Speaking of refunds...
I got to thinking about how much money my husband and I spend on watching filmed entertainments in theaters. Yes, we go out to the theater and pay full price to see a movie. We did it every weekend, without fail, during the pandemic. Often, we had the entire theater to ourselves. According to some on the fly math, we probably spend upwards of $1500.00 a year on movies. That's kind of a lot! We're purchasing a product from Hollywood. But Hollywood and the studios have no compunction about issuing any sort of receipt or promise of quality or...how about this: A REFUND.
I mean, a theater will give you your money back if you walk out. Before a certain point, that is. Most give you fifteen minutes. But there never seems to be a set policy or a notice pertaining to being dissatisfied with the product. I think we need to change that. So, here are a few productions that come to mind. Cases where, yes, I sat through the whole movie. But now I'm suffering retroactive regret and would kindly like my money back. Cough it up Tinseltown...
Okay, let's set some monetary parameters for our proposed "Or Your Money Back!" campaign. Movie prices where I live, for the past five, ten years, seem to have hovered around the nine dollar mark. So, let's just round up to ten for inflation. And this would be in U.S. dollars as opposed to say, the pound, in the case of CATS. That being said:
Judi Dench you owe me $10.00. (Sorry, DAME Judi Dench)
Taylor Switft: $10.00
Sir Ian McKellan: $10.00
James Corden: $30.00 (because you played someone(thing?) named "Bustopher Jones"; you danced; and you made me watch)
Rebel Wilson: $35.00 (because I still have nightmares over "Jennyanydots" Big Number)
Idris Elba: $0.00 (because, Idris Elba)
REST OF CA(S)TS: $10.00 each
Universal Studios: $25,000.00 (Mental health and wellness sought after viewing CATS)
So, I won't charge the extensive chorus members of the cast, nor those who played cockroaches. So that leaves approximately 17 lesser players under the stars or below the line, if you will. So, let's see, by my math our grand total is:
Okay...maybe in this case I'm not owed a refund; but I'm gonna ask for it anyways. When the only screening in town of The Tree of Life has a handwritten note in the box-office window that reads: "No refunds will be given for Tree of Life after the first 30 minutes"; you kind of know, going in, there might be some problems.
Some of those problems?
A thirty minute nature documentary in the middle of the movie out of nowhere
Now, don't get me wrong. I like CGI dinosaurs as much as the next guy. But I don't necessarily want them in the middle of a somber Brad Pitt/Jessica Chastain domestic drama. Seriously...so you're like watching this movie, waiting for some kind of story to kick in for a good hour. Okay, what's going on? Sean Penn's dad is dying so Sean has flashbacks to his childhood in Texas(?)...seems like it...from what little we can glean from the dialogue we can barely hear. The dialogue that is mumbled into the wind as characters(?) turn their backs to the camera to stare off at the horizon during the Magic Hour? And Mom chases butterflies in the back yard. And young Sean Penn steals a woman's nightgown(?)...then all of this ambiguity comes to a screeching halt and the screen takes us on a voyage to Amoebaland for what has to be a good thirty minutes; but seems like an hour
And then there's like another two hours of non-story and then our actors wandering around on a beach.
Here's the bill:
Brad Pitt: You owe me $10.00
Jessica Chastain: $5.00
Jessica Chastain's agent: $10.00
Terrence Malick: $37.50 (that's ten dollars for each hour and $7.50 for the 17 minutes of plankton)
Fox Releasing: $20.00 (that's $10 dollars for the movie and $10 dollars for the bait and switch)
Sean Penn: (You can never pay me back what you owe me for this)
Not any particular film. ALL of her films, pretty much. And I love her. Let me explain...
Naomi is a fantastic actress. Weknowdis. And she seems to prefer drama. As in PSYCHODRAMA. There's not a film that she's in or a role that she does where she isn't rolling around in a tattered nightgown, tearing at her hair, tears streaming down her face. I mean, yeah, it was great in The Ring. Classic modern horror movie: it put you on the map. It required a lot of screaming, terrified crying, bedraggled worrying and walking the razor's edge of hysteria. But then, when you did it all over again in The Ring 2, I thought...did we really need The Ring 2? Oh, wait a minute...Mulholland Drive sort of put you on the map. You were so happy and cheerful and fun in that! For the first five minutes...then we got...well, who knows what we got? But it certainly involved a lot of crying and nervous breaking down and oh yeah, you blew your brains out. Fun! But to be fair...you have done some comedies, right? I mean, if we consider Le Divorce, I <3 Huckabees and Movie 43 comedies.
Naomi, you're a wonderful actress and performer but I'm afraid to go see your movies now. I mean, when you actually produced a remake of something as bleak and hateful as Funny Games, I had to wonder what you were thinking. I mean, I didn't see it. I saw the trailer and read some reviews. That was enough. I try to avoid movies where children are murdered. Why Naomi? Why would you want any part of something so heinous? Please...I beg of you: lighten up. Please immediately do a remake of Pillow Talk with Channing Tatum and Jack Black. Anything...anything that doesn't feature imperiled or dead children. Can you sing or dance? Even if you can't...please sing and dance in a musical. And not Les Mis. How about Annie? Wait, what's that Naomi? NO. No, you can't play Miss Hannigan. You will play Daddy Warbuck's secretary and like it.
Hey you...yeah, you Jennifer Connelly:
You make Naomi seem light-hearted. Even when you're in a comedy, you play the foil. You're the buzz-kill or the dream killer. Speaking of dreams. Requiem for a Dream? That had some real uplift! House of Sand and Fog? Gee, that was fun. Jennifer, you're a Sagittarius. We like to have fun. Have some fun. You're pretty and likeable...why don't you be pretty and likeable in your movies? Why do you feel the need to have your mascara run at all times while you explore the thousand ways there are to be miserable? You lightened up a little in Top Gun: Maverick. That's great! Keep going with that! Please immediately drop any pending projects and develop an "out of your comfort zone" one for yourself. Can you sing and dance? Even if you can't, please do something fun. Might I suggest The Journey of Hedy Lamarr. She was an actress and an inventor and pretty; she was also a kleptomaniac. You could have some fun with that! Let me write the script for you! I don't know if she could sing or dance, but in my script, she will. Her big Act 1 closer is: "Get Ready For Hedy!"
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. and we'll talk.
You're a great actress and you're pretty. You can also be gay and charming! So why does Wikipedia sum you up as thus?:
Michelle Ingrid Williams (born September 9, 1980) is an American actress. Known for primarily starring in small-scale independent films with dark or tragic themes.
Is it because:
She has Norwegian ancestry and her family has lived in Montana for generations.
I don't know. I've never been to Norway or Montana; but I bet both can be pretty depressing, particularly in winter. I mean, I can understand being drawn to "serious" roles...but why, like ALL of them? (BTW: speaking of "serious" roles...why didn't you play Jean Seberg instead of Kristen Stewart, who looks and sounds nothing like her? Of all the suicidal roles I would want to have seen you do, it was Saint Jean).
You ladies need to find balance. Even if you're drawn to nothing but deep, dark, good-bye cruel world roles. Michelle, I will give you props for playing Steven Spielberg's mom with such elan (even though you managed to work in a good two and a half sobbing scenes*).
Naomi, Jennifer, Michelle: For every Hedda Gabler you play, might I suggest two Lorelei Lee(s)?
Or how about this:
Let's take one of those Russo/Scandinavian dramas, you know the ones, the ones that are about three sisters who live in the country and the family fortunes are on the ropes and they long to move to the city but can't seem to find the will to do it and instead remain where they are, trapped in loveless marriages and/or suck down a bottle of iodine or put a pistol to their head and curtain(s)?
Naomiferelle; I'm going to waive your fees if you will follow my advice; however, Naomi, I'm still charging you ten dollars for Funny Games, even though I've never seen it.