Feedback: Stephen King
So much for the divine writes of Stephen King: The mail for the Green Mile cover (#516, Dec. 10) included quibbles with the author’s choices for the best movies from his books. ”I was stunned by the omissions on his list,” writes Thomas Gutheil, of Brookline, Mass. ”Carrie is an incomparable work, The Shining is the most frightening, and The Dead Zone is a masterpiece.” Hackles were also raised by writer Benjamin Svetkey’s Rx for the James Bond franchise. ”Feeling both shaken and stirred” was Dale Gonyea of Sturbridge, Mass., who’s tired of Bond bashing: ”Let’s pick on another franchise. How about Star Wars?” Angrier was Frank Mugavero of Denver: ”If he was calling the shots, Bond and MGM would be dead, and we’d all be drinking New Coke.”
I have been following the progress reports on The Green Mile very closely in your magazine, but the latest article had more than just a casual interest for me (”The Greening of America”). The appearance of Michael Clarke Duncan on the cover with Tom Hanks and Doug Hutchison is like a beacon of hope to a fledgling actor like myself and to all the rest of us who only fit a certain ”type.” I would also like to thank Bruce Willis for bringing this fine actor to Frank Darabont’s attention, Darabont for casting Duncan, and wish Michael Godspeed on the road to what will hopefully be an Oscar nomination.
I have watched Doug Hutchison’s career since his fine performance as Eugene Tooms in The X-Files and am very happy that his talent has taken him to this new level. EW has supported up-and-coming actors in the past, and David Hochman’s article continued that tradition.
In King’s Court
I was greatly relieved that Stephen King left The Shining off his list of 10 personal favorite adaptations (”The Reel Stephen King”), but I must respectfully take exception to his omission of The Dead Zone. Christopher Walken totally embodied the tragic Johnny Smith. And the character’s frightening ”visions” are still the scariest moments from any of King’s movies in my memory.
The Bond Market
So some folks at MGM feel that ”Bond desperately requires a makeover” (”Kill Bond Now!”)? Interesting. The last two films were worldwide blockbusters, and the current film seems on its way to being the biggest of them all. I’ve been a James Bond fan since 1963. The day these cynical studio hacks start loading up the Bond soundtracks with heavy metal and rap music and gearing the series toward a teen audience is the day that I am out of there. As long as the Broccoli family continues to control the series and remains true to the character and its creator, I’m sure we will not have to worry.
Staten Island, N.Y.
I’m looking at Ben Svetkey’s article and I have to (1) laugh, and (2) set you straight. Ben, you’re way off in thinking there are huge problems with the Bond franchise. First off, Brosnan rivals Connery as the best Bond. Thank God we’re done with the ridiculous pranks and gags from the Moore years, and we’ve got the suave back that was missing with Dalton. The formula is what keeps people coming back. You have to have the innuendos, the gadgets, the girls, and the impossible stunts, or you don’t have Bond. It comes down to this: If you don’t like the formula, you don’t like Bond. Change the formula and you won’t have Bond—or an audience.
New Llano, La.
Benjamin Svetkey’s assessment of the problems with the James Bond movies hits the nail on the head. The story lines are incomprehensible — I don’t think a Bond movie has borne the slightest resemblance to the book on which it was based since Diamonds Are Forever. Contemporary Bond movies also suffer from the lack of a real opponent for our hero -— there is no S.P.E.C.T.R.E. or SMERSH to confront. Perhaps today’s scripts are a reflection of the lack of a well-defined enemy to conquer.
James L. McDowell
Terre Haute, Ind.
Gotta Have Faith
You just secured the third renewal of my subscription by finally profiling one of country music’s greatest, Faith Hill (”About Faith”). How beautiful and dynamic is this lady? Next time, what do you say we put her on the cover? Thanks for the in-depth article. It’s good to hear that she has her feet firmly planted and is enjoying life. God, she’s hot!
Halifax, Nova Scotia