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Are Movies on Their Way Out? 
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
MGamesCook wrote:
But aside from that, film has traditionally featured better acting, but that's over and done with I guess. So the only other thing that remains is the chore aspect of not getting the full package until the very end, after sometimes dozens of hours. Dozens of hours of foreplay, one hour of climax at the end of the season? Too frustrating for me.

Depending on what shows you're talking about, I'd be willing to suggest that your idea of the structure of a season of TV is basically imaginary.

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:47 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
Ken wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
But aside from that, film has traditionally featured better acting, but that's over and done with I guess. So the only other thing that remains is the chore aspect of not getting the full package until the very end, after sometimes dozens of hours. Dozens of hours of foreplay, one hour of climax at the end of the season? Too frustrating for me.

Depending on what shows you're talking about, I'd be willing to suggest that your idea of the structure of a season of TV is basically imaginary.


Granted, not every show is 24. But no story needs 20 or 40 or 60 hours to be told. No character needs that long to be developed. Shakespeare didn't need that long.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:04 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
But Owd Bill's texts were rather dense. Denser, I might suggest, than your typical film's screenplay

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:10 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
NotHughGrant wrote:
But Owd Bill's texts were rather dense. Denser, I might suggest, than your typical film's screenplay


True that, but just the same most great film screenplays are denser than TV screenplays, or are supposed to be. There's also degrees of density on the director's side of things. Visual density. Someone like Wes Anderson requires you to follow every single shot meticulously, which is rewarding but also tiring (not in a bad way). That kind of density, that extreme stimulation, is probably what separates film from TV. But TV is certainly becoming the default mode for many viewers. The most popular films of the past several years have been made by TV directors.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:22 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
It's a mistake to paint TV in such broad strokes.

I'm the first to demand the public execution of the bastards who inflict Two and a Half Men, Hart of Dixie, and other such crap on our eyes. But great TV is ...well ...great.

Breaking Bad is meticulous. Every bit as much as any movie. The idea that there is any kind of compromise for the sake of volume in this, and a few notable others*, is mistaken.


* though not all. the format is susceptible to corruption, as is film.

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:43 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
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Breaking Bad is meticulous. Every bit as much as any movie.


But it's still not a movie. It may be as good as a movie, it may even be better than a movie, but it's important to stress that it's still not a movie. Otherwise, maybe it is time for movies to go and TV to take over completely. What advantages do movies have over TV? What does Skyfall do for you that Breaking Bad doesn't?


Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:07 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
TV has the ability to create longer and more complex character arcs.

For something like Skyfall, it wouldn't add value. Diminishing returns would kick in much earlier.

But for a chemistry teacher breaking bad, then you have all the time in the world.

And the victory of TV over Hollywood (if there is one), is Hollywood's failing as much as TV's success.

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:25 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
As shoddy as many Hollywood producers are, I can't entirely blame them for being a little stumped right now. I just don't think complex character arcs are the bread and butter of the medium. For me, no character is interesting enough that I want to spend that much time with them. And when I think about movies, I never really think about characters. I think about lenses, lights, shots, music, action, movement, pacing, concepts, and ideas. The Man Who Wasn't There is, in a sense, the best character piece I've seen in a long time. But really, Ed Crane isn't a character so much as a corporeal form of an abstract idea the Coens are getting at. For me, film is always a semi-abstract medium. A literal character is never the most important part of that.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:42 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
For the OT's title, people probably said this at the invention of television, and movies had a shift because of it, but they still survive. Movies are going to be fine.

When it comes right down, I still prefer movies. But television just seems to be talked about much these days because it is going through something like the '70s period of films. The medium is being stretched, honed, and sometimes even experimented more than the past, at least from my limited experience with current TVs (I imagine Twin Peaks might be the first breach of that). It isn't just about waiting at the end of the season for things to be satisfying. Spectacle, action, character pieces, nightmarish moods, and noir can happen weekly on TV. TV doesn't quite reach film, with its long history, yet in my estimation, but it is catching up in a lot of areas and genres, and doing them very well.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:58 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
MGamesCook wrote:
As shoddy as many Hollywood producers are, I can't entirely blame them for being a little stumped right now. I just don't think complex character arcs are the bread and butter of the medium. For me, no character is interesting enough that I want to spend that much time with them. And when I think about movies, I never really think about characters. I think about lenses, lights, shots, music, action, movement, pacing, concepts, and ideas. The Man Who Wasn't There is, in a sense, the best character piece I've seen in a long time. But really, Ed Crane isn't a character so much as a corporeal form of an abstract idea the Coens are getting at. For me, film is always a semi-abstract medium. A literal character is never the most important part of that.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsogswrH6ck

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:15 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
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Spectacle, action, character pieces, nightmarish moods, and noir can happen weekly on TV.


That's sort of the problem I see. If it can happen weekly, then it can never be definitive and how can the individual moments be as powerful as in a movie? It has to only happen once. You can have violence and action every week, but a certain character can only die once. And that moment where he does die becomes the lore. The Godfather can have any number of killings, but the restaurant scene can only happen one time which is what makes it iconic. With TV, you're chilling out with characters and stories, waiting for things to happen. But with movies, it's just moments that come and go. And the fact that they're fleeting is where a lot of the power comes from.

No, Grant, that's not my opinion, it's my perspective. I'm saying something about myself and what I want to see in a movie. Opinion ain't the right word.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:24 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
True, if it's the same kind of spectacle and action and all other stuff every week, on repeat. But when I was reciting those I was thinking specifically of some shows that have their storytelling and characters evolve over time. Therefore, all those aspects will evolve with them and don't feel the same. The characters and the stories are not in the same place where they start out, and so are the action, mood, incident, etc.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:44 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
Whoa, this topic exploded since the last time I looked at it. Gotta reach back and quote something from the first page here....

MGamesCook wrote:
I think there's a real lack of direction in film criticism and film buffery right now, in addition to the difficulty of production. For the first time in history, all movies ever made are available, many in high definition, at the click of a mouse. So why is interest in older movies at an all time low? Most of my binge-watching comes from that. But with all the fixations on so many TV shows, there's little room for it. For the same reasons as KW, I can't work up passion for TV; it's too chore-ish. But it's interesting how more concentrated story can seem more of a chore for others.


Yup, when people say "NetFlix," hell that's become synonymous with binge-TV-watching. But for anyone with an interest in movie history, catching up on older stuff really is easier than ever. For someone who hasn't seen... let me just throw out a few titles here... TAXI DRIVER, ALL ABOUT EVE, and DR. STRANGELOVE, all three of those are readily available to stream and look "newer" thanks to HD. Whether that latter part is a good thing is up to you (JB had some misgivings about it in his "Plastic Patton" Reelthought), but it's there for those who want it. Between those three films, that's about five and one-half hours of watching. But with those 5.5 hours, you get variety-- three stories and three sets of characters. Each of those "works" in its own way.

One season of a TV show lasts longer than that. While there are shorter segments, just look at the total time spent on one arc. That's what's daunting to me. And if the entire story takes several seasons, well.... damn.

I don't wanna sound too harsh with TV fans. I understand where they're coming from. One of these weekends, I'll give True Detective a shot, since that's only 8 episodes. Plus, I think the next season starts over with new characters, right?

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:37 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
Also, there's an "urgency" associated with TV shows. I mean, people think "I have to catch up with this or that show before next week, or next season" that isn't necessarily present with films. People might say "I can always watch X film next week, but I have to watch this show before next season starts, or before someone spoils it to me".

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:42 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
It's daunting to me too. That's why most shows I follow have a shorter episode span per season (Hannibal and GoT, for example). Also the reason why I haven't come near The Wire or The Shield yet, despite the sureness that both definitely end, and very satisfactorily too, from what I've heard. I have boxsets of both shows as gifts and have yet to unpack them.

I dunno, it can be a chore if your feeling when entering a show is that you are behind a lot of people, whereas it should be that you are enjoying and savoring the new world.

And hey, you're made mod! Congrats.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:00 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
Thief12 wrote:
Also, there's an "urgency" associated with TV shows. I mean, people think "I have to catch up with this or that show before next week, or next season" that isn't necessarily present with films. People might say "I can always watch X film next week, but I have to watch this show before next season starts, or before someone spoils it to me".


Bruce Willis is a ghost all along

Tyler and the narrator are the same person

Jack has always been the caretaker

Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's Father

It's Kevin Spacey!!



... need I continue?

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:02 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
NotHughGrant wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
Also, there's an "urgency" associated with TV shows. I mean, people think "I have to catch up with this or that show before next week, or next season" that isn't necessarily present with films. People might say "I can always watch X film next week, but I have to watch this show before next season starts, or before someone spoils it to me".


Bruce Willis is a ghost all along

Tyler and the narrator are the same person

Jack has always been the caretaker

Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's Father

It's Kevin Spacey!!



... need I continue?


Soylent Green is people.

Yeah, I get that. But I don't think it's the same level of urgency than with a TV show.

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:25 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
peng wrote:
I dunno, it can be a chore if your feeling when entering a show is that you are behind a lot of people, whereas it should be that you are enjoying and savoring the new world.

And hey, you're made mod! Congrats.


Thanks bro. Let's just say JB made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

As for falling behind, or FOMO as some call it, I get that. Life moves at lightning-speed thanks to the internet, social media, smartphones, and the like, and we want to "belong" where the party is. But one thing movies and tv shows have in common is that the great ones stand the test of time. You can pick it up years later, hell even decades later, than most people did and still be blown away by the storytelling and construction. You'll lose that adrenaline jolt of discussing it with everyone as it's unspooling, but the product itself doesn't change.

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:32 am
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
Thief12 wrote:
NotHughGrant wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
Also, there's an "urgency" associated with TV shows. I mean, people think "I have to catch up with this or that show before next week, or next season" that isn't necessarily present with films. People might say "I can always watch X film next week, but I have to watch this show before next season starts, or before someone spoils it to me".


Bruce Willis is a ghost all along

Tyler and the narrator are the same person

Jack has always been the caretaker

Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's Father

It's Kevin Spacey!!



... need I continue?


Soylent Green is people.

Yeah, I get that. But I don't think it's the same level of urgency than with a TV show.

I haven't followed this thread fully, but this is completely true.

I am a regular Twitter user and had to hold off for two days to not have Breaking Bad spoiled. I basically didn't open Twitter for two days during the BB finale in order not to have the ending spoiled for me. And even when I did come on, people were still talking about it, though thankfully nobody on my timeline spoiled it for me.

All those examples NotHugh posted are valid. But you can go your entire life without having those spoiled for you.

Trying to do the same for most acclaimed TV shows is nearly impossible. House of Cards, Breaking Bad, True Detective, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones. Everyone is talking about them these days. And I mean everyone. It is impossible not to hear about them, read plot spoilers, read synopsis etc. in any one of your content aggregators (Twitter, RSS, Google etc.)

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:29 pm
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Post Re: Are Movies on Their Way Out?
MGamesCook wrote:
Granted, not every show is 24. But no story needs 20 or 40 or 60 hours to be told. No character needs that long to be developed. Shakespeare didn't need that long.

I'm not sure what your point is here. That TV shows can be shortened without damaging their narrative cohesiveness? You can say that about any story. That doesn't mean that shortening the story makes it better, or that developing it over a longer period of time makes it worse. If you're given two hours, you use the two hours. If you're given nine hours, you use the nine hours. You tell your story with what you have.

And Shakespeare's plays are almost invariably abridged for the stage. The finest literary masterpieces in the western canon don't even fit into the running times regularly allotted for them. Who's to say who's wrong in this scenario?

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:58 pm
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