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Feedback: July 1, 2011

Mixed reviews for ”Super 8,” sax on the beach, and more

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Monster Mash-up
At an early showing of Super 8, everyone in the theater laughed, jumped out of their seats, and teared up. How nice it is to have a movie like this spin the best elements of both E.T. and Poltergeist, and combine them so accurately with the soundtrack, look, and feel of a time before videotapes and cell phones.
Cheryl Walters
Houston

I’m all for the nostalgic summertime innocence J.J. Abrams is trying to convey, but the third act feels like a disjointed Frankenstein monster of other, better movies sewn together with vintage ’80s Spielbergian sinews.
Mike Marra
Evanston, Ill.

Hats Off to Abrams
Out of all the hats J.J. Abrams wears (producer, director, and so on), one of my favorites is the Credit Dauphine hat he’s holding for your Super 8 photo shoot. I know Alias fans, myself included, were thrilled to see the clever nod to such a fantastic TV show.
Courtney Kelly
Cincinnati

All Hail McQueen
Chris Nashawaty’s assertion that Steve McQueen had no ”truly great” films (DVD, ”The King of Cool”) prompted many readers to write in and defend the actor’s body of work.

The Sand Pebbles (1966)
This Robert Wise-directed film is top-notch in my opinion, and it garnered eight Academy Award nominations (including for Best Actor). Ray Bivaletz
Palmer Township, Pa.

The Getaway (1972)
The pace may be considered slow by today’s standards, but no one can deny McQueen’s intensity as he blasts his way out of a hotel armed only with a shotgun.
Bret Dorman
Chicago

Papillon (1973)
The King of Cool? Absolutely. No truly great films? How could you overlook Papillon? It’s easily his best film: He stays step for step with Dustin Hoffman.
Scott Van Tuyl
New York City

Senior writer Chris Nashawaty responds: While my comment about McQueen’s lack of ”truly great” films wasn’t meant as a knock at him, I do think movies like Papillon and The Sand Pebbles are a bit creaky and bloated. I love The Getaway. But is it great? Hmm…can we agree to disagree?

Life-Affirming Lit
Thank you for the story on Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why. As one of those who were touched by what he wrote, and as someone who has found that this novel illuminated many reasons why life is still worth living, I can’t begin to describe how much your article meant to me.
Cory Simonson
Liberty Hill, Tex.

In Defense of Dr. Drew
I am a licensed therapist in the field of substance-abuse treatment and have watched every season of Celebrity Rehab with a keen eye to Dr. Drew Pinsky‘s ethical and professional judgment, as shown on the series (News and Notes). I can honestly say I have never once disagreed with his commentary or his clinical interventions. His commitment to his patients’ recovery is moving and genuine. When working with recovering addicts, losing a former patient goes with the territory, unfortunately and far too often, and takes place after treatment in some of the country’s most well-known and revered programs.
Alan H. Sherer
Santa Cruz, Calif.

Damaged Goods
In your Summer TV Preview, how on earth could you put ”Which New Reality Show Should You Watch?” on the same spread as a piece on Damages, one of the most original and twisty legal thrillers around? When I saw this, I said, ”Excrement and excellent.” Reality TV does not belong anywhere near a show as good as Damages.
Michael Labbate
Linden, N.J.

Sax-y Beast
You guys apparently forgot about the best saxophone appearance of the ’80s (Music): the sax-on-the-beach scene in The Lost Boys. That guy, his ponytail, his gleaming chest, and his saxophone are the ultimate in cheesy sax greatness.
Natalie Bojesen
Eastpointe, Mich.

Correction
MTV’s new Teen Wolf series was developed by exec producer Jeff Davis (TV). The 1985 feature film on which it was based was created and written by Joseph Loeb III and Matthew Weisman.