1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Are movies better now?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I like to occasionally, like a lot of us, watch a classic. This week, I watched Scorcese's "Mean Streets" for the first time. Tremendous performance by a young DeNiro and a young Keitel. Also a good job staying away from expository dialogue, something that is nails on the chalkboard to me in a lot of today's movies.

    However, I couldn't help noticing that the plotting was pretty simple - more simple than audiences would have patience for today. The dramatic tension wasn't ratcheted up very well. Major plot points that were supposed to raise the stakes were introduced so far in - like the girlfriend character - that it was difficult to invest. Other than DeNiro and Keitel, the characters were quite underdeveloped.

    "Mean Streets" is an influential classic, and I understand why. But I'm skeptical about whether it would fly today. Thoughts from other cinephiles? Although classics don't seem to be being made today, it seems like the depth of the field is much stronger today - almost like the PGA Tour of cinema.
  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I should clarify. I think recent films are right up there. "Inglorious Bastards," "No Country for Old Men," and "There Will Be Blood" are three off the top of my head. "Little Miss Sunshine" is probably classic-quality. "Pan's Labyrinth." "Brokeback Mountain." "Toy Story."

    Hopefully they will all be acknowledged as such in time.
  3. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    I do not believe movies are better today. The proliferation of remakes of movies less than two decades old and the very existence of Michael Bay are proof enough for me.
  4. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Movies are not one entity. Some made today are great, some are shit. Some made in 1962 are great, some are shit. Judge each on its own merits.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Is a good movie today better than a good movie in 1973?

    Is "The Departed" way better than "Mean Streets"?
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Movies seem to go in phases, though.

    Right now it's 3D and CGI which is OK in small doses and mind-numbing in large doses.

    How can someone not sit through movies made before 1960? Casablanca, the Maltese Falcon, the Wizard of Oz? I could go on.

    I think a lot of popular movies in the 1980s -- think Top Gun -- were hurt by cheesy plots and cartoony characters and relied heavily on the music to carry the film.

    Blues Brothers did it too, but the music was the movie, not just a soundtrack.
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Let's be fair... We don't remember the crappy movies from 30+ years ago. We remember The Godfather, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Ordinary People...

    There are many, many, many more movies being made today than there were 10, 20 or 30 years ago... More movies means more bad movies...

    That said, movies have been pretty bad lately...
  8. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    It's like a lot of other things, people who are making quality movies today can build off of, and expand upon, things that were done in the past. Movies have evolved, but it's hard to simply say they've gotten better.

    When I read the first post I immediately thought of Stagecoach and Touch of Evil. The dramatic push-shot to introduce John Wayne in Stagecoach and the opening one-take tracking shot at the start of Touch of Evil were revolutionary in their times. Have similar shots been executed better in the decades since? Yes, but if you can step back and look at them for what they were when the films were released it's pretty incredible.
  9. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    There are whole genres where technology has altered perception of films forever. CGI is to monster and science fiction movies what steroids were to baseball. I question if Michael Bay could make a movie today without it, let alone make something like "2001."
    Is a film "better" because it has a more complex plot? That's highly debatable.
  10. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Everything is better now.
  11. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Are they better overall when you consider the crap along with the great stuff? No.

    Do they have the potential to be better? Absolutely. Filmmakers can do so many more things now than they could even 10 years ago. The question is whether the filmmaker uses those things to enhance what would be a great movie in any era or does he use them as a crutch to support an inferior product. Unfortunately, we see a lot of the latter.
  12. dreunc1542

    dreunc1542 Active Member

    Except for 17-year-olds' ability to plan for the rest of their lives. That skill has eroded completely.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page