Letters from our readers
Into the Army
I’d planned to skip Jarhead, since I’m not a war-movie fan, but the photos of Jake Gyllenhaal — especially the one where he’s wearing a Santa hat, dog tags, a weapon, and not much else — changed my mind. Ho ho ho and merry Christmas to you, too!
Regarding Steve Daly’s article about Jarhead in the Nov. 4 issue (”Ready. Aim. Wait.”), Stanley Kubrick did not turn R. Lee Ermey into the ”archetypal drill instructor from hell” in 1987. In fact, Ermey’s performance in Full Metal Jacket was almost the same as his portrayal of a drill instructor in the 1978 film The Boys in Company C, directed by Sidney J. Furie. Boys seems to get left off of the list when it comes to war movies, but at least give credit to Furie for bringing this great, often-copied character to life.
DONALD L. SPARKS
Out of the Dark
Thank you for the fine article on Anne Rice (”Once Upon a Time, There Was a Boy Named Jesus…”). After I read her vampire novel Memnoch the Devil in 1995, I said farewell to Lestat, took off the Goth attire, and got rid of the nihilist attitude. It’s good to know Rice has done the same. Here is one devotee who can’t wait to read her new novel and who is glad she opted to ”do violence” to her career.
I couldn’t believe you left out the scariest of the new thrillers on TV this season: Supernatural (”Cheers for Fears”). It is well written, well acted, and should be viewed with the lights on! And as for including Ghost Whisperer in your list, I can see highlighting it as a weeper, but not as a spooky show. Supernatural is where the chills are!
BONNIE L. UHLENBROCK
Your list of TV’s scariest had one glaring omission. Beginning its seventh season on British TV, and on Fridays for the past few months on the Travel Channel, Most Haunted easily surpasses network-cloned sci-fi with a combination of eeriness, humor, intrigue, and chills. For me, if it’s a choice between actors playing scared and watching a terrified solitary soul sitting in a pitch-black cellar of a haunted 13th-century castle, I’ll take Most Haunted every time.
My wife and I used to go to the movies at least once a week. But an article in EW a few months ago summed up why we would rather wait for DVDs. And your recent article ”Bad B.O.” (News & Notes) says it all. The moviegoing experience stinks. Why pay $19 so we can sit next to people who think it’s okay to talk during movies? One might think all of those announcements about turning off cell phones would cause people to take the hint. And don’t get me started on the commercials. In the last year we’ve decided to go to the theater only for films we can’t wait to see and those that have to be seen on the big screen. We’re now at the point where there isn’t much we won’t wait on the DVD for.
Old Bridge, N.J.
A good article, but everyone in Hollywood seems to be overlooking one major reason for the dip in box office that is obvious to those of us in Tumbleweed, USA. Maybe studio execs can afford to see the films they make, but if people want to take a date to the movies, they need a second mortgage. Recently I’ve had to split up the sacred coupling of dinner and a movie. Dinner always wins (and I was a film student!). If ticket prices were $6.50, I would have seen four times as many movies this month.