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“Would you like to see Aliens Versus Predator: Requiem or One Missed Call?” I inquired of my bandmates. We stood at the box office of a movie theater outside Austin, Texas with many hours on our hands and few activities to fill them.
“What is Aliens Versus Predator: Requiem?” my bandmate queried.
“Aliens Versus Predator: Requiem is a science fiction film that was released in 2007,” I declared. “This film, directed by Colin and Greg Strause and starring Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, and John Ortiz, is a sequel to 2004’s Alien Versus Predator, an innovative fusion of the popular, profitable Alien and Predator science-fiction franchises.”
“But I have not heard of those directors or actors,” my bandmate protested. “And I have not seen Alien Versus Predator.”
“Be troubled neither by your unfamiliarity with the directors and stars of Aliens Versus Predator: Requiem, nor by your ignorance of the original film’s plot,” I offered. “There are aliens, there are predators. To watch Aliens Versus Predator: Requiem, you need know little else.”
“What of One Missed Call?” my bandmate queried. “Is this more substantive cinema?”
“One Missed Call is a horror film released earlier this year,” I explained. “This film, starring Shannyn Sossamon and Edward Burns and directed by Eric Valette, is a remake of a Japanese horror film, a la 2002’s The Ring and 2005’s Dark Water.”
“I have heard of the actors in this film,” my bandmate replied. “But what of the plot?”
“The plots of Japanese horror films take a backseat to aesthetics,” I replied. “Think of One Missed Call as you would think of Piet Mondrian’s painting Composition No. 10. Does Composition No. 10 have a plot?”
“Touche,” my bandmate replied. “But what of the cost of these films?”
“This is a second-run theater,” I replied. “The cost of any movie is $1. Thus, the whole band can be entertained for two hours for $4.”
“Well, at least the price is right!” my bandmate exclaimed.
“I would say that the price is not ‘right,’ but merely ‘fair,’” I replied. “After all, most aesthetic experiences—-including free jazz, Danielle Steel novels, and museum exhibits centered around furniture design—-are worth $4 at most.”