Life in the ant farm
The Indian in the Cupboard. What the hell were the producers thinking of when they thought to go with that title? You don't see Hollywood making movies called "The Jew in the Cupboard," or the Chinese, or the Mexican. What's the deal with miniaturizing an Indian so he can be some obnoxious-looking brat's pet in suburbia Americana?
Then, I saw Judge Dredd. Cool, I thought. Another Blade Runner wannabe. Another William Gibson copycat who wants to tell us about his/her apocalyptic vision of the future for this nation. Pocahontas. Batman Forever. I would have watched the former, but seeing the amount of screaming, popcorn-smelling kids running amuck in front of that theater...well, I decided to take my weekend elsewhere. Besides, the gaudy neon pink and blue of the theater and its employees were making me feel like I was trapped in some perverse universe of neon, happy people.
I cruised back to the ant farm, Arlington, and hid in Barnes & Noble, where I picked up an edition of your 'zine on the way in. A wave of nostalgia hit me as I flipped through your pages while sipping a cup of cold cappuccino. Can't really place exactly what it was. Very Village Voice-ish, only that you clicked--like when you meet a guy that you just know can give you multiple O's. Laura Miller is a trip, and Jimmy Fowler's review of Species ["In the mood," July 13] was more than witty. They were actually intelligent.
I recently read Matt Zoller Seitz's review of "Apollo 13" ["Moonstruck," July 6], and now that I've seen the movie for a second time, I must make a few comments concerning Mr. Seitz's review. While Mr. Seitz praised the movie overall, his comments about director Ron Howard being "clearly a craftsman rather than an artist," and that he "might not be up to the task" of better character development really turned me off.
I am tired of movie reviewers taking insulting, cheap shots at directors and actors. The readers want to know about the movie at hand--not about a reviewer's personal opinions of the director's general cognitive abilities. What's worse is that I think reviewers such as Mr. Seitz actually enjoy inserting personally targeted derogatory remarks in their reviews that a professional reviewer simply should not make. I'd hate to think of the nasty remarks Mr. Seitz would make about himself if he reviewed his own review.
Also: Tom Hanks' character covers the earth with his thumb in his fantasy scene--not from the moon as Mr. Seitz explains, but from inside the lunar lander. And the "engine specialists" found a way to create a device that would take carbon dioxide out of the lunar lander's air--not to help an "oxygen flow problem," as Mr. Seitz states. The crew still had plenty of oxygen, and it was flowing properly. Also, it wasn't the specialists who actually got on the radio "to tell the crew how to build it."
And last, astronaut Ken Mattingly was grounded because he'd never had measles and had recently been exposed to a fellow astronaut who had the disease. He was not grounded because "NASA doctors discovered he had the measles virus," as Mr. Seitz said.
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Meredith Louise Miller time
I just want to thank you for the wonderful piece on Meredith Louise Miller ["Don't call it a comeback," July 13]. Robert Wilonsky did a great job of capturing the dry wit and honest nature of a woman whose time has come. Anyone who has seen Meredith with Bruce Dickinson at the Green Room (and been able to ignore the frat boys talking loudly in the back) knows that Bruce and Meredith capture a timeless moment every time they break into one of their brilliantly written songs, or even an occasional Replacements or Sebadoh cover.
Maybe now everyone can see what we've all seen since she moved back to Dallas: a couple of people who care about the music more than posing and preening like most local musicians. These two mean it. Thanks again.