FEATURE | On My Mind - A&E Thoughts
LAST | 1998-99 Fall Lineup
ARCHIVES | Television
On My Mind
James Patterson has a new book out this month, "When the Wind Blows." Just in time for the holidays, but I would recommend any of his novels with Alex Cross over this new one. If you haven't read "Kiss the Girls," "Along Came a Spider," "Jack and Jill" or "Cat and Mouse" pick one of them up in paperback. You will be scared and you will not put it down. I promise.
You know you are getting old and video games have come full circle when you can play your old Atari games on a current system. Just out for Playstation is a disc containing twenty classic Activision games which includes Pitfall, Enduro, River Raid and many others. I remember when Pitfall was the most advanced game of its time, but looking at it now reminds me of some kindergarten finger painting.
On a related note, I am much more excited for the release of NBA Live '99 for the Playstation than I am for the actual NBA season, whatever might be left after the Lockout. The new game includes an aging function, so that you can assemble a team for multiple seasons and watch as the players skills change as they age. Let the owners and the players gripe forever, I'll be playing NBA Live '99.
Now that Carter on ER has finally shaved that horrible beard, isn't it time for David Stern to follow suit?
Call me crazy, and I have never bought anything advertised on an infomercial, but Slamman is on my Christmas list. It looks like a good workout, and it doesn't fight back. Maybe I can look like the guys on the cover of Men's Health after all.
What is it with Beverly Hills 90210? I still watch it out of habit, but it is a habit that I am going to have to break. The last two seasons have been horrendous, and now that Jason Priestley is gone there is really no reason to watch. Dylan/Luke Perry's return cannot save the show - it is already dead.
But you will still have something to watch on Wednesday's at 8. Flip on over to The WB, or the "New Fox" as I like to call it. Dawson's Creek is alive and well, and they actually use high school age actors to play high school students. Joey (Katie Holmes) is the best actor of the bunch, but all of them do a good job. And the show has added some good new characters this season to combat last season's biggest problem.
Don't forget Felicity which I think has some of the best writing on TV. Amy Jo Johnson, Felicity's best friend, steals every scene she is in. She is a real up and comer. And the music always fits. It is hard to write realistic dialogue for college students, but Felicity's writers pull it off.
Some good holiday movies on the horizon. "You've Got Mail," a romantic comedy with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, looks like a guaranteed success. "The Thin Red Line," a World War II movie, stars Sean Penn, George Clooney and John Travolta to name a few. "The Prince of Egypt," Dreamworks' animated version of the Old Testament, could be a big hit or a big flop, but will no doubt be top notch. And the one I am waiting for, "A Civil Action," a courtroom drama based on the best-selling book, starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall.
For all of you DVD fans, Christmas could be a breakthrough season for the new format. The number of DVD players just cracked the one million mark, and all of the major studios have now committed to producing DVD's. Even Spielberg has agreed to release some of his movies on DVD early next year. Now if only we could get the Star Wars Trilogy out of Fox I would have a very merry Christmas. For those of you who are still skeptical, over 1,000 Blockbusters will begin renting DVD's by the end of the year. What are you waiting for, throw a DVD player on your Christmas list, and see what you have been missing.
Finally, I have seen the future and it is HDTV (high definition television). The picture blows away anything you have ever seen before, and there should be enough programming within a couple of years. Of course as with all new technologies it comes at a steep price for now ($5,000-7,000 for an HDTV) the price is expected to drop to between $1,000 and $2,000 in a few years. At the risk of being killed by my wife, that is obviously not on my Christmas list. But maybe next year.
Until next month....
ROB GALLO of Wethersfield, CT, is a staff writer and the movie guru of Renaissance Online Magazine.