Why Movies Suck Nowadays
My wife and I were talking the other night, and we came to a conclusion: I don’t really like movies. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I like them. But I don’t LIKE them, if you know what I mean. I’m not a movie buff.
I’m a television guy. I love my TV. I love my Community, Breaking Bad, American Horror Story, and a slew of others. I think that television has surpassed film both in quality and in scope over the past several years, just as I think (hate me or not) rap music has trumped rock in terms of originality. This year, the word that I would use to describe movies would be “disappointing.” The Dark Knight Rises (as much as I loved it) and The Avengers were both tentpoles of letdown for me.
My favorite movies of the year were probably Django Unchained, Cabin in the Woods, and 21 Jump Street. Honorable mentions would be Lawless, Looper, Argo, and The Dark Knight Rises, which honestly should be firmly planted in my top films of all time. It’s not, so there’s that word again: disappointing.
When I look at my three favorite movies of the year, there are some similarities. All three have horrendously uncomfortable moments. All tell stories that are unpredictable. The craziest story is, of course, Django Unchained, which I believe everyone should see. Historical accuracy be damned, Django Unchained is everything a movie should be. When I left the theater, I was visibly sweaty from stress.
If more movies were like Django Unchained, I might actually like them.
If more movies were as unapologetically MOVIE-ish as Django Unchained, I might like them. When I look at my three favorite (favorite, not best) movies of the year, each one says something about Hollywood. Django Unchained gets movies back to their roots and uses the medium to tell an amazing story. Cabin in the Woods and 21 Jump Street are commentaries on originality in both horror and comedy, respectively. That commentary is basically summed up with, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”
I need to like movies more. But movies also need to get better. Here is a list of things that Hollywood needs to fix:
- Get them closer to the 90-minute mark again. I don’t need to nearly pee on myself every time I go to the theater.
- Be original in dialogue and pacing, not necessarily in plot. There are no new plots, but you can figure out a better way to get from point A to point B. Movie screenwriters need to watch Breaking Bad and learn a thing or two about storytelling.
- Audiences aren’t dumb. Stop treating them as such.
- If your trailer is more enjoyable than your film, go back and work on your film some more.
- If you’re a comedy, the f-bomb is not inherently funny. If you’re a horror, the jack-in-the-box shtick is not inherently horrifying. If you’re a romantic comedy, I don’t need to see a stupid obligatory misunderstanding. If you’re action/superhero, seriously, cool it a little on the CGI.
These thoughts and opinions are solely my own. I know saying that I enjoyed 21 Jump Street over The Dark Knight Rises is borderline blasphemous, but here’s the thing: One surpassed my expectations, and the other fell short. Although objectively, the Batman film trumps the buddy cop comedy, subjectively I preferred the latter.
Do you think movies need to, as a whole, improve? How so?