Readers respond to Creed, James Taylor, and "Lord of the Rings"

Behind Enemy Lines may have been the cover story of our war movies issue (#629, Dec. 7), but the fiercest battles concerned David Browne’s review of Creed’s Weathered album. On the defensive line was Stephen Mills of Richmond, Ind.: ”I was offended by [your] degrading review. Creed’s music is, in times like these, a relief.” Bobbi Jo Mackenzie of Des Moines agrees: ”In a society where morals [are] long forgotten, it’s nice to see true talent sell record numbers of albums.” Russell Krone of Decatur, Ga., led those who rallied around Browne, writing: ”Rarely do I laugh out loud while reading music reviews. I was glad to see someone put Scott Stapp and his watered-down wannabe grunge band in its place.”

Fault ‘Lines’

Maybe Behind Enemy Lines ”never had any intention of being taken seriously.” But referring to Owen Wilson as ”the dude from Shanghai Noon” and ”the dude from Zoolander” is a massive understatement (Movies). Owen Wilson is the unusually quirky cowriter of Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums, and the only thing more baffling than these dismissive descriptions is why such a talented guy continues to accept scripts he must surely recognize as total crap.

While I agree with the majority of Lisa Schwarzbaum’s review of Behind Enemy Lines, I take exception to her dismissal of Owen Wilson as ”the dude from Shanghai Noon” and ”the dude from Zoolander.” In the same issue, EW points out his versatility as a writer and actor, but then he is criticized for what is essentially his first major dramatic role? Give the guy a chance! By the way, I’m looking forward to the other war movies you mention: Hart’s War with the dude from Moonlighting, We Were Soldiers with the dude from Bird on a Wire, and Windtalkers with the dude from Valley Girl.
Bloomington, Ind.


Your ”Greats” profiles started out in marvelous fashion and just get better and better. This last installment was one of the most incisive mini-biographies I have ever read. I’ve been a fan of James Taylor for more than 20 years. David Browne has given me a perspective on Mr. Taylor that feels so personal and private…I almost feel guilty in the knowing.
New York City

James Taylor? Who’s next? Leo Sayer? Leif Garrett? How about one on Lobo? Way to idolize a guy who practically invented background Muzak.
Chatham, Ontario

Poster Chide

I enjoyed your article on the holiday movie posters (News & Notes). However, you were off base in putting down the Lord of the Rings one-sheet for not featuring the cast of the movie. The one-sheet in your article was actually a ”teaser” sheet. It was the second teaser issued for LOTR; the first had a picture of Frodo by himself. The final one-sheet, which should now be on display at theaters, features the cast.
Forsyth, Mont.

As you may know, the poster you show for Lord of the Rings is not the final one-sheet. I work at a movie theater and we received a third poster that does feature Frodo and other characters in the film. I agree that the second poster was a pretty generic image, making the movie look more like an animated feature than an epic, but the third poster does it more justice. Good work on your poster critiques; I always look forward to them.
Temple Terrace, Fla.

Ross Reports

Just a quick note from a longtime subscriber to tell you what a great job Dalton Ross is doing with the weekly TV schedule. The little blurbs in that section are often the most amusing part of the magazine.
Kansas City, Mo.

Every week, Dalton Ross’ What to Watch (Television) makes me giggle furiously and swear to renew my subscription. Thanks for having such a talented, funny writer on staff!
Glendale Heights, Ill.