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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

SF on TV
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Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

Each year, I predict which genre films will be worth watching, based entirely on the writers. Here are my predictions for 2005, including two movies already in release for the sake of completeness. I don't include horror unless it has major SF or fantasy elements, because I have no real knowledge of or liking for the genre.

Movies 2005
Electra, by Zak Penn, Stuart Zicherman, and Raven Metzner from a character created by Frank Miller.
Zak Penn provided some of the story on The Last Action Hero and X2. He probably deserves praise for whatever is good in Electra and no blame for whatever is bad.

Constantine, by Kevin Brodbin and Frank Cappello from comic book stories and characters created by Alan Moore, Jaime Delano, and Garth Ennis.

Robots, by Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel (City Slickers), Jim McClain, and Ron Mita

Steamboy, by Sadayuki Murai (Cowboy Bebop) and Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira)

Sin City, by Frank Miller (Robocop II) and Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids), based on the great comic book by Frank Miller.

The Polar Express
The Day After Tomorrow
Van Helsing
The Incredibles
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Spider-Man 2
Alien Vs. Predator
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Karey Kirkpatrick (The Rescuers Down Under, James and the Giant Peach) and Douglas Adams, based on the radio series by Douglas Adams.

Star Wars: Episode III - The Revenge of the Sith, by George Lucas (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark).

Batman Begins, by David S. Goyer (Blade II, and both the Heinlein and the non-Heinlein The Puppet Masters) and Christopher Nolan (Memento) from characters and story created by Bob Kane (credited) and too many others to list but especially Frank Miller (uncredited).

War of the Worlds, by David Koepp (Spider-Man, Mission Impossible, Jurassic Park), from a book by H. G. Wells.

Fantastic Four, by Michael France (The Punisher, Hulk, GoldenEye, Cliffhanger), Mark Frost (Twin Peaks, Hill Street Blues), Simon Kenberg (script consultant on Elektra and Catwoman), based on the comic book by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by John August (Big Fish, Titan A.E.), from a book by Roald Dahl

The Island, by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (Alias, The Goonies II) and Caspian Tredwell-Owen.

Stealth, by Rob Cohen (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) and W.D. Richter (Big Trouble in Little China).

The Brothers Grimm, by Ehren Kruger (The Ring, Scream II).

Sky High, by Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger (Mad TV), Paul Hernandez, Mark McCorkle & Robert Schooley (Lion King II: Simba's Pride).

Doom, by David Callaham, based on the game Doom III.

3001, by Mike Judge & Etan Cohen (Office Space, Beavis and Butt-head)

Aeon Flux, by Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi (Crazy/Beautiful), based on the TV series by Peter Chung.

Zu Warriors, by Man Choi Lee & Hark Tsui.

Serenity, by Joss Whedon (Buffy), based on his tv series, Firefly.

The Wallace and Gromit Movie: Curse of the Wererabbit, by Nick Park (Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run).

Legend of Zorro, by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (The Island, Alias).

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by Steven Kloves, from the book by J. K. Rowling

King Kong, by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens, based on a film story by Merian C. Cooper and Edger Wallace

No Release Date Set:
Coraline, by Henry Selick (Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions), based on the book by Neil Gaiman.

A Sound of Thunder, by Thomas Dean Donnelly & Joshua Oppenheimer (Thoughtcrimes), and Gregory Poirier (The Lion King II: The Pride of Simba), from the story by Ray Bradbury.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, by Andrew Adamson (Shrek II), Christopher Markus, Stehen McFeeley (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers), Ann Peacock, from a book by C. S. Lewis.

And my predictions are:

Best of the year:
Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith
Batman Begins
The War of the Worlds
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
King Kong

Unknown quantity:
Sin City

Mildly entertaining:
The Wallace and Gromit Movie: Curse of the Wererabbit
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Forget it:
All of the rest.

Movies 2004
Here were my predictions for 2004, based entirely on the writers. How did I do?

Best of the Year:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Spider-Man 2
The Incredibles
The Brothers Grimm
The Polar Express

Mildly Entertaining:
The Punisher
Van Helsing
The Day After Tomorrow
The Chronicles of Riddick
Alien vs. Predator
The Village

Forget It:
All of the rest.

I expected too much from Sky Captain -- and from Terry Gilliam. Like, I expected his movie The Brothers Grimm to actually be released. I should have known better. I stand by my dismissal of Shrek II, even though it made a multiplitrillion dollars.

SF on TV in March
Here is what's on in March. With Smallville and Enterprise mostly reruns, the month belongs to the Staries (Gaters?) with two season finales to look forward to.

Wednesday, March 2
Smallville, "Lucy". What next? Beppo, the Super-monkey?

Friday, March 4
Battlestar Galactica, "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down"
Stargate: Atlantis, "Letters from Pegasus"
Stargate SG-1, "Reckoning II" by Damian Kindler

Friday, March 11
Battlestar Galactica, "The Hand of God"
Stargate: Atlantis, "The Gift" by Martin Gero and Robert C. Cooper
Stargate SG-1, "Threads" by Robert C. Cooper

Friday, March 18
Battlestar Galactica, "Colonial Days"
Stargate: Atlantis, "The Siege I" by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Stargate SG-1, "Moebius I"

Friday, March 25
Star Trek: Enterprise, "Bound" by Manny Coto (air date uncertain)
Battlestar Galactica, "Kobol's Last Geaming I" (The buzz on this is terrific!)
Stargate: Atlantis, "The Siege II" by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie (season finale)
Stargate SG-1, "Moebius II" (season finale)

Wednesday, March 30
Smallville, "Onyx" (air date uncertain)

Copyright © 2005 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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