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Do People Care About Movies Anymore?
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Posting Junkie
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Feb 17, 2014, 12:10 PM
 
Over the past decade, it seems like there's been a huge shift of attention from movies to television shows.

I remember when all entertainment conversation seemed to revolve around the most recent blockbuster. We'd gather together at someone's house, plop down with some snacks, and laugh/scream/cry together during those two hours.

But lately, all I've heard people talk about are shows like Breaking Bad, Lost, Dexter, Mad Men, House of Cards, The Office, and a billion others.

I'd credit it to a few things:

1. Movies just aren't as good as they used to be. Studios aren't willing to take risks, so the moderate-budget films are gone, leaving huge, repetitive summer movies and pretentious indie movies on shoestring budgets.

2. People no longer congregate to watch movies at home. It's difficult to enjoy something together when half the people are on their phones, half-invested into the movie.

3. Netflix binge-watching. People wait until they're in bed, intending to watch one 30-minute episode (because they have trouble investing two hours into a movie), then accidentally watch five shows in a row.

4. YouTube.

Am I wrong? Are movies still a big deal? Do people care anymore? Or have all the visionaries simply transferred over to television because the studies won't grant them creative liberty, since they're so averse to taking risks?
     
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Feb 17, 2014, 01:26 PM
 
All true, and it has only accelerated lately. Movies these days are designed for one of two purposes: A light-hearted summer movie, with little artistic value, or a formulaic Oscar nominee. The ones that do not follow that form - Inception is a great example - often become great, but Nolan had to come off the success of The Dark Knight to get funding to make it.
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Feb 17, 2014, 01:28 PM
 
Yeah, I've been watching shows almost exclusively for the past year. Rarely movies.

However, I completely cut the chord to cable TV. I'm not even watching broadcast TV.
I even cancelled Netflix.

It's either Hulu (via jailbroken ATV), or Amazon Prime Video, or getting movies from the library and ripping them for my ATV.

Essentially, I'm paying zero and getting most I need, just not immediatly after airing.
I prefer watching a TV show season w/o waiting a week for every new episode. Drives me nuts to wait. I need to be able to watch the full season within a few weeks.

-t
     
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Feb 17, 2014, 03:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Am I wrong? Are movies still a big deal? Do people care anymore? Or have all the visionaries simply transferred over to television because the studies won't grant them creative liberty, since they're so averse to taking risks?
No. Sort-of. Depends. Can't remember where I saw it but apparently writers have the power for TV series, directors have the power in movies.

Some stuff like Lost just went on too long. From what I've heard, Dexter as well. But how can you tell a good story in ~2hours when there's so much to tell (like Utopia?). Even with so much trimmed, Game of Thrones could never be a film. I'm with turtle for the waiting thing. I only watch a season when all episodes have been shown.

And ... does anyone actually goto someone else's house to watch a film nowadays? Dunno if its because I'm an old fart, but a film in a cinema, a bite to eat and maybe a few drinkies are far more enjoyable. I only goto watch the 'must-see-on-a-big-screen' type films in a cinema.
     
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Feb 18, 2014, 05:48 AM
 
When does everyone think this ball started rolling down the hill?

I've always placed it at Twin Peaks.
     
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Feb 18, 2014, 07:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
When does everyone think this ball started rolling down the hill?

I've always placed it at Twin Peaks.
It may have begun with the distraction of the internet and people entertaining themselves with burgeoning consumer electronics offering a "home movie theatre" experience with pro-logic, surround audio and larger, higher definition TVs. The distraction grew from the early 90's about the time of Twin Peaks, but IMO really fell over a cliff after P2P file-sharing took off throughout the early 2000's and content providers trying to compete. Today, with so much media available at one's finger-tips, going to a large building with screens and audio costing a party of four on average $50-$60 for 90 minutes of entertainment is comparatively, prohibitive to many.
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Feb 18, 2014, 08:32 AM
 
I don't think this is true. May be part of the confusion this whole on-demand thing creates that I don't really believe in.

Look, television is mainly popular for one reason: You get home after a long day's work and find yourself locked in your habits and everyday life. Suddenly, there's something new on TV. It sounds a bit nerdy to decern this, hope this is English, but TV is rather a big service.
TV companies chose movies and shows according to season of year, day of week, and hour of day. They know habits of people, they usually encourage to watch more broadly - and, like anyone, if people want to watch Action or Sci-Fi all day long, they can.
I always thought TV was so great because you are surprised, hey. That's lot more difficult with on-demand stuff where there is no surprise, or, no moderation behind telling you which path to choose..

As for movies themselves, dunno. I thought Gravity was great, and there were some great movies during the past year. I thought RIPD was a fun idea, the Mobius affair was good, there was this French movie around here on a poor senior lady starting to make a fortune of selling drugs, then finding the business rather unsettling
I still love going to the movies. How old is this feeling you are describing really?

Maybe it's just as well s different mood in Germany. I think Friends and X Files was very popular and the likes, but today, hmm. I miss Ally McBeal sometimes, and I didn't catch it when they showed it for 9 hours around christmas.

Cheers,
Pete
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Feb 18, 2014, 10:56 AM
 
People care about movies still, but the current age of television offers something unique – shows as beautifully shot and directed as movies but with more fleshed out characters and longer and deeper story arcs.
     
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Feb 18, 2014, 12:10 PM
 
If I just could have a freaking beer while going to the movies, I'd go more often.

Alas, the good movie theaters (big screens, 3D, IMAX) don't offer that.

-t
     
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Feb 18, 2014, 01:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
All true, and it has only accelerated lately. Movies these days are designed for one of two purposes: A light-hearted summer movie, with little artistic value, or a formulaic Oscar nominee. The ones that do not follow that form - Inception is a great example - often become great, but Nolan had to come off the success of The Dark Knight to get funding to make it.
I would be interested in examples of movie types from the past that don't exist today.
     
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Feb 18, 2014, 01:13 PM
 
But then, there's nothing like warm popcorn...
Think a new age is coming.
     
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Feb 18, 2014, 03:19 PM
 
When prices for tickets and concessions tripled in 5 years, they cut their own throats. 2 drinks, a bucket of popcorn, and a box of M&Ms for $24*? Seriously?


(*then they tap you for a $1 donation to a misc kids' charity that you'd look like an ass to not give)
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Feb 18, 2014, 03:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
When prices for tickets and concessions tripled in 5 years, they cut their own throats. 2 drinks, a bucket of popcorn, and a box of M&Ms for $24*? Seriously?


(*then they tap you for a $1 donation to a misc kids' charity that you'd look like an ass to not give)
I'm not a fan of a closed monopoly like that, but afaik, the chains aren't rolling in money, just the studios. If they didn't overcharge for concessions, could theaters survive?
     
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Feb 18, 2014, 03:39 PM
 
I know, it's all true, but that's still where things went wrong. Negotiating for a larger share of the ticket pie would have been better, but I don't know the specifics of how those contracts went down.
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Feb 18, 2014, 04:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
If I just could have a freaking beer while going to the movies, I'd go more often.

Alas, the good movie theaters (big screens, 3D, IMAX) don't offer that.

-t
I'm surprised to hear you say that. Not that you desire this ... but that you don't currently have it. In my neck of the woods "Dine-In" theaters are all the rage. Think premium, reserved seating with home theater style leather recliners. Along with table service for not only drinks (including beer and wine) but food as well. For those still in the dating game the proverbial"dinner and a movie" can be done in one fell swoop now. Tickets cost more naturally ... but these theaters at least provide a movie-going experience that is above and beyond what the average person can have with their home theater system.



OAW
     
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Feb 18, 2014, 04:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
I'm surprised to hear you say that. Not that you desire this ... but that you don't currently have it. In my neck of the woods "Dine-In" theaters are all the rage. Think premium, reserved seating with home theater style leather recliners. Along with table service for not only drinks (including beer and wine) but food as well.
TBH, I haven't specifically checked for that, but I don't care for snacks or eating while watching a movie.

All I want is like an AMC to offer a (good) beer.

Until they do, I'll sneak in my bottle, or stay at home.

-t
     
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Feb 18, 2014, 04:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
If I just could have a freaking beer while going to the movies, I'd go more often.

Alas, the good movie theaters (big screens, 3D, IMAX) don't offer that.

-t
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Feb 18, 2014, 04:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
It may have begun with the distraction of the internet and people entertaining themselves with burgeoning consumer electronics offering a "home movie theatre" experience with pro-logic, surround audio and larger, higher definition TVs. The distraction grew from the early 90's about the time of Twin Peaks, but IMO really fell over a cliff after P2P file-sharing took off throughout the early 2000's and content providers trying to compete. Today, with so much media available at one's finger-tips, going to a large building with screens and audio costing a party of four on average $50-$60 for 90 minutes of entertainment is comparatively, prohibitive to many.
Agreed.

The Twin Peaks angle is that's the first show I can think of which dumped episodic for serialized... after a fashion.
     
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Feb 18, 2014, 06:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
TBH, I haven't specifically checked for that, but I don't care for snacks or eating while watching a movie.

All I want is like an AMC to offer a (good) beer.

Until they do, I'll sneak in my bottle, or stay at home.

-t
Well if you have any AMC theaters in your area just check to see if the showing is in a Cinema Suites or Fork and Screen theater. The former is more "upscale" with the home theater style premium seating. The latter is more traditional in that regard. But either definitely offers beer!

OAW
     
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Feb 18, 2014, 06:33 PM
 
I heard a proposal for rating movies by how many beers you need to make them good.
     
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Feb 18, 2014, 06:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I heard a proposal for rating movies by how many beers you need to make them good.
I must admit that Sharknado was pretty hilarious after a few brews.

OAW
     
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Feb 19, 2014, 11:15 AM
 
hmmm Transformers 4

end of discussion
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 04:08 AM
 
Well, seriously, there are some great TV shows, back in the day, like ten or twenty years ago, a cliffhanger was a double episode, now it's eight or ten episodes sometimes, max.
24 was a neat example of a different kind of series, I'm watching Enterprise these days, new to me, and they built the whole Xinti line rather profoundly, too... Long one, but makes more sense now.

That's the point? The whole magic of a movie was to sum it all up in the two hours. So you went out and you had a universe of a story in your mind, a five-years work of art, neat enough, right?

I always thought the idea of TV shows was to sort of live with the characters, so you came from work, made spaghetti, looked after the kids and the one weekly friends episode was running again. I think anything over one episode/week is sort of unethical, really (sry). Everything else is so disturbing.
Then you get back and you have all kinds of problems, like losing the story arch because you did go to the movies for a change, stuff like this. Or you tried watching with real friends, and they sort of rumbled so cleverly about everything that went on that you really stop watching, which feels not so good, (DID THEY? Maybe not...)

On another note, you used to think TV shows were a good opportunity for actors to get s fresh start, well-paid, a broad public, lots of different angles and stories to get going with, but then... When shows run for five to ten years with the same actors, this is not true either.

We are discussing lots and lots about selling TV shows over the internet, but we don't wonder so much if they still make so much sense!

The Wolf of Wall Street was not bad, really.

Pete
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Feb 21, 2014, 08:33 AM
 
I still like movies, but between the cost Shaddim mentioned, add in the cost/hassle of a babysitter, and well, we only go 1-2 times a year. We go to kid movies at matinees or with discount coupons. Frozen was pretty good. We bring our own candy and water, but buy the popcorn.

As for folks gathering at someone's house to watch a movie, I've noticed that drop off as well, but thought it was also due to the "married/kids" thing.

I love being able to binge watch a tv show dvd, it removes the waiting, and also some of the angst of investing time in a show only to have it cancelled without closure.
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 09:05 AM
 
I love both. Obviously TV shows have more room for narrative and character growth, and it's only in the past 15 years (Twin Peaks was definitely the first real breakthrough, but The Sopranos perfected it) that creators have realized how to pack the development quality of a movie into the episode format.

Having said that, I completely disagree with everyone and would much rather not binge-watch shows, even though the temptation is far too great and I do so if given the opportunity. It definitely lessens the quality of the overall viewing experience. You have less time to think about what you've watched, less time to mull it over and discuss with friends and workmakes and letting the anticipation build for the next show.

Instead, I had watched House of Cards season two by Sunday night. It's initially more satisfying but ultimately a lessened viewing experience. Instead of weekly conversations about what happened on Sunday night (like we went through with great seasons of Breaking Bad and The Americans), we had some conversations this week, but for most of us the 13 episodes was really a blur, and you just end up talking about the final revelations and what it means for next year - basically, no different than the conversation you'd have if it was one episode.

I would far rather that Netflix have released staggered episodes, even every two days for example. But less and less time to digest and more opportunity to immediately consume seems to be where things are going.
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Feb 21, 2014, 09:37 AM
 
One thing that helps is to buy those big theater buckets of popcorn that are refillable for only a few $. The main theater we attend sells those, and even though I always forget and leave them at home, they would probably provide a decent savings if a person can keep up with them.
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Feb 21, 2014, 11:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Having said that, I completely disagree with everyone and would much rather not binge-watch shows, even though the temptation is far too great and I do so if given the opportunity.
I'm not a binge watcher, either. I'm also so used to the cable format that watching network shows is brutal – I'm was half-way through the first season of Heroes and couldn't finish because I was sick of it (about 18 episodes in). Its very stretched out and suffers from it.

Otherwise, for stuff like House of Cards, I never do more than an episode a day. Works out pretty well about, as I was just mulling over the last episode on the drive to work this morning.
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 11:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I'm not a binge watcher, either. I'm also so used to the cable format that watching network shows is brutal – I'm was half-way through the first season of Heroes and couldn't finish because I was sick of it (about 18 episodes in). Its very stretched out and suffers from it.
Quit while you're ahead. Syler and Peter never fight, it's anticlimactic and a huge letdown.
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 11:06 AM
 
The last show that people at work seemed to want to chat about was Lost. Not as much watercooler chat about TV in general.
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 11:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Quit while you're ahead. Syler and Peter never fight,
Dude, spoilers, really?


And seriously, I'm going to finish at least the first season.
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 11:14 AM
 
Trying to let you down easy.
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 11:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Trying to let you down easy.
It wasn't even on my radar. A simple "you may find the end disappointing" would have sufficed.
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 11:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
The last show that people at work seemed to want to chat about was Lost. Not as much watercooler chat about TV in general.
Loads of shows being talked about during coffee breaks here, especially the upcoming Game of Thrones. Loads of people also watch stuff in the original version but with French subtitles - a few with no subtitles. British series seem to be getting popular at the moment : Broadchurch, Luther, Sherlock etc.
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 11:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Loads of shows being talked about during coffee breaks here, especially the upcoming Game of Thrones. Loads of people also watch stuff in the original version but with French subtitles - a few with no subtitles. British series seem to be getting popular at the moment : Broadchurch, Luther, Sherlock etc.
Europe.
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 11:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
It wasn't even on my radar. A simple "you may find the end disappointing" would have sufficed.
You will find the end disappointing.
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 11:55 AM
 
I think movies are about as good as they've ever been, but TV has been getting a lot better.

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Feb 21, 2014, 11:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
You will find the end disappointing.
Of season 1? All I recall is that each season got progressively worse.

Edit: It couldn't be worse than Firefly, anyway
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 12:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Of season 1? All I recall is that each season got progressively worse.

Edit: It couldn't be worse than Firefly, anyway
That's why I hate FOX network.
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Feb 21, 2014, 12:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
That's why I hate FOX network.
I think you misunderstood my implication.
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 12:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Of season 1? All I recall is that each season got progressively worse.

Edit: It couldn't be worse than Firefly, anyway
 
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 01:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
The last show that people at work seemed to want to chat about was Lost. Not as much watercooler chat about TV in general.
Your office missed the memo on Breaking Bad last year, huh?
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Feb 21, 2014, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I think you misunderstood my implication.
I actively avoid situations where someone might say something ridiculous, like, "a certain Space Western sucks". Because they cause an involuntary reaction, much like a pharyngeal reflex, where I think, "Well, they're a $#*% #$%#@% #@*$^&!", and that harms my ch'i.
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Feb 21, 2014, 06:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Your office missed the memo on Breaking Bad last year, huh?
I'm about to watch my very first episode!!!
     
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Feb 21, 2014, 07:13 PM
 
I found Serenity disappointing.

When Joss feels like he's been dicked-around, his writing gets vindictive.

I understand his anger, but I don't want it getting taken out on me.
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 09:46 AM
 
I rarely have been so shocked at the events of a movie, though.

Last night tried to rent Iron Man 3 online. Verizon on demand, amazon, netflix, no doing unless I subscribed to Starz. I could buy it though. Hasn't it been out for a long time? what gives? To the library I go then.
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 04:48 PM
 
I remembered I watched Ender's Game a while ago. I thought somehing about it was hilarious. I mean, the trailer really helps even, you expect something different so determinedly, suddenly you fall out, stumble and it is all over. Nothing you get on a TV series.
Think a new age is coming.
     
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Feb 22, 2014, 04:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
I rarely have been so shocked at the events of a movie, though.
No question there. When Joss decides to open the can of hurt, open the can he does.
     
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Feb 24, 2014, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I found Serenity disappointing.

When Joss feels like he's been dicked-around, his writing gets vindictive.

I understand his anger, but I don't want it getting taken out on me.
Laughingly, I thought Serenity was pretty solid.
     
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Feb 24, 2014, 02:38 PM
 
I felt it was at least two seasons (i.e. some 28 hours) crammed into two hours. Hugely rushed.

It suffered for reasons which have been brought up many times in this thread already. Movies may have the money for epic, but not the time.

Movies are short stories. Epics are epic.
     
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Feb 24, 2014, 05:33 PM
 
Odd coincidence, NBC announced Heroes Reborn. Because their desperate effort to mine past IP to save the network has failed so epically they're already up to 2004.
     
 
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