A Call To Action

There is a reason people say “They don’t make great movies anymore” For me, it’s because it has been proven time and again that people like the familiar, which is fine, but it reaches a point to which people watch the same thing over and over again to the point where we watch for the entity and not the story. That is a creative killer.

Hoverever, recently I have seen some blockbuster movies that have squashed the mundane expectations that major film companies have benchmarked themselves for so long. I want this to continue but I don’t have any power to change that. Only the people can.

The last month and a half have been the best period for movies in the last sixteen months of reviewing movies by a country mile. I have had entire months without a single excellent movie (four stars or more). In the last five weeks, I have seen five excellent movies in a row. They are:

1. Spiderman Homecoming
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. War of the Planet of the Apes
5. The Big Sick

For me, to watch two excellent movies in a row is rare. To watch 5 has been unprecedented. To see two movies in a row that have gotten 4.75 stars from me is unreal.

I don’t rate movies on a bell curve. I call it like it is. I was wondering if it was just me and my positivity influencing these unusually high ratings. That is until I saw a video by the Double Toasted Podcast (Who have reviewed movies for a lot longer than I have) and they came to the consensus that this short period was the best period of watching movies they have had in the last several years.

I personally don’t know if this is going to be a recurring pattern but I hope it is. In the last month, these movies have curbed a lot of their vapid, uninspired movie making and have either gone for a stripped back approach, (The Big Sick) a reinvention, (Dunkirk) classic fun, (Spiderman Homecoming and Baby Driver) or a bit of everything (War of the Planet of the Apes)

Each one of these movies is completely different, memorable and engaging in their own way and that is when movies start to hit the stratosphere. To do that, a movie must take its chances to become either a great film or a film that burns to ashes.

If 2016 was any indicator to me, the movie industry was not willing to take that chance. Ultimately, they knew that to protect their investment these businesses they turned to advertising and repeated the same old formulas that get tiresome after awhile. This is where you, the reader, come in.

Movie industries (As well as any other industry) care about the money you make. They (like any other industry) fear it when a wave of people complain about their crappy product. With preview screenings, creative decision-making and statistics by their side, the movie industry listens intently. So it’s up to you to make a response.

I hope people these days want a new twist, something that is different that you don’t expect. It does not have to be a completely original or unheard of idea, but maybe go for a movie that has that’s familiar but a little bit different creatively. The above movies, aside from Dunkirk are not reinventions but old stories told in a new light.

Movie studios will only keep making these excellent movies if you the consumer ask for it. And I am behind that. It is easy to stay in the comfort zone of familiarity in movies but that gets old really fast. My advice: Don’t fear excellence, embrace it. To paraphrase from Field of Dreams “If you demand it: The movie studios will come”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Extended Editions: Extending Our Wallets?

The critical consensus is that Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice was negative. However Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice was, I fear, the inadvertent catalyst for something ten times worse than the movie itself:

Extended editions that are hyperextended.

You probably don’t know what I mean. I’ll explain the shift from extended editions then to extended editions now. Then I’ll explore how people might react should these ridiculous cuts be a normality.

Extended Editions Then

 

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“Hey our movies were awesome, lets put in some extra stuff just to please our hardcore fans” 

 

Extended editions have existed for decades and normally, the extra scenes are easter eggs for fans of a movie. They normally don’t add anything to the plot, character development or even the action. The added scenes were there for fans to enjoy. There were exceptions like Blade Runner and Once Upon a Time in America but normally, that’s the status quo.

I personally didn’t care about that one way or the other. I never buy a movie just to see what was left out. I usually buy a movie to watch what I already saw because what I saw was magnificent. But hey, at least the studio throws a bone to those people who want it.

Extended Editions Now.

 

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“Rats, we messed up. Let us try to fix it with the footage that we had in the first place.”

 

Now, with the extended editions of 2016, it seems that it needs to improve on the story, character development, and plot. It is like remaking the film just to make the story clearer which they should have done the first time. It has happened to Batman vs. Superman, Ghostbusters, and Suicide Squad.

I believe, especially with Batman vs. Superman, that they made the extended editions with the intention to please the fans of the franchise. What I am deathly worried about is studios catching and extended editions of that nature will be a trend by major film studios purely to fix filmmaking errors. There is a strong financial incentive to do it as it could be the defibrillator that boosts their DVD and Blu-ray sales in a dying market. If that is the case, consumers will lose in such a huge way.

There is a strong financial incentive to do it as it could be the defibrillator that boosts their DVD and Blu-ray sales in a dying market. If that is the case, consumers will lose in such a huge way.

Possible Consumer Reactions

If studios decide to take this route (and that isn’t a huge if) what I wonder is how consumers would react to it. There is a multitude of consumer reactions that could happen. I’ll start from the worst possible reaction and end at the best possible reaction

1. Consumers only accept extended editions

 

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The only benefit to this (aside from the home video market) is we may not need to see those cringeworthy “Thank You” ads that you can’t bloody skip.

 

If consumers decide to only accept the extended editions of films when they come out on disc or online distribution the cinema is going to really suffer. I can see why people would do that. People could conclude that if the best cut won’t be in cinemas then there would be no point in going there.

I know some online critics on YouTube who has whimsically said “I wonder when the extended edition of this will come out” almost with their eyes rolling. It tells me that people are losing faith with the movie makers and the studios. It also tells me that people perceive the cinematic release of movies as second-rate compared to the redone version.

2. Consumers Fall into Sheep mentality and jump on the bandwagon.

 

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I will be a sad man if this is the consumer mentality in the future

 

This isn’t as bad as the first scenario as people will still be going to the cinema but it’s not great either. As any business would normally do a lot of things to make a profit, it will not hesitate if consumers decide to watch a deliberately, poorly made movie only to buy the movie when it comes out.

Consumers may feel left out if their friends are talking about the movie before they have seen it. They may watch a poorly made movie to get involved in the conversation. This means that people might pay twice the money for half the enjoyment knowing that what they see in the cinemas isn’t the studio’s best work.

3. Consumer Boycott (or the threat of one)

This scenario is the one I am would look forward to because consumers would have decided they don’t want to be ripped off. Studios would then have to respond quickly to consumers. They will stop the “deleting key scenes in movies to only put them in later” routine.

At the end of the day…

I don’t know what will go down in the future. I am not a fortune teller. I am not saying that studios are undergoing this type of direction but it is certainly possible and it is not as farfetched as it once seemed. I hope that it doesn’t happen. I would like to know what you guys think about this potential issue and if you think it will happen. At least there isn’t a Transformers: Age of Extinction Extended Edition wondering around.