Mailbox: 07.22.09-07.28.09

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No More Patience

Our music feature regarding Paul & the Patients (“The Doctor is In,” July 15- 21) piqued one fan’s interest: “Paul Holmes is a major label’s dream come true…as a songwriter he is prolific and the songs are consistently high-calibre.

Hope he and the Patients soon get the recognition that they deserve. Any ‘rekkid guys’ out there with great ears and some industry muscle???”

Kiddy Problems

OK, so you were expecting any different? Last week, Armond White wrote a few harsh words (“Boys in Lonely Places,” July 15-21) about the latest in the Harry Potter franchise. And, well, a few people couldn’t take it. One reader commented: “‘The series’ wizardry and fantasy and occult backstories (including the title lineage) could have been marvelous metaphors for sex, morality and maturation.’ Are you talking about Harry Potter? The famous children’s book series? Twilight is a completely different ball game. It’s essentially a book directed at the teenage girl demographic; plenty of space for sex and morality metaphors there. But not Harry Potter.

“I don’t know about you, but I watched this film in a cinema screen full of 5- and 6-year-olds. I get the feeling the type of metaphors you’re endorsing might just go over their heads.You write as though there is one very specific way for a film to be good. Films need to be diverse for a diverse society.”

Half-Witted Prince

Another went on the attack by stating: “I know you are a terrible critic, but this so called review is an absolute joke. The Half-Blood Prince never addresses class tension? I’m sorry but WHAT? Who the hell said it had to? You are a devil’s advocate critic that loves going against popular opinion and I dig that, but seriously, actually have some reasons that make sense. Twilight is a bland garbage dump of a film (and book) and yet you call Harry Potter unimaginative? Do you really mean that? “You can cite the film for lacking imagination (if you seriously believe that) but not it comparison to Twilight.

Oh, and Transformers 2 is a complete joke, by far the worst mainstream release this summer, but not nearly as much as your review of the film. How can you say that Jackson destroyed storytelling efficiency and yet give that film a good review? You are a hack plain and simple.” —Chase

Serious Stuff

“I like Armond White’s writing, but I think it’s a mistake to view him as some kind of “consumer guide,” wrote one concerned reader in defense of Armond.

“I usually enjoy reading his reviews after I’ve seen the movies he’s written about. He’s one of the few critics out there actually trying to provide a serious analysis of the movies, as opposed to the empty pop culture bromides, careerism and bad stand-up comedy of most film critics. Even when I disagree with him, I still find his take interesting. All the anger seems a little misplaced; there are probably many other critics/reviewers who will share your opinion of whatever Armond’s trashing or praising.” — ws77

Fan-tabulous Praise

And the most positive response was perhaps this one: “Armond, once again you have said what no one else dares to say. Just as you eviscerated Up, exposed Wall- E for the trash (ha!) it is, and cut through the star dreck of Star Trek, you have once again shown that not even a Confundus charm could make an audience find this drivel entertaining. I look forward to more of your progressive, forward-thinking reviews in the future, and will be checking out the Twilight series per your recommendation, as soon as I finish my pirated copy of Dance Flick.Thanks for all the help in shaping my movie-viewing habits. Armond!”

Sexy Holocaust

Armond wasn’t the only one to receive negative attention for not liking a film. Mark Peikert’s review of Death in Love (“Concentration Camp Filmmaking,” July 15-21) elicited this response: “This is the best film I saw in Sundance!!!!!! It’s been more than a year and I’m still thinking about it from time to time. Don’t read the review…. go see the film! You might not like it if you’re too old…

Holocaust and all… I just saw it as symbolic. If you’re 25-35, you’re going to see a really sexy film with a lot of violent ideas that will make you think. I would give it 5 stars if I could!!!!!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Letters may be edited for size and form.