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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What if the dramas and well-received-by-critics movies were the ones that brought in the hundreds of millions, and not the action movies? Would that be an indication of a society much different than we have now?


Would this country be the same place it is now, both good and bad, if those were the types of movies the masses wanted to see? In other words, what does the box office take say about society as a whole, if anything?


Are people who flock to the movies that require no thinking with lots of explosions the same ones who live in a shack and drive a $50K car financed for 10 years?


Do the people who prefer dialog over explosions not worry about their retirement because they've wisely planned ahead?


The two above examples are on the extreme end, I know, but does our taste in movies mirror us and our lives in any way?


I know there's no firm data on this (that I'm aware of), so I'm curious to know what you think. Are we so starved for excitement in our mundane lives that the Avatar's and Transformers give us what we need? Are we not smart enough to follow a complex plot after a hard days work? Why do we apparently seek such escapism? Again, this is about the average, not the individual. I know many of us like both types of movies, but I'm also aware the action movies do the big numbers and get the replay value at home over dialog driven films. So what does that say about us?
 

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You can say the same about sports/sporting events, bars/booze, gaming, golf, sex...What is a healthy use of your pastime and what is shirking your societal and famial duties?


Personally, I think box office is a demographic thing. The demographics that make up the majority of moviegoers are going to watch shut your brain off action, teen angst or kid friendly family movies. The people that care about their retirement, social responsibility or thoughtful movies do not go to many movies any more or only come out when there is a big uproar over a "must see" flic.
 

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I think a part of it is that society, as a whole, is over-stimulated these days (not my original idea - Scott Adams - Dilbert - has a nice article on it here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...wsj_share_goog ). [I'm not sure that link will work - I can get to from my +1 link but when I try to send someone the url, it comes up short unless you're a subscriber] In fact, his article even discusses the state of movies and reality tv these days. It's a great read - hope you can get to the article.


Because of this over-stimulation, we (as a whole) crave constant stimulation and lack creativity. So much that dramas and dialogue-driven movies appear boring and the only way to get and retain someone's attention is to overwhelm their senses.


God help us all. The human race is quickly circling the drain (for more reasons than one).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sb1 /forum/post/20806459


Again, this is about the average, not the individual. I know many of us like both types of movies, but I'm also aware the action movies do the big numbers and get the replay value at home over dialog driven films. So what does that say about us?
nothing...who wants to watch boring depressing movies like the King's speech in theaters... or at home lose your guests/friends attention with overly complicated like Inception. If the film doesn't grab their attention in 10 min your friends will start going to the bathroom, playing with their cell phone, go for a smoke..etc
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoey67 /forum/post/20811932

nothing...who wants to watch boring depressing movies like the King's speech in theaters... or at home lose your guests/friends attention with overly complicated like Inception. If the film doesn't grab their attention in 10 min your friends will start going to the bathroom, playing with their cell phone, go for a smoke..etc

Get new friends, perhaps?
 

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My philosophy (or why I believe people go to the movies)

Quote:
Cinema is the modern, secular cathedral. As humans we enter that darkened theatre seeking, I think, three things:
  1. To expand our emotional bandwith - to feel sensations that we rarely experience in our normal lives.
  2. To reconnect with our higher selves - to be reminded of what humans are capable of, in terms of both good and evil, and to alter course if we're steering more towards the latter than the former.
  3. To be reminded we're not alone - that by the collective reaction of others in the audience we realise that we are not the only ones wrestling with life's eel.


In short, we go to the movies to get a lube, brake check and wheel alignment for our souls.
http://www.crackingyarns.com.au/abou...lm-philosophy/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input. I understand why we go to the movies, though. The question, however, is what if the "boring" dialog movies were the ones taking in all the money? Would society be different than it is now, just based off the type of movies people wanted to see?


For instance (extreme example just to illustrate):


1) Action movies reign supreme at the box office - The country is in financial turmoil, we have plenty of crime, people charge their credit cards to the max knowing they can't pay for it.


2) Dialog driven dramas are taking in hundreds of millions, while action movies are just secondary filler - People have very little debt, crime is barely a thought, everything is running smoothly.


^ Would something like that happen? If people wanted dialog movies over action movies, would the people themselves be different than they are now?


It's just human behavior speculation...
 

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Are you asking if society would be different because of the movies people wanted to see (as a direct result)?. Because that's what it sounds like. Like if you crammed everyone into a room and forced them to watch Casablanca nonstop then turned them loose, would you see an impact on society?


Or are you asking if society was different, would people want to see different movies?


Either way yes, to a certain extent.


But of course I don't care. Saying dumb action movies are the cause of anything is the equivalent of saying video games cause a negative behavior or rock n' roll and long hair is going to cause society to collapse. It won't, but it will obviously impact society to a certain extent, and there will always be those few people who are more impacted psychologically by what they see on the screen or listen to on their iPods.


Movies are entertainment, and that's about it for the majority of people. I somehow doubt the only form of entertainment in Rome was the gladiator games (I'm sure there was some "high brow" forms of entertainment as well), nor do I think every play was up to Shakespeare levels and there were probably plenty of "low brow" entertainment venues.


Likewise, dumb action movies are nothing new. It's not like King Kong was some highbrow deep thought movie full of rich dialog and deep social meanings. People went for the spectacular effects (for the time). Same with all the 50's monster and sci-fi movies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper /forum/post/20812881


Are you asking if society would be different because of the movies people wanted to see (as a direct result)?. Because that's what it sounds like.

Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper /forum/post/20812881


Like if you crammed everyone into a room and forced them to watch Casablanca nonstop then turned them loose, would you see an impact on society?

No. They'd have to want to see Casablanca of their own free will over Transformers 2.


It's not about cause and effect, really. It's about how people might behave differently if they liked slow, thoughtful (boring) movies over action movies. Would our world be smarter? Bland? Better? Worse?


In no way am I insinuating that brainless action movies are the cause of anything. If you think that, you should see my movie collection.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper /forum/post/20812881


Movies are entertainment, and that's about it for the majority of people. I somehow doubt the only form of entertainment in Rome was the gladiator games (I'm sure there was some "high brow" forms of entertainment as well), nor do I think every play was up to Shakespeare levels and there were probably plenty of "low brow" entertainment venues.

Shakespeare's biggest competitors weren't other playwrights. It was the bear-baiting pit and the catch-a-greased-pig contests, which always drew crowds, that he had to try to outdraw. That's why he tossed in some lowbrow humor like fart jokes (the "I give thee sister a wind" line from the three witches in Macbeth, which was usually followed by a blast from a tuba-like horn) and other things (Romeo and Juliet starts with a horrible pun, followed by a guy doing the Elizabethan equivalent of flipping someone off, and then devolving into a huge street fight.) He depended on the groundlings as much as he did the royalty to attend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sb1 /forum/post/0


It's not about cause and effect, really. It's about how people might behave differently if they liked slow, thoughtful (boring) movies over action movies. Would our world be smarter? Bland? Better? Worse?

The thing is that when you deal with mass audiences, it's hard to find things they all want to go and see. Action movies and broad comedies tend to appeal to a mass audience, as they tend to be escapism. Everyone likes a fun ride, and although what's considered fun might differ a bit, there can be a common ground. Dramas and such are a harder sell, largely because I think people have to be invested in the subject matter or at least the stars involved.


Also, I think most audiences would go to things if they were just made aware that they're out there. And it's not their fault, but the studios tend to put most of their advertising dollars into things they spend the most money on, which is usually big action pictures and comedies with high-priced stars.


I think awards tend to play a factor, too. Say what you will about the Oscars and whether or not they reflect quality, the majority of audiences think they do, and Oscar winners usually see an uptick in attendance or rentals. If anything, the award brought more attention to a film than it had in its initial run. As Don Simpson said, "To make money, it may be important to win the Academy Award, for it might mean another ten million dollars at the box office."
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sb1 /forum/post/20812718


Thanks for the input. I understand why we go to the movies, though. The question, however, is what if the "boring" dialog movies were the ones taking in all the money? Would society be different than it is now, just based off the type of movies people wanted to see?


For instance (extreme example just to illustrate):


1) Action movies reign supreme at the box office - The country is in financial turmoil, we have plenty of crime, people charge their credit cards to the max knowing they can't pay for it.


2) Dialog driven dramas are taking in hundreds of millions, while action movies are just secondary filler - People have very little debt, crime is barely a thought, everything is running smoothly.


^ Would something like that happen? If people wanted dialog movies over action movies, would the people themselves be different than they are now?


It's just human behavior speculation...

Wasn't there an episode on Star Trek where Kirk lands in a society like your #2? Run by benevolent super beings that took all humanity away from it's citizens. Captain Kirk forces the towns people to fight him, thereby awakening their true human spirit. They revel in the emotion and loss of discipline. Kirks leaves, and soon their society is crushed by debt, crime and a growing government - but they are HUMAN once again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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Originally Posted by Lee Stewart /forum/post/20813769


sb1:


I think you are asking if we had a "better" society in 1950 then we do in 2011.

I actually thought about wording it that way, but if I did it still wouldn't be the question I was asking. People would have to inherently desire to see tear-jerkers, dramas, mysteries, documentaries, etc.....rather than blow 'em up action films. Even in 1950 people would have rather scene Jurassic Park than Cinderella (speculation, of course).


Like Cabo mentioned above with the Star Trek episode, view our society as an alternate reality where the only thing that was different (from us) is people flocking to see dramas over action films for their summer movie fix. Would that world be different because of such a paradigm shift in what people wanted to see compared to us?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sb1 /forum/post/20813853


Like Cabo mentioned above with the Star Trek episode, view our society as an alternate reality where the only thing that was different (from us) is people flocking to see dramas over action films for their summer movie fix. Would that world be different because of such a paradigm shift in what people wanted to see compared to us?

No.


The variation in human psychology and cultural memes is too great to make general assumptions about the nature of the society you are proposing.


My Father was highly intelligent, preferred reading over most other forms of entertainment (and mostly political non-fiction), was a good amateur writer, and in debate could put most politicians to shame (though that may not be saying much). However, his TV watching preferences were Hee-Haw and professional wrestling (he rarely watched any movies). They offered him an escape from his otherwise erudite pursuits and high-pressure occupation.


I prefer the dramas and complicated movies that you are referring to, and you would have to pay me quite a bit to get me to watch Transformers 2. I'm also not as well read as my Father was, I'm too lazy to write, and I don't work as hard as he did.


As others have pointed out, society hasn't changed all that much in terms of blockbusters over the years. Movie preference is just one factor among the millions in our culture and individual psyches.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by daryl zero /forum/post/20814471


So whatcha doin here?

Oh... ok, I didn't realize you're the appointed leader of the hermits and nerds club enforcing only members are allowed to roam and post on these forums?


Can I register for a one day guest pass?
 
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