Gimmicks don't make movies better

A reader writes that 3D films such as Avatar will stand or fall by their stories and acting, not by their technical tricks or novelty effects. Other letter subjects: the colour of money, missing seat belts, and Dutch animal-slaughter rules.

Whatever special effects or unique gimmicks producers may try, a reader says, ultimately movies - such as Avatar, above - will stand or fall on the basis of their story and acting, not anything else. Courtesy 20th Century Fox
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I would like to respond to the allegation in the letter Dutch message for non-Muslims (July 3) that the Netherlands is anti-Muslim.

The Netherlands is a secular state and is not against any of the established religions.

However, the Netherlands is against cruelty to animals, and believes that ritual animal slaughter falls under the category of cruelty to animals.

Western countries do talk about freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but not at the expense of the humane treatment of animals.

Elizabeth Bennett, UK

So non-Christians are second-class citizens in the West, are they?

Doesn't the writer of this letter realise that in the West Muslims, and everyone else, have far more liberty, wider rights and better protection for those rights than non-Muslims have in most of the Muslim world?

Why do some Muslims think this can be a one-way street?

Name withheld by request, Abu Dhabi

Did others learn from accident?

I note with interest the story about the American biker who died in his foolishness (Biker in helmet protest dies, July 4).

He had been protesting against helmet laws by riding his motorcycle without a helmet, in a demonstration, when he flipped over his bike and was killed.

What I want to know is this: how many of the other participants in this protest figured out the moral of the story and went off at once - carefully - to buy helmets?

Art Jessup, Dubai

But where were their seat belts?

Thank you for Only 2% bother to strap in their children (July 3).

Regarding the picture illustrating the recommendations, however, I cannot help but notice that neither the child nor the mother is wearing a seat belt.

It is a shame that the picture was not selected with more care.

Marie Claire G, Abu Dhabi

While I commend Zainad Habib for promoting child safety (Moaning child better than alternative, July 3), it is a great pity that the accompanying photograph showed neither Ms Habib nor Meena with their appropriate seat belts fastened.

In the UK and other child-safety-conscious countries, newborn babies are not even allowed to travel home from the hospital unless their safety in the car is checked by a nurse.

It is crucial that properly fitted car seats be used until all children are of the appropriate height (not age) to do without them.

Jennysan, Dubai

Editor's note: The photo in question was posed, with the vehicle not in motion. When she is driving, Zainad Habib makes sure that everyone in her vehicle is properly strapped in.

3D no substitute for story, acting

Thank you for Enhanced experiences at the movies (July 4), about the gimmicks movie producers have tried throughout the years.

It is indeed telling that none of these various tricks have stood the test of time.

For me, 3D, the current fad, is in the same category. It is amusing, but if the movie's storyline is boring and the acting is mediocre, 3D won't help. And if a movie is really well written with good acting and directing, then who needs 3D?

John Griffin, Dubai

Why are bills so close in colour?

Having visited Khorfakkan, I was interested in the article about the old mosque there which is featured on the Dh5 note (Sharjah's landmark of note, July 4).

I understand that this story will be part of a series on the places featured on the UAE's currency.

That's a good idea, but I have a suggestion on a related subject: could you please do a story on how easy it is to confuse the Dh10 and Dh20 notes?

Some of my friends tell me I'm just colour-blind, but others agree with me: in a poor light, as for example when you're getting out of a taxi at night, it can really be a challenge to tell the difference between the two bills.

I believe that most other countries use more distinct colours, as well as larger variations in the size of their bills.

After five months in this country I have now pretty well mastered the difference between a Dh5 bill and a Dh50 one, but the 10 and 20 still give me trouble.

Helen Kearns, Abu Dhabi

Don't bump the Bugatti, please

I refer to your story asking What should you put in a Dh9m car? (July 4).

If that Bugatti has porcelain interior fittings, I hope it has good bumpers as well.

Joe Pekar, Dubai