Letter: Ideas to enhance our movie lives via Xpress

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I know we all miss Cranky Hanke, but he is gone and we must move on with our movie lives. I know that in these COVID-infested times, movies are scarce, especially at movie theaters. I also know that my wife and I are watching more movies than ever. We are just watching them on TV.

Back in the day when I picked up my Xpress paper each week, the first thing I did was turn to the last pages and read the movie reviews. Nowadays I still turn to the movie reviews, but unfortunately there is little there worth reading: documentaries, foreign films, biopics, etc. Not very interesting and nowhere to see them.

I know what we are watching: Netflix, Prime TV, Starz, Showtime — the list goes on depending on what each individual subscribes to, and there is quite a selection out there. Why not let your contributors write reviews of good movies being offered by these outlets? Or even better, why not publish some of old Cranky Hanke’s past reviews of movies he previously reviewed that are offered by these outlets? Or solicit your readers to submit reviews of movies they are watching through these outlets?

I know I would certainly appreciate and enjoy reading those reviews more than the obscure offerings I see each week through your present offerings.

— Joe Mason

Editor’s response: Thank you for your feedback. Since the temporary closure of movie theaters in mid-March, Xpress has reviewed numerous major new releases available to rent at home (Bill & Ted Face the Music, The King of Staten Island, Capone, Trolls World Tour) or stream via Netflix (Da 5 Bloods, Project Power, The Old Guard), HBO Max (An American Pickle), Amazon Prime (My Spy, The Vast of Night), Apple TV+ (Greyhound), Hulu (Palm Springs) and Disney+ (Mulan, Artemis Fowl).

But our commitment remains foremost in covering films playing at local independent theaters, which have turned to digital curations made possible by independent distributors that offer profit splits. These decidedly nonmainstream films, all of which may be viewed at home, offer an avenue to support the Fine Arts Theatre and Grail Moviehouse while they — and the North Carolina multiplexes that would otherwise now be showing Christopher Nolan’s Tenet — await clearance from Gov. Roy Cooper to reopen.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

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2 thoughts on “Letter: Ideas to enhance our movie lives via Xpress

  1. Chip Kaufmann

    There’s no need to republish Ken Hanke’s reviews. All of them are available online at Mountain Xpress. Just click on movies at the top of the page and then on movie reviews. Over to the right you will see MOVIE REVIEWS FROM A-Z. Just click on the letter that starts your movie title and the review (Ken Hanke’s or anyone else’s) will come up ready for your perusal at any time.

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