Thursday, June 19, 2014

They Don't Make Them Like That Anymore . . .

I ran across this photo I hadn't seen before taken during the production of "Casablanca."  They just don't make movies like that anymore, and we don't see the same quality of actresses and actors anymore either.  Back in the classic cinema days, the technology was more limited, and directors focused on telling great stories, and used special effects on a more limited basis to help tell those stories.  They had to be creative in their storytelling, and getting the most out of the limited technology they had to make that story come alive on the screen. 

These days, that seems to be reversed--movies are about special effects, and the story seems to be an afterthought.  Now Hollywood can produce any effect the director can possibly imagine--and they do.  Over and over and over and over and over . . . we've seen it all now, so every movie becomes a bigger spectacle, more unbelievable, and for some reason longer than the one before it. 

I don't go to movies much anymore--I just can't sit through three hours of watching things blow up from different angles after paying thirty dollars for a ticket and popcorn.  And they all seem to be different variations on the same thing.  It's like Hollywood is out of ideas.  They're even going back and remaking movies that were crappy the first time around.  I just don't get it.  Sadly, I don't think young people today realize just how bad movies have gotten. 

I don't know when it changed exactly--they were still making good movies in the eighties, and into the nineties, but at some point, Hollywood became obsessed with special effects and finally had the technology to do it.  That's when the art of film making, which includes a story, seems to have died for the most part.  There's still a few good films being made amongst the special effects blockbusters, but for the most part a trip to the theater, where I spent a good many hours when I was younger, is usually a disappointment. 

But I think eventually Hollywood will get back to the basics.  They'll finally remember how to tell a good story, rely on the talent of real actors and actresses again to tell those stories, and use that amazing technology they have now to help tell that story instead of using special effects as the central theme of their movies. 


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