Thanks to a 7 hour flight from Sydney to Manilla, I have finally been able to catch up on some of my movies. I got to see the latest Bourne movie, the incredibly strange sci-fi movie Loopers, and, ironically, I also watched half of “out of time” (I quit halfway through out of frustration). But sometime during the highs and lows of this movie marathon (most probably during the lows), a thought struck me: neither the presence or absence of hollywood “stars” seems to have any impact on the quality of a movie. Some of the “stars” had great performances, some had horrible ones. Some of the movies with “stars” in them have horrible plots and effects, and some don’t. In short, there appears to be no connection between “stars” and great acting, great story, or great movies. Why then, are “stars” paid so much?
The one connection that I can see between stars and movies is that movies with stars in them were much more recognizable than the ones without. Through my media conditioning; talk shows, entertainment sections in “news” programs and the like, I got to know the movies that have the stars in them. If anything, it was probably much easier to watch the movies with stars in them than the less known ones (despite the horrible acting, at least a movie with Bruce Willis in it is bound to have some explosions). So, then, is this the reason that stars are paid so much money? Are they hired not because of their acting talent, but because their fame is like bait to a hungry media, and therefore results in publicity and higher sales? Are they hired for their assistance in advertising rather than their ability to act? If so, why do we perpetuate this system?