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Why are movies so LOOOOONG?

post #1 of 275
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this a recent trend but there seems to be more 2+ hours movies than before.

I understand movies like LOTR and Dark Knight need the extra time to develop characters. Also these movies are great so I have no problem if these movies run over 2 or even 3 hours.

But there are movies out their that have no business being 2 hours long. The most recent example I can think of is Battleship. The movie had some decent action scenes that could stand on its own. Why on earth does this movie have to be longer than 2 hours? Take out all the crappy parts of the movie and it would be 90 minutes of great action and special effects. I just don't get it.

Especially now with ipads/iphones/ect hardly anyone has patience. Our attention span as a nation is shorter than ever. Why not give us movies that get rid of all the fluf/crap and just pack all the good parts of the movie to 80-90 minutes.

Here are a list of other movies that are way too long. So long that it actually hurts the good parts of the movies:

Transformers 1-3 (although I can understand #1 to introduce the characters but still way too long)
KingKong
Pearl Harbor
Waterworld
Matrix Reloaded

Even Dark Knight Rises could have benefited from being trimmed by 10 or 15 minutes.
post #2 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

Especially now with ipads/iphones/ect hardly anyone has patience. Our attention span as a nation is shorter than ever. Why not give us movies that get rid of all the fluf/crap and just pack all the good parts of the movie to 80-90 minutes.

How about ditching the ipads/iphones, relax your brain and learn to appreciate life? Instead of accomodating people who lack patience and have short attention spans, why shouldn't those people learn to develop their attention spans?

If a long movie is bad, it is not bad because it is long. It is bad because it is bad.
post #3 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

If a long movie is bad, it is not bad because it is long. It is bad because it is bad.

Also, if they make bad movies shorter, someone's bound to complain: "That movie was so bad! And so short too!"
post #4 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

I'm not sure if this a recent trend but there seems to be more 2+ hours movies than before.
I understand movies like LOTR and Dark Knight need the extra time to develop characters. Also these movies are great so I have no problem if these movies run over 2 or even 3 hours.
But there are movies out their that have no business being 2 hours long. The most recent example I can think of is Battleship. The movie had some decent action scenes that could stand on its own. Why on earth does this movie have to be longer than 2 hours? Take out all the crappy parts of the movie and it would be 90 minutes of great action and special effects. I just don't get it.
Especially now with ipads/iphones/ect hardly anyone has patience. Our attention span as a nation is shorter than ever. Why not give us movies that get rid of all the fluf/crap and just pack all the good parts of the movie to 80-90 minutes.
Here are a list of other movies that are way too long. So long that it actually hurts the good parts of the movies:
Transformers 1-3 (although I can understand #1 to introduce the characters but still way too long)
KingKong
Pearl Harbor
Waterworld
Matrix Reloaded
Even Dark Knight Rises could have benefited from being trimmed by 10 or 15 minutes.
Seems to me that what you're really complaining about is bad movies, not their length, per se. I never saw anyone complain about, say, Ben-Hur or Lawrence of Arabia simply because they were "too long". Your comment is like the Woody Allen joke: Two old women in a restaurant. One says "this food is terrible!". The other says "yes, and such small portions!"

A smaller portion doesn't make a bad movie good.
post #5 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

The most recent example I can think of is Battleship. The movie had some decent action scenes that could stand on its own. Why on earth does this movie have to be longer than 2 hours? Take out all the crappy parts of the movie and it would be 90 minutes of great action and special effects. .

90 minutes of nonstop action wouldn't be a good time, either. You need downtime between the action sequences for breathing room. Otherwise people get numb and tune out. Battleship wasn't bad because it was too long, it was because the "downtime", or the crappy parts, were, well, crappy. The filmmakers knew they needed to give the audience a breather here and there, but they put in crap filler instead of actually trying to make the non-action parts interesting.

Not that a film like Battleship was ever going to be more than what it ended up being, but the point stands.
post #6 of 275
Just watch the free trailers. Bad movies put the good stuff in them.
post #7 of 275
Then there are the 90 minute movies that because someone mandated it be 90 minutes it's actually 80 plus 10 minutes of slow scrolling credits. biggrin.gif
post #8 of 275
Good thing he's not watching Japanese movies that tend to run around 3 hours. wink.gif
post #9 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

90 minutes of nonstop action wouldn't be a good time, either. You need downtime between the action sequences for breathing room. Otherwise people get numb and tune out. Battleship wasn't bad because it was too long, it was because the "downtime", or the crappy parts, were, well, crappy. The filmmakers knew they needed to give the audience a breather here and there, but they put in crap filler instead of actually trying to make the non-action parts interesting.
Not that a film like Battleship was ever going to be more than what it ended up being, but the point stands.

Borne Ultimatium is 90% action.
Die Hard is 90% action.
No reason a movie like Battleship should not be 90% also and run 90 minutes.

Bottom line is too many movies are so bloated at over 2 hours. They can easily cut 30 minutes and make the movie much better.
post #10 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

How about ditching the ipads/iphones, relax your brain and learn to appreciate life? Instead of accomodating people who lack patience and have short attention spans, why shouldn't those people learn to develop their attention spans?
If a long movie is bad, it is not bad because it is long. It is bad because it is bad.

wrong. The general population WILL watch movies over 3 hours long IF THE THREE HOURS is quality. LOTR/LOA/ect.

The problem is too many movies have only 90 minutes of good content and the directors decide to include 30 minutes of crap that has no business being in the movie.

Look at Transformers2 and 3. Both could have been good movies if they just cut out 30 minutes of crap.
post #11 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

I'm not sure if this a recent trend but there seems to be more 2+ hours movies than before.
I understand movies like LOTR and Dark Knight need the extra time to develop characters. Also these movies are great so I have no problem if these movies run over 2 or even 3 hours.
But there are movies out their that have no business being 2 hours long. The most recent example I can think of is Battleship. The movie had some decent action scenes that could stand on its own. Why on earth does this movie have to be longer than 2 hours? Take out all the crappy parts of the movie and it would be 90 minutes of great action and special effects. I just don't get it.
Especially now with ipads/iphones/ect hardly anyone has patience. Our attention span as a nation is shorter than ever. Why not give us movies that get rid of all the fluf/crap and just pack all the good parts of the movie to 80-90 minutes.
Here are a list of other movies that are way too long. So long that it actually hurts the good parts of the movies:
Transformers 1-3 (although I can understand #1 to introduce the characters but still way too long)
KingKong
Pearl Harbor
Waterworld
Matrix Reloaded
Even Dark Knight Rises could have benefited from being trimmed by 10 or 15 minutes.
What is "too long" or "crappy parts" is entirely subjective.

The length of a movie is...well, the length of the movie.
It just IS.

If one doesn't like said "fluff" or "crap," there is a cure for that....it's called the FF button on the remote.wink.gif
post #12 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

What is "too long" or "crappy parts" is entirely subjective.
The length of a movie is...well, the length of the movie.
It just IS.
If one doesn't like said "fluff" or "crap," there is a cure for that....it's called the FF button on the remote.wink.gif
Having to hit the FF button is a SURE sign of a bad movie.
post #13 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

Borne Ultimatium is 90% action.
Die Hard is 90% action.

Those movies are a bit different though, and are more skillfully done than Battleship. Watch them again to see how they incorporate their downtime into the larger action setpieces, using peaks in action followed by brief valleys of catching breath. They use doses of humor (always good to relieve tension; in Die Hard, even the bad guys are funny) and have strong characters that suck you along for the ride, so when they take a breather (and they do), the audience does as well. So they may seem like 90% action, but they're actually not. It's superbly done how they pull it off, and a big reason why those films are held up as exemplary models of how to do a modern action film. (And why the Die Hard movies are all over two hours and some of the Bourne films are just under two hours.)

Battleship doesn't have that. It's action scenes are very straightforward, and are mostly explosions and aliens blowing up ships or ships blowing up aliens. 90 minutes of nothing but explosions would get tedious, because there is no breathing room, no context. So instead they resort to "crap" scenes in between which gets the breathing room, but as you see, they're distractingly crappy. I honestly don't think there is enough in Battleship to salvage the movie by just cutting.

But if you think you'd like Battleship the way it is without the "crap," it should be easy to get what you want by making your own fan edit. Rip the DVD/BD, get some free editing software (most will do it, as all you're doing is cutting material), chop off what you think doesn't work, and you'll have your 90 minutes of explosions. Burn it to DVD/BD and enjoy. smile.gif
Edited by Tulpa - 9/9/12 at 5:59pm
post #14 of 275
Theater owners really don't like longer than 2 hr movies. It means they have less showings per day. Many times in the past, this was the very reason why films were cut back in run time from their original "road show version" to their more "theater schedule friendly" version. Of course, decades later, movie fans covet the road show versions which they demand from the studios when they are released on home video. Many times, the director wasn't even contacted or put his stamp of approval on the shorter version. It was solely a studio decision as what was to be cut.

So why are some movies longer than 2 hours? A whole host of reasons, with the primary one being the studio has given the director creative license. They trust his decisions. They know it cost a lot more to make a 150 minute movie than it does a 120 minute movie.

There are some long movies that go by so fast, you don't even realize their extended length. Lawrence of Arabia is a prime example of this. LOL, then there are 90 minute movies that seem forever to end - the list is long for that criteria.

But one thing is "cast in concrete" . . . the discussion of movies is a highly subjective issue. Always has been, always will be.
post #15 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

Having to hit the FF button is a SURE sign of a bad movie.
That's true...unless one is watching a slasher movie.biggrin.gif
post #16 of 275
If a movie is good it doesn't matter how long it is i.e. Once Upon a time in America.
post #17 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

Take out all the crappy parts of the movie and it would be 90 minutes of great action and special effects. I just don't get it.
Especially now with ipads/iphones/ect hardly anyone has patience. Our attention span as a nation is shorter than ever. Why not give us movies that get rid of all the fluf/crap and just pack all the good parts of the movie to 80-90 minutes.
Here are a list of other movies that are way too long. So long that it actually hurts the good parts of the movies:
Transformers 1-3 (although I can understand #1 to introduce the characters but still way too long)
KingKong
Pearl Harbor
Waterworld
Matrix Reloaded
Even Dark Knight Rises could have benefited from being trimmed by 10 or 15 minutes.

Like oink said it's just too subjective. For example I don't think King Kong is too long, I loved it from beginning to end. Pearl Harbor is built like a grand epic (whether it's good or not is not my point) so it "has" to have more than cool action scenes... I think the key part of your post is the "hardly anyone has patience" bit... That's just sad because it's so true. People forget how to appreciate things. What makes an action scene effective? It's what precedes it. Of course there's the scene itself, but its impact is reinforced by the contrast preceding it or following it. Don't you think foreplay is just as important as the rest? wink.gif
post #18 of 275
i suppose if all someone wants is 90 straight minutes of special effects, big booms and cgi, many movies could be "too long"...

if someone wants stuff like, say, plot, character development, effective use of special effects/booms and so on (you know, a "movie", not just a visual/audio assault), one is still glad that a few movies attempt to do that...

action without a "break in the action" is like eating nothing but ice cream... sounds attractive at first... but becomes old in a real hurry...
post #19 of 275
Thread Starter 
Lets take LOTR for example. Personally I think the theatrical versions are better than the extended. The extended versions pacing is not as good and many of the extra scenes are out of place or serve no purpose. I've watched the theatrical version over a dozen times but the extended less than 5. I own both by the way. Does the extra minutes make the Extended version a bad movie? No. But it does hurt the overall quality IMO.

I can say the same thing about recent movies. A movie like Battleship has no business being 132 minutes. Even with 132 minutes they have not developed any characters or the plot. They could have easily cut 30 minutes and have made it a much better movie. Get rid of the scene in bar with the chicken buritto (10 minutes), soccer game (5 minutes), cermony (5 min), ect. I'd say the movie has about 60 minutes of heavy action in its current form. Keep those 60 minutes and keep an additional 30 min of downtime.
post #20 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

i suppose if all someone wants is 90 straight minutes of special effects, big booms and cgi, many movies could be "too long"...
if someone wants stuff like, say, plot, character development, effective use of special effects/booms and so on (you know, a "movie", not just a visual/audio assault), one is still glad that a few movies attempt to do that...
action without a "break in the action" is like eating nothing but ice cream... sounds attractive at first... but becomes old in a real hurry...

I understand 90 minutes of non stop action would not work. But popcorn movies like Battleship don't need 60 minutes of 'downtime'. 60 minutes of action and 30 minutes of downtime would be perfect for that type of movie that does not even bother to develop the characters or plot.
post #21 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

Take out all the crappy parts of the movie and it would be 90 minutes of great action and special effects. I just don't get it.
Especially now with ipads/iphones/ect hardly anyone has patience. Our attention span as a nation is shorter than ever. Why not give us movies that get rid of all the fluf/crap and just pack all the good parts of the movie to 80-90 minutes.
Here are a list of other movies that are way too long. So long that it actually hurts the good parts of the movies:
Transformers 1-3 (although I can understand #1 to introduce the characters but still way too long)
KingKong
Pearl Harbor
Waterworld
Matrix Reloaded
Even Dark Knight Rises could have benefited from being trimmed by 10 or 15 minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheo View Post

Like oink said it's just too subjective. For example I don't think King Kong is too long, I loved it from beginning to end. Pearl Harbor is built like a grand epic (whether it's good or not is not my point) so it "has" to have more than cool action scenes... I think the key part of your post is the "hardly anyone has patience" bit... That's just sad because it's so true. People forget how to appreciate things. What makes an action scene effective? It's what precedes it. Of course there's the scene itself, but its impact is reinforced by the contrast preceding it or following it. Don't you think foreplay is just as important as the rest? wink.gif

Not to be piling on the OP but there it is.smile.gif It is impossible to generalize about the length of movies because how long a film should be must of necessity turn on the film in question. For example, all three of Christopher Nolan't Batman films, including the last, The Dark Knight Rises, are considerably longer than average. Nevertheless, they are filled with such intricate character development, and so much well done action, time passes very quickly when I watch any one of them.

I agree that Transformers 2 and 3, Pearl Harbor, and Waterworld are far too long but they are such bad films, they wouldn't have been markedly improved if an hour had been cut from the runtime of each. I agree, however, that King Kong, at 187 minutes for the theatrical release could have stood some judicious trimming, despite being quite a good film. Finally, keep in mind that 90 percent or more of modern films have 5 to 8 minutes of credits following the final scene of the film itself. The only exceptions are those films that diabolically intersperse one or more brief scenes with the credits. Think The Avengers.
post #22 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Not to be piling on the OP but there it is.smile.gif It is impossible to generalize about the length of movies because how long a film should be must of necessity turn on the film in question. For example, all three of Christopher Nolan't Batman films, including the last, The Dark Knight Rises, are considerably longer than average. Nevertheless, they are filled with such intricate character development, and so much well done action, time passes very quickly when I watch any one of them.
I agree that Transformers 2 and 3, Pearl Harbor, and Waterworld are far too long but they are such bad films, they wouldn't have been markedly improved if an hour had been cut from the runtime of each. I agree, however, that King Kong, at 187 minutes for the theatrical release could have stood some judicious trimming, despite being quite a good film. Finally, keep in mind that 90 percent or more of modern films have 5 to 8 minutes of credits following the final scene of the film itself. The only exceptions are those films that diabolically intersperse one or more brief scenes with the credits. Think The Avengers.

yes everything is subjective in art.
but would you watch a 6 hour comedy?
most won't. some will. It is still subjective.

I'm saying that movies that don't care about character development and plot like many action movies have no business being over 2 hours. I put transformers, battleship, and many others in that category.
post #23 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

yes everything is subjective in art.
but would you watch a 6 hour comedy?
most won't. some will. It is still subjective.
I'm saying that movies that don't care about character development and plot like many action movies have no business being over 2 hours. I put transformers, battleship, and many others in that category.
I'd guess there's also the possiblity of the director and studio having a lack of agreement on how the film should be handled, so some may end up being a choppy mess that would make even less sense and suck worse if it were any shorter. Plus, I'm sure even hack directors who have some pull in Hollywood have a "vision" of what their film should be.
post #24 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

I'm not sure if this a recent trend but there seems to be more 2+ hours movies than before.
I understand movies like LOTR and Dark Knight need the extra time to develop characters. Also these movies are great so I have no problem if these movies run over 2 or even 3 hours.
But there are movies out their that have no business being 2 hours long. The most recent example I can think of is Battleship. The movie had some decent action scenes that could stand on its own. Why on earth does this movie have to be longer than 2 hours? Take out all the crappy parts of the movie and it would be 90 minutes of great action and special effects. I just don't get it.
Especially now with ipads/iphones/ect hardly anyone has patience. Our attention span as a nation is shorter than ever. Why not give us movies that get rid of all the fluf/crap and just pack all the good parts of the movie to 80-90 minutes.
Here are a list of other movies that are way too long. So long that it actually hurts the good parts of the movies:
Transformers 1-3 (although I can understand #1 to introduce the characters but still way too long)
KingKong
Pearl Harbor
Waterworld
Matrix Reloaded
Even Dark Knight Rises could have benefited from being trimmed by 10 or 15 minutes.

you're singing my song
post #25 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sb1 View Post

I'd guess there's also the possiblity of the director and studio having a lack of agreement on how the film should be handled, so some may end up being a choppy mess that would make even less sense and suck worse if it were any shorter. Plus, I'm sure even hack directors who have some pull in Hollywood have a "vision" of what their film should be.

I pretty sure i know why some movies are way too long.

"we need a romantic element in the movie to cater to women"
"lets add a few more minutes of comedy"
"Rhinna's agent said she needs more film time"
"lets show the dude with his shirt off again"
"lets show the hot model for 5 more minutes"

Its ridiculous. Almost every single fluf/crap scene can be explained.
post #26 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

yes everything is subjective in art.
but would you watch a 6 hour comedy?
most won't. some will. It is still subjective.
I'm saying that movies that don't care about character development and plot like many action movies have no business being over 2 hours. I put transformers, battleship, and many others in that category.

Absolutely! I have little disagreement with your analysis of individual films. I haven't seen Battleship, however, so can't comment on the appropriateness of its length. As we both say, whether a film is too long or not turns entirely on the quality of the film. Still, I also agree that a six hour long comedy would have to have a lot to recommend before I would consider seeing it. Come to think of it, I don't think I have ever seen a six hour or longer film of any genre and with any luck I won't.smile.gif
post #27 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac The Knife View Post

Good thing he's not watching Japanese movies that tend to run around 3 hours. wink.gif
Or Indian movies often that long. But then you can whittle those down to about 90 minutes by hitting the next chapter button on the music numbers. I find the 90-100 minute films fit better into my schedule. With longer films it depends on how well the story is told whether you are noticing how long it takes or if it goes by fast (good film making). Japanese films I watch are usually horror and not that long.
post #28 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

yes everything is subjective in art.
but would you watch a 6 hour comedy?
most won't. some will. It is still subjective.
I'm saying that movies that don't care about character development and plot like many action movies have no business being over 2 hours. I put transformers, battleship, and many others in that category.

Absolutely! I have little disagreement with your analysis of individual films. I haven't seen Battleship, however, so can't comment on the appropriateness of its length. As we both say, whether a film is too long or not turns entirely on the quality of the film. Still, I also agree that a six hour long comedy would have to have a lot to recommend before I would consider seeing it. Come to think of it, I don't think I have ever seen a six hour or longer film of any genre and with any luck I won't.smile.gif

the lotr movies felt like they were 6 DAYS long to me... frown.gif t2, otoh, only felt like it was 10 minutes long... possibly because that's how long we watched it before pressing the eject button... tongue.gif

6 hour comedy? i'll pass too...

i forget where i read it, but someone was griping about the wedding scene in "the godfather" as being unnecessary and "taking too long"... nothing could be further from the truth, as that scene sets a goodly portion of that movie in motion, sets a baseline for the characters, and without it, many things wouldn't really make sense... but that's one man's opinion...
post #29 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

yes everything is subjective in art.
but would you watch a 6 hour comedy?
most won't. some will. It is still subjective.
I'm saying that movies that don't care about character development and plot like many action movies have no business being over 2 hours. I put transformers, battleship, and many others in that category.

Why did you pick 2 hours? That is subjective in itself. Why not 100 minutes?
post #30 of 275
Sometimes I get the opposite opinion. The movie feels like it went by way too fast for the story it was telling. Shane Acker's "9" was that way. It's running time is 80 minutes, but it felt like less than an hour. I realize it told its story, but for a post-apocalyptic story with very unique characters, it felt like it way more to tell.

And I know the adage of "leave them wanting more," but even that can be taken to extremes.
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