Friday, February 6, 2015

Thrill is gone even more

Continuing on the last blog, when the magic was gone from the movies, what would become of the movies we boomers loved so much. 

It changed from magic to sarcasm. 

I noticed this about ten years ago, which coincidentally was a bad year for TV movies, of which I made about twenty of them. There was even a party at the Roosevelt Hotel (where the first Oscars were presented in 1929) which we called "The Death of the TV Movie" party. 

And if you want to know why it died, it was because of a little-known TV show called Survival

You know, that island thing that has been on forever it seems. And inspired stuff like The Housewives of Orange County, Ice Road Truckers etc...etc...etc. 

This was the beginning of the GenX'ers and Millennials who listened to their parents praise movies like Easy Rider, The Graduate, Bonnie & Clyde, French Connection, The Godfather, Jaws, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Rocky (the 1st one!), Raiders of The Ark, Star Wars, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and at least a few hundred more.

And except for Star Wars, none of the movies above required CGI (Computer Graphic Image). They had real people. But real people began to fall away and instead, images of people performed impossible things, take Spiderman, for example.

Movies became more about the making of them, not about the stories. 

For example, this year I really wasn't excited by any of the movies. The Imitation Game is good but really an HBO movie, same as The Theory of Everything. Selma is the same and the others I didn't really care. I didn't want to sit to almost three hours of Boyhood.

As I mentioned before, I did like Jake Gyllenhaal's Nightcrawlers and I think Angelina Jolie deserves at least a nomination for Unbroken, far more interesting than American Sniper.

So why am I so down on the 21st century list?

There's no more really good character movies, nor really any adventure movies. Maybe it's because everything has to be either a $200 million movie or a $200 thousand movie. The trouble with both is that the directors, many of them commercial directors, often can't make a film longer than 30 seconds. 

And the others are film school graduates who don't seem to have stories except for that classic "boy returns to home town to find girl he loved/wanted to love/wants to kill or doesn't know what they want" genre.

The big problem for me is that they don't have any stories, real stories with real characters. Of course that's because I'm a boomer.

So where do we go?

I think that, already millennials are probably re-editing movies on their smart phones rather than look for good stories. 

So what now? You missed the magic, and the feeling that comes with it, the kind of feeling that you would never forget. CGI can't beat Annie Hall or Chinatown, or Deliverance.

Or Ferris Bueller.

1 comment:

  1. the only thing I have to say, Jim, is that some of those movies I loved like Annie Hall, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf or even On the Waterfront - would be called HBO movies these days. Maybe HBO should be what we aspire to?