We’ll supply the pizza – you supply the appetite!

  Speaking of appetites, those of you nauseated by PG-13 violence may want to bring some Tums.  The theme of the evening’s presentation and films is Japanese Horrors courtesy of Andrew Kent.  We’ll learn more about this new crop of Asian cinema and see clips from some of these incredible films.  Be warned – these films have NC-17 level graphic violence and adult themes – use discretion if bringing guests (especially minors) to this meeting.

  On Saturday, July 19th, ICS is having its first ever ICS Night at the Bengies.  We’re not sure what’s playing, but there’s bound to be a summer blockbuster or two in the mix.  The Bengies Drive-In is located in Middle River.  More info will be forthcoming about this premiere event.

  Fanex 17 will be held at the Timonium Days Inn on August 1 – 3.  We will need volunteers to man the movie room and the dealer’s table.  An hour or two is all we ask.  Dave Willard will pass around the sign-up sheet at the next meeting – be sure to bring any items for the dealer’s table to the next meeting also.  In addition to volunteers, we also need any format or genre of movies that you may be tired of or replacing with DVD’s, and collectible figures to sell at the dealer’s table.
 At last summer’s Fanex, we made a good profit, picked up a few new members and had fun socializing and doing the con.  As a bonus, ICS members with a badge will get in for free.
A Special Addition from BARRY MURPHY – here and scattered elsewhere in the ICSfiles are club member favorites of Movie Blurbs for great Horror movie posters. 





    The June 13 two-hour seventh-season premiere of the SCI FI Channel original series Stargate SG-1 beat its cable competition with a 1.9 household rating.  The show delivered more viewers (2.43 million) than any season premiere of any series in SCI FI history.

    NBC has confirmed rumors that a new film based on the 1980s miniseries about alien invasion is in the works.  The three-hour made-for-television movie, V: THE SECOND GENERATION, will be directed, written and produced by Kenneth Johnson, creator of the original series.
    Johnson is talking to original stars Marc Singer, Robert Englund, Jane Badler and Faye Grant about reprising their roles, though no official casting decisions have been made.  The Second Generation will be set 20 years after the original, with the alien Visitors now in control of much of the Earth, according to Johnson. 
    "The alien force is deeply entrenched, has turned many Earth people into followers and is sweeping them toward a dangerous new conquest," Johnson said.  "The Resistance seems to be fighting a losing battle when suddenly Earth gains a powerful and mysterious new ally."
    While the movie is envisioned as a stand-alone project, future sequels are possible if ratings are high enough.  If green-lighted, the project wouldn't be ready until fall 2004 at the earliest.

    Its looks likely for CBS Midseason CBS is likely to pick up CENTURY CITY for mid-season.  It was one of the near future legal dramas pitched for the fall season, none of which made it onto the fall schedule.  This one from Universal revolves around a law firm in Los Angeles in the year 2053.  The cast includes Hector Elizondo, Nestor Carbonell (The Tick), and Viola Davis. 

    The MTV SPIDER-MAN series finally has a debut date, Friday July 11th at 10 pm ET/PT.  This CGI series features Neil Patrick Harris as the voice of Peter Parker/Spiderman and Lisa Loeb as voice of Mary Jane Watson.  Guest voice actors include Michael Dorn, James Marsters, Ethan Embry, Virgina Madsen, Michael Clark Duncan, and Keith David.

    UPN today announced the starting date for its fall season premieres, strongly suggesting that ENTERPRISE will kick off its third season on Wednesday the 24th of September. 
    UPN has set the week of the 22nd of September as its official premiere week.  UPN indicated that not all of its shows will necessarily premiere during that week, but it seems likely that as one of UPN's flagship shows ENTERPRISE will be part of the initial batch of shows to return. 
    If this is the case, viewers will be able to see "The Expanse, Part Two" on Wednesday the 24th of September, and find out more about the new mission of Captain Archer and his crew.  Before that, UPN will undoubtedly repeat "The Expanse, Part One", but it is not yet known whether UPN will be airing this on the same day as the season premiere.
    During VOYAGER’S run, UPN used to kick off its new seasons by airing the previous season's finale together with the premiere as a two-hour movie, but last year UPN chose to use the season premiere of ENTERPRISE to launch its new series THE TWILIGHT ZONE.  This year, UPN may elect to do the same to give JAKE 2.0 a good start. 

    Cartoon Network is to begin airing reruns of the first 13 episodes of THE BIG O starting July 7th.  These episodes will then be followed by thirteen new episodes, which Cartoon Network helped to co produce and fund. 
    THE BIG O is a Japanese production, originally airing in Japan in 1999 with just thirteen episodes.  While it is anime, its art and animation style is more reminiscent of the 
earlier Batman animated series, with a plot that has been compared favorably to the 1998 film DARK CITY. 
    THE BIG O is set in Paradigm City forty years after a strange occurrence simply referred to as “The Event”.  “The Event” had left all of the citizens with no memory of their past and as a result Paradigm City has become a grim police state.  This is where Roger Smith, a “negotiator” protects the city against possible threats with the help of an android a giant robot called “the big O”.
    The second season of THE BIG O will be Cartoon Networks first Japanese co-production, and if it goes well it may not be their last.  TNN Senior VP Ian Diamond recently stated that CN has set aside nearly 500 million dollars over the next five years for the production of original animation, with the possibility of having a mix of works from India, China and Japan.

    A production IG panel at the recent Fanime con has revealed that the 6 episode OAV (original animation video) FLCL (also referred to as “Furi Kuri” or “Fooly Cooly) has been sold to a network for broadcasting rights.  No word as to which, but the programmers at Adult Swim have dropped hints about a cool new six episode show coming soon.  So while it’s just a rumor that AS has it, it’s probably a good bet, and confirmation is expected soon.
   FLCL, is not actually a TV show that was broadcast but rather a direct to video production.  In the US, direct-to-video carries a certain stigma associated with things more like HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME II, but in Japan, it’s more common and is often the sign of better production values, compared to what might be put into a show aired on TV. 
    FLCL definitely has the good production values- the animation is done by Gainax studios, the script is written by the popular Yoji Enokido, and it features a stellar soundtrack by the Japanese rock band, The Pillows.  Normally here’s where a summary for the show would be, but FLCL is very hard to describe.  It’s possible that there’s not even a story to describe actually.  It centers on a 6th grade boy, Naota.  Naota’s brother is out of the country, but his girlfriend Mamimi still hangs around (possibly because she has no place else to go), but other than that, his life is pretty normal.  Well, there are those things – starting with the vespa-driving guitar-wielding alien Haruko who has moved in, the mysterious factory shaped like an iron that from time to time coats the entire town in steam, and the unfortunate fact that ever since Naota was hit on the head by Haruko’s guitar, it seems he’s been sprouting weird alien technology from his forehead.  Okay, so things aren’t normal at all.  Perhaps “frenetic” is the best word for it.

    It's not easy being an adolescent superhero. But at least the young Clark Kent doesn't have to face the threat of cancellation: As one of The WB's brightest lights, SMALLVILLE, the story of Superman's earthly boyhood, got the news early that it was being renewed for next year. 
    So executive producer Al Gough can talk about the challenges and triumphs of the past season on the teen-Superman drama, and some of the plans for next year.
    "Season 1 was, 'Who am I?'" Gough says. "Season 2 was really, 'Where am I from?' To us, it's the adopted kid looking into his biological parents. Once you find out who you are, are they people you want to know, or do you wish you'd never asked those questions at all?" 
    "We also played more with the Clark-Lana relationship.  This year, it was really about -- and it's a classic superhero dilemma -- Clark's secrets.  Can you really have any sort of intimacy if you can't be completely honest with somebody?  So it's always a question of, do I save the world, or do I have a life?  He's started to wrestle with those questions." 
    In the meantime, there's the ongoing dance between Clark and his future nemesis, Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum), son of Lionel.  Lex currently considers Clark a friend, but that hasn't stopped him from trying to figure out Clark's secrets.  But, as of right now, Lex has not quite strayed over to the Dark Side.
    Speaking of Lex, Gough points out, "As I always say, Clark Kent has lied to Lex Luthor much more than Lex Luthor's lied to Clark Kent.  At this point, Lex is still struggling.  There is that part of him that is always striving to do the right thing, but will the hands of fate ultimately push him over the edge?." 
    While Gough says that Superman's true love, Lois Lane, probably won't show up until Season 4, expect a few other visitors from the Superman universe -- and DC Comics in general -- in the coming year.  "Our hope is in Season 3, and I put it out there, is that you will see Bruce Wayne.  You could also see Perry White and Jimmy Olsen this year." 
    Although he can't reveal his casting wish list for Bruce Wayne, Gough has a type in mind. "Basically about Lex's age, and he's more of a darker, brooding figure.  At this stage in their lives, I don't think Clark and Bruce get along, because they are, in a weird way, opposite sides of the coin.
    "One's grown up under the guidance of very loving parents, and one has grown up without parents and feels the need to avenge their murder.  Bruce is not Batman yet, but again you see, as you do with Clark, the seeds of the man he will become."
    As for the Boy of Steel, Gough asks, "Now that Clark has all this information about his past, and what he believes his destiny to be, how will he take that and move into the future?"

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  8-10 -  OCTOKAN 2003– Baltimore Anime at its best!
    Located in downtown inner harbor at the Baltimore Convention Center 
The Hottest Guest star this year is a Number 1 Japanese Pop Singer - Tm Revolution!
Also guests will include Frederick Schodt, Julie Davis, Steve Bennett, Dr. Susan Napier, Jon Scott-Frazier.  There will also be Costuming, a Modelling Contest, Music Videos and lots of panels and workshops with the guests.  For more info, visit www.octokan.com or be real smart and talk to ICS members Taylor or Blake

July 11-13  Shore Leave 25: The Oldest Trek Con in the Baltimore area!!! 
They are celebrating 25 th Con anniversary.  There are panels with fans and stars planned, there are workshops with the guests and autograph sessions so be prepared by stopping in the Dealers room first!
This years Guests include:
Newest guest addition is CHRIS JUDGE, who plays Teal'C on STARGATE SG-1.
Marina Sirtis Cmdr. Deanna Troi in ST:TNG , 
Andrea Thompson Talia Winters in Babylon 5, 
Marc Singer Dartanus in Beastmaster, 
Carolyn Seymour Cmdr. Toreth in TNG, 
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.

August 1-3  FANEX 17
If you have to pick one Horror-movie con to got to a year and make it this one!  This is a tradition with all the great guests so come and enjoy!
Held at the Days Hotel in Timonium MD
Guests of Honor: Francis Matthews: Dracula: Prince of Darkness; Rasputin: and The Revenge of Frankenstein, Beverly Washburn (Spider Baby); Hank Garrett 
Guests also include - Ted Bohus, Fred Olen Ray, Mark Redfield, 
Robert Tinnell, Anthony Ambrogio, Mark Clark, CJ Henderson, 
James Janis, Tom Johnson, Allen Koszowski, Jonathon Lampley, 
Arthur Lundquist, Bob Sargent, Bryan Senn, Brian Smith, Cindy Collins Smith, 
Don Smith, Gary Svehla, Jeff Thompson, Neil Vokes

 This is FANEX so lots of great panels and autograph sessions are planned.  Movies galore with some of the all time classics. 
    And of course the ICS Club will be there in force.  We have a dealers table that will be selling videos, books, lazerdiscs and collectibles to generate money for the club activities.  Please sign up to help out there.  We also will be helping with Movie Projection and will need volunteers for that.  All ICS members get in free to the FANEX, with club ID, so come, talk to some stars, view some great movies and have a great time!

August 15-17 2003  HORRORFIND
3rd annual Horrorfind weekend at Hunt Valley Maryland
This will be a convention of Horror movies galore, dealers room, costume ball/contest, celebrity panels and autograph sessions. 
Alice Cooper (yes, Alice Cooper) here live at HuntValley in Maryland. 
Available for autographs only 4 hours each day
Other honored guests include – 
Tony Todd from Candy man
David Naughton from American Werewolf in London
Bill Mosley, of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 
Ken Foree from Dawn of the Dead.
Traci Elizabeth Lords, 
Dee Wallace Stone, 
Doug Bradley (Pinhead) and Gunnar Hansen.

HorrorFind is pleased to present the Night of the Living Dead cast reunion
With, Judy Odea, Russ Streiner, Kyra Schon, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman and lots more. 
Have you seen these movies?????




    The organizers of the annual Shore Leave convention recently announced they will be hosting a special book premiere event at this year's 25th edition of the fan gathering. 
    At the convention, which will take place from Friday the 11th of July until Sunday the 13th of July, Pocket Books will offer fans the opportunity to buy four novels that are scheduled to be released in August.  There are four books in question are the third Stargaze l novel, Michael Jan Friedman's aptly-titled “Three”, the first Lost Era novel, Andy Mangels' and Michael Martin's “The Sundered”, Keith R.A. DeCandido's "short long fiction" anthology “Imaginings”, and finally the non-Trek novel “Tong Lashing”, part of Peter David's Sir Apropos of Nothing series.  These books will not be available at other places until the convention is over. 
    Convention visitors who aren't yet fully convinced they want to buy these novels will be able to get a sales pitch from the best persons imaginable: the authors of the four novels.  The writers of all the above-mentioned books will be attending the convention, along with fifteen other well-known Trek authorsim, including Greg Cox, Heather Jarman and Susan Wright.
    Shore Leave 25 will take place in Marriot's Hunt Valley Inn in Baltimore, Maryland. More information about Shore Leave 25 can be found at the convention's official site. A full listing of the Trek authors attending the con can be found there.

This months feature - the ANIME Graphic novels coming out this summer. 
By Taylor Sherblom-Woodward 

As part of a recent partnership between Random House and Japanese publisher Kodansha, Random House now intends to get into the rapidly growing market of graphic novels by releasing English language versions of Japanese manga. Kodansha is the largest publisher of manga in Japan, so there will certainly be plenty to choose from; especially since Random House will be able to preview new material and choose what they think would be most suitable. The manga will be published though Random House’s sci-fi/fantasy line, Del Ray. The official launch will take place at the upcoming Comic Con in San Diego.

“Basara” by Tamura Yumi, published by Viz, 9.95, 208 pages, out 07/30/03
In the far future, the world is in ruins and man has reverted to his ancient ways. A set of twins are born in a small village, a boy named Tatara and a girl, Sarasa. One of them is prophesized to be a “child of destiny”, someone who lead the people to salvation. But when Tatara is killed by the evil Red King, Sarasa must take his place as the savior.
The winner of the 38th annual Shougakun Manga Award, this story was serialized in the popular magazine Flower Comics for several years. A total of 33 volumes

“Flame of Recca” by Anzai Nobuyuki, published by Viz, 9.95, 208 pages, out 
Recca is a sixteen year old boy whose mother had sent him 400 years into the future in order to protect him from the war of that era. Now as a ninja-obsessed high school student, the evil from the past is starting to return. Using his newfound technique with the element of fire, he fights to protect the world with his friends.
Running at nearly 31 volumes, this also became an anime in 1997 with 42 episodes. This has also been licensed by Viz and should be released soon.

“Boys over Flowers- Hana Yori Dango” by Kamio Youko, 9.95, out 07/30/03
Makino Tsukushi, a 16 year old girl born into poor circumstances, is a new student at Eitou Gakuen, an exclusive school mostly populated by the rich elite. Already feeling a bit alienated, things get worse when Tsukushi unintentionally offends the F4 when defending her friend. The F4 is a feared clique of four male students who have the habit of targeting certain individuals who have crossed their path, and to make their life a living hell. At first Tsukushi is scared of the F4, but when she decides to fight back, the leader of the group, Doumyouji can’t help but to be interested.
A long-running romantic comedy serialized on Margaret Comics, with an unusual art style, it’s also an anime, which is also to be released by Viz on DVD starting in September.

“Naruto” by Kishimoto Masashi, published by Viz, 9.95, out 07/23/03
When the nine-tailed fox demon attacked a village, the Hokage ninja clan defeated it by sealing in the body of a newborn baby. This child, Uzumaki Naruto, is now a young ninja trainee who still possesses some of the demons powers. While Naruto is a good hearted rebel, his strangely acquired powers tend to alienate him from the other people in the town. But Naruto hopes to win their acceptance and he trains to become a ninja along with a few companions.
This story is still running in Japan, serialized in the popular boys comic Shonen Jump. It was recently made into an anime that began airing in 2002.

“Wild Act” by Takada Rie, published by Tokyopop, 9.95, 208 pages, out 07/18/03
Like any truly obsessed fangirl, Yuniko is dedicated to celebrities. She’s so dedicated that she has made it her goal to steal a least one piece of memorabilia from her favorite stars. Her biggest obsession is the late star Akira Nanae. But Yuniko doesn’t just do this for fun, she does it because her mother is in the hospital, and seeing these items seems to cheer her up. But things get complicated when she meets Ryo Eba, a rising star who looks a lot like Akira, and who seems to have taken great interest in Yuniko.

If any ICS members would like to share info on a soon to be released Books, Graphic novel or Comic series, please email it  attn betsy at ICSBETSPOTS@aol.com.

    The makers of the hit computer-animated film ICE AGE are developing the CGI SF movie ROBOTS, set in a world composed entirely of the mechanical.  The ICE AGE trio includes 20th Century Fox, Blue Sky Studios and director Chris Wedge.  ROBOTS is already in production, with a scheduled March 11, 2005, release.
    Voice actors will include Halle Berry, Ewan McGregor, Mel Brooks, Drew Carey, Jim Broadbent, Stanley Tucci, Dianne Wiest and others.
    Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel wrote the script, which centers on Rodney Copperbottom (McGregor), a young genius inventor who dreams of making the world a better place.  Berry voices Cappy, a sexy executive robot with whom Rodney is instantly smitten.  Other lead voices include the nefarious corporate tyrant Ratchet (yet to be cast), who locks horns with Rodney, and Big Weld (Brooks), a master inventor who has lost his way and other characters include a group of misfit robots known as the Rusties.  Sounds like it will be a magnetic movie!

    TREKKIES 2, a follow-up to the 1997 fandom documentary TREKKIES, has gotten the official green light from Paramount.  Denise Crosby (STAR TREK: TNG) will reprise her role as host and executive producer for the sequel, as will director Roger Nygard and producer Mike Leahy.
    The feature documentary is already in production and will reportedly widen its scope to explore the fan community abroad.  The team has already filmed at several conventions in Europe.
    TREKKIES 2 is a separate project from TREK NATION, a similarly themed documentary being produced by Eugene W. Roddenberry Jr., son of Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. 
(editor’s note: there are reported three times as many fans that laughed hysterically at TREKKIES and found it demeaning to them as there were fans that want to see part two.)

    Revolution Studios has announced that its upcoming comic-book adaptation HELLBOY will open on Memorial Day weekend, 2004.  "We are confident that with Guillermo del Toro at the helm, HELLBOY will deliver the fantastic action, special effects and excitement that summer moviegoers have come to expect," said Revolution Studios Partner Tom Sherak.
    The film, starring Ron Perlman, centers around an unlikely red-skinned hero who was born in hell and rescued from evil forces by a benevolent scientist. John Hurt, Selma Blair and Doug Jones also star. Filming is currently underway in Prague.

    A live-action movie is in the works based on the Hasbro Transformers toy line, from X-MEN writer/producer Tom DeSanto.  The toys have formed the basis of previous comic books, television series and an animated movie.
    Angry Films chief Don Murphy (TXLG) and DeSanto will produce the.  DeSanto is currently working on a story treatment for the project before he and Murphy hire a screenwriter to adapt it for the big screen.
    The Transfomers toyline centers on a group of robots that are able to change into a variety of objects, such as cars, trucks, planes, ships and other technological creations.  The feature film will tell the story of an intergalactic war between two races of robots: the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, the trade paper reported.
    Hasbro introduced the them in the United States in 1984.  Then they came to the big screen in 1986 with the animated feature THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE.

The ARHNOLD Report
    Arnold Schwarzenegger told an audience at the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention that he will definitely be involved in the proposed sequel film KING CONON: CROWN OF IRON.  But the actor added that he is still waiting for a finished script.  "I don't think there's any doubt about my interest in CONAN," he said. "I love the character of Conan.  I think it's one of the most wonderful characters I've ever played in my whole movie career."
    The film is currently in development at Warner Brothers, under the supervision of THE MATRIX creators Larry and Andy Wachowski.  Schwarzenegger said that development on the project is moving slowly due to the Wachowskis' commitment to the release this year of the second and third films in the MATRIX franchise. 
    "Warner Brothers has the rights to CONAN, and the Wachowski brothers are supposed to be in charge of it," Schwarzenegger said. "But obviously, as you can see, they're heavily involved in bringing out their next movie.  I think as soon as they come to me and say we have a new script, and it's ready to go to the next stage, we'll sit down and talk about it."

    What's the quickest way for a mid-level director to jump to the tentpole group? Jonathan Mostow wagered he could measure up to James Cameron's past work with TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES.  It was a gamble that not only could have jeopardized a promising directing career, but the existence of indie financier Intermedia.  Now, that company's head is cautiously wondering if Mostow and Schwarzenegger both will say "I'll be back" for a fourth installment.
    Opening July 2, T3 might be the gutsiest venture of the summer, from Moritz Borman's decision to finance the $175 million film, to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mario Kassar and Andy Vajna tying comebacks and a political career to it.  But the big winner might be Mostow, who only a few years ago was dumped from THE GAME and had to battle to direct BREAKDOWN.
    "Jonathan cracked the script and with T3 and established the right balance of action, storytelling and comedic balance," Borman said. "The picture needs legs -- a second and third weekend -- and Jonathan has given us that chance.  A fourth film will be more difficult, but the story opens the door for another and we'll do one as soon as is feasible.”

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will star in the upcoming remake of WESTWORLD said that a script is in the works from the same writers who penned the actor's upcoming T3: RISE OF THE MACHINES.  Longtime genre writing partners John Brancato and Michael Ferris wrote T3, based on a story by them and writer Tedi Sarafian, and also wrote the script for the proposed CATWOMAN film.
    "The only thing I can tell you is that the same writers that wrote TERMINATOR 3 are writing right now, are in the middle of writing WESTWORLD,"  Schwarzenegger said in an interview.  The movie is based on Michael Crichton's 1973 SF classic, about a robotic theme park where things go horribly awry.
    Schwarzenegger added that he will star, but "I'm not going to be playing the Yul Brynner character [a robot gunslinger], where I play a machine, because I'm doing that in this movie [T3]," he said. "But it will be a very interesting story, and it will be a continuation of the saga." T3 opens July 2.

    Hammer & Tongs, the British commercial and video-directing and producing team, will helm a feature film based on Douglas Adams' HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY for Spyglass partner Roger Birnbaum and Disney.  The team—writer-director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith—will work with writer Karey Kirkpatrick, who did a polish on a script written by the author before he died nearly two years ago.
    SF author Adams will receive a posthumous executive producer credit.  The much-loved book tells the story of Arthur Dent, who one day is whisked away by an alien to become an intergalactic traveler, while Earth is about to be flattened to make way for an intergalactic bypass.  The book was previously adapted for the BBC in the early 1980s.

    Fans of author J.R.R. Tolkien are planning to convene in Toronto in December, despite the city's ongoing battle with the SARS epidemic.  At least 2,000 fans are expected to attend The Gathering of the Fellowship, a three-day event celebrating the author's works.  According to organizers, 900 advance tickets to the event have already been sold.
    "We continue to attract increasing numbers, despite the SARS scare," said Ed Rodrigues, president of the Gathering. "The opportunity to see the three LOR movies together in theaters with fellow Tolkien fans from all walks of life is simply too good to miss.  Our success also shows that Toronto has an intrinsic quality that attracts people to this vibrant city, even in the midst of a perceived crisis."
    Confirmed special guests include actors Craig Parker (Haldir) and Mark Ferguson (Gil-galad) from the Lord of the Rings films, Tolkien scholars Jane Chance, Michael Drout and Ted Sherman, and artist Ted Nasmith. More information about the event can be found on the organization's official Web site, tolkiengathering.com.

(This is a reprint of a post from the ICS forum.  Reprinted with permission gotten from much begging pleading and promising to sacrifice small loud whiney children.)
By Andrew Kent

    Let’s get one thing straight right from the start; I am utterly incapable of giving an objective review of a zombie film.  Even the worse piece of cinema trash is elevated in my mind to a special realm if it contains the living dead.  It is not my place to cogitate on the reasons for this special brand of sickness, but rather to embrace it and rejoice in my febrile obsessions. 
    So let it be known and agreed upon now that what is a special zombie event to me may just be another nameless entry into an overburdened genre to others. And most importantly, I have no way of knowing for I cannot see through the walls of my undead joy; therefore, I do not recommend reading this as a general film review.  Think of it more as the delirious ranting of a deranged hillbilly.  That being said, here’s the dilly-o.
    I wanted to like this film.  I heard a good buzz from zombie fans and it is the first big budget (as in non-grade B) pure post-apocalyptic zombie film to come out, well, ever. I wanted to like this film so much so that I feared I was setting myself up with impossible expectations. 
    There is no other way to say this, 28 DAYS LATER  IS the real deal, folks. 
    Simply put, it surpassed my expectations.  Perhaps owing more to Last Man on Earth than Day of the Dead, the post-apocalyptic setting opens after a short establishing prologue with our protagonist awakening into an empty world.  His peregrinations across a London devoid of habitation quickly establish the essential zombie film sense of isolation. (This much is seen in the trailer, so I have not given away any plot elements.)  A traditional Romero-esque director style setting is presented, and then the film explains its particular rules of the game.
    The living dead themselves are Lenzi zombies, but without the ability to use tools.  Ya, ya, don’t worry, I’m about to tell you what a Lenzi zombie is.  In the early portion of the Italian zombie explosion (the glory days of undead cinema!) schlock director Umberto Lenzi made a film most commonly known as Nightmare City (Italian horror films tend to have multitudinous titles) in which the zombies were the antithesis of the slow moving, lobotomized Romero feeding machines. 
    Lenzi’s zombies jumped around in a kinetic frenzy and wielded simple tools, such as bats, clubs and knives.  So the appellation “Lenzi zombie” simply means an hyperactive weapon wielding cadaver that can operate with a group.  In 28 DAYS LATER Danny Boyle’s zombies have those traits sans tool use which makes for more action oriented zombie confrontations.  Thusly, small numbers of zombies, or even a singular one can pose a great danger to the characters as they are fast and ferocious. 
    This makes for a much different mood than Romero’s world where even great numbers of zombies can be safely navigated with a cool head as they are so plodding.  This is also why Romero’s films are populated by staggering numbers of zombies; they aren’t a convincing onscreen threat in smaller groups.  Going the Lenzi route enables onscreen tension without the masses.  Personally, I much prefer the Romero zombie for the atmosphere, but Danny Boyle really makes the opposite approach work surprisingly well in his film.
    Means of propagation is the next defining plot element of any zombie film.  Virus is the catch all explanation for almost every modern zombie film, and 28 DAYS LATER is no exception.  What is surprising though, is the speed in which it infects the host.  Zombie infection is usually a slow process, taking hours to see through.  Not so here, the infection time matches the Lenzi styling in its alacrity.  When one is infected in this world it takes between 15-20 seconds before one is attempting to chow down on some tasty human flesh. 
    Much like the effects of Lenzi quickness, the increased infection rate allows for more immediate onscreen danger from fewer foes.  One glaring distinction from traditional genre elements is the fact that corpses cannot be revived.  The virus only infects living hosts, which are transmuted into zombies.  It has no power to animate the previously deceased.  Therefore, there is perhaps hope for the future in this world.
    Next on the hit parade of zombie film rules we have means of destruction.  That is, how does one destroy these buggers.  Romero established the brain as the center of zombie “life”, and this notion has been the most wildly propagated element in the genre. Kill the brain and you kill the zombie, otherwise it will keep coming after you with whatever body it has left. 
    Boyle threw this notion out the window and made harming zombies tantamount to harming the living.  They can be killed by the same bodily trauma that would kill an uninfected person. 
    At first glance, this would seem to abate their threat level, but it is actually a plot necessity due to setting.  Guns are not nearly as prevalent in the UK as they are in the States.  Therefore the survivors in this world aren’t Rambos in zombie-land.  In fact, they have no guns whatsoever and must instead rely on bats, machetes and the occasional Molotov cocktail.  When fast, aggressive zombies must be destroyed in close hand-to-hand combat the audience cringe factor is manifest.
    Now that the rules are established, where to next?  One of the key problems in an end of the world setting is where to take the story.  If the characters are just fighting to survive day by day with no salvation in sight, what plot conflict can be developed beyond striving to not be eaten by zombies?  Some sort of goal must be set so the characters have something to strive for, whether it is veritable or not. 
   This film does so in a convincing matter and sets the living off on a quest, thus giving the film a sense of direction.  The particulars of this impetus are nothing new, but are still more than enough to make for a good film.  The story arc is solid and pulls in some tried and true zombie movie themes, such as zombies aren’t half as dangerous as other humans. 
    For all of it’s fast zombie styling, the film in fact has a slow pacing to it.  The actual living people took the forefront instead of the zombies, making for a more character driven film.  Quite frankly, this is rather unusual for a “zombie” movie.  It was a breath of fresh air to this fan, even if the character developments were a bit clichéd.  There were some scenes of pure pathos regardless of the fact that we have seen it all before.  It’s all in the packaging, and Danny Boyle knows how to deliver it.  The emotional investment in the characters lends itself to a rather tense and gut-wrenching dénouement.  I was breathless by the end of this bad boy.
    No movie is perfect, and there are three sticking points I have with this one. First, there is a serious lack of gore.  It’s a zombie film for crying out loud!  I want dismemberments, disembowelings, intestine munching, zombie vivisections, and more general bodily mutilations than you can shake a severed arm at. 
    That’s what zombie films are all about. I am a self-admitted gorehound and expect only the best splatter for my buck.  Now I knew that this film was coming from the UK, home of the Video Nasties (don’t even get me started) so I didn’t expect a bloodbath by any means, but there was almost no gore whatsoever.  Horribly, horribly disappointing.  This is not to say there wasn’t violence left and right, it just wasn’t splatterific. 
    Second, it was filmed on digital video.  There is no excuse for not using actual film. None at all.  The definition just plain sucked, and this was on my TV – what is it going to look like blown up to the size of a movie screen?  I cannot even begin to fathom what was going through their heads when they decided to shoot a film with a 15 million dollar budget on video.  (ed.s note/opinion – movie version was fine looking.)
    Lastly, there was that sense of hope stuck in there.  No self-respecting zombie film should ever give the audience a sense of hope.  It should be like a Lovecraft story where the world is smothered in a sepulchral pall and the punch line is you’re f@#%ed.
    All in all, my problems with the film could not even begin to bring me down compared to the fact that I was watching the coolest zombie film made in the last two decades. 
28 DAYS LATER is an effulgent beacon in the zombie landscape and a cause for undead rejoicing. I’m going to go ahead and say it:
This is the best zombie film since Romero last graced the genre.



First there is one that is a lot of fun to visit - http://www.chibigojitoys.com
This is a lot of great gifts for the hard to buy for collector and heck, good pages to print and leave laying around for hints when YOUR birthday comes up.

And from Mitch there is – www.likestillwater.com
Another fun one, it's the "Official Monster Planet Site".  The movie that's 10 years in the
making and has several ICS members as cast and crew.  It contains a trailer,
stills, a cast list, and some F/X shots.  The finished movie -- which will be
about 1/2 an hour -- is due later this year.  Visit this one and be impressed!!!

Any other members that have websites of their own to share – email icsbetspots@aol.com with site and info.  Thanks. 


     As I sit here running the mouse over THE HULK mouse pad,  drinking some fine Folgers Decaf out of my HULK coffee mug and listening to Danny Elfman's score from,  take a guess, yes - that's right! - THE HULK, I'm wondering how I should start this column???? Oh! I'VE GOT IT!!!
     THE HULK!  I can't even imagine where to start.... there's more HULK stuff out there than Elvis memorabilia at the Graceland gift shop!!!!  Just go in any store , look for a section full of green stuff and you're home!  Wait, even better, just come to the ICS meeting and see the figures Betsy has there.  Or the HULK smash hands that Steve has!  It is inescapable and as bad as the PLANET OF THE APES collectibles….

     Bond....James Bond.  Sideshow Collectibles'  Sean Connery action figure from DR. NO was announced as the winner of the Best Male Action Figure of 2002 by "Toy Fair" magazine.  Along with the Joseph Wiseman figure, this comprised the first in a very succesful series of Bond-related 12" action figure sets.
     The DR. NO set was followed by the George Lazenby/Telly Savalas figures from the ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE set and shortly after, the Timothy Dalton/Robert Davis LICENSE TO KILL set.  The quality of the sets are superb, with lots of accessories and really fine packaging.  They have been selling out fast, and, unlike merchandise put out by a certain bespectacled techno geek from Modesto, California to endlessly promote his never-ending one-note science fiction trilogy, have a limited number made.  If interested, I would recommend checking the net under  Joel's Big Bad Toy Store or the Sideshow Collectibles   web page.  I'm not aware of any retail outlets carrying these except Nicholas Smith Trains - a very cool toy store located up here in Yankee territory.
     Just released, and it pains me to say this, the set of Roger Moore and Christopher Lee figures from, arrrgggghhhhh, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN.  If you can forget the awful entry of the WORST JAMES BOND FILM OF ALL TIME, it might actually be cool to have this set, if only to have a 12" figure of Chris Lee.  The Roger Moore figure comes with a champagne bottle, martini glass and wooden elephant. (remember him buying that souvenir off of the little Indian kid in the movie, and then dumping him in the river? ohh the pain - the pain...)  The Christopher Lee/Scaramanga figure has the coolest accessories -  the gold cigarette case, lighter and pen which go together to make the "Golden Gun", and a "Solex Agitator".
    Exclusive to the Sideshow Collectibles web site ,  and only available from them, a Richard Kiel "Jaws" figure.  With scale in mind, this figure will be 14"  high, to tower over the other 12" Bond figures.  He' arrayed in dress shirt and trousers with goggles, parachute pack and hand altimeter from the opening sequence in MOONRAKER.  Pre-order fast.  These are very limited!
    Also yet to come, a 3 figure  Sean Connery/ Harold Sakata / Honor Blackman set from GOLDFINGER  and a Roger Moore/Julius Harris set from LIVE AND LET DIE.

     From the  Music To My Ears Department, there are 2 releases of note (no pun intended) on CD.
     From "Film Score Monthly" magazine CDs - a double feature on 1 CD release of the scores from SOYLENT GREEN (composed by Frederick Myrow)  and DEMON SEED (composed by Jerry Fielding). [remember Robert Vaughn as the voice of "Proteus IV" making lewd suggestions to Julie Christie in that one???)
     From  "La-La Land" Recordings - the Richard Band - composed score from director Stuart Gordon's version of H.P. Lovecraft's FROM BEYOND.  Very sick and funny movie to look for , if you haven't had the pleasure...

     Last, but not least, check out  McFarlane's ALIENS - inspired Alien Queen boxed set!  It's the best diorama they've put out since the release of the Orca from JAWS last year! This set features the Alien Queen  in a custom diorama base with a trapped human with,  are you ready for this? , "Chest Burster Play Action" -   I LOVE IT!  IT'S SO FREAKIN' SICK!!!!

     Anyway, that's all for now, sooooo, save up your  ICS BUCKS,  and go get some HULK  toys, ' cause there's probably only, Sunday, June 22, 2003 oh say,  20 MILLION of them out there and they're GOING FAST!!!!!
Or Seen THESE movies yet???



SPECIES - 1995



TERMINATOR 3 – RISE OF THE MACHINES  Release date July 2nd 
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger (T-800), Nick Stahl (John Connor), Kristanna Loken (T-X), Claire Danes (Kate Miller), Alana Curry (Bill's girlfriend), Timothy Dowling (Stevens), Mark Famiglietti, Mark Hicks (Detective Martinez), Jerry Katell, Brian Sites (Bill Anderson) 
Premise: This movie is of course a sequel to 1984's Terminator, following also 1991's T2: Judgement Day; and to be followed by Terminator 4.  This third film will tell the tale of the first battles between humans and the artificial intellgences of the SkyNet network. John Connor (played by Edward Furlong in the 2nd movie) will be the star.  The advanced android that Schwarzenegger will be going up against will be female this time around. 

Cast: (voices) Brad Pitt (Sinbad the Sailor), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Marina), Joseph Fiennes (Proteus), Michelle Pfeiffer (Eris). 
Premise: They first appeared as characters in a book, and Sinbad the Sailor related the details of his seven voyages, but it appears this film may cover adventures that weren't in that book.  Sinbad has been adapted to film several times, but the most famous are the three films (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is one of them) produced by Ray Harryhausen, and 1947's Sinbad the Sailor, starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. 

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN - Curse of the Black Pearl  Release date July 9th, 
Cast: Johnny Depp (Jack Sparrow), Orlando Bloom (Will Turner), Geoffrey Rush (Captain Barbossa; AKA Captain Blackheart), Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Swann), Jonathan Pryce (Governor Swann), Lee Arenberg (Pintel), Jack Davenport (Norrington) 
Premise:  Set in the Caribbean Sea it is the story of a gentleman rogue of a pirate, Jack Sparrow (Depp), who teams up with the daughter (Knightley) of a governor to stop the evil plan of a ship of dangerous pirates (led by Rush) who are trying to reverse an ancient curse that has hit them.

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.  The reason for their being brought together is to foil a madman's  evil plans for world domination by turning the nations of the world against each other in something called a "World War.  Too good a movie to pass up!!  Go now – quick!!

    Warner Bros. Home Video is set to release SMALLVILLE : THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON on DVD on September 23. The news comes after early indications the company would not release the series on the format until early 2004.
The six-disc set will feature all 21 first season episodes in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby 2.0 surround.  Extras on the set, which retails for $64.92, include audio commentary on the first two episodes, deleted scenes from the pilot, an interactive tour of Smallville, storyboards, TV spots and a link to the official Smallville site featuring added bonuses.  Based on the information provided by Warner Bros., this is essentially the Canadian release of the series' first two episodes with the remaining 19 episodes tacked on.
 SMALLVILLE  is just one of many TV series getting the DVD treatment in the past couple of weeks.  Here's a breakdown of the latest news: 
    THE SIMPSONS TREEHOUSE OF HORROR  (September 2, $14.95) - 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has a compliation of the annual feature on the animated series.  A list of the specific segments were not available however the disc will include a bonus montage of "Kang and Kodo's finest moments."
    HIGHLANDER: THE COMPLETE 2ND  SEASON (July 29, $89.95) - Anchor Bay Entertainment will serve up year two of the syndicated drama next month.  The massive nine-disc set features all 22 second season episodes presented in 4:3 full screen and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround.  Extras include talent bios, complete scripts for several episodes and DVD-ROM links to other downloadables.
    THE OUTER LIMITS: THE ORIGINAL SERIES -2ND SEASON  (September 2, $69.95) - MGM Home Entertainment will release the second (and final) season of the 1960s classic on three DVD-18 discs.  All 17 episodes are remastered in their original 4:3 aspect ratios and English mono sound.
    STARGATE SG-1 – 4TH SEASON  (September 2, $69.95) - MGM will also offer up the fourth season of the popular sci-fi series. The five-disc set features all 22 episodes in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby 5.1 surround. Extras include include an audio commentary on each episode by the filmmakers and cast (a first for the series), plus two "Secret Files of the SGC" featurettes.
    XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS – 2ND SEASON (September 9, $89.95) - Anchor Bay has the full sophomore year of the syndicated drama. 

SAILOR MOON SEASON 1- UNCUT released by ADV films, 07/15/03, $149.98
46 episodes on eight discs, includes printed episode guide, Japanese language with English subtitles
    Usagi Tsukino is a fairly normal, albeit clumsy, 2nd year middle school student until she comes across a mysterious talking cat named Luna who tells her that she is destined to become Sailor Moon, the champion of love and justice.  Her friends are destined warriors too, and together with them she must look for the fabled moon princess and fight against the evil Queen Beryl and the dark kingdom.
    Based on the popular manga by Naoko Takeuchi, BISHOUJO SENSHI SAILOR MOON has been one of the most popular ‘magical girl” anime of all time, both in America and in Japan.  This set contains the original Japanese version of the first season, which aimed for a slightly older audience than the version that aired in the US, and contains more serious subject matter as well 6 episodes that weren’t shown in the US at all.  But foR those wishing to indulge in their Serena and Darren nostalgia, don’t worry, ADV already has that version of the first two seasons on DVD.

S-CRY-ED released by Bandai, volume 1 out on 07/15/03, 29.98, volume 1 
special edition out 07/01/03, $39.98
25 minutes (5 episodes). Original Japanese language with English subtitles, English dub. Extras include a text free opening and ending, and design gallery. 
Special edition includes collector’s box to store all 6 volumes, a replica pendant, three premium collectable cards, and poster.
    22 years after a massive environmental catastrophe ravaged the land, people with strange abilities called “alters” have been coming out of the place since known as “the lost ground”.  Kazuma is one such person and he has been relying on his powers to help him survive all his life.  But when an organization called Holy steps in and threatens his way of life, Kazuma finds himself locked in bitter rivalry with Holy member and fellow alter, Ryuhou as they struggle to uncover the truth about the mysterious incident and about their own origins.

TWELVE KINGDOMS released by Media Blasters, 07/29/03, $29.95
125 minutes (5 episodes). Original Japanese language with English subtitles, 
English dub.
    Yoko Nakajima is a high school student, who one day is confronted by a strange man who pledges his allegiance to her.  She is then taken to a strange world with two of her classmates.  As people who come from Earth they are hunted fugitives and together they have to wander the land seeking to discover the reason why they were brought there.
    An epic fantasy based off of a long set of novels, this show is actually still running in Japan.  Currently the animators are on a break as they prepare to tackle the third season, which also is the start of its fourth story arc.  This DVD is the only the first five episodes of the first arc, Shadow of the Moon, the Sea of Shadow”.

    The Ninja Scroll 10th anniversary edition would be on here, except the release date was pushed back...again. (if that trend keeps up, it won't be it's 10th anymore).  It will include s-CRY-ed because I have a hunch it may go on tv at some point, and 12 kingdoms, because that's the release I'm looking forward to.

SciFlicks: SCIENCE FICTION CINEMA     http://www.sciflicks.com
   Available in both English and French, SciFlicks is an attractively laid out and endlessly fascinating treasure trove of data on SF films.  Covering older flicks and new releases with equal ardor, the site employs a rigorous (many would say proper) definition of SF, one that largely excludes anything that might arguably be termed fantasy or horror instead.  In other words, aliens are in and dragons out at SciFlicks—the movies discussed here must have a scientific premise, however flimsily delivered.
    For a Web surfer curious about the breadth of science-fiction cinema, the movie profiles on SciFlicks are superb.  They cover all of the important information about a picture without overwhelming the reader with trivia, with a concise, spoiler-free summary, data on directors, producers and actors, and short but thoughtful reviews.  Most of the movie guides feature multimedia content, too, in the form of movie images, quotes and sound clips.  There is a compilation of Web links related to each film along with information on where a visitor might purchase a video or DVD copy ... or any other merchandise the film has spawned.
    SciFlicks has also just inaugurated a database of artists working in the SF genre—actors, screenwriters, directors and even composers are included.  The site owners are actively soliciting suggestions as to whom should be included in this archive.
    Visitors to the site will definitely want to check out the data on upcoming films, too, and perhaps complete their tour of this specialized and informative Web page by adding an entry or two to its vibrant discussion forum, SciFlicks Squad.

SNOPES: URBAND LEGENDS SET STRAIGHT    http://www.snopes.com
     As ever-increasing amounts of spam clog up the world's in-boxes, some denizens of the Web seek to ensure that they are not adding to the deluge.  One of the best ways to ensure that an apparently important message is worthy of spreading to your friends and acquaintances is www.snopes.com, a site that compiles urban legends and Web hoaxes.
    An index to various falsehoods making their way around the Web, Snopes is definitely a first stop for any person considering whether to forward emails to everyone they know.  Some amusing stories are included and also some less amusing but more useful is the Snopes index to virus warnings, a handy guide that clarifies which warnings are about actual computer viruses and which are hoaxes intended to gum up the Web with spurious traffic.
    While this site clearly offers an important public service, browsing its archives can make for hours of fun.  Some of the rumors are the stuff of SF, tales that claim eating turkey can make a person drowsy, or the average person swallows eight spiders per year.  There are dozens of urban legends relating to categories or corporations including Disney and Coca-Cola.  And if a popular Web rumor happens to be true, Snopes will say so, writing it up in as much detail as any of the tall tales.
    There are those who see cutting down the amount of extraneous traffic on the Web by a tiny amount as a pointless exercise.  But, consider this: by choosing not to forward illegitimate e-mails, (forward to ten people and achieve good luck) one can avoid the dreaded consequence of same: the condescending response from an acquaintance who wishes to inform you that you have been duped.

    Quicomm, a small web based company today “peeled” the wraps from its 1Banana.com metasearch engine with PowerStart and SearchRight facilities. 
    1Banana PowerStart provides one of the fastest ways to start a day on the Internet. Users just login into 1Banana PowerStart, and every Web page they want opened for that specific weekday will automatically open in a unique browser window.  Most importantly, each weekday's set of pages can be completely different.  PowerStart is easily customized, letting a user add pages to, delete pages from and copy pages between each weekday.  For added convenience users can simply put an alias of their 1Banana PowerStart login page in their Startup folder and all pages for that specific weekday will automatically open when they restart their machine. 
    A user can setup their own free PowerStart account at: http://1banana.com/1banana_new_ps.htm
    A benefit of using Web based PowerStart is that it lets users open their most favorite sites from any browser, running on any machine, located anywhere in the world.  And unlike most software based URL managers which must be purchased, the PowerStart service is completely free.  When used in conjunction with the 1Banana.com metasearch engine, users will quickly find the new information for which they are searching and have a very convenient way to automatically return to familiar sites. 
    SearchRight is a built-in spell checking facility for the 1Banana.com metasearch engine.  Each keyword phrase submitted to 1Banana.com is checked for other possible spelling combinations.  Unlike other search engine spell checkers, which might suggest a single alternative search phrase, 1Banana lists every search term in its own popup menu. 
    Each popup menu consists of related keywords based on similar spellings or phonetics. Words which appear to be misspelled are highlighted in red.  In this manner a user can readily resubmit their entire search query by simply choosing other suggested keywords from popup menus.  In addition, SearchRight checks for words that run together, such as "orlandofloridahotelsdisney".  Such a query will rarely return any search results with most major search engines.  1Banana, however, properly dissects such run together phrases and returns the desired search results. 
     The 1Banana.com search engine with PowerStart and SearchRight can be accessed at:
http://www.1banana.com and is free to all Web travelers.

     Are you a Robot-maniac?  Or just interested in the latest technology: http://robots.net/ offers news and views on the state of the art including how-to sections.  You can also sign up and post threads on their forum.  This is the place to stop and visit for a few years and get set, get ready or even help them by joining the message boards and discussing your discoveries.


1907 – 2003

Simply, The Best Screen Actor of the 20th Century


Gregory Peck, the strong, quiet hero from Hollywood's Golden Age has died at age 87. His mellifluous baritone, chiseled good looks and deceptively easy, unassuming acting technique made him a star in the medium he fell in love with as a child. He discovered acting while studying pre-med at Berkley and later enrolled in the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. He debuted on Broadway in 1942 in THE MORNING STAR and his film debut came in DAYS OF GLORY in 1944. 
Mr. Peck earned best actor nominations for his work in the KEYS TO THE KINGDOM, THE YEARLING, GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT and TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH and finally took Oscar home for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. He was honored in 1967 with the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and in 1989 with AFI's Life Achievement Award, he was also awarded the Medal of Freedom. Active in other film industry endeavors, he was a member of the National Council on the Arts, governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and its' president from 1967 to 1970, and founding chairman and board member of the American Film Institute. Just days before his death, AFI named Gregory Peck the # 1 all time film hero for his role as Atticus Finch. 
The ICS will remember him for all of his great films, but dear to our hearts are the "Imaginative" ones - SPELLBOUND (1945), ONE THE BEACH (1959), CAPE FEAR (1962), MAROONED (1969), THE OMEN (1976) and one of the few in which he played a bad guy, THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL (1978).
John Houston, who directed Peck in MOBY  DICK summed up the feeling of many in Hollywood when he praised the "superb dignity" of the actor and said, "Greg is one of the nicest, straightest guys I ever knew, there's a size to him".  Mr. Peck you will be missed.

Hume Cronyn, actor, writer and director, best known as one half of an extraordinary acting team with his late wife Jessica Tandy, has died at his home in Fairfield, Conn.
His career spanned seven decades of theater, film and television.
He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the 1944 film THE SEVENTH CROSS and received a Tony for his role as Polonius in the 1964 production of Shakespeare's HAMLET, directed by John Gielgud. He also won three Emmys.
In tandem with Tandy, he was celebrated for appearances in plays such as THE FOURPOSTER (1951) and THE GIN GAME (1977) and in the movies FOXFIRE (1987) and COCOON (1985). They were named to the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1979.          Hume Cronyn was 91 years old. 

William Marshall, actor of stage, screen and television who played in the ICS favorites BLACULA and SCREAM, BLACULA, SCREAM and who appeared in the television series STAR TREK in the 1960s, has died at 78.
Marshall was born in Gary, Ind., and studied acting at the Actors Studio and the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City.  From the start of his acting career, he combined his love of theater with his commitment to promoting African American heritage by bringing a number of prominent African American figures to the stage, including the legendary singer Paul Robeson and the statesman Frederick Douglass. 
He also played Othello, in Shakespeare's tragedy and during one London production, he was praised as "the best Othello of our time" by the London Sunday Times.
When asked to play the lead in BLACULA, originally conceived as bumbling and dimwitted he balked, "I had no wish to be part of that exploitation". He saw the potential for a dignified variation of the original Count Dracula. The movie producers re-imagined their "Blacula" and made him an African prince. Marshall then agreed to play the part. 
Mr. Marshall was the guest of honor at Fanex 9 in 1995 at the Towson Sheraton and was
a delight as he related anecdotes about his career to a rapt audience. Thank you, Bill!

George Axelrod, writer for stage, screen and television died at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81.
Axelrod started writing scripts for radio programs including THE SHADOW,
MIDNIGHT and GRAND ‘OLE OPRY, later moving over to television. He eventually contributed to or collaborated on more than 400 TV and radio scripts.
He wrote the highly successful plays THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH and WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER and collaborated with Billy Wilder on the film script for “ITCH”, and directed the movie. He adapted books like BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (receiving an Academy Award nomination), BUS STOP and THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE for the big screen. He also wrote the screenplays for and directed
George Axelrod was one of the premier writers in Hollywood.

Kenneth Milton Grimwood, a fantasy writer best known for the book Replay  (1987) which features a protagonist who repeatedly relives the period from 1963 to 1988, has died.  He also wrote the novels Breakthrough (1976), Elise (1979), The Voice Outside (1982) and Into The Deep (1995). He won The World Fantasy Award in 1988 for Replay, 
and was working on a sequel when he died. He was 59.

by John Ward
Once again, the dreaded deadline is here and I don’t have a glimmer of an idea for a topic.  I think I was starting to feel a little cocky after the last three issues; the ideas came, and I didn’t get particularly worried. 

But here I sit, the latest email plea from Betts floating behind my eyes, and I ask myself…What would Larry King do?

 Okay, I don’t really ask myself that.  But it gives me a perfect excuse to imitate one of my favorite column approaches:  the magic ellipsis!  I used to be a regular reader of USA Today, and Larry King had a weekly column (maybe he still does, I dunno) on a variety of topics:  politics, sports, popular culture, etc.  When he had an opinion about a lot of different things, but not much to say about any one topic in particular, he would do an ellipsis column and title it “My Two Cents.”  For the grammatically challenged out there, an ellipsis is a punctuation mark composed of three dots, like so: . . . Well, I feel like this is one of those months, so here’s ‘my two cents’. 
I’ll try to keep it connected to topics that appeal to ICS folks, but I make no promises.  Except one:  no French-bashing.  That’s like shooting a very big fish in a very small barrel.
 28 DAYS LATER is the best zombie film since DAWN OF THE DEAD…I just finished the new Harry Potter book, and it’s easily the best yet in the series.  Here’s hoping J.K. Rowling doesn’t take so long to write the next one…Biggest regret of the past week:  I was late for the meeting and missed Tom Weaver’s opening presentation…I hope we can get him back again…But from all the presentations I’ve seen, Barry Murphy is still the gold standard…
 Mr. and Mrs. Fleming, we will miss you…Thanks for all the help building my LORD OF THE RINGS collection…I was surprised by the negative reaction to HULK at the last meeting.  I still think the CGI worked well, and I didn’t think the story dragged a bit.  At least I stayed awake through all of it, which is more than I can say for (ahem) GANDHI or CHARIOTS OF FIRE…Mr. Klein, I’m interested to hear what you thought of HULK’S special effects…I wonder how bad the movie would have to be to drive me out of the theater?  I guess I haven’t reached that level of bad yet…But I have been known to fall asleep in my seat on occasion…
 Cause for DVD celebration:  Warner Bros. has announced two-disc special editions of the following classics:  YANKEE DOODLE DANDY, THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, and (Hold onto your hats) THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD!! According to DVDReview.com, a new process for ROBIN HOOD will scan each of the original three color strips for superb new picture quality.  Release date:  Sept. 30.  I’m there…Summer movies I will line up for:  TERMINATOR 3, LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, OPEN RANGE, and (gulp) FREDDY VS. JASON…Summer movies I will attend cheerfully with kid in tow:  PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, SPY KIDS 3D: GAME OVER…Summer movie I will ignore because I skipped the first one:  LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE…Summer movie I wish had never been made:  the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake…Also on my “Will probably see if I have the time” list: SEABISCUIT, S.W.A.T., and JEEPERS CREEPERS II…
 And looking further down the road, I’ll line up for RETURN OF THE KING, KILL BILL, MYSTIC RIVER, THE MATRIX: REVOLUTIONS, and the ALIEN re-release on Halloween, with 12 minutes of new footage…Two movies that I pray will bomb so we never have to be subjected to their ilk again:  Disney’s THE HAUNTED MANSION with family-friendly Eddie Murphy, and DR. SEUSS’ THE CAT IN THE HAT with Mike Myers…My prediction for the movie most likely to keep Peter Jackson from winning his long-overdue Oscar: COLD MOUNTAIN…Geez, what a pedigree this one’s got: released by Miramax, based on a best-selling novel, directed by Anthony ENGLISH PATIENT Minghella, starring Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger…aw, nuts, let’s just give ‘em the little golden darlings now and be done with it.  Who were we kidding?
 Television is basically a worthless dust bowl from June through August…That’s when my video-watching really picks up…Most recent DVD acquisition: Sergio Leone’s original cut of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA.  Absolutely superb filmmaking…Currently on my bookshelf, waiting to be read: John Sandford’s Naked Prey, Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit, and Michael Chabon’s Summerland…Confession time:  I have kept a comprehensive list of every single movie I have seen in a theater since January 1, 1986…High-water mark: 1986 (102 movies – Unemployed, with a lot of free time on my hands)…Low point: 1994 and 1996 (22 movies each – Gainfully employed family man)…
 Reason no. 376 why the Senator is a cool place to see a movie:  they sell Good-n-Plenty at the concession stand…It is very difficult for me to jump onto a TV show’s bandwagon if I haven’t seen it from day one, so I can understand why some people would resist watching 24 at this point…Which is not enough to keep me from reminding people yet again that 24 is the best show on television…Several things make me smile this summer:  the ICS Pizza Night in July, tickets to two different Springsteen shows (Pittsburgh on Aug. 6, DC on Sept. 13), family trips to Virginia and NYC, and all those movies I mentioned before…I am a firm believer in the theory that a hit TV comedy is rarely ever again as funny as it is in its first three seasons…My favorite time of day is late in the evening, when the house is quiet and I’m on the computer…If you haven’t tried the ICS Forum yet, you really don’t know what you’re missing…
 It’s not too soon to mark our calendars for the ICS 5th Anniversary bash in January…Here’s hoping that RETURN OF THE KING is the Senator’s feature attraction for the bash…And let’s pray that it isn’t COLD MOUNTAIN…
 See you next month…


JULY 11 – Movie -League of eXtra Gentlemen Opens
JULY 11-13 – Shore Leave Con
JULY 19 – ICS at Bengies Drive In Night –fun for all!
JULY 26 – ICS meeting – Pizza night!  and Andrews presentation night