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                    Letters to Hell - March 1999

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Contents
========

 - Anybody Can Sit Down And Complain
 - Ugggghhh
 - Oscar, Oscar, Oscar
 - Attentive and Experienced Moviegoer
 - A Question For the Ages
 - Rob Lowe Wearing More Lipstick and Mascara Than Demi
 - I Have to Agree
 - Chick Flick #1
 - Chick Flick #2
 - How Can You Afford To Walk Out Of So Many Movies?
 - About How It's About What It's About


Anybody Can Sit Down And Complain
=================================

[ From: Philip ]

> Hey Genius, since you enjoy cutting up other movies and doing 
> walk outs, why don't you get off your fat ass and make a movie? 
> Anybody can sit down and complain, like you.  Get a life....

[ Hey, my ass is not fat!  It's my midsection that's, ah, circum-
  ference-challenged. ]


Ugggghhh
========

[ From: Carrie in Raleigh ]
[ Re: PATCH ADAMS ]

> We saw OCTOBER SKY this weekend and they offered a free screening 
> of PATCH ADAMS.  Ugggghhh!  I didn't believe your review-- I just 
> thought you were being hard on it.  That is one of 1998's worst!

[ One more reason to hate it:  the Julia Roberts character who gets 
  killed isn't even a real person! ]


Oscar, Oscar, Oscar
===================

[ From: Ellen in Raleigh ]
[ Re: Oscar Nominations ]

> What happened to BELOVED?  I haven't seen it but from what I read 
> this year, I expected something for Oprah, Thandi Newton, and/or 
> Danny Glover. 

[ Not enough people saw it or liked it, I guess. ]


Attentive and Experienced Moviegoer
===================================

[ From: Bruce in Cary ]
[ Re: THE THIN RED LINE ]

> I'm glad that it's not just me, that even such an attentive and 
> experienced moviegoer as yourself couldn't keep all those look- 
> and sound-alike guys straight.  Let's see, this is the one with 
> the five o'clock shadow, the Army uniform, and the southern ac-
> cent....

[ My favorite line from the film, as screamed into a radio by Nick  
  Nolte: "haarrghh ampgh ralfff arrggghufff harrgggh seelllfff 
  geeerrfff runningfff!" ]


A Question For The Ages
=======================

[ From: Anthony ]
[ Re: GLORIA ]

> > With Jeremy Northam, Jean-Luke Figueroa, Mike Starr, and Cathy 
> > Moriarty, who must've appeared after I left.  She plays Stone's 
> > character's mother?  Now *that's* casting! 
> > 
> Moriarty as Stone's *mother*!  At 38, she's actually younger than 
> Stone, who admits to 40 (and is 41 in March).  I hope we're talk-
> ing flashbacks here. 

[ Alas, I can't advise as this was a W/O. ]


Rob Lowe Wearing More Lipstick and Mascara Than Demi
====================================================

[ From: Mason ]
[ Re: 8MM ]

> > Well, on paper it sure looked good:  a stylish director (Joel 
> > Schumacher)...
> 
> Mike, you're pushing for a set up line.  I just had the agonizing 
> experience of watching ST. ELMO'S FIRE.  Well, most of it.  Okay,
> okay, I had a magazine in my lap, but I only looked at it when 
> the movie was slow.
> 
> I don't know if the primary source of my feeling about this was 
> the top-notch casting of promising young actors-- I especially 
> liked Rob Lowe wearing more lipstick and mascara than Demi-- the 
> crisp screenplay, or Joey's sheer directing genius.  Did he do 
> the costumes himself?

[ He very well might have.  Schumacher is a former fashion design-
  er, if I'm not mistaken... ]


I Have to Agree
===============
 
[ From: Heather ]
[ Re: A SIMPLE PLAN ]

> > Here's my blurb: "the best boring movie of the season!" 
> >
> 
> I have to agree.
> 
> I keep trying to figure out why it didn't work as well as it 
> could have.
>
> I thought the acting was fine-- I liked all the actors, including
> Bridget-- the location was good, music nice, plot twists I didn't
> expect, but I walked away with the slightly disappointed sense 
> that it could have been a *much* much better film.  
> 
> I don't think enough time was spent establishing the characters;  
> I didn't pick up until farther in the movie that the brother and 
> friend were unemployed.  And in building up to the decision to 
> keep the money, there has to be motivations and characteristics 
> of each person that leads them to make this decision, and I don't 
> think that was established well at the beginning. Also, Bill Pax-
> ton's character had a nice house and job.  It never rang true why 
> he would jeopardize the safety of his wife and child.

[ I have to agree. ]


Chick Flick #1
==============

[ From: Sarah in Cary ]
[ Re: MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE ]

> > With it's unyielding emphasis on emotional action over phy-
> > sical, this as estrogen-oozing a chick-flick as I've ever 
> > stereotyped.
> >
> You actually sat in a theater and watched this movie?  Why?

[ Why not? ]


Chick Flick #2
==============

[ From: T in Raleigh ]
[ Re: MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE ]

> > Grade: C-
> >
> You get it mostly right, but why no mention of the central theme 
> of the romance, which is the fact that Garrett isn't over his 
> late wife?  Isn't reviewing supposed to accurately represent the 
> film being reviewed??

[ Yes... unless I'm the person writing the review. ]


How Can You Afford To Walk Out Of So Many Movies?
=================================================

[ From: a thread in rec.arts.movies.current-films ]
[ Re: the Year in Review ]

> > > The walk-out list:  ALMOST HEROES, FALLEN, HOPE FLOATS, MEET 
> > > JOE BLACK, MR. JEALOUSY, THE NEWTON BOYS, THE PARENT TRAP,
> > > PRACTICAL MAGIC, THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS, SIX STRING SAMURAI, 
> > > and TWILIGHT.
> > >
> > How can you afford to walk out of so many movies?  I can't 
> > imagine that *all* of these were so much worse than you ex-
> > pected that you had to leave.  If you went to see PRACTICAL 
> > MAGIC on your own free will, you knew what you were getting in 
> > to.  I would blame myself.
> > 
> Why do you assume that Mike is paying to see everything?  He 
> could be catching promotional screenings, or have a theatre pass, 
> or be invited to press screenings, or any number of other op-
> tions.  He could be an incredibly wealthy guy.  In some cities, 
> if you walk out before the half-hour mark, you can ask for your 
> money back.
> 
> Walked out of one movie a month?  Even if he paid full price 
> evening-- rather than catching discounted matinees-- that's less 
> than a hundred dollars over a year.

[ My secret to keeping costs down?  Always get your girlfriend to   
  pay. ]


About How It's About What It's About
====================================

[ From: a thread in rec.arts.movies.current-films ]
[ Re: 8MM ]

> > Has anyone else read Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth 
> > Turan's review/flame of 8MM?  I haven't read anything so 
> > inflammatory in such a long time.  He goes beyond reviewing the 
> > film to categorically condemning Schumacher and Sony for their 
> > lack of judgement and taste.
> 
> And in doing so, misses the point entirely.
> 
> His job is not to criticize the film based on the subject matter 
> or the depiction of subject matter.  His job is to criticize it 
> on its merits as a movie, which in his repulsion at the subject 
> matter he utterly failed to do.
>
> As Roger Ebert put it once (I can't remember whether he was 
> quoting someone else): "A movie's not about what it's about.  
> It's about *how* it's about what it's about."  Turan's review 
> reads like the criticisms of THE EXORCIST when it came out-- it 
> was widely damned (and banned in some countries) for being 
> disturbing and gross, but those critics missed the point that it 
> dealt with that subject matter skillfully and artistically.
> 
> Unfortunately, Michael Legeros' much more professional review of 
> 8MM indicates that this film fails at being a good movie; and 
> it's on those grounds that I'm likely to give it a miss, not the 
> ones that Turan finds fault with.

[ Well-said *and* well-praised!  Good night everybody... ]

Copyright 1999 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros



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