Look Back in Anger
I shall never understand why a great magazine does a meaningless retrospective about an era long since dead (”Here We Are Now…”). The ’70s and ’80s gave us more bang for our entertainment buck, while the ’90s gave us mostly vapid creations that should remain forgotten. There must be more to talk about within the entertainment industry (like the fact that TV has no standout comedies left). Please keep your reminiscing and nostalgia — give me meaty topics or give me death.
Yes! Somebody finally had the guts to recognize Police Academy as one of the great film comedy series of the ’80s and ’90s (”Arrested Development”). I remember staying up late one night to catch the original, and then spending many a lazy Saturday afternoon watching the sequels on cable. There was something comforting about a Police Academy sequel — you knew Jones would make funny sounds, Mahoney would chase every skirt in town, and Tack would shoot up a bunch of stuff — but you laughed anyway. Here’s hoping that a PA: The Next Generation gets made, and continues the renaissance of R-rated comedies that Old School, Wedding Crashers, and The 40 Year-Old Virgin have brought about.
Reading your article (”The Hard Look Back,” News & Notes) disturbed me beyond belief. I am a widow of a 9/11 victim. I’m horrified that Hollywood has decided it’s time to make films about 9/11. That day will haunt my family for the rest of our lives. I have two small children and am not looking forward to explaining what is going on when they have to witness the billboards and commercials promoting these films. I understand that 9/11 is a part of history, and as with all historic events, filmmakers feel a need to show the events from their perspective. But this is too fresh. Unless you were locked away somewhere on that day, all of America witnessed these events. I really don’t think Americans need to go to the movies to see it another time.
So Hollywood is finally confronting 9/11, but are audiences ready? Look at this scenario: hordes of panic-stricken Americans running for their lives; city walls plastered with fliers of missing victims; personal belongings raining from the sky; shell-shocked survivors covered from head to toe with ash. Not only is the first 9/11 project here, but it’s the second-highest-grossing movie of the year — Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds. With a domestic box office take of more than $230 million (and counting), I’d say that people are ready to see the horrors of 9/11 exploited for the sake of entertainment.
Less Than Rosie
I have loved your magazine for years, but I am disappointed in your DVD reviews. Your positive review of Roseanne: The Complete First Season — like your recent review of The Cosby Show: Season 1 — failed to tell readers that these DVD sets use the syndicated versions of the shows, and each episode has been trimmed from its original broadcast. It’s inexcusable for you not to let readers know. Any DVD reviewer worth their words should take a few minutes to visit the wealth of fan websites for research; any of those sites would have tipped them off to this essential information.
CORRECTIONS: Peta Wilson has a son, James Marlowe (”Here We Are Now…”). Fox’s new show Kitchen Confidential is a comedy (#838/839 Fall TV Preview).