#59 December 2003

CLUB NEWS
JUST READ ALL THE CLUB NEWS

MONTHLY ICS PRESENTATION 
ITALIAN HORROR – GIALLO FILMS
 

TV NEWS
MOORE PARTS CARNIVALE VEIL 
TARZAN HALTED IN MID SWING 
MORE JAKE 2.0 TO UPLOAD.
ANGEL STAR TURNS WICKED 
TREKS TAKEI RECALLS INTERNMENT
NEW ANIME TV COMING IN 2004

EVENT NEWS

LITERARY NEWS
HEINLEIN’S FIRST OFFERS INSIGHTS 
CALLAHANS FUTURE 
NEW ARMY OF DARKNESS COMIC 
MANGA – JAPANESE COMICS UPDATE
 

 MOVIE NEWS
MCKELLEN SPEAKS OUT AT BIFAs 
EPISODES VII-IX POSSIBLE? 
GRADUATING TO THE DARK SIDE 
FIGHTING FOR TIMELINE 
CAINE ENTERS THE BAT CAVE
WOLVERINE IN LINE FOR 007? 
DEVELOPING THE CHUBBCHUBBS 
OWEN REIGNS AS ARTHUR

ACTION FIGURE NEWS
ALL THE LATEST LOTR TOYS

IMAGINATIVE CINEMA
THE LAST SAMUARI 
LOTR: RETURN OF THE KING
PAYCHECK 
PETER PAN

DVD NEWS
ANIME DVD RELEASES 

FAREWELLS
ART CARNEY
Robert Brown
Jonathan Brandis
Hal England
Penny Singleton
Albert Nozaki

THE LAST "WARD"
 

ICS CALENDER
DEC 27TH- ICS MEETING
December Movies on TNT

TAKE THIS PAGE,
PRINT IT 
THEN POST IT
ON THE FRIDGE!!!

Editor-Betsy Childs 
Staff Writers- Regina Vallerani,
Tim Fleming, Taylor Sherblom Woodward,
Mike Laird, Jeanne Matcovich,
Gary Roberson, Charles Wittig,
Joe Plempel, John Ward

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NOVEMBER MEETING – SOTHEBY’S MEETS PERRY HALL
 As promised, The Masked Auctioneer and The Minimum Bid Kid made a welcome appearance to host the club’s auction.  The Michael Ripper books were flying off the shelves as well as packages of tapes, DVD’s , books and collectibles.  Troy Farwell was the evening’s highest bidder - $70 for signed art portfolios – that he won after a fierce bidding war with Steve Vaught.   Andrew Kent’s OCD was in full force as he began bidding on 90% of the items for bid.  All in all, the club took in $340.  Thanks to all who contributed goods and to auction helpers Norman Prentiss, Regina Vallerani and John Ward, as well as our always entertaining auctioneers Barry Murphy and Joe Plempel (they always make it look easy – but thanks for the hard work!)

NOVEMBER MEETING PART 2 – NOT J. LO, IT’S GIALLO
    Regina Vallerani discussed the rules of the Italian thriller genre known as Giallo.  The cinephiles in attendance now know the difference between Giallos, Slashers, Scooby-Doo films and Body Count films and learned a little more about this obscure genre of films that has gathered a cult-like following.

NOVEMBER MEETING PART 3 – WE’RE A CLASSY CLUB…
    … because John Ward gave us a taste of Opera… Bugs Bunny style!   Although several people will be sleepless for a month, wondering what how Captain Marvel escaped October’s jam, there was an overwhelming vote to view a Looney Toons cartoon instead of our usual serial.  The classic cartoon, RABBIT OF SEVILLE, graced our screens.  Hats off to John for bringing in the DVD!  We look forward to December’s cartoon! 

NOVEMBER MEETING PART 4 – IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE, IT’S…
    The closest to watching an actual giallo in November was the viewing of the trailer for the Italian film SPASMO, which was notable for the whispering or groaning of the word “Spasmo!” whenever there was a break in the action.  And why didn’t we view a giallo?  The majority of the club couldn’t resist the schlock value of the 1981 film MYSTICS IN BALI which featured a flying witch head, battling rocks of fire and enough scenes of unintentional humor and perversity to keep the crowd laughing throughout (and yelling “Spasmo!” when appropriate).
 

THE FIRST ANNUAL PLEMPELLYS 
    Andrew Kent and Steve Vaught, the 2003 All-Nighter champs, each received an award statue in a moving and emotional presentation.  The statue was named in honor of Joe Plempel who stays the duration of the All-Nigher to show the films.  Congrats!
 

CALENDARS ARE HERE
 The theme for the 2004 calendar is TV Shows of the 60’s and is now available.   The calendar is $15 and while most of them are reserved, we have 2 or 3 extras.  If you want one, please see Regina.

NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
 Our next meeting will be held on Saturday December 27th 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. 

WELL WISHES 
 Mike Schilling and Lisa Casper were unable to attend the November meeting because Mike was receiving treatment for abscesses on his arms and legs.  Get plenty of rest and get well soon, Mike. 
 Our other Mike, Mike Laird was also not in attendance the last couple meetings because of ill health.  Jeanne has been keeping up on his condition.  We look forward to seeing you soon too Mike!
 Sue Feder was also absent from our November meeting.  She is a cancer survivor and is in process of receiving a bone marrow transplant to continue her recovery.  If you’d like to send her a card or letter, her address is on the member list
Note: This page is password protected and is for members only.  If you need to see the list and are a member, but have forgotten the password that I sent out about half a dozen times, then send me an email at: charliewittig@verizon.net

YANKEE SWAP ON THE HORIZON
 In December we'll be doing our annual Yankee Swap. It's always a lot of fun. We'll be reviewing this in more detail in the December issue.  We recommend bringing movie related gifts only with a limit of $20-$25.

THE BEST OF 1958 OR SOUTHWEST SURPRISE? 
 Due to her illness, Sue Feder, had to bow out of her December movie night.  In her place will be either John Ward, showing films from his birth year, 1958, or Tim and Heather Fleming, returning from Arizona.  Either way, we are in for a great selection of films.
 

ICS ANNIVERSARY BASH AT THE SENATOR
  ICS is renting out the balcony at the Senator Theater on Saturday, January 24, 2004 to celebrate our 5th anniversary.  Admission is $10 and is limited to 40 members – turn in your money to Regina at the next meeting.  The reservations are held when the payment is received.   Spaces will be held for ICS members until Dec 31.  After that date, if there is room and you want to invite friends or spouses, please see Regina to reserve a ticket.
 
 

Joe Auslander
Lisa Casper
Betsy Childs
Jim Childs
John Clayton
Suzanne Cooper
Sue Feder
Diane Gervasio
Peggy Gervasio
Dave Henderson
Andrew Kent
Kelly Klein
Mitch Klein
Mike Laird
Jeanne Matcovich
Barry Murphy
Skip Phillips
Joe Plempel
Norman Prentiss
Justin Proveaux
Tom Proveaux
Gary Roberson
Mike Schilling
Dava Sentz
Donna Sentz
Blake Sherbloom-Woodward
Taylor Sherbloom-Woodward
Regina Vallerani
Beth Vaught
Steve Vaught
Neil Wagenfer
Tom Woodward
John Ward
Terri Ward
Dave Willard
Charlie Wittig
Jeanette Wolfe

DUES ARE COMING
    This is just a reminder that dues expire on New Year's Day. It will be time to pony up for the coming year. Individuals are $25. Couples are $40. Extra family members who reside at the same address are $15 each added the primary membership.  We hope that you decide to join us for an exciting year ahead.

The following list of people have renewed for 2004.  If you are not listed, please see Regina.
 

Betsy Childs
Jim Childs
Suzanne Cooper
Andrew Kent
Tom Noll
Rick Rieve
Joe Plempel
Rick Rieve
Gary Roberson
Ruth Roberson
Patricia Smith
Richard Smith
Regina Vallerani
Dave Willard

TELL IT TO HENDO – THE 2004 ELECTIONS
    We'll be holding elections at our January meeting for the five-person Board of  Directors. Self-nominations are now open. Anyone who is a current dues-paying member is both eligible to run for the Board and to vote for it. Anyone interested in running should either see our current secretary, Dave Henderson, at a meeting, e-mail him at
IMHENDO@HOTMAIL.COM. Nominations will be opened until December 31. The list of candidates will appear in the January "ICS Files" for the sake of possible absentee votes.

OUR NOVEMBER PRESENTATION –ITALIAN HORROR!
FROM REGINA –
 ITS AN INTRO TO GIALLO FILMS

   Giallo is Italian for yellow.  In the decades after WWII, pulp crime thrillers in Italy were churned out in paperbacks with yellow covers.  The popular books became known as giallos; as more and more films were made based on the same material the name stuck to the films as well.  One influential author was Edgar Wallace (which classic films should recoginize from KING KONG and THE HUMAN MONSTER) who wrote a series of crime novels in the 1910's and 1920's.

   The biggest single cinematic influence on the giallo was Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.  The influence of successful American films on Italian cinema cannot be underestimated.  Lucio Fulci remarks, “With MURDEROCK I started from the idea of a woman who wants to invent a murderer to take revenge on the person who harmed her.  The producer came to me and told me to turn my Giallo into a musical, because of the big success of FLASHDANCE...”.
   In 1963, Mario Bava directed the first true Italian Giallo: THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH and followed it up the next year with BLOOD AND BLACK LACE.  The motivating factors in these early thrillers are greed, lust and hatred rather than psychological disturbance, which later came to be the hallmark of the genre.
   Towards the end of the 60’s, the genre moved to become more daring.  Films like Umberto Lenzi’s SO SWEET, SO PERVERSE (1969) and ORGASMO (1968) counted graphic sex and violence, drug abuse, fetishism, insanity, sadism and a general tone of amorality among its thematic elements.  By the end of the sixties the trend was cemented as the genre made it’s final metamorphosis.  1969 saw the opening of Dario Argento’s first film BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE.  A psychological thriller which by examining repressed/violent characters who live among us peacefully, striking out without warning or apparent motive, set the standards for virtually hundreds of Gialli to come. 
   1971 saw fourteen Gialli opening in Italy, most of them to great success with the the most popular being Argento and Martino’s new outings CAT O’ NINE TAILS and THE CASE WITH THE SCORPIONS TALE.  Another big hit that year was Lucio Fulci’s second gialli A LIZARD IN A WOMANS SKIN.  This highly psychedelic thriller plays out on a swinging London backdrop with two hippies on acid witnessing a murder but only remembering seeing ” A lizard in a woman’s skin”.  The film ended up in court due to a scene with mutilated dogs, but Fulci was freed after demonstrating the special effects to the judges.  But the effect was already in, at the box office they loved it.  And subsequently in 1972 no less than 24 Gialli premiered in Italy.  The most controversial of the year was Massimo Dallamano’s WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO SOLANGE?  A harsh masterpiece where Fabio Testi portrays Henry, a London schoolteacher who is having an affair with a student.  One day during a romantic afternoon on the river the girl witnesses the murder of one of her schoolmates.  Henry falls under suspicion and desperately tries to free himself by finding the real killer only to expose a teen group sex club at the school.  All the while the murders of schoolgirls continues with an elusive assassin killing by stabbing girls in the crotch and leaving them to bleed to death.
   As time went by the big audience interest started fading as filmmakers pushed the envelope and almost competed in being most explicit and daring.  But still the most successful Giallo of all time was yet to come.
1975 saw the release of what many consider to be Dario Argentos magnum opus DEEP RED.   It was Argento’s international breakthrough.  DEEP RED both summarizes and refines the stylistic and thematic elements of the genre.  Italian electronic-rock combo GOBLIN supplied an avant-garde rock soundtrack which also became a trademark of the genre. In the leading role David Hemmings witnesses the murder of a psychic.  He is the first on the scene of the crime, but what has he actually seen?  As he investigates the brutal murders continue and soon he is in mortal danger himself.  DEEP RED explores a theme common in Giallo land - Childhood trauma resulting in murder and it does it in a visual style so unique that some argued for his place as successor to Hitchcock.
   Although Gialli still went into production on quite a regular basis up until 1980, after 1975 they where mostly low budget cash-ins on the previous popularity of the trend.  The most recent Giallo is the Italian box office hit SLEEPLESS (2001), directed by none other than Dario Argento.  The Giallo seems to be one of the few staples of Italian genre film—they’re never really out of vogue. 

A proper Giallo should follow certain rules. 

Rule #1: Several persons must be murdered. 
This rule is self-explanatory.

Rule #2: The killings should be shown in graphic detail. 
In the 1960’s and 1970’s, graphic murders and bloody effects were a new thing, used liberally in Giallos.

Rule #3: The identity of the killer must not be given away during these killings. 
This rule separates a Giallo from a typical slasher film.  In the giallo, the revelation of the killer’s identity is key (think of the original FRIDAY THE 13th).  In a generic slasher, the audience knows the killer’s identity (think F13 PARTS 2 and onward ).

Rule #4: The killer must use various methods of killing. Innovations are welcome, but so are the traditional black gloves, the razorknife and the bathtub. Firearms do not count! 
Giallo death scenes were made to be graphic, shocking and horrific.  Scalding, slashing and drowning were used because they had usually had more a visceral impact than a simple gunshot. 

Rule #5: There may be several different killers, and, if so, one of them may use a firearm. 
I can think of 2 Giallo’s with multiple murders, but if I revealed the titles, it would be a major spoiler!  For USA films, think SCREAM.

Rule #6: It is preferable that the killer be unmasked by an amateur detective, who may be an intended victim, and not the police. 
Some of the best Giallos have protagonists who are minding their own business when they get sucked into a murder mystery, and often are led to solve the mystery to prove their innocence – DEEP RED, THE HOUSE WITH THE WINDOWS THAT LAUGHED, DON’T TORTURE A DUCKLING, WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO SOLANGE?

Rule #7: The killer may crossdress, but only when killing. 
The corollary to this rule is that if a big deal is made of the killer being a woman and the film shows a woman doing the murders, it’s a man crossdressing.

Rule #8: The killer may die as the victim of an accident when about to be caught. 
TENEBRAE and DON’T TORTURE A DUCKLING are prime examples of the killer meeting a gruesome fate when trying to escape.

Rule #9: The killings should be triggered by a traumatic experience the killer has had in the past. Economical motives are disappointing! It doesn't matter if the explanation is far-fetched. 
Unlike THE LAST OF SHEILA, Gialli do not always provide clear clues as to the killer’s identity – sometimes the killer’s identity is straight out of left field (SPASMO).

Rule #10: The film, or at least its director, must be Italian.
This rule is a point for film enthusiastics to argue.  Purists will argue that it is as ridiculous to call DRESSED TO KILL a Giallo as it is to call THE WILD BUNCH a spaghetti western.  More casual fans associate Giallos with plot flow and types of characters and types of murders and not country of origin.  There are some Italian films commonly referred to as Giallos (STAGE FRIGHT, SHORT NIGHT OF THE GLASS DOLLS), which do not follow the Giallo conventions.  And, there are many non-Italian films (DRESSED TO KILL, PERFECT BLUE, TELL ME SOMETHING, NIGHTMARE, EVIL DEAD TRAP), which share themes and plot directions with Italian Giallos.

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MOORE PARTS CARNIVALE VEIL 
   Donald D. Moore, co-executive producer of HBO's supernatural drama series CARNIVALE, said that the upcoming final first-season episodes will answer some questions raised by the offbeat show-but not all of them.  "By the end of the first season you're going to understand a lot more about 'Management,'"  Moore said in an interview.  "You'll know who's running the carnival."  The show deals with the strange performers in a Depression-era traveling freak show.
   Moore-who is also executive producer of the SCI FI Channel's upcoming original miniseries BATTLESTAR GALACTICA-added that audiences will understand more about Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl) and Brother Justin (Clancy Brown) and why they are connected.  "Even though those two characters aren't going to meet in the first season-which is a non-traditional way, that the hero and the villain aren't going to meet year one at all-you're going to understand that they're both players in a much larger story," Moore said.
   Moore added, "People aren't in the carnivale by accident.  You'll start to go, 'Oh my God, that guy is connected to the backstory, and that guy isn't.'  You'll start to see that Brother Justin is on an arc, on a climb to power, and that Ben is trying to grapple with a role he didn't want, but was born into.  That's where you'll be by the end of the first season. You'll start to understand where it's all going.  But it's not really going to answer every single question." 

TARZAN HALTED IN MID SWING 
   The WB has halted production on its new fall drama Tarzan after just eight episodes.  The show will remain on the network's schedule for the remainder of November sweeps period, as three installments have yet to air.
   WB executives will decide the show's fate after seeing the numbers for those episodes. Through its five airings this season, Tarzan has averaged a disappointing 3.9 million viewers overall, not enough to really shout the Tarzan traditional “ahhhhhahhhhahhh” from the vines about.

MORE JAKE 2.0 TO UPLOAD ON WEDNESDAYS 
   UPN has given a full-season pickup to the struggling freshman series Jake 2.0.  The critically praised show has earned mediocre ratings in its post-ENTERPRISE slot on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT, but it has been on a rebound lately, following a dip during the baseball postseason.
   The high-tech action adventure stars Christopher Gorham as a computer expert who gains super powers when he is infected with microscopic robots called nanites.

ANGEL STAR TURNS WICKED
   ANGEL good guy David Boreanaz said that he indulged his dark side over the summer hiatus, playing the villain in The Crow: Wicked Prayer, the fourth film in the Crow franchise.  "I was a bad guy," Boreanaz said.  "He was the leader of [this gang called] The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, an ex-con.  It was great. I had a lot of fun.  But it was a hard-paced film.  We shot in 23 days.  It was not an easy shoot."
   Boreanaz played Luc Crash, the leader of a satanic biker gang who murders a young man named Jimmy Cuervo (Edward Furlong) and his girlfriend, Lily (Emmanuelle Chriqui), as part of a ritual to turn Crash into an immortal demon.
   "He was more than a villain," Boreanaz said.  "I liked the dialogue.  I liked the script.  I just really liked the role.  It was juicy.  I like being bad.  He's two different guys.  He's an ex-con that becomes the Antichrist, so you've got two different roles that you're playing."
   Boreanaz added, "From what I hear from the trailer, it looks great.  I've seen a little bit of dailies.  I'm happy.  Dimension Films is happy.  It could breathe some good life into a franchise that's been dead for a while ."  The movie, THE CROW: WICKED PRAYER is slated for a 2004 release.

TREKS TAKEI RECALLS INTERNMENT 
   Star Trek actor George Takei (Sulu) returned on Nov. 9 for the first time since he left to the Rohwer Relocation Center in Arkansas, where he and more than 8,500 other Japanese-Americans lived as internees during World War II.  Takei, 64, returned to Rohwer in part to bring awareness to an effort to preserve the history of the Arkansas camps by the Little Rock-based Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Japanese-American National Museum, of which Takei is chairman, the wire service reported.
   Takei was four when he, his parents and two younger siblings were ordered from their Los Angeles home and taken by railroad under armed guard to Arkansas after Pearl Harbor.  The Takeis spent a year at the Arkansas camp and were later sent to a higher-security camp at Tule Lake, Calif. More than 120,000 Japanese-Americans were sent from the West Coast and Hawaii to 10 internment camps during the war.
   After the Sept. 11 attacks, the actor drew on his history and celebrity to fight discrimination against Arab-Americans by helping organize a candlelight vigil at the museum and a public radio forum.

NEW ANIME TV COMING IN 2004
   Adult Swim announced a new line of shows coming for next year, but not all of the plans are finalized.  The dark WITCH HUNTER ROBIN will start in February (though that will be with it’s less moody and atmospheric English dub), and a few shows are tentatively listed for spring. 
   WOLF’S  RAIN  was listed as a possibility, but it’s unknown whether that’s because they haven’t finalized the broadcasting agreement with the Japanese licensors (in which case it’s a bad idea to announce it this early) or just because they haven’t determined when it will air. WOLF’S RAIN seems like an odd choice for their programming (even more so than the slightly gothic WITCH HUNTER ROBIN, which also seems a little out of place), since most of the show’s fanbase is female, and the story doesn’t really go anywhere. 
   Perhaps Cartoon Network is hoping that the tagline  “From the makers of 
COWBOY BEBOP!” will be enough to get the average Adult Swim viewer interested.  WOLF’S RAIN is mostly eye-candy, thanks to Studio Bones, and is the story of four wolves disguised as humans in the post-apocalyptic future searching for paradise.

   WOLF’S RAIN is still yet to see a DVD release in America, and if the American licensor (Bandai) knows what’s good for them, they’ll put the first volume out before the show goes on the air. Anime fangirls are a ferocious bunch, and they’ll crush any AS “n00b” in their way to get at the limited edition goodies that are sure to be included.
   Also listed as a possibility was GHOST IN THE SHELL. But do they mean the movie, or the TV series GHOST IN THE SHELL:STAND ALONE COMPLEX?
    The TV series (or GITS:SAC as it’s usually referred to) started airing in Japan on a pay-per-view channel last year, and at the time Cartoon Network officials said they had the broadcasting rights and would be airing it soon. And then they didn’t say anything else about it for awhile, much to dismay of many eager fans (which is a valuable lesson in why you should never reveal you plans until everything is in ink). 
   Likewise Bandai also mentioned their license for the DVD distribution in the US when the show first came out, and have said very little since. Meanwhile, Production IG, the animation studio behind the TV show (as well as the movie sequel GHOST IN THE SHELL: INNOCENCE, to be released in theaters in Japan in march) has already begun work on the show’s second season.
   The TV broadcast for HEAT GUY J, the tale of the android cop who fights crime in the future, seemed pretty much inevitable. The storylines are mostly episodic which is what many broadcasters prefer. But no one, and really, I mean it here, no one, was expecting that MTV would be the one to get the broadcasting rights. Seriously, MTV! Do those guys ever play any music videos anymore?

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"Hobbits really are amazing creatures. You can learn all there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after 100 years, they can still surprise you." - Gandalf the Gray.

"I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone. I choose a mortal life." Arwen of Imladris

"The battle for Helms Deep is over. The battle for Middle Earth is about to begin."-Gandalf the White

"Let this be the hour when we draw swords together."- Theoden of Rohan.

"Give it to us raw and wiggling. You keep nasty chips!"-Gollum

"We shall see The Shire again."- Merry Brandybuck
 

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December 12--14   PhilCon 2003
Marriott Center City Philadelphia   http://www.philcon.org/
Principal Speaker: Jack McDevitt
Artist Guests Of Honor: Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Special Guests: Peter David & Harry Harrison

December 27 – 29   Evecon 20   Frederick, MD 

January 9 - 11: Chiller Theatre presents Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors

January 24 - ICS ANNIVERSARY BASH AT THE SENATOR
  ICS is renting out the balcony at the Senator Theater on Saturday, January 24, 2004 to celebrate our 5th anniversary.  Admission is $10 and is limited to 40 members – turn in your money to Regina at the next meeting.  The reservations are held when the payment is received.   Spaces will be held for ICS members until Dec 31

February 13-15: Farpoint is a Baltimore-based, Science Fiction Media Convention, held each February at Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn.  We're a Fan-Run, Fan-Friendly Con, with a lot more to offer than your basic Autographs-And-A-Dealers-Room "Show." 

February 13-14: Katsucon is an annual festival of Japanese animation. For our tenth anniversary year, we will return to the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, where we will bring you the latest anime straight from Japan, plus great guests, panels, dealers, cosplay, gaming and much, much more!

April of 2004: Johns Hopkins Film Festival 2004.
For information about submitting films, check out the submissions page.
Please note that the submission address and JHFF phone number have changed since last year. The fest will be held during.
Exact dates will be posted as April approaches. 
Prices : $3 – Show   $5 - Day Pass   $15 - Festival Pass
*Free admission for JHU students, faculty, and employees with valid Hopkins ID..

May 28-31 2004: BALTICON 38 At the Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel.
Maryland's Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention
Guest of Honor: Lois McMaster Bujold
Artist Guest of Honor: Dave Seeley
Music Guest of Honor: Heather Alexander

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HEINLEIN’S FIRST OFFERS INSIGHTS 
   SF writer Spider Robinson said that the discovery of Robert A. Heinlein's soon-to-be-published first novel, For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs, offers a glimpse at the legendary writer's earliest thought processes.  Robinson wrote the introduction to the book, which will be released in January 2004 by Scribner.
   "It predates any previously known attempts at writing by Heinlein.  So it's our very first look at the functioning of the mind that would go on to invent modern science fiction, put men on the moon and teach an entire generation the three irreducible requirements of a civilized mind," Robinson said.  "[And the three requirements are] make up your own mind always, but first, think it through, but first get the facts, to as many decimal places as possible."
   Heinlein wrote For Us, The Living between 1938 and 1939, and the story revolves around Naval Airman Perry Nelson, who awakens in 2086 following a car accident in 1939.  Robinson said that For Us, The Living is interesting for several reasons.  "For one thing, it is our only sustained look at Heinlein's picture of the world before he met the most important person in his life, his third wife, Virginia Gerstenfeld Heinlein, and thus our only way to accurately assess the magnitude of her contribution to his thought and his art, which turns out to be enormous," Robinson said  "At the time he composed For Us, The Living at age 32, he was, for example, basically a radical left-wing Democrat who subscribed to the economic theories of Upton Sinclair's EPIC party.  At one point in this book, he comes perilously close to calling for a cradle-to-grave welfare state!  That was soon to change, and drastically."
   Robinson added, "Equally interesting are the opinions and attitudes that would persist for his lifetime, some of them most startling for that time.  A delicious minor pleasure is a detailed, ingeniously worked out 'future history,' bridging 1939 and 2086, which omits World War II!"

CALLAHANS FUTURE 
   Spider Robinson-author of the Mike Callahan series of SF novels, about the strange goings-on at a Long Island bar and its even stranger clientele-said that it will be a while before he gets around to writing an 11th story.  But the author admitted that he does have ideas bouncing around his head.  "For one thing, I'd like to continue something I've been doing for the last few Callahan books, quietly ramping up the degree of female participation," Robinson said.  "The Place began in 1972 as a largely male bastion, simply because it was an Irish bar, and it was 1972, but I've been dialing up the female point of view ever since."
   Callahan's Con, the most recent Callahan novel, was released in July and was almost entirely about the adventures of Jake and Zoey's daughter, Erin.  Its predecessor, Callahan's Key, was roughly half about Erin.  "I'm toying with the idea of making Erin the narrator next time around," Robinson said.  "As events in Con reminded us, Jake isn't going to live forever.  We’ll see."
   Robinson added, "I'm also aware that it's getting time for me to explain exactly what Mike Callahan has been doing for the last few books, off somewhere else in the universe. The only way you can get away with writing 10 or a dozen books set in the same tavern without it becoming claustrophobic is if the place is a wormhole that connects it to a vaster cosmos. I've been waiting first for cosmologists' picture of the universe to settle down and stabilize a bit, for at least a while, but it's looking less and less like that's going to happen, so I may have to simply fake it.  Sigh."

NEW ARMY OF DARKNESS COMIC COMING OUT 
   Dynamic Forces announced that it has acquired the license for the rights to produce merchandise and comic books based on Sam Raimi's camp horror classic Army of Darkness, the third film of the director's Evil Dead.  Dynamic Forces will be actively seeking to make new comic projects based on Army of Darkness, and is looking into the    breadth the license allows in material.
   It is reported that the license allows for Dynamic Forces to produce trading cards, lithographs, acetate lithos, wall scrolls, hardcovers, limited-edition bookends and full-size head bust statues featuring images and characters from the film.  In addition, the company is also looking into producing a hardcover collection of the 1993 Dark Horse miniseries, illustrated by John Bolton.  Are you paying attention Steve?
 

MANGA – JAPANESE COMICS UPDATE

2nd editions of both “Battle Angel Alita” and “Cowboy Bebop” are being released, this time in the original Japanese format of  right-to-left. This also means that there will be a slight price drop as well. “Cowboy Bebop” is the manga version of the popular futuristic pulp-fiction tale of bounty hunters, “Battle Angel Alita” is Yukito Kushiro’s classic about the beautiful cyborg who has no memories.

“Shirahime Syo: Snow Goddess Tales” by Clamp, published by Tokyopop. 
Released 12/09/03, SRP 19.99
Just in time for Christmas, a hard-cover edition of Clamp’s beautiful short story collection, all featuring themes about snow.

“Hellsing”, published by Dark Horse, 12/12/03 SRP 13.95
Hmmm, vampires and guns, how could a combination like that lose? OK, a lot of people weren’t too wild about UNDERWORLD, but “Hellsing” is different.
The Hellsing organization, led by Sir Integra Wingates Hellsing, is responsible for keeping the ghoul and vampire population down in England. That’s not always too easy, but between some state-of-the-art technology and a powerful vampire named Arucard who fights on their side they manage to get the job done.
Also animated by Gonzo studios in 2001, the anime version sold extremely well in the US, and left a lot of fans eager to have the story continued.

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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MCKELLEN SPEAKS OUT AT BIFAs 
   Sir Ian McKellen, who received the British Independent Film award for Variety U.K. Personality in a ceremony in London on Nov. 4, had strong words for the British film industry in his acceptance speech.  McKellen, who appeared as Gandalf in the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and Magneto in X-MEN and X2, criticised his country's film industry for its timidity, lack of ambition and failure to recognize the wealth of technical and artistic talent in Britain, the paper reported.
   After accepting the award from his LOTR co-star Orlando Bloom, McKellen said, "Why are we happy in Britain to settle for small, independent films? ... Why wasn't a great film like LORD OF THE RINGS made in this country?"  The British Independent Film awards, now in their sixth year, honor the best in British filmmaking.

STAR WARS -EPISODES VII-IX POSSIBLE? 
   There is a new rumor that a long-hoped-for-and long-denied-third trilogy of STAR WARS films may be back on the drawing board. Citing an anonymous "insider source," the site reported that a sequel trilogy "might happen."
   STAR WARS creator George Lucas originally said that his plan was to create three trilogies of films: the original one that included the first STAR WARS, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK AND RETURN OF THE JEDI, a prequel trilogy and a sequel trilogy that would pick up the story after the events in Jedi, consisting of Episode VII through IX.  Subsequently, Lucas said he never really intended to do the final sequel trilogy.
   But now, "apparently there is some talk, even to the point of [Steven] Spielberg-who was interested in doing [STAR WARS : Episode II-Attack of the Clones] at one point-stepping in for Lucas, who may want to write, but probably won't want to direct."  The source added that it's possible Lucas could strike a deal with writer/director Frank Darabont, who is writing the script for the proposed fourth INDIANA JONES movie, to write the sequel scripts.

GRADUATING TO THE DARK SIDE 
   Hayden Christensen, who reprises the role of Anakin Skywalker in the upcoming third Star Wars prequel movie, says that he appears in virtually every scene of Episode III.  "The character arc is very specific and graduates to the dark side nicely," Christensen smiled as he said.
   Christensen added, "It was a great part to play. It's definitely darker in tone, but I turn into Darth Vader, so how could it not be?"  The first act of the film has a lot of adventure, featuring Christensen and co-star Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi), he added.  "There's a nice banter between the two of us," Christensen said.  "It has its lighthearted humor.  But, as the film progresses, it gets darker and darker."  EPISODE III is now in post-production for a 2005 release.
 
 
 

FIGHTING FOR TIMELINE 
   Paul Walker, who stars in the upcoming film version of Michael Crichton's time-travel novel TIMELINE, said that he helped choreograph his fight scenes in the movie.  "Typically in movies, I don't like the big exchange with the big punches and everything wide and outside," Walker said in an interview.  "So I always choreograph the fight sequences."
   In particular, Walker had a lot to say about a climactic struggle with Michael Sheen's Lord Oliver, a 14th-century English knight.  "I was supposed to tackle him, and then it was supposed to be this hand-to-hand struggle, and we were supposed to be rolling around," Walker said.  "I said, 'You know what? If he's just going up like this [raises his arms], and I can run in and just do a sweep and take his legs out from underneath him and roll away and scramble back like a cat caught in a corner or whatever, and then just grab a broken halberd and stick him, I think that'd be a lot cooler.'  And they looked at me like I was crazy.  But that's what we ended up doing.  And I liked it, because I just thought it was much more simple and much more real."
   Walker plays the son of a modern-day archaeologist who travels back in time to the Middle Ages to rescue his father. 

CAINE ENTERS THE BAT CAVE
   Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine has agreed to play the role of Bruce Wayne's trusted butler, Alfred, in the new installment of Warner Brothers' BATMAN series.
   Christian Bale has been cast in the title role.  Caine's deal is being finalized.
   Christopher Nolan is directing, based on David Goyer's script.  BATMAN is expected to start shooting next year for a 2005 release.

WOLVERINE IN LINE FOR 007?
   Will X2 star Hugh Jackman trade his claws for a Walther PPK as Bond, James Bond?
   It is rumored that Jackman is at the top of the list of actors to replace Pierce Brosnan as the British superspy.  The Australian actor reportedly has the right mix of youth, dark good looks, sex appeal, a sense of humor and box-office clout.
   Brosnan has already said he's willing to do at least one more Bond movie, the upcoming 21st film. Other actors rumored to be in line to play 007 include Clive Owen.

BATTLE OF THE GALAXY -ALIEN VS PREDATOR 
   Asanaa Lathan will star in ALIEN VS PREDATOR, 20th Century Fox's SF movie that pairs two of the studio's most popular screen monsters in a deathmatch.  Shooting begins Oct. 28 in Prague, and Fox will release the film in August 2004.
   Paul Anderson is directing from a script he wrote with Shane Salerno.
   Lathan will play explorer-adventuress Lex Kline, who leads an expedition to Antarctica to uncover warring alien races.  Italian actor Raoul Bova, British actor Ewen Bremner and Lance Henriksen also star; Henriksen plays the industrialist who finances the expedition.
   Henriksen, says that his character will have a link with the original ALIEN movie franchise. In the second film, James Cameron's ALIENS, Henriksen played the android named Bishop-and his casting in the new movie is no coincidence.
   "I don't play Bishop in this movie," Henriksen  said  "I play the man who created him. He's a billionaire and is responsible for taking this expedition to Antarctica, where everything takes place.  It's a pretty cool character."
   Henriksen plays a character named Weyland, which, as any Alien fan knows, is one of the names on the nefarious Weyland-Yutani Corp., the future conglomerate that is behind the trouble in the first three Alien films.  "I can't tell you guys anything else," Henriksen added. "They made me sign not to tell. The thing is, they keep sending me new versions of [the script]. It's going to be a very, very exciting movie. I promise you that. I hope it turns out as good as Aliens."
   In the film, which is set to begin production in Prague, a team of scientists discovers an ancient pyramid in Antarctica and also find two heretofore unknown extraterrestrial species. Ultimately, they find themselves trapped in a war between the two species.

DEVELOPING THE CHUBBCHUBBS 
   Sony Pictures Animation is moving forward with plans to turn its Oscar-winning animated short film THE CHUBBCHUBBS! into a full-length computer-animated movie.  The studio has hired writers Dan Wilson and Dave Gilbreth to write the script. 
   Sony's Imageworks division produced the original CHUBBCHUBBS, which was directed by animation supervisor Eric Armstrong (Stuart Little 2).  Sony Animation has made no decisions about a director for the feature film version.
   The story centers on an intergalactic janitor-turned-singer who's unwittingly befriended a race of cute-but-lethal critters, who are called upon to save the universe.  The film won't be ready for release until 2005 at the earliest.  Sony, meanwhile, is readying a second short for release with Sony movies next summer, much to our delight!

OWEN REIGNS AS ARTHUR 
   Clive Owen-the British heartthrob who plays the title role in producer Jerry Bruckheimer's upcoming King Arthur movie-said that the film revises the well-worn myth.  "It's a new take on the whole King Arthur story, unlike anything you've ever seen before,"  Owen said.  He added, "Our version is set earlier than it's usually set.  We have it at 500 A.D., as opposed to medieval times.  Basically, the Roman empire is crumbling."
   Owen plays a half-Roman Arthur.  "He's a commander of a crack team of military knights who, at the beginning of the movie, [get] the mission from hell: to go into dangerous, unknown territory and rescue a family as the Saxons are invading by the thousands, and the rebels are out there fighting.  Meanwhile, Arthur has always held onto Rome as something he wants to return to and something he reveres, but it keeps changing."
   Ultimately, Owen said, the movie is about faith.  "His faith is called into question," he said.  "It's about how he begins to accept the place where he lives and the people who he's with. He becomes a man of the people."  KING ARTHUR, directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), is still in production.
 
 
 

DO ANIME AND OSCARS MIX?
   Fans always hope that their favorite anime movie will at least have the honor of being nominated for an Academy Award, and now that an anime film has actually won an Oscar, the hopes for this year are even higher. 
   Unfortunately only three films are even eligible for consideration- POKEMON HEROES, and two of Satoshi Kon’s films, MILLENIUM ACTRESS  and TOKYO GODFATHERS. (many fans were hoping that COWBOY BEBOP: KNOCKIN ON HEAVEN’S DOOR might get a nod, but the movie was released in Japan in 2001 and therefore it cannot be considered). 
   All of Satoshi Kon’s films have been critically acclaimed and MILLENIUM ACTRESS has already picked up several awards in various film festivals. TOKYO GODFATHERS is the more  “mainstream audience” film, a feel good movie about three homeless people in Tokyo who find a young child and work together to reunite him with his parents. Of course, on the homeless characters is a cross-dresser, which may not fare any better with the academy  than the non-linear storytelling of MILLENIUM ACTRESS (not too mention his directorial debut PERFECT BLUE.) 
   For any other film category, these elements may not be a problem, but in America animation is largely considered to be synonymous with “family viewing”, (though occasionally it may mean “warped comedy aimed at male college students who stay up all night” or possibly “quirky art film”, but when have any of those ever taken home an Oscar?) and that may affect it’s chances, especially since only three films will be nominated for this category. 
   And we won’t even go into what the chances are for POKEMON HEROES. It should be pretty obvious what they are.

MOVIES AT THEIR BEST 
   Open wide and say ahhh! For those of you who are strictly letterbox movie fans, the site for you is The American Widescreen Museum. 
   This wonderful site offers just about anything you want to know about the widescreen genre from VistaVision to Cinerama.

MOVIES INSTEAD OF CHAT ROOMS
   Yes, use the computer to watch a movie, rather than hang out in a chat room.  Go to Movielink – it is the leading online movie delivery service offering U.S. broadband customers a wide selection of hit movies.  Movielink offers hundreds of new releases, Hollywood favorites, classics, foreign films and more.  Great quality and selection and oh what fun for a long drive to grandmas this christmas.

NOT QUITE A MOVIE BUT OH SO MUCH FUN
And now from the “I’ve seen it all” category comes Virtual Legos.  Yes, that’s right.  With this free download, you can download BlockCAD for free and revisit your child hood within the safe confines of your PC
 

Saruman, Grima, and The Scorning of The Shire: Has Peter Jackson gone too Far?
                                                 By Dava Sentz

 "At the end of The Two Towers, Gandalf says 'The battle for Helms Deep is over. The battle for Middle Earth is about to begin.'
   In a sense, that kind of sums up The Return of the King." says director Peter Jackson of his epic conclusion.  But, will this final installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy live up to the high expectations of Tolkien fans? 
   As December draws near, Jackson's followers have been voicing some major concerns.  This is largely due to Internet buzz giving rise to the belief that "The Scorning of The Shire", an event largely present in the third book, will not be seen on film.  It is known and accepted that what takes place in an epic novel may not adapt well to screen. 
   Yet, such a profound absence leaves the audience scratching their heads, asking themselves, "What will become of Saruman and Wormtongue?" and "Does this mean Pippin will not be stealing the Palantir from a sleeping Gandalf?" 
   Sir Ian Mckellen had this to say of the White Wizard's demise - "He (Saruman) falls from a great height and meets his sticky end."  Indeed, Saruman is to fall over his terrace in Orthanc tower, to be impaled on a spiky water wheel several stories below.  This concept may strike a cord in avid Christopher Lee fans, as the actor meets a similar fate in the 1968 Hammer Classic DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE.  Mckellen suggested, later in the "Saruman" interview, that perhaps Peter Jackson's love of horror films played a key role in the on screen destruction of Sauron's puppet.  And then, of course, there is Grima Wormtongue, the puppet of the puppet.  How is he to meet his end? 
   It is reported by the TheOneRing.net that shortly after the fall of Saruman, the Elven prince Legolas will release his arrow high into the air, to stab the vile betrayer through the skull.  While such a scene proves itself exciting in the thought process, there are some that believe that to kill off these villains in such a way would be a huge injustice to the actors who play them. 
   Still, others feel that it is the Hobbit Peregrin Took who will be shortchanged by this move.  For, with these early deaths comes the loss of very important details.  There will be no wizard to wizard confrontation in which Saruman departs from Orthanc a broken man.  Without such a confrontation, how is it that the Palanir, Saruman's chief source of communication with the Dark Lord, will find its way into Gandalf's hands?  If such a thing fails to take place, it is logical to assume that Pippin will never steal it while the wizard sleeps, he will not meet the eye of Sauron, and will not be mistaken for the one who bears the ring of power. 
   All of this leads into The Scorning of the Shire, where all the little hobbits will be given the chance to prove their worth against the stronger elves and men. It can certainly be argued that The Scorning of the Shire is the entire point of the third film. But, such a downward spiral of worrisome emotions comes prematurely. 
   As the moviegoer, there are several aspects of this film we do not yet know.  Though we can guess, we do not know for certain the events leading up to Saruman's tumble from his Isenguard thrown. We do not know what will prompt the Mirkwood Prince to shoot an arrow through Grima's head. 
   Yet, we do know this. We know that Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin have proven themselves every bit as brave, if not braver, than their taller comrades time and time again.
   We know from watching The Two Towers DVD that somehow, someway, Pippin will come into contact with the dangerous Palanir. And lastly, we know of Jackson's devotion to the books.
   We know that he has given six years of his life to this project, and has delivered to his audience two remarkable films thus far. 
   Perhaps Sean Astin said it best. "If you want to see where the third film is going, just wait and see where Elijah is going." 
   The Ringbearer and his director will not disappoint.
 
 
 
 

"You would not part an old man from his walking stick?"-Gandalf the White

"The eye of the enemy is moving."- Legolas

"It is mine to give to whom I will, like my heart."-Arwen of Imladris 

"An alliance once existed between elves and men. Long ago we fought and died together. We've come to honor that allegiance. We are proud to fight alongside men once more." - Haldir of Lorien.

"I would have followed you my brother, my captain, my king." - Borimir of Gondor.

"Nobody tosses a dwarf!"- Gimli

"I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone. I choose a mortal life." Arwen of Imladris

"So be it! You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring." Elrond of Rivendell

"Oh yes, Lembras Bread. And Look! MORE Lembras Bread."- Sam

"There is still hope."- Princess Arwen of Imladris

"The Precious will be ours."- Gollum

"Become who you were born to be!"- Elrond of Rivendell

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Collectibles Corner – by Dave “I am Hendo” Henderson

   Since my good buddy Garyzilla was not able to write a toys column this month, I thought I’d step in and pinch-hit for him.

   Let’s face it, besides lots of snow, December is also bringing the much anticipated final installment of LOTR: The Return of the King. To go with it, two companies, “Toy Biz” and “Playalong Toys” are making assorted action figures from the movie.  These are not the toys we grew up with.  Today’s action figures are highly detailed, very accurate renditions of their subject.  Truly collector’s pieces. I thought I would list some of what’s available from the new movie:

   Toy Biz 6 inch figures offer: Frodo in Goblin Armor, Gollum with stone wall set, Eomer with sword set, Aragorn with sword set and Sam in Orc Armor set.  The detail is remarkable. 

   Toy Biz also offers the following 12 inch figures: Legolas, Gimli, Legolas, and an Armored Troll.  I’ve seen these, and again, the detail is remarkable.

   The There and Back Gift Pack is based on a scene from "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."  This set features 4" versions of your favorite hobbits in all new costuming: Merry, Pippin, Frodo, Sam and an exclusive Bilbo.  Also includes a replica of Bilbo Baggins' journal with authentic writing from the journal used in the film. 

   Now how about the new offerings from Playalong Toys?  Glad you asked.  They, too, got a license to manufacture ROTK items, such as: Gimli and Legolas sharing a ride on a horse, The Return of the King 6" Figure Bundles- one set which includes four action figures: Frodo in Orc Armor, Sam in Orc Armor, Eomer, and Uruk-Hai with Crossbow; another set that contains Eowyn, Gollum with Precious Phrase, Gollum with Smeagol Phrase, Pro Log Bilbo, and Treebeard . 

   There are also two assortment sets: The Lord Of The Rings Rohan Army 10-Pack includes King Theoden, Rohan Bearer, Rohan Footsoldier, Rohan Archer and Rohan Soldier, and The Lord of the Rings Warriors and Battle Beasts assortment features fully articulated figures from the representatives of Middle Earth.  These highly detailed sculptures feature computer scanned likeness of the characters.  Includes environmental display base and multiple weapons and accessories.  So now you can stage your own epic LOTR battles!

   More figures coming soon: Termite-infested Treebeard,& Extreme Makeover Eowyn, Bath Time Aragorn, "Why the hell am I not in this Movie" Saruman, and Centerfold Search Aerwyn!  Stay tuned!

   See YOU- at the Movies!

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December 5   THE LAST SAMUARI 
Rating:   R for strong violence and battle sequences. 
Cast - Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, , Koyuki, Tony Goldwyn 
   Set in the late 1870s, this epic film shows the beginnings of the modernization of Japan, as the nation evolves past a feudal society, as symbolized by the eradication of the samurai way of life.  We see this happen from the point of view of an alcoholic Civil War veteran turned Winchester guns spokesman, Captain Woodrow Algren (Cruise), who arrives in Japan to train the troops of the emperor, Meiji, as a break away from the tradition of relying on employed samurai warriors to protect territories.  When Algren is injured in combat and captured by the samurai, he learns about their warrior honor code from their leader, Katsumoto, which forces him to decide which side of the conflict he actually wants to be on. 

December 17th   LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING
Rating:   PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and frightening images. 
Cast - Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen 
   The third of the trilogy. As the shadow of Mordor grows across the land, Aragorn is revealed as the hidden heir to the ancient kings. Gandolf miraculously returns and defeats the evil wizard, Saruman. Sam leaves his master for the dead after a battle with the giant spider, Shelob; but Frodo is still alive--in the hands of the Orcs. And while the armies of the Dark Lord are massing--and the one ring comes ever closer to the Cracks of Doom.  And a hint, don’t leave the theatre right away, there are 12 endings to this movie.

December 25th - PAYCHECK 
Rating:   PG-13 for intense action violence and brief language. 
Cast - Ben Affleck, John Davis, Aaron Eckhart, Uma Thurman, 
   Ben Affleck stars as Michael Jennings, a brilliant computer engineer hired by high-tech companies for top-secret projects. Once a job is complete, Jennings routinely has his short-term memory erased so as not to divulge any sensitive company information. Upon completion of the job Jennings is handed an envelope filled with random objects and told that he has agreed to forfeit all payment. With his memory erased, Jennings has no way to prove them wrong. In a race against time, Jennings must put the pieces together with the help of Rachel (Uma Thurman), the woman he has worked with and loved for the past three years who rekindles his memory of their life together, before the people he once worked for have him killed. 

December 25th   PETER PAN
Rating: PG for adventure action sequences and peril. 
Cast - Jeremy Sumpter, Jason Isaacs, Lynn Redgrave
   Peter Pan is the boy who won't age, who lives in Neverland with other ageless kids, the Lost Boys. Tinkerbelle, a fairy, gives three children: Wendy, John, and Michael Darling the ability to fly; and soon they're off to Neverland, where they're soon in battle with the evil Captain Hook and his band of pirates. 

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Robotech Re:masters
   Now that ADV carefully remastered and released both GENESIS CLIMBER MOSPEADA and SOUTHERN CROSS, it makes sense that they would want to re-do their DVD release of ROBOTECH- they already have the picture cleaned up, now all they need to do is re-cut it.  Which is exactly what they’ll be doing starting in January. It’s the time-honored anime tradition of milking the dead cash cow. 
   So what to you do if a products interest starts to drop off?  Make a box set with all the previously released DVDs in it, or possibly redo the DVDs with just some new extra features, maybe some new footage, maybe clean up whatever wasn’t done right the first time and then smack a “special edition” sticker on the outside.  So if you haven’t bought it yet, good, now’s your chance. If you already have it on DVD, well get your wallet again, because you’ll want this version too. The first volume comes out in January, with the first 12 episodes in a special edition slipcase.

Humanoid, released 12/02/03 SRP 29.98
   If you’re looking for something a bit shorter and more ‘old-school’, Humanoid may be the one to check out. Made in 1986, it’s the classic pinnochio tale,  anime style. A beautiful android named Antoinette who’s searching to understand the principles of humanity- but of course not everyone cares about her noble quest, some would rather just use her in order to gain more power for themselves.

Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi volume 1, released 12/16/03 SRP 29.99
   Ah, crazy, crazy Gainax studios, what will you come up with next? It was hard to imagine that anything could be anywhere as weird as FLCL but with Abenobashi  you may have proved us all wrong.
   Sasshi Imamiya has had a pretty quiet life, but now his friend Arumi is moving and the place where he grew up is being torn down.  But the arcade where Arumi and Sasshi grew up is not just an ordinary arcade- it has ties to the spiritual world. It’s supernatural powers were sealed away because of the representations of the four Chinese gods we all know and love so well, placed at it’s cardinal points.  Once these representations are destroyed, all hell breaks loose and Sasshi and Arumi find themselves traveling from one wacky dimension to another in a desperate attempt to return home.
   The show starts out with a nice but, it doesn’t take long for things to slip into a FLCL-esque frenetic pace filled with parodies and general wackiness. To make things even more enticing, ADV has added their “vid-notes” which is an optional feature on the DVD that is rather similar to VH1’s pop-up videos that helps explain some of the in-jokes.
   Oh yeah, did I mention that it takes place in Osaka, so practically everyone has an adorable Osaka accent? It’s so cute!

FAREWELLSFAREWELLSFAREWELLSFAREWELLSFAREWELLSFAREWELLSFAREWELLS
ART CARNEY
1918-2003

Best actor Oscar for HARRY AND TONTO, 1974
Originated the role of Felix Unger in THE ODD COUPLE on Broadway.
Won Emmys in 1953, 1954 & 1955 for the role of Jackie Gleason’s friend and neighbor,
“subterranean sanitation engineer”, Ed Norton.
One of the best Second Bananas, ever.

Robert Brown, 82, a British character actor best known for playing spy boss M in four James Bond movies, died at his home in Dorset, England.
Brown took over as M in OCTOPUSSY in 1983 after the death of the role's originator, Bernard Lee and reprised the role in A VIEW TO A KILL, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS and LICENCE TO KILL. He had earlier played Admiral Hargreaves in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. The versatile Brown was often cast in historical spectacles, such as HELEN OF TROY, THE WARRIORS, BEN-HUR and THE 300 SPARTANS and in genre films THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN, THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, DEMONS OF THE MIND and WARLORDS OF ATLANTIS.

Jonathan Brandis, who played the role of the young computer whiz Lucas Wolenczak on the submarine adventure TV show SEAQUEST DSV, has died. He was 27.
Brandis died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after he was found unconscious in his home in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office. The case had been reported as a possible suicide. Other of his Imaginative Cinema appearances include NEVERENDING STORY II as Bastian and in Stephen King’s IT.

Hal England, veteran actor of stage, film and television has died at age 71. He was born in King's Mountain, N.C. and attended U.N.C. at Chapel Hill.
England began his profession on Broadway and had some small roles in films like HANG ‘EM HIGH and BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES, but most of his career was in guest parts on television. He appeared on such Imaginative T.V. as MY FAVORITE MARTIAN, BEWITCHED, WONDER WOMAN, MAMIMAL, OTHERWORLD, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and QUANTUM LEAP. Other of his appearances were on shows like DRAGNET, THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO, BARNABY JONES, CHARLIE’S ANGLES, LOU GRANT and MURDER, SHE WROTE.

Penny Singleton, best remembered as Blondie, the wife of Dagwood Bumstead (played
by Arthur Lake), a character she played in 28 movies from 1938 to 1950, has died. 
She was known to later generations as the voice of Jane Jetson in the cartoon TV show and movies. The casting of Singleton & Lake as Chic Young’s comic strip couple was perhaps the most perfect match of actors to characters in the history of the movies. 
Many actors who later became well-known appeared with Singleton and Lake in supporting roles, including Rita Hayworth, Robert Sterling, Bruce Bennett, William Frawley, Jimmy Durante, Zasu Pitts, Lloyd Bridges, Glenn Ford, Hans Conried and Anita Louise.
Besides her movie role as Blondie, she also played the character on radio from 1939 to 1950. By the time Blondie came to television for the first time in 1957, Singleton was almost 50, and the role went to the younger Pamela Britton. Other movies she appeared in include AFTER THE THIN MAN (under her real name Dorothy McNulty) , SWING YOUR LADY, RACKET BUSTERS, GARDEN OF THE MOON, and THE MAD MISS MANTON. Penny Singleton was 95.

Albert Nozaki, Academy Award-nominated art director for THE TEN COMMANDMENTS , has died at age 91. He had a nearly four-decade career at Paramount Pictures and was one of the last of the great studio system art directors. 
Other of his credits as an art director are THE BIG CLOCK, SORROWFUL JONES, APPOINTMENT WITH DANGER, PONY EXPRESS, HOUDINI, THE BUCCANEER and LOVING YOU. 
But Nozaki knew which movie he would best be remembered for. “I guess THE WAR OF THE WORLDS is my masterpiece”, he once told friends. He had previously worked for George Pal on WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE and was asked by Pal to update the written
visuals for the H. G. Wells classic novel. In an interview with Eric Warren for an Art Directors Guild Film Society tribute to his career in 2000, Nozaki described how he came up with the memorably menacing Martian war machines, which resembled manta rays. “In the original script, the three legs of the ship were extended, based on the ideas in H.G. Wells' work,” Nozaki said. “But I realized there was an impracticality of the design, given that it was the 1950s and significant technological changes had taken place since the original novel and even the [1938] radio broadcast” by Orson Welles. “I took the initiative to make it another shape, and in July 1951 on a Sunday afternoon at home, the shape of a sea creature flashed across my mind”, he said. “The mushroom-like Martian also was my design, and was made life-size so a man could enter it and maneuver its extremities. The film looks as futuristic now as it did back then”. THE WAR OF THE WORLDS won an Academy Award for best visual effects.

THE LAST WARDTHE LAST WARDTHE LAST WARDTHE LAST WARDTHE LAST WARD
THE LAST WARD…
by John Ward

I was tempted to do another “ellipsis” column this month; the time seemed right.  So I went back to the first “ellipsis” column I did, back in the summer, to see what I had talked about (I didn’t want to repeat myself), and as so often happens, I came across another column idea entirely.  So the magic ellipsis will have to wait.
I thought about a confession I made in the column back then -- that I have kept a running logbook of titles for every movie I have seen since January 1, 1986.  Almost eighteen years.  Eighteen years.  For some reason I could not understand, that freaked me out.  I counted them up:  861 fershlugginer movies.  And the sad (but not so surprising) part was that I didn’t even recognize some of the titles back in 1986, when I first started doing this.  Here’s one example: I saw a movie called SUDDEN DEATH in May 1986.  At first I thought of the Jean-Claude Van Damme flick where he played a fireman who stops a terrorist plot to blow up the Pittsburgh hockey arena (don’t ask).  I kinda liked that one, but it came out in 1995.  I know, because I wrote it down.  So I had to go to the good ol’ IMDB for the answers.  (What did we ever do before the IMDB came along, anyway?  There must have been a lot more bar fights back then.)  It turned out that there were not one, but four movies with SUDDEN DEATH as the title, and the one from 1986 was about a rape victim who goes on a rampage.  I didn’t recognize a single name in the cast, but I loved the tagline:  “Don’t mess with this Dirty Harriet!”
At this point, I can guess what you’re thinking: Lord help us, he’s going to talk about every single damn movie he’s seen in the past 18 years.  To which I will respond:  No.
But I am going to list them.
Just kidding.  I’m not going to list every single movie I’ve seen in the past 18 years, when I can’t even place some of the titles.  (ELIMINATORS?  DANGEROUSLY CLOSE?   BAND OF THE HAND?   I’m afraid to think about that last one.  I was single then.)
But why not the Top Ten?  That would make for a much shorter list, and it would serve as a nifty lead-in to my January column, when I will be salivating over the Top Ten movies of 2003.  There were one or two years when I couldn’t fill out a list of ten films, and a couple more years when I must have been out of my mind to list the ones I did.  I considered for a moment changing a couple of the titles I highlighted back then, but I thought that wouldn’t be playing fair.   So here they are, warts and all.  My favorite movies of the past 18 years, with minimal comments.  My no. 1 film of each year has been highlighted, and for good measure, I’ve thrown in my least favorite film of each year.  Each year’s list is in alphabetical order.

(editors note here – the lists go down yearly from left column then right)


1986
ABOUT LAST NIGHT…
ALIENS
THE COLOR OF MONEY
DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS
FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF
HANNAH AND HER SISTERS
POWER
RUTHLESS PEOPLE
STAND BY ME
STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME
Least favorite: POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE
 

1987
BROADCAST NEWS
FULL METAL JACKET
PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
RADIO DAYS
RAISING ARIZONA
ROXANNE
STAKEOUT
THE UNTOUCHABLES
 WALL STREET
 Least favorite: SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE

 1988
 BIG 
 BULL DURHAM
 A CRY IN THE DARK
 DIE HARD
 EIGHT MEN OUT
 RAIN MAN
 RUNNING ON EMPTY
 STAND AND DELIVER
 WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT
 WORKING GIRL
 Least favorite:  DEAD HEAT

 1989
 BATMAN
 THE BEAR
 DEAD POETS SOCIETY
 FIELD OF DREAMS
 INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE
 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
 LETHAL WEAPON 2
 MAJOR LEAGUE
 THE WAR OF THE ROSES
 WHEN HARRY MET SALLY…
 Least favorite:  STAR TREK V:  THE FINAL FRONTIER
 
 

 1990
 AVALON
 DANCES WITH WOLVES
 DIE HARD 2:  DIE HARDER
 GHOST
 GOODFELLAS
 THE GODFATHER PART III
 THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER
 KINDERGARTEN COP
 MISERY
 TREMORS
 Least favorite:  TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE

 1991
 CAPE FEAR
 CITY OF HOPE
 CITY SLICKERS
 THE COMMITMENTS
 DEAD AGAIN
 THE FISHER KING
 JFK
 THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
 STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY
 TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY
 Least favorite:  SUBURBAN COMMANDO

 1992
 BATMAN RETURNS
 BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA
 DIGGSTOWN
 A FEW GOOD MEN
 GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS
 THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
 MALCOLM X
 THE PLAYER
 ROLLING STONES AT THE MAX
 UNFORGIVEN
 Least favorite:  STOP! OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT

 1993
 CLIFFHANGER
 DAVE
 THE FIRM
 THE FUGITIVE
 GETTYSBURG
 GROUNDHOG DAY
 IN THE LINE OF FIRE
 JURASSIC PARK 
 MAD DOG AND GLORY
 SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISCHER
 Least favorite:  BODY OF EVIDENCE

 1994
 CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER
 FORREST GUMP
 PULP FICTION
 SPEED
 TRUE LIES
 Least favorite:  BEVERLY HILLS COP III


 1995
 APOLLO 13
 BATMAN FOREVER
 CASINO
 CRIMSON TIDE
 DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE
 HEAT
 QUIZ SHOW
 SE7EN
 TOY STORY
 THE USUAL SUSPECTS
 Least favorite:  UNDER SIEGE 2:  DARK TERRITORY
 1996
 THE BIRDCAGE
 EXECUTIVE DECISION
 FROM DUSK TILL DAWN
 THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
 INDEPENDENCE DAY
 MY FELLOW AMERICANS
 RANSOM
 THE ROCK
 STAR TREK:  FIRST CONTACT
 TWISTER
 Least favorite:  101 DALMATIANS
 

 1997
 AIR FORCE ONE
 BOOGIE NIGHTS
 CON AIR
 COPLAND
 THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (Reissue)
 FACE/OFF
 L.A. CONFIDENTIAL
 RETURN OF THE JEDI (Reissue)
 STAR WARS (Reissue)
 TITANIC
 Least favorite:  BATMAN AND ROBIN
 

 1998
 THE BORROWERS
 A BUG’S LIFE
 EVEREST
 JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES
 THE NEGOTIATOR
 PRIMARY COLORS
 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
 THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
 THE TRUMAN SHOW
 THE X-FILES
 Least favorite:  LOST IN SPACE
 

 1999
 ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
 THE GREEN MILE
 THE IRON GIANT
 THE MATRIX
 THE MUMMY
 THE SIXTH SENSE
 STAR WARS: EPISODE 1 – THE PHANTOM MENACE
 TARZAN 
 THREE KINGS
 TOY STORY 2
 Least favorite:  WILD WILD WEST
 

 2000
 CHICKEN RUN
 DINOSAUR
 ERIN BROCKOVICH
 THE EXORCIST (Reissue)
 GLADIATOR
 MAGNOLIA
 MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II
 PITCH BLACK
 SPACE COWBOYS
 X-MEN
 Least favorite:  DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
 

 2001
 CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON
 FROM HELL
 JEEPERS CREEPERS
 HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE
 JIMMY NEUTRON BOY GENIUS
 THE LORD OF THE RINGS:  THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
 MONSTERS, INC.
 OCEAN’S ELEVEN
 SHREK
 THIRTEEN DAYS
 Least favorite:  PEARL HARBOR
 

2002
 BLACK HAWK DOWN
 BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF

2002 continued –

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
 EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS
HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS
 THE LORD OF THE RINGS:  THE TWO TOWERS
 METROPOLIS
 ROAD TO PERDITION
 SIGNS
 SPIDER-MAN
 Least favorite:  SCOOBY DOO

 I make no apologies for the movies on this list.  Well, okay, I apologize for STAR WARS EPISODE I:  THE PHANTOM MENACE.  I don’t know what I was thinking there.  And the fact that my most recent lists seem to be heavily weighted toward family fare is obviously no coincidence:  I have a family.  That’s the type of movie we usually end up seeing.  But for the rest of it, blame my personal tastes.  One other comment for “stat sticklers”: I listed a given movie in the year I saw it, not necessarily in the year it was released.  That’s the way it is around Baltimore.
 Come back next month, and we’ll compare notes on the movies of 2003.
inreviewinreviewinreviewinreviewinreviewinreviewinreviewinreviewinreviewinreviewinreviewinreviewin
ICS CALENDER –the Month in review

Dec 17th   LOTR opens

Dec 25th   Christmas

Dec 27th   ICS meeting

     Here's a schedule of genre-oriented movies for the month of December on 
TCM. Enjoy.

December 5
   7:00 pm  Metropolis 
   9:15 pm  M 
December 8
   12:00 am  The Golem 
December 11
   1:00 am  The Time Machine 
   4:30 am  Village of the Damned 
December 13
   2:00 pm  The Adventures of Robin Hood 
December 14
  2:00 pm  A Christmas Carol 
December 15
  3:30 am  Logan's Run
December 18
  12:30 am  The Right Stuff
December 20
   12:00 pm  Harvey
December 22
  12:00 am  Christmas Past-Short Films
December 25
  1:00 pm  Ben-Hur 
December 26
  3:30 am  Angels in the Outfield