movie theory I
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taipeileviathan

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in the short 19 years i've lived and the shorter 3 years that i've begun to watch movies critically and earnestly, i've learnt quickly to purge myself of all expectations for hollywood to produce any quality films. this way, i can even be pleasantly surprised from time to time by a good film from a major studio.

i must say tho, kelly, that ur 5 basic plots are really very general, so much so that i think it's a little too hard on those who make movies. those 5 plots are pretty much the only options any story teller has. if a filmmaker, book author, opera composer, whatever, if anybody wants to deviate from those 5 plots, they won't really be telling a story. these products (also known as indie films) do exist and are often times incredibly interesting, and as such, they kinda defeat ur argument (i think).

however, i must agree with u on one point. execution is critically important... that romeo and juliet with leonardo dicaprio and claire danes? good gawd... shakespeare must've gotten rug burns turning in his grave.
 
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dparrish

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I agree with DanG that acting is still important; however, I think Kelly is correct in that because the emphasis tends to be so much on special effects these days, a film doesn't depend as much on actors to carry it. Any number of actors/actresses could have played the lead roles in the latest Star Wars installment, for example, without greatly changing the film's overall impact or success.

As to plots and creativity, it only makes sense that in the days when special effects couldn't help much, that the movie would sink or swim based on the script, acting, cinematography, and direction. I think that more chances were taken in the early days not just because the studios were outputting more, but also because film was a new genre which begged for experimentation.

Is there creativity going on today with film? Certainly, but the majority of it is happening with the art films. For this reason, my wife and I have REALLY been enjoying the last couple of years with the addition of the Angelika, Magnolia, and other art film theaters. Of course, some art films aren't any good either, but we've found quite a few gems, some of which go on to the big theaters and do well.

Yes, Hollywood these days is driven by big-budget films that appeal to a largely narrow segment of the population. This is why the creativity is usually kept to a minimum regarding plot. But it has also been proven that lower-budget creative films done well can make money. Take "Shakespeare in Love", for instance. It was never intended to be a mass market film, but had great success. Although I haven't seen it (yet), "Big Fat Greek Wedding" is a VERY low budget film that has been climbing steadily on the charts (I have no idea how good or original it is).

David
 
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TaffyGuy

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well then. i'm sort of glad i never read this thread again, therefore dropping any following defensive comments i could have spat out.

kelly,

yes i'm damn quick on the reply button... mostly out of sheer boredom as my last couple weeks of work are winding down and it hasn't been too active... (not that it isn't out of immaturity, i've got plenty of that as well)

anyhow i find it irritating when people (namely: kids) start to grow up and then flip flop from popular to anti-popular, mostly for the cool factor. anyway i'm plenty guilty of this, so i thought i'd be a nag about it.

by stating that 'well not all new movies are bad but they are compared to old ones' in an exaggerated paraphasing, i assume you're falling pray to this line of thought (wrongly, of course)

anyhow by putting it into perspective that a handfull of good movies are coming out all the time, and you said that you thought a good many movies are good these days, you should keep in mind that (i once again assume) a whole lot of movies were made 'back in the day' as well, not only classics, and the ones that fell threw the cracks were more likely than not a bunch of crap.

its much easier to see the crap these days because its in our every day lives, and not the history books, and if you look at the years '98-'2001 and can easily find like 8 or 9 movies that are real quality, as in you can see yourself showing them to your kids in 30 years, think how many of your classic movies are from... oh say '58-'61 or whatever timeframe the classic movies you like circumscribe. i'll go ahead and assume i used the word circumscribe correctly and continue.

well upon further analysis i see that this isn't what the thread is about at all, and you want to more analyze what makes movies this way or that way... i won't restate.

anyhow, i think in your synopsis of "xxx" you bring up a good point that i personally live by as well (although my home theater is just about as effective as a movie theater) that trash can be a hell of a lot more fun these days becuase of all the high budgets and stupid effects and such. might be a waste, but at least its an entertaining waste.

oh and yes i enjoy discussing almost anything. i try and limit myself to opinions i have a fighting chance defending, but on the internet it's easy to get carried away


oh and i wasn't complaining about you complaining about special effects ruining movies, i was just saying you should watch your complaining (that is perhaps non existant) from having crap IN YOUR FACE all the time, as opposed to in the past or whatever. maybe it was just a critique of a former self. or a self that the rest of me is trying to rid from it (me)


it would be funny to somehow measure how many work hours i single handedly destroy with my posts. *taffyguy's attempts to bring down the economy* ...happy patriots day everyone
 
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post-179696
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kelly

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David
I don't enjoy every art film but there are certain perks to seeing them.

One is that I can (as I often would prefer) opt to have absolutely no exposure to a film prior to seeing it. Once I've decided to see a film (be it for the director, the actors, reviews, special effects, whatever reason), I really dislike seeing or hearing anything else about it until I've seen it. This allows me to experience the film myself instead of involunarily referencing memories of what someone told me about it.

Another is the Angelika theater. I know this may seem silly but I really enjoy the environment of that theater. I like the architecture of the building, the layout and even the people who work there. How often do you hear me say that about a business? The Inwood, of course, I've been to countless times but I've not yet been to Magnolia. I don't even know if the Cine ever reopened. Slowly Dallas is becoming a city where art can exist. I hear we're even getting an Opera house.
 
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