Take Five with the Six Pack
Below are excerpts of e-mail responses to the March 25 "Six Pack to Go" questions. Each question has five responses from readers. (Sorry, but Russ serves as the "gatekeeper" - he determines the five answers to accompany each question.) In order to make this a reader-friendly feature, some lengthy answers submitted by readers may have been whittled to one or two sentences.
1) Which movie star is more responsible for the dumbing down of America: Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler? I can hardly stand to look at Jim Carrey but, somehow, I feel he's probably a pretty good actor - just misguided. Therefore, my vote goes to Adam Sandler. I couldn't have agreed with you more, picking these two guys for the top spot. Actually, there is NO reason for Adam Sandler to even exist. And, please, write in Jeff Daniels for the third spot! A trashy movie doesn't dumb you down if it presents itself honestly as trash. But it does if it claims greatness. I don't think any movie star is guilty of dumbing down America. I'm more apt to blame Jerry Springer, the WWF, or Marshall Mathers - other parts of the media that aim at the short attention span. I think there have always been silly actors. However, the dumbing down of America is the result of the educational systems that have lowered their academic standards. Adam Sandler. At least Carrey had made one decent movie in his life - "Liar Liar."
2) Don't you wish movie theaters would adopt a flexible pricing structure, where you would pay $1 more for blockbuster hits and $2 less for marginal releases? Excellent idea, that of having price schedules that reflect the "worth" of a movie. That is a creative idea. They actually might make more money that way. Bargain theaters are dying, so flexible pricing is a logical replacement. Movie prices are out of control - something needs to be done. That would encourage more people to go to the other movies.
3) If you were making a list of the worst movies of all time, wouldn't "Raising Arizona," "Hudson Hawk," and "The Postman (Il Postino)" be near the top?What are you talking about? "Raising Arizona" is a classic! No, my favorite loser is "Independence Day" - derivative, corny, hokey; it was a groaner from the opening shot. I strongly disagree with your assessment of "Raising Arizona." I thought it was hilarious - it's one of my favorite movies. Maybe you should stick to writing about what you know - whatever that is. "Hudson Hawk" and "Raising Arizona" are both great movies, almost in the mode of my two all-time favorites, "Pulp Fiction" and "Fargo." "Il Postino" was just sappy enough to bring tears to my eyes, but it was a pretty well acted film.
4) Isn't Tom Hanks, one of the top movie actors in this or any other era, Hollywood's best example of someone being rewarded for paying his dues? (He once starred in the forgettable TV sitcom "Bosom Buddies.") Guess it's only fair to consider John Travolta. Who can forget him paying his dues in "Welcome Back Kotter"? Yes, Tom Hanks is really something. I think his biggest asset is that he becomes the character he's playing - on screen he doesn't come across as an actor playing a part. Tom Hanks is as good as it gets (sorry, Jack Nicholson). Yes, Tom Hanks is my generation's Jimmy Stewart or Gary Cooper. Yeah, I guess, but don't ya think Tom is just a little too good to be true?
5) If someone asked you to name the most underappreciated movie during the past five years, wouldn't "You Can Count on Me" and "Ulee's Gold" be among the first to come to mind? Underappreciated movies? "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" is funny, directed with style and efficiency, has a great soundtrack, too. Of "Payback," with Mel Gibson, with you like film noir. My vote goes to "The Last Days of Frankie the Fly," starring the one and only Dennis Hopper. "Grosse Point Blank" was the funniest movie of the 19902. Another John Cusack film, "High Fidelity," should have received more praise last year. You're right - "Ulee's Gold" didn't receive its due. "High Fidelity" and "Almost Famous" should be on that too.
6) Given that $1 million, either in box-office revenue or production costs, qualifies a movie for laughingstock status, doesn't WTVG seem a bit out of step with its "Million Dollar Movie" on Saturday nights? Maybe it should be the "Multi-Million Dollar Movie"! Perhaps given the choice of movies, that is all that they are worth by the time WTVG shows them. Does anyone really watch movies on TV anymore? Ones that break for commercials, that is? Their movie selection leaves something to be desired. Then again, it is Channel 13. Don't ask me - I watch "Saturday Night Live"!
COMMENTS ABOUT THE MAIN TOPIC OF COLUMN Terry Glazer is my kind of guy, too . when it comes to evaluating teacher performance. The unions say it isn't fair to do it every year. Obviously, tenure is more important than teaching to a vocal minority of the TPS pedagogues who demand continuance of the present contract. The inmates want to continue running the asylum. Your "Lemmon Drops" column hit a sour note today. . Teachers in Toledo are anxious for reform, but it isn't going to happen overnight. Everyone would like quick results, but unfortunately, this will probably take time. There is no magic key. We seem to be in the same state that we were in before Dr. Sanders came to town. Still the same union-dominated school system, with tenure to some teachers and workers that definitely need to be evaluated. I don't know of any other workers that can seek tenure and hide behind poor work and still keep their jobs. Tenure is for the weak, not for the knowledgeable in lots of cases. I had perceived Terry Glazer negatively because I didn't think that a member of the school board should encourage voters to vote against a school levy. Your article was an eye-opener.
MISCELLANEOUS COMMENTS I really like your column. Keep up the good work. I'd like to tell you that I enjoy your column and wish it was in more often than once a week.