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The Grey Area...
Readers' letters of comment, feedback messages, and selected correspondence

November 2005
Just enjoyed the Black Scorpion TV series on DVD. Wow, it is a very well done show. Shame it only has one season. It has all the superhero qualities that they are striving for now in Hollywood but not achieving. This series is there, and with minor tweaks, it could be a winner for some company who wants to get on the Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman bandwagon. Now may be the time... This show should be 'discovered again by the powers that be' and produced for more shows. The Internet shows there is a huge following. Just hoping...
- Lee Morrison

Thanks for the review [of Alien Abduction]. It was pretty darned good and fun to read.
- Eric Forsberg (writer and director)

October 2005
You can't even begin to talk about space rock without mentioning the 'daddies', the supreme heavy metal kids Hawkwind � still recording, still touring, still getting new fans � timeless, anarchic, but without all that punk posturing and a knowing smile. They get extra brownie points for supporting new talent and having an aura about them that no other band has in quite the same quantity. Rob Calvert, Lemmy, Dave Brock, Nick Turner, Michael Moorcock, Asimov, Ginger Baker, and Arthur Brown � it's all there, reggae, ambient, jazz, blues, metal, poetry.
- Shane Molloy

July 2005
Regarding your review of the Hughes brothers' film From Hell, you must be having a laugh. Either that or you are unaware of any cinema beyond The Goonies, which by the way is several Oscars better than From Hell. This movie is the cinema equivalent of packaged dog-turd. Johnny Depp (who I agree is usually a tremendously gifted actor) has clearly been directed to 'act shit'. Heather Graham looks like she has been transported through time and space from a Vogue photo shoot into 'Grimy Olde London Towne' � complete with her own makeup and lighting technicians. Well I assume she came from a photo shoot, it certainly wasn't acting school was it?
Ok, I'll admit that this is not the irredeemable travesty of Battlefield Earth (sorry Mr Travolta, this will never be recognised as anything other than the spiritual successor to Plan 9 From Outer Space), as there are some fairly convincing sets and a decent supporting cast, but I don't think it is going too far to suggest that a rectal cavity search of the lead actors, and indeed the directors, producers, script-writers and investors, would have resulted in a more satisfying film experience.
With this in mind I find it hard to understand how you can highly recommend this film to either Depp fans or Jack aficionados.
What is good about this film?
  • There are some very good sets
  • There are some great supporting actors
  • Ian Holm (first half on the film)

  • What is bad about this film?
  • 'Clever' cross-reference to the Elephant Man (who cares if it's in Moore's story, this is a pointless aside in the film version)
  • Victorian Cracker � Robbie we love you, but this is plop
  • Johnny Depp's accent
  • Heather Graham
  • Realising who the killer was halfway through
  • Sitting through two hours of it when I realised in the first 10 minutes that it had the equivalent Mensa level of a single-celled organism.

  • - Paul Stakounis

    June 2005
    ..interested to note that the latest Bova [Mercury] reviewer hasn't enjoyed his any more than I liked the ones I've tried. I tried to read Mars last year and couldn't manage a hundred pages before I gave up.
    - Duncan Lawie

    May 2005
    re: CaveSerpent... I really like Ian Simmons' art. The creature looks remarkably affable and is wonderfully colourful!
    - Amy Harlib

    Thanks for the feedback, it is always welcome... I was in a particularly good mood when I drew the serpent, hence the upbeat and colourful look. I just felt that these creatures (often uncharitably referred to as 'monsters' just because they feed on the odd villager), have moods and feelings just like the rest of us 'civilised' beings. Whilst drawing it I tried to imagine that it had just had a little bit of luck on the serpent lottery and was swimming to collect its winnings whilst whistling a couple of popular show tunes.
    - Ian Simmons

    McCalmont's review of Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith is an excellent critique. I agree with the general opinion that this film 'looks' great (as photo-realistic digital art and computer animation its backgrounds and cityscapes are frequently magnificent), but as science fiction and even as pulp adventure, ROTS is a dismal failure. For such a long-awaited 'fin de siècle' drama that's purportedly about death and birth (and re-birth!), on personal and galactic scales, the closing instalment of this film series is shockingly bereft of anything resembling 'life', or spirit.
    - Chris Geary

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