10 Jan Culture rant: The unnecessary length of feature films
The moment I loathed going to a movie, not because the slushy machine was broken or because I anticipated the movie to be terrible but, rather, because the film exceeded 120 minutes. That’s two hours for those of you very poor at math and the general telling of time.
Now-a-days it seems that you cannot go to a theatre without dedicating 1/4 of your day to watching an entire film. I’m sorry but could you not have trimmed a solid 30 minutes off the film, Michael Bay? Was it too hard to cut some of those flying debris scenes Christopher Nolan?
I just don’t get it. I know I’m heading into a cinematic adventure but let’s fucking face it I’m not Alice and this isn’t Wonderland. The guy next to me stinks, the girl behind me won’t stop kicking my seat and the old couple two rows in front has no clue how to turn off the volume on their Nokia flip phone. Watching a movie in a theatre today is like being locked in a holding cell over night. I’m sorry but you expect me to inhale this super-super sized Coke and not have to take a leak? Am I speaking in Morse code here or am I the only one who feels that movies should not exceed two hours in length?
I don’t know, maybe it’s just my old age kicking in. Perhaps I’m over the cinematic experience — in public, without the remote to click pause. Over the last week I’ve seen 6 films, 4 of which were 30-45 minutes too long. Into The Woods is the one I loathed the most. It’s my reason for writing this post. No person should have to succumb to watching a film, a musical for that matter, of such terrible direction for 2 hours and 4 minutes (it honestly felt like three). I could have easily trimmed that film by a solid 30 minutes and left decently liking it. I definitely would not survive its Broadway production. Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken was another film I could have cut a solid 20 minutes out of but luckily the film was much more bearable and intriguing than that flop-of-a-film, Into The Woods. Ah, poor Meryl no shiny award for this one.
But anyhow, with the attention spans people have today I don’t think you can have them planted in uncomfortable movie seats for more than two hours to watch mediocre films. There is rarely any sense of true story telling anymore. Everything is about highly saturated, coloured and curated images with special CGI effects. But ’tis the society we have now come to live in. The cinematic experience is literally a journey consuming your day. I think directors figure that if they’re going to spend these many millions they may as well just go all the way, at the sacrifice of the movie goers bladder.
Perhaps I shall just stay home while all you non-complainers continue to go to the theatres and woof down your popy-corn. And I know what you’re thinking, If I hate it that much I should wait for its DVD release and so forth…. ah, but I shall be lending up my cinematic experience which, I’ve come to believe now is the agony I need to go through in order to catch a flick these days. It’s almost like waxing — I hate it, it’s painful but, I love soft legs.
I can never win.