#62 March 2004

CLUB NEWS
JUST READ ALL THE CLUB NEWS

TV NEWS
THE LAST ANGEL 
GALACTICA TAKES OFF 
NEW BAT-TOON 
BEST IN SMALLVILLE 
STARGATE RIDE OPENS 
LOST CAST FOUND 
TIME MACHINE TRAVELS 
GELLAR IS OPEN TO ANGEL 
F-TROOP STAR ENLISTS 

EVENT NEWS
March 12-14: Super Mega Show 
April: Johns Hopkins Film Festival 2004.
May 28-31: BALTICON 38 
June 4-6: Moonlight Rising 2004
July 9-11: Shore Leave 26.

LITERARY NEWS
Replay  by Ken       Review 
MANGA FROM HEAVEN

MOVIE NEWS
FIREFLY FLIES! 
OLDMAN BATMAN’S GORDON
WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? 
DISNEY OPENS THE DOOR 
A VENTURE TO MARS 
CONTEMPLATING TOMORROW 
CUTHBERT MELTS IN TO WAX

DAVA’S DELVINGS….
MOVIE REVIEW by Dava Sentz
 

ACTION FIGURE NEWS
By Gary Roberson

IMAGINATIVE CINEMA
March 19th  DAWN OF THE DEAD 
April 2nd     HELLBOY 
April 16th    KILL BILL 2 
April 16th     THE PUNISHER 
May 28th      THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW

DVD NEWS
ELVIS LIVES! 
ANIMAGIC
STAKES OUT, XFILES IN
BANNANA RAMA TARZAN 
THE FORCE WILL BE WITH US
FORTUNE COOKIES –ANIME ON DVD
 

FAREWELLS
Julius Schwartz
John Randolph
Joe Viterelli

THE LAST "WARD"
 

ICS CALENDER
Review and/or Post it on the fridge

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

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ARRRR ME BUCKOS, IT’S TIME FOR A SEA TALE
    Renaissance man Dave Henderson gave a presentation and Q&A session on films set on the sea.  Three major themes of fantastic sea films are haunted seas, sea monsters and ghost ships.  And while the films may be fantastic, they are often based on solved and unsolved mysteries of the sea.  For instance, early sea-farers thought that the giant Octopus was a horrible monster.  And scientists and explorers are still discovering new species of aquatic life.  Even though sea monsters may be the most colorful category, the Bermuda Triangle is a prime example of a haunted sea.  And haunted ships are as much a staple of sea folklore as the peg-leg pirate. 
 Great presentation, Hendo!  It was short and sweet and chock-full of facts and insight.

COME ABOARD…IF YOU DARE
    The club seemed to heed Dave Willard’s warning that ‘if you vote for a bad film, you’ll have to watch it’ because the respected modern sea tale, GHOST SHIP, won over the schlocky OCTOPUS and the killer weed and screaming Suzannah Leigh of THE LOST CONTINENT.  For those unfamiliar with the film, it begins with a very imaginative and gruesome scene involving the slaughter of innocents on the ship’s dance floor.  Flash forward to the present day and a crew of salvagers discover the ship and attempt to bring her in.  Of course, with a title like GHOST SHIP, you can bet your last ICS buck that the ship isn’t totally deserted.
 Thanks for the great selections, Hendo!

THEY PUT THE POSE IN POSEIDON 
 Do you know all of the lines from your favorite film?  Do you own props?  Have you bought or made costumes?  Do you have a life-size replica of the set in your garage?  Have you gotten together with friends and acted out scenes from the film and filmed them?  If you can answer yes to any of these, you’re in the right club.  And if the film you’re thinking of is THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, then you can probably imagine the campy fun of a documentary feature on THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE Fan Club. 
 This late night treat was brought by Gary Roberson.  Thanks for the tie-in to Sea Tales, G!

WILD IN THE STREETS 
 One of the more serious films the club has viewed was BATTLE ROYALE.  It was a big success.  So, it’s no surprise that the club was psyched to see the sequel, BATTLE ROYALE 2.  Andrew Kent was kind enough to bring his multi-region DVD player and DVD.  Intrepid ICS’rs remained after the late night social hour to screen the film.  Reactions to the film were mixed, but everyone was very appreciative to have had the chance to view this cult film. 
 Once again, props to Joe Plempel for sticking around to show the film and snaps to Andrew for sharing his film with us.
 

IRON MAN STREAK OVER
  That’s right, our very own iron man and Plemplee namesake - Joe Plempel, finally retired from his job!  Now, there’s no reason why every meeting can’t be an all nighter.
Congrats Joe and enjoy your time off!

CHARLIE’S AN ANGEL
  One of the most effective ways to annoy Charlie Wittig is to recognize him for the good works he has done for the club.  While he’s too modest to admit it, he’s helped enormously with the club’s growth as both a board member for the past 5 years and as a club member.  Although his most notable contributions are the web-site and message board, he has often gone out of his way to assist club members with computer problems, rides and a helping hand.  Because he’s no longer on the board, we had a special cake at the February meeting to thank him for his time and service.  Thank you, Charlie, for all of your dedication and hard work. 

MR. SECRETARY
  A new voice was heard reading the club minutes.  Dave Henderson passed the secretary’s torch to new board member, John Ward.   Thanks Dave, for all of your work in recording the important club events and decisions over the past 5 years.  And welcome, John, as our second ever club secretary.

FAREWELL TO ANGEL
  Dave Willard discussed the possibility of renting the hall to watch the ANGEL finale.  So far, only 5 people were interested.  If you were unable to attend the meeting, but think this is a good idea and would plan to attend, let one of the board members know.  We will be discussing this at our next board meeting.

COLLECTOR EDITON CALENDARS AVAILABLE
 The theme for the 2004 calendar is TV Shows of the 60’s and is now available.   The calendar is $15 and we have 6 remaining.  If you want one, please see Regina.  There’s a printing error in the calendar that makes it one of a kind.

NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
 Our next meeting will be held on Saturday March 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. 

CREATURES I HAVE LOVED 
  Everyone’s favorite She-Demon, Sue Feder, is taking her turn as mistress of film night.  The topic is Creatures I Have Loved.  Although King Kong is disqualified, we can count on Sue to bring in an eclectic selection.
 
 

ICS ACADEMIC 
  Brush up on your 50’s & 60’s TV trivia.  Next month brings the Brainiac!  And with the Braniac comes a rousing round of ICS Academic.  No matter what your level of knowledge, the game is great fun.  Plus, the winning team gets the coveted double vote cards.  So, pore over the calendar and rent a few 60’s tv show tapes or just team up with past winners Brian Smith, Norman Prentiss, Mike Schilling and John Weber.

DUES ARE COMING
    This is just a reminder that 2004 dues are due by March 31st.  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.
 

Joshua Blankman
Donna Burke
Lisa Casper
Betsy Childs
Jim Childs
Suzanne Cooper
Vince DiLeonardi
Sue Feder
Heather Fleming (honorary)
Tim Fleming (honorary)
Diane Gervasio
Peggy Gervasio
Ralph Gervasio 
Dave Henderson
Bob Hyatt
Andrew Kent
Mike Laird
Jeanne Matcovich
Barry Murphy
Tom Noll
Skip Phillips
Joe Plempel
Norman Prentissh
Justin Proveaux
Tom Proveaux
Rick Rieve
Gary Roberson
Ruth Roberson
Mike Schilling
Dava Sentz
Sue Ellen Sherblom
Blake Sherblom-Woodward
Taylor Sherblom-Woodward
Patricia Smith
Richard Smith 
Courtney Spies 
Jack Tydings
Regina Vallerani
Neil Wagenfer
John Ward
John Ward, Jr.
Terri Ward
John Weber
Michael Wilder
Paula Wilder
Dave Willard
Charlie Wittig
Tom Woodward
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THE LAST ANGEL 
   Jeff Bell, co-executive producer of the WB's recently canceled vampire series ANGEL, said that upcoming episodes will focus on Lindsey (Christian Kane) and Connor (Vincent Kartheiser). The episodes, "Underneath" and "Origin," were already in production when the WB made its fateful announcement about Angel's fate.
   "Lindsey showed up and then disappeared quite quickly and we get to a place where we think, 'You know what? We need information,'" Bell said in an interview. "And so we bust Lindsey out of hell. It's sort of The Great Escape, with our guys going in and trying to find Lindsey so we can find out what he knows about us being at Wolfram & Hart. So we've got Lindsey and Eve [Sarah Thompson] front and center in that, and we also bring in a new character. Adam Baldwin is going to do a few episodes for us as a representative of Wolfram & Hart. He'll be a contrast to Eve. It's male-female, big-small."
   Bell then revealed that "Origin" will feature the return of Angel's (David Boreanaz) son Connor. "Vincent has agreed to come in and do a new episode for us, and we're going to see the result of the deal that Angel made at the end of last season," Bell said. "It'll be fun to have Connor show up as a really happy, healthy and well-adjusted kid, the kid he could never be in season four. And for Angel there will be the pain of knowing this is his son, but that nobody else can know that."

GALACTICA TAKES OFF 
   Ronald D. Moore, executive producer of SCI FI Channel's upcoming new series BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, said that the 13-episode first season will pick up where the hit December miniseries left off and will build on that show's characters and situations.  SCI FI on Feb. 10 formally announced a green light for production to begin on the GALACTICA series, which will bring back cast members Edward James Olmos (Adama), Mary McDonnell (Laura Roslin), Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) and Tricia Helfer (Number Six), among others. Production commences next month in Vancouver, B.C.
   As the new series begins, "a few days have passed since the miniseries, and we're in sort of a dire situation right from the get-go," Moore said in an interview. "I think one of the hallmarks of the series will be that it's always going to be a tense situation. These people are always going to be one step away from disaster. Which doesn't mean that the Cylons will be attacking them every week. But I think the nature of their situation and the reality of what they're facing out there alone, with most of them left with the clothes on their back and whatever food and supplies they happen to have on those ships when the events of the pilot occur is only, God, the beginning. And it's going to take a long time for them to get to any kind of stability or normalcy."
   Moore said that he is currently assembling a writing staff for the series, which may include colleagues from Moore's old series ROSWELL, STAR TREK: NEXT GENERATION, and HBO's CARNIVALE. Moore is drafting the script for the series' first episode, has roughed out stories for the first three and has written a series bible, with story and character arcs for the first season.
   "The series is going to take its cues from the miniseries," Moore said. "The tone and context will be in that vein. There will be lighter moments. I'm sure there will have things that are unexpected and fun to play as time goes on. But the miniseries, that's the bar. That's what we're trying to [do]. ... We want to do that show every week."
   Moore said that he will eventually adapt a few of the original 1978 series' old episodes for the new show. "I've talked about revisiting the 'Pegasus' episode, because I think that's a cool idea at some point. There's a possibility in my head we might go back and play around with the ship of lights that was in the original series. And I'm going to sit down and watch all 22 of them again, kind of go through it.”
   Moore added that he'd like to find a place on the new show for some of the original series' actors as well. "That's something that I would like to approach them about," he said. "I'm probably going to approach a couple of the actors, if not all of them, at some point, and talk to them about that possibility, because I think that would be kind of cool and fun. And I think it would be interesting to find things for them in the new series. And not just, like, a walk-on, although you could do always do that. But it would fun to give them a role and have them bring something to the new show." 

NEW BAT-TOON 
   Warner Brothers Animation will produce a new small-screen animated version of Batman for The Kids' WB and Cartoon Network. THE BATMAN will bow on The Kids' WB Saturday morning schedule this fall before moving over to sibling Cartoon Network in early spring 2005.
   The series will catch up with Batman in year three of his crime fighting, as he's in his mid-20s and adjusting to his dual life as the caped crusader and as billionaire bachelor Bruce Wayne. The young Batman will meet classic villains, including the Joker, the Penguin and Catwoman, for the first time.
   The show's theme song will be performed by U2's the Edge. Former Batman TV star Adam West will lend his voice as the mayor, and Gina Gershon will voice Catwoman.

VOTE FOR BEST IN SMALLVILLE 
   SMALLVILLE fans were given a chance to vote on which of their favorite episodes will air as reruns over the next five weeks. The show's creators, Al Gough and Miles Millar, picked their 10 favorite episodes from the show's first two seasons, and viewers could select their top five at TheWB. The winning episodes will be announced March 10.
   The 10 episodes up for fan voting are "Pilot," "X-Ray," "Hourglass," "Rogue," "Zero," "Nicodemus," "Stray," "Red," "Lineage" and "Rosetta."
   The top five picks will air at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Wednesdays while ANGEL, which normally airs in that timeslot, goes on hiatus before beginning its final run of episodes later in the spring.

STARGATE RIDE OPENS IN BREMEN
   It was hear that you heard about the Klingon thrill ride, so as not to be beaten, MGM Studios has opened the first theme-park ride based on SCI FI Channel's original series STARGATE SG-1, at the Space Center in Bremen, Germany. The theme park has allowed visitors into the Stargate SG 3000 simulator ride since a soft opening on Dec. 19, but officially launched the ride at a VIP celebration on Feb. 11.
   Stargate SG 3000 features a four-minute simulation film that lets audiences experience what happens when the Stargate allows them to jump to different dimensions. Thirty-five people at a time can ride in one of three simulators, trying to recapture the Gate Key from the evil Satra, a character created especially for the ride. The attraction also includes a themed queuing area and of course, a retail shop.
   The Space Center Bremen is Europe's largest indoor adventure park, with space-themed attractions and entertainment.

LOST CAST FOUND 
   The WB has set the cast for THE ROBINSONS: LOST IN SPACE, its upcoming pilot updating the classic 1960s SF series.  Brad Johnson (Left Behind: The Movie) has joined as John Robinson; Ryan Malgarini (Freaky Friday) will play Will Robinson. The duo join cast members Jayne Brooke, Mike Erwin and Adrianne Palicki.
   Fox, meanwhile, gave a green light to the pilot SPELLBOUND, which had originally been set up at NBC. Rob Greenberg and Suzanne Martin will write and executive produce the sitcom, about a male witch who falls in love with a mortal woman.  Sort of a reverse Bewitched, eh? 

TIME MACHINE TRAVELS TO TV? 
   There is a rumor that a TV miniseries is in the works based on the 2002 TIME MACHINE movie. It was reported that Time Machine executive producer Arnold Leibovit is in talks with The David Wolper Organization and Warner Brothers to continue the story as a multipart miniseries and a possible TV series.
   Warner and DreamWorks jointly distributed THE TIME MACHINE, based on H.G. Wells' classic SF novel. Directed by Wells' great-grandson Simon Wells, THE TIME MACHINE starred Guy Pearce and Samantha Mumba.

GELLAR IS OPEN TO ANGEL GIG
   Sarah Michelle Gellar, former star of TV's BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, speaking for the first time about the issue of why she reluctantly pulled out of appearing in the BUFFY spinoff ANGEL earlier this season, said that she had to bow out of a planned guest appearance on ANGEL when her aunt died late last year. 
   Her decision was "a really common misconception that people have written a lot about," Gellar said.  This also left open the possibility that she might still make an appearance, if asked, before ANGEL winds up its fifth and final season this year on The WB.
   "They had asked me to do ANGEL and it was a very bad time in my personal life. And you sort of never hear the second side of the story. You never hear why I didn't do it." At the time, reports suggested that Gellar had pulled out because she wanted to distance herself from the BUFFY franchise.
   As for whether she will guest star in Angel's season-ending episodes, much as ANGEL star David Boreanaz did on BUFFY when it wrapped its seven-year run last spring, Gellar said it hinges in part on her schedule. 
   "A lot has been written about recently, 'Oh, is she going to do it? Is she not going to do it?'" Gellar said. "Well, to be truthful, I don't know if I'm even going to make it home before they finish. But no one's contacted me. It'll all depend on if I'm home in time and what the ideas are." 
   BUFFY and ANGEL creator Joss Whedon has said he'd welcome an appearance by Gellar. For her part, she said she's open to it, explaining, "If everything falls into place, and it feels like the right thing at the time for the right people." 

F-TROOP STAR ENLISTS FOR DUTY IN OCEAN CITY NJ 
   Who doesn’t remember Larry Storch? 
   Ocean City New Jersey publicist Mark Soifer does, and he's betting that fans of "F-Troop" will, too.
   The city is giving the comedian a lifetime achievement award at its annual Doo Dah Parade. Past parades have featured relatives of comic greats such as Groucho Marx, living celebrities including Soupy Sales, and others you might recognize but can't quite place, such as Mickey Carroll, the mayor of Munchkinland in "The Wizard of Oz."
   When Soifer launched the Doo Dah Parade 19 years ago, he decided to honor the legends of comedy.  A lot of work goes into bringing these honorees to town, from managing schedules to dealing with health concerns to meeting the city's meager publicity budget, Soifer said.
   "Sometimes, we missed out. We wanted to get Henny Youngman, but he died. Milton Berle would have been funny, but he died," Soifer said.
   But the parade has drawn others who still resonate with fans: Al Lewis, who played Grandpa on "The Munsters," Philadelphia TV host Sally Star and Charlie Callas, who starred in several Mel Brooks movies including "History of the World: Part I."
   Finding an honoree takes some doing. The celebrity universe is finite and its stars are sometimes unattainable. "It's not as big a list as you'd think," he said.
   Soifer, who has genuine affection for classic comedy, pursues comics he enjoyed watching. Their names might have faded from memory over the years, but they are still recognizable to fans. "I'd like you to believe (the selection process) is that scientific, but it's not," he said.
   These former stars might not make the cut of "The Surreal Life" these days, but people are still fond of the characters they played. Thousands of fans of Shock Theatre host John Zacherle (Doo Dah '01) turned out to his birthday party in Philadelphia, Soifer said.
   Soifer usually starts with Joe Franklin, a New York restaurateur and longtime TV and radio host who calls himself "the King of Nostalgia" and "the Wizard of Was." Franklin's connections to old Hollywood are unrivaled, Soifer said.
"He interviewed everyone - Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra," Soifer said. "We ask him who might be available."  Even many retired comedians still book radio and TV conventions. Working comedians are even harder to get. Ocean City lost comedian Robert Klein to a previous engagement one year.
   Franklin's recommendation usually pays off. Then it's up for Soifer to pitch the parade to the honoree. In the early going, persuading the comics to come to Ocean City took some finesse. Now, the city has a list of past honorees that do the persuading for him.
   The results speak for themselves. The parade has grown a little each year. 
   And on April 17, 450 basset hounds and their owners are scheduled to lead the march downtown. 
   But that takes nothing away from Corporal Randolph Agarn of "F-Troop."
"Mostly they're really nice and like to be remembered," Soifer said. "They all deserve to be remembered."

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March 12-14: Secaucus, NJ Super Mega Show - Sci fi toy, comics, collectibles and more.
http://www.supermegashow.com/

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

June 4-6: Moonlight Rising 2004: A Con for all you Buffy Fans
Split Rock Resort, Lake Harmony, PA
Guests: James Marsters ("Spike"), Anthony Stewart Head ("Giles"), Andy Hallett ("Lorne"), Danny Strong ("Jonathan"), Tom Lenk ("Andrew"), Adam Busch ("Warren")

July 9-11: Shore Leave 26, Hunt Valley, MD

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Replay  by Ken Grimwood  —  Copyright 1987                 Review by Betsy Childs

"Jeff Winston was on the phone with his wife when he died." 

   Hard to top as that opening sentence was, the rest of the novel was just as good.  What if you could live your life over again? And again? And again? And again? 
  So what happened after Jeff Winston died then?  He travelled back in time, to awaken back in 1963, when he was eighteen years old and still in college and having all the memories of the life he just exited. Jeff has gotten the chance to relive his life, something most of us have dreamt of occasionally. 
   The rest of the book follows Jeff through various replays, each of which ends with his death and coming to somewhere in his adult lifeline. Every time he relives his life differently, the first time using his knowledge of the future to become wealthy, to bet on sports games that I wouldn’t even remember and it made me stop and think…who DID win the world series that year….then a later time being satisfied with building up a good solid loving family life, being there for his children and wife like he hadn’t been in the past. 
   He also finds another ‘replayer’ in Pamela.  He recognizes her because of a movie she makes using Hollywood greats when they were no names. The scene where he confronts Pamela and asks about Jaws, Indiana Jones and ET (which havent come out yet in at that time in his third life) is priceless.  They meet a third replayer and find he is a serial killer that is being told by the ‘aliens’ to do it. They work hard each new replay to get him committed. They try to use their former knowledge to do good. But they learn all these thing throughout their lives, only to die, and awaken to find it all back the way it was. But they learn from each time. It is both a rewarding and frustrating time travel story.
   I was interested in the movie BUTTERFLY EFFECT because of this book, but found the two are not as similar as they may sound. I have other time travel favorites by Heinlein, Niven and Bradbury.
   For Ken Grimwood the character is central to this novel. In all, this means both a diehard science fiction fan and even who wouldn't normally touch the SF stuff with a ten foot pole will find this book to be enjoyable. The characters. Jeff and Pamela are people with whom most of us can easily identify and each replay is so skillfully written that it places you smack into their shoes. I find that I read this book about twice a year.
   I can't recommend Replay by Ken Grimwood enough. It is one of the finest novels I've ever read and it will keep you turning pages. Hit the used bookstores and search till you find this gem. You will learn from the story and you will stop and think about your life and what is happening in it.

Ken Grimwood, author of "Replay" and many other fine works, died on June 6, 2003. May he enjoy his next replay again and again and again . . . 
 
 

MANGA FROM HEAVEN         Manga news from Taylor Sherblom Woodward

“Angel Sanctuary” By Kaori Yuki, published by Viz 03/10/04, SRP 9.99
   A long time ago, a rebellious angel named Alexiel raised an army against heaven and her own brother Rociel. Her rebellion failed and as punishment she was sentenced to forever be reborn into the body of a human who was doomed to be an outcast. But as God slumbers and the angels stationed in heaven become corrupt, Alexiel’s forces begin to rally together in attempt to find and resurrect her  to once again attempt to bring down the forces of heaven.
   Which is how we meet our protagonist, Mudoh Setsuna, a relatively happy-go-lucky kind of juvenile delinquent who loves nothing more than his sweet little sister. And not in a brotherly kind of way. (Remember that “doomed to be an outcast” bit we mentioned?) Setsuna’s life is turned upside down as both minions of Alexiel and Rociel attempt to awaken the angelic powers within him. But does Setsuna really have the power to break the endless curse put upon him and to lead Alexiel’s army to victory?
   “Angel Sanctuary” contains everything we expect out of really good shoujo manga. The art is some of the best ever created for a manga (though you would never be able to tell looking at the covers Viz designed); it starts out  above average and then with each volume Kaori Yuki’s talents improve. But shoujo manga is about more than just the pretty factor, it’s also about the people. 
   Character interaction and development is what’s important here, and “Angel Sanctuary” has a huge cast of characters, which is deemed more impressive when you consider the amount of time the manga-ka put into researching the various hierarchies of angels in various mythologies. 
   Not to say that Kaori Yuki’s characters are traditional in any way; on the contrary , she has a knack for giving people really disturbing traits and still making them seem fun and likable. Which is why even before an English language release, there are dozens of character shrines online for each main character. It doesn’t matter how horrible their traits may seem to be, whether they’re misogynists (Michael), players (Raphael), needlessly cruel (Kira) or just plain insane (Rociel) each person is interesting and always has something funny to say.
   “Angel Sanctuary” was also given an OAV treatment, which was released on DVD by he Central Park Media. It only had three episodes, which were a condensed and altered version of the events in the first few books. Since “Angel Sanctuary” is 20 volumes long, that left the anime with an incomplete ending that made fans who watched it go “Huh?”

“Saiyuki” By Kazuya Minekura, published by Tokyopop
   The legend of the Journey to the West is the classic Chinese tale about the Buddhist monk Genjo Sanzo, a novel written in the16th century attributed to Wu Cheng’en. The Journey to the West has inspired anime creators before, which is how we were cursed with the perpetually running DROGONBALL franchise.
   Kazuya Minekura’s version is another liberal interpretation of the tale, though not quite as free as Akira Toriyama’s. However there are big differences, most notably the Buddhist priest Genjo Sanzo is not the quiet mannered and useless man he was in the original take; he’s an ill-tempered gun-toting chain-smoking gambler. And his companions aren’t much better, there’s the powerful demon Son Goku, who is always hungry, the womanizing half-breed Sha Gojyo, and the extremely polite but tortured Cho 
Hakkai. 
   The four of them bicker to no end, but there are all tied by common traumatic events in their life that create an unbreakable bond. So when the once peaceful land of Shangri-la erupts into violence the Gods send this team off into the west to prevent the eventual rise of the demon Gyumaoh in a mission where the journey matters as much as the destination.
If you’ve not seen Kazuya Minekura’s artwork, it will take some getting used to. While Minekura is an extremely talented artist, especially when it comes to drawing attractive and angry shirtless men, her style is a far cry from the usual look of delicate bishounen seen in most shoujo manga.
   This manga is also a long running TV show, currently being released on DVD by ADV films. There is also a manga and anime sequel, title SAIYUKI RELOAD, currently airing in Japan.

“Eerie Queerie” By Shuri Shiozu, published by Tokyopop 03/09/04 SRP 9.99
   Mitsuo Shiozu is a medium and his body is frequently taken over by spirits who want to use him to take care of unfinished business. Wackiness and interesting revelations about Mitsuo’s own life ensues.
   Originally titled “Ghost” in Japan, but forced to have it’s named change for legal reasons (you would think they could have thought of something a little better than “Eerie Queerie” though)

‘Sgt. Frog” By Mine Yoshizaki, published by Tokyopop  03/09/04, SRP 9.99
   Sergeant Keroro is a frog-like alien sent to earth to gather information for his planet’s invasion team  But when he crash lands on earth and is taken in by a family, his cover is blown and his secret weapon is taken away from him. And then his people abandon him and he can’t find the rest of his platoon. Now he must plot to destroy the earth on his own, and finish his list of chores at the Hinata household so that he can continue to have free room and board.

“Louie the Rune Soldier” published by ADV Manga 03/23/04 SRP 9.99
   Also a TV series released by ADV Films, “Louie the Rune Soldier” is yet another fantasy series, with three young priestesses discovering the destined warrior they are to protect is Louie, a sorcerer who spends much of his time in drinking in bars and then picking fights outside of them. Have the Gods made a mistake? Will these lovely ladies have to put up with all Louie’s antics? And is it just me, or are the most effective warriors in anime all compulsive drinkers or gamblers?

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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FIREFLY FLIES! 
   If at first you don’t succeed, try again on the big screen.  That’s what BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER creator Jess Whedon decided when Fox canned his 2002 series FIREFLY after only 10 weeks. Now all systems are go and Universal is picking it up as a full feature film. Whedon was given a budget to write and direct SERENITY, starting production this summer. Named for the spaceship in which FIREFLY’S band of renegades hang out in space 500 years from now. The feature film will include cast members from the original and promises new thrills for the fans – 200,000 of whom bought the series on DVD.

OLDMAN BATMAN’S GORDON
   Gary Oldman has signed on to play Lt. James Gordon in BATMAN BEGINS. Production on the Christopher Nolan (Memento) film has started in Iceland.
   Gordon is a detective on the Gotham police force, which described BATMAN BEGINS as exploring the origins of the Caped Crusader legend. Oldman joins a star-studded cast that already includes Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred, Katie Holmes as Wayne's childhood friend Rachel, Liam Neeson as Wayne's mentor, Morgan Freeman as a former Wayne Enterprises board member and Ken Watanabe as the villain, Ra's Al Ghul. Warner Brothers will release BATMAN BEGINS in summer 2005.

WHO LET THE DOGS OUT?  YUZNAR UNLEASHING ROTTWEILER
   Sounds like a headline for my neighborhood of Bawltamore Hon’….but really it is Brian Yuzna, director, saying that he will next direct the movie ROTTWEILER. 
   "That's a monster-dog movie," Yuzna said. "It's a chase across some rough terrain, with a dog that's kind of like the Terminator's dog."
   Yuzna, who most recently directed a SCI FI channel movie BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR, added, " ROTTWEILER is based on a book by a very famous Spanish writer named Alberto Vazquez Figueroa, which we have a turned into a genre film. His story is more like a duel between a dog and an escaped prisoner, with the dog chasing the prisoner across Central America. In our story, we're putting it a little in the future and adding a bit of technology and also overlaying an Edgar Allen Poe-ish atmosphere."
   We will use a lot of CGI. So, I'll try to mix elements. So, for the dog we'll have a real dog, an animatronic dog and CGI all just to make it a scary monster. 

DISNEY OPENS THE WARDROBE DOOR 
   Walt Disney Pictures will co-finance and distribute THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, a film based on the children's fantasy books by C.S. Lewis. The film will be have SHREK director Andrew Adamson set to helm the production, which will go before the camera this summer.
   THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA follows the adventures of the four Pevensie children, who use a magic wardrobe to enter the world of Narnia, where they help a lion break a witch's spell that has frozen the once-beautiful land of dwarfs, beasts and giants. Ann Peacock penned the first draft of the script, while Adamson, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely handled revisions.
   It's a very, very ambitious project and one that we believe could be very important to the studio," Richard Cook, Walt Disney Studios chairman. "The story and the characters are so inviting that audiences around the world will be excited." Many have read this series as children and now can enjoy the animation of it as adults. THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA is tentatively set for a Christmas 2005 release, and Disney retains the option to release subsequent films based on the THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA franchise. 

A VENTURE TO MARS 
   Robert Rodriguez has signed on to direct a big-screen version of the Edgar Rice Burroughs classic novel, Princess of Mars. Paramount Pictures will finance and distribute PRINCESS OF MARS, which is based on the first novel in Burroughs' 11-novel series, John Carter of Mars.
   In John Carter of Mars, Carter is a Civil War officer from Virginia who is transported to Mars, where he finds himself imprisoned by the green men of Thark. Over time, Carter becomes a great warrior, weds the lovely Dejah Thoris and leads a life of adventure.
Paramount bought the rights to project in 2002 and Mark Protosevich (The Cell) wrote the script. Rodriguez will co-produce PRINCESS OF MARS with his wife, Elizabeth Avellan.

CONTEMPLATING TOMORROW 
   Sela Ward, who co-stars in the upcoming film THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. Diector Roland Emmerich (Godzilla) said that this drama is based on science fact. "At the beginning of the movie, I think, you'll be able to read about the state of melting glaciers, the sort of thing that is actually happening, which is the idea behind something like what happens in the movie taking place.”
   The film stars Dennis Quaid as Professor Hall, a paleoclimatologist trying to save the Earth. "I am Dennis Quaid's ex-wife and Jake's mother," Ward said. "I am a doctor. I get caught up in the whole relief effort for everyone who is heading to warmer climates because the new ice age is covering Manhattan. So I am outside of all the special-effects stuff that's actually happening in Manhattan.".

CUTHBERT MELTS IN TO WAX 
   "We're kind of taking the title and changing it a little bit," the 24 star, Elisha Cuthbert said. "It's similar to the original. It's similar, but we're still going through rewrites." She is speaking about the upcoming film HOUSE OF WAX, indicating that this is not a straight remake of the 1953 Vincent Price horror classic. 
   Newcomer Jaume Serra will direct HOUSE OF WAX, which will be produced by Joel Silver [Gothika] and co-star Chad Michael Murray of ONE TREE HILL. "I am going to be playing a twin, a twin to a male," Cuthbert said. "It's all about doing different things."
   Cuthbert added, "Joel had some really cool ideas for the movie and I got excited about it. That should be lots of fun. And I think I can bring a lot to this movie. I'm excited to dive in and see what comes of it." Production on HOUSE OF WAX will begin this spring, after Cuthbert wraps production on the third season of 24.

DAVA’S MOVIE DELVINGS 

NOTHING BEATS A FIRST KISS                   A Movie Review by: Dava Sentz

   There are many ways in which someone can express the feeling of love. Sending chocolates on Valentines Day, for example, or a meaningful glance across a crowded room.
   Then, there are those artsy romantics who shower their affections through way of song and poetry. Speaking as a young woman, there is almost nothing on this Earth that can compare to such an honest emotion. 
   But lastly, of course, there are the more desperate types. This is the group a young lady truly has to watch out for, because they can become quite dangerous. 
   However, there is a method to their madness. It may seems odd or even silly to those around them, the high jinks of the desperate male are guaranteed a reaction from the female of the species. 
   In some cases, they can even be entertaining. Perhaps this is why I enjoyed 50 FIRST DATES as much as I did. Adam Sandler's attempts to woo the beautiful and "forgetful" Drew Barrymore were just desperate enough to provoke a humorous response from his audience. 
   I have yet to see an Adam Sandler movie that did not get such a reaction from me. I find him to be an extremely talented comedian, with quite an amazing cast behind him. The film was very much the happy reunion.
   I am proud to say that I have seen nearly all of Adam Sandler's movies in the theater. While I've enjoyed some more than others, each one was a comic gem in its own right. His latest endeavor proved to be not only funny, but very touching as well. In fact, it was so enjoyable that I saw it twice in the scope of 48 hours of the film's open. 
   A first kiss is always better the second time around.
   I very much enjoyed the performance of Rob Schneider. He has made me laugh on countless occasions, and certainly has drive enough to stand on his own. But, I find he does his best work when teamed up with Sandler. On separate plains, they are gifted, but together, they are comedic dynamite. 50 FIRST DATES is living proof of this. Playing an overheated Hawaiian with an unnatural love for sharks, Schneider's performance puts a hilarious spin on the phrase "Mid Life Crisis."
   Whether you read my articles in a club newsletter or get to know me outside of cyber space, it is a safe bet that you will learn at least one of the following right of the bat:
A) I've developed a very deep and abiding passion for the LOTR trilogy, as well as anything pertaining to the world of Elves, Wizards, and Hobbits.
B) While I've changed my mind frequently on this debate, my favorite Tolkien character, at least for the time being, is Samwise Gamgee.
   Sean Astin has brought the character to life so excellently that he has forever earned a very special place in my heart. This is why I was positively elated to find out that he had a major role in the latest Happy Madison project. 
   In playing Doug Whitmore, brother to Drew Barrymore's Lucy Whitmore, Sean's character is every bit as loyal as the fat hobbit I've come to know and love. Yet, he does not show his loyalty in carrying Barrymore up a fiery mountain, or accompanying her to dark and twisted realms. He shows it in feeble, highly amusing attempts, to bully Sandler's Henry Roth out of his sister's life. 
   An over the top, steroid pumping, Schwarzenegger wannabe, Doug is a colorful character with a heart as big as his so called muscles. And, while I've have done my best to avoid annoying spoilers up to this point, I feel it is my duty to warn readers of one, very important detail. For the love of God, beware of Sean's dancing pectorals!
   Last, but definitely not least, I come to the lovely Miss Barrymore. It was so wonderful to see her working with Adam Sandler again. Drew with her eternal beauty and radiating sweetness and Adam with his boyish innocence make them the perfect on screen couple. It was just as evident today as it was in THE WEDDING SINGER. 
   Barrymore's Lucy was such a delicate flower, living everyday with new and exciting hope as the world stood still around her. I really admired her naïve persona, her ability to overcome such a tremendous loss and find true happiness. The powerful loss is flushed away her powerful control of a baseball bat, and her glowing smile. But, it resurfaces with each new tear. She has a youthful energy that will never be forgotten, and it is impossible for not to fall under her spell.
   50 FIRST DATES has so much to offer to its audience. It combines a wonderful, hilarious cast with the beautiful scenery of Hawaii, and a very addictive, calypso based 80's soundtrack. It is perfect for couples and singles alike. I would strongly recommend this film to anyone with a sense of humor, and a soul.

Editors note –
   Jim and I went to see this movie and we found ourselves laughing out loud, crying a little and cheering them on.  There were some nice touches, like the golf swing that matched ‘Happy Madisons’ hockey swing, Ten Second Tom and some interesting trivia about Walrus weenies. 
   I did especially like early in the movie, her father and brother sitting with her and watching the movie Sixth Sense every night, over and over. That is love. 
This movie is an absolute gem to watch and it sent us home with a great feeling inside.

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COLLECTIBLES CORNER  by G. Roberson

    You’re feeling down because you’ve heard the sad news that Angel is being cancelled at the end of this season. Obviously, the WB Network has other fine programming to concentrate on - like Joe Millionaire & the Bachelorette Survivor Show...(ohhh...the pain, the pain..)

Also, you’re feeling down because you didn’t snatch up any of the Buffy action figures, which are now priced out of reality on E-bay, when they first came out. Anyway, CHEER UP! because from-The BUFFY THE 12 INCH VAMPIRE Department, we have 12" collectible figures from the good folks at www.sideshowtoy.com. The following are available for pre-order and will be arriving from Sunnydale shortly:

     Buffy Summers: Here’s Sarah Michelle Gellar as she appeared in the Graduation Day episode in Season Three. With a short haircut and long red leather coat, Buffy goes up against the forces of darkness with 2 wooden stakes and a battle axe. Also included is the Hunga Munga (?) From the Anne episode.

      Angel: Yes..it’s actor David Boreanaz all dressed up in...guess what color??? Did you guess black??? - Amazing!!!!! With his trademark long black leather coat , Angel appears as he did in the 2nd season in the 2-parter The Becoming episode - just before Buffy teamed up with Spike to stop Angel from destroying the world. Comes with Angel’s sword and Holy Water bottles.

     Spike: Speaking of William the Bloody, James Marsters appears as he did in his first appearance in the series in the School Hard episode, wayyyyy back in Season 2.  Comes equipped with a railroad spike and cross with detachable knife. 

     Vampire Willow: In the episode The Wish, Cordelia tells Anya she wishes that Buffy never came to Sunnydale, and so - voila! - we get an alternate-reality Sunnydale, ridden with vampires - including Willow and Xander as bloodsuckers! It’s Allyson Hannigan in a kinky red and black leather corset outfit and equipped with a key ring and keys, broken pool queue and...a “cat-o-nine tails” whip!!!  Woof!   and finally, last , but certainly not least,, it’s everyone’s favorite ‘BAD” Slayer....

     Faith: Yes, nobody rocks like Eliza Dushku, in black leather pants with long sleeve white shirt and black vest. As she appeared in the Bad Girls episode, Faith comes equipped with crossbow, wooden stakes and the special knife...given to her by The Mayor! With no sparing of detail, there’s also a tatoo on her right arm!  Faith is a Sideshow Exclusive..and only available from the web site.

   To change gears a bit, think on this….You go to a convention, and longingly look at the vintage comic books on the dealers’ tables, so overpriced that only somebody like Bill Gates...or Charlie Wittig could afford them. Well, pine no more , because from       The MAKE MINE MARVEL! Department, and www.gitcorp.com, there’s the most fantastic idea ever……

    The MARVEL COMIC BOOK LIBRARY - Collector’s Edition Vol. 1 on CD-ROM.  What? CD-ROM you say? 
YES! 
You get not 5, not 10, not 25, nooo...not even 50… but 100 (!!!!) ORIGINAL FULL LENGTH DIGITAL COMICS... 
Included is the First Ten Adventures!!! of Spider-man, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, X-Men (the revised series from the 1970's), Fantastic Four, Captain America (1964), The Avengers, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Iron Man and The Silver Surfer!!! 

   This comes with character bios, movie screen savers and 3 free bonus comics!!!! You can sit right down and look at it all on your PC.  Wonderful!
   It is an awesome addition to your collection. It’s a steal at $19.95, and, it’s compact and you don’t have to hermetically seal your collection in acid-free bags!!!!! 
   Available at most places that sell PC software, including Best Buy.

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March 19th          DAWN OF THE DEAD       Rated R
Sarah Polley (Ana), Ving Rhames (Kenneth), Mekhi Phifer (Andre), Michael Barry, Lindy Booth (Nicole), Ty Burrell (Steve Markus)
Premise: As the United States is turned upside-down by a strange plague-like event in which millions of corpses walk the earth as blood-thirsty zombies, a small group of survivors hides in a shopping mall. A remake of an old favorite. Zombies rule!

April 2nd      HELLBOY      PG-13
Cast: Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Selma Blair (Liz Sherman), John Hurt (Professor Bruttenholm), Doug Jones (Abe Sapien), David Hyde Pierce (voice of Abe Sapien) 
Premise: A Nazi mystical experiment goes awry in 1944, and the child of Satan, Hellboy, is taken by good guys and adopted by the U.S. Raised as a force of good, Hellboy, a litle devil, grows up to be a full-fledged demon in the form of a man. Now, the adult Hellboy, an investigator of the paranormal, is sent on a mission. Accompanying him along the way are other agents, including Liz, a pyrokinetic woman Hellboy has feelings for, and Abe Sapien, a mysterious amphibian hominid.  This is one not to miss.

April 16th         KILL BILL 2      Rating: R
Cast: Uma Thurman (The Bride, AKA Black Mamba), David Carradine (Bill), Julie Dreyfus (Sofie Fatale), Sonny Chiba (Hattori Hanzo), Vivica A. Fox (Vernita Green, AKA Copperhead), Daryl Hannah (Elle Driver, AKA California Mountain Snake), Samuel L Jackson (The Piano Player) 
Premise: Continuing the storyline that started in Kill Bill Volume I, An assassin called The Bride (Thurman) sets out to wreak revenge upon her former employer, Bill (Carradine) and other the various other members of their assassin circle. Much like how Volume 1 was an homage to Asian "grindhouse" movies of the 1970s, this finale will pay a close homage to the Italian "spaghetti western" genre. 

April 16th         THE PUNISHER     Rating: R
Cast: Thomas Jane (Frank Castle, AKA The Punisher), John Travolta (Howard Saint), Laura Elena Harring (Livia Saint), Samantha Mathis (Amanda Castle), Will Patton (Leonard Glass), Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (Joan), Roy Scheider (Frank's Father)
Premise: Frank Castle is an undercover FBI agent (in addition to his military experience) when his family is killed. When this happens there is a change in attitude that Castle goes through thus becoming a one-man vengeance-wreaking killing machine (something the FBI generally frowns upon). He wants the killer to pay the price.  He is the Punisher.

May 28th      THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW       Rated PG 13 
Cast: Dennis Quaid (Professor Adrian Hall), Jake Gyllenhaal (Samuel Hall), Emmy Rossum (Laura), Sela Ward (Lucy Hall)
Premise: From the director Independence Day this movie shows the coming of the new ice age and how it will effect all involved. Terror rages throughout the land as this is fought by scientists and regular joes alike. It is the end of the world, coming soon.

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ELVIS LIVES! – 

   The Shady Rest retirement home in Mud Creek, Texas is about to get "all shook up" when Elvis Presley returns in BUBBA HO-TEP, last year's instant cult classic from director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm). In the film Bruce Campbell stars as an aging and cantankerous Elvis who swings his feeble hips while combating a blood-sucking mummy intent on taking over the world. (Er, something like that.) 
   MGM Home Entertainment will give the film a lavish special edition on May 25th, complete with anamorphic widescreen transfer, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track, two audio commentaries with Coscarelli and Campbell and a second with The King himself, the "Making-Of," "To Make a Mummy," "To Score a King" and "Fit For a King" featurettes, an animated still gallery, original BUBBA HO-TEP short story reading by Joe R. Lansdale, the original theatrical trailer and an easter egg.   Retail will be $27.95. 

ANIMAGIC
   Ralph Bakshi’s animated favorite WIZARDS, will get its DVD debut on May 25th. This special edition includes a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, a Dolby 2.0 stereo remix, audio commentary by Bakshi, the featurette "Ralph Bakshi: The Wizard of Animation", a still gallery with 300 images, and theatrical trailers.  Retail will be $14.95.

STAKES OUT, XFILES IN
   On Fox's May lineup are 2 new TV on DVD releases. Hitting shelves on May 25th will be BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: The Complete Sixth Season, which will see the usual cavalcade of audio commentaries, featurettes, outtakes and stills, plus 4:3 full screen transfers and Dolby Digital 2.0 surround tracks. Retail will be $59.95. Next up on May 11th is THE X-FILES 9: The Complete Ninth Season, which proved to be the curtain call for the legendary sci-fi series. This one includes 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers and Dolby 2.0 surround tracks, plus audio commentaries, "The Making of 'The Truth'" 90-minute documentary, "The Secrets of Season 9" and "On Location" featurettes, deleted scenes, international clips, TV spots and a DVD-ROM game.  Retail will be a cool $99.95. 

BANNANA RAMA TARZAN 
   Warner Home Video has got a case of jungle fever today with the announcement of tons of Tarzan-themed fun. After years of fan anticipation and numerous petitions, on June 8th the studio will release a new 143-minute extended version of the 80's "reimagining" GREYSTROKE: The Legend of Tarzan Lord of the Apes. Remastered in 2.40 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, and the only extra is the theatrical trailer. Retail will list for $19.95. More Tarzan fun on the 8th includes the notorious Bo Derek "classic" TARZAN, THE APRE MAN, which gets a new 1.85 anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 remix, and will also retail for $19.95. Last but not least is THE TARZAN COLLECTION Starring Johnny Weissmuller, a four-disc set boasting three double-feature discs of TARZAN THE APE MAN/TARZAN ESCAPES, TARZAN AND HIS MATE/TARZAN FINDS A SON, TARZAN’S SECRET TREASURE/TARZAN’S NEW YORK ADVENTURE and a bonus disc that includes a documentary and more. Retail for the big box will cost $59.95 coconuts. 

THE FORCE WILL BE WITH US ON DVD 
   As expected, Lucasfilm and Fox on Feb. 10 announced that they will finally release DVD editions of the first three STAR WARS films on Sept. 21 in North America, with international release dates following closely. Lucasfilm Ltd. and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the four-disc collection as the STAR WARS Trilogy, which will feature the special editions of the three movies, not their original theatrical release versions.
The set will include STAR WARS Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and Episode VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI, along with a bonus disc filled with all-new special features, including a feature-length documentary about the Star Wars saga and never-before-seen footage from the making of all three films, the company said. Each of the three films has been digitally restored and remastered by THX. The trilogy will be available exclusively as a collection and will feature Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX.

FORTUNE COOKIES DELIGHTS! 
Anime DVD’s new releases
by Taylor Sherblom-Woodward

GALAXY ANGEL Volume 1 (of six), released by Bandai 03/16/04. SRP 29.98, LE version 59.98
   In the future, man has expanded to over a hundred different star systems, but in this period of growth, mankind’s most valuable technology has become lost to them. Because of this,  the Angel Brigade was created, an elite team that will search for the missing technology and handle special situations across the universe. It’s such a darn shame that no one even knows what the lost technology looks like, because then the uber-cute female members of this elite squad could actually do something. Instead the brigade finds 
themselves taking care of such menial tasks as looking for lost cats.
   A light hearted gag comedy, GALAXY ANGEL is part of a larger franchise including manga and tons and tons of cute merchandise. With young adorable heroines as the lead, this show is just one of the many animated testaments to the power of “cute” in Japan.
   Each GALAXY ANGEL episode is about 12 minutes long, as opposed to the more common half-hour block. This disc contains the first seven episodes. The limited Edition version includes 5 figurines, a set of pencilboards and an exclusive 16 page booklet as well as a box to hold all volumes of  the GALAXY ANGEL DVDs .

WEDDING PEACH volume 1 (of 10), released by ADV films, 03/09/04. SRP 29.98. 
version with box and disc with extras, 39.98.
   Some little girls grow up playing games of pretending to be brides, without giving a thought to the fact that they’re missing a groom- luckily for Momoko, she doesn’t need a man to be a bride, her destiny is to become the Wedding Peach! Along with her friends Yuri and Hinagiku, Momoko has been chosen to become a warrior of Aphrodite, protecting the power of love. The girls are granted the power to transform into brides and fight the evil minions of Raindevila, the queen from another dimension who is determined to completely destroy love.
Yeah, okay, it’s not exactly the most brilliant thing to be brought over from Japan this year.
   The release of WEDDING PEACH is to be spread out over 10 discs; the first and fifth discs will also come with boxes to contain all of this discs, plus a disc of extras.

IRIA: ZEIRAM ANIMATION, released by Media Blasters, 03/30/04 SRP 39.95
   Almost like a prequel to a Japanese live-action movie (whish was also released in the US at one point, under the name ZERAM and only in an English dub), in which a beautiful bounty hunter named Iria goes to earth in search of a escaped bio-weapon named Zeiram. The animated OAV follows Iria as she is just getting her bounty hunter career started, being an apprentice to her brother Gren. Called in to assist in a rescue of a freighter ship where most of the crew has been slaughtered by a powerful being known as Zeiram, Gren and Iria are separated and our headstrong heroine has to find a way to find her brother and take out Zeiram before he can do any more damage.
   Released on DVD before by Image Entertainment in 1998, this is edition has been remastered and is packaged in a tin with three discs containing all 6 episodes. IRIA is a cult classic for US fans, praised for its action sequences and the attention to detail for the story’s unique technologies

ONCE UPON A TIME released by ADV Films, 03/16/04, SRP 14.98
   Never underestimate the power of nostalgia. If an anime movie were to be released today the way that WINDARIA was hacked into ONCE UPON A TIME there would be a huge outrage. But this title was originally released back in 1987 and so for many folks, this movie was one of the first anime titles they ever saw, and the not-happily-ever-after ending completely blew them away and because of that, it moves them still today.
   And even though most people will agree that the original Japanese version is far better than Harmony Gold’s version, it looks like we won’t get the chance to see it in an R1 release. This disc contains only the dubbed and edited version, and ADV representatives have indicated that this is the only version there is to put out (hopefully that means that this is the only version they have the rights to, and not that the original masters have been lost). The Harmony Gold edit has cut out most of the violence and the characters are given more American-audience friendly names.
   Oh yeah, the story, well, it’s your basic tragedy. There’s two countries with many tensions between the two of them, and of course the star-crossed lovers who determined to put an end to the bloodshed.

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   Julius Schwartz, who helped create the first science-fiction fan magazine in the 1930s, became literary agent for an unknown Ray Bradbury and later was the influential DC Comics editor who lead off what was to become known as the Silver Age of comics, has died. He was 88.
   Starting with the updating of the Flash in 1956 Schwartz revamped such out of favor superheros as Green Lantern, Hawkman, The Atom and the old Justice Society, renaming it the Justice League of America.  The great success of the Justice League of America, which Schwartz considered his greatest achievement, prompted rival Marvel Comics to follow suit with its own successful superhero team, the Fantastic Four. 
   “I have a standard gag,” Schwartz said, “that the Justice League not only saved DC Comics, it saved Marvel Comics too”. Schwartz also is known for having introduced the comic book concept of parallel worlds, the “multiverse”, beginning with a 1961 issue of the Flash in which the Golden Age Flash meets the Silver Age Flash.
   In 1932, he teamed with fellow sci-fi enthusiasts Mort Weisinger and Forrest J. Ackerman to create THE TIME TRAVELLER, science fiction's first fan magazine. Two years later, Schwartz and Weisinger formed Solar Sales Service, the first literary agency specializing in science fiction. Clients would include not only Ray Bradbury, but also H.P. Lovecraft, Henry Kuttner, Alfred Bester, Leigh Brackett and Robert Bloch. 
In 1939, Schwartz helped organize the first World Science Fiction Convention, in New York City. We bow our heads.  A giant from the worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy is gone.

   John Randolph, Tony Award-winning stage, screen and television character actor has died. He was 88.
   Randolph studied acting with Stella Adler and became one of the original members of the Actors Studio. He was a union and social activist who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. His career took a new direction when director John Frankenheimer cast him — as well as fellow blacklisted actors Will Geer and Jeff Corey — in the 1966 science fiction drama SECONDS. This first of many film roles was followed by movies such as GAILY GAILY, LITTLE MURDERS, SERPICO, PRIZZI’S HONOR, CHRISTMAS VACATION AND YOU’VE GOT MAIL. Other genre films include ESCAPE FROM PLANET OF THE APES, CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, EARTHQUAKE and the 1970 remake of KING KONG. 

   Joe Viterelli, a character actor whose wrinkled melon mug typecast him in a string of mobster roles, most notably as ”Jelly” in the Billy Crystal / Robert DeNiro films ANALYZE THIS and ANALYZE THAT, has died. 
   His first movie was the 1990 gangster melodrama, STATE OF GRACE and over the last dozen years Viterelli had appeared such movies as MOBSTERS, RUBY, THE FIRM, BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, ERASER, MICKEY BLUE EYES, SHALLOW HAL and SERVING SARA. He has played guys with names like Nick Valenti, Joe Profaci, “Fat” Tommy Carducci, Joey Morolto, Vinnie "The Shrimp" and “Fat” Tony Ragoni. 
He was 66.

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

All hail the magic ellipsis…

…and all hail Peter Jackson, a triple-play Oscar winner at last week’s Academy Awards…RETURN OF THE KING is sucking down some pretty rarefied air right now…Jackson’s masterpiece is the only film ever to sweep 11 Academy Awards…the previous record-holders were THE LAST EMPEROR in 1987 (snooze) and GIGI in 1958 (gag), both sweeping 9… 
 The only problem with that sweep (and, for a LOTR fan, it’s a small problem) is that it made for a pretty dull show…Billy Crystal did what he could, but the results were still numbingly predictable…Highlights: the Jack Black/Will Ferrell musical duet…it made up for THE SCHOOL OF ROCK being snubbed for Best Song…Crystal’s opening montage and musical number…an oldie, but still a goodie…Adrien Brody pulling out the breath spray…a nice follow-up to last year’s “Berry Dip”…Charlize Theron, just because…
 Which brings us to the 3rd Annual ICS Oscar Pool…and the winner is…yours truly!!…That is not a misprint…Out of a possible 24 categories, I called 22 correctly…that is also not a misprint…folks, I have never done that well before, and since they aren’t making any more RING movies, I don’t expect to ever do that well again…
 Here’s the ranking of the ballots:  John “When do I get my money?” Ward, 22 right…Charlie “There’s no shame in second place” Wittig, 18…David “I demand a recount” Willard, 17…Skip “Just wait ‘til next year” Phillips, 17…Diane “Sweet sixteen” Gervasio, 16…Dave “I can’t believe I tied Mike” Henderson, 15…Mike “I can’t believe I tied Hendo” Schilling, 15…Andrew “Why didn’t what’s-her-face from WHALE RIDER win?” Kent, 14…Jim and Betsy “What?  No HULK?” Childs, 11…Regina “Who cares?” Vallerani, 9…
 THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST should be an early contender for next year’s awards…if anyone remembers it come December, that is, after being released in February…somehow, though, I think people will remember this film…because it certainly isn’t easy to forget…but I wonder how Mel Gibson will be treated…
 Currently on my reading table:  Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian…The King of Torts by John Grisham…The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, with watercolor illustrations by Alan Lee…but who’s got time to read, when one is always on the computer…
 If I could only see one movie a month for the rest of the year, what would they be?…March:  DAWN OF THE DEAD (One of the slickest trailers in a long time)…April:  KILL BILL, VOL. 2 (Sorry, HELLBOY)…May:  VAN HELSING (Sorry, TROY and SHREK…I guess we’ll see you THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW)…  June:  HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (Early word is good)… July:  SPIDER-MAN 2 (July looks surprisingly sparse this year)…  August:  BLADE: TRINITY (Positive advance buzz)…  September:  CONSTANTINE (Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, the Hellblazer)… October:  CURSED (Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson team up again)…November:  THE INCREDIBLES (Not even close.  We’re talking Pixar here, people)…December:  OCEAN’S TWELVE (I’m impressed they managed to get everyone back, for crying out loud)…and just for good measure, here are a few more titles that should merit a look this year:  SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW in June, COLLATERAL and A SOUND OF THUNDER in August, and MEET THE FOCKERS in December…
 Here are my picks for the best DVDs of 2003, otherwise known as Ten Good Reasons Why I Almost Went Broke Last Year…THE LORD OF THE RINGS:  THE TWO TOWERS Extended Edition 4-Disc set…The INDIANA JONES Trilogy Set…THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD… THE LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION…ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST…ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA…ROLLING STONES FOUR FLICKS…SCARFACE 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION…The Criterion Collection’s STRAW DOGS…and 28 DAYS LATER…
 LOTR fans should check out the New Line Cinema Online Studio Store for some nice one-of-a-kind items…My pick for The One Comic Strip the Sun Should Carry But Doesn’t:  Fox Trot…Consistently hilarious…My pick for Most Pretentiously Unfunny and Overrated Strip Carried By the Sun That Could Easily Be Replaced by Something Funnier (Like Your Average, Everyday Grocery List): Zippy the Pinhead…
 If you’re a logic-minded person who enjoys a good puzzle, then check out the folks at conceptispuzzles.com for some real habit-forming puzzles…but don’t say I didn’t warn you…you’ll blow off the weekend before you know it…From the Not-a-Bad-Deal Department:  Blockbuster’ current policy of accepting old used DVDs as trade-ins to get new DVDs for only $12.99…I’ve used that deal to get FREDDY VS. JASON, RUNAWAY JURY, and SCHOOL OF ROCK in the past two months…Most recent painful reminder of my long-ago bachelor days:  eating cold pepperoni pizza for breakfast…
 Am I the only one around who was actually glad to see the return of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? to prime time TV?…Here’s hoping that ABC doesn’t screw the show into the ground like last time…But I have my doubts…If there’s anyone out there who enjoyed Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital, please let me know…I watched the first ten minutes waiting for something to happen and gave up…I wasn’t about to devote two hours (much less 13 episodes) to this snoozefest…
 And while we’re on the subject, here are my Ten Favorite Reasons to Watch Television:  24, The West Wing, Law and Order, ER, NYPD Blue, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, The Practice, Scrubs, and Turner Classic Movies…My pick for Show I’d Most Like to Catch in Summer Reruns:  Joan of Arcadia (No lie)…My pick for Guiltiest Pleasure on TV:  Inside the Actor’s Studio…
 And finally, my choice for Cheesiest Excuse for a Column Topic:  Hmmm…I’d have to think about that one…but I’ll get back to you next month…

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ICS CALENDER –the Month in review

March 6th   It’s a Full Moon in the sky, go take a look!
 

March 19th  DAWN OF THE DEAD 
 

March 27th    ICS MEETING -  ICS ACADEMIC – tv trivia is the theme!
 

April 2nd     HELLBOY