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Which is better: current movies or old movies?


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I haven't gone to the movies in at least seven years. Guess why? Because I don't think current movies are as good as old movies.(I don't mean to offend anyone that's just how I feel).

 

That's why so many depend on TCM, including me, for movies. The movies in fact seem to be getting worse nowadays. I mean, where are you going to see a black and white noir kind, or a let's-put-on-a-show musical, a fast-paced comedy (not burps and innappropiate things, but actual intellectual jokes), a tense Bette Davis-type drama, or an adventurous epic with a cast of thousands? No where, you're not. This is why movies now frustrate me. I just don't knwo who on Earth they are making them for. That's why I love TCM.

 

Anyone else agree with me?

 

But, I do know that some people are just all-around movie lovers, and don't really care when the movie was made, so I was just wondering what other people thought.

 

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There are still good movies out there in the classic tradition- "The King's Speech"(2010) or Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" (2011) to name a couple of examples. I just saw "Drive" a stylish but extremely violent movie in which Ryan Gosling channels his inner Steve McQueen playing a get away driver who gets involved with some very nasty crooks.

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Are yesterdays movies better then today's ? I don't think its legitimate question , its certainly not a fair one comparing yesterday's movies to today's is comparing apples to oranges. Are today's stars as exciting as those of the golden years of Hollywood i think so, but in a different way. The stars & their films who came out of the studio system were packaged and presented to the public in magazines, mini-pops made by the studios and by word of mouth from a public who went to the movies regularly all contributed to creating the myth and magic of Hollywood. The stars today have to market themselves and their movies to a public who goes to the movies far less frequently not because the movies are not as good, but because of host of reasons like cost admission during the golden years cost $0.50 today $12.00, a bag of popcorn then $0.25 today $8.00, etc, etc. Today's public also has choices on how they see a movie other then the big screen they can watch on DVD, cable packages or online none of which were available during the Golden years. No Noir being offered in today's films well its not in fashion and its not in demand today so nobody is likely to make them. Yes movies have changed, but IMHO neither for the better or the worst movies remain the best and most sought after form of entertainment and i don't see that changing in the foreseeable future. I loved the movies when i was young and I love them today when i am not nearly so young and i don|t see that changing in the foreseeable future..

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I agree with stjohnrv. Today's audience and what they apparently want to see is very different from years ago. Which begs the question --- Do the movies make the public or does the public make the movies? Or better still, Do the movies influence the public or are the movies just a reflection of the public?

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I think it is best to say certain old (studio era), movies told a more coherent story. As many know there was a debate about the qualify of the movies made in the 30s that generated a lot of heat (I think the guy that started this thread was booted out by the admin). The guy did have a valid point that a lot of the 30s movies were cheap programmers where the same plot angle, and character actors were used over and over again.

 

I favor studio era movies over current ones but one key reason is that the studio era produced a lot more movies than what we have now. A lot more. So even if only 10% of the movies of the 30s were top quality films that is still a lot of movies, many I have still not seen. I would rather spend a few hours watching a movie from the 30 - 50 than something made in the last decade.

 

 

 

 

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I've always thought a good movie is a good movie regardless of when it was made. There is always a tendency to think of "the good old days" when it comes to just about anything from art, entertainment, sports, whatever. I love old movies from the 30's and 40's. Possibly because they are from long before "my time", they carry a certain interest and even mystique that a modern movie just can't have. But I do agree that it's not really a fair debate. Movie stars just aren't the same as they used to be. We're bombarded with information about their every move, and way too much about their private lives. The movie stars of the 30's and 40's had a mystery and allure to them that is just not possible in our hyper-wired world. (But the fact that we're all on this site must say something about how we all feel about old movies :)

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This is very subjective. Good movies are still being made but not as many as in the older days of film making. To be fair to all generations, each time period had something new for the public. Silent movies was a new form of entertainment, a way of story telling with broad horizons. Studios had to be built from the ground up, trying unproven innovations.

 

Sound gave actors a voice. Color brought everything to life. Television brought the movies home. Video recorders gave everyone a chance to actually own a movie and watch it at any time.

 

Far as quality, well there has always been success and failure. (blockbusters and turkeys). The earliest examples is "The Christmas Secret" (1898), a nice short story and Thomas Edison's "Frankenstein" (1910) which to me is the earliest turkey with that laughable monster. Must have been an early attempt at Herman Munster.

 

Before the 1950's the only mainstream form of entertainment were radio, movies or stage production by which is the oldest form of entertainment! Lol did the anceint Greeks invented special effects?

 

The early days of Hollywood had a lot a material to try out and now living today, has all the ideas been used up? I think there is still historical events that can be brought to film.

 

There is a Star Trek TNG episode in which Data said that television became obsolete in the latter part of the 21st century. Anyone got a gut feeling it might be sooner than later?

 

Forget 3D, all your classic movies in the holodeck?

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Older movies definitely have a lot more going for them, that's for sure. For one thing, given the oh so hated production code, they were forced to be more creative with some things and others had to remain in shadows and be implied, but at the same time you can show most older movies to anybody today whereas 99% of the stuff coming out now I wouldn't show to my neighbor kids or any kids for that matter. Older movies generally had REAL stories, instead of today where a plot consists of 'this guy's going to raise money for a heart operation for his dad so he can kick his dad's butt when he's healthy again' or 'so and so starts his life over by having a garage sale', really? This is what they spend millions of dollars on and people actually pay good money to see?

 

Has anybody read the book Lovers and Lunatics? It covers a bunch of hte 1930s and 40s screwball romantic comedies, and it mentioned a lot of classic ones from the 30s were remade in the 50s and 'improvements' were made in that they were in Technicolor and had musical numbers, but the remakes bombed and the classics remained classics.

 

And then comepare how the writing was in older movies vs today's 'dialogue', the older movies didn't have to rely on crude jokes, bodily humor and such to draw in crowds, and another plus is they didn't have those long awkward 'uh' 'uh...' 'yeah...' 'so...' 'right...' things between two characters. It's like in movies today, they literally RUN OUT of ideas while they're shooting and decide 'oh just take up 2 minutes here and there with one syllable exchanges, the audience is too stupid to notice how crappy it is'.

 

For an example, I'd hate to think how a remake of Suddenly (1954, Frank Sinatra) would be, I can just see it now, smart mouthed kids back talking their parents because they're not going to do anything with them, and the hitmen would be 'F this, F that, F you' for 2 hours. In other words, no different than any other movie that's come out in the last several years, so why would I waste good money for the privilege of seeing a bunch of guys competely incapable of speaking a full sentence without 10 obscenities and curses in it? That to me is NOT good writing, and I don't care if 'it's more realistic', I don't care, we wouldn't go to the movies if we only wanted 'what's realistic', which where I live, is NOT realistic, people still know how to talk civilized to one another.

 

So I gotta agree with BetteDavis19, most movies today are not worth my time or money, and I fail to see why so many people would bother with a lot of them in the first place. The only thing I can think of is there are some people that just can't stay home for one week even if there's nothing good showing, that for some reason they HAVE to go to the theaters even if they know the movie they'll see is going to be lousy. There have been many times somebody's said 'well this looks like crap but I think I'll see it anyway', why?

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"Far as quality, well there has always been success and failure..."

 

 

hamradio, you make a lot of great points in your post. While I have to say that I watch modern movies rarely and with great selectivity, I've been pleasantly surprised by what's out there. Recently on Netflix I saw a couple of movies by Kate Winslet, The Reader and Revolutionary Road, and I was pretty blown away by her acting particulary in the first movie (okay all, no jokes about all the erotic scenes, I don't mean that! :) ) When I see movies like The King's Speech and Helen Mirren in The Queen, it makes me happy that quality is still of concern to filmmakers.

 

 

On the other hand, I work at a university and recently there was a film crew there at work on a picture that will be released at some point in the future. The entire plot revolves around the afterparty of a student's graduation. Sad, sad, sad... coming soon to a DVD dustbin near you!

 

 

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Something I noticed, people say movies today are only about car chases and explosions, but if you think about it there were actually a lot of those in the old movies and serials, but back then even if it was low budget it worked and it looked good and for its time realistic, it wasn't over the top oh so fake CGI explosions. That's one reason I think the Towering Inferno worked so well, because it WAS real, they built 70 sets and set them all on fire and burned them down, good luck trying to make something as effective today when you rely on computer effects to make it exciting.

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I guess this really a subjective question to be sure. Every generation has their own ideas about what is "good". I personally, and most of us here, love the old movies. I rarely go see anything but as someone mentioned earlier in the thread I was thrilled that The King's Speech won at the Academy Awards because it was kind of a throwback to truly just acting ie. no special effects etc. I would rather see a movie from the 20's to the 50's anytime!

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Do you even need to ask that in a classic film board? Ha.

 

I think old. and heres why:

 

They didnt need computer graphics to get an idea across. They had to be creative and imaginative enough to figure out how to do that with actual items and effects, not click a button and have it done for them. i think todays film people are lazy and boring.

 

They didnt need to drop a bunch of F bombs to show how mad they are or to shock. They spoke a mile a minute, their vocabulary was far superior, and they didnt have to explain every little detail because they assumed the audience would understand subtlety. Now they assume we are stupid and leave nothing to the imagination. Same with nudity. We knew what was going on without having to see it.

 

The actors had to have talent. They could all sing, dance, act, play instruments, paint, write, whatever. Who currently would anyone want to watch in 50 years?

 

The topics were deep and intriguing. Seems today they all want to remake films and pat themselves on the back. You dont get movies like The Snake Pit, Greed, The Great Dictator, Sweet Smell of Success, M, Mr Smith, or Citizen Kane anymore. You get watered down crap. The art is gone from film. Theres a few current directors i like, Eastwood, Coen Brothers, but the majority that make it to theaters are just terrible.

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I have to agree SO much. Very few things are made anymore to touch you or excite you or to make you genuinely sick with laughter from real comedy. To anyone who hasn't seen it I suggest seeing the documentary When Comedy Was King, it has clips from Fatty Arbuckle, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Baby Faced Harry Langdon, Ben Turpin, Mack Sennett, Laurel and Hardy, the Keystone Cops, and others...and the narrator talks about how they disappeared from the public just before the time when the world needed it most. And they quote Mack Sennett on 'what happened to laughter? There used to be so much of it'. And it reminds me of what Buster Keaton said in his autobiography of there never was a time like Hollywood in 1919-1920, that the air out there was like wine and they were all young and free and so happy, and he questioned if the world would ever be as carefree again as they were then. I'm just glad he's not alive to see how far the world has sunk since then.

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