Readers were seeing red this week — but not over Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. (#659, June 21). Most sidestepped the Scooby-Doo duo and instead raged against director Brett Ratner’s reinterpretation of Manhunter. ”What book did Ratner read before he said Manhunter ‘really had nothing to do with the book’?” wonders Sheila Burnette of Elgin, Ill. ”Certainly not Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon, because the overlooked and stunning Manhunter is at times a scene-for-scene visualization of the novel.” Also furious were Michael Jackson fans who felt scorned by the Music section’s Loser of the Week tag. ”I do not know how you can call Jackson [that],” says Christina Labrador of New York City. ”He has done some crazy things, but he’s representing artists who have been cheated by the music industry.” Amazing that people are still wacko for Jacko.

Buff ‘n’ Stuff

I was ecstatic to see Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. on your cover! I’ve been a fan of Sarah’s since I began watching Buffy in 1997, and I’ve been a fan of Freddie’s since I saw him in I Know What You Did Last Summer. They’re getting all the praise they deserve. BECKY TRINH San Jose, Calif.

I agree with Sarah Michelle Gellar’s critics: She does have a weight problem. She’s been carrying roughly 180 pounds of dead weight known as Freddie Prinze Jr. Apparently, opposites do attract. She has talent. He does not. GREG M. FELTES Barrington, Ill.

Hey, Ricky!

I absolutely loved Chris Nashawaty’s article on magician/actor Ricky Jay showing that relatively unknown geniuses are appreciated (”Pickpocket Full of Miracles”). I first caught Ricky’s 52 Assistants on cable and only then did I begin to notice him in movies. Even watching him on TV, I felt like I should check to see if a wallet or earring might be missing… as though he could reach right through the set and snatch it off me without the slightest indication. Great article, Chris! MARY ROTH St. Louis

‘Dragon’ Slayers

Brett Ratner’s claim that Michael Mann’s Manhunter ”had nothing to do with” Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon is ludicrous (First Look). Although Mann’s film did make a couple of significant changes to the novel, it remained largely faithful to it. In fact, several of the photos from Ratner’s film appear similar to scenes from Mann’s film. Ratner’s attempt to exalt his own film by tearing down another filmmaker’s work would be offensive were it not so pathetic. ROGER SIMON Fort Worth

Thanks for the photo gallery on Red Dragon. What I don’t understand is why Ratner and crew are so adamant about distancing themselves from the original movie Manhunter, which was not only a close interpretation of the book but a damn fine film as well. CHUCK SAMBUCHINO Cincinnati

In the ‘zona

I’m really enjoying Listen-2This. But in the Jimmy Eat World piece (”World Beaters”), Brian M. Raftery states that the only other rock act in Arizona is Alice Cooper. That’s a big brush-off to the best roots-rock band today, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. The band unites former Refreshments frontman Clyne with members of the Gin Blossoms and Dead Hot Workshop to form a supergroup that is rapidly garnering national attention. JOSHUA T. NITE Phoenix