We go to the cinema, we buy the tickets, we go and buy the extra large size popcorn and coke then make our way to the screen your film is on at. Sit down and enjoy the movie and munch and drink away, suddenly into the film you have the urge to go to the toilet but its at a important part of the movie. So do you hold onto the end of the movie, not knowing how long the movie has (and possibly have a accident) or do simply get to the toilet and miss that important part of the movie? Well it depends on the movie but is it me are movies getting longer and becoming arsebreakers as we struggle to stay comfortable to enjoy the movie?
The list of movies that are 2 hours or more in the last ten years is unbelievable and the last few years it’s just getting bigger and bigger. Where shall we start? mmm? Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the ring 2hr 58mins, Two Towers 2hr 59mins, Return of The King 3hrs21 mins!!! I remember watching the Return of The King and I got Large Popcorn and Coke and I even had run to the Loo, luckily I didn’t miss much. Its not just the cinema version, the DVD version’s are longer!! 3hr 30, 3hr 45 and return of the king 4hr 1o minutes!!! at least with DVD version you can pause it or even watch it in parts.
Other films Watchmen 2hours 42 minutes (DVD 3hours 6minutes), the 3 pirates of the Caribbean movies: 2hr 23, 2hrs 31 and 2hr 49mins. Transformers 1 2hours 24mins, transformers 2 : 2hr 30mins, Australia 2hours 45minutes,Munich 2hr 44m. Dark Knight 2hrs 32mins. The Harry Potter movies have all been over 2hours 20mins , Half Blood Prince was 2hours 33minutes longs and also other new movies Johnny Depp in Public Enemies 2hours 20minutes and Tarantino’s new war epic Inglorious Basterds runs for just over 2hours 30!.
I’ve just touched in some of the movies guilty of been ‘arsebreakers’ we could go on forever. The point I want to ask is, with all these long movies we get quantity but are we getting quality? the answer is YES and NO.
Films like Lord of the Rings fantastic movies but to many just too long but so was the book(s) and Peter Jackson and co even had to cut a lot of the book out. So if you cut another hour or so off the film would be defeat the purpose of the epic story. The great sweeping camera shots, the battles even some of the little things that make the story if they where to disappear there would be outrage, so certain films deserve the long running time.
Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s the studios where the powerhouse of films, the directors where given some freedom but they studios hit them with so many stipulations. Movies where a lot shorter, averaging 90 minutes long and alot more friendlier on the backside, but they made more profit plus the cinema’s get the chance to show the movie more often in one day.
If you look back at the past few decades before this one, the films majority of the longer films hit around 2hours which is manageable. films like Indiana Jones movies, the 3 original Star Wars movies all legends in movie and Sci-fi genre. The Star Wars movies had originality, fast paced, simple but effective storytelling and the big achievement was technology wasn’t and the Special FX was minimal but effective and had at times a more ‘realist’ feel it. But move onto this decade well that’s a different story.
The directors seem to regained the power and when Lucas Announced that he was to make the next 3 Star Wars movies or prequels there was much anticipation and he just blew it. He just tried to fit everything into the movie, the storyline was weak and he just tried to cover it up with flashy CGI which just made the whole thing look like a joke and it was sadly a blackmark on a iconic piece of cinematic history.
Where did George Lucas imagination go? Same can be said for the last 2 Terminator movies both poor compared to the first two movies. With many directors nowadays are getting there own way with the films they get that successful they think they can get away with any old crap. Michael Bay with Transformers 2 revenge of the fallen is a perfect example,2 and half hour of loud, noise which is meant to be action topped with lashes of that disgusting nacho cheese you get at the popcorn stand, plain tasteless and boring.
Now this would have been a little more successful in the 1980’s or 1990’s as we would have only had to put up with 90 minutes max, so there would have been no need for a pillow (and earplugs). What the studios are directors and writers getaway with is unbelievable: remakes of original crap movies (or reboots), movies on video games, toys, theme park rides, comic books. I can put up with comic books such as superman (Christopher reeves) and Batman (Michael Keaton) where good in there own way but over 2 hours of CGI robots, some that think there Chris rock wannabe’s action (some senseless), no plotlines well that’s not welcomed.
Take example of the excellent Jean-Francios Richet french gangster movies Mesrine he knew the film was going to take over fours hours to tell the story so he split the movie into 2 movies. In anything over 2 hours you are taking your chance that your viewers will give up interest after 2 hours, so to keep the interest (and sanity) of the viewer it’s wiser to split the movie.
Personally if its a good exciting movie, no matter how long it is people will watch it. If it has a important(historical/factual) story to tell like Schindlers List or Munich, it deserves the longer film time. remember since the dawn of DVD’s it give’s the director the full freedom to show the whole film, this gives people the incentive to buy it.
Movies will be good or bad no matter how long they are we should asking how much creative freedom does a director get, does the movie they are making deserve the big running time? Plus will people be interested for that long in the film as well. But we should also ask why are people going to see this movie, was it the hype? or you read about the movie or even read the books so you are a fan?
If your going to complain about a movies length maybe bring a cushion and some earplugs especially if its a Michael Bay movie.