May 19, 2005

The new "Star Wars" movie.

I'd love to blog about it, but I'd have to go see it, and, for that, I would need to be paid. I think $500 would be a fair price.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers. I've added a link to an earlier post asking to be paid to do something I'd like to blog about, a running topic in the comments over here. And here's how the eggs topic got started.

34 comments:

PatCA said...

I'm with you! I agree with O'Reilly, who said it's basically a guy movie.

Dave said...

The New Yorker's Anthony Lane has a great review of the movie here.

I also have thoughts.

Allison said...

Don't take this as an attack, patca, because it isn't, but I hate the idea of "guy" movies. What makes watching a sci-fi or sports movie an inherently male activity? Why should I be expected to like Steel Magnolias because I'm female? Ugh.

I plan on watching the new Star Wars movie at some point, just to get some closure. And because it will be entertaining even if it isn't great.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm not against guy movies or science fiction movies, by the way. "The Matrix" is one of my favorites. I just hate to be bored and am reasonably good at predicting when I will be.

Ron said...

Ann: Sadly, that whole "guy movie/chick flick" stereotype is born out by the demographics of who goes. And, equally sadly, that's a pretty good predictor of what people will go to. "How to make an American Quilt" just didn't have a lot of guys see it.

and this whole fee-setting to do things? It's intoxicating isn't it?

I, myself, not only demand money, but the CGI head of Jar Jar on a plate!

price said...

George Lucas has fooled me TWICE already. Never again...

Ann Althouse said...

Ron: Of course movies are crafted to appeal to demographic groups. That's one reason I almost never go to the movies. They are too targetted, too artificial. There's nothing fresh and new. Nothing with any substance. Movies used to matter in a different way. Now, they are a way to waste time. I have other ways to use up my extra time.

leeontheroad said...

"I think $500 would be a fair price."

The movie is 2hr 26min, says a quick Google. That's a bit over $205/hr. What are standard attorney fees for attending entertainment events in Madison?

Ann Althouse said...

Lee: I'm not a lawyer in Madison. I practiced in NYC, 20 years ago. I'm not up on going rates for lawyers. I certainly consider my time worth at least $250/hour for a task I'm not otherwise inclined to do. But I'm setting these prices not based on the time, per se, but the difficulty of the ordeal. Remember, I wanted $500 to eat the egg salad sandwich, which could be done in 5 minutes. Basically, having to sit through the "Star Wars" movie is at the same level of difficulty as eating an egg salad sandwich. And I wanted $1,000 to sit through that theatrical presentation on how to be inclusive and celebrate diversity. Same length of time as the movie, but a much more difficult ordeal.

Effern said...

What if you brought your robot pals Crow and Tom Servo along with you? Wouldn't the 156 minutes fly by?

Failing that, I can be pretty philosophical for $250/hr. Where do I sign up?

Dirty Harry said...

Lucas lost me the moment Ewoks appeared in "Jedi." He's been a hack since.

The guy hasn't made a decent movie since Carter was President and still his minions line up.

If I were smart I'd have sold shares of the Brooklyn Bridge to all the suckers in line at midnight last night. Suckers who, by the way, have never felt the touch of a woman.

leeontheroad said...

"Basically, having to sit through the 'Star Wars' movie is at the same level of difficulty as eating an egg salad sandwich."

:-) Ok. I just wanted to know the basis of valuation. . .

David Manus said...

I saw the first one, deemed it and Lucas idiotic and never saw another one. The hoopla surrounding each one puts me off even more. I'm reflexively against movies that hyped. I'm the sole human in North America who has never seen even a minute of Titanic, btw.

Mark Daniels said...

But, doc, I guarantee that there are many of us in America who wish they had never seen 'Titanic.' So, consider yourself fortunate.

Ann Althouse said...

I've got to disagree about "Titanic." It is a melodrama, and you have to understand what that genre is. That is, much of the story is formulaic and obviously emotionally manipulative. But it is intended to be a melodrama and it is properly realized as a melodrama. The special effects are perfectly done: clear, vivid, spectacular, and detailed. And it is beautifully acted, with many distinctive characters. There is no better actress than Kate Winslet. It's always quite fascinating to watch her. A large part of why we go to the movies is to gaze on the super-enlarged face of a wonderful actress.

Dave said...

"Titanic stupidity" would have been a better title.

Kathleen B. said...

I'm with you! I agree with O'Reilly, who said it's basically a guy movie.
I shudder

Suckers who, by the way, have never felt the touch of a woman.
oh how hilarious! no one has ever made that joke before!

I'm not up on going rates for lawyers.
in big cities, for a senior partner (and what else would you be Professor!) I think the going rate is $500-600/hour.

on the movie - I personally found it better than the last two, incredible effects, truly awful dialogue (with its concomitant bad delivery), annoying plot holes and some cheesy tie-ins. Overall, I really enjoyud it adn without knowing you at all Professor I would say that you would be bored.

Kathleen B. said...

sorry my spell check really collapsed on that last sentence.

Jody said...

The most interesting thing about "Titanic" is that James Cameron, that most macho of guy movie makers, used his mastery of action and special effects to turn one of the greatest disaster stories of all time into a hugely successful chick flick.

And "Star Wars" is so eh? that the comment thread rapidly gave up on it to talk about "Titanic."

Ann Althouse said...

Kathleen: Better than the last two films is an awfully low standard.

Anyway, I read the spoilers about the explanation Lucas came up with for why Anakin turns to the "dark side," and it's hilariously stupid. What a fizzle after all these years! How much willful blindness does it take to profess satisfaction after waiting all these years to find out the big secret. Horrible!!!

Ann Althouse said...

Jody: Cameron did a pretty damned good job putting a female at the center of a tough action film in "Aliens." And in "The Terminator" for that matter. I think lots of women love those two films. He was definitely reaching out to us back then too.

rafinlay said...

"I'd love to blog about it, but I'd have to go see it"

Apparently not.

If comments are the measure of a succcesful blog entry, this may set a record for comment volume relative to effort involved in initial entry.

Dirty Harry said...

I loved "Titanic," it was so refreshingly un-cynical. Hollywood can't figure out why it made so much money. Well, I'd say that was one of the biggest reasons.

Ann Althouse said...

Rafinlay: I could just declare an "open thread," like Kos.

Kathleen B. said...

Better than the last two films is an awfully low standard.
so true, but yet I guess I am an optimist! I go with what I have.

Mark Daniels said...

Back to "Titanic."

My criticism isn't that it's a chick flick. Frankly, I'm a fan of chick flicks. Some of them are among my all-time favorite films.

And I admire the special effects in Titanic. They're good, fairly accurately reflecting what happened to the ship, as I understand it.

But ultimately, I didn't care for it for the following reasons:

(1) Billy Zane's character was completely unbelievable. I recognize that this was melodrama. But his character was comic book evil. He was Snidely Whiplash without the handlebar. I doubt that it had to do with Zane's performance of the part as scripted, but I couldn't help laughing out loud at him every time he was on screen.

(2) This, I admit, is a personal hang-up on my part: I don't get the appeal of Leonardo Di Caprio. Or his believability as a leading man. It isn't that he doesn't turn in earnest performances or that he isn't competent as an actor. But I can't get past the fact that he looks like a twelve year old girl.

To this day. I've seen portions of things he's done since 1997, when 'Titanic' was released. Even when the guy wears a moustache, he looks like a twelve year old girl with a moustache. So, to see him winning over Winslet is as unbelievable to me as Zane's villainy.

(3) The story is pure cliche. How many times through the centuries have we seen the tale of the one lover from the wrong side of the tracks (or the lower hold of the ship) and the other from the upper crust, their love condemned and kept secret? Yada, yada, yada.

It's true that in 1912, class was a big deal. (As much as it's becoming once again in America today.) But I think that Cameron would have done well to tell the story of people who really were on that ship. In fact, I've always been mystified by his choice not to do that, given how accurate he attempted to be about other aspects of the Titanic's story.

Re: Ann's comment about Winslet. I'm completely unqualified to comment about her as an actor. I haven't seen her in anything other than 'Titanic.' But in reading about her career in subsequent years, she seems to be willing to take chances and that's something I always admire in artists...and all people.

Oh, yeah, back to 'Star Wars': I saw the first three and enjoyed them, although I always felt that they could have each been shorter. But I haven't seen the prequels. I guess I just haven't been interested enough to check them out.

PatCA said...

Actually, film theory now supports the notion of men and women liking *gasp* different kinds of films...or movies, as we are wont to call them out in the real world. It's simply another genre, the edges of which are blurred, like any theoretical concept, and it's okay.

So if in this real world you prefer boxing movies or soap operas, it's a perfectly valid intellectual and filmic decision and no one expects you to act for the sake of purity otherwise. If they do, you can tell them they're all wet.

amba said...

I'm not a guy, and I loved "The Terminator" and even "Terminator 2."

The only Star Wars movie I ever saw was the first one, and it bored me to death except for the bar scene. What was wrong with it was perfectly emblematized by what was wrong with the musical score. It is the stirring beginning phrase to a piece which then never materializes. There's a first phrase and . . . that's all.

amba said...

Compare the glorious "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" score written, I believe, by the late great Jerry Goldsmith, who died last year, and who also wrote the great music to "Patton", another guy movie I love. (Well, a psychic once told me "You were a boy many times in former lives" . . . )

Jody said...

Ann—

A millisecond after I wrote about James Cameron and hit "publish" I thought of "Aliens" and "Terminator" also. So let me just say I admire the man's movies precisely because of his ability to meld hardcore action with the emotional line and the respect that makes great chickflickiness.

PatCA said...

Agreed, Jody, on Aliens and T. Ripley is one of my favorite movie characters of all time, plus the suspense in the first Alien was unbearable...and great!

rafinlay said...

Oh no! Not a Kos rant-a-thon! I prefer the current commentversation format.

David said...

Guy movie? Only if "guy movie" means "mind-numbingly insipid." Disclosure: Haven't seen it. My lack of desire /to/ see it stems from the downhill slide of the SW franchise.

Eventually, I'll probably see it on DVD, some night when I'm in the mood for space opera but can't get my hand on The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai or one of the first three Star Wars movies.

The "prequel" SW movies have, so far, been a disappointment to me. Yawner plots, wooden acting and depending on special effects for some eye candy.

IOW, cartoon fare, without the redeeming nature of brevity.

I think I'll see if I can rent something a little more stimulating for tonight. Maybe Doc Savage: Man of Bronze.

David Manus said...

ack! I certainly opened a pandora's box with the Titanic comment I guess. The funniest line I've ever heard about the movie is that the old lady apperently (I haven't seen it) throws the priceless gem into the ocean at the end someone says "Boy, she must have really hated her kids!"


BTW, why does Cameron get the credit for putting a woman in the center of Aliens? I would guess Ridley Scott (and others) deserve that credit.

I bought the Quadrilogy a while back and the first 45mins-hour of Aliens, the non-action part, is some of the most embarrassingly bad acting you will see this side of "Body of Evidence". And in the action section you just want to slap the piss out of Bill Paxton and stop his whingeing. The first 2 Terminator movies were pretty good, but the acting in all 3 is bad bordering on comical. Besides that, having listened to several Cameron commentaries, I'd have to say he's the most full-of-himself director/writer I've ever listened to. I was praying Passion would pass up Titanic as biggest grosser ever just to piss him off. Maybe the new Star Wars will accomplish that function at least, rendering it good for something.