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How Are We Doing?

We're all ears. That's what we said back in this section's early days, and we still mean it. We're here to listen and respond to you. So far it's been a delightful dialogue.

And now, in this season of report cards, we're reminded of the value of feedback. So talk to us, please.

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Some questions to get you started: What do you think of our stories on visual and performing arts? On pop culture? How useful is the movie guide? Are you riding Catch a Wave each week? Has Sports 101 helped you become more clued in? How can we inspire you more? Be more useful? Have more fun? And what types of stories are we missing?

My in-box has been full with your responses to Editor's Notebook. Thanks for generously sharing your thoughts on topics ranging from movies to youth sports. You'll find many of these letters on Page B3 of today's section. Others were published in previous sections (Favorite artists on April 3 and "Teletubbies" June 5).

Many of you have also been in touch with Douglas S. Looney (, our senior sports columnist. Look to the sports page (B8) for your letters.

And last, to make ourselves even easier to reach, we're starting today to include e-mail addresses not only for columnists, but also for every writer on our team. So fire off those notes to film critic David Sterritt (, arts and culture correspondent Gloria Goodale (, and arts and television writer M.S. Mason ( as well as the rest of us. You can always send general comments to

Or if you haven't joined the cyber-hood, drop a note to Arts & Leisure, One Norway Street, Boston, MA, 02115.

And please don't forget to include both your name and your hometown. We tried to track down this information for all of today's letters, but in some cases couldn't reach you.

Now for the mail.

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'Godzilla' (5/22)

I have been a Godzilla fan since the '70s. I have seen most of these movies either on TV or in the theater. I have never experienced so much fun watching the big guy since "Godzilla vs. Monster Zero." I have seen this movie twice already. It was good! I have read a lot of reviews for this movie and have found that the majority say ... nay! While this movie may not win an Oscar, it still beats "Godzilla 1985."

Andre A. Swift


This movie fell way below expectations. First, "Godzilla" or "Hollyzilla" (its new nickname) does not look or resemble anything to his original appearance. And Hollyzilla is too softhearted. I can already hear the Japanese booing us for what we did to their mascot. We stripped it of the legend that made him what he is, and made an expensive cheap imitation that had only the name attached to it.

Tim Jensen

Camp LeJune, N.C.

This was the new and improved Godzilla with piercing eyes, a calculating mind, and a whiplike tail capable of defacing buildings with the slightest touch. I quietly booed when the movie's focus turned toward the humans thereby focusing on their acting. When I look for substance, I read books like "Catcher in the Rye," "War and Peace," or "All's Quiet on the Western Front."

Evrick Brown

Albany, N.Y.

Greetings to you from Malaysia.

If one were to watch "Godzilla" for the fun of "WOOoos-and-WAHhhs," then it would be fun watching.

But if one were to enter the hall with great anticipation of effects (just like me), he or she will be very disappointed. Censorship in Malaysia has already taken out almost the whole story. What remains is only the summary - how disappointing. If the censorship board retained those scenes, then the movie would be worth watching.

Mickey Loh

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

'City of Angels' (4/17)

The story was touching and really defined what love is. The movie made me reconsider my religious views. I have always believed in angels, and this movie made me recognize that it is very possible that they are with us at all times. It was a great movie with a major "cryability" rating of 9 out of 10.

Katy Walters

Leggett, Texas

I was so moved by the movie that I saw it three times in three days. The theology in this movie about the angels seems so right on. I have always been taught that angels are not human and are not baby-winged cherubs that flutter around us. Rather, they are creatures that God has created to forge a bridge of some sort between heaven and earth.

In the movie, those angels seem so believable. There's something about those black coats and their silent but guiding presence.

Other reviews that I have read have been rather negative and they all missed the point. Thanks for getting the point.

Marty Randall

You give "City of Angels" high marks it doesn't deserve. Sure, it is not an ordinary love story. And yes, it dares to tackle theological issues that most mainstream films would not touch. But once thorny issues such as man's free will to choose immortality over mortality or why God allows injustice to occur are brought up, they are promptly set aside in favor of finishing the story.

Blame the filmmakers for thinking they could update a fine film like "Wings of Desire." First, they lacked the originality to come up with a better film so they adapted an old one. Second, they thought by throwing in more complications that they were making a better film.

Wrong on both accounts.

Louis Wu

Thanks for your insight on "City of Angels." The problem that I have with the theme of this movie is that an angel, God's messenger, sees something earthly (even human love) as more attractive, and more desirable than God's kingdom. My assumption is that Nicholas Cage's character feels that his relationship with Meg Ryan will be more fulfilling than his experience in "heaven."

By definition, an angel's mission is to lift people to "see" and experience more of the Kingdom of God, to raise them above earthly pleasures, attractions, etc. It seems that in this movie, the opposite happens, in spite of Meg Ryan learning more about what love is.

David L. Cornthwaite

This movie really moved me. It gave me some comfort about dying and what life is all about.

Troy Ives

Excelsior, Minn.

In a period of my life where I am grappling with issues of faith, this movie has helped me put things in perspective. I never really thought about myself as a bunch of cells.... This movie sends the message that there is a greater power that we must find within our life.


"City of Angels" is a fantastic movie. I liked it 10 times more than "Titanic." As for Mr. Cage, I would give him an Oscar.

Lourdes Cruz

This movie was incredible. I saw it twice in three days, rushing back after seeing it once. The acting was superb. It is also backed by a powerful soundtrack, which I have not stopped listening to for a week. It is a love story of the purest nature, where the lovers want nothing more than to be with one another.


I was disappointed with "City of Angels." It sent the message to the young that the fall of an angel from the top of a building will bring good to the one doing it. I hope some teens won't try it.

E.T. Wolfe


Family theater (3/13)

My first and only Broadway show was at the age of 7. My parents took us to see "Peter Pan" with Mary Martin. I can still see the colors in my mind and smell the theater ... an amazing experience that has carried over two score.

I haven't been back to Broadway but enjoy each play with its memory lingering in the wings. I started my children on Gilbert & Sullivan here at the University Of Washington and the "Nutcracker" at a local high school. It plants a seed that grows and blossoms.

Thanks for sharing.

Noel A. Wannebo


More on 'Teletubbies' (4/10)

The quote by Ms. Wood that "Television is the first piece of technology they encounter. It's a magical box in the corner for them. And they need to be friendly with the screen," is shocking and sad. I have a 6-1/2 month old boy who seems to find endless delight in the "technology" of his own little feet and fingers, not to mention my fingers, mouth, and eyes. Is he missing out as my husband and I do not even own a TV?

I honestly believe he is missing absolutely nothing. Perhaps he is even gaining.

Rebekah Wood Decker

Reston, Va.

'Eddy Ball' (6/5)

Thanks for your inquiries about the rules of the game. Because it's such a loose, inventive game, with play that's improvised each time, it's a tough task for the organizers to share the "rules." But they're working on it. We'll publish what they come up with in a future

Arts & Leisure section so that you can enjoy the game in your own communities.

Your views on the NEA

In Editor's Notebook on April 3 it was mentioned that we'd eventually be asking for your views on the agency and funding for the arts. We're getting closer. Next month, look for the reader survey along with a report from M.S. Mason on current decency hearings.

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