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THOUGHTS AT THREE A.M.
by editor I forgot my name

YOU can contribute to the next issue!…The END of an era…My new job…A new Fanzing Flier…Win a Palm Pilot…"Blair Witch Project" and "Mystery Men"…News for ICQ users…What happened to the Quizlet?…Jon Peters Stupidity Report


Next month is our "My Hero" issue, and we'd like to hear from you. Who is your favorite hero and why? What does this character mean to you? Send your mail to "My Hero" and make sure that My Hero is the subject of the mail. Send your entries by August 25th!

"Mystery Science Theater 3000" just aired its last episode, and I'm already going through withdrawal. I think we're living in a sick world when a fine show like this gets canned while…actually, I can think of hundreds of things to say at the end of that sentence, but since many of them include the word "Clinton" or the phrase "sex with an apple pie", I won't mention them. I'd just like to wish the cast of MST3K, wherever you are (about ten miles from my house, probably) the best of luck. As for the Sci-Fi Channel, it was MST3K that made me want to get cable in the first place…and now that Sci-Fi canceled them, I'll probably never watch that channel again.
Oy! My new job is hectic but rewarding. I think I'm still recovering from my trip to San Francisco last week (this delayed Fanzing…sorry!). I'm trying to find a way to work on Fanzing given that after eight hours I don't even want to look at a computer screen! Hopefully I'll get back into the grind and put out the next Fanzing more promptly.
I've designed a new flier, just in time for the Chicago WizardWorld. I used artwork by Bob Riley, Melissa Wilson and Bill Wiist to get it done, and I think it's the best one we have yet. You can grab it here or on our Promotions page !

Flier #4

If you have a web site, please add our banner coding to your site. It will draw the banner from our server, so you don't waste any bandwidth and it will show the latest banner. We'd be glad to make a link to your site in return. Here's the coding:

<!------------Begin Fanzing Coding----------------->
<a href="http://www.fanzing.com"><img src=http://www.fanzing.com/banner.gif alt="Fanzing"></a>
<!------------End Fanzing Coding----------------->

It'll look like this:

Fanzing


I've been seeing a lot of summer movies lately. Two that have gotten a lot of buzz are "The Blair Witch Project" and "Mystery Men".

Blair Witch is a good movie, but at this stage the hype is killing it. It has become TOO hyped. Now it's being touted as The Scariest Movie Ever Made, which naturally puts anyone hearing that in an antagonistic mood. Now, people go to the theater thinking, "Yeah, right. Come on! Scare me! I bet you're not scary at all, you little wussy movie! Oh, finding a bunch of sticks. Well, that's right up there with Psycho. All bow down before Blair Witch, king of the scary stick movies!" (I wish you could hear the funny voice I'm using as I type this.) It's too bad, because the people who first saw this at Cannes or in limited release could appreciate this properly. It's a film which, IF you can empathize with the characters and the situation they're in, will draw you in and deliver some big-time scares.

I'm not saying it's a perfect film. It isn't. The actors ad-libbed almost all of the lines, which is too bad because they're not exactly the smartest twenty-somethings around. About 50% of this movie is the kids whining about being lost and cursing a lot. That distanced me from them, because even at their age I'd be able to make conversation and come up with some strategy for getting rescued instead of moping and crying. A short talk about Gilligan and the Skipper is about the most creative line in the movie, which is sad.

Also, the Sci-Fi Channel documentary, Curse of the Blair Witch, filled in the details on this legend they made up. It would have been more entertaining of the actual movie had included some of this information before it entered the interminable "Oh no we're lost" part of the film. A movie shouldn't need a web site and a companion film in order to be properly appreciated.

As for Mystery Men, I think this film is fantastic! It's gotten rave reviews and it's gotten pans, but I have to agree with the raves. The film, beginning to end, is entertaining. There aren't any slow parts and the dialogue is terrific. I won't give anything away; just go see it if you haven't. This movie deserves some financial success. I don't remember a movie this year that's made me laugh all the way through; even "South Park" and "Austin Powers" had their slow parts and jokes that fell flat. I paid the full $8 to see this one and it was worth it.

Oh, I haven't seen it yet, but people are saying a lot of good things about "Dick", too. The film's trailers were unimpressive, just because they didn't say anything about what the film was about. I hate the trailers which just say "Dick is a riot!" "It's one of the funniest films this year!" "Go see Dick!". I'm always begging for a LITTLE more information. Any movie can find a few critics' opinions to excerpt; instead, let ME make the decision. But anyway, after a friend told me that this was about two 15-year-old girls who end up working in the Nixon White House, one of whom develops a crush on Nixon, I decided I have to see this!


My ICQ program got hacked late last week! I had an older version that had a security glitch, and someone hacked their way in and removed my e-mail address from my settings and then changed my password, thus ruining the account I've had for three years. I can't get in and I can't restore it in any way, so #151060 is dead. (So sad; I was part of ICQ back when it was only six digits, and now some consarn razzerfrattin jerk has ruined it.)

If you have ICQ, you should be aware that many previous versions have had security glitches that make it easy to slip around them. You should probably update your ICQ if you haven't lately. Get the latest version at http://www.icq.com/download/. A handy way to do it is to download the ICQ Updater, a neato program that will tell you if you have the latest version and update it if you don't. The nice thing about this is that you don't have to go through the usual re-registration rigamarole. To get the updater, just click on this URL: http://www.icq.com/download/step-by-step-upgrader.html Save it in your ICQ program folder (usually C:/Program Files/ICQ) Then open that folder and click on ICQUpdater to run it. Do what it says and you're done.


Last month's Quizlet got massively glitched and somehow restored the settings for the previous month! BeSeen doesn't know how it happened. So, anyway, there wasn't any way to fix it and I don't have any results this month. Sorry!
Let's start collecting all the stupid things "Superman Lives" producer Jon Peters has said or done. Most of these stories come from director/writer Kevin Smith:

  • When Kevin was reading his script, Jon stopped him to interrupt with "Now, who's this 'Kal-El' character?"
  • Since the Special Edition of Star Wars was hot, Peters wanted Kevin to put a wookie-ish character in the script. He finally declared that Brainiac should give Lex Luthor a space dog which would be cute and marketable, so that they can make it into a toy.
  • Similarly, Peters decided that Superman should lose all his powers in this movie so that he needs some kind of Supermobile to get around. Why? So that they can make a Supermobile toy.
  • When Lex Luthor tries to break in to the Fortress of Solitude, two giant polar bears rip apart Luthor's men (as if Superman would have lethal defenses!). Why? So that they can make Polar Bear Sentry toys.
  • Jon saw some show that said that spiders were one of the most universally-feared creatures, then called up Kevin and had Superman fight a giant spider at the climax. Kevin thought this (like everything else) was stupid but put it in anyway. When "Superman Lives" died, Peters went on to produce the current film "Wild Wild West". What's at the end of this universally-panned film? A giant spider!
  • All the Warner execs want to redo Superman's costume to make it "90's style", whatever-the-hell-that-is. Jon Peters has criticized Superman's traditional outfit as "too faggy". (A strange comment from a guy who was a hair designer.)
  • I don't know if this is from Jon or just one of the other Warner Brothers suits, but Kevin was told, 'Kevin, what you don't understand is that this is a corporate movie. It doesn't matter how good the dialogue is between Lois and Clark, it's about how many toys we can sell.'
  • During casting discussions, Peters reportedly wanted Sean Penn because "he could capture the killer instinct that is such a big part of Superman's character." (Thanks, Matt Morrison, for this tidbit)

Any additional reports on this moron? Feel free to add anything via our "Fanzing Forum". We're discussing this in the "Off-Topic Blather" room. You can read more about this at http://www.cinescape.com/insider/kevsmith.html

This column is © 1999 Michael Hutchison.

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