As a local reader and film fan who writes his own film criticism blog, I just wanted to write to you briefly and tell you how much I appreciate the new direction the Marquee section seems to be taking under the watchful eye of Features Editor Steve Appleford.
I've wanted the News-Press/Leader to have a much stronger entertainment presence for years, but it always seemed to never extend much beyond the realm of “average Joe” movie reviews and puff pieces about local theater.
But this past week's paper — with Lynne Hefley's piece, Katherine Tulich's review and Tiffany Kelly's story on the local protest against the film “Anonymous” — indicates that the new direction clearly seems to be a good and healthy one, and one that is already paying off.
I am most enthused about the addition of Andy Klein to the paper. In the early 1990s, his work was indispensable to me as a guide through the good, the bad and the plain weird world of Hong Kong cinema during its pre-1997 heyday.
And he's just a damned good writer, plain and simple — smart, unpretentious, lively, challenging. It is a great thing for the News-Press/Leader that he will be a strong presence here and that he will be doing what he does best: covering mainstream films, as well as “the offbeat and the overlooked.”