But viewers now walk into theaters already so crammed with information about the film that those establishing scenes almost take care of themselves. "Brokeback Mountain" spends so much time offering scenic views of the range and all those sheep that you begin to wonder if Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger's characters are ever going to sidle up to each other. The film takes off only after their romance begins, nearly a half-hour in.Huh? Movies should skip all that set-up because people already know the plot? So "Gone With The Wind" should have junked that first hour and just begun with the burning of Atlanta? I mean, we already know what's going to happen. 'Brokeback Mountain" should have jumped right into the pup tent, since everyone knew the cowboys were gonna get intimate? That's insanely wrong -- if the movie had rushed into their romance, audiences would have never believed it was a major, defining moment for them. "Narnia" I suppose should have skipped the first half hour and begun with all four children walking through the wardrobe. I mean, we know they're all going to end up there, so why waste time creating a mood or establishing who these children are? No good movie is ever too long; no bad movie is ever too short.
Friday, January 13, 2006
New York Times: Movies Are Too Long
The New York Times is growing increasingly banal -- today they've printed a commentary with the tired complaint that movies are too long. As they tacitly acknowledge, a bad movie at 100 minutes is a lot more tiresome than a good movie at 180 minutes. Then the New York Times offers this truly bizarre argument: