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

By EW Staff
Updated April 30, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Mail from our readers

Our mail bag last week teemed with responses to our cover story on and review of The Matrix (#480, April 9, 1999). Readers were mad for the film and mad at us for our C+ grading. Lenny Felgin of Alpharetta, Ga., scolds: ”Your review focused on whether or not Keanu can act. Let me help you: He can’t! But the movie kicked butt.” Meanwhile, Brian Callaghan of Boston took issue with our cover photo: ”Why did you make Keanu look like Leona Helmsley?” Even more perplexed was Stephanie Brewer of The Woodlands, Tex.: ”Oh! It’s Keanu! For a minute, I thought Annie Lennox had a new CD out.” Also included below is feedback on our Oscar issue (#474), now off newsstands, which should finally close the book on Oscar ’98 — we hope.

Magic ‘Trix
Keanu Reeves gets a lot of flak for being a bad actor, but in The Matrix he really shines. The special effects were killer and so was the plot. I loved your ”Reality Bytes” sidebar — the pictures were marvelous. Thank you for letting me blow my mind all over again!
Nadine Zeid
Boulder, Colo.

Lisa Schwarzbaum’s review of The Matrix missed the point. She seemed primarily interested in demonstrating that Keanu Reeves is not Laurence Olivier. What she did not mention is that the movie is an incredible adrenaline rush. I have become supremely bored with shoot-’em-up, special-effects-filled, mega-budget schlock. The Matrix, though, has brought new life to the sci-fi genre. The special effects were beyond belief and the plot engaging. Most simply, the goose bumps I felt told me one thing: This movie rocks!
Mitch Tobin
Evanston, Ill.

I usually agree with your movie reviews, but your review of The Matrix was way off the mark. It failed to see the film for what it is: a unique, exciting, intelligent, well-scripted piece of science fiction. Maybe the Matrix has her.
Mike Musteric
Sherman Oaks, Calif.

As a working professional in the film industry, as well as an avid moviegoer, I have one thing to say: The Matrix offered the most fun I’ve had at a film in years. For once I could put aside my own indulgent pastime of picking apart a film (mainly out of boredom) and get lost in a world created with much love, a great sci-fi story line, hard work, and a massive dollop of derring-do creativity. Everything about this film satisfies the guiltiest of pleasures, even among the jaded. In short, a history lesson for all critics: A lot of you thought Blade Runner sucked, too.
Michael Wandmacher
Topanga, Calif.

In the wake of such moronic Hollywood offerings as Armageddon, at last we have a sci-fi whose plot makes us think. Hoaky cybermysticism and Keanu aside, The Matrix‘s solid, high-concept story never takes itself too seriously, nor does it compromise its integrity for the sake of its incredible, genre-blending action sequences. This is the best time I’ve had at the movies in quite a while, and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Victor Navone
San Diego

Regarding Oscar
You deserve your own Oscar for the outstanding issue you produced. As a student in the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting, I found your Oscars issue to be an invaluable resource. Your in-depth analysis brilliantly presented the films, the actors, and the information necessary for Oscar night. Thank you!
MIchael P. Richards
West Hollywood, Calif.

Ty Burr says in his article ”Top Guns” that Oscar didn’t take notice of war movies about Vietnam until Apocalypse Now. While he notes that movies like Coming Home and The Deer Hunter were Hollywood’s ways of coming to terms with the conflict, he doesn’t say anything about the awards they won. Both of them were multiple Oscar winners.
Michael Wells

Correction: James Earl Jones and George Clooney do voice-overs for Bell Atlantic and ArthurAndersen, respectively (N&N).