Q & A    Archive
Page 39

Name: Mindy Tanner
E-mail: docmarten@loop.com


First of all, my compliments to your sensible and balanced comments in response to all the nutcase Xenites bombarding you with hate mail best intended for Sharky(my new nickname for Rob Tapert)himself.

Before I ask you a question, let me make a comment about something said by Lindsay, a previous poster: <rob is truly a hated man, and many folks who looked up to Lucy are looking down on her>
Actually, it's not Lucy's fault Rob chose to kill Xena off. I didn't agree with that, but hey-it's his show, and we can either watch or not. I chose not to watch anymore thanks to his treatment of the subtexters.

< Actually Renee is the one who folks are praising and looking to at this point>
That's not a surprise, Renee is the better actress, not to mention the better looking of the two. Hopefully, Renee will go forward in her career instead of putting up with typecasting.

<and Lucy and Rob has lost the fans who respected them the most>
I had no respect for a producer that would make such lowest common denominator crap in the first place(no offense to you-the episodes you directed were actually the GOOD ones). As for Lucy, well...face it, she's not that great. A good actress, yes, but she's not on a par with Kathy Bates.

The point is, I understand why William Shatner tells the Trekkies to get a life. Good Goddess, TWO SUICIDES over a jiggle show with swordplay? That's ridiculous!

Ok, now time for the question. What is your opinion of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? I thought it was wonderful, and beat the hell out of Gladiator. Hollywood needs more people like yourself and Ang Lee, not less.

Dear Mindy:

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" was a martial arts movie for my mother. I didn't give a shit for one single second. The relationship between the two leads bored me, I didn't care at all about the Green destiny sword, I didn't like the pretty young ninja girl, and I just hated the wire work -- people don't fly. Period.


Name: Jim
E-mail: starion106@aol.com


Interesting to hear that Vonnegut wrote about this idea of anti-intellectualism, I'll have to check that out. And yea, I do think 'pride in ignorance' is a huge problem in this country right now, and the film world is no exception. It seems to me that alot of these hot young directors have very little interest in film history, or in history in general (US, world, etc.). Chopped Nuts mentioned that filmmakers these days are disinterested in creating films that will have a long shelf life. I don't think thats exactly it. I think its more that many of these filmmakers are so lazy/willfully ignorant in life in general that they don't even realize their works are completely disposable. I think that Michael Bay truly felt that Pearl Harbor would be a movie that would be regarded amongst the classic war movies. Hell, the director of Tomb Raider has claimed (with a perfectly straight face) in some interviews that he used films by Bergman, Kubrick, and David Lean as references for making his film. The fact that Tomb Raider bears absolutely no resemblance to any of the works of those filmmakers kind of proves my theory: younger directors just don't have a clue.

They watch a couple old movies, completely misunderstand them, then go on to make their worthless films. There was a hilarious piece in the New York Times recently that was basically about Michael Bay and his infatuation with the film West Side Story. He started going into why he loves the film, and it basically came down to his love for the way the film was cut. He said that he had no interest in any of the characters or the story at all, he simply loves the film because of how the edits kept the audience energized. So I don't know if its really that modern directors have little interest in making substantive works, its rather that what they see as substance is not what directors of 50 years ago, or even 20 years ago, considered to be substance. I think that alot of these guys are perfectly happy to ignore any movies made earlier than Star Wars.

Having gone to film school myself, its almost considered 'uncool' nowadays to be familiar with older movies. Its like you're a nerd or a snob if you think the latest big comic-book movie sucks. I think there's this blind acceptance among many young filmmakers that what is new is good, and that what is old should be viewed with the same eyes that you would view a newer film. Pop in a tape of Casablanca: Does the film have cool edits? Were there some cool songs in the background? Was there some really cool dialogue between the lead actors? All this stuff that has little to do with the actual story is what many young filmmakers seem intent on analyzing. Whether a movie is about anything is beside the point. To many young filmmakers, it seems like eliciting a gut-reaction from the audience is what gives a movie substance. Whether it holds up for 2 hours, who cares. As long as there's some really cool scenes and shots set to emotional music, and some dialog you can quote when you leave the theater, you've got a top notch movie. If it doesn't have this kind of stuff, why bother making it? Who would want to see a movie that just tries to tell a story without intrusive technical elements? I mean, then the audience wouldn't actively take note of how aweseome the filmmaker is, and whats the point in that?


Dear Jim:

I'll buy that for a dollar.


Name: Vicki Boston
E-mail: Vick716@aol.com

Dear Josh:

I can't believe that we'll be saying Goodbye to Xena,
Ganbrielle, and Joxer too. I loved watching Xena's

Will you please tell me what will happen to Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer. Will
they get killed off or Xena's child Eve? Will Xena and her friends live
happily ever after? I hope that Xena meets up with Hercules again and marry

I would like to know what will happen, since I don't get cable here, and do
miss the TV show.

Please reply in the affirmative.
Thank you very much for your time.
Respectfully Yours,

Dear Vicki:

You're absolutely right, that all happens. They all live happily ever after and Xena marries Hercules. How did you know?


Name: robdog
E-mail: robdog@xxx.xxx

Dear Josh:

I thought the final ep of "Xena" was good in its own right, but lousy for a series finale. It just left all the loose ends of the "Xena" series dangling, like an umcompleted arc. No 3rd act. No resolution. It seemed like the focus was too much on special effects, and not enough on story. What do you honestly think? Was the final "Xena" episode a good series finale? Did Robert consider ending it any other way? Or is the real ending going to be a made-for-tv movie sometime down the road so that Ren Pictures can rake in even more moolah? Not that that's a bad thing, mind ya. LOL! :-)

P.S. I really liked "Running Time" and "Lunatics." You are a great storyteller.

Dear Robdog:

At least it's an end. They were never going to make more sense out of it than was there. I thought it was perfectly all right.


Name: P.L.

or how's 'bout...

Spielberg is a Wanker and Other Facts of Life

Screw You and the Agent You Rode In On

I Was a Teenage Super 8 Director

David Manning Hated My Movies

I Tied a Video Camera to My Dog's Back and He Makes Better Movies Than 99.98% of You

Dear P. L. :

I think you're onto something with the last one. How about:

"I Tied a Video Camera to My Dog's Back and Made a Better Film Than This Year's Best Picture."

It's a little wordy, maybe.


Name: Jim
E-mail: starion106@aol.com


How about "Throw Shit at the Screen: Why Modern Filmmaking Sucks", or "Pride in Ignorance: Why New Movies Suck So Much", or how about "The Last Good Picture Show: Can Anyone Recall?". Speaking of books, have you read If Chins Could Kill yet? I saw Bruce on Kilborn a couple weeks ago. Man, Kilborn came off as a total ass (even more so than normal). Kind of strange that someone in the entertainment business would be so unfamiliar with Campbell. Or maybe I'm just in my own world thinking that Bruce is a fairly well recognized actor.


Dear Jim:

See, you can't use "shit" in the title, but I can probably get away with "suck," since Bart Simpson says it, for goodness sake. I still like "Why I Hate Your Movie." Your "Pride in Ignorance" is certainly a disccussion topic if nothing else. I hear there's a good essay on anti-intellectualism by Kurt Vonnegut, but I haven't read it. It's a real thing, though. Pride in ignorance. Hmmm? You think that's the problem?


Name: Chopped Nuts
E-mail: danjfox@home.com

Dear Josh:

How about, "Why I Hate Your Movie", or, "The Disposable Society". The thing to me is it's not just a matter of people not doing a good job, or just worrying about the money end of things with the wham-bam approach to movies and music. It seems people want only the fifteen minutes of fame at a time. Nobody is even TRYING to achieve something that will be considered a classic twenty years from now. Or fifty years. Or a hundred.

Dear Chopped nuts:

Hey, this asking you folks out there for title suggestions really works. "Why I Hate Your Movie" isn't bad.


Name: Patrick
E-mail: washingtpa@socrates.berkeley.edu

Dear Josh:

A Josh Becker book? You're probably kidding around but here are my suggestions...

"Slouching Towards Hollywood: The Widening Gyre of Filmmaking Ineptitude"

"If Beards Could Kill: Confessions of a Indie Film Director"

"Reasons Why Your Screenplays, Films, Acting, and Directing Suck: An Overview of Modern Film"

"I Don't Want to Read Your Screenplay and Neither Does Anyone Else": A Film Industry Field Guide

Dear Patrick:

I like your last suggestion. The others, I take it, are supposed to be humorous. My sides are splitting.


Name: Charles Corder
E-mail: cscorder@hotmail.com


You want to call your book of essays "Modern Movies Suck!"? I think that's too subtle for most of today's filmmaker and moviegoers. Call it something like "Tom Cruise Sucks and He's Stupid" or "Kiss My Ass, Hollywood". Then some dimwit will want to buy the movie rights.

On the subject of guilty pleasures, I confess that I went to see "Swordfish" and enjoyed it, even if it is a big, dumb lug of a movie. But John Travolta and Halle Berry (she earned that extra 500 grand) were fun to watch. Hugh Jackman ... he was OK, they shoulda hired Bruce Campbell.


Dear Charles:

But your titles indicate that it's just Hollywood films to blame, whereas I think it's all movies everywhere. Nevertheless, I'd be happy to hear any other titles suggestions anyone has. Meanwhile, you couldn't get me to see "Swordfish" with a gun against my head.


Name: Laura
E-mail: sweetaddict@hotmail.com

Hey Josh.

This web site is awesome!!!! Anyway I love your essays and short stories. Keep them coming!

Dear Laura:

Thanks. I'm just sitting here trying to package a collection of essays and reviews to be culled from this site. My working title is: "Modern Movies Suck! The Decline of Film as an Art Form." What do we think?


Name: Blake Eckard
E-mail: bseckard@hotmail.com


Hope you're having a good weekend.

I saw Sean Penn's "The Pledge" last night. Not bad. I'll bet you haven't seen it yet so I'll just say it. I think S. Penn wants to become the next John Cassavettes. His wife Robin was also in "She's So Lovely" which, of course, was the last script that Cassavettes wrote. I think Penn thinks of her as the new Gena Rowlands. (Nope, she ain't that good, but ya know, she ain't bad either) I didn't really "get" the ending, but I did think Nicholson gave a good performance and the Nevada locations were used wonderfully. What do you think of Penn as a director? I don't think he's too dern bad. Good actor too.

Also I just saw a movie called "The Wife". This picture, directed by Tom Noonan (the killer in "Manhunter" and "Last Action Hero"), and it was so boring and dull that I got mad at the movie for tying me up for so long. And this movie had all kinds of quotes on the box!

Oh, and by the way, ever watch Northern Exposure? I have to take my lunch break everyday at 1:00 just so I can catch reruns of it on A&E.

Any new movies in your routine?

Have a good one.

Blake Eckard

Dear Blake:

The only picture I've seen that Mr. Penn wrote and directed was "The Indian Runner," which I thought was utterly inept in both the script and direction. I'd say Penn doesn't know how to write at all, not even a little. John Cassavettes he ain't. No, I don't watch "Northern Exposure."


Name: Justin Salibrici
E-mail: jsalibri@radford.edu

Hey Josh Becker,

You've suggested in your essays that one of the best ways to get experience in filmmaking is to make short films, but what is the best way to go about shooting a short film? How should the story be structured, and what sort of guidelines and suggestions do you have? I think that it would be helpful for a lot of people, or at least me, if you could write an essay on writing/directing/producing short films. Thank you.


Dear Justin:

Perhaps I should. Nevertheless, I shot my features the same way I shot my shorts, which is the same way I shot the Xenas -- very fast! As far as story structure goes, when you get down to 20 minutes or below, I think you can kind of do whatever you want, just like s short story. You can certainly still use the three-act structure, but you don't have to. My best short film is probably "Cleveland Smith Bounty Hunter" and it's nothing more than 9 minutes of gags.


Name: F. R.
E-mail: swanlandprods@yahoo.com

Howdy, Josh!

Well, it's certainly been, er, *lively* here lately. As always, a great place to read either interesting or utterly hare-brained opinions. And, my praise and sympathy to you for fielding so many "dear god, now that 'Xena' is gone, someone must pay!" comments from the lunatic fringe. They did make for entertaining reading, in that "wow, people really ARE weird!" way.

My question: Last weekend, the local PBS station aired a wartime version of "Jane Eyre" (1942? 1943? can't remember). It seemed very promising -- Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine, and, in the "prologue," Peggy Ann Garner and a really youthful Elizabeth Taylor. In smaller roles, lots of Mercury Theater people -- Agnes Moorehead, etc. The production credits were truly amazing -- adapted by Aldous Huxley (!), John Houseman and Robert Stevenson, directed by Robert Stevenson.

So -- who's Robert Stevenson? Was this a pseudonym for Welles? I mean, the film started out *great*, with lots of deep shadows and huge sets and long takes that seemed reminiscent of "Citizen Kane" and "The Magnificent Ambersons," and I was really getting psyched -- but then it shifted to the "adult" Jane, and the film turned very ordinary. Big close-ups of everyone, soft filter on Joan, laughable "swarthy" make-up on Welles, and a real over-the-top performance by him. It seemed as though this part of the film wasn't even related to the first, or maybe it was just directed by someone else.

Are you familiar with this film, and what might explain the shift from "edgy/mysterious" to "Hollywood standard"? What happened to Welles after "Ambersons," anyway (both artistically and career-wise?

So, in any case, I hope that you are *not* indeed feeling "breakdown-y," and that in fact you're fine and productive. I am currently using your ordeal with "If I Had A Hammer" as an illustration to my friends and family of how the film business can ignore really interesting, high-quality films just because there's a female lead, or because the film's about "feelings and ideas," rather than "crap blowing up after high-speed chases with 'cool' insane people" (I just saw "Swordfish," that has to be the worst film ever made -- but, then again, I haven't seen "Evolution". . .).

Well, take care, keep up the good fight,
F. R.

Dear F. R.:

Good to hear from you as always. That version of "Jane Eyre" is mainly listed as 1944, although I've got it as 1943 also. The director, Robert Louis Stevenson, was a real guy from England that ended up directing many Disney films into his late 70s, like "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" and "The Love Bug." Why the film starts off as well as it does may just be from Welles' presence, but it certainly does fall flat when Joan Fontaine takes over. I think it's my favorite Elizabeth Taylor performance; she really was an exquisite child.


From: DMARGODRO@aol.com
To: gerry@beckerfilms.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001 5:25 PM
Subject: Questions, Looking for Answers....

Dear Gerry,

My name is Rance D. Reed and I am attending Eastern Washington University. I am double majoring in Business Law and Mass Communications. My dream job is to be a Film Director, Producer, and Recording Producer (music). The reason I am writing you today is becasue I have been writing screen plays since I was very young. I am twenty years old now and I have a few I would like for somone who is the in the business or film making that is doing good in film making to read them. My question is how hard is it to get someone to read my screen play or they might call it a story that would be able to be turned into a movie. I have a wild imagination and some of the screenplays are wild and might never not face reality, but I also have touched issues like single parents homes, school shootings, teens being different, ambious young people, changing times, and the underworld of youth.

I have never directed a movie and I wouldnt know the first step to directing a movie, but I just want someone to point me into the right direction on where I need to go from here to help me with my dream.

Thanks for your time,

Rance D. Reed

Dear Rance:

Here, I'll be your first real contact with Hollywood. No, I don't want to read your script. If you want anyone else to read it, you better get your butt out here and attempt to convince somebody. Remember, there's only about a million people running around with scripts.

Good luck,


Name: Chris
E-mail: ThreeDegre@aol.com

Dear Josh:

If you need a Sidney Poitier double I look exactly like him without the extra price tag. Please contact me at the above e-mail address.

Thank you

Chris H.

Dear Chris:

Oddly, I have no use at this time for a Sidney Poitier double, but I'll post
this in case someone else does.


Name: James
E-mail: x1medic1x@aol.com

Dear Josh:

I know someone who very possibly may be using your artwork and that of FXM INC and selling it without your permission on Ebay.

Do you have FXM's contact information? If so, could you email me with it? I'd like to warn FXM that they are using his material.

Dear James:

I don't know who or what FXM is, although one of the intrepid webmasters here might. As to taking artwork from Beckerfilms and selling it on eBay, I can't imagine what that would be? I know that photo of me must be worth a lot.



Dear James,

Gerry, who did a couple paintings bought by FXM, would like you to contact him at gerry@beckerfilms.com. Thanks.


Name: Georgia Antonyshyn
E-mail: glantonyshyn@home.com

Hi Josh,

I was at the Beverly Hills event last night and I thought that the final of Xena was excellent. Rob did well and it was just to bad that some folks don't get it and have a life outside of this. It was an awesome 6 years and Lucy,Rob,Renee and Steve and of course R.J. Stewart were so wonderful to be there and take the time to speak. I don,t know if you where around but the best to all and to the future. Thanks for all your time on this site and please take care.

Dear Georgia:

Rob asked me to go, but, being in the middle of a nervous breakdown, I declined. I'm kidding. Really.


Name: fanx

Dear Josh:

I have to confess that I actually paid to see Evolution last weekend. The David Duchovny alien movie. And it was so so so very awful. Reitman is all washed up. No surprise there.

one of these folks mentioned films or Tv that are really bad but they actually become guilty pleasures. mine is the Renny Harlin movie, Deep Blue Sea. When Samuel L Jackson makes that speech about sticking together as a team and then the shark jumps up and eats him is a guaranteed laugh. Not sure if it supposed to be a comedy but somehow it is so sick and stupid that it is.

we all have that one undefendable awful movie or show that we like. I know an otherwise reasonable and intelligent man who watched Married with Children...and laughed. Go figure.

Dear Fanx:

Reitman washed up? The man that made "Junior"? Come on. I can't even sit anywhere through "Deep Blue Sea" to even comment. I watched Soderberg's "The Limey" last night and that was meaningless drivel. My most recent favorite guilty pleasure is "Point Break" and it's not very recent. Here's one that was just crap, but I didn't mind sitting through it because the girls are babes is "Where the Heart is" with Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd.


Name: Jen

Dear Josh,

I suppose since you've been so kind as to make yourself available to your audience online, it only makes a kind of twisted sense that you're being made to suffer the slings and arrows of...no, wait...the steaming piles of gorilla shit being haphazardly flung at you by disgruntled fanatics. That they're now trying to assign blame for some senseless deaths to you, to your buddy Rob, or to anyone else besides the poor sick people who killed themselves is nothing short of stunning. I know you're a fully-grown curmudgeon who is capable of defending himself, but it makes me uncomfortable that you're being treated this way.

I guess it all goes back to the distinction between fans and fanatics, which Dick alluded to earlier. It's really unfortunate that an unbalanced (and vocal) minority could taint the perception of the show's entire audience. And these people are definitely in the minority. I assure you, most Xena fans are not psychotic, man-hating computer nerds who spend their days hunched over their laptops in dank, unabomber-style shacks while reading fanfiction and obsessively collecting autographed bronzings of Lucy's eyebrow hair on E-bay. The vast majority of fans consider Xena a campy guilty pleasure, not a reason for living (or dying, for that matter).

It's like "Soul Possession." Some people got wound up over specifics and completely missed the fun. Most people saw the continuity errors and just laughed, because it's symbolic of the slapdash scrappiness inherent to the show. As for plot discrepancies, well, shit. I thought SP was supposed to be convoluted, rather like a parody of some of the earlier episodes with their gaping plot holes and questionable logic. You know, high comedy amid the one-liners and slapstick. Of course, I could be completely wrong, and it wouldn't matter a bit to me, because that was how I perceived it. One of the cool things about Xena is that it always works on multiple levels, whether the creators intended it to or not.

Xena was a bold, scrappy little show that was as inventive as it was erratic. I'll probably miss it, but it was time for it to go. I'm not sure I'll like the finale (which looks like a rehash of better episodes in which Xena went to China to settle a debt of honor), but what the fuck does that matter? It's just a TV show. The point (and I do have one somewhere amid the rambling) is that most people who have seen your work don't feel the way these few unstable people do. I don't know if that matters to you at all, but I felt like it would be nice to provide an antidote to all the unfocused negativity coming from the Xenites. Most fans really liked your comedies, and were delighted to see that you were reuniting with Lucy, Renee, and Ted one last time before the show ended. They just didn't write you.

...All of which reminds me that the end of "Seinfeld" really sucked! And, personally, I blame you, Josh. Kidding, kidding. Now that I'm done rambling about fanatics, I'd like to thank you for your comedy recommendations. I'm a big fan of classic comedies, and yet I've only seen one of the films you listed, the fabulous "Monkey Business." I'm looking forward to hitting the video store and working my way through the list. Speaking of Howard Hawks (who is probably the best American director who is not a household name), I just saw "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" today on AMC--pure, unadulterated cheese. I loved it! (And Tommy Noonan reminded me a lot of Ted Raimi for some reason.) Now, you don't seem like the musical type, but do you have any favorites in that genre you'd care to recommend? And speaking of guilty pleasures, do you have any favorite movies (or TV shows, for that matter) that you loved even though you knew intellectually that you shouldn't like them? Thanks!

Take care,

P.S. Jason, I was really sorry to read about your daughter's accident. On behalf of all non-psycho Xena fans (and my boyfriend watches, too, so there are at least two of us), tell her we hope she recovers soon and to "battle on!"

Dear Jen:

I love musicals. I'm the guy that was always shoving songs into my Xena eps (Ted and I had a Sinatra parody in SP that bit the dust). The best movie musical that most people have never heard of is "Love Me Tonight" with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette McDonald, with a terrific score by Rogers and Hart (including the classic song, "Isn't it Romantic"). I also love: "Gigi," "The Sound of Music," "West Side Story," "An American in Paris," "Cabaret." Many of them. I also love the stage show of "My Fair Lady," but I'm not crazy about the movie (why shoot an entire expensive movie in 70mm all on a sound stage?).


Name: me again...

Dear Josh:

I think Mr. Marx was not too keen on the films himself, "During our years in the movies we made fourteen pictures. Two were far above average. Some of the others were pretty good. Some were deplorable." --That's a pretty fair self-evaluation.

Thanks for the nice chats, I'll be on vacation for awhile. Aren't you due for one yourself??

--a fond farewell from noelle

Dear Noelle:

Yeah, but I kind of think that all the Marx Bros. movies stink. For me, Harpo and Chico are basically unbrearable unless they're playing their instruments. I personally will take The Three Stooges any day.


Name: Cynthia E. Jones
E-mail: cynthiaejones@hotmail.com

Dear Josh,

The film "Stroszek," when watched by Joy Division's lead singer, Ian Curtis, allegedly caused his suicide. "The Deer Hunter" had idiots copying the famous Russian Roulette sequence, remember? Even Disney had a fun time re-editing the football drama "The Program," to remove a scene where boys lay down in the freeway playing "chicken," because of moronic movie fans.

"Jackass" is being sued by the parents of a 14-year-old boy who was stupid enough to have his friend hit him with a car at 40 mph because he saw Johnny Knoxville do it on TV. Of course, Knoxville's car was only going 15 mph at the time, and he suffered extensive injuries. On camera.

Princess Diana's death forced many a royal fanatic out their high-rise windows. James Dean's car crash. And, lest we forget, the Kurt Cobain "copycat" suicides.

But..um...what do you have to do with this, now?

Upstate New York is fascinating, by the way. No traffic, no smog, no Starbucks, no Gap...no Californians. I passed by your "Vietnam" area (Michigan) on the way here, briefly. But I was mostly in Ohio, which sucked. Of course, I'm just basing it on the racist loser guy I met there. I'm sure Michigan's much cooler.


Dear Cindy:

It all goes much further back than that. There were a number of female suicides after Rudolph Valentino's death in 1926. I remember asking Dr. Ivan Raimi about the anti-depressant Prozac and that a number of people taking it had committed suicide. Ivan's response was, "Look who they're giving it to." The people that kill themselves over TV shows or movie stars are just waiting for their reason, and it could just as easily be that dinner is cold or mud got tracked across the floor.


Name: Irma
E-mail: LaD@aol.com

Dear Josh:

Where did Rob and Lucy sit when they dropped by? I thought you lived in a studio apartment with books and videos stacked ceiling high? Wasn't that your apartment in "Running Time"?

Dear Irma:

Ah-ha! I tricked you. Yes, that is my apartment in RT, but it's actually a one-bedroom that I made look like a studio. We took almost everything I own and jammed it into the bedroom so we could re-dress the apartment to look different. So, to answer your question, Lucy sat on the easy chair and Rob sat on the couch, both of which can be found in the living room.


Name: Richard
E-mail: detectivenobody@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Ok. I am sorry Josh, but I just cannot stand seeing some of the dumbass remarks without saying something. They are coming out of the woodwork again. What is wrong with some of these weird- ass Xenites?! I mean, some of them are worse than Trekkies/Trekkers. That's right, I think people whom take a tv show seriously like that... cannot be taken serious.

What kind of people kill themselves over a stupid tv show? Suicide is a tragedy, period! But no one, but the person who acts out the suicide is at fault. People off-ing themselves over an insipid commercial tv program?! That is just crazy talk.

JESUS! Like its Rob's or anyone's fault involved with the show that some fans... and I should use the full word here of fanatics... took a an insipid show so serious that they lost sight of reality, and killed themselves?

I loved Hill Street Blues... I never missed an episode. I was sad when it was cancelled. I moved on. There was a HUGE following for Newhart. I didn't see any fans off-ing themselves when that show ended in a way that the fans didn't like. Nor St. Elsewhere, either. Both programs ended with fans disappointed. What about Seinfeld. Fans wrote in tons of letters about disliking the series ending, that it was weak. But, I don't recall reports of suicides. This supports what I have said all along... many fans of Xena are emotionally unstable and have a poor sense of reality. And the ones I have dealt with were nuttier than squirrel turds.

I know that you can handle the crap from these nuts, Josh. But, I still feel a need to jump in and really state just how weird the stuff they say is. That it's not just the bulk of your readers' imaginations. These people are just plain loopy.


Dear Dick:

It takes all kinds.


Name: Jason Keller

Hey Josh,

How are you? Thanks in advance for letting me post my true feelings.

Why the hell do you "xena" fans post your crap about every little thing that doesn't go your way. The decision was made, the script written, and the episode filmed as planned.

Where do you get off putting Josh in the middle. So he read the script and was happy with it. Everybody is entitled to their opinions. Like, Josh said it's just a t.v. show. And all you fans that didn't get your happy ending. "GROW UP"...LEAVE JOSH ALONE.

So what if Rob knows what you guys are saying or how many stupid people are killing themselves. geez, over a show. common, my daughter was struck by a car recently and almost died. She is 11 years old and is a huge "xena" fan. But she realizes how precious life is as she is recovering from her injuries.

Anyway, sorry Josh, I just got sick and tired of these rabid xena fans hasseling you. And I agree with you that it was only a t.v. show. nothing more, nothing less..thanks


Dear Jason:

Thanks for defending me, but I can take it.


Name: Noelle
E-mail: apple4pear @ aol.com

Dear Josh:

I didn't know that. It must have been a hell of a good Christmas card.

Speaking of movie history, I'm reading Groucho and Me, Groucho's autobiography. The writing is so sharp and funny, and his insights about show business are still true. His strange little touches really make the book. Like after he uses the phrase "Pray tell" he explains that he "cribbed that from Little Women." It's hard to believe that he didn't actually write the dialogue that made them all so famous in the movies.

This whole Xena thing is way out of hand. I had no idea people were sooooo into it. It kind of worries me that the actors and producers actually meet these people in person at conventions.

Dear Noelle:

I much prefer Groucho on "You Bet Your Life" where he did come up with all the funny lines himself. I have to say that I don't really care for any of the Marx Bros. movies anymore.


Name: Noelle

Dear Josh:

Agreed. That is one of the all time great SNL skits...I love their use of the dummy for Mr Potter when they pull him out of the wheelchair and just start heaving him around the room.

lol --noelle

Dear Noelle:

Mr. Potter. That was Lionel Barrymore's name. And the script for "It's a Wonderful Life" was based on a Christmas card.


Name: Lindsey

**Yes, I speak to Rob. He and Lucy dropped by the day before yesterday (seeing how the other half lives). So, you say two people have committed suicide due to Xena ending? I wonder how many people killed themselves when "Gilligan's Island" ended? I know it shook me up. Hey! I read the final Xena scripts and I thought they were good and pretty clever. Then again, Rob did direct these episodes, so maybe after seeing what he did to them I'll want to commit suicide, too.


Well, you still didn't say if you would pass on the news to them that people have killed themselves, NOT just because Xena ended, but rather HOW Rob ended it. Not to mention threats against Rob and pure hatred by the shows most die-hard fans towards both Rob and Lucy.

rob is truly a hated man, and many folks who looked up to Lucy are looking down on her. Actually Renee is the one who folks are praising and looking to at this point and Lucy and Rob has lost the fans who respected them the most.

So will you pass the news to them(if they don't already know). How will they respond to that; knowing some folks killed themseves because of the story Rob wrote for the finale.

I would just like Rob and Lucy to be told strait up about the fan reaction; without the sugarcoating that the talk shows will provide and see what they think; if they have any regrets.


Dear Lindsey:

With all due respect, who gives a shit what you think? I read the script and I liked it. Other people don't like it, so what? If they want to kill themselves over a TV show then I say, do it. Quick. We certainly don't need them in the gene pool.


Name: Dustin
E-mail: dustglas@hotmail.com

hey josh,

i wrote you a while back about being in school and doing a project on budgetting any film we choose and i did Thou Shalt Not Kill, Exept. It went well and i got an A in the class but i think it was because i got the teacher a cappucino on the way to get colored pencils to highlight what was needed in the script. Anyways, i just wanted to let you know that in response to the question, "why aren't there more people like you teaching filmschool classes?" i have to say, i'm glad there aren't. I enjoy reading your reviews on crap movies and you find a way to sum up everything i've been fighting for in this school with my friends and enemies since i've been here. So you are teaching. It's just like anything else, in our culture people will always love and buy into crap, but a few and very few will see the light and one day be remembered for seeing that light way before their time. So thanks for being an inspiration to someone that does want to make films and do so in a way that does not end up producing more crap in our crap society. Keep doing what your doing and have faith that someone is taking note of your work and seeing the light.


Dear Dustin:

If what I'm saying here is getting through to one person, then it's worth it. Movies can be great, and can also reach the level of great art, but not under these circumstances. We need an artistic revolution, where shit like "Pearl Harbor" and "Lara Croft Tomb Raider" are boycotted from day one.


Name: Rick McNeill
E-mail: SlickRicck@aol.com

Dear Josh:

I was wondering what is instore for Lucy Lawless and Renee O`Conner now that the Xena episodes are through....are ther going to be any spin offs.

Dear Rick:

No spin-offs. Xena was canceled due to lack of interest, why do any spin-offs?


Name: Craig Y.
E-mail: tenroot@win3d.com

Dear Josh:

Who besides yourself is associated with Panoramic Pictures?

Dear Craig:

Oh, it's a huge organization, with offices in Los Angeles, London, Rome and Berlin. Actually, the whole deal is me. It's my company and it's a sole proprietorship.


Name: Lindsey

Hey Josh.

Just curious if you still speak to Rob.

I was over at the nutforum for Xena and apparently the killed of Xena and it seems there are two reported suicides from folks who were obviously suffering from depression and the ending drove them over the edge.

Maybe you can pass the message along if it doesn;t come out in the mainstream media first.

Also, do you have any idea why he decided to kill Xena? sorry, but from what I've seen, everybody is angry and Rob seems to be the most hated man on the planet. For something that was supposed to be his great baby; it's being met with 2 thumbs down and a spur of hatred and already 2 reported deaths.

Just wondering if you knew any of his thinking here because it seems as if he may have made a costly error of judgement.


Dear Lindsey:

Yes, I speak to Rob. He and Lucy dropped by the day before yesterday (seeing how the other half lives). So, you say two people have committed suicide due to Xena ending? I wonder how many people killed themselves when "Gilligan's Island" ended? I know it shook me up. Hey! I read the final Xena scripts and I thought they were good and pretty clever. Then again, Rob did direct these episodes, so maybe after seeing what he did to them I'll want to commit suicide, too.


Name: Noelle
E-mail: apple4pear@aol.co,

Dear Josh:

Cool photo of Ivan. I've never seen him either.

Interesting script, Happiest Guy...sort of Falling Down, Lost Weekend, Glengarry Glen Ross, Its a Wonderful Life all rolled up into one. I'm not sure I was sold on the ending, seemed too tidy or maybe I'm just getting that jaded. Although it does seem necessary after all the depressing stuff that happens. If only Todd had found a 99 cent store.

Thx for the new stuff you've been posting.

Later gater, Noelle.

Dear Noelle:

I am reminded of that brilliant "Saturday Night Live" skit about the missing ending of "It's a Wonderful Life," when everybody's coming to his house and giving him money and somebody yells, "The old man's got the money!" and they suddenly turn into a mob and go after the Lionel Barrymore character. Jimmy Stewart begins to beat him up, knocks him out of his wheelchair, then turns to Donna Reed and says, "You want some of this?"


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