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Are Movies getting too long?

Forums - Discs & Movies - Are Movies getting too long? 

6th February 2006 21:06  #31

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
stanton heck wrote: I'm in marketing.  

Look at that Stanton. I let you completely off the hook there. I was pointing out that people not actually involved in the film making proceess were getting rather handy at passing judgement over what constitued a too long movie and you implied that you were indeed 'in' that business to back up your claims. Marketing hardly puts you in the creative part of the process of making 'the final cut sorry, product' does it. Like I said, I'm not picking a fight and I'm sure you work hard but maybe your job makes you more sensitive to things like a films length to the extent that it is the primary aspect of a film that you consider in the first instance. It's an easy trap to fall into. I think all who watch a lot of films make these sweeping statements (myself included) about films being 10mins, 15mins too long without actually thinking about why the scenes in the movie are there in the first place.

King Kong probably is too long but I wouldn't really know where to start in terms of cutting it down. You could start with paring down the 1st hour but you'd lose the characterisation and the build up. The 2 scenes that I felt went on a bit were the dinosaur stampede which, FX aside, were just spectacle for it's own sake and didn't really move the story along. The other scene was the spider pit sequence (ironically cut completely from the 1933 version). My problem was the Jaime Bell part where he was machine gunning beasties off of Adrian Brody. My feeling was enough already and where was it established that he was a crack shot with a machine gun?

Trim those 2 scenes and you might lose a couple of minutes off a 3hr plus running time but it would be pointless. The most effective way to lose significant running time is to lose sub plots but I was not aware of any that could be lost easily.

There are a lot of people throwing numbers around stating how 'too long' they think films are but can anyone, who might have seen the film a few times, come up with a workable solution to cutting 20 minutes out of Kong? You know, just for fun.

6th February 2006 21:09  #32

Matt Contributor Join Date: October 2004 Location: United States Posts: 2,113
Gabe Powers wrote: stanton heck wrote: Here is another set of movies that were way too long "The Thin Red Line" "Magnolia" and "Meet Joe Black" I waisted 10 hours of my life.

I think you just didn't like those movies, and no ammount of editing would make you. Personally, Magnolia is one of my favourite films and I couldn't imagine such a tapistry being a second shorter than it was. Again, this is a braod, sweeping, and arbitrary comment on modern film and the discussion was pretty much over when Captmarvel stated his case.

Yeah, I gotta agree with ya on Magnolia, Gabe, but the other two films could have their negatives burned and ashes blown to the four winds for all I care. Meet Joe Black is just overlong, melodramatic pap, but The Thin Red Line is one of only a couple of movies I actually hate.

6th February 2006 21:09  #33

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
Tony DeFrancisco wrote: stanton heck wrote: 43Wow, I must be really young.

Tony, I put your age at around 16 to 19 years old. Is that a fair guess?

6th February 2006 21:26  #34

Gabe Powers Editor Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 4,486 Send a message via ICQ to Gabe Powers
Intergalactic Ponce wrote: ...There are a lot of people throwing numbers around stating how 'too long' they think films are but can anyone, who might have seen the film a few times, come up with a workable solution to cutting 20 minutes out of Kong? You know, just for fun.

I'd cut out the entire Jamie Bell/Token Wise Black Guy subplot. It was heavy handed and brought the pacing to a grinding halt every time. Other than that, I'd have left it the same.


And to the rest of your post, I'm inclined to agree as an artist. However, as an artist I also recognize that multi-million dollar productions must have marketing taken into considerations, unless the film is being financed by the artist, as is the case of the Star Wars films (which really is impressive, if you ask me). I hate the fact that artists can't be totally free to do what they want in Hollywood, but I can't deny that messing with those ammounts of money garners some studio influence. I'd compare King Kong to Ang Lee's Hulk, I loved them both, but understand why others hate them, and feel that perhaps a little more studio influence may have helped them at the box office, though I may not have loved them had there been that stronger influence. Those are the most facsinating kinds of films to me, the ones that stagger the line between pure art and pure entertainment.

6th February 2006 21:27  #35

Tony DeFrancisco Senior Member Join Date: July 2005 Location: United States Posts: 2,652
Intergalactic Ponce wrote: Tony DeFrancisco wrote: stanton heck wrote: 43Wow, I must be really young.

Tony, I put your age at around 16 to 19 years old. Is that a fair guess?
Close but nope, I'm 14.

6th February 2006 21:40  #36

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
Tony DeFrancisco wrote: Intergalactic Ponce wrote: Tony DeFrancisco wrote: stanton heck wrote: 43Wow, I must be really young.

Tony, I put your age at around 16 to 19 years old. Is that a fair guess?
Close but nope, I'm 14.


WOW! That's explains... something.

6th February 2006 21:45  #37

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
Gabe Powers wrote: Intergalactic Ponce wrote: ...There are a lot of people throwing numbers around stating how 'too long' they think films are but can anyone, who might have seen the film a few times, come up with a workable solution to cutting 20 minutes out of Kong? You know, just for fun.

Yes. I hadn't thought of that sub plot and you're right. If you lose that and shorten the crew members deaths in the spider pit (because them being dead or alive has no impact on the film when we gate back to NY anyway), cut the stampede, cut the Anne falling beat form the Empire state sequence (just have her climbing up) and that's probably getting near 10 minutes gone. Maybe the Directors Cut will be shorter on DVD.

I'd cut out the entire Jamie Bell/Token Wise Black Guy subplot. It was heavy handed and brought the pacing to a grinding halt every time. Other than that, I'd have left it the same.


And to the rest of your post, I'm inclined to agree as an artist. However, as an artist I also recognize that multi-million dollar productions must have marketing taken into considerations, unless the film is being financed by the artist, as is the case of the Star Wars films (which really is impressive, if you ask me). I hate the fact that artists can't be totally free to do what they want in Hollywood, but I can't deny that messing with those ammounts of money garners some studio influence. I'd compare King Kong to Ang Lee's Hulk, I loved them both, but understand why others hate them, and feel that perhaps a little more studio influence may have helped them at the box office, though I may not have loved them had there been that stronger influence. Those are the most facsinating kinds of films to me, the ones that stagger the line between pure art and pure entertainment.

6th February 2006 23:05  #38

Donnie_Darko Banned Join Date: January 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 352
Tony DeFrancisco wrote: captmarvel wrote: To answer Stanton's question, The Brothers Grimm would have been much better if they had deleted 119 minutes of footage.Couldn't of said it better myself.

I like Brothers Grimm and I think it's fine and the second most underrated film of the year behind Domino.

I cannot hate a Terry Gilliam film

6th February 2006 23:17  #39

Tony DeFrancisco Senior Member Join Date: July 2005 Location: United States Posts: 2,652
Intergalactic Ponce wrote: Tony DeFrancisco wrote: Intergalactic Ponce wrote: Tony DeFrancisco wrote: stanton heck wrote: 43Wow, I must be really young.

Tony, I put your age at around 16 to 19 years old. Is that a fair guess?
Close but nope, I'm 14.


WOW! That's explains... something.
Can I ask what?

7th February 2006 0:17  #40

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
To everyone who has read everything on this post I want to clairfy myself.  I just wanted see if other movie fans were tired of movies getting too long.  I can see I am in a minority here.  I just think movies just seemed to be getting longer and not better!  The reason why I brought up "King Kong" is because how its going to go down as a box office disapointment. I just wanted see if other people were scared off of seeing it because of the 3hr running time.  If I had to cut something of "King Kong" I don't know.  I liked the movie I really do.  However the one thing that does come to mind to cut would of been the "Ice Skating".  I just thought he would of broke through the ice.  Overall King KOng is  ***1/2 stars out of 4.  

7th February 2006 1:02  #41

Gabe Powers Editor Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 4,486 Send a message via ICQ to Gabe Powers
really? I liked the iceskating bit.

7th February 2006 10:54  #42

captmarvel Member Join Date: January 2006 Location: United States Posts: 101
Kong is a great movie just as it is!  I didn't mind the length at all---in fact, I couldn't have been happier if at the end of the movie Kong and the rest of the cast would have jumped off the screen and got in my car and came home with me.  But they will be doing that on March 28th!  To listen to some of the comments that have been voiced by moviegoers and media types alike you would think that this movie was a bomb.  It's a super movie, a technical marvel and is approaching a $550,000,000 worldwide gross.  This movie will end up making it's money back within four months of it's release date and will be in the black for the rest of it's history!  And you have to credit Universal for standing behind Jackson and not cutting the movie in order to squeeze in another daily showing at the box office.  That exhibited a love of the product over the love of a dollar.

7th February 2006 14:57  #43

Matt Contributor Join Date: October 2004 Location: United States Posts: 2,113
If you cut the ice skating scene out of Kong, you'd just have to replace it with something similar. Kong has to have that one, last moment of happiness with Ann before climbing to his death, otherwise the entire climax doesn't work on an emotional level. Besides that, it was one of the best scenes in the film.

7th February 2006 22:23  #44

James Tully Member Join Date: October 2004 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 436
stanton heck wrote:  To everyone who has read everything on this post I want to clairfy myself.  I just wanted see if other movie fans were tired of movies getting too long.  I can see I am in a minority here.  I just think movies just seemed to be getting longer and not better!  The reason why I brought up "King Kong" is because how its going to go down as a box office disapointment. I just wanted see if other people were scared off of seeing it because of the 3hr running time.  If I had to cut something of "King Kong" I don't know.  I liked the movie I really do.  However the one thing that does come to mind to cut would of been the "Ice Skating".  I just thought he would of broke through the ice.  Overall King KOng is  ***1/2 stars out of 4.  

I am in agreement with you. I have found myself looking at the watch a couple of times even in films that were good. I'm not gonna pretend I know how much to cut out of which film and where from but I know as an audience member that a few films have been too long recently. Unneccessary length can make a good film become boring. Bit like when a band releases a double album and you usually think 'they could have made a really great single album out of this material'

I think that a lot of directors have got too many 'yes' men around them and no-one to actually tell them the truth that their projects are too long.

I work in marketing as well as on site at a cinema and can confirm that a huge percentage of customers have complained about films being too long, Harry potter, munich, narnia, king kong and geisha have all come under fire. (I am more concerned about c**ppy romantic comedies running at 2hrs+!, These films have no plot at all and have extended running times to massage the stars ego in order for them to 'do' a setpiece)

Thats enough of my ranting!

7th February 2006 23:32  #45

Donnie_Darko Banned Join Date: January 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 352
At times their tooooooo short

8th February 2006 0:31  #46

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
I for one love the epic movies.  Too much of the 80s was cut down into easily digested 100 minute movies.  I am not sure what the uproar about the length of the movies is.  It isn't like you went to King Kong expecting a 90 minute movie and it went on for 3 hours.  Running times are published before the release of the movie.  If you don't want to see a 3 hour movie, don't go to one with a 3 hour running time.

8th February 2006 2:16  #47

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
stanton heck wrote: Here is another set of movies that were way too long "The Thin Red Line" "Magnolia" and "Meet Joe Black" I waisted 10 hours of my life.

Personally, I feel "Magnolia" is a masterpiece and I don't believe it is a minute too long. I also feel "Meet Joe Black" is a far better film than it has been reviewed by critics. Neither film was too long for me. I guess I have a longer attention span than most.

8th February 2006 2:31  #48

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
My attention span is fine.  I have sat through a subtitle "War and Peace" more than once.  I read 2-4 books a month. So I do not have a short attention span. I just don't like watch a movie that has footage that should of been cut.  

8th February 2006 2:34  #49

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
Just curious, am I the only one that saw Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet in theater.  Stanton would hate that movie as it went on for over 4 hours.

8th February 2006 3:43  #50

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Not if it didn't drag.

8th February 2006 3:54  #51

Gabe Powers Editor Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 4,486 Send a message via ICQ to Gabe Powers
Well, some of the men's period costumes do look a little on the girly side.

Badum Bash! Happy

8th February 2006 3:55  #52

captmarvel Member Join Date: January 2006 Location: United States Posts: 101
Adrian- Saw the Branagh Hamlet---it was horrible!  All of the British actors rushed their lines.  The best handling of the material came from the Yanks; Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Jack Lemmon and Charlton Heston.  As I recall I thought Heston as the Player King was particularly good!

9th February 2006 4:50  #53

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
What is the one movie you do think would be bter if it was shorter.

9th February 2006 16:15  #54

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
Tony DeFrancisco wrote: Intergalactic Ponce wrote: Tony DeFrancisco wrote: Intergalactic Ponce wrote: Tony DeFrancisco wrote: stanton heck wrote: 43Wow, I must be really young.

Tony, I put your age at around 16 to 19 years old. Is that a fair guess?
Close but nope, I'm 14.


WOW! That's explains... something.
Can I ask what?


Hi Tony. I was just meaning that it explains a lot of your posts point of views. I don't mean that to be insulting as you are probably more mature than I was at your age. When I was 14, Return of the Jedi had just been release the previous year and Temple of Doom was out so my head was pretty much in amongst there somewhere. When I was 14, all we had (this is going to start sounding like the 4 Yorkshireman sketch) was new films coming to TV about 6 years after their release, and cinema, to which access at that age was quite limited. Times were a lot simpler and films, because they were not readily available as they are now, retained an air of mystery and were special. There is nothing special about movies now. They're released and in your home 3-4 months after and it's a shame you never experienced that. The rationing of a film so that it stayed magical. Where the only place to see it was in a cinema and for the greater part, in your head. Some of the older readers of this site will know what I mean by that, but being 14, you will have a different perception of what a film can be as you don't have to hold it in your head as we had to in the past, and some of what you write refects this. But again, this isn't meant as an insult to you or your age, just an observation. It might not be an accurate observation, as I've never met you, but that's what I meant by 'something'. At the time of writing that, I didn't have the time to write or explain it. Reading it back I'm not sure I did explain it very well but there it is.

9th February 2006 21:48  #55

Tony DeFrancisco Senior Member Join Date: July 2005 Location: United States Posts: 2,652
Intergalactic Ponce wrote: Tony DeFrancisco wrote: Intergalactic Ponce wrote: Tony DeFrancisco wrote: Intergalactic Ponce wrote: Tony DeFrancisco wrote: stanton heck wrote: 43Wow, I must be really young.

Tony, I put your age at around 16 to 19 years old. Is that a fair guess?
Close but nope, I'm 14.


WOW! That's explains... something.
Can I ask what?


Hi Tony. I was just meaning that it explains a lot of your posts point of views. I don't mean that to be insulting as you are probably more mature than I was at your age. When I was 14, Return of the Jedi had just been release the previous year and Temple of Doom was out so my head was pretty much in amongst there somewhere. When I was 14, all we had (this is going to start sounding like the 4 Yorkshireman sketch) was new films coming to TV about 6 years after their release, and cinema, to which access at that age was quite limited. Times were a lot simpler and films, because they were not readily available as they are now, retained an air of mystery and were special. There is nothing special about movies now. They're released and in your home 3-4 months after and it's a shame you never experienced that. The rationing of a film so that it stayed magical. Where the only place to see it was in a cinema and for the greater part, in your head. Some of the older readers of this site will know what I mean by that, but being 14, you will have a different perception of what a film can be as you don't have to hold it in your head as we had to in the past, and some of what you write refects this. But again, this isn't meant as an insult to you or your age, just an observation. It might not be an accurate observation, as I've never met you, but that's what I meant by 'something'. At the time of writing that, I didn't have the time to write or explain it. Reading it back I'm not sure I did explain it very well but there it is.
I know what you mean and I wasn't taking it the hard way, I was just wondering what it was. Yes, I understand what you mean too.

9th February 2006 22:10  #56

Mal Webmaster Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,290
Geez... cut down on the quoting. Wink Try to only quote about two or three levels and remove the rest in future.

9th February 2006 22:14  #57

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
But it looks so pretty.

10th February 2006 1:21  #58

Gabe Powers Editor Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 4,486 Send a message via ICQ to Gabe Powers
And it's so post-modern!

10th February 2006 1:46  #59

Tony DeFrancisco Senior Member Join Date: July 2005 Location: United States Posts: 2,652
Mal wrote: Geez... cut down on the quoting. Wink Try to only quote about two or three levels and remove the rest in future.Sorry about that Mal. I'll remember that for future posts

13th February 2006 0:16  #60

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Okay what movie do YOU think went on too long.  Please be polite. Please don't say "In her Shoes" the whole thing. I will set an example. "Rent". I enjoyed the movie however it should ended at the funeral. Yes it would of been different from the play but movies are  different.
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