Modern films are ...
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Author:  David Price [ Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Modern films are ...

... getting way too long, IMHO. Earlier this year, I went to see 'Watchmen', which would have been a riveting film if they'd only shortened the running time and concentrated on the more interesting characters. An ideal running time for most films would be an hour and a half to two hours, yet a lot of 'so-called' blockbusters are dragging on for the best part of 'three' hours. In the case of 'Public Enemies' dragged is the operative word, as the odd shoot-out only serves to relieve the bordom. The latest Harry Potter film is good, but drags on for an age while you are waiting for the action to start. The latest 'Transformers' film outstays its welcome long before the final credits , the final battle scenes dragging (am I using that word too often!) on and on for an age (and lets face it, when you've seen one robot bashing the crap out of another, you've seen them all!). Don't film-makers know when to end a film? Just when you think it's all over, there's another chase, or fight, or shoot-out. I don't mind a three hour film if the story justifies it, but most of the time the makers don't seem to realize that their movies are going on for wa-ay too long. It is getting to the point where I am checking out the actual running time of the film before deciding to see it. [/i]

Author:  benedictjjones [ Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:35 am ]
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i finally watched REC recently and was very happy that it clocked in at about an hour and a quarter which, to me, seemed the perfect length for it.

Author:  Foxie [ Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:01 pm ]
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Have to agree. It was Titanic which started it all. Spiderman 2 was terrible for it. I mean, what was up with Peter not being able to decide who he was and losing his spider powers? Any half-decent editor should have cut that fat off and concentrated on the story we were paying to see.

There just seems to be this mentality among mainstream movie makers which says any film worth it's ticket has been a bloated three-hour trawl. As if spending an hour-and-a-half telling your story makes you a failure somehow.

Just agreeing, really.

Author:  Tony [ Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:06 pm ]
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I disagree with this argument... I enjoy long films quite often (some of my all-time favourites, like The Right Stuff, are 3-hour epics).

Yes, several of the longer films made recently were done badly. They might sometimes have lots of padding in scenes, but sometimes a lengthy film makes room for all the nuances of a character/ plot-arc.

At least, with 130+ to 160 minutes, cinemagoers get their money's worth. Lately, I've seen too many stretched-out 90-minute flicks that ought to have been condensed into 45-minute TV episodes... But, sadly, the days of genre anthology shows are gone.

The problem, as I see it, is not the length of today's films but a drop in the quality of creative-standards overall, and product run-time is hardly an issue.

Terminator Stagnation vs Transformabots?
Yes, I saw them... not great film-making, but I think they could be appreciated as mindless 'sci-fi' spectaculars.

Author:  GaryC [ Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:40 pm ]
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I agree with Tony - The Right Stuff might be three and a quarter hours long, but it feels like two. On the other hand, Look Who's Talking Too (one of the worst major-studio releases I've ever seen) runs 80 minutes and feels like four hours.

This is a syndrome that's been around longer than Titanic - it's more to do with directors who seem to think that an "important" film can't have a two-digit running time, release dates that are so unrealistic that you have teams of editors working round the clock to get films finished so that what appears in the cinema could have done with a few more edits, and an overall ego-driven creative slackness (the coke school of moviemaking).

There's also the "value for money" argument, which is like the publishing argument that one 800-page novel is much better than a 300-page one, even if it might contain 500 pages of padding. A great 70-minute film is much better value for me than a 150-minuter that needs shortening by fifty percent. But then I find most adult novels unnecessarily bloated too.

Author:  Mike A [ Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:54 am ]
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Another long film that's over far too quickly is Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai. Over 3 hours long, but absolutely gripping from beginning to end.

Author:  pendragon [ Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:02 pm ]
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The Right Stuff is an exemption; Kaufman was cramming years of space exploration, from the very beginnings of Mach 1 to the Apollo missions into a coherent story: it needed those three hours, and I'm glad for it.

Another is Das Boot: I can remember watching the original mini-series and then the film on dvd and kept scratching my head: nothing, or so it seemed, was different, yet there was an hour or so difference in running time.

This argument is a bit like big novels: personally speaking, any novel over 120k words is too long, and has for those bloated trilogies... :roll:

Author:  Richard [ Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Spidey longer ridey

I can't agree with the criticism of Spiderman 2, I watched the director's cut ('2.1') recently and felt the additions added weight to the characters. If all you want to see is Spidey swing between buildings and throw webs at bad guys then the shorter version of course would be preferrably trimmed back some even more. A considerably greater improvement through a longer version can also be seen exhibited in the extended version of The Frighteners btw, one of my favourite horror pics.

Author:  pendragon [ Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:31 pm ]
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Thinking about it, I was very happy with the extra scenes added to Aliens - though I can understand the criticism: firstly, the audience are now one-step ahead of the Marines, since they know what happened (whereas in the original, both audience and Marine were in the dark) and the inclusion of the rapid-fire robot-sentries ended up turning the aliens into a creature who win by sheer numbers... not by cunning and stealth.

Mind you, discovering Ripley's first name and the fact that she had a child gave us more empathy and the realisation of why she cared for Newt so much.

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