Movies have always been an essential part of our life. If you don’t believe me, count the number of hours you have spent watching movies throughout your life. You probably have lost count already! If so, then imagine how much it affects our lives. It is actually really underrated. So if movies are this important, then it is important to watch and make good movies – with good stories as well. But how often do we get that? Has the quality of movies deteriorated these days? We say a humungous YES!
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Perhaps, with changing times you haven’t’ been able to notice; but do you remember the last time you came out of movie theater thinking “My god…It’s going to stay with me for a lifetime?” Previously, this used to happen more often. When we were kids, we were exposed to really good cinema.
Probably you have seen a couple or two movies that have really touched you in the last fifteen years, but can you honestly say that you don’t miss the golden era of cinema? Where are the Titanics, the Sixth Senses, and the Pretty Womans? They seem to not make these movies anymore. Cheap thrills and poor scripts hiding behind a bombastic technological upfront is what defines cinema today (what was Guardians of the Galaxyall about again?), very few movies are packed with moments leading up to a sensible outcome.
Then and Now….
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Is Hollywood still trying? I mean, are they really still trying to make movies that stay in people’s minds or has their focus shifted to profit garnering in the short run? These are the questions you find yourself asking when you come face to face with the fact that there are hardly movies which penetrate our mind beyond the senses. Of course, there are exceptions, the film “Lucy” was one. Despite what the critics have said, the film is thoroughly enjoyable and what’s more? It makes you think.
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This is similar to The Matrix trilogy series, which saw huge success in the box office and got a huge round of applause from the critics as well. Talking about critics, even the critics’ hands are tied. With the quality of movies they have to judge these days, some will always surpass the others and they are left with no choice but to praise the better apples among the poor ones.
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There are some genres of movies where animation plays a big role, for example, The Lego Movie and Minions. These movies are created with the purpose of creating a light comedy. If one looks closely at such movies made in the past and compare them to the movies of the present, one can notice that there is a hell and heaven difference in the way they are approached. For example, there was a proper storyline in the movie Stuart Little and his journey was one every child with a sibling could fathom. Fast forward to the movie Minions – it does not even have a basic plot. Children, who are the main target audience for an animation film, cannot really understand what is going on, and neither can the adults. One does not even think twice about the Minions once they leave the cinema hall.
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A live example of this is the recently released film Jurassic World. Movie goers from all around the world eagerly waited for the release of this film – mainly because they loved the old classic Jurassic Park series. They expected to be mind-blown in the same way. But sadly, the new movie doesn’t live up to their expectations. This is not surprising. Movie makers nowadays are making short term focused movies for generating revenues. Strong focus on creating a masterpiece that would live in the memories of the audience is lacking. Quite understandably so, because we live in a generation where instant gratification seems to be the solution.
Technological advantages for the directors-
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With the access to the internet and social media, people have made their choices loud and clear. This is the BIG advantage the movie makers are now taking. They are collecting data from the internet to find out what are people searching the most these days and following the trends to capture the audiences’ attention. This was not possible a decade or two ago. The movie makers were not aware of what their viewers were looking for, so they tried and tried to perfect their craft and produce a movie that sticks deeply. And voila! We got movies like The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, and Home Alone. Where is this effort now? This brings us to the question what role has technology played in this downgrade of Hollywood?
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Things are easier to produce, rather reproduce, with technology (it may have been the cause of animated characters becoming cuter), but you still need a storyline that nails it. This is what the makers today seem to have forgotten. But of course, some movies are still innocent. Others have an alarming rate of violence and adult content in them and these are aired for all kinds of viewers. This might grow up to be a problem.
Too much violence – Unnecessarily
We are not kidding, the violent content in the mainstream television and movie screens has increased to such an extent that conspiracy theorists now have a theory about how this is about brainwashing the population to support wars.
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Talk about the most popular TV series Game of Thrones in general. It had so much of sex and violence that at one point it had to go off air. There were also many instances where people questioned whether it had gone too far. Personally, I could never watch an entire episode of Game of Thrones completely. Also, more often than not you are most likely to feel that the violence is completely unnecessary.
Remake or Remade?
There is no question the movies of today are simply being remade from one movie to another. There is a thing called book adaptation and there is another thing called remakes – which is particularly just hijacking the concept of one movie and implementing it into another movie with a similar plot – because one researched into the likes and dislikes of the population and came to know that they like similar plots.
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Famous screenwriter Max Landis admitted that movies are now being remade and there are certain elements to some movies which could have added a larger outlook into motion, but they are not since the directors think that the shallow concept is sufficient for the movie. This might sound a little bit complicated, but the basic idea is that there is no original movie these days. There are just remakes. Of course, there are direct remakes like from movies in other languages; but also there is a lot being remade from original novels or scripts. The question is why are these being remade like that?
Money Dictates Creativity
With capitalism consuming every sphere, how can you not expect movies to not be affected too? They have real data now. The seller knows what the buyer really wants and they use it. That’s the raw picture of the industry now. There is always the simple formula of making things work. This is the reason why so many movies are being remade over and over again. If something has worked in another language, may be the Hollywood audience would like it too, and then they try to recreate the movie, and at times, scene by scene, to bring audiences to the theater. A good example of this is the Hollywood version of the movie Old Boy.
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That’s it. Bringing the audiences to the theater is the main goal – let alone how they experience the movie or what experience they are having. I think movie makers should concentrate more on this right now than ever since the industry is facing serious threat from illegal piracy. If tomorrow the audiences feel that movies just aren’t worth going to the theatres for, what would the makers have left to make money from?
Special Effects, anyone?
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Talking about playing a role, have you ever watched Transformers and felt like the characters are at a standstill? Where is the depth of characters like in the older Star Wars movies? Or should we even compare the two?
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There are a lot of sci-fi movies nowadays, which rely very less on the story line, but a huge lot on CGI and special effects (again, what was Guardians of the Galaxy all about?) and it is not that it is only about this one movie, but you wouldn’t really find anything going ahead with movies like Jupiter Ascending – especially this one, because it had the potential to tell a very strong story with strong characters, but alas, it disappointed us.
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The Avengers should really start building more movies about the individual characters. Why is Iron Man always the one who is to blame? This is another much loved movie, which too has a lot of potential but can be seen following the same path as the others.
There was a time when art was said to be the reflection of society. If this is today’s “art” then should we be worried?