I love watching movies at the movie theaters. The screens are big, the sound is louder and better, and I get to immerse myself more into the world created by the movie than is usually possible if I watched the same movie on a DVD at home. I also get to experience the reaction of others around me, which tells me how the movie appeals or does not appeal to certain people and their specific personality traits.
It seems, however, that as I watch more movies, the more bored I am with most of them. The surprising element in many movies has gone; majority of the movies depend on loud and sudden terror sounds in order to surprise you, and that is the only part of the movie where you will feel impressed by anything.
Following are 5 reasons many movies are boring. Please note that I decided to choose movies as they came to mind, so I may not have talked about movies that I usually talk about in person.
Beware! Some very basic movie spoilers ahead, and also my Amazon links.
5 Reasons Most Movies Are Not Impressive
- You know what will happen
What is the point of seeing a movie with enthusiasm when you know what will happen through the movie? Movie sequels usually end up being boring because of this exact reason. For example, take Mission Impossible Series. By the time Mission Impossible III came out, one knew that no matter what happens, Tom Cruise, the main character of the movie, will not die in the end.
On the other hand, take The Last King of Scotland. Neither from the trailer, nor from the first 99% of the movie itself do you realize what will happen in the end. You simply do not know who will die, who will live, etc. That is a good movie, even if many people know a bit about the actual story it was based on.
- You know what will not happen
Similar to knowing what will happen, you can know what will not happen and thus not be watching a movie with a 100% surprised interest. Typical date movies and many sequels depend on this reason to market themselves: if you saw XXX: State Of The Union, you probably knew all along that the new XXX will not allow the rebels to take over the government. Period. It’s XXX, and there is a franchise to be made with more sequels, thus XXX can never be wrong and XXX can never lose.
In contrast, take the movie “1408.” You have no idea what will not happen as the movie progresses, and at some points almost everyone in the theater thought John Cusack was going to die, and those same people later in the movie started wondering if he will hopefully survive. That is what a movie should do; make you wonder, as the movie goes around, about the exact thing the main character is wondering about in a good, intelligent horror movie: surviving!
- The trailer tells you most of the story
I love teaser trailers. They are different than the full trailers that tell you the whole story. Teaser trailers are usually half the length of full trailers. I love teaser trailers as they show some glimpse of an upcoming movie without being specific on the exact storyline. The regular trailers, however, tell you a lot about what will happen. Take the new Die Hard 4 trailer. The trailer tells you John Mcclane daughter gets kidnapped by internet terrorists, he saves the country and his daughter, and that along the way some kid ends up being with him the way Samuel L. Jackson was with him. You also get an idea that John Mcclane will not die in the end.
In contrast to this, consider the current teaser trailer for “I am Legend.” I wish they could keep that trailer and never release any other trailer for the movie. The trailer has me hooked, and I simply cannot wait for the movie to come out. Would you rather see a trailer which tells you that the last human being on this earth is not alone, like Will Smith in the movie, or would you watch a trailer which tells you the whole storyline, that some events caused Will Smith to be the last human in this world, and that the rest of the human beings have all turned into vampires? I would prefer the teaser trailer, whether it is 1 minute long or 5 minutes, which tells me absolutely nothing about the actual storyline other than hints of what I can expect in the movie.
- The storyline is typical
How many date movies do you know which have the lead actors and actresses not getting the person they love? How many action movies do you know in which the action hero will save the day? How many big budget action movies these days only have lead actresses as the main character? Halloween is a typical horror movie series where we know the poor psychologically disturbed and traumatized by childhood freak will keep coming back.
On the other hand, The Descent is not a typical movie, and has an unusual and one of the best storyline of any horror movie in the last 10 years. Similarly, Cast Away was a good movie where in the end, Tom Hanks does not end up with the love of his life, as she has married someone else. Is it not nice to know that a character could still value life even if, unlike typical movie plot lines, the main character ends up being alone?
- Special Effects are more prioritized than the actual reality of the movie
Almost every other action movie today wants to use computerized special effects. Even simple car crash scenes are being digitized, and more and more movies are looking crappier instead of looking cooler. Take the movie “Next“, from this year, 2007, which uses special effects in many places and you can notice them. The scene in the first few minutes of the movie, where Nicolas Cage is running away from the cops and crashing into the train, is something that even a 10 year will look at and probably say “Cartoon!”
On the other hand, take the Mad Max series from 1977, 1981 and 1985, which stars Mel Gibson Max who has gone mad: the computerized special effects for crashing automobiles do not exist in the movies, and the actual stunts, car crash and car chase scenes are still some of the greatest in movie history.
Another example could be the 4th, 5th and 6th Star Wars episodes, and the first 3. Episodes IV, V and VI were made in the late 70′s and 80′s, while the first three episodes were made in the last 10 years. Episodes 4, 5 and 6 used a lot of effects, and yet, when you saw those movies, you thought “AAAAAH! RUN RUN, GET DOWN!! YEAAAH!!” Why? Because everything in the movie had a realistic look: the flying ships had dents and scratches, creatures had fighting marks and bruises on their faces and bodies, and even buildings showed signs of tear and wear.
The first, second and third Star Wars Episodes, however, make you say “Wow, nice graphics!” BAM! That is failure right there. The movie production crew has focused on the graphics instead of the storyline, and thus the movie has failed. The movie may have made a lot of money, but any hyped up movie can make a lot of money. The newer 3 episodes have creatures and objects which are shiny, perfect, so unreal that you immediately realize they are computer graphics. In my view, the first 3 released Star Wars episodes used special effects more realistically in the 70′s and 80′s than the the latter 3 released recently.
These reasons are also points you can use to analyze the effectiveness of a movie as a whole and decide whether or not it was a good movie in your opinion.
Consider this: I can guarantee a lot of things in the movies that have not come out yet. Harry Potter and his 2 close friends will not die in the new movie. John Mcclane’s daughter will not die in the new movie, and John will succeed in stopping the internet terrorists.
What is your opinion on this? Can you think of more ways and reasons many movies may not be effective us at all?