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BLINKING AT THE MOVIES

Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent book Blink celebrates the power of thin slicing — that is, the ability to make a decision, often a correct one, based on very little time and very little information. I do this all the time at the movies, dividing the trailers into three groups: see it in the theater, watch it on HBO, forget about its existence. Here’s a sample. Feel free to play along at home.

Jet Li’s Fearless
Stars:
Jet Li
Setup: Supposedly, this is Jet Li’s last martial-arts epic. If it is, he’s going out on top. Which is great, if you like that sort of thing.
Blink: HBO

Open Season
Stars:
Martin Lawrence, Debra Messing, Ashton Kutcher
Setup: Remember when they didn’t make many animated movies, and when they did, they cast people with interesting voices? Me too. It was awesome.
Blink: Forget it

Employee of the Month
Stars:
Jessica Simpson, Dane Cook, Dax Shepard
Setup: From the writer of Sorority Boys comes the story of two loser big-box-retail-store employees who vie for the titular honor so that they can score a date with Nick Lachey’s ex-wife.
Blink: HBO (I can’t deny it.)

The Guardian
Stars:
Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher
Setup: Combine Top Gun, An Officer and a Gentleman, and Cliffhanger, and stuff the whole mess into the Coast Guard.
Blink: Forget it