So Mikael Wood thinks that not only is Justin Timberlake’s new album, “Man of the Woods,” a song-and-dance sham but that his Super Bowl halftime show was also almost completely without merit [“Super Bowl LII Halftime,” Feb. 5]. Why bash a guy who just wanted to put on a party for the masses? I’m no Timberlake fan, but even I could appreciate the showmanship and the spectacle of the whole thing.
Danny Balber Jr.
Casting genius in neighborhood
I was thrilled to read that Tom Hanks will be portraying Fred Rogers in a movie [“Quick Takes: Hanks Cast as Mister Rogers,” Jan. 30], because I hope it will inspire more children to discover the real “Mister Rogers.”
I not only grew up watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” in the early 1970s but I also even met Rogers in person when he came to speak at my school. He was exactly the same person in real life as he was on television.
Stephen A. Silver
A superhero in his own right
Regarding “Quick Takes: Stan Lee Is Now ‘Feeling Great’” [Feb. 3]: Lee deserves an honorary Oscar from the motion picture academy.
With “Spider-Man,” “Iron Man,” “The Avengers,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Captain America,” “Deadpool” and others, the total domestic gross of films where Lee has served as a producer is almost $7 billion.
His movies have saved Hollywood. He is 95. What is the academy waiting for
Hidden gem in the funny papers
Regarding “Pearls Before Swine” [Feb. 4]: My perusal of the comics section revealed the most profound philosophical gem I’ve seen in a long time. Thank you, Stephan Pastis.
Luckily, Chaplin changed mind
As a sidebar to Grace Kingsley’s century-old article on Charlie Chaplin [“The Tramp’s New Digs,” Jan. 20, 1918, reprinted Feb. 4, 2018], your readers might be interested in knowing that Kingsley was one of 2,000 visitors to the studio that January.
Among the others were a man and woman who passed themselves off as journalists but who were in reality spies.
They were caught eavesdropping on a story conference, and when they were searched, it was discovered that they had made eight sketches of the completed sets, along with detailed stenographic notes of the film’s story, characters and costumes.
Faced with the possibility that a knock-off of his movie might already be in the works, Chaplin abandoned it and began working on another idea.
Luckily, after several days, he resumed work on “I Should Worry,” which was eventually released as “A Dog’s Life.” I say “luckily” because it remains one of his best.
Dan Kamin, author of “The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion”
The birth of a new conspiracy?
Michael Schaub’s article “Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Co-Writing Book” [Jan. 28] was very interesting. But, of course, I don’t believe a word of it.
An escapism from the world
Regarding “Grammy Audience Is Lowest in 9 Years” [Jan. 30]: I disagree with the premise that the Grammy ratings are down because of highlights online.
As important as the topic of sexual harassment is, few people want to be browbeaten by actresses. Awards shows are supposed to be fun, where the public can view the beautiful people and hear them make silly speeches thanking everyone but the kitchen sink.
Television and movies are a form of escapism for most people. If they want to listen to politics, they can turn on CNN, MSNBC or Fox News. Bring back the shallowness and the fun of the old Grammys and Oscars.
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