Random Factoid #421

22 09 2010

If I weren’t a) a student with a ton of homework and rehearsal or b) living in Houston, the fourth-biggest city in the nation which still can’t get any street cred for indie movies, I would so be hitting up this amazing opportunity to pay what I want for “Freakonomics.”  According to Cinematical, it’s just as simple as this:

Most people who abstain from going to the movies seem to do so because of the price. Well, what if you could go see a film for one cent? Yes, one penny. That’s theminimum you have to pay for an advance screening of ‘Freakonomics’ this Wednesday (September 22, 2010). The maximum? $100. Which would you rather? Or might you want to give something in between? Maybe you feel obligated to pay what you’re usually charged for a movie?

All you have to do is fill out a quick, anonymous survey so economists can analyze data about what kind of person chooses what kind of cost for him or herself. The questions are mostly related to age, education level, income and how much you usually spend at the movies, if at all regular. Also, you have to be able to get to one of the participating Landmark Theaters in the ten select U.S. cities (the ten big ones).

The pay-what-you-want model has long been a staple of museums and has in recent times been used for digital music. But this might be the first major feature film to employ the concept, and it makes sense with a documentary about alternative economics. It also could hopefully — though doubtfully — influence how movies are priced in the future, if not theatrically than digitally.

Is anyone curious to hear what I would pay if I could have gone?  Even if you aren’t, I’m still telling you here.

I would pay $6.  As a student, cheap movies are something I actively seek, and I will seize the opportunity to see them when I can.  I couldn’t honestly pay a penny because I would feel a certain sense of obligation to be somewhat charitable with my money since Magnolia Pictures was nice enough to provide the screening.  However, that charity would not make me pay a normal ticket price or a larger sum.

I’m curious to see the results of this social experiment.  How many people spent $100?

What To Look Forward To in … October 2010

18 09 2010

In less than two weeks, we are headed into October.  More quality fall entertainment, more Oscar contenders.  But really, “The Social Network” leads off the month and it’s all downhill from there.  Sorry, every other movie coming out in my month of birth.  AND PLEASE TAKE THE POLL AT THE END … I blanked and left it off for a few days, but please vote!

October 1

I’ve stated twice that I’m dying to see “The Social Network,” and I’ve predicted it twice now to win Best Picture.  I’m counting on a great movie, and I’m planning on catching the first showing after school on Friday.

“Let Me In” reminds us of a time when vampires were still scary, not sexy.  Chloe Moretz (best known as Hit Girl) plays the blood-sucking child in question in this remake of the 2008 foreign horror flick “Let the Right One In.”  I think subtitles make anything creepier, but Hollywood sees English-language versions as a way to make things more accessible.

I love the book “Freakonomics,” and I think the documentary montage without any particular focus is a perfect complement to the bestseller.  If it’s anything like the book, it will be fascinating and incredibly thought-provoking.  It’s an interesting tactic to put it on iTunes before releasing it in theaters, and I’ve been asking myself whether or not I should wait for the big screen.

And on another note, poor Renee Zellweger has dropped so low as to start doing low-brow horror like “Case 39.”  To think she won an Oscar just 7 years ago…

October 8

Ugh, “Secretariat.”  Inspirational sports movies now give me an averse reaction.  And there’s also more gross horror in 3D with “My Soul to Take.”  Way to sell your soul, Wes Craven.  With the only other wide release being a corny Josh Duhamel-Katherine Heigl romantic comedy, “Life as We Know It,” it looks like I may be seeing “The Social Network” for a second time.

On the indie side of things, I’ll be happy to see some of the offerings.  For example, I’m sure “Inside Job” will be an illuminating (and probably slanted) view of what really went down with the economic meltdown in 2008.

“Stone” looks intense, much like “Brothers” appealed to me this time last year.  With an impressive cast of Robert DeNiro and Edward Norton (Milla Jovovich to a lesser degree as well), it could be a pretty good under-the-radar movie.

Tamara Drewe” has been playing at a lot of film festivals this year to mixed/positive reviews, most of the praise going not to director Stephen Frears but to leading lady Gemma Arterton.  “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” has also been playing film festivals recently albeit to much less success.  Despite the widespread acclaim the filmmakers’ past two movies, “Half Nelson” and “Sugar,” have received, this just hasn’t caught on.  “Nowhere Boy,” the story of John Lennon, premiered at Toronto this week, but I didn’t hear anything about it.  No news is NOT good news at a festival.

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