Patterico's Pontifications


The Calculus of Going to the Movies

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 11:32 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Mrs. Dunphy and I went and saw Up in the Air the other night, choosing it over other movies on the strength of its reviews and despite our opinion of its star, George Clooney. We made the same decision two years ago when we saw Michael Clayton. In fact, we so enjoyed that movie we saw it twice in the theater and later bought the DVD. Clooney is an actor of rare talent, making it a bit easier to hold one’s nose at the thought of his hard-left political views.

This raises the question I suspect many readers here ask themselves when they select which movies to see and which to avoid: How good must a given movie be before you overlook the personal loathsomeness of any of its stars or others involved in the production? For example, I expect I’ll never see another Jane Fonda movie, but this hasn’t been much of a deprivation as her most recent projects (Georgia Rule, Monster in Law) have been less than memorable. On the other hand, I’ve watched On Golden Pond countless times since its release in 1981, and it remains one my favorite movies to this day.

I recall when Julia Roberts, an actor whose work I once enjoyed, spoke disdainfully of Republicans, saying something to the effect that the word “Republican” appears in the dictionary between “reptile” and “repugnant.” I don’t think I’ve seen any of her movies since, as I’d rather not support anyone who so obviously holds me in contempt. I’ve similarly avoided Sean Penn and a handful of other outspoken lefties over the years.

And then there’s morally challenged producer Harvey Weinstein, who came out in support of child-rapist Roman Polanski after Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland. There may be an exception someday, but I doubt he’ll be taking in any more money from the Dunphy household in the future. And as much as I’ve enjoyed Martin Scorsese’s and Woody Allen’s films over the years, their decision to add their names to the petition advocating on behalf of Polanski will give me pause before I plunk down my ten or twelve bucks to see another one of their movies.

So I ask: Do you readers out there in Patterico-land make similar calculations when making decisions on how to spend your entertainment dollars? I look forward to hearing from you.

–Jack Dunphy

106 Responses to “The Calculus of Going to the Movies”

  1. As a practical matter I don’t, but that’s because there hasn’t been a movie in the last ten years that I was interested in seeing, irrespective of who was in it. (The last movie I saw in a theater was The Matrix.)

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  2. Woody Haroldson is one. When he did his stunt on the SF bridge and caused a man to miss the birth of his baby, he never got another dime of my money.

    Yes, I don’t go to movies with actors who dump on me and my lifestyle or politics. They can do without my support.

    TimothyJ (8fb937)

  3. I absolutely perform this calculus. Unless something is entirely too epic to miss, like say, The Lord of the Rings, I will not pay $10 or more in support of Clooney, Roberts, Robbins, Sarandon, and other leftist radicals. If this comes at a price of missing out on a good movie experience, so be it.

    There are countless other activities I can choose to do, including renting an old movie, that old fogeys like myself know will satisfy an entertainment need.

    Ed from SFV (1333b1)

  4. When the average household has a 52″ high-def screen, a decent audio system and blu-ray, what again is the point of movie theaters? Besides air conditioning on a hot day? Seems more like the next to die after newspapers. Not eve3rything can be an event film.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  5. I feel that it is an actor’s job to ignore the real world and emote irrationally; therefore I EXPECT them to be political idiots. But I demand that they be good at their job. I avoid Jane Fonda films not because she is a political loonie, but because she can’t act.

    C. S. P. Schofield (a76415)

  6. I tend to ignore the ravings of these actors and focus on the movies themselves. If they are merely lefty vehicles (Avatar comes to mind), then I skip it. If the movie is good (agree about Michael Clayton), then I just ignore the offensive things the talking head says. After all, they are just actors.

    iconoclast (4b5de4)

  7. I can’t muster up enough enthusiasm for most of the dreck Hollywood spits out anyway, so it’s a no brainer for me to avoid these idiots. My only weakness is turning a blind eye to Charlie Sheen’s 911 conspiracy whackoness because my husband and I totally crack up at “2-1/2 Men” but, frankly, the kid and the grandmother are the best characters.

    Gina (c6e5ab)

  8. I don’t give their political views much thought. There are all sorts of loathsome people in the world — and actors are capable of doing far worse things in life than having dumb political views. So I see the movies I want to see. I also don’t care about the politics of the chef at my favorite restaurant or my doctor. I just care that the food tastes good and that I get my Ambien.

    Terrence (ea797d)

  9. Jack, I try not to engage in the sort of calculations that you are describing. To me, that’s the sort of behavior that the other side is always engaging in and it makes them boring people. We’re more sophisticated than they are.

    I know it’s frustrating living in a world where shallow people become rich and famous. That’s where religious faith comes in. We are living in a fallen world. C. S. Lewis wrote that it was like living in an occupied country. We have to go forward and live good lives despite what we see going on around us.

    Charlie Davis (af958c)

  10. Not eve3rything can be an event film.

    The popularity of high-concept TV shows on premium channels like HBO and Showtime demonstrates that people still want to see a complex storyline with memorable characters. There just isn’t much like that put out there on the big screens these days, and the television medium makes it easier to flesh out the stories, even if they are of varying overall quality.

    I also tend to pick my movie spending based on the actors involved, unless the film happens to be a story I find interesting. The one actor I make an exception for is Tom Hanks because I happen to find him entertaining as hell; the only movie of his I think I haven’t seen is Charlie Wilson’s War, and that’s because that frog-mouthed nitwit Julia Roberts is in it.

    Another Chris (470967)

  11. Absolutely. It is bad enough that America seems to be star struck and hangs on every word these morons say. I feel that stupidity should hurt. Hit them in their wallets. If they continuously spout stupid drivel, I am not going to buy their products and thus encourage them to believe I want to hear their drivel.

    It is a darn shame that most Americans can’t name their Senators but ask who is dating which movie star and they get it right 9 times out of 10.

    Jay Curtis (8f6541)

  12. Simple. I don’t go to movies, and I don’t rent DVDs.

    Hollywood as a whole is simply too drowning in hatred of Republicans, and too awash in support of genocidal Communism and Islamofascism.

    Hollywood is evil. And I will not spend my money to support evil.

    And I believe ALL good Americans should stop spending on it.

    Eric R. (cf2fa1)

  13. I’m a huge Blitzburgh Steelers fan from the early 70s when they went 1-13. Not no mo. And Martin Scorsese? Trust me when I say I have no “Temptation” to watch anything he touches. What was that other name you mentioned? The one who has love lust interests with his adopted daughters? All his stuff was garbage anyway.

    When I was in high school in the early 80s, I only wore Levi or Lee (and Lee was more fitting for my “distance runner legs”). Then Levi gave that ultimatum to the Boy Scouts. I’ve not dropped a dime on anything Levi since. Coincidentally, and before the recent economic troubles, Levi had to close down some factories and distribution centers after it threw down the gauntlet.

    Yeah, what I watch and what I buy is impacted by my standards.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  14. I will wait to see a movie when it is part
    of my cable package. Sometimes I’ll spend
    $4.00 for pay per view.

    I’m sorry I went to see “2012”. I can tell
    you this, if that was the best the
    President of the United States could do:
    “Maybe I should have had a lottery…”
    I’d shoot him myself. But Glover does play a President incapable of leadership.

    Sometimes what I take delight in doing is buying the DVD from my local counterfeiter. I may get “up in the air” that way. And then I give my illegal copy away. Clooney wants my taxes to go up, so I return the favor, sort of.

    What Law and Order is doing is sick, tiresome, and so often wrong.

    jack (e383ed)

  15. I refuse to spend any money whatsoever on a Michael Moore film, and I’ve avoided Julia Roberts since she made that R crack years ago. The Missus and I once went out to dinner with three other couples on a summer weekend. The plan, after the meal, was to go to a movie. They wanted to see the latest Moore flick–one of his Bush-bashing jobs. The Missus and I told them if they wanted to see the movie to go without us. They went to the theater and we went home with absolutely no regrets.

    sam (fa6f62)

  16. Limiting theater visits to new Clint Eastwood films works out about right.

    Glen Wishard (02562c)

  17. You bunch of liberals, I won’t watch most of them on TV, (no residuals from me). Along with being a Commie, Jane killed atomic energy in this country. Despite this, I like her father and brother. Alan Alda and Ed Asner need to be added to the list also.

    Hazy (4e0dda)

  18. Besides books, movies are my favorite entertainment (don’t watch TV at all but see a lot of films) so I like a lot of different genres of films, from kids’ animated to foreign.

    Am very aware of my entertainment dollars as a vote, so am careful about the movies I choose, though I choose based on the ‘art stands alone’ factor, not the actors. Calculus goes like this:

    1. Trailer look entertaining? (Horror isn’t – gack)
    2. Find out a bit about the story line via review or Wiki. (watch out for spoilers tho)
    3. This next is a judgement call depending on the movie but my main criteria, assuming the movie first looks fun to watch, is: Is the truth told about its subject matter?

    I think it was Flannery O’Connor who said that a definition of good art is one that tells the truth about its subject matter. One of the elements of “the truth” is, is good presented as good and evil evil, or the other way around?

    So (though children IMO should be shielded from overt sex and violence or harsh language) am not bothered by them as long as the truth is presented about them.

    Take Shawshank Redemption : had a lot of violence and strong language but IMO was a fantastic movie about friendship, the power of perseverance, living one’s daily life well whatever one’s circumstances, keeping hope, etc. It also had a Christian who was an evil character (which did bother me, am a Christian) but it is true some Christians do very evil things.

    Or the French film The Dreamlife of Angels: it had several very graphic sex scenes and lots of harsh language, but it was a film about standing on one’s own with good friendships, not letting men use you and how destructive and what a lie it is to think you can give yourself away sexually with “no strings attached.” Fantastic movie. OTOH LA Story, a piece of fluff in many people’s eyes, was evil IMO because it very clearly tried to send a message that hopping into everyone’s bed is perfectly OK, indeed something to laugh about.

    Basically I see my entertainment dollars as going to subsidize the distribution of a message. (ALL art gives some message to its audience.) And even if the message is couched in fun special effects (e.g. compare Spider-Man to The Day After Tomorrow) or sandwiched in between gorgeous cinematography or lots of funny bits, it’s not something that I think is worth subsidizing.

    Fortunately for me there are lots of films with (1) good or at least neutral messages out there that (2) also are well made and entertaining. There are plenty which suck on one or the other criteria or both, but with a little effort, it’s not hard to stay away from them.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  19. I’m a bit hyprocritical about this: I’ll happily make fun of a liberal “star” if it’s someone that I think has no talent, but if they’re okay, I’ll ignore their political views.

    Take, for example, the Dixie Chicks. I never liked them for some reason. When they went liberal (publicly), I was more than happy to make fun of them and encourage other people to not like them.

    But when it comes to a group that I like, Maroon 5 for instance, I’ll ignore their liberal views because I actually like their music.

    For another example, take Kiefer Sutherland. The guy’s no conservative. But I’ve been watching 24 since the beginning of season one and the only reason that I’ve gotten annoyed with the show is because I think it jumped the shark about two seasons ago.

    Timothy Watson (e0ceea)

  20. Just for fun: my poster child for a film which sucks on both counts is The Prince of Tides (saw it before I set up the above calculus).

    Unbelievable setup re: the relationship b/t Nolte and Streisand, melodrama abounds and the coup de grace? A LOL-ridiculous flat-out statement in the last five minutes that his adultery actually benefited his marriage. Wish they’d said that at the beginning so I could have walked out. Moral relativists. Gotta love em.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  21. I do not go to movies. I will never ever watch a movie on TV with Alec Baldwin in it.

    krusher (d7502e)

  22. As a hild of the Eighties, I am disturbed by the lack of gratuitous nudity in today’s films, and no, heaping dollops of man-ass do not count.

    That being said, the only calculus I do about movies is related to the movie itself. I really do not care about the star’s political views, because I figure they are all diametrically opposed to mine. The term “critically acclaimed” does not draw me into the the theater, nor will “lightweight, special effect laden” keep me away.

    MunDane68 (54a83b)

  23. Definitely a factor for me. There are enough entertainment alternatives to allow me choice.

    jim2 (9c351e)

  24. After the economic damage done to farmers in the Pacific Northwest by Meryl Streep, seems only fair to return the favor.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  25. Actor’s views don’t have anything to do with it for me. I simply find the cost of a movie plus snacks/whatever to be higher than the value.

    Soronel Haetir (2b4c2b)

  26. It absolutely is an important factor although not an absolute. Of course, as others have noted, Hollywood produced almost nothing worth watching, so it makes the calculus easier.

    I would go see Robert De Niro, for example, if he were in a good movie. He has (to me) fairly outrageous political beliefs, but he is the finest actor I’ve ever seen. I’ll watch Goodfellas over and over (Scorsese’s only redeeming contribution to culture btw). As for the rest, it’s easy because I find them repulsive AND without talent. Clooney as an actor? Are you kidding me? He’s a joke. Julia Roberts, Matt Damon (well, he was okay as Bourne), Robert Redford, Danny Glover, Michael Moore, Alec Baldwin (although his minor role in Glengarry Glenross was extraordinary work) Spike Lee, Robin Williams (a terrible actor and unfunny since the 1970s), etc. The list is seemingly endless.

    Channelling Henny Youngman: take them all please. I won’t miss them.

    Richard Blaine (700fd3)

  27. The only movie in recent memory that I can say I’ve decided against seeing based on some sort of political calculus is Avatar. I’m sure Cameron will have a lot of cool special effects, but that movie is such a blatant, over-the-top screed I refuse to spend my money on it. As Samuel Goldman(?) said, “if you want to send a message, call Western Union.”

    Greg (55261f)

  28. I use a similar calculus… I try to avoid the films starring actors with ultra leftist views. I don’t want to give them the money when there are other choices out there.

    The exceptions I make are if an actor is skilled enough so that I don’t SEE the activist in the movie, but I buy the character they are portraying.

    Clooney is one of the few that can pull this off. Most can’t. Susan Sarandon will always be the activist in my eyes. She does not possess the talent to make me see anybody but that person.

    Patrick Albanese (86c6b3)

  29. I allow a bit of stupidity and/or bad behavior, but when they cross the line, usually by making it personal, as with the above mentioned Julia Roberts quip, then I cut them off, I stop going to see movies they’re in.

    And this applies to more than just TV and movie actors, I apply the same standard to athletes, music entertainers and, yes, politicians. There are plenty of good folks to support, I don’t want to cheer for someone or support financially someone I wouldn’t want to sit next to at dinner.

    steve sturm (3811cf)

  30. I’ve never understood why conservatives continue to give their hard earned dollars to people, companies, and organizations who turn around and use those dollars in the political arena to defeat conservative candidates, causes, and values. We don’t go to movies unless it has a conservative star, producer, and/or director. Therefore, we don’t see very many movies. We don’t buy GE products, Progressive insurance, and have never joined the AARP, etc. Our boycott list continues to grow, but there is always an alternate product or service out there.

    Zoltan (b022a7)

  31. If I boycotted all the Anti American actors, Clint Eastwood would be the only movies I could see. If you haven’t seen Gran Torino, buy it. It’s as good as The Unforgiven. These days, I try to separate the actor from the person he is.

    Russell Crowe did hit someone right before Master & Commander was released. I bought the DVD and it, along with Cinderella Man, is one of my favorites.

    In 1972 when Jane Fonda went to Hanoi, I was flying F4s out of DaNang. When I got home, I went to see her 1971 thriller, Klute. She was, in my view, perfectly cast as a whore, but I did find myself subconsciously rooting for the killer.

    At the time, I thought Sean Penn was great as the stoned student, Jeff Spicoli, in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The one-on-one with Mr. Hand still cracks me up. Several years ago, I bought the DVD of Mystic River and it was absolutely great. Penn was a perfect Southie thug. The best part was the last scene with Tim Robbins.

    During the aftermath of Katrina, Penn took a boat to New Orleans to help with the rescue. When he backed it into the water and climbed aboard, the vessel began to sink. He had forgotten to secure the drain plug. Right there on Fox News, he was Jeff Spicoli again.

    arch (24f4f2)

  32. How good must a given movie be before you overlook the personal loathsomeness of any of its stars or others involved in the production?

    It’s odd because although I’m very conscious of a person’s politics, and make no bones about disliking (if not despising) liberalism, I tend not to personalize that to the point of boycotting a celebrity who I disagree with. In that regard I guess I’m more tolerant than the variety of supposedly open-minded people of liberal persuasion throughout the film industry.

    That holds double for all the Hollywood leftists who decades after the fact still were sneering at movie producer Elia Kazan for merely telling the truth to a Senate Committee — which he had been summoned by — about ultra-liberals and his early flirtation with Communism.

    Mark (411533)

  33. I use a different strategy. If the story is really great and based on a book then I’ll buy a used copy of the book at Amazon or Abebooks or Ebay. If it’s a movie then I’ll buy it when it’s available, used, at Amazon or Ebay.

    For ones that are not very good, I’ll wait until they’re on TV on when a good storm blows the dvd onto my lawn.

    The one exception are movies like Star Trek if they star “unknown” artists.

    cedarhill (f5b0fe)

  34. I really don’t give actor’s political views a second thought – they’re paid to be brainless narcissists, so what else can you expect? I’ve absolutely loathed Baldwin over the years, but I can’t help it, I still love 30 Rock, and all of Tina Fey’s idiot liberal nostrums that go along with it. To give you just one example? They had Al Bore on as a guest star a few episodes ago – blecch!

    Dmac (a964d5)

  35. I refuse to spend any money whatsoever on a Michael Moore film,

    I have to qualify my comment above. In the case of Michael Moore — the ultimate limousine liberal if there ever was one — and his projects, I do wish him a lack of success. And I will feel very hypocritical and foolish if I give box-office (or DVD) support to his “documentaries.”

    Mark (411533)

  36. I see perhaps one movie ever other year. I did see “The Hangover” a couple of months ago, the day after my mother passed away. I laughed loudly and often; it was perhaps the funniest movie I have seen.

    I choose not to give Hollywood my money because of their leanings

    Just my personal choice

    FLBuckeye (99947e)

  37. I agree with you about Clooney and will at least watch some of his movies. But, with occasional exceptions, I will not watch any film with Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Vanessa Redgrave, Julia Roberts (her brother is a much better actor), Michael Moore and a few others because I hold their political views to be not only moronically naive, but their actions lean toward giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies.

    GeneralMalaise (a38f27)

  38. No money to the lefty jerks.

    LYNNDH (8d8b19)

  39. I prefer not to know anything about the Hollywood types. They seem to have a difficult time connecting to reality. Typically they talk the radical line but are extreme hypocrites when their own ox is gored. As for Hanoi Jane, her behavior was beyond the pale. I cannot and do not support her. Her actions were traitorous.

    jkstewart2 (350c6a)

  40. Love these threads.

    imdw (cdd264)

  41. Haven’t been to a movie in almost a year. Proud of it too! Hollywood sucks.

    Metallica (e4735c)

  42. But what did you think of the movie? Is it worth seeing?

    jeff (f55010)

  43. I see a movie in a theater about once a year. I love movies and watch a classic about three times a week. What is really nice is that classics from the 30s, like “You Can’t Take It With You” are coming out in great restorations on DVD now. My wife has never seen these and has gotten intrigued with the wonderful writing. We scan Amazon for older classics now. They are so well done that we watch them over and over. We watched Stagecoach this week. Have you ever seen it ? It is really good and it was made in 1939.

    You do have to watch for the good restorations. I bought “The 39 Steps” from Amazon and it was a poor copy. I posted a review about it and a guy added a comment that this was a company that does poor copies. He suggested a different version and I bought it. It was very well restored. I sent in another review of the second version and Amazon never posted it. Anyway, if you buy those restored classics, make sure you get the good ones. Watch the reviews to see which are good restorations.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  44. I was trapped into seeing the last Batman flick which has turned me off movies, probably for life.

    Why waste time with such stupidity.

    Perhaps, in his wisdom, Obama can send Hollywood over to Palestine to live and operate.

    Typical White Person (4667e3)

  45. The last time I went to the theater because of the politics was when I went to see ‘American Carol’. I was excited that a right-wing cast and production company got a chance to distribute their movie nationally, and I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for any comedy that the David Zucker is involved in. I still consider ‘Carol’ the biggest waste of my movie dollar ever.
    I saw ‘Up In The Air’ last night with the wife and thought it was a great movie. I spent the whole movie trying to figure out the writer’s politics (not Clooney’s) but still enjoyed the character and plot development and the glimpse into a world that I didn’t know existed. In general I know to avoid a Clooney movie if it’s a period piece, I suspect (but can’t be sure since I haven’t seen them) that those movies are more likely to include his political commentaries.
    On a side note, I’ve always had a problem with Clooney as an actor because he’s always looked down and away from the camera when it was time for an emotional expression. He’s almost never does that in this movie. I thought he was teriffic.
    My wife and I were both a little sad after the movie and I’ve been trying to put into words what bothered me about the theme. For me, it wasn’t the portrayal of the down-sizing of business or how destructive the news of losing your job can be personally. What’s been bugging me is how professional and polished lying is in the workplace. Clooney’s boss is looking to put everyone on his staff out of business by taking them off the road and putting them in a cubicle. And with a straight face tells them how excited they are going to be for the company when the changes they propose will eliminate expenses and make the company more efficient. The affair Clooney is having only works because his girlfriend is lying about her personal life. And Clooney saves the company and the career of a co-worker late in the movie with a well-timed lie to his boss. I can tell the director is in charge when late in the movie there are two scenes when Clooney and his future brother-in-law are trying to pitch each other. With reversed roles in two different scenes, they each try to sell the other something and the other resists. And both times they both take the time to complement the other on their pitch.
    Trying to figure out the right and wrong in the world today is tough because the advocates for the different sides for the political issues are professional liars. Some are better than others but the discussions focus more on winning an argument than about trying to lay out the truth of an issue.
    By the way, loved Stossel’s first show. He picked an interesting global warming expert, someone I’d never heard of. I especially like the way gives the audience a chance to give his panel their best shot. Stossel seems like he’s looking to help people to find some truth in the hot-button issues of the day.

    pk (fe44e2)

  46. I’ve pretty much stopped going to the movies, but it is more due to the fact I’m now a dad, before then I went fairly regularly.

    Actors don’t really turn me off to a film (unless they can’t act). Actors say what’s printed on the page they’re reading, and I frankly think the whole idea of pretending to be something they aren’t for a living (both onscreen and during movie promotions) messes with their head and makes all of ’em intellectual basketcases and emotional adolescents.

    Directors are another matter. Woody Allen’s slapstick movies are still fun to watch, but his “serious” films, where he tries to rationalize what a jackass he really is, I avoid like the plague. As for a Polanski film, I’d probably go if it was proven to add 5 years to my life, otherwise no thanks.

    Sean P (4e8ea3)

  47. … although on reflection I would add that my issue with directors has a lot to do with the fact that I see the movie a lot differently when I know certain things about their private lives. For instance, with Rosemary’s Baby, the rape scene early on is particularly distburbing when you know about the details of the charges in his own case — once you do, you realize that he presents it in such a nonchalant fashion because to Polanski, it really isn’t that big a deal (that’s why I won’t watch the incest-themed Chinatown). As for Stone, typically he makes leftist agitprop movies, which makes avoiding them easy, but even when he tried to make a straight broad based movie, like The Twin Towers, I stayed away because I could not trust him to not try to put his Anti-American spin on the 9/11 tragedy.

    Sean P (4e8ea3)

  48. I rarely watch any new or recent movies starring any of those named above. But however much I may dislike Penn the left-wing mouthpiece and avoid most of his films, I think he’s one of the most talented actors ever. Not necessarily as one of his over-the-top characters like Spicoli, but the understated ones that come across so naturally. The give and take in scenes between him and James Caviezel in “The Thin Red Line” is riveting, imho.

    Dagwood (0c5d3d)

  49. My movie-going friend and I have decided to see “Up In The Air” soon. We discussed George’s politics and decided to go anyway. He is easy on the eyes. As seniors, we only pay $5.00. And avoid buying snacks so they don’t make much off us.

    The last movie we saw was “The Hangover”. Lots of laughs.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  50. Hollywood is evil. And I will not spend my money to support evil.

    +1000 Nails it. They are dead to me. I pay attention to what companies sponsor programs that are contemptuous of anyone who is not a leftist, too. Nothing with the GE logo on it enters my home.

    sherlock (e1e91e)

  51. “As for a Polanski film, I’d probably go if it was proven to add 5 years to my life, otherwise no thanks.”

    Try “chinatown.”

    imdw (f8211e)

  52. I have two discriminators when I purchase tickets or goods. I try to buy stuff not made in China, preferably made in the USA and I try to avoid any Hollywood film starring politically or morally obnoxious stars. I’ve followed this practice for years, at least 10.

    richardb (c47755)

  53. My rule of thumb is that Hollywood is evil. I will only go to the theater—maybe once a year—when it is a family occasion. Otherwise I will not contribute to a movie’s headline box office.

    However, I will use Netflix to see a movie as cheaply as possible so as not to cut myself off from modern culture, such as it is.

    Hollywood is ivory pure, 99.44% barking moonbats.

    portland guy (7fce2e)

  54. My big question is–why doesn’t an independent movie producer start now to produce this generation’s Rambo, or Terminator, or *anything* that’s actually got a real hero and a plot line that doesn’t malign conservatives? I’d sure love to be able to cheer in a theater again. Andrew Breitbart, where are you?

    Barbara Oakley (a19e30)

  55. Along the lines of Portland guy, I have a hard time with Hollywood movies because of the liberal bias in the story lines. Same with TV, PBS, NPR, etc. I probably haven’t been to the movies in a couple of years. My wife wishes I would cut her a little slack about it. If it is a good story, I don’t really care if the actors are really idiots. I know they are.

    Alta Bob (e8af2b)

  56. “My big question is–why doesn’t an independent movie producer start now to produce this generation’s Rambo, or Terminator, or *anything* that’s actually got a real hero and a plot line that doesn’t malign conservatives?”

    And not the gay stuff like Top Gun

    imdw (017d51)

  57. Answer: Sure, yes, absolutely it matters that those involved prominently in a film have views loudly antithetical to mine. The worse so, the less money I am willing to spend on it, counterbalanced against how kick-ass it seems to be. (Big loud action movies get extra chances to be seen in a theater.)

    Mitch (e40959)

  58. Last movie I went to see was Return of the King.

    Since then bought 28 Blu-rays, very few at full price, anything else I wait and see it on the tube.

    Who’s in it has less to do about it than the cost. Least if you buy the disk, and it’s a dud, always a chance you can trade it with someone.

    Gerald A (2b162a)

  59. The only movie in recent memory that I can say I’ve decided against seeing based on some sort of political calculus is Avatar. I’m sure Cameron will have a lot of cool special effects, but that movie is such a blatant, over-the-top screed I refuse to spend my money on it.

    Don’t skip Avatar because of the political angle–skip it because the whole movie’s story was told during the 5 minute trailer. Why waste money on to sit through something for 2 hours when all the drama and tension has been taken out of it?

    When I saw the trailer, I thought “$10 bucks to watch “Dances with Smurfs”?” Apparently that metaphor was ridiculously obvious, because I’ve seen the same thing said on other boards.

    Another Chris (470967)

  60. The give and take in scenes between him and James Caviezel in “The Thin Red Line” is riveting, imho.

    It’s interesting to find someone who liked Thin Red Line. I went to it with my son and daughter-in-law (before they had kids). I was sitting there dying of boredom when I noticed that people kept leaving and not coming back. I had thought they were going for popcorn or to the john. I finally realized they were all leaving. Pretty soon we were among the few left and we headed out, too.

    Later, of course, it was nominated for Best Picture. I think that might have been the last Academy Awards show I watched.

    Anyway, I knew there had to be someone.

    My mother-in-law was in the business and they all referred to actors as “talent” and nobody paid any attention to what they thought. I was reading Round up the Usual Suspects last night. It’s the story of the making of Casablanca and is excellent. There is a lot of discussion of the old studio system and how much better the movies were then. Details like cutting and cooperation among multiple writers and the wonderful character actors that are no longer in movies.

    The year Bogart made Casablanca, he made four movies and had to beg Jack Warner for two weeks vacation.

    Times have changed in the movie business.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  61. Well, my attitude is that if you are going to boycott a movie maker just because of politics, well, crap what is left. And besides I am too big a believer in freedom of speech to do so—beyond the legal concept and into the moral concept. Let them speak.

    Where I draw the line is where we start to see it result in evil. For instance, I was just about the only person in America who didn’t buy the album thriller. There I said it. and years later I realized I had probably missed something good and considered buying it. but one thing stopped me: if I buy this album am I directly contributing to a child molestation? Well, needless to say Jackson’s death earlier this year liberated me from that constraint so I bought bad, thriller and off the wall in short order.

    Or take another example. Oliver Stone did a documentary on how wonderful life in cuba is. Okay, the usual shit we expect from that idiot. But he took it a step further participating in a show trial. Yes, a show trial. So he is on my lifetime shit list. He never gets another dime from me. And if Alexander is even half as bad as alleged, this will be one of the easiest boycotts ever.

    And then a few years ago Bill Zane and Gary Busy starred in anti-American propaganda called Valley of the Wolves Iraq. In it Zane is the bad American raping, etc. and Busy plays a Jewish doctor selling organs of Muslims to Jews. Yep, anti-American and anti-Semitic, a two fer. And most damning is that it probably inspired more than a few terrorists. So on my shit list with you, too.

    And do I even have to mention OJ simpson?

    [note: released from moderation filter. –Stashiu]

    A.W. (185232)

  62. “Times have changed in the movie business.”

    Interesting that you say this after panning “thin red line.”

    imdw (966e04)

  63. I usually go to and check out their movie talk and reviews. There are a few lib stars that I might pay to see, but not many. As a result, my husband and I don’t go out to the movies very often – a 4 mile walk per night is better entertainment!

    Beth in Texas (14ca5b)

  64. #59: I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who noticed the “Dances With Wolves” angle to Avatar. And its too bad too, because it probably delivers on the eye candy (it is Cameron, after all); all he had to do was not make the story the cool special effects and explosions are draped over suck too much and I would have been there, but looks like even that was too much to ask.

    Sean P (4e8ea3)

  65. Well, imdw, we were three of the last people in the theater. The rest had left already.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  66. “Well, imdw, we were three of the last people in the theater. The rest had left already.”

    I think a lot of people panned it. It is one of my favorites. This sort of taste there isn’t debating. But what also isn’t debating is that it was quite outside of how Hollywood makes movies these days. The movie business may have changed, but Terrence Malick didn’t change along with it. Can’t think of a clearer expression of this than to watch this movie and Saving Private Ryan in the same day.

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    imdw (b42b68)

  67. I have not been to the movies in years. I still watch them, but on cable.

    But yes, I’ve had a bellyfull of Hollywood actors treating half their audience like trash.

    Subotai (e0506b)

  68. May I recommend The Fabulous Mister Fox–George Clooney is in it, by voice, of course.

    John Costello (796d63)

  69. Speaking from the left, I have no issue whatsoever enjoying the filmographies of John Wayne, Charlton Heston and Ronald Reagan.

    I didn’t go see An American Carol because it looked as unfunny as most of David Zucker’s recent movies. But I did see and enjoy Passion of the Christ.

    LYT (b1d1e2)

  70. I think it would be great if all of you boycotted any and all entertainment in which most of the performers/artists are liberals. That way I can always go to any show I want and feel comfortable that no wingnuts will be around.

    Larry Reilly (45c8f2)

  71. Life is too short to spend time boycotting movies based solely on the actors’ politics or the director’s known biases, IMO. But, I still uphold my conservative fiscal practices! We never go to see a movie when it’s just first out. We wait until several people whose opinions on movie “art” and construction we trust give us their “reviews”, and so we make our decision on what films to see in the theatre that way. Using this process we rarely feel as if we have wasted our hard earned money on garbage and usually leave the theatre with a lot to savor and to think about.

    I completely “get” how folks who detest certain actors for their outspoken politics (Tim Robbins for example) might refuse to patronize their films. But, I personally cannot imagine having deprived myself of Shawshank Redemption or Bull Durham (for example). For all those who cherish classic films it is good to remember that a few future classics are made in each and every decade–I would hate to miss those just because one or more of its actors in real life happens to be a narcissistic idiot.

    elissa (b085d0)

  72. the only movie i have went to is the passion of christ,though i am an athiest i do believe jesus existed and was a decnt man.that does not make him the son of god. i had time to kill waiting for a plane and liberals clearly hated the movie so i could vote against them by buying a ticket.

    clyde (281d90)

  73. Hey, Mawwy, I heard auto-eroticism with asphyxia heightens the response. Perhaps you could run a very long series of experiments and report back in, oh, 30 years.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  74. No, Clyde, Christians clearly hated the movie as it was sacrilegious at best. Libturds loved it.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  75. That way I can always go to any show I want and feel comfortable that no wingnuts will be around.

    I have the feeling that Mawy tends to patronize certain movie houses that you don’t see too many people in, ever – lots of old guys in long, dark trenchcoats. Right, Mawy?

    Dmac (a964d5)

  76. I think he used to go to the movies with Pee Wee Herman.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  77. I, too, don’t get why the new version of “Thin Red Line” didn’t get more acceptance and thought it was great. Looks at RottenTomato … community 81%, T-Meter critics, 78%, top critics 95%.

    htom (412a17)

  78. A page or so into a big “New Yorker” profile of James Cameron last month came the tidbit that Cameron (born Canadian) had torn up his application for US citizenship after the 2004 election results came in. I stopped reading at that point (although to be completely fair, I wholeheartedly support Cameron’s decision; based on his abysmal–pun intended–level of tolerance for those who don’t agree with him politically, I quite agree that he should not become an American).

    I also knew, Right then and there, that I’d never give Cameron another dime. Based on the early reviews for “Avatar,” I seriously doubt that I’ll be missing anything.

    Will Collier (39127f)

  79. i do avoid films where the actor/actresses, directors, producers knock the country i love (rendition, like lions for lambs, w). i also avoid films where the content mocks me for my faith (angels and demons, the da vinci code) and support of my country.

    i will gladly pay money to see films that are uplifting and positive (up, the chronicles of narnia). i do have a soft-spot for science fiction though. movies whose plots support the notion of global warming/climate change as being man-made are definitely boycotted.

    i don’t mind not seeing the latest flick, but there is much more i can do with $10 plus snacks. when they do something i agree with, i’ll support them to no end. where have alt those patriotic actors gone – ford, reagan, stewart, autry, coogan, fairbanks, gable, heston.

    ktr (9286f2)

  80. Larry-

    I would have thought you would have figured it out by now. You can always tell a wingnut because they don’t breathe (no concern about air quality), don’t sweat (not worried about global warming), and have an eerie resemblance to the “child-catcher” in “Chitty,Chitty, Bang, Bang (enjoy watching children go to bed hungry).

    Now you can feel free to enjoy movies and whatever other public entertainment without fear.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  81. ktr, I don’t go to bad movies and I think the lists we would generate with our respective criteria would match pretty well.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  82. I ALWAYS avoid movies starring left wing actors

    Cliff Patton (7ad843)

  83. I don’t avoid actors because of politics other than Woody Harrison.

    I avoid liberal movies and special effects movies. The best adventure movie ever made was the “African Queen”. Was there ever a better scene in an adventure movie than the one between Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn when he had to go back into the river with the leeches? The modern movies never give the actors a chance to have such a scene.

    Gary P (6f83c5)

  84. Those jerks get nothing from me, not a dime. I can’t make myself go to movie theaters, last time was about 12 or 14 years ago and I didn’t enjoy the show or the crowds, and the popcorn was stale and tasteless.

    I have a big TV and I do buy DVDs on occasion, but lefty jerks don’t make my list. My last home movie was “To Have and To Have Not” with Bogie and Bacall, original story by Hemingway, and screen play by Faulkner.

    Best thing I’ve seen lately is the TV series “Burn Notice.”

    ropelight (6671b8)

  85. I really liked it last year when the hatemongers in this tiny room put down their cudgels and waxed all nostalgic and emotional upon the death of Paul Newman.
    You know, that actor of impeccable integrity and long-time fidelity to spouse who made lots and lots of money — not just from his acting but also from selling his cookies, and spaghetti sauce and salad dressings and whatever — and donated boatloads to…..uh……charity and politics of the kind that you all abhor…which means to poor people and Democrats…how un-Gault of him.(He put quite a number of thousands into the campaign of the man now in the White House whom you so despise.)
    Oh, horrors.
    And you wanted to separate him, that would be Paul Newman, from everything he was, which means from your hate.
    Had he not been an actor of some stature, you would have hated and slimed and ridiculed and whatever else his very being with all of your own eeeentsy weeentsy being.
    So go ahead and indulge yourselves and enjoy the art of a lot of actors, singers, dancers and the like whom you otherwise would have snuffed, if you could carry your anonymity to the next level.
    But don’t ever forget that you still can’t have comedy. Humor, as Colbert would say about facts, has a liberal bias. Sorry, but you’re the joke.
    Gotta add that I get a kick out of the troll-feeding, delusions-of-adequacy creeps like d(i)mac and others who are so lacking in wit and depth that they can only respond to my posts with digs insinuating that I’m gay, or maybe trans-gendered or something.
    You go boys. I love you. S-m-ooooooo-c-h.
    BTW, hetero birthedeness aside, I am considering the possibility of publicly declaring that I am Tiger Woods’ long-time gay lover so I can collect mine.
    Everyone’s got their price, don’tcha know.

    Larry Reilly (45c8f2)

  86. Me, I avoid anything Michael Moore has ever done—even the few times he’s been right about something (protesting Westboro Baptist Church, forex) do not make up for my loathing of him. Other than that, I see so few movies in a year that it doesn’t usually come up.

    I do wish that the entertainment industry could be purged of the crypto-Reddishness it picked up during the 1930s.

    technomad (677f63)

  87. I have never seen a Jane Fonda movie and never will. Likewise Michael Moore. I now avoid Sean Penn, Clooney, and Julia Roberts. Guess they decided they could afford to lose my business…LOL!

    Bart998 (1cdcd5)

  88. yes i make this type of decision. if an actor spouts off in public some political nonsense I suspect that they will do it in a movie.

    I suspect I won’t be viewing any Matt Damon movies again since he is involved in the History Channel project promoting Zinn’s horrific People’s History

    Peterk (57772a)

  89. What a great post. I really, really don’t like to support liberal Hollywood but I keep getting overruled by my family members. If everyone made the choices I make, there would be a lot more sports in the world and lot fewer movies and TV shows.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  90. I rarely go the movies because the comforts of home and a great entertainment system are just too much to resist.

    Ironically, I just finished a heartbreaking and moving film, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, that was captivating from beginning til end. I had no clue who the actors were hence neither their politics. I prefer going into a film blind like that because it’s a clean slate, if you will. No Clooneys or Penns or any of the usual suspects wherein I have to actually will myself to ignore what I know about them (politics, etc.), to be able to focus on the matter at hand. But who wants to have to work like that?

    Dana (e9ba20)

  91. Who goes to the movies?
    It (the attendance figures) only encourages them.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9bb379)

  92. Plus, the antics and behavior of the movie patrons is much more distracting and off-putting than the off-screen behavior of the actors. The actors are just overpaid children, after all, dwelling in a fantasy world – which pretty much covers their professional, and personal, lives.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9bb379)

  93. Clooney isn’t even an actor, and I don’t care for his Cary Grant wannabe thing. Movie personalities get confused with being actors, but almost every movie personality is more interesting than Clooney.

    There are only a handful of actors working in Hollywood right now.

    j curtis (5126e4)

  94. pretty much, we don’t bother going to movies. between Hollywood turning out crap, staring marginal talent with more political beliefs than skill, and the ridiculous cost and hassle of getting to a theater here in the Valley, it simply isn’t worth the investment.

    we’ve only made the effort for two films in the last few years: Gran Torino and Hurtlocker. anything else can wait until we happen to have the TV on and its on cable. hell, we’re not even watching netw*rk TV anymore, since the adapter box didn’t w*rk. in this economy, shelling out for a new TV is folly.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  95. #85 po’ Larry…. he obviously suffers from delusions of adequacy. when someone wrote that he was lame, he read it as “lamé”

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  96. Yes, I vote with my dollars. Hollyweirdos who never see a dime of mine are Hanoi Jane, Sean Penn, Woody Allen and Haroldson, and I almost stopped watching 24 when that idiot Garafalo was on.

    PatriotRider (1729de)

  97. I never, ever go to the movies, no matter what. I don’t rent videos. I don’t consider it “missing” anything. I don’t buy Newman’s crap or Ben and Jerry’s, or Reebok (anti-law enforcement) or many other products. Screw ’em. They aren’t getting my money. There are only a few television shows I watch (not NBC) and still, that’s a compromise. Oh well.

    Marty Farty (cb1d38)

  98. I’ll cut Alec Baldwin some slack, because he’s a gifted comic actor who can laugh at himself through his characters, and because his personal life is such a trainwreck.

    The Sean Hannity clips of Baldwin guest hosting some Philly talk radio show and trying to fill dead air waiting for calls are comedy gold.

    furious (71af32)

  99. PS — speaking of calculus, cost to take my 5-year-old to age-appropriate films:

    tickets: $14.00
    snacks: (candy, popcorn, soda): $17.00

    It’ll be the cost, not the poltics, that drives me away. Pretty soon NFL tickets and hotdogs for two will be cheaper.

    furious (71af32)

  100. Alec Baldwins performance in “The Departed” erases for me his childish politics. Bill Clintons performance as “President of the United States” lacked credibility and honesty and as a result I can not forgive his politics.

    highpockets (bb65bc)

  101. Many years ago, a couple who were friends of my sister and her husband expressed an active avoidance of movies featuring certain offensive people. At the time I thought it was silly.

    In more recent years my tolerance for wretchedly bad movies made by and starring people who hate me has become intolerable. I’m done with giving Hollywood money. I’ll watch something when it comes on TV and see if it can hold my attention. You cannot sell me something with advertising. The best ads I’ve ever seen were for products I’d never buy. Worse, some products I might have bought have gone on my shit list because their ads annoyed me. So Hollywood isn’t making an money on me via TV.

    Technically, they’re drawing some income from me through the cable bill but if I had to choose between cable/satellite and my internet connection, the internet wins in a millisecond. If I really want to see something I’ll download it. If it doesn’t offend I’ll find some means to reward those responsible. I may buy the DVD and give it to someone as a gift. (I have to get rid of a lot of my books and other media as it is, due to space limitations, so any new purchase don’t come home to stay.)

    A lot of recent movies I’ve only seen after a RiffTrax track was available to make them tolerable. I download the combined movie and audio overlay and make donations to the RiffTrax guys.

    epobirs (613ba7)

  102. My problem is not with the lefty politics; I saw Matt Damon in the theater in one of the Bourne films and think he does a good job. I just think there are very few good movies being made now. I am not a 14 year old boy and that may be the problem. About once a year, I will see one worth going to a theater for.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  103. By the way, imdw, I could never get through the book, The Thin Red Line, and the author’s daughter is a friend of my wife’s. I enjoyed “From Here to Eternity” and thought it too bad the movie was so hobbled by the censors of the 50s. I just couldn’t follow the story or characters of TTRL.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  104. I try to avoid films by Jane Fonda, Seam Penn, George Clooney, James Cammeron, Michael Moore and cast of thousands of others. Their open hatred for me and my lifestyle makes it impossible for me to enjoy the film. I paid good money to see Diana Krall in concert and had a great time until she starting insulting President Bush. They have the right their stupid opinions. I have the right to spend my money elsewhere.

    tyree (9d7ff3)

  105. “By the way, imdw, I could never get through the book, The Thin Red Line, and the author’s daughter is a friend of my wife’s. ”

    Never read the book.

    imdw (e66d8d)

  106. Do you readers out there in Patterico-land make similar calculations when making decisions on how to spend your entertainment dollars? I look forward to hearing from you.


    Dave (3dac88)

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