Today's column is in the tradition of the bit Steve Allen used to do on his TV programs where he'd take actual letters to the editor from newspapers and read them in a loud, angry voice while slamming his fist on the desk.
The items below will have much more impact if you do the same.- WE GET LETTERS, PART II:About the noise and talking in theaters. I think no matter where you go there will always be a few "motor mouths" (pardon the expression) - even in church. I also think that the movie sets the stage for how people will react. They (the movies) are usually too loud anyway.
I am so thankful for videos. I can choose what I want to see and hear.
Salt Lake CityI really love movies, in a theater, and wish there were more good ones like "Driving Miss Daisy," "Chariots of Fire" and "Gone With the Wind." I'm no prude (I've been around cows too long) but I dislike swearing, and this unbelievable violence is really stupid.
Salt Lake CityThere have been some wonderful movies that are rated R that I would love to have taken my children to except they had those "parts" that are not fit for children. Some have wonderful messages, such as "Rain Man," "The Breakfast Club," "The Milagro Beanfield War," but they miss out because (they are) rated R for (profanity). Most of the PG-13s are worse than Rs because they push every limit.
I don't like being called a prude but I don't like having to explain things to my children at such an early age.
My question is, what can we do about it? Who can we write to or would it do any good?
You can certainly write to filmmakers or studios, though how much good it does is questionable, of course. We're talking about movies made by people who consider themselves artists, and as such they rightly feel they should have artistic freedom to express themselves as they choose.
Of course, unlike most solo artistic endeavors, movies are also collaborative and a very expensive business venture. You can write to filmmakers whose work offends you in some way and encourage them otherwise, but I would suggest you also write to filmmakers whose work you appreciate and thank them.
But don't forget that ultimately it is box-office revenue that validates a filmmaker - especially in the eyes of the studios that will fund future projects.I am certain we are missing out on many great stories, but the movies today are just too embarrassing and offensive. Is there a service that edits these current movies so they are watchable as a family? I would gladly pay for a separate cable channel or go to a movie theater or video store that had this service.
If you are aware of somewhere in the valley that has this service, even on videotapes, we will support them.
David F. Adams
Salt Lake City
There is a local company hoping to be able to release on video edited versions of major movies, but they are still in the negotiation stage with the studios that own the movies. Look for more on this in the near future.
- AND WHILE WE'RE complaining, isn't it too bad theater operators aren't more sensitive to what they put on the screen before children's movies?
When I took my kids to see "The NeverEnding Story II," which includes a new Bugs Bunny cartoon, the three trailers - previews - shown beforehand were all decidedly adult films.
One was for "Queens Logic," a sort of younger yuppie "Big Chill" from the look of it. It was pretty discreet on the whole.
Another was for "Career Opportunities," a new John Hughes teen comedy with some sexual innuendo I felt was somewhat inappropriate for the young children I brought to "NeverEnding Story II."
But the third was by far the worst - an ad for "The Hot Spot," a thriller starring Don Johnson and Virginia Madsen. Talk about inappropriate - violence and sex in rapid-fire music-video style, preceded, of course, by that green logo that explains the preview has been approved for all audiences, though the movie itself is rated R.
Well, it wasn't approved by me for the audience that included my children.
It's pretty bad when you take your young ones to a movie designed specifically for kids and they are still exposed to material you'd rather they didn't see.
- AND ONE MORE COMPLAINT, this one in the poor taste department. The latest issue (Feb. 18) of Variety, the show-biz trade paper, had an article about older stars appearing in upcoming movies, including Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, James Stewart and Maureen O'Hara, the latter giving her first screen performance in 20 years.
The headline was, "Points and a Medic Alert Bracelet" . . . but it got worse. Here's the story's lead paragraph:
"Everyone old is new again. The coming season of film releases looks like geezers on parade. A host of American actors from the Geritol generation is getting steady work this year. Whether the films will have legs - or need walkers - is anybody's guess."
That's got to be the most insensitive article I've read in a while.
A TV Guide-style "Jeer" to Variety and writer Charles Fleming - the Andrew Dice Clay of journalism - for that one.