I must thank Scott Busby and Entertainment Weekly for the fascinating article about the Oscars (March 22). I never realized how much work and effort go into such a presentation.
In toting up the minuses — your idea of them anyway — on Kathy Bates’ performances as Annie Wilkes, you suggest that one of them is that her nomination comes for work done in a ”Stephen King movie.” I’d suggest that this is a pretty snotty even for a magazine with a large number of critical bullies on its staff. The point is, Kathy did a great job. Misery the film was written by William Goldman and directed by Rob Reiner. So why is it a ”Stephen King movie” in the first place? Is it mine because Rob’s company bought or because his check didn’t bounce? And if this had been a black actress, would you have adjusted the odds if the picture in question had been a Spike Lee movie? Maybe Kathy and I should get in touch with Spike Lee. I’m beginning to understand how and why he manages to stay so pissed off at you guys in the critical press.
Butting Video Heads
As a subscriber and the owner of a video store, I enjoy your reviews of movies and tapes, but I must disagree with the article ”Used ‘Ghost’ Dealers,” written by Taehee Kim. According to her, used tapes will destroy your VCR if you buy them, but renting videos is still okay because they cost only a few dollars. If the article is correct, there must be millions of videocassette recorders that have had their ”delicate and expensive heads” damaged by defective tapes from video stores. I don’t think so.
ED.NOTE: As stated, both the used videocassettes and rental tapes can (but not necessarily will) damage VCRs in rare accesses when the tapes have deteriorated. Kim did not suggest that ”millions” of VCR’s have been harmed in this manner. According to VCR-service specialists, 10.000 to 25,000 machines are damaged by bad tapes every year.
Much to to the probable chagrin of David Browne, I enjoy every note on R.E.M.’s Out of Time. R.E.M. doesn’t need to continue with the same sound, album after album. Because they don’t, they acheive a higher level of inviduality than they already enjoy. Maybe (to paraphrase R.E.M.) it’s the end of Browne’s review world as we know it. I’d feel fine.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
In the March 22 issue, the quote from George Hurrell on his photo of James Cagney in The Oklahoma Kid was incorrect in calling the movie Cagney’s only Western. Cagney appeared in at least two others, Run For Cover and Tribute to a Bad Man.