November 14, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

They’re hot for teacher! Our cover featuring School of Rock maestro Jack Black garnered strong grades from readers (#733, Oct. 17). ”EW, you have completely made my year. From videogaming to Conan O’Brien, OutKast to Dave Matthews, you never cease to amaze me,” declares Colin Cosell from Stamford, Conn. ”And now you whip out the funniest, wackiest up-and-comer, Jack Black. He’s amazing and deserves every bit of coverage that he gets. In a word: outstanding!” But not everyone gave us high marks. Other readers thought we were unusually cruel in our review of the Coen brothers’ latest battle-of-the-sexes comedy. ”Intolerable Cruelty a C?” complains Ann Rivello of Belmont, Calif. ”C’mon. Does every movie have to be accompanied by a crescendoing Spielberg-like score wherein the characters learn what is truly important in life? Some of us enjoy our roman-tic comedies more sour than sweet.” Just as long as you’re not bitter.

Jack of Hearts

As a tenacious d fan, I expected School of Rock to be just another one of Jack Black’s dead-on performances. Instead, I got to see one of the most amazing pictures of the year. From the brilliant opening credits to the hilarious jam-session ending, the movie was perfect. To you, Jack Black, I raise the goblet of rock! KENNETH FERGUSON Terre Haute, Ind.

All hail EW for rightfully informing the world about the next revolution in comedy that is Jack Black! Long ago my wife and I pledged allegiance to his kinetic style and ass-kicking renditions of slapstick. It is definitely time for the rest of society to do the same. MIKE CATALANO Pompton Lakes, N.J.

As a ”serious” rock musician, I went to School of Rock with some trepidation. Surely this Jack Black comedy would only make fun of us geeks who like to rock. But no, it was actually — gasp — funny! More important, for a Who fan like me, it was quietly reverential of the world’s greatest live rock band. This musician and Who fan now rates School of Rock among the great rock & roll movies, along with The Kids Are Alright, This Is Spinal Tap, Almost Famous, and A Hard Day’s Night. JIM JACKSON Columbus, Ohio

Behind the Screener

If the MPAA’s ban on DVD Oscar screeners (News & Notes) does have the effect of limiting the number of nominations that go to indie films, I suggest that everyone who truly cares about the movies — including those who are nominated — boycott this year’s Oscar ceremony. Oh, and isn’t it time that Jack Valenti be given his gold watch and shown the door? STEVE OMLID Upland, Calif.

There is a simple and fair solution to this controversy. Each Academy screener should be encoded with a brief marking that Uniquely identifies to which Academy member it is being sent. Then when Valenti’s antipiracy department traces a bootleg video, It will be possible to link it to the specific member who leaked his copy. This offender should then have his Academy membership revoked, and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Banning Academy screeners is not going to help solve movie piracy. It is only going to hurt independent films and keep them from being made. ERIK MAELL New York City

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