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Check out letters from those who agreed with us, and those who didn't

Mail from our readers

DAMME NATION

As a major fan of Jean-Claude Van Damme, I was somewhat disappointed with the pictures your magazine published of him along with your recent profile (#154, Jan. 22). While I understand your choices showing his transformation from kickboxing hero to a '90s-style leading man, did you really have to print a photo of him with eyeliner on? You ruined my fascination with his rugged-stud persona and made this hunk into just another Hollywood pretty boy.
Susan Van Sledright
Grand Rapids, Mich.

Take Jean-Claude Van Damme seriously? How can you even ask this of us when you proceeded to print those overblown ''makeover'' photos of him? What were you people thinking? You successfully took the most down-to-earth, realistic male superhero and turned him into a sunken, sullen, aging drag queen.
W. Warren
Los Angeles

Thank you! You have made my week! I really enjoyed the article on Jean-Claude Van Damme. I think he is the man of the '90s and your photos proved it to me. (He looks great whether he's in a suit or not).
Paula Smith
Nicholasville, Ky.

Kudos to Jess Cagle on a superbly written article. But I'm still smarting from the whipping he gave my favorite action hero. I've been ''fo-cused'' on Van Damme for several years now and own most of his films. He should be getting the Cruise roles because he has a magnetism that pulls the audience in regardless of the tale he's telling. Cagle writes, ''Van Damme is...a gamble'' because ''Americans like their action heroes to be...heroic defenders of truth and justice and the American way.'' In fact, if Cagle were to watch Van Damme's movies, he would see that truth and justice are underlying themes in all of them. And regardless of Cagle's harsh portrayal of Van Damme as less than ''seensiteeve,'' in his appearances on the talk-show circuit Van Damme is simply endearing. If in real life he's not, then he has me, for one, completely fooled.
Audrey L.D. Petschek
Newtown, Conn.

MALLE ADDICTION

I congratulate Ann McFerran for her more than ''behind the scenes'' article on Damage. I abhor reading a synopsis of the story and performances — I can see the movie and judge for myself. What I can't do is be on the set and observe the fascinating creative process between cast and director. Thank you.
Denice Duff
Los Angeles

'ALIVE' AND KICKING

It seems that the media is making a much bigger deal out of the cannibal issue in Alive than the movie itself did. Owen Gleiberman mentions the idea of cannibalism more in his two-column article than the entire two-hour movie did. The movie depicted their behavior as the only way they could hope to survive. Gleiberman makes it seem as though the whole film revolves around this act. The movie revolves around survival.
Rachel Waller
Houston

Originally posted Feb 12, 1993 Published in issue #157 Feb 12, 1993 Order article reprints