Hollywood: The Problem Is Stupidity | Letters | Chicago Reader

Hollywood: The Problem Is Stupidity 

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To the editors:

Usually I find your reviews very accurate and informative. However, after seeing Darkman I was very disappointed and annoyed with your review [Reader's Guide to the Silver Screen, section two, August 31].

Sometimes perhaps a stock plot can be made into an absorbing and entertaining story through a creative treatment. I think that was not the case in Darkman. Emotion was shown by rampaging around in a lab and breaking things. The Frankenstein monster did it much better. I did not find Darkman convincing as a monster, and he did not seem particularly strong except on a few occasions. Rather he seemed weak. I did not find his emotions convincing, not the anger, despair, or desire for revenge. The revenge techniques were very feeble. Mostly the film seemed to use the strategy of featuring masks. Surprise! The person under the mask is not who he looks like. That isn't really so interesting when virtually the whole film is based on it.

I thought the acting was wooden. The girlfriend was a real nothing. Dressing her like a corporate woman didn't help. The CEO was so juvenile he didn't come through as sinister. I think he was as juvenile as the writer-director.

I don't really have time to write much of a review of the film. A few weeks ago I saw a French film, Too Beautiful for You. I would say it was a somewhat mediocre film but better than any American film I have seen in several years, and I don't idolize things foreign. I think the problem is stupidity in Hollywood. Also, I would guess that eighty or ninety percent of young actors are relatives of established actors. I know the line is they wouldn't have made it if they didn't have the talent. I think that is nonsense. They don't have the talent. Perhaps many of them are from the sixties or seventies, the "Like hey man days," and don't know what standards are.

I'd like to ask you to think twice before you extol some shallow effort with some worn gimmicks.

Harold Kassel

N. Michigan

PS: I would like to add the feeling Darkman did give is that of someone with premature senility.

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