March 09, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Reaction to our Spring Movie Preview (#582, Feb. 16) and Josie and the Pussycats feature was surprisingly tame, but a few finicky readers did bare their claws. ”I’m glad I’m not one of the high-paid execs who had to listen to and approve these pitches!” declares Michael D. Fox of Ogden, Utah. Meanwhile, Jerry Meyer of Austin, Tex., likes the idea of a Gilligan’s Island flick: ”They could get Tim Burton to direct, but I fear that some suit would try to cast Britney Spears as Mary Ann.” (And what would be wrong with that?) And Bill O’Reilly fans wondered why Ken Tucker didn’t mention the Fox News bigwig in his review of TV talking heads. Says Joe Mahaffey of Pineville, N.C., ”O’Reilly is far more in-your-face than Chris Matthews.” Meow!


Thanks so much for the lovely cover photo and the great article on Josie and the Pussycats. I’ve been a fan of Josie and her pals for over 30 years and I look forward with keen anticipation to seeing their movie. It’s bound to be purr-fect! ROGER HURST Glendale, Calif.

The biggest story in years and you guys put a blip above the chosen cover! I expected a fanfare cover for Tom and Nicole; instead I find this lame cover of the teenyboppers from Josie and the Pussycats! What were you thinking? I thought I was looking at TEEN PEOPLE for a minute! DEBBIE FISCHER Rochester, N.Y.


Was Owen Gleiberman on morphine when he generously gave Hannibal a B+ grade? Was the MPAA lobotomized when it gave this dreck only an R rating? I’ll never know the answers to these questions, but I do know this: John Revolta’s Battlefield Earth is no longer the worst movie I’ve ever seen. JIM RADOSTA Portland, Ore.

I think Owen Gleiberman got it wrong when he described Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Mason Verger in Hannibal as a ”malevolent Jimmy Stewart”. It was more of a dead-on portrayal of Jim Carrey as Fire Marshall Bill from In Living Color. DAVID ROBERTS Chicago


We at the orangutan foundation International hope the producers behind Mike Judge’s ”live-action, Wild Kingdom-style show” (TV) insist that it be animated (as one would assume based on Judge’s past creations). The training live apes receive to make them act unnaturally requires punishment that can be characterized as abusive. This practice should no longer be tolerated in Hollywood, where there are realistic alternatives like digital animation, animatronics, and lifelike costumes. GARY SHAPIRO Los Angeles


Ken Tucker’s article on personality-based news reporting fails to mention the most personality-driven news show, The O’Reilly Factor, on the Fox News Channel. Bill O’Reilly’s influence is evident on CNN, where Wolf Blitzer actually reads viewer mail on the air. Would Dan Rather do that? HUNTER HUMPHREY Deatsville, Ala.


When I read Tom Sinclair’s article ”Love Is in the Air,” (Music) I let out a huge ”Wow!” For many years I’ve searched for Love’s Forever Changes album. I still remember all of the words even though my original copy of this classic was permanently ”borrowed” by my sister, although she still denies it. I finally get to replace the missing piece in my collection. Thanks, Tom, for the heads up. DEE SCHARF Coral Springs, Fla.


How ironic that in your article about the plight of movie writers and their bid to gain respect, input, access, and credit (Fights), you blithely choose not to quote a single screenwriter but instead give voice to the power establishment: producers and directors. And that over issues like striking down the ”A Film By” vanity credit, you have the gall to quote a television writer who is already considered the ”king.” You couldn’t have better illustrated the legitimate complaints of the ”ink-stained wretches who actually create the characters and put words in their mouths.” ROBERT CHOMIAK Vancouver


It’s news to us that we condemned the movie Joe back in 1970 (”Sweet and Sourpuss,” #577, Jan. 12). While some Catholic publications delight in criticizing the seamier edges of popular culture, Catholic Digest has a 60-year history of helping people embrace life, culture, and diversity. Our readers have ample intelligence and integrity to make their own decisions about movie fare. KATHLEEN STAUFFER Managing Editor, Catholic Digest St. Paul

CORRECTION: As a former regular on St. Elsewhere, Denzel Washington is a small-screen vet (TV).



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