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VILLARD WOWS ICS WITH SPACE PHOTOS
Hubble Space Telescope scientist Ray Villard was our special
August guest and newest honorary member. Mr. Villard is the News
Director for the Space Telescope Science Institute. He oversees an
international program of news and information for communicating astronomical
discoveries and has 15 years of sharing Hubble's profound discoveries with
the public. He spoke on “The Science of Science Fiction.” Ray’s
hour-long talk made some fascinating visual comparisons between some of
cinema’s most famous science fiction films, such as 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY,
and real-life space exploration. He also fielded questions from the audience.
Everyone had a great time. Thanks to Ray Villard for the great presentation
and thanks to Dave Willard and the board for bringing him in!!
INTRODUCING ROBBY THE ROBOT…
Ray Villard offered several titles which tied in with the Sci-Fi
theme of the presentation. The club chose FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956),
which is a science fiction version of Shakespeare's "The Tempest".
It was a major hit in its day and all around ICS Favorite. Its combination
of light dialogue and heavy ideas greatly inspired countless B-movie imitations
and several TV series through the '60s and '70s. It also featured
the debut performance by the world's first FX star, Robby the Robot.
When Adams (a very young Leslie Nielsen) and his crew are sent
to investigate the silence from a planet inhabited by scientists, he finds
all but two have died. Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) and his daughter
Altaira have somehow survived a hideous monster which roams the planet.
Unknown to Adams, Morbius has made a discovery, and has no intention of
sharing it (or his daughter!) with anyone.
Thanks to Andrew Kent for bringing his DVD of the film and another
thanks to Ray Villard for suggesting it!
THE NEIGHBOR NO. THIRTEEN
Our late night feature was THE NEIGHBOR NO. THIRTEEN – a Steve
Vaught Horrorfind Pick. 13 tells the story of Juzo. As a young
boy, Juzo was bullied by many classmates. The worst of them was Akai.
Kicking, punching and finally burning his victim with acid, Akai was an
extremely cruel boy. Ten years after the worst of this abuse, Juzo
moves to a new apartment in an urban industrial area and is surprised when
he realizes his childhood tormentor is living directly above. Even
worse, when he takes a job at a nearby construction site his crew foreman
turns out to be the sadistic Akai! The bully has changed very little
and is just as cruel as in his youth, casually taunting and abusing his
subordinates. He doesn't seem to recognize Juzo but begins harassing him
The film was based on a manga and contains one very effective
animated scene. A young man working at the construction site comes
by to check on Juzo after his first day of work. As they drink, the
scene changes from live action to animation. Juzo explains that he
has another person living inside that is growing larger and seeks revenge
on Akai. It's a fantastic, kinetic sequence that shows Juzo's view
of himself, his adversary and his alter ego. It shows us how his
fear and rage are interconnected revealing their savage links to his youth.
It's a brilliant way of showing the shame and hatred of the bullied without
having this fairly inarticulate character express it in words. It also
shows a childlike perspective that is one of many clues leading to the
film's fascinating ending.
Once again, Steve has brought in a one-of-a-kind film – thanks!!
Our newest member is Leo Dymoski. He is a friend of Charlie
Wittig’s and is also the highest paid professional actor in Dundalk (according
to Charlie). As for Leo’s taste in films – the gorier the better.
Want to know more? Say hi the next time you see him at a meeting.
Welcome to the club, Leo!
If you did not order an ICS T-Shirt during our winter T-Shirt
drive, fear not! ICS T-Shirts, as well as mouse pads bags, mugs and
clocks, are available on WWW.CAFEPRESS.COM/ICSFILM. Each item purchased
includes a $1 profit to the club. And you can order from the site
on your own at any time. We will not be doing any more mass purchase
T-Shirt drives this year. So, if you would like to purchase a Tee
for yourself (or your dog) or other ICS Item, but do not have net access,
please contact a board member.
The October meeting pot luck tradition continues. It’s
always a night of surprising dishes and good food. If cooking is
not your forte, consider bringing in sodas or helping set-up or clean-up.
Dave Willard is keeping the list, so if you have an update or want to add
yourself to a category, email him at DUWILLARD@VERIZON.NET or look for
the sign-up sheet at the next meeting.
I.C.S. CENTENNIAL – DATE CHANGE
The April 2007 meeting of the ICS will be our 100th meeting.
While we normally meet on the last Saturday of the month, Dave Willard
requested that we move the April meeting up a week to April 21, 2007 so
that he could attend this special meeting. We will provide plenty
of notice to club members as this date gets closer so that they will block
out this Saturday instead of the last in April of next year.
I.C.S. CENTENNIAL – TOP 100 MOVIES
In honor of our 100th meeting of the ICS, club members are encouraged
to create a list of their all-time favorite genre films (Horror, Sci-Fi,
and Fantasy) and submit the lists to club secretary John Ward for tabulation.
The April meeting will feature the unveiling of the Imaginative Cinema
Society’s All-Time Top 100 Genre Films. The length of the list is
not important; whether you submit 10 films or 100 films, the first film
on your list will receive 100 points, the second film 99, and so on.
John will have hard copies of the All-Time Top 100 at the April meeting,
and April’s movie selection will be chosen from the Top 5 films on the
list. Club members should note that this is NOT a ranking of films
the club has watched at meetings; it is a serious representation of the
tastes and attitudes of a club that has managed to hit the centennial mark!
Start those lists now; John will be accepting individual lists at all future
GREEN MOUNT CEMETERY WALKING TOUR
During the business meeting, Robin Richards mentioned the Greenmount
Cemetery Walking Tour as an interesting local event. In case you
want to know more, the next set of guided tours through historic Green
Mount Cemetery will take place on Saturday, October 7th, 14th, 21st, and
28th. Opened in 1839 as the city's first urban-rural cemetery, Green
Mount is the final resting place of Johns Hopkins, Enoch Pratt, William
and Henry Walters, Mary Elizabeth Garrett, Theodore McKeldin, John Wilkes
Booth, Betsy Patterson, Walter Lord, and other famous Marylanders.
Tours begin at 9:30 a.m. from the main gate located at Greenmount Avenue
and East Oliver Street, and are led by Baltimore historian Wayne R. Schaumburg.
Reservations are required. For more information, call 410-256-2180
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a charge for
NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING (*ALWAYS* THE LAST SATURDAY)
Our next meeting will be held on Saturday September 30th 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 torn-down
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
WHERE WOLF? AT THE ICS SEPTEMBER MEETING!
We know Betsy Childs is a dog lover with 2 lively Dalmatians,
so a presentation and movies on werewolves may not be much of a stretch.
These children of the night are sure to delight ICS’rs of all ages.
Just remember to heed the advice given by MST3K’s Mike: “When confronted
by a werewolf, this is important, immediately leave your car and run out
in the open.” ‘Nuff said.
LOOK AHEAD - 2006 SCHEDULE
October 28 (*) Greg Mank Returns -- Lionel Atwill and Murder
at the Zoo
Halloween Potluck Dinner
November 25 Jackie Chan Part 2 presented by Andrew Kent
December 30 (*) Yankee Swap
Revenge Movies presented by Regina Vallerani
(*) denotes Late Night Feature
VOLUNTEERS CAME FOR MANC 2006 & ICS TABLE
ICS had 2 tables of VHS and DVD’s in the dealer’s room.
We needed volunteers to work the table, sell our wares and talk up the
club to passer-bys. A cry for volunteer help was issued and we had
a great response.
A total of 14 ICS members worked at the tables on and off over
the long weekend. Some could only stay a half hour, some stayed all
day and then showed up again the next day. All the help was appreciated
– to give the members breaks to eat, to see the stars and to relax for
a little bit. Our sales were good and we made a profit of close to
$200.00 dollars. Not bad for a table filled with VHS tapes that were donated
by ICS members.
Guests of the Con included David Hedison from Voyage to the Bottom
of the Sea and Marta Kristen from Lost in Space. The convention was
geared to fans of Old-Time TV and Radio and Antique Cars.
Want a chuckle? Ask John Ward how trading card gum tastes
after being unopened since 1987! Or ask Jim about the coffee he got
for Richard Herd and all the things Charlie taught him about using the
laptop. Maybe talk to Rick and Suzanne about the Cecil and Beanie cartoons.
Regina made all sure all was in order, Hendo did some membership recruiting,
Tom D brought more stuff to sell and thanks to Betsy we may have Conrad
Brooks (Plan Nine from Outerspace) speaking at a future meeting. Rick,
Sam, Gary, Vince, Jeannie, Mike - they were all there for the Con, but
helped at the ICS table too. A big hand of applause for the members
that helped out and for those that made donations. It was a great
event for ICS members to socialize and enjoy both the Guest stars and each
other. (and get the ICS name out and make some money)
news tv news tv news the glass teat tv news tv news tv news
FOX LETS VIEWERS CREATE OWN REALITY
Television network Fox Reality and Indie TV have
entered into an exclusive arrangement to create and develop a new live
original television series for the all reality, all the time network, currently
titled "Your Instant Reality." Fox Reality and Indie TV are bringing a
viewer participation program to U.S. reality television that involves the
audience being able to submit material, take part in challenges and vote
"Your Instant Reality" will be a hosted, two-hour
weekly live show where viewers can actively participate in the show, interacting
with other viewers and the host through real-time polling, text messaging
and submission of their own digital content. As another Fox Reality distinction
among U.S. Participation TV formats, viewer video submissions will be included
into the live program. When the lights come up the next morning, "Your
Instant Reality" invites viewers to keep their reality real with weblogs,
mobile messaging and more, until the next program is telecast.
"There have been basic quiz type shows here and
Europe but with 'Your Instant Reality' we are melding viewer participation
with the core of Reality Television. Reality fans wonder how they would
do on TV, now they will get their chance...and become famous along the
way," said Lyle.
Of the project, Rowland states, "'Your Instant Reality'
aims to bridge the gap between TV and online turning the rapidly growing
Fox Reality fan community into the show itself. 'Your Instant Reality'
will make stars of anyone with the guts to take part. If you think your
life is more interesting than what you see on TV -- then why not share
it with America? And not just for fun, there'll be winners on this show
too. And if you can't handle the fame -- there'll also be many other ways
to take part -- via phone or via mobile messaging. The user-generated content
revolution is already with us online -- 'Your Instant Reality' brings this
phenomenon to TV."
George previously served as Controller of Interactive
Programming across UK Pay-TV network Flextech, where he was responsible
for all digital platforms. At Victoria Real, George made his name producing
ground-breaking interactive content for UK broadcasters such as Channel
4 and the BBC.
ANOTHER ONE DOWN FOR LOST’S STARS
Yet another cast member of ABC's Lost has run afoul
of Hawaiian authorities for allegedly doing improper things while driving.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who plays Mr. Eko on the
hit series, was arrested over the weekend and charged with driving without
a license and disobeying a police officer, the site reported. He posted
$500 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on the charges on Sept. 26.
The 39-year-old actor was pulled over about 2:25
a.m. on Sept. 2 in Waikiki, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported. Further
details on the charges, including the reason officers stopped Akinnuoye-Agbaje,
Akinnuoye-Agbaje is the third member of the Lost
cast to be arrested for traffic violations. Late last year both Michelle
Rodriguez and Cynthia Watros were charged with driving under the influence
in separate incidents on the same night (neither is still with the show).
Watros paid a fine and had her license suspended; Rodriguez, who was on
probation for another DUI in California, spent five days in jail and was
also fined. Rodriguez also did a brief stint in jail upon her return to
the mainland. Several other cast members, among them Josh Holloway, Dominic
Monaghan and Naveen Andrews, have been cited for speeding, the paper said,
but were not arrested. Lost begins its third season on ABC Oct. 4.
HEROES SPEAKS TO ANXIETY
Greg Grunberg, one of the stars of NBC's upcoming
superhero drama Heroes, thinks the show will speak to the anxieties people
feel in this unsettled time in history. "The world is insane right now,"
Grunberg said last week. "It really is. You can't count on anything. And
so we all want to know that there's something we can count on and [that]
there's stability somewhere and we're in control in some way. ... For me,
what it does is [say,] 'Finally there's some people we know we can count
on—if they come together, if they can control these powers.'"
Heroes tells the story of several people in
different parts of the world who suddenly discover that they have superhuman
abilities. Grunberg (Alias) plays Matt Parkman, a Los Angeles beat cop
who finds that he can read people's thoughts. That ability allows him to
help investigate crimes—and also, incidentally, may help his troubled marriage.
"We're about to shoot a scene today where I use
my ability to satisfy my wife, [Janice, played by Lisa Lackey,] which is
going to be very interesting," Grunberg said with a smile. "That's the
scene we're shooting at the end of the day. And I'm like, 'OK.' My wife
read it, and she was like, 'What?!?' I said, 'Come on! If I knew everything
that turned you on and everything, it would be incredible!' So that's one
thing that we're doing, and it's going go be crazy."
Grunberg added that he wouldn't mind having Parkman's
mind-reading ability himself. "Are you kidding me?" he said with a laugh.
"Let me tell you this: 95 percent of the time, I don't want to be inside
my wife's head. I just don't want to know what's going on in there. But,
yeah, 5 percent of the time, sure." Heroes premieres Sept. 25 and will
air Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
SG-1 ENDS RUN
SCI FI Channel confirmed that it will not renew
its record-breaking original series Stargate SG-1 for another season, but
will pick up its spinoff series Stargate Atlantis for a fourth year. SG-1
aired its 200th episode on Aug. 18, and the SF series is the longest-running
SF show on American television.
SCI FI issued the following statement on Aug. 21:
"SCI FI Channel is proud to be the network that brought Stargate SG-1 to
its record-breaking 10th season. Ten seasons and 215 episodes is an astounding,
Guinness World Record-setting accomplishment. Stargate is a worldwide phenomenon.
Having achieved so much over the course of the past 10 years, SCI FI believes
that the time is right to make this season their last on the channel. SCI
FI is honored to have been part of the Stargate legacy for five years,
and we look forward to continuing to explore the Stargate universe with
our partners at MGM through a new season of Stargate Atlantis."
Stargate SG-1, developed for television by executive
producers Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, is based on the 1994 feature
film Stargate. SG-1, which originally starred Richard Dean Anderson, Michael
Shanks, Amanda Tapping and Christopher Judge, began on Showtime, then moved
to SCI FI after five seasons. The current cast includes Tapping, Shanks
and Judge and newcomers Ben Browder, Claudia Black and Beau Bridges. It
airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
WHO IS ON SECOND? NO, WHO IS ON SCI FI SEASON TWO
SCI FI Channel and BBC Worldwide Americas announced
a major licensing agreement for SCI FI to air the second season of the
hit British SF series Doctor Who in the United States. The series will
return to SCI FI on Sept. 29, kicking off with a two-hour premiere that
will include the "Christmas Invasion" special in which David Tennant is
introduced as the 10th Time Lord.
Billie Piper returns as the Doctor's feisty young companion,
Rose Tyler, and together they will travel through time and space battling
new and returning aliens and monsters.
Chris Regina, vice president of programming, said
in a statement: "Our audience has clearly embraced Doctor Who, and it has
delivered a significant increase in viewers in the time period. We are
looking forward to keeping the momentum going with David Tennant as the
"We were delighted by the first season's success
in the U.S. and can promise new thrills, new laughs, new heartbreak and
some terrifying new aliens in season two."
Executive-produced by Davies and Julie Gardner,
the second season of Doctor Who was the most popular program on Saturday
nights when it aired on BBC One in the United Kingdom to critical acclaim.
DEATH COMES TO GALACTICA
"Oh, there're some changes in the air," Ronald D.
Moore, executive producer of SCI FI Channel's original series Battlestar
Galactica, He went on to tell fans at the 64th World Science Fiction Convention,
or WorldCon, in Anaheim, Calif., that the upcoming third season of the
hit SF series could see some fatalities among the characters.
"We're going to lose some people this year. Not
all of our friends are going to make it all the way." Moore declined to
be specific, but said that the show's writers have finished breaking the
story arc for the end of the upcoming third season.
Moore added that the upcoming season 2.5 DVD set
will include a special 90-minute version of the episode "Pegasus," which
ran only 60 minutes in the original broadcast. In addition, fresh material
in the form of specially filmed "webisodes," Battlestar Galactica: The
Resistance, will air on SCIFI.COM's SCI FI Pulse broadband network twice
weekly, starting Sept. 5. The two- or three-minute shorts will serve as
a lead-in to the new season and, although not essential to the plot, will
enhance the viewing experience.
When asked whether the show was still true
to his initial vision, Moore said he felt it was on track, but that there
had been surprises along the way, from both writers and actors, that made
both the storyline and the characters richer.
"One of the great things about writing for
Ron is you do feel empowered to try things, and it doesn't have to be ...
what was in the story outline," Weddle said. "I'm sure many of you remember
in season two, where Callie shoots Boomer. That was never in an outline.
That wasn't a planned moment. ... [Writer] Toni Graphia called Brad [Thompson]
and [me] one day and said, 'You know, I think I want Callie to shoot Boomer.'"
Moore agreed: "There's nothing like reading
a script and being surprised," he said of his reaction to the change. "It's
the experience of watching the show." Season three of Battlestar Galactica
begins airing Oct. 6. Galactica will air Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
FRIEDMAN TALKS CONNOR CHRONICLES
Josh Friedman, executive producer of the upcoming
The Sarah Connor Chronicles television pilot, said that the show will explore
the world of the Terminator movies on which it is based. "I would like
to be able to explore as many different avenues of Terminator mythology
as possible," Friedman told the site. "I think to do a show that is a completely
Terminator-less environment would probably not be, in the long run, a wise
move or the most interesting thing."
Friedman (The Black Dahlia) added that the show
won't be part of the trend to serialize long stories. "I always go back
to The X-Files, which I think did a good job of balancing close-ended stories
with mythology stories," Friedman said. "The show will certainly not be
a close-ended, procedural adventure-of-the week show. I would say it's
going to be a hybrid. It'll be somewhere in between. It's not going to
be a Terminator-of-the week show, but it's also not going to be soap opera."
Friedman added: "I read the talkbacks, and
people are pissed. They don't want you to mess with it. The Internet has
a love/hate thing with the properties they love: They want more, and they
want it done well, but they hate it if [franchise creator James] Cameron's
not involved. All I ask is that people withhold judgment until they see
it. I think it's pretty f--king cool." Warner Brothers TV has set David
Nutter to direct the pilot for The Sarah Connor Chronicles, prompting Fox
Broadcasting to give an official green light to production.
SAVING THE WORLD IN LIPSHITZ PILOT
Newcomer Jack Carpenter is set to play Adam Lipshitz
in NBC's comedy pilot Lipshitz Saves the World, about a 17-year-old social
outcast who finds out in a most bizarre way that he might be the one to
save the world, with the help of Leslie Nielsen, according to The Hollywood
The single-camera series, from NBC Universal Network
TV, comes from Dan Fogelman.
Carpenter landed the role in his third professional
audition after graduating this summer from the Carnegie Mellon School of
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FRASER ON BOARD FOR MUMMY 3
Mummy star Brendan Fraser has already agreed
to return in a proposed third installment of the hit franchise. But the
Universal Pictures sequel won't be called The Mummy 3.
Smallville creators Alfred Gough and Miles
Millar have been hired to write the sequel, and Universal has made an offer
to Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III) to helm, though it's unclear whether
Johnston will accept.
A rumor floats that Chris Durand (Halloween H20)
will have a role in the upcoming sequel film Resident Evil: Extinction.
Durand is one of the zombie film's villains and joins a cast that includes
Oded Fehr. Extinction is the third film based on the Capcom video-game
Meanwhile, the site reported that Jensen Ackles
(The CW's Supernatural) is in talks to play a main character in a proposed
fourth Resident Evil movie, which is slated to start filming next year.
Ackles would play the popular character Leon Kennedy, the wisecracking
cop from the last couple of games.
BOND 22 PUSHED BACK
The 22nd film in the James Bond series and follow-up
to this fall's Casino Royale has been pushed back to Nov. 7, 2008, from
its original May 2, 2008, release date. The delay will allow for a two-year
break between Bond pictures, in keeping with recent tradition, the site
British filmmaker Roger Michell had been in talks
to helm the movie, but it was recently announced that he and Eon Productions
had reached an impasse. The search is on for a new director.
The rumor mill has suggested that the next Bond
movie would be a direct continuation of sorts of this November's Casino
Royale, with 007 (Daniel Craig) clashing with the shadowy terrorist network
he first encounters in Royale. Bond 22 is said to be based on a story idea
by series producer Michael G. Wilson, who previously scripted License to
Kill, For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights, Octopussy and A View to
TALKING ABOUT DAIRY OF THE DEAD
Producer John Harrison, who is working with George
A. Romero on his next zombie movie, Diary of the Dead, said that the movie
will begin shooting in October and that it will not be a sequel to Romero's
other living-dead movies.
"To some extent, it's George revisiting the origins
of the zombie mythology," Harrison told the magazine. "It's about
a group of college students making their senior project, and suddenly they
are attacked, the world starts to crumble around them, and as they are
trying desperately to get to their homes together, they continue to have
these horrific experiences. They continue to document everything that happens
to them as they go and, thus, Diary of the Dead."
Harrison added that the script has "got all of his
humor and all of his social commentary and obviously some really great
GODZILLA REBORN ON DVD
Steve Ryfle, author of Japan's Favorite Mon-Star:
The Unauthorized Biography of Godzilla and commentary contributor on the
new Gojira (aka Godzilla) DVD, said that the release of the original Japanese
film will surprise fans who thought they knew Godzilla.
"It's like a rebirth for Godzilla in a way," Ryfle
said "It's my hope that now a lot of people will see that the cartoony
Godzilla movies of the '70s weren't the original intent of the character
and the franchise. In truth, the Godzilla from 1954 is a different creature
than the one in the later films that did the flying and the corny antics.
They are two different beasts with the same name. Now we finally are getting
to see these films as they were intended. On these discs, in particular,
you get the American version we grew up with and the Japanese version.
That's really exciting to finally see how you remember it, and then see
it as it was originally intended, and compare and contrast and finally
draw your own conclusion as to which is better."
Gojira, filmed in Japan in 1954, was shot as a serious
film inspired by a real-life nuclear accident involving a Japanese fishing
boat contaminated by an American nuclear test site. The film's original
anti-war message has long since been forgotten.
"Unfortunately, a lot of the people who made
the original film have died, but the interesting thing to me is that the
director, Ishiro Honda, was fully aware that his film has been reconstructed
for America," Ryfle revealed. "He was a very polite and reserved man and
never expressed any displeasure about that. And, on the contrary, he expressed
he was just happy that it was shown abroad. But because of the fact that
he was so committed to the pacifist message of the film and the anti-nuclear
sentiment, you have to assume deep down inside he was very disappointed
that the film was so drastically altered, and much of what he was trying
to say was taken out of it. I think he would be very happy now." Gojira
is available on DVD Sept. 5.
THE LATER CAST
Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty) is the latest actor
to join the cast of the upcoming zombie sequel 28 Weeks Later. The cast
already includes Harold Perrineau, Rose Byrne, Catherine McCormack, Imogen
Poots, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner and 12-year-old newcomer Mackintosh Muggleton.
The film has started shooting in London under the
direction of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto). The story picks up six
months after the events of 28 Days Later, in which a virus causing hyper-aggression
breaks out in London and devastates most of the population. In the sequel,
the military is attempting to return families to their London homes when
a new outbreak occurs.
Danny Boyle, who directed the first film, is producing
along with Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich and Fresnadillo's regular partner
Hey! If you happen to browse IMDB, Ain’t It Cool news, SCI-FI
wire, Yahoo movies, DVD files, or any other movie news update site, please
feel free to email me movie or tv news articles at Icsbetspots@aol.com.
I am also looking for someone to take over either the movie news…and
do a better job then I am doing. Need someone that is into the movies,
the news of them and all the rumors in between. Email me if you are
By Dava Sentz
Snakes on a Plane is considered by some to be the most Internet
hyped film in cinema history. This film has seen many title changes in
its last 14 years of development, among them being Venom and Pacific Air
Flight 121. There was even a long running joke among Internet users that
it would be called Anaconda 3. But, when all is said and done, the original
title says it all. This is a film called Snakes on a Plane which is actually
about snakes on a plane.
And yes, it did live up to the hype.
This was largely thanks to the buzz and outrageous suggestions
of Internet users, which prompted New Line Cinema to order an extra five
days of filming, which in turn boosted the rating from PG-13 to R.
For all the skeptics out there who think that this is just a shock
fest with no story line, please know that Snakes does offer a basic premise...very
basic. Nathan Phillips plays Sean Jones, a young native of Hawaii who inadvertently
witnesses a murder committed by famous gangster Eddie Kim (Baron Lawson).
Soon after, Sean is ordered by FBI agent Nelville Flynn (Samual L. Jackson)
to go to LA as the star witness in the trail against him.
In a bizarre, yet highly effective attempt to stop the testimony that
will send him to prison, Mr. Kim arranges to have Sean's plane stocked
with several varieties of poisonous snakes. The snakes, 450 of them to
be exact, would of course, break loose and reek havoc on the unsuspecting
If this concept strikes you as completely unrealistic, even insane,
you would be right. Snakes on a Plane pokes fun of two of the world's greatest
phobias: The fear of snakes and the fear of flying. It breaches these topics
in a manner so over the top, it's actually funny.
Nevertheless, these common fears are represented well, particularly
the snakes. Thanks to the wonders of CGI and digital technology, these
creatures were not only terrifying, but LOUD! They possessed a hissing
volume so great that they sounded not like scaly, slithering reptiles,
but rather like amputee lions. If people were dying left and right, if
the proper anecdote was scarce, if, because of this, your aircraft was
falling out of the sky, you'd be up tight about flying too!
Yes, it's tacky. But, it's great.
This is the appeal of the cult film; to take an endless line of cheesy,
clichéd, sometimes down right disgusting ideas and turn it into
something not only fun to watch, but something that will appeal to the
imaginations and enjoyment of countless generations. Snakes has only been
in theaters for a few weeks. As of right now, it's impossible to know whether
or not it will become a cult classic. But it has certainly earned the reputation
of a cult movie, a movie which is so bad it's actually good.
Snakes on a Plane also features the memorable performances of
Kenan Thompson, Rachel Blanchard, and Jullianna Margulies. It is an all
around hilarious "motherf**king" good time which I would highly recommend.
So swallow your irrational fears and do as the tagline suggests: Sit
back, relax, and enjoy the fright!
The TV comes to life – Hollywoodland
By Betsy Childs
Okay all, bear with me, this is not a Jim Childs
review but rather a Betsy one. We went to see Hollywoodland on the
opening night. What a tragic story and told in a very effective manner.
This movie is the story of a few days in the
life of a fictional Private Investigator trying to fathom the factual death
of a Superman. THE Superman, George Reeves. The PI is played
by Adrian Brody and George Reeves played by Ben Affleck. I give high
kudos to Affleck for his portrayal. Very high. He has not been in
many good movies lately but this outshines even his older good ones.
He took on the persona of George Reeves and had us believing. The
makeup was one aspect, but the facial expressions, tone of voice and smile
As the wife of a Superman geek, I am familiar
with the story of Reeves death. This took it a little further and
thru flashbacks touched on many aspects of Reeves life that the public
was not familiar with. The story told us about his ‘kept man’ status,
his mothers influence in his life and even how the little boys that learned
that Superman had died felt that day.
There was a scene that is a well known story, but
it fit well in this movie. George Reeves appeared in person in his
suit many times. But the last time was when a young boy pointed a
gun at him and said ‘the bullet won’t hurt you, your Superman’. Reeves
saw that toy gun was in fact real and was loaded. He calmly talked
the gun out of the hands of the young boy, treating him just as serenely
as Superman would.
Adrian Brody’s character was a necessary guide through
the story. He led us to some conclusions and then we found out more
information (thru him) that let us look at things in a different light.
And then, found out some more twists in Reeves life that let us stop and
think it out again. It was a simple premise. Flashbacks of Reeves
in another time, building up to the night of his death.
This film had high spots that had you laughing and
low spots that had you feeling the pain of Reeves/Superman. The theatre
was packed, but there was not a crying baby, ringing cellphone or obnoxious
member of the audience. Nice. That helped in enjoying a dark
movie that brought a new light to an old story. Go see it and decide
for yourself what really happened that night.
CINEMA COMING SOON
MUST SEE MOVIES FOR YOU!
Sept 1st Crank
Cast: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Efren Ramirez, Jose Pablo Cantillo
Chev Chelios is about to begin his morning with an unexpected wake-up
He hears he has been poisoned in his sleep and only has an hour to
live. As it turns out, Chev is a hit man who freelances for a major West
Sept 15th The Black Dahlia
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart and Scarlett Johansson
An adaptation of James Ellroy's novel about two 1940s L.A. cops who
head up the hunt for the killer of starlet Elizabeth Short
Sept 22nd Flyboys
Cast: James Franco
The adventures of the Lafayette Escadrille, young Americans who volunteered
for the French military before the U.S. entered World War I, and became
the country's first fighter pilots.
Sept 29th The Guardian
Cast: Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, Neal McDonough, Melissa Sagemiller,
After losing his crew in a fatal crash, legendary Rescue Swimmer, Ben
Randall, is sent to teach at "A" School, an elite training program for
Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers.
Oct 4th Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
Cast: Jordana Brewster, Taylor Handley, Andrew Bryniarski, R.
The origins of the legendary horror character Leatherface will finally
be revealed in this film, which is set years before the original Texas
Chainsaw Massacre movie.
Good bye farewellsfarewellsfarewells
, a versatile character actor with a flair for comedy
who was best known for his roles in When Harry Met Sally and City Slickers,
has died. A native New Yorker with a distinctively high, husky voice, Kirby
had a stage, screen and television career that spanned the last 35 years.
He played the young Clemenza in The Godfather: Part II and appeared
in such films as The Basketball Diaries, cinderella liberty, where the
buffalo roam, the freshman, this is spinal tap, Donnie Brasco and stuart
little. "I think he was an incredibly thoughtful actor," said Barry Levinson,
"He really thought through what he was going to do so he could begin to
work up a character, and he had great specificity to the little things
he'd bring to the character he was playing". Levinson directed Kirby in
Tin Men, Good Morning Vietnam, Sleepers and an episode of TV's Homicide:
Life on the Street. He also appeared in such other TV series as the super,
mash, columbo, kojak, hill street blues, fraiser and mad about you. He
Glenn Ford, an actor who was a top box-office draw in the 1950s
and whose career spanned more than five decades and more than 100 films,
has died. He was born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford in May of 1916, the son
of a railroad executive and mill owner and nephew of Sir John MacDonald,
a former prime minister of Canada and a descendant of Martin Van Buren,
eighth president of the United States. He spent his earliest years in Glenford,
Canada, site of the family's paper mill, from which he took his professional
name. His family moved to California when he was 7, and he graduated from
Santa Monica High School where he excelled in English and drama. Ford was
discovered by Tom Moore, a talent scout for 20th Century Fox and then consequently
signed a contract with Columbia Pictures. He portrayed a Depression-era
store clerk who went west in Heaven With a Barbed Wire Fence, his first
feature picture in 1939. Some of his other films include blondie plays
cupid, texas, gilda (his big break), the man from colorado, the redhead
and the cowboy, follow the sun, the green glove, the big heat, blackboard
jungle, the fastest gun alive, teahouse of the august moon, don’t go near
the water, imitation general, cry for happy, pocketful of miracles, expirement
in terror, the courtship of eddie’s father, fate is the hunter, the rounders,
rage, day of the evil gun, midway and superman. Though he was an excellent
actor who usually got great reviews Glen Ford was never nominated for an
Oscar. He was 90 years old.
Byron Morrow, 94, a veteran character actor in television and
films whose distinguished look often led him to be cast as a top military
officer, police chief or judge, has died.
He was born in Chicago, and his early career included stints as a model,
puppeteer and radio announcer. He moved to Hollywood in the late
1930s and his film and T.V. career began in the 1950s. His genre television
appearances included men into space, the twilight zone, the man from u.n.c.l.e.,
the invaders, lost in space, star trek, the wild, wild west, night gallery,
the bionic woman, the greatest american hero, otherworld and beauty and
the beast. He was also in such ICS favorite films as the mysterians, atlantis,
the lost continent, panic in year zero, king kong vs godzilla, cyborg 2087,
colossus: the forbin project, and Kolchak: the night stalker.
THE LAST WARD . . .
By John Ward
I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. Not long after
Editor Betsy took over the reins of the ICSFiles, she came to me.
“I’d like you to write something for the ICSFiles.”
“Well, gee, Betsy, I don’t know…”
“No, really. I think it would be great.”
“Betsy, I don’t think I can commit to…”
“You can write about anything you want.”
See, I might be cheap, but I’m not easy.
Which brings me to this month’s column. Once again, I am
straying from the straight-and-narrow trifecta of ICS genres – horror,
sci-fi, and fantasy – to talk about something else entirely: the
western. Some in the club might sniff at the topic, but it still
remains one of my all-time favorite genres. And for that, I blame
Long-time readers of this column might understand what I mean
when I say that my love for westerns was a product of my upbringing.
I’ve spoken before about my small town roots; my great-grandfather, William
Lipsie, owned a small chain of movie theaters in western Pennsylvania,
including the Penn Theatre, the only movie house in my hometown of Blairsville
(pop. 4000). You could say my great-grandfather had a monopoly on
the town’s cinema entertainment.
All of the kids in the family called him Popo (pronounced paw-paw).
He showed movies five nights a week. Wednesday and Thursday nights
were reserved for soft-core grindhouse tease, like COUNTRY CUZZINS, TOBACCO
ROODY, and FASTER, PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL! Those movies were for the
guys who attended the vo-tech school on the edge of town. But the
weekends were for everyone else. Popo did his best to bring in one
blockbuster after another. A film rarely played more than one weekend,
because there was simply too much product out there. But there were
two types of movies that Popo nearly always got: Disney films and
John Wayne movies.
The Disney choice was self-explanatory; Blairsville was quintessential
small town America, loaded with families, and Disney was always a guaranteed
seller. I remember lines down the block for SWORD IN THE STONE and
THE JUNGLE BOOK.
John Wayne movies were a close second. Popo got them all:
McLINTOCK, THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER, EL DORADO, TRUE GRIT, DONOVAN’S REEF,
IN HARM’S WAY, THE WAR WAGON, THE UNDEFEATED…the list goes on. And
most of them were westerns, because that was Wayne’s genre of choice.
So I guess it started with my great-grandfather, and the Duke, and my youthful
Of all the movie genres, westerns are the most American.
Other countries and cultures might be able to lay claim to horror films
or science fiction, but the western belongs to us. Some of the world’s
greatest film directors, like Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone, have cited
the American western as inspiration. Watch a movie like Kurosawa’s
SEVEN SAMURAI and you’ll see what I mean: men facing off with nothing more
than their weapons, their courage, and their skill. I discovered
SEVEN SAMURAI as an adult, but I like to think that, if Popo had ever decided
to show foreign films at the Penn, I would have sat still for SEVEN SAMURAI,
subtitles and all.
I think the very best westerns of the genre can be connected
to a handful of directors. The top of the heap, of course, would
be John Ford, the man behind THE SEARCHERS, STAGECOACH, SHE WORE A YELLOW
RIBBON, CHEYENNE AUTUMN, THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, and many more.
Then there was Howard Hawks, the director of RIO BRAVO, RIO LOBO, and EL
DORADO. I always thought Hawks was a little more versatile than Ford;
I mean, you never saw Ford directing screwball comedies like BRINGING UP
After Ford and Hawks, attention must be paid to Sergio Leone,
who literally reinvented the genre in the ‘60s with his “spaghetti westerns;”
Sam Peckinpah, whose love for the genre was overshadowed by his frequent
run-ins with studio brass; and Anthony Mann, who consistently turned out
well-written movies with conflicted heroes in the ‘50s, most of which starred
James Stewart or Gary Cooper.
John Ford, Howard Hawks, and John Wayne combined to create something
of a “comfort zone” for western buffs. Their movies always seemed
to feature a hero standing tall against the toughest odds and the meanest
villains. These heroes weren’t always alone – RIO BRAVO is an excellent
example of this – but I always sensed that they could handle it solo, if
need be. Wayne was the absolute epitome of this type of hero.
John Wayne was my idea of a movie star when I was little.
I knew nothing of his conservative politics or his extended family or his
growing cancer; I just knew that he made good action movies that kept me
watching. I expected those movies to follow certain rules, too, and
whenever one of those rules was broken, I was shocked. Take THE COWBOYS,
for instance. (SPOILER warning.) John Wayne was not supposed
to die in his movies, and here was Bruce Dern shooting the Duke in the
back! (At least Wayne got to beat the stuffing out of him first.)
There was no sex in a John Wayne western (or any other western
of the period, for that matter) because it didn’t fit his profile.
Wayne almost always got the girl, if there was a girl in what was pretty
much a male-dominated genre. That was another thing about westerns
that I never noticed when I was young: where were the women?
I remember seeing BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID with my friends and
sitting in stunned silence while Robert Redford forced Katharine Ross to
strip at gunpoint. It was in shadow, and there was still something
left to the imagination, but that overheated 11-year-old imagination was
firing on all cylinders, let me tell you. The little twist that comes
at the end of the scene was lost on us at the time; the word foreplay didn’t
enter my vocabulary until I was in college. (And there’s a word I
didn’t expect to write in a column about westerns – proof that these dang
things usually aren’t planned out ahead of time!)
By the time Wayne’s career was winding down, Clint Eastwood had
taken over the genre. THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES came out in 1976, the
same year as Wayne’s final film, THE SHOOTIST, and it’s interesting to
draw comparisons between the two films. Both films feature a loner
hero bonding unexpectedly with others, while being pursued by men who wish
to kill him. In Wayne’s film, however, we sense his vulnerability,
his realization that the end of his life is near. Eastwood has no
such concerns. In JOSEY WALES, as in nearly all of Eastwood’s westerns,
his character is seen as an implacable, nearly indestructible force.
Eastwood died in his films even less often than Wayne did, and it usually
hurt him at the box office. (It’s no surprise to note that THE BEGUILED
was one of the bigger bombs of Eastwood’s career. Watch it, and you’ll
know why.) Even his last great western – UNFORGIVEN – kept Eastwood
firmly in command, while others were dying around him. He might have
been older, more near-sighted, and a tad stooped over, but he was still
the last man standing.
I have written before about movies I have missed, in all sorts
of genres. If someone dropped a DVD of any of these titles in my
lap, chances are pretty good that I would watch it, but those chances would
bump to excellent if the movie in question was a western. Because
– here comes the cliché – they just don’t make ‘em like that any
more. Not with John Wayne, not with Clint Eastwood, not with anyone.
No wonder I keep going back to the oldies.
JOHN’S ALL-TIME 25 GREATEST WESTERNS
1.THE SEARCHERS (1956)
2.THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960)
3.THE WILD BUNCH (1969)
4.TRUE GRIT (1969)
5.ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1969)
8.BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
9.THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY (1966)
10.THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE (1962)
13.RIO BRAVO (1959)
14.THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES (1976)
15.MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946)
16.HIGH NOON (1952)
17.OPEN RANGE (2003)
18.RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY (1962)
19.THE MAN FROM LARAMIE (1955)
21.THE NAKED SPUR (1953)
22.THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER (1965)
23.THE COWBOYS (1973)
24.DUEL AT DIABLO (1966)
CALENDER OF EVENTS
Sept 15th The Black Dahlia
Sept 22nd Flyboys
Sept 29th The Guardian
Sept 30th ICS MEETING 5:30pm
The presentation will be given by Betsy Childs and the theme
is Werewolf movies. Bring your silver bullets and sense of humor!
2006 ICS SCHEDULE
September 30 Werewolf Howls at Midnight, films presented by Betsy Childs
(Awwwwooooooooooooh!) (yes, that is a howl at the moon)
October 28 (*) Greg Mank Returns -- Lionel Atwill and Murder at the
The Halloween Potluck Dinner All-Nighter (Spooky and delicious)
November 25 Jackie Chan Part 2 presented by Andrew Kent
December 30 (*) Yankee Swap (Oh Boy!)
Revenge Movies presented by Regina Vallerani
More exciting themes in 2007!!!