Ph.D. Octopus

Politics, media, music, capitalism, scholarship, and ephemera since 2010

Movies are TOO LONG

with one comment

by weiner

Russell Crowe can throw as many telephones at people as he wants. Ever since he donated money (some estimate $250,000) to repair the Montreal Jewish school United Talmud Torah after Arab-Canadian terrorists set fire to it in 2004, I decided to see all of his movies.

Robin Hood seemed independently appealing. I love historical fiction, and medieval tales in general. Furthermore, Crowe brought his buddy Alan Doyle, lead singer of my favourite band, Great Big Sea, to play the part of bard Alan A’Dayle.

Fortunately, I only paid $6.50 to see the film, the student rate at my wonderful local theatre in Sunnyside, Queens, NY. Because that movie was not that good. Doyle’s musical scenes were fun, some of the battles were ok, but mostly the movie was just WAY TOO LONG. I’m talking 148 minutes. My friend who saw it with me slept through 75% of the film. The plot dragged, too many scenic shots, too much of nothing, not enough of something. It’s as if no editor had the guts to say to director Ridley Scott, “enough already,” or “get to the point,” or just, “Really?”

This problem, of course, is not limited to Scott or Crowe or Robin Hood. Yeah, The Lord of the Rings trilogy had its moments, but those moments were separated by too much nothing.  And don’t get me started on Star Wars. Entertainment Weekly pointed out that Martin Scorsese’s thriller, Shutter Island could have been trimmed from 138 minutes to 80 minutes without doing any damage to the movie. And of course, there’s James Cameron’s Avatar: very visually impressive, though I doubt all 162 minutes were necessary.

Meanwhile, A Serious Man, my pick for movie of the decade, a mere 106 minutes. Indeed, Woody Allen’s classic comedies of the 1970s typically ran about 90 minutes. That’s a good time for a movie. Longer than a TV show, but not too long that you’re checking your watch.


Written by David Weinfeld

May 15, 2010 at 10:45

Posted in film, pop culture

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  1. […] heaped mountains of praise upon it, I found it extremely entertaining and thought-provoking. Unlike many movies nowadays, The Social Network was not overly long (a brisk two hours), and though it could probably […]

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