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Friday, January 25, 2013

Posnanski reviews “Trouble with the Curve”

Maybe the movie didn’t have enough of the invisible President bit?

In so, so, so many ways TWTC does a much greater disservice to scouts that it does to the stat people. Heck, it merely makes stats-people into unrecognizably cartoonish figures who hate baseball but want to work in it so they can take over the world with their baffling “batting average” statistics. Big deal.

But scouts … this movie was supposed to celebrate them. Instead it makes grumpy and unfunny old men* who have some sort of weird super-power ability to hear drifting hands. This is exactly the stale depiction of scouts that Moneyball did such a good job of lampooning in the first place….

But here’s the point: If you want to celebrate a scout, why wouldn’t you have him NOTICE all these things. This gets at the very heart of what scouts do. They watch the games. They talk to the players. They learn all about the families. They listen to the fans. If you are doing a whole movie about what scouts can tell you that computer can’t—this is very crux of the argument. One of my favorite scout stories involves a scout in Venezuela who saw a kid play. He was too small, he was too slow, he couldn’t hit a lick. But the scout loved him, loved him because he had these beautiful soft hand, the ball just stuck to his glove, velcro, and he had this marvelous arm and this wonderful attitude. The scout kept following around the kid—there was something about him.

He called the GM personally to plead the case. He said he only needed $5,000 to sign the kid. $5K. It was nothing. The GM said no. Kid can’t run. Kid can’t hit. Who cares about soft hands? The scout said, “Fine, I’ll put up the 5K myself and prove you wrong.” The GM was impressed with that and he liked the scout a lot and he said, “OK, fine, you can have 5K.”

The player turned out to be Andres Blanco—not a star, certainly, not even an everyday player. But the guy got 654 plate appearances in the big leagues, made some dazzling defensive plays and was one hell of a deal for $5,000.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2013 at 03:29 PM | 426 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: andres blanco, clint eastwood, films, hollywood, movies, posnanski, scouts, trouble with the curve

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   301. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:25 PM (#4358731)
I'm reluctantly pro-torture in ticking time bomb scenarios, but otherwise am certain we have to resist its dubious comforts.

Isn't the incentive by the torturee to give false info to stall time just enough for his plan to succeed? I don't see how torture is any more effective under that scenario.


I'll readily grant that if you have an hour to get the location of the H-bomb from the committed terrorist, nothing's going to work, but if you have three days and someone not quite that committed, gentle, friendly persuasion (which it's my understanding takes a great deal of time to be effective, since it needs to appear or even be genuine) even if effective, will be effective far too late. The only workable option is to get ugly.

And, yes, it's easy to abuse this kind of thing; to think there's a ticking bomb when there isn't; to assume that all threats, no matter how distant, are 'ticking time-bombs'.

That being the case, I'm assuming well-intended officers with good information, simply doing their damnedest to prevent literally imminent catastrophe.

A few years back I tried to watch TNG as I was going through a phase of tv series marathoning...


Terminator: the Sarah connor Chronicles, is my current marathon of choice. Extremely rewarding, in the way the characters grow and change, although Lena Headey is getting on my nerves. Her habit of ending a line of dialogue by nodding in agreement with what she herself just said is one of the oddest actorish bits I can remember seeing.

Still, bringing in the criminally underseen Stephanie Jacobsen mid-season as a sexy fighter from the future in desperate need of rest was an irrefutably brilliant casting decision.
   302. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:01 AM (#4358752)
@301: (It might be the case, too, where the terrorist is happy to blow up a few million innocents, but if you start clipping HER fingers off, one by one, she magically develops a conscience.)

Sorry. That was gross. I guess I keep coming back to 'one chance in a million is better than no chance in a million', considering what's at stake.


Btw, speaking of T:tSCC, the one episode where Cameron is discovering her humanity through ballet, and John's uncle spies on her while she dances (and his horror and disorientation at realizing this thing he hates is, in a very real sense, truly beautiful), outdoes imho the entire seasons of Star Trek: TNG's workout of Data in that regard.

   303. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 31, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4359558)
Somebody ought to mention Stargate: SG-1, which I feel is one of the great sci-fi series of all time.
   304. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 31, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4359589)
I'm reluctantly pro-torture in ticking time bomb scenarios


I'm of the belief that the so called "ticking time bomb scenario" almost literally never happens in the real world.

It of course happens in the movies, so lets go to Dirty Harry- the way the movie script contrives it was Harry morally right in torturing Scorpio in the stadium? Yes, yes he was. But that's a movie- how likely is it for something to play out like that in real life?
   305. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:26 PM (#4359652)
@304--agreed. That's why I mentioned in an earlier post that it's likely to be abused.

I'm geeky enough to find it disconcerting that Abrams is doing both Star Trek and Star Wars. It seems wrong.


I just didn't like the way a lot of the Star Trek reboot was handled. The beginning was wonderfully well done, but little Jimmy Kirk, played by some kid in a wig, and driving into a canyon that never existed in Iowa (it's like putting Mount Everest in the Sahara) was a throwaway bit of character establishment we all could have lived without. The plot was a horribly tangled mess hopelessly hung off an impossible coincidence. And a drill, a physical drill miles long, is necessary in order to bore to the center of a planet--in an era of transporters and energy beams? C'mon...

Still, they did well bringing Nimoy back, and the actor who played McCoy did a great job (as did the new Spock, Zachary Quinto). I can live with Simon Pegg as Scotty, and Sulu and Chekov were inoffensively done. Still, Spock with Uhuru? C'mon...

And don't get me started on the buffoonish handling of the Kobiyahsi Maru scenario. That could have been a great scene. Pine's just wrong for Kirk. Kirk had bravado and toughness in spades, and a hell of a poker player. He was never a buffoon, or close to it.
   306. JJ1986 Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4359656)
And don't get me started on the buffoonish handling of the Kobiyahsi Maru scenario. That could have been a great scene.


I agree with this 1000%. Pine seems like he beat the test because he didn't like his teachers or to impress a girl, Kirk should have beaten the test because he is driven to win at everything. And then later, he becomes Captain because Nimoy tells him what to do. Absolutely anyone could have done that. There's nothing that the character of Kirk adds to those scenes. They just happen to him.
   307. Lassus Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:44 PM (#4359669)
I agree with this 1000%.

I found the film more or less okay, but that scene was just one of the stupidest, most bland things imaginable. No work, no perseverance, no cleverness, no brilliance, no emotion, no nothing from Kirk at all. It was an embarrassment, and the movie would have been better off ignoring that bit of canon, for how it turned out.
   308. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:17 PM (#4359729)
@306--yes. You said it better than I did.
   309. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:53 PM (#4359778)
I sign off completely on 305 and 306. For a while I was alone among many for not liking the new Star Trek.
   310. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:54 AM (#4359815)
309: and I REALLY wanted to like it. I'd have loved to see it kick off another half dozen terrific movies (which I suppose it may, anyway), but I was hoping it would also be the impetus for a new series, perhaps picking up where the 3rd season of the original Star Trek left off. Maybe a little more gritty, a little more BSG, but why not continue with the half dozen great characters already well established, but with room to grow?

No idea why this doesn't even seem to be in development.
   311. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:16 AM (#4359850)
Jack Carter - word. Just annoying. Oh well.
   312. Greg K Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:30 AM (#4359855)
The most annoying thing about the recent Star Trek was that when I heard Winona Ryder was to be in it I was all excited to see her as a Vulcan (the role she was born to play really...aside from maybe an elf). Just being the mom of a Vulcan was ok too as it turns out. But the let-down was by the time I saw the movie I forgot she was in it, and totally missed her entirely.

As such I'm in no position to objectively rate it as a film as the dominant aspect of my movie-evaluating rubric (or to be honest the dominant factor in any evaluation I make in life) is what I call "the Winona Ryder Quotient". Of course the fact that I didn't notice her suggests that the WRQ isn't too high.
   313. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4359857)
Winona Ryder is a could have been inner circle HoF, but her career just sort of dissapoints. Still great, but for me the 'could have beens' dominate. Fetching, talented, in my personal wheelhouse, and yet ...
   314. bunyon Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:56 AM (#4359859)
Nothing really to add. Except that if I win the powerball, I'd be okay hiring all the non-torture posters on this page to do a reboot of Star Trek.

   315. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4359860)
Star Trek should have been set entirely at the academy. The kobayashi maru incident could have been the climax.

Much like Prometheus, the gaping holes in the plot and the irritating coincidences (old spock happens to be within walking distance of Kirk on the moon?) ruined my suspension of disbelief. Although, to be fair, Star Trek was more entertaining than and not nearly as stupid as Prometheus.
   316. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4359861)
313 -- exactly. She's the Dwight Gooden of acting.
   317. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4359890)
If Winona Ryder is the Dwight Gooden of acting, who is Diane Keaton? Ken Griffey Jr.? Frank Thomas? Ages 24-33: The Godfather, Godfather II, Love and Death, Annie Hall, Manhattan. Those are four of the greatest movies of all times IMO, and one of the greatest comedies. Her career since then has been good, but hardly spectacular.

   318. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4359895)
Women don't really have acting careers after 30. They either become "names" or character actors at age 55.
   319. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4359907)
Writers of Star Trek movies have had a strangely hard time coming up with antagonists. And too often time travel is used as a key plot point, which gets tiresome.

Khan was great, of course. The Borg were a natural. General Chang was great, and ... that's it?

Of course, Star Treks I and IV (and, arguably, Insurrection) showed that you don't need a traditional villain in a Star Trek movie either, simply the challenge of dealing with an unfamiliar situation can provide enough dramatic tension.

But for the rest, sheesh. Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon? ... no. Spock's never-before-mentioned brother? .... no. Some random dude trying to get back to the Nexus? ... no.

The Romulans could provide lots of fodder for a challenging opponent but both Star Trek: Nemesis and the reboot botched it by chucking out pretty much all of the established canon regarding the Romulans.

Why is this so hard?
   320. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4359916)
Diane Keaton had a good career after 30, it's just that there was almost no way she could ever maintain the level she was at in her 20s.

It's certainly harder for women to have a career after 30 than men, but some do. Streep is the obvious example.

Streep vs. Keaton is an interesting comparison. Keaton was in four great movies and several other very good ones, but hasn't done that much of note since her 30s. Streep has worked consistently and has been repeatedly praised for her work in a lot of good movies, but she's never been in a truly GREAT movie. (The onion had a funny article about this a few years ago.) I guess you could argue that Keaton is mostly peak and Streep is mostly career.

Edit: Streep was in Manhattan, but it wasn't a major role. And the Deer Hunter is arguably great. I also love Adaptation.
   321. Morty Causa Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4359919)
30 is too low. There are numerous stars who had careers into their thirties, late thirties, even forties, before sliding into oblivion or into character acting or into full-time domesticity. True, the male stars tend to last longer, but women tend to become stars/leading actors earlier than men.
   322. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4359925)
Women can be stars but they are rarely "leading actors" when they are young or for that matter when they are older as well. Demi Moore, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, or real any of the big names females stars that got huge paychecks were almost always teamed up with a major male lead and their movies tended to flop when they weren't paired up with a major male actor. One of the few exceptions to this would be Angelina Jolie who managed to star in a handful of movies and have them make money and have her be the only human draw in the movie.

Women for the most part get roles because they are the new good looking female which is also why they tend not to have long careers or act much past 30 since they weren't really hired in the first place because of their acting ability. Once they are no longer new or new and young the calls stop coming for those kind of parts and there are only so many other kinds of parts females beyond that with a handful of female actors already taking those parts. So the ones who last when they get older are for the most part the ones that actually have acting ability.
   323. Morty Causa Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4359944)
All that may be true to some degree, especially if one sees it with preconceptions. There have been hundreds of pretty boys that have flashed across the cinema skies and quickly petered out.

However, there are women who were never big stars but had leading roles--George Brents, so to speak. Rene Russo is a recent example. I'm sure we could dig out a number of others. Ruth Roman, Glenda Farrell, Ruth Hussey, Glynis Johns. The Lane sisters. Lucille Ball's pre-TV movie career. Celeste Holm. Donna Reed. Jane Wyatt. Claire Bloom. Barbara Harris. Julie Harris. Paula Prentis. Karen Black. Vera Miles had a long career doing that and never rising above that level.

Someone, as Bill James once said, should actually count them, rather than go by top of the head impressions.

part of what's confusing is that since, oh, about, the '40s, there have been much roles for men than women in the aggregate.
   324. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4359960)
Helen Mirren seems not be having issues getting pretty good roles in her later years.

Also saw Alison Brie on Letterman a couple of nights ago and I dont get her appeal cause her appearance was annoying as hell.
   325. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4359997)
There will always be leading roles for females so simply naming actress who were the leading female role is rather pointless to the discussion.

My point was that women are very rarely THE actor in a movie, when women are major stars they are still almost always paired with major male actors, when they aren't their movies generally don't draw, and regardless of age women's roles in film are almost always secondary to the male roles.

A major male star can be the only star in a film and have it draw well. A major female star can do that once in a blue moon.
   326. Morty Causa Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4360012)
Parag. 2: why is that? It wasn't always so, certainly not to the extent it is now. I find it fascinating that there were more women stars, A and B level, who carried a movie, in the '30s than in the last few decades.
   327. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4360014)
Still, Spock with Uhuru? C'mon...


My friend and I were recently rewatching some old episodes, and one of the first Star Trek scene broadcast is Uhura kind of hitting on Spock. It happens a couple times in the first several episodes.
   328. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4360017)
I can think of a couple reasons for Alison Brie's appeal.
   329. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4360018)
Parag. 2: why is that? It wasn't always so, certainly not to the extent it is now. I find it fascinating that there were more women stars, A and B level, who carried a movie, in the '30s than in the last few decades.

I think it's because movies driven financially by teenage boys now.
   330. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4360023)
   331. Greg K Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4360024)
Not entirely relevant to the back and forth going on at the moment, but Michelle Williams seems to be in a bit of a zone right now as far as being the lead in fairly well-received movies.

In some she shares the lead with some "names" - Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine, and Gael Garcia Bernal in Mammoth. I suppose even Philip Seymour Hoffman in Synecdoche, New York. But she's essentially the draw for Take This Waltz, and My Week With Marilyn.

Who'd have thunk an actual acting career would spring from Dawson's Creek?
   332. Greg K Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4360026)
A good article on the popularity of Alison Brie

Well played, sir.
   333. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4360030)
Well played, sir.

I will never let a low road go untraveled...
   334. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4360037)
.........

The Romulans could provide lots of fodder for a challenging opponent but both Star Trek: Nemesis and the reboot botched it by chucking out pretty much all of the established canon regarding the Romulans.

Why is this so hard?


Right? The original series showed it needn't be. Just of the Romulans in particular, there was that episode where Kirk is sent in to steal the cloaking device, and Spock feigns attraction to the female Romulan commander. That was when they had all of a week for an episode, and it was very well-plotted. The female commander was a complex, very 'human' villain, of a very non-traditional kind.

My completely WAG is that throughout the last century, with a couple of notable exceptions, sci-fi was drama's poor cousin. The budgets often weren't quite there, or weren't there at all. Top tier actors didn't want to be involved. Top directors had their pick of other projects. Top scriptwriters, too. The cream of all those things help when it comes to dreaming up a strong villain. Maybe it's that strong villains are simply tough to do, and when you have the many handicaps sci-fi has traditionally labored under, it's that much harder?

I'm thinking back, too, to films generally. For every good villain there are a bunch of okay ones, and a bunch that just aren't convincing. Maybe Star Trek is just in line with the percentages.

My point was that women are very rarely THE actor in a movie, when women are major stars they are still almost always paired with major male actors, when they aren't their movies generally don't draw, and regardless of age women's roles in film are almost always secondary to the male roles.


Assuming this is true, why do women not want to see women as the focus of films? Also, is this true for females regardless of age? Hollywood follows the money, so if women wanted to see 40 year old women in lead roles without a comparably strong male actor, we'd have a flood of those. We don't, therefore women don't want to see that. Ipso ergo propter hoc.

.
   335. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4360039)
Well that explains it then, a shot of her boobs with the sound turned off gives me a better understanding of the appeal.
   336. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4360049)
Right? The original series showed it needn't be. Just of the Romulans in particular, there was that episode where Kirk is sent in to steal the cloaking device, and Spock feigns attraction to the female Romulan commander. That was when they had all of a week for an episode, and it was very well-plotted. The female commander was a complex, very 'human' villain, of a very non-traditional kind.

The Romulan?/Klingon? Kirk had a spaceship strategy duel with was good, too. Didn't they bring him back as Spock's father later? I'm just not good at this Star Trek nerdery...
   337. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4360050)
Winona Ryder is a could have been inner circle HoF, but her career just sort of dissapoints. Still great, but for me the 'could have beens' dominate. Fetching, talented, in my personal wheelhouse, and yet ...

Obligatory post

   338. Kurt Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4360055)
Women can be stars but they are rarely "leading actors" when they are young or for that matter when they are older as well. Demi Moore, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, or real any of the big names females stars that got huge paychecks were almost always teamed up with a major male lead and their movies tended to flop when they weren't paired up with a major male actor. One of the few exceptions to this would be Angelina Jolie who managed to star in a handful of movies and have them make money and have her be the only human draw in the movie.

I would also exempt Sandra Bullock from this, at least to some extent. I couldn't tell you who the male leads were in Blind Side, 28 Days, Miss Congeniality, Miss Congeniality 2 or the Net (or Speed 2 for that matter).



   339. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4360064)
I knew Sandra would get brought up and she should have a couple of asterisks next to her resume. Blind Side was a football movie based on a football book.


Speed 2 was a bomb. The Net a minor hit. 28 Days did about as well as expected and her rom-coms did well at times but were for the most part second tier films when it comes to to the box office like almost all rom-coms are.

Put her in a drama that isn't geared totally to a female audience and she does mildly well or poorly with the exception of The Blind Side.

Murder by Numbers
The Premonition
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Net
   340. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4360067)

The Romulan?/Klingon? Kirk had a spaceship strategy duel with was good, too. Didn't they bring him back as Spock's father later? I'm just not good at this Star Trek nerdery...


That was "Balance of Terror" with Mark Lenard. He also played Sarek, correct. Quite possibly the best of the original series episodes.

In general the Romulan episodes of TOS and TNG were among the best.
   341. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4360077)
There are many great great episodes in the original series. City on the Edge of Forever and Trouble with Tribbles are probably the consensus picks, but I don't know that I could choose without re-watching. Balance of Terror is on the shortlist though.
   342. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4360083)
My point was that women are very rarely THE actor in a movie, when women are major stars they are still almost always paired with major male actors, when they aren't their movies generally don't draw, and regardless of age women's roles in film are almost always secondary to the male roles.


Sigourney Weaver sold a hell of a lot of tickets for the movies of the "Alien" franchise. Jodie Foster has been "the" star in a fair number of major successes, too: The Silence of the Lambs, Contact, Panic Room, etc. It may be harder for women to carve out that role, but it can be done.
   343. Srul Itza Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4360090)
That was "Balance of Terror" with Mark Lenard. He also played Sarek, correct. Quite possibly the best of the original series episodes.


Basically, a submarine movie re-purposed as space opera. Same thing with the end of Star Trek II, the Wrath of Khan ("two-dimensional thinking").

Since I love submarine movies, I enjoyed these as well.
   344. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4360091)
@340: good catch. Romulans were also much more interesting as a race than, say, Klingons. Some distant shared ancestry w Vulcans, iirc, made them less brutish than Klingons, therefore more complex. Pulled much as Spock was between reason and emotion/violence.

And yes, indeed. It's all coming back to me thanks to the nerdery on display here. "Balance of Terror" was very, very good. First appearance of the Romulans, and no one new what they looked like... The script plays it very much like the sub chases of old, to good effect.

I did a little looking into the new ST movie, and Simon Pegg (Scotty) mentions being at work on it for five months. Leads usually aren't on set or location for half that time. I wonder what it means...

Streep has worked consistently and has been repeatedly praised for her work in a lot of good movies, but she's never been in a truly GREAT movie.


Is this true? Huh. Mentally combing through my personal Top 100, and all close calls as well, she's not there. The Deer Hunter's also definitely not her movie. She's the ethereal blond bauble, the untouched dream gliding self-effacingly through grubby, small-town Pennsylvania. She just doesn't have much to do beyond look winsome (which she does beautifully) and symbolic (one of the movie's weaknesses). I've seen The Deer Hunter half a dozen times and I still can't decide whether these characters would be singing "God Bless America" at the end. In which case, maybe they would.

As The River Wild showed, Streep could also be a credible action star, even in her late 40s. Interesting woman.

edit: Damn you, Srul! Drinks!!

@342: The list of male stars that fit what McCoy has in mind is not that long, and male stars often have shelf lives, too.

@341: You bet. This thread has me googling 'top original ST episodes'. I haven't come across Mirror, Mirror yet. Think that's the one with Spock in a beard. Excellent work all around in that one. Shatner actually underacts, iirc (and I may not. It's been at least 20 years since I watched it), leaving room for Nimoy to shine.
   345. Kurt Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4360098)
I knew Sandra would get brought up and she should have a couple of asterisks next to her resume. Blind Side was a football movie based on a football book.


Speed 2 was a bomb. The Net a minor hit. 28 Days did about as well as expected and her rom-coms did well at times but were for the most part second tier films when it comes to to the box office like almost all rom-coms are.

Put her in a drama that isn't geared totally to a female audience and she does mildly well or poorly with the exception of The Blind Side.


Yes, her resume is a mixed bag like that of every actor on Earth*, and it looks worse when you put asterisks next to her movies that appeal totally to females (rom-coms) and those that also appeal to men (Blind Side). Until she proves she can draw plants and inanimate objects to the theater, I'll never call her a movie star or a "leading actor".


*John Cazale excepted.

   346. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4360099)
Sigourney Weaver sold a hell of a lot of tickets for the movies of the "Alien" franchise. Jodie Foster has been "the" star in a fair number of major successes, too: The Silence of the Lambs, Contact, Panic Room, etc. It may be harder for women to carve out that role, but it can be done.

Silence of the Lambs: Anthony Hopkins
Contact: Basically broke even
Panic Room: Modest hit


She pretty much has the same kind of career arc as Sandra Bullock when it comes to non rom-com movies. Some modest successes and some clunkers with a resume full of mid tier movies.
   347. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4360106)
The list of male stars that fit what McCoy has in mind is not that long, and male stars often have shelf lives, too.

It may not be long but it is a helluva lot longer than the list of females that can pull it off and the list of male actors who can become major movie stars after the age of 35 is also a lot longer than the list of females that can do the same thing.

Yes, her resume is a mixed bag like that of every actor on Earth*, and it looks worse when you put asterisks next to her movies that appeal totally to females (rom-coms) and those that also appeal to men (Blind Side). Until she proves she can draw plants and inanimate objects to the theater, I'll never call her a movie star or a "leading actor".

Rom-coms are basically today's B movies. They get made for about 20 to 40 million dollars and are expected to draw about 40 to 80 million at the box office with the occasional one cracking 100 million. They aren't major motion picture releases.
   348. Srul Itza Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4360107)
In general the Romulan episodes of TOS and TNG were among the best.


And the best episode of DS9 -- "It's a Fffaaaake!"
   349. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4360110)
Are some of you guys actually trying to argue that Hollywood and moviegoers are gender neutral in their preferences and that the sexes have achieved equality in Hollywood?
   350. Srul Itza Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4360111)
edit: Damn you, Srul! Drinks!!


Hey, I'm one of the few people here who was old enough to watch TOS when it first came on.

EDIT -- Oh Lord, we are just 3 years away from the 50th anniversary of the first season.
   351. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4360116)
Silence of the Lambs: Anthony Hopkins


Anthony Hopkins was on screen in that movie for a grand total of sixteen minutes. It's a strong supporting part, and he plays it well, but it's not by any stretch of the imagination the lead role.

Contact: Basically broke even


$171M worldwide box office on a budget of $90M.

Panic Room: Modest hit


$30M (unadjusted) opening weekend, the largest of any movie ever opening on Easter weekend. $196M worldwide box office on a budget of $48M.

She pretty much has the same kind of career arc as Sandra Bullock when it comes to non rom-com movies.


On top of the three I mentioned, she also has Flightplan, which did $223M worldwide box office on a budget of $50M. And just as in the other three I mentioned, she's unquestionably the lead there - the most prominent second banana is Peter Saarsgard.
   352. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4360123)
Just for the hell of it, I figured out that the Oakland A's are a robust 10-12 in post-season games that clinch a series. Another reason for them to move to a new ballpark......

Yes I am bored.
   353. Kurt Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:00 PM (#4360134)
the list of male actors who can become major movie stars after the age of 35 is also a lot longer than the list of females that can do the same thing.

Provide that list, and I guarantee you we can pick those guys apart using the same criteria you've been using:

- no second-tier films
- no notable co-stars
- nothing based on a popular book or subject
- anything that grosses under a billion is a "modest hit"
- no clunkers on their resume

   354. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4360136)
Blind Side was a football movie based on a football book.


Blind Side was an inspirational tale of an impoverished youth who, through perseverance and with the help of genuinely loving people, manages to achieve the dream of attending Ole Miss.
   355. Kurt Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4360140)
Are some of you guys actually trying to argue that Hollywood and moviegoers are gender neutral in their preferences and that the sexes have achieved equality in Hollywood?


Well, my point is that Angelina Jolie isn't the only woman on Earth who, as per #322, "managed to star in a handful of movies and have them make money and have her be the only human draw in the movie." Jodie Foster meets those criteria about fifty times as well as Jolie does.

I mean, it's a little weird to say that women generally don't star in successful movies without prominent male co-stars, put an asterisk on Blind side because it's a football movie, and then cite Lara Croft/Mrs. Smith as the exception.
   356. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4360141)
Provide that list, and I guarantee you we can pick those guys apart using the same criteria you've been using:

- no second-tier films
- no notable co-stars
- nothing based on a popular book or subject
- anything that grosses under a billion is a "modest hit"
- no clunkers on their resume


Except I'm not using absolutes.
   357. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4360151)

Anthony Hopkins was on screen in that movie for a grand total of sixteen minutes. It's a strong supporting part, and he plays it well, but it's not by any stretch of the imagination the lead role.


I wasn't suggesting he was the lead role. Merely noting that Anthony Hopkins made that movie what it is.

$171M worldwide box office on a budget of $90M.

Worldwide box office means virtually nothing. Studios get either half or less than half the ticket revenue from foreign markets and even domestic markets they don't get all of it nor does the budget include marketing. Throw in those factors and the movie basically broke even. Same goes with Panic Room though because it was cheaper to make it made more of a profit. Flightplan probably broke even domestically and somehow made a good amount of money overseas. I have no idea why since it was a garbage film.

   358. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4360155)
I haven't come across Mirror, Mirror yet. Think that's the one with Spock in a beard. Excellent work all around in that one. Shatner actually underacts, iirc


That's because he compressed all his over-acting into his portrayal of alt-Kirk.

   359. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4360156)
Well, my point is that Angelina Jolie isn't the only woman on Earth who, as per #322, "managed to star in a handful of movies and have them make money and have her be the only human draw in the movie." Jodie Foster meets those criteria about fifty times as well as Jolie does.

I mean, it's a little weird to say that women generally don't star in successful movies without prominent male co-stars, put an asterisk on Blind side because it's a football movie, and then cite Lara Croft/Mrs. Smith as the exception.


I never claimed that Jolie is the only woman on Earth to do it. In fact I said she was one of the few exceptions.
   360. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4360190)
I wasn't suggesting he was the lead role. Merely noting that Anthony Hopkins made that movie what it is.


Foster wasn't exactly chopped liver, either - she won Best Actress.

Studios get either half or less than half the ticket revenue from foreign markets and even domestic markets they don't get all of it nor does the budget include marketing. Throw in those factors and the movie basically broke even.


They have these new things now - you may have heard of them. They're called DVDs.

Flightplan probably broke even domestically and somehow made a good amount of money overseas. I have no idea why since it was a garbage film.


The easy and (I would have thought) obvious answer is that Jodie Foster was at that point in her career a very bankable star.
   361. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4360198)
Are some of you guys actually trying to argue that Hollywood and moviegoers are gender neutral in their preferences and that the sexes have achieved equality in Hollywood?
If I have to get sucked into this I'll argue, it's a minor difference, it's expressive of what people want, and I really, really, REALLY don't give a shit. It's your hobby horse, friend.

Foster wasn't exactly chopped liver, either - she won Best Actress.


Haven't you heard? That doesn't count.

Hey, I'm one of the few people here who was old enough to watch TOS when it first came on.

EDIT -- Oh Lord, we are just 3 years away from the 50th anniversary of the first season.
Thanks for mfucking up my perfectly nice afternoon. I was close--I remember around that time think Time Tunnel was the greatest series ever ever made. I refuse to go back and watch even a minute of what was doubtless a pretty cheesy buddy drama. I'll keep my happy memories, thank you very much.
   362. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4360203)
The easy and (I would have thought) obvious answer is that Jodie Foster was at that point in her career a very bankable star.

Except she hadn't made anything in 3 years and it would Flightplan would end up being her second to last project where she was the lead. Her final main role would come two years later when she was the lead in The Brave One which bombed. There is no real reason to think Jodie Foster in 2005 was a very bankable star.

   363. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4360205)
Assuming this is true, why do women not want to see women as the focus of films? Also, is this true for females regardless of age? Hollywood follows the money, so if women wanted to see 40 year old women in lead roles without a comparably strong male actor, we'd have a flood of those. We don't, therefore women don't want to see that. Ipso ergo propter hoc.

Hollywood theoretically follows the money but it's pretty easy to find examples of industries that think they are following the money but are doing a piss-poor job of it. I don't know why there used to be more female leads than there are now but I suspect the reason there aren't more now is that most of the power in Hollywood -- executives, producers, directors, etc., is male, and that clouds their own perspective of what the market wants to see.
   364. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4360209)
Hey, I'm one of the few people here who was old enough to watch TOS when it first came on.

EDIT -- Oh Lord, we are just 3 years away from the 50th anniversary of the first season.
Thanks for fmucking up my perfectly nice afternoon. I was close--I remember around that time thinking Time Tunnel was the greatest series ever ever made. I refuse to go back and watch even a minute of what was doubtless a pretty cheesy buddy drama with recycled sets, bad historical costumes, and love interest of the week. I'll keep my happy and necessarily vague memories, thank you very much.

@363--but, wasn't that also true when women were getting better roles (if they were)?
   365. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4360212)
Flightplan was a good thriller. I agree that there aren't as many good roles for women generally, and that it's harder for women to find work as they get older, but that's been true for a long, long time. I'm not sure that there's much to say about this issue.
   366. Cowboy Popup Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4360220)
I haven't come across Mirror, Mirror yet. Think that's the one with Spock in a beard. Excellent work all around in that one. Shatner actually underacts, iirc (and I may not. It's been at least 20 years since I watched it), leaving room for Nimoy to shine.

I watched that one a week ago, mostly because the alternate universe pops up a few times in DS9. So far, it is the best TOS episode I have seen, other than maybe the Tribble episode, which I also watched because it is in DS9. I'll have to check out the Romulan ones that are mentioned here.

Btw, the third season of Enterprise is a lot more enjoyable than the first two. I'm actually enjoying myself rather than just sort of pushing through to get a Star Trek fix. I guess the show needed some direction.
   367. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4360236)
I was close--I remember around that time thinking Time Tunnel was the greatest series ever ever made.


ugh

I saw Time Tunnel for the first time a few years ago (don't know what channel)
double ugh

even by Irwin Allen standards it was horrible.

I can tolerate Lost in Space I guess because I watched that as a kid and have some nostalgia for it, but Time Tunnel, ugh.



   368. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4360247)
@366--interesting, CP. Iirc the network in the third season did what networks do: cut the budget, which meant weak sets, rushed scripts...

Okay, I'm not completely dotty. From the wiki,

Season Three (1968–1969)
After Star Trek's second season, NBC was prepared to cancel the show due to low ratings.[46][47] Led by fans Bjo and John Trimble, Trek viewers inundated NBC with letters protesting the show's demise and pleading the network to renew the series for another year.[47][48] After NBC agreed to produce a third season, the network promised Gene Roddenberry that the show would air in a favorable timeslot (Mondays at 7:30 PM),[46][47] but later changed the schedule so that Trek would air in the so-called "death slot" — Friday nights at 10:00PM.[46][49] In addition to the "mismanaged"[47] schedule, the show's budget was "seriously slashed"[46] and Nichelle Nichols described the series' eventual cancellation as "a self-fulfilling prophecy".[50]


uh-oh. The upcoming Star Trek movie has scenes of Kirk and McCoy saving a planet from a giant volcano... there's running through a forest with red foliage that looks kinda fake, and speaking of the hunt for good villains, there's a rumor that Khan is being ressurrected in some form or other.

@367--I figured as much, and thus it shall remain, in happy memory, The Greatest Series Ever.

@365--"I'm not sure that there's much to say about this issue." Agreed, and a lot of it is probably as simple as, good looking people are draws. It's a lot easier for men to retain their looks as they age than it is for woman. Ergo...

What distinguishes older actresses who remain bankable from those who don't? Streep, Foster, Jolie, Roberts, and Weaver all stayed very good looking and fit into their forties.*** If Brad Pitt had let himself go and at 43 was 30 lbs overweight, what does his career arc look like?

***I enjoyed Salt, thought it was a perfectly cromulent thriller, but in some of the scenes watching a post-40 Jolie doing some running around and fragments of her own stunts was not entirely pleasant. I have no idea how they're going to shoot around Bruce Willis's physical limitations (nothing unusual, he's just getting on in years) in the new Die Hard. Sometimes a good editor saves an aging action star, but it's hard work, and when the seams show the movie suffers.
   369. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4360252)
I remember seeing a doc about Planet of the Apes and the producers lamenting that the studio kept cutting the budget for every sequel even though they were profitable. Kind of bizarro to what they would do now. I like the old Planet of the Apes movies, anyway.
   370. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4360264)
Except she hadn't made anything in 3 years


That's one of the nice things about being a bankable star - you don't have to take any job that falls onto your desk. You can just stay home in your pajamas and roll around in huge piles of money. Particularly if you're an intensely private person who doesn't actually enjoy the washing machine ride of being a celebrity all that much.

Flightplan would end up being her second to last project where she was the lead.


She was also the co-lead in Carnage in 2011, with Kate Winslet. It didn't do huge business, but it wasn't supposed to do huge business - it's an art house film. It was also an opportunity for her to work with Roman Polanski, and while he's a pretty awful person, he's also a very well-respected artistic talent.

There is no real reason to think Jodie Foster in 2005 was a very bankable star.


Except, y'know, for the fact that a movie that year with her as the star, no real co-stars, and a director with no name value had a $24M opening weekend and was in the top 20 for domestic gross for the entire year.
   371. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4360269)
I remember seeing a doc about Planet of the Apes and the producers lamenting that the studio kept cutting the budget for every sequel even though they were profitable. Kind of bizarro to what they would do now.


I think the studio was thinking, if we spend 25 to make this movie it's going to bring in 40
if we spend 20 to make this movie its' still gonna bring in 40
if we spend 15 to make this movie... well the seams may start showing...

so they spend 20 instead of 25, the film makes money,. next sequel they ratchet down to 15... eventually a truly dreadful sequel that doesn't make money comes out and the series meets an ignominious end...




   372. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4360280)
If Brad Pitt had let himself go and at 43 was 30 lbs overweight, what does his career arc look like?

Like Pacino's and De Niro's?
   373. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4360283)
That's one of the nice things about being a bankable star - you don't have to take any job that falls onto your desk. You can just stay home in your pajamas and roll around in huge piles of money. Particularly if you're an intensely private person who doesn't actually enjoy the washing machine ride of being a celebrity all that much.

That isn't how stardom works in Hollywood. You don't build up bankability then sit out for three years and expect to have the same level of bankability. But again Foster wasn't a bankable star heading into 2005.
   374. Every Inge Counts Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4360287)
Who are the current bankable stars anyway? In Jolie's 2 starring roles besides Salt, both movies bombed (The Tourist with Johnny Depp made 67 million domestically with a 100 million listed budget and The Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood, made 35 million with a 55 million budget).
   375. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:54 PM (#4360290)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose did 30 million its opening weekend. Saw II did 32 million. Chicken Little did 40 million. It may have been the 20th highest grossing movie of 2005 but it was a lot closer to the 100th highest grossing film in 2005 than the 10th. There is a large dropoff after 13th and 19th place on the list.
   376. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4360293)
Right now Hollywood has bankable franchises and directors not so much actors. LOTR, Bond, Marvel, Spider Man, Twilight, Potter, and so on. Get outside of that and you have guys like Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington who can deliver modest or better hits.
   377. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4360295)
You don't build up bankability then sit out for three years and expect to have the same level of bankability.


Maybe you don't "expect" it, but it's pretty tough to argue that it didn't happen, given the evidence of the numbers.

Foster consistently went about three years between roles in big-money films throughout her career. Three years between Silence of the Lambs and Maverick. Three years between Maverick and Contact. Five (!) years between Contact and Panic Room. And three years between Panic Room and Flightplan.
   378. JJ1986 Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4360298)
I think Will Smith is considered the pinnacle of bankable stars. Tom Cruise movies all still do well. Adam Sandler movies that aren't "That's My Boy" make a lot of money.
   379. Every Inge Counts Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4360302)
Right now Hollywood has bankable franchises and directors not so much actors. LOTR, Bond, Marvel, Spider Man, Twilight, Potter, and so on. Get outside of that and you have guys like Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington who can deliver modest or better hits.


Agreed.

Looks like Channing Tatum who had 3 vastly different movies last year break 100 million dollars (all on modest budgets) either had a really good year or has a nice fan base to build on. And they went and refilmed parts of the new G.I. Joe to have more Tatum in it.

Will Smith for the most part can usually open any type of movie. Adam Sandler used to be that way. I guess one can argue Tyler Perry, but it seems he can only do his franchise type movies. The Rock seems to be one who could pull it off as well.
   380. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4360308)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose did 30 million its opening weekend. Saw II did 32 million. Chicken Little did 40 million.


And all of them opened in much more advantageous situations than Flightplan did. Chicken Little did its $40M in a week where the total box office was $135M, and Flightplan did its $24M in a week where the total box office was $100M. Flightplan's week had only once before had a total box office above $80M...

The other two were horror movies that opened right before Halloween. Those typically see huge business for a couple of weeks, and then experience a quicker-than-normal dropoff - which is exactly what happened.
   381. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 01, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4360388)
I'm reminded sometimes of how long it can take men to become stars. Tom Hanks stumbled through a bunch of crap on his way to Splash, and Big. To become a dramatic star, it was 14 years from He Knows You're Alone, and Philadelphia. Bosom Buddies was cancelled after 37 episodes. Humphrey Bogart looked like a bucktoothed goof in several long takes from Black Legion (1937). Bogart worked for at least a decade before he appeared in anything anyone remembers today, and it took fifteen years between his first role and his first smash role in The Petrified Forest (1936). Stardom's a lot of work.
   382. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: February 01, 2013 at 07:26 PM (#4360413)
I'm reminded sometimes of how long it can take men to become stars.

Likewise Jack Nicholson: started making movies in 1958, became an overnight success with Easy Rider in 1969.
   383. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: February 01, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4360420)
I'm reminded sometimes of how long it can take men to become stars.



Robert Duvall took a while too I believe.
   384. Morty Causa Posted: February 01, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4360435)
The legendary case is John Wayne. Ten years, about, in the nether world of cheapie westerns (not even B level) before his break-thru in Stagecoach. Still, Bogart is an exception. Didn't become a star until he was pass 40.
   385. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 07:58 PM (#4360437)
Robert Duvall took a while too I believe.


I read one time that he carries around in his wallet a list of all the casting directors who ever turned him down for a part. It's pretty long.
   386. McCoy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4360446)
Tommy Lee Jones career is an interesting one. His first movie role is in Love Story when he was 24 but then he doesn't do much of note until Coal Miner's Daughter 10 years later. Once again he doesn't do much of note in film until 10 years later when he hits it big in films like Under Siege, The Fugitive, The Client, Cobb, Batman Forever and so on.

Morgan Freeman is another guy who didn't make it until he was over 50 years old and did Lean on Me, Driving Miss Daisy, and Glory in 1989 when he was 52 years old.

Same thing applies to Samuel L Jackson only that he is about 10 years younger than Morgan so he made his breakthrough when he was about 40.
   387. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:09 PM (#4360461)
Jackson is 64?? That's crazy. I would have guessed he was aging well. You know, looked pretty sprightly in The Avengers for a guy around 50, 52. That's nuts. Wiki sez that as a boy he attended segregated schools in the South.

Robert Duvall's wiki has him in the original Twilight Zone series, in the episode "Miniature", which rings no bells whatsoever.

@383: I remember reading Nicholson was ready to give up a few times, and started learning production and directing because this acting thing wasn't really going all that well.

Since ST TOS came up, I took a look at the first few minutes of episode 1, season 1: "The Man Trap". Shatner is pleasantly subdued. Some blond babe is brutally overacting. The music is evocative. The set is pleasantly abstract; they're making the most of the spare design they have to work with. Special effects in the credits perfectly serviceable. Interesting to see it after twenty years.

Uhura hits on Spock! Awesome!!
   388. Srul Itza Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:19 PM (#4360514)
I saw Time Tunnel for the first time a few years ago (don't know what channel)
double ugh


At a time when there was almost no other science fiction on TV, you took what you could get.

I can tolerate Lost in Space I guess because I watched that as a kid and have some nostalgia for it


That became so incredibly campy, it was actually fun. "Danger, Will Robinson" and Professor Smith ("Oh the pain, the pain"). Lots of laughs.
   389. Srul Itza Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4360515)
Btw, the third season of Enterprise is a lot more enjoyable than the first two. I'm actually enjoying myself rather than just sort of pushing through to get a Star Trek fix. I guess the show needed some direction.


Too much retconning for my taste.

DS9 was probably my favorite. It was never as good as B5, but it definitely had its moments, thanks to Sisco's dark side and Garak.
   390. Srul Itza Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:28 PM (#4360517)
Likewise Jack Nicholson: started making movies in 1958, became an overnight success with Easy Rider in 1969.


What, you didn't love him in the original Little Shop of Horrors?
   391. akrasian Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4360528)
Hollywood theoretically follows the money but it's pretty easy to find examples of industries that think they are following the money but are doing a piss-poor job of it. I don't know why there used to be more female leads than there are now but I suspect the reason there aren't more now is that most of the power in Hollywood -- executives, producers, directors, etc., is male, and that clouds their own perspective of what the market wants to see.

I think a lot of it is the foreign markets. Films with lots of explosions and the like are more likely to star men, and they tend to get more guaranteed money from non-English speaking markets (since explosions, fights, gun battles etc don't need subtitles or poor dubbing). Guaranteed money means that the people green lighting a movie are less likely to lose their jobs if the movie isn't good.

Edit: In the '20s and '30s and '40s when there were as many big women stars as male stars, most of the money came from the films running in theaters owned by the movie company, and it was important that each week there was a variety of movies in the theater to appeal to all members of the family. Or so I understand.
   392. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 02, 2013 at 01:16 AM (#4360538)
Speaking of Little Shop of Horrors, the pointless 1986 remake had a budget of $30m, in part because they wanted to build an overhead train track on one set. Because they just had to have one? Makes me think of a New York neighbor in the commercial business. Years ago I heard him on the phone telling someone, "Hey, Fred, I found a place in Spain that looks just like Philadelphia!"

The Heritage Foundation is having Rand Paul speak on Reagan's birthday. The same Rand Paul who went to World Net Daily to spout his theory that Benghazi involved Ambassador murder in order to conceal a Libya to Turkey gun running trail for which Paul says he has no... evidence. Why would I ever again take Paul seriously?
   393. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 02, 2013 at 01:41 AM (#4360545)
As someone who is very much outside of the target age group, what movies make Winona Ryder the 'Dwight Gooden of acting'? Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands are all right, but not spectacular or anything.
   394. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: February 02, 2013 at 04:55 AM (#4360570)
Speaking of Little Shop of Horrors, the pointless 1986 remake

I really liked it.
And, yes, I know Nicholson was in the original movie, but it certainly didn't make him a *star*.
   395. Greg K Posted: February 02, 2013 at 05:29 AM (#4360573)
The legendary case is John Wayne. Ten years, about, in the nether world of cheapie westerns (not even B level) before his break-thru in Stagecoach. Still, Bogart is an exception. Didn't become a star until he was pass 40.

I once saw a movie poster of John Wayne playing a hockey goal-tender in a movie that looked like it was made in the 30s.
   396. Greg K Posted: February 02, 2013 at 05:36 AM (#4360576)
As someone who is very much outside of the target age group, what movies make Winona Ryder the 'Dwight Gooden of acting'? Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands are all right, but not spectacular or anything.


Heathers, Mermaids*, the Crucible, Reality Bites.

Though to be fair she's also in some of the worst movies of all time (and I've seen pretty much all of them because, hey, it's Winona Ryder) - 1969 and Autumn in New York are particularly terrible movies. The Darwin Awards too. I think she's been roundly disappointing since the Crucible in 1996...though The Last Word I found surprisingly cromulent.

*maybe I'm alone in liking this movie? I actually saw "Elecrtrick Children" the other day. The girl in that shares some similarities with Ryder in Mermaids. Kind of a fun movie but I think I like the premise more than the execution.

   397. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 02, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4360680)
I really liked it.


Heretic!

Sigh.

There's no accounting for bad taste, I guess.

:)
   398. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 02, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4360689)
As someone who is very much outside of the target age group, what movies make Winona Ryder the 'Dwight Gooden of acting'?


Allow me to enhance your understanding.

Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands are all right, but not spectacular or anything.
I don't get it either. I mean, peak Ryder would easily have a shot at anyone's fantasy rotation, but as an actor she wasn't doing anything that thousands of other winsome, perfectly formed young women couldn't.
   399. GregD Posted: February 02, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4360707)
Well, how many other women did Ryan Adams write songs about? Huh? Oh, wait
   400. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: February 02, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4360714)
Flip?
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