Tuesday, June 19, 2007

So few good movies

Watching The Big Sleep tonight, it struck me how incredibly good the dialog is---and how rarely you find something like this today. Films are drowning in CGI and enormous panoramic shots of fields filled with hundreds of people. Actual story content is falling by the wayside, being replaced by screenplays with pages and pages of setting, but lacking any character.

Is it because the writers aren't being paid enough---or, more to the point, they are fairly inconsequential to the success of a movie these days?


  1. Amazingly tho, the movies that do have great scripts (Traffic springs to mind) can be recognized.

    Movie viewers really get split into two categories: the ones who want explosions and car chases, and the ones who care about the story. The story driven films most of the time end up as art house flicks, while the big budgets go to the lowest common denominator.

    As for the success of movies these days...Donnie Darko, Napoleon Dynamite; they were both art house flicks that were wildly successful.

    If you look at the IMDB Top 250, you'll see that Shawshank Redemption is number 2 (behind The Godfather)...Rear Window is 13. Plus a ton of other movies you haven't seen :-)

    Studio execs are known to be morons..those jokes are there for a reason. They greenlight films that will make money, that's their only job.

  2. Completely with you on this At. I'm reading a fascinating book at the moment about the US film industry from the raly 60s to the mid-80s and the way movies were made pre-1975? A world away to where they are now.

    Movies were opened small and given time to build by word of mouth. They even thought tv advertising was a waste of time. Then came Jaws and Star Wars.

    Studios realised there were rewards beyond their wildest dreams with what they previously precieved as "B" movie, drive-in fodder, and everything changed.

  3. There have always been films for the common folks! I love the musicals, or a Doris Day Rock Hudson film.....Oh Calamity jane! My son thinks I'm mad when I try to show him one. Whatever Happened to Babyjane was on the other day, good script and two amazing leads! But one of my Fav fils is Truely Madly deeply with Alan rickman, only about 10 years old! So maybe the older films we remember are just the creme de la creme that rose to the top, we forget all the crap!