Letters to Hell - June, 1998


 - What the Hell Were You Thinking?
 - Attention Deficit
 - Colorful Question
 - This Fine Actor
 - Little More Sound-Proofing
 - The Planet's Biggest Video Store
 - Would Rather Read a Book
 - Typical of a Theater Dork Infringing on Moviemaking
 - Tinge of Relief 

What the Hell Were You Thinking?

[ From: Marilyn in Austrialia ]

> Here is my problem: you gave [Stephen Seagal's] ON DEADLY GROUND 
> an F.  What the hell were you thinking?

[ Not much about it, it would seem. ]

Attention Deficit

[ From: "LoneGunMen" ]

> Well...  it's "hack the planet" not "hack the world."  Maybe if 
> you'd have been paying attention, you would have given it more 
> than a B-.

[ Maybe if it *held* my attention, it would've earned a higher 
  grade... ]

Colorful Question

[ From: "J" ]

> Maybe you can help me.  I have a bet with someone.  Was LAST MAN 
> STANDING with Bruce Willis in black and white?  This is killing 
> me.  Please respond.  I said it might be...?

[ As I recall, Walter Hill's film is sepia-toned. ]

This Fine Actor

[ From: Marilyn ]
[ Re: Art Malik ]

> As I am trying to put together a Web site on this fine actor, I 
> was wondering if you possibly have a screen grab of him as the 
> grocer [in BOOTY CALL].  Any other info on Malik you might be 
> able to contribute would be extremely helpful and welcome.  As 
> you can probably imagine, not much has been written about him.

[ Well, nuts.  I *just* deleted those BOOTY CALL screen grabs of
  mine... ]

Little More Sound-Proofing

[ From: Warren in Raleigh ]

> > So far, so not-bad at the Raleigh Grand.
> I would agree with one exception.  My wife attended THE HORSE 
> WHISPERER, and the quiet scenes in it were overwhelmed by the 
> sounds from GODZILLA in the adjacent theater.  While this was 
> probably a "worst case" scenario, a little more sound-proofing 
> would help.  Otherwise, they need to pay attention to what is 
> played next to what, and put the quiet films a little farther 
> away.  After the film, when she tracked down the manager to let 
> him know about the problem, she had to stand in line.  There were 
> five or six others-- all with the same complaint, waiting to bend 
> his ear.

[ I wonder how many weeks I endured those through-the-walls rumb-
  lings of TITANIC at Pleasant Valley? ]

Would Rather Read a Book

[ From: Cara ]
[ Re: Keep Up the Good Work ]

> In New Zealand it's winter for six months of each year.  Night-
> life is shit so people eat out and go to the movies.  A lot.  
> When they eat out, they usually talk about movies.  I don't go to 
> the movies anymore because I usually hate them.  (I would rather 
> read a book.)  It's great that you are out there watching movies 
> though.  It means that I can occasionally read your reviews and 
> keep my end up with witty comments like "DEEP IMPACT-- the end of 
> the world-- as a five minute tidal wave?"  Followed by the happy 
> admission that I haven't seen the film but have read the review.  
> This seems to pacify others.  Perhaps one day you will give a 
> film such a good review, I will be forced out to watch it.  I am 
> not holding my breath. 

[ I'm crossing my fingers for a really good movie by this time
  next year... ]

Typical of a Theater Dork Infringing on Moviemaking

[ From: Rich ]

> I didn't bother reading your review, but I have to admit that I'm 
> curious how anyone could give that piece of crap a B+.  Mamet 
> sucks.  Period.  He is what happens when the kid who sucked at 
> English in high school fools people into believing he's a genius, 
> a phenomena that could only be fostered in a city as pretentious 
> as New York.  The acting stank, the direction was heavy-handed, 
> dull and typical of a theater dork infringing on moviemaking.  
> Steve Martin in a trenchcoat and sunglasses, carrying a gun, 
> trying to look menacing.  I really laughed hard at that shot, 
> then I got sad, because I realized it was meant to be taken 
> seriously.  As far as the plot, you can go to Rite Aid and pick 
> up a paperback mystery for $3.99 with more twists and original-
> ity.  Anyway, good luck with your page.  Try to be more original 
> in your opinions.  This is one of those movies that has managed 
> to encourage bandwagon praise.  I never understand how this hap-
> pens, and I only care because I hate praise for non-talents like 
> Mamet.

[ At the hour mark, I ready to walk out.  At the end, I was 
  applauding.  Ain't art strange? ] 

Tinge of Relief

[ From: Mandy in Miami ]

> I do have to object to your mention of only two bawl-worthy 
> moments.  I cried almost the entire time.  As someone who has 
> read the book, I was completely unprepared for the ending-- I 
> thought there would be at least another 35 minutes.  (May I admit 
> a tinge of relief not to see the wrinkling-more-each-minute Mr. 
> Redford rolling around without a shirt on?)  Do you know if they 
> filmed the original ending and audiences objected-- Hollywood 
> being famous for fence-riding, appeasement, etc.?  Or perhaps Mr. 
> Redford objected to the "taking home another man's son for your 
> husband to raise" bit?  (He *was* married to a Mormon woman for 
> years.)  I guess he can also be forgiven for the occasional 
> glowing shot of his and Ms. Scott Thomas's hair.  I thought it 
> was a great film.  Ms. Scott Thomas was superb as usual.  Perhaps 
> this is not the time to take offense at your ENGLISH PATIENT re-
> review?  I think you should see it again... or would this amount 
> to some sort of medieval torture for you?

[ Only if I couldn't watch Billy Crystal's Oscar-spoof immediately
  afterward.  Good night everybody! ]

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