New Movie Review: “Freakonomics”

October 20th, 2010 § 327

In the new Freakonomics documentary, professor Stephen Levitt faces the task of potty training his daughter and tells his wife, “I’m an economist. Let me take over.” Using the economics proverb that human behavior can be predicted by incentives, Levitt promises his daughter M&Ms every time she uses the bathroom by herself.
The scheme is effective until his 3-year-old daughter outsmarts it, dragging out one trip to the bathroom into six for increased candy profits. This story sets up viewers for the conclusion, “Governments think they know how incentives work, but they backfire in unpredictable ways.”
This snapshot scene is formula for how most of the film works. It’s This American Life meets economic theory, a re-cap of the internationally best selling book Freakonomics that everyone got for Christmas in 2005. Following the trend of pop academia, think Malcolm Gladwell and NPR’s Radio Lab, the film builds engaging characters, unfolds charming stories to humanize research, and uses these stories to arrive at larger social conclusions. It’s research that doesn’t leave out the researcher. These studies are explained with quirky, first person voice that’s often lacking in say, The Journal of Post-Keynesian Economics.
The film deals with the same academic studies from the original book, such as the explanation of dropping crime rates in the ‘90s with the passing of Roe v. Wade. Unconventional economics is brought to life with creative animation and brightly colored bar graphs. If this movie were a power point presentation, it would be knock-your-glasses-off good. But it’s not. Its project is more ambitious—to present a visual journey of the 2005 book, which raises the question: What does the film version add that the original couldn’t express?
It seemed the filmmakers were asking themselves the same questions of how to make fresh conclusion with old research data. This is could be why the documentary version seems—unlike the book—strangely political.  The film tacks on new political connections to the end of hard science research, like a study about predicting cheating sumo wrestlers in Japan as analogous to Bernie Madoff and the financial crisis. This displays a problem with pop academia in general—the entertaining social conclusions often overstep the scope and intent of the original research, sometimes for the sake of entertainment or maybe because the depth, controversy, and nuance of academic study can’t always fit into a pretty cartoon.
The Freakonomics documentary was at its strongest when it used character development to resurrect academic data. One of the studies was about whether inner city students would improve their grades when offered a $50 dollar reward.  There’s a scene with the school principal explaining he’d love to do the study on his students because the University of Illinois will be paying for it and he points to a kitschy “OPPORTUNITY” poster on his office wall. The deadpan filming and melodramatic color palate of the scene is reminiscent of Wes Anderson. The camera also goes home with the witty Chicago ninth grader, Urail King, whose enthusiasm illustrates the motivating power of incentives and serves as the entertaining bright spot of the film.

If the Freakonomics book is still sitting on your shelf unread, then it could be worth going to check out the film version. You’ll spend an hour and a half getting the same info that would take hours to read, and instead that info will prance around the screen as cute animation. Yet, if you’ve already read the book, then the film will feel like a needless repeat and the tacked-on political analogies are too much of a stretch to be illuminating. Overall, it leaves viewers wondering if the incentives for producers to whip up this re-tell were mostly financial rather than educational.

§ 327 Responses to “New Movie Review: “Freakonomics””

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    Bail bonds may be a subject of excellent passion if a specific or among their adored ones run into problem with the law. If the person is arrested, uploading bond is a means to get out of jail till their court day. The bond itself is an amount of cash posted as an assurance that the accused will certainly turn up to deal with the judge and court on their appointed court day. This quantity of money is often greater than the typical person has easily available, so a bail bondsman will certainly pointer in to cover the costs for a charge. Here are some faqd regarding this subject:.

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  • How A Bail Bonds Service Functions

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  • The Bail Bonds Procedure And Costs

    Bail bonds and the bail bond process stays quite constant with the procedures set up throughout California by the CA Department of Insurance.

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    Bail Bonds Premium: This is the cost of working with the bond agency, 10 %. i.e. for a $10,000 bond, the costs is $1000.

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    Bail Bonds Premium: This is the expense of working with the bail company, 10 %. i.e. for a $10,000 bond, the fee is $1000.

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    Which Is The Co-signer In The Bail Bondsman Process

    Bail bonds are not always made use of. There are times when the judge will launch an offender on his own recognizance. That indicates he will certainly reputable the person to reveal up to court and not leave prior to the court date.

    The bail bonds system was established up so that you might appreciate this essential right, and to make sure that you appear in court on the designated date. The bail bonds device understands that an individual who has actually been arrested has professional, household, and other responsibilities, and for that reason launches you for a while. The bail bond acts as a guarantee that you will certainly not make off when you are offered this temporary launch.

    The individual which contacted the bail bondsman will certainly behave as a co-signer of the bond and will certainly have to offer something of fantastic worth as guaranty against the bond. This can be in the type of money, a house, pricey jewelry, and so on. In many cases, if the fees are tiny, he or she could only be called for to authorize the paper. When the bond is signed, the bail bondsman will take it to a court that will certainly then approve it. The moment it is approved, you will be freed to go home.

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    The bail bondsman is entitled, by law, to obtain a fee equal to 10 % of the bond amount. If you have actually been provided a bond of $100,000 you will certainly need to pay the bail bondman $10,000. This can be fairly a higher amount, and you may not be able to pay it at the same time. Bail Bondsmen normally provide you the choice of paying by bank card, or in installations. You just need to decide with the representative that you are taking care of.

    The practice of putting up cash or residential property in exchange for momentary release from prison, (conditional after a court appearance), has actually been around given that 13th century England. The method of providing bail bonds in the United States is mainly based after the method that as soon as took location in England. Many of the modifications that have actually happened relating to bail legislations in the United States have actually dealt with the justness of the bail amount established by the court, in relation to the significance of the crime dedicated.

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    Exactly what Are The Steps Of The Bail Bonds Process

    Also though bail at a federal level includes a complicated procedure, bond firms actively post federal bail bonds and manage the accuseds and get them released on those bonds for the advantage of criminal justice system and to safeguard the citizen? s rights ensured under the 8th change of constitution.

    A bail bond is a written arrangement with a surety or bail bondsman authorized by the accused, guaranteeing that the defendant will certainly appear in court for the stated hearings. If the offender falls short to do so, the bond can be canceled and he will be taken into wardship.

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    Bail agents charge a percent of the bail amount for their solutions. Just before the implicated are launched, relatives or good friends of the charged call bail representatives to make arrangements for the bail. The co-signers will certainly need to guarantee the court before posting bail bonds that they will pay the filled bail quantity, if the accuseds do not stand for the court day.

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