Change in movies over the years

I’ve been watching a lot of movies recently and it’s because I love watching them. Having said that, many of the ones, I have seen lately suck. There are some exceptions, such as This Is the End, and a little known movie made in 2003 called Goon – if you get a chance, watch it on Showtime On Demand, but for the most part, they were bad.

Of all the recent movies people have tried to get me to go see, not a single one is based on an original idea/ isn’t a sequel/ isn’t a franchise reboot/ isn’t a shameless money grab. What has happened to the movie industry? So I have to wait until the next Tarantino movie comes out to be able to see a big-budget film with an original script?

I know some may say that I sound like a huge hipster who only enjoys weird indie films like Moonrise Kingdom and hates beloved American classics like The Shawshank Redemption, but that’s not true; I love it and I’ve seen it four times. However, Hollywood has sacrificed artistic integrity, storytelling and character development for CGI driven, mind numbing, roller-coaster-ride type movies.

You don’t really watch movies anymore; you experience them in large IMAX theaters wearing 3D glasses, and it’s all good because studios are making insane profits on these films. I have no problem with CGI, it definitely enhances your movie watching experience, but when the effects become more important to the film than the storyline, that’s when you get movies like Die Hard 5. It’s like eating icing without any cupcake.

It used to be that studio’s would release six to nine movies a year with budgets up to $30 million each, and hope that one or two would strike it big. Now, studios sink all their money into two huge blockbusters each year and pray that they don’t turn out to be a total bust.

My generation is exactly who these films are being made for, and that’s what makes me mad. People my age have no problem spending $10 to $15 on any movie with a superhero in it. They will gladly go see Fast and Furious 7, 8, and 9, and convince themselves that it was awesome.

The only way for anything with real artistic merit to get produced nowadays is if it is financed independently, or if a big name star falls in love with the script (see: Silver Linings Playbook). Kevin Hart put up $2 million of his own money to produce Let Me Explain, great movies like Midnight in Paris, The King’s Speech, Lost in Translation, Good Will Hunting, Slumdog Millionaire, Saw, Juno, Easy Rider, Paranormal Activity, and Pulp Fiction were all indie films.

Many could easily make the argument that any one of those films has been better for society than all of the Iron Man movies. But when there is a movie coming out that isn’t an action-packed blockbuster, you never hear about it. Indie films can’t afford to promote their movies and studios spend all their ad budgets on trailers for their blockbusters.

Movies are supposed to entertain us, but they are also suppose to enlighten us, to help us to understand ourselves and the world, to celebrate life, or to provide some sort of commentary on our society.

The commentary I’m getting from Hollywood nowadays is that we are shallow, stupid, and won’t look at a screen for more than an hour without seeing somebody die or something explode; and I have to agree with them.

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About Matthew Speiser (8 Articles)
I'm a 25-year old writer living in Manhattan

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