Mail from our readers
Never mind Sundance, it was the Hot Sheet that got all the buzz this week. Readers were incensed that Jim Mullen spilled the beans on a death on the ER ward — he was called everything from an ”efficient spoilsport” by Carey Griffin of Antioch, Tenn., to ”pure, unadulterated evil” by Karissa Hackelton of Miami. ”He must have been the kid in class who always told on the other students,” said Joey Parker of Brownsville, Tenn. Keely Lake of Hot Springs, S.D., felt as if he’d ”opened my Christmas presents for me. On Thanksgiving.” Also wounded were Scream 3 fans who disagreed with Owen Gleiberman’s review of the film. To Murillo S. Soranso of Baltimore, ”reading that was much worse than being stabbed by the ghost-[faced killer].”
Since you actually included the locals in your overview of Sundance (”Film’s Next Frontier”), I thought I’d give you a local’s viewpoint. I’ve been going to the festival ever since it was the U.S. Film Festival back in the early ’80s. Needless to say, it’s nothing like it used to be, and locals probably feel like they’re in the way more often than not, but I still try to go. I saw a great documentary called Dark Days. It changed my view of the world. To me that’s the best compliment a film can receive.
I have a beef to pick with Lisa Schwarzbaum. A few months ago she flayed the adaption of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. I let it slide. Now, she’s bashing Bret Easton Ellis’ book American Psycho. A crummy novel? Not a chance. Unfilmable? Books often say more than they seem to, and there’s more going on in American Psycho than simple ”revolting sadism and brand-name-dropping.”
After reading the interview with John Grisham (”Making His Case”), I was disturbed by the thought of a lawyer making a statement like ”As a lawyer, I’ll admit it’s a stretch, to hold the filmmaker and studio responsible. But it could be done. With the right set of facts, you could prove that the person was under the influence of the film.” It’d be a stretch to prove I killed JFK, too, but I suppose with the right set of facts, virtually anything is possible. Wow, John! Did you really mean to portray the legal profession in such an unethical light? Even more disturbing is an author who feels the need to ever hold fictitious events of a movie responsible for murder.
Finally a strong, knowledgeable man who knows what to say about violent films! I second his very firm opinion on those movies in which many people are killed, much property destroyed, etc. Don’t we have enough problems with the real murders without immature, cold, stupid people seeing it on film? He’s got it right, and add me to his list of admirers and supporters on this issue.
”Things we won’t be covering in EW”…plus-size women. It was really disappointing to read your mention of Veronica’s Closet‘s Kathy Najimy’s stint as a lingerie model as taboo. Because only skinny chicks can model lingerie, right? Wrong. I saw Najimy on the runway, and she looked fabulous. Hopefully, there will be a day in entertainment news when magazines will stop taking cheap shots at bigger women.
Law & Disorder
The problems with The Practice demonstrate what happens when the creator of a successful show takes on too many projects (”Out of Practice”). It’s suffering from extreme neglect. The lawyers win nearly every case, and then they feel bad and whine about it. Why is Lara Flynn Boyle even on the show? If she lost that many cases in real life, she would have been fired a long time ago. Someone needs to tell David E. Kelley that it’s quality not quantity that counts.
Due to David E. Kelley’s desire to write for all his shows (Ally McBeal, Chicago Hope, and The Practice) this year, what we have seen is a decline in the quality of all of them, as well as a poor film (Lake Placid). If I were David E. Kelley, I would spend less time writing and more time with my wife (Michelle Pfeiffer).
Seth R. Rayman
CORRECTION: Fist of Legend with Jet Li is a remake of Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury, which was later renamed The Chinese Connection (Video).