I love film; comedies, dramas, sci-fi and yes, rom-coms… if done well. Studies show the average length of a feature film has been constant since the sixties – they just seem longer. The problem is that most of them shouldn’t be especially in this age of instant gratification.
Movies, in general should aim for around ninety minutes for a comedy and up to two hours for a drama or action genre. Of course the “blockbuster” has pushed their average to about two hours and forty five minutes. Some, like The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, seem to move along without notice while others (ahem The Lone Ranger and Transformer movies) not so much.
Do studios want longer movies? Don’t think so unless it’s a guaranteed hit; longer shoot days, ongoing production costs mean not enough recoup. How about the theaters? Not a chance, less show times per screen per day mean less quatloos for tickets and concessions. So, it seems it’s the purview of the director.
Don’t get me wrong; directors are an incredibly imaginative and intuitive group. I’d give anything to do what they are inspired to create. However, these days some of them seem to be indulging themselves a tad too much. There have been some really good films recently but could have been considered great had the directors not held on to the extra or unnecessary scenes that didn’t progress the movie. In every writing screenplays book they say the 1st act shouldn’t be more than 22-25 minutes. Next time you’re bored through the first half hour of a film, look at your watch and you’ll see the first act is way too long while its main function is to introduce and rope you in. Along with those superfluous scenes, do we really need any more car chases… in any form? Since Bullitt and The French Connection in the late sixties and early seventies respectively, many have tried but really… enough is enough. I enjoy action films but if I watch them at home I tend to fast forward the tedious five minutes (if we’re lucky.)
Really, directors have it made these days. No one wants any of their creative work cut out but nowadays, directors can just make an extended Blu-ray director cut or just add a bonus feature of deleted scenes so their work won’t be totally forgotten.
I find myself going to less and less movies these days… and that’s just sad.
REMEMBER… pick your head up once in a while!
How long do you like YOUR movies???