M A I L B O X 12.24.08-12.30.08
Armond’s Firing Squad
I truly have to say that you have the world’s biggest idiot working for you, and his name is Armond White.
How can you continue to pay a man who thinks The Wrestler (Dec. 17) sucks and Transporter 3 (“Transcendent Thrill Drive,” Nov. 26-Dec. 2) was the best movie of the year? He is the worst movie critic and continues to produce horrible reviews. He is an idiot and a loser! Please fire him if you know what is good for your paper. Check out his reviews on RottenTomatoes.com if you think I am joking. I will never read your paper again as long as this idiot works for you. Please give us all an early Christmas present and fire him! —Matt James
Klattu Barada Nincompoop
I have just read NY Press film critic Armond White’s review of The Day the Earth Stood Still (Dec. 12), the remake of Robert Wise’s 1950s science fiction classic of the same name. I totally agree with Mr.White’s insightful and ontarget review of the new remake and everything that is wrong with it. But what surprised me is that Mr.White made another cinematic error similar to the ones he did with his past reviews of this year’s films, Death Race and The Dark Knight, in relation to the most memorable line of dialogue from the original, which is really “Klattu Barada Nicto” and not “Klattu Nicto Barada” as Mr.White states in his film review.
Any respectable fan or admirer of science fiction cinema knows that famous phrase by heart and especially the correct way to say it. What Mr.White did in his film review is the same mistake Bruce Campbell did in Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness, when he also botched saying that famous phrase in using the Necronomicon book in that film. And we all know what happened to Mr. Campbell’s character Ash when he did that. Anyway, my suggestion to Mr.White is to rent or buy the new two-disc special edition DVD of the original The Day the Earth Stood Still that is available now. He can newly familiarize himself with that famous sci-fi phrase, so mistakes like that won’t happen in his future film reviews. —Alan Bobet
I read your review of Transporter 3. A movie I will wait for the cable showing to watch because 1 & 2 were awful. However, I was taken aback by your statement that Luc Besson has reinvented the action movie. I’m surprised that a man with your knowledge would make such a statement. Luc Besson is just another white culture vulture ripping off people of color (the Hong Kong film industry) so he can seem creative. Men like Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Chow Yun Fat, Sammo
Hung, etc., were doing this type of film long ago and were better at it, while Jason Statham was preparing to be an Olympic diver.
Statham also proves that a white man can still get work with the minimum of profit earnings (if any) and get sequels to movies that aren’t successful. Transporter 1 and 2 barely made $70mil combined, yet he gets a part 3. There is also a sequel to Crank, which was unprofitable and the worst movie of 2007. Mr. White, please don’t make such a statement again. —Michael Sanderlin
Kids of the East Village Unite!
I must contradict Phil Hartman’s statement (“The East Village Isn’t What It Used to Be…And Never Was,” Dec. 10-16) that in 1987 when he opened Two Boots there were “virtually no kids in the East Village.” There were plenty; they were kids of color; they lived there already. My son grew up with them, went to school with them.The kids of the East Village are part of the most multiculturally sophisticated generation America has ever seen, but these kids had to grow up surrounded by the folks running around copping dope and partying all night as their scenes flourished. —James Romberger
Hippies Never Die
When Marcel Duchamp took on the Washington Square arch in the 1920s and declared Greenwich Village to be the republic of Bohemia, he was not referring to what is now known as the East Village, which until the 1960s was the Lower East Side (L.E.S.). I know because I was born and bred in the Lower East Side’s formerly Eastern European immigrant neighborhood and observed the changes that set in.The rents were cheap and many artists like Charlie Parker, Alan Ginsberg, John Coltrane and Lenny Bruce lived there; along with a sizable Puerto Rican immigrant community and sizable Ukranian enclave. In the ’60s, many college kids, artists and free spirits wanted to live in the Village; but it couldn’t handle the overflow, so a marketing term was created by the real estate establishment: the East Village. Soon, many kids broke their bourgeois bonds to experiment in art, drugs, sex and freedom. By 1967 a new counterculture was born with places such as the Electric Circus, The Balloon Farm, the Psychedelicatessen, the Electric Lotus and the Village Theater, later to be the Fillmore East.There were communes, crash pads, spiritual groups and wild parties and happenings in the psychedelic Never Never Land.You could sit in a geodesic dome and eat macrobiotic food or trip out with the Tibetan Book of the Dead among blacklight Day-Glo posters or swing down to Slugs to see The Sun Ra Orchestra or the 5 Spot to hear Eric Dolphy blow. It only lasted for a few years, but it was the best idealistic counterculture in New York I can remember before the deep cynicism set in by the 1970s—when groups like the Motherfuckers replaced more emblematic groups like the Diggers who gave away free clothing. By the ’70s, strangers no longer passed joints at rock concerts and the spirit had been broken: Hippies were like defeated Indians. It was depressing, and I cut out for the West Coast to join groups like Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company and the California Cowboys and Indians playing ragas in full-moon ceremonies until 1976. By 1978, a Bay Area reporter coined the word “yuppie” (young urban professional), which was the new change a-coming.
—Richard West,West Village
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