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.