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Are Movies getting too long?

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I have to admit there are a few bad films that I re-watch with the same criterea. What went wrong and why doesn't this work?

Off the top of my head, films like:
 
T3
MI:2

I know a lot of people like the above films and this is in no way meant to open the flood gates for people defending them. As always, it's just my opinion.
No I have been actually trying to find out why anyone thinks it's good! Though I must say I always skip the first 70 mins of it after my first full viewing of the whole film.
Tricky D**ky wrote: I have watched it 4 times now and I still can't find very much apart from the last 20 minutes that I would say is even remotely interesting or excellent. The storytelling is really bad, the acting is pretty woeful, the characters are really uninteresting, the editing is non-existant and the CGI (apart from Kong himself) is dreadful (though it does look better on the small screen) and it is just way too long.

To me it just looks like a real rush job. Like they just threw everything they shot in and hoped for the best. I would like to see a total re-edit of the film and lose, as someone else said, a lot of the bit characters that really add up to nothing, before they just disappear. Lose the bugs! Lose a lot of the 'falling for each other' garbage and tighten up the action sequences.



The film is so bad in fact, that I've spent 12 hours of my life re-watching it just to verify how bad it actually is.
"Rent" was great I just thought they could of re-written it all with it ending at the funeral.  "King King" was not a bomb but it was hyped to become the #1 box office hit and overtake "Titanic".  "Titanic" did $600,000,000 and "Kong" just $218,000,000.  So in maney circles it is considered to be a big miss.  
Tony DeFrancisco wrote: Tricky D**ky wrote: I thought the reason King Kong failed was the fact that noone was interested in it at all.Oh yeah, that 218 million made it seem like no one was interested in it at all.

$218 million is US alone.  Add $331 million overseas.

Nor the 84% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes or 7.8 rating on IMDB.

Personally, everyone that I know that saw King Kong loved it.
Tricky D**ky wrote: I thought the reason King Kong failed was the fact that noone was interested in it at all.Oh yeah, that 218 million made it seem like no one was interested in it at all.
I thought the reason King Kong failed was the fact that noone was interested in it at all. That and the fact that it did get fairly bad word of mouth from a lot of people. I have watched it 4 times now and I still can't find very much apart from the last 20 minutes that I would say is even remotely interesting or excellent. The storytelling is really bad, the acting is pretty woeful, the characters are really uninteresting, the editing is non-existant and the CGI (apart from Kong himself) is dreadful (though it does look better on the small screen) and it is just way too long.

To me it just looks like a real rush job. Like they just threw everything they shot in and hoped for the best. I would like to see a total re-edit of the film and lose, as someone else said, a lot of the bit characters that really add up to nothing, before they just disappear. Lose the bugs! Lose a lot of the 'falling for each other' garbage and tighten up the action sequences.

There is a great film in there trying to get out.
stanton heck wrote:  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.

Ok...here we go...

I'm a HUGE RENThead, from the original cast until now. I'm 8 min from the lincoln tunnel so i've see the play more times than I can remember (somewhere in the mid-double digits). Basically, I love everything about it.

Having said that, I love the movie as it is and cutting anything else out would really hurt the characters and, cutting at the funeral as you suggested, would ruin the entire message of the film. NOW, I read an early draft of the script that Spike Lee and, supposedly, Scorcese were going to film from and it is RADICALLY different from the play. But, understanding that film's a different medium and the story needs to be told differently, it completely and utterly works. In this, there are only a fraction of the musical numbers and many events are greatly changed, but I'd actually prefer seeing that version over the one that was produced.

To get back on topic, basically what I'm saying is that it all depends on the film on an individual basis. These two verions of Rent would have been adaptations of the same source material, but, telling the story different, would be different lengths.

I mean, would anyone consider cutting ONE FRAME out of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly? We don't NEED to see a dog cross the frame for a full 20 seconds or have 10 min. of editing build up to the one-shot final showdown. These are not integral to the story and could be considered to "pad" the length of the film, but it's moments like this that constructs the art that the artist is creating.
What movie do you think was too long?
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.
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
And it's so post-modern!
But it looks so pretty.
Mal
Geez... cut down on the quoting. Wink Try to only quote about two or three levels and remove the rest in future.
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.
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.
What is the one movie you do think would be bter if it was shorter.
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!
Well, some of the men's period costumes do look a little on the girly side.

Badum Bash! Happy
Not if it didn't drag.
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.
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.  
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.
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.
At times their tooooooo short
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!
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.
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.
really? I liked the iceskating bit.
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.  
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Yep Wink
stanton heck wrote: 43Wow, I must be really young.
43
If I may ask Stanton, how old are you?
Too much info there Stanton. Or not enough. I can't decide which. You be careful out there.
No its a JOB. (its very demanding and egos get out of control) I did do that.  I'm in marketing in a different way now.  I was asked to return but HE** No.  I have seen my boss get spit on by top people (that's all I say). After I saw my boss almost get punched out  (not saying who by) I left.  
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.
It's good to see films before they are marketed and sold to us isn't it?
I can't say.  Let's say this I see everything.  That gets released before its released.
But marketing does explain the emphasis on film length. Can't get enough shows crow barred into a day if they're too long can we? Although I'm with Bill Hick's on marketing, what sort of marketing are you involved in. Just generally. No need for specifics.
Projectionist of 9 years. But not saying where, you understand. London's West End is as much as I'll say.
I'm in marketing.  
stanton heck wrote: Well I am in the business

Okay. Always willing to be proved wrong. What do you do? In the business. I'm not picking a fight with this enquiry. I'm genuinely interested.
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.
Tony DeFrancisco wrote: The only reason why King Kong didn't make much money than most people predicted is because that it should of been advertised way more.
Kong didn't make as much because at three hours it can't be shown as many times per day as the other movies you listed, and second it was released at the wrong time.

The biggest reason though, is that the media made way too much of it being three hours long, as if no one had never sat through a three hour film before and getting your money's worth at the theatre was a bad thing. All of the negative press over the length hurt the film much more than it deserved and cost it a slew of moviegoers who, if hadn't been beaten to death over the film's length in the press, would have barely given it a second thought and gone to see the best film of 2005, and the most thoroughly entertaining, popcorn movie since Jackson's own Return of the King. All of you that complain about the running time would have been complaining the opposite way if the film would've been any shorter coming from Jackson, and wouldn't give the running time a second thought if the media hadn't bashed it into your skulls. I find it funny at a time when moviegoers are leaving the cineplexes in droves, primarily over the quality of the films being released if recent polls are to be believed, that when someone actually makes a film that delivers the goods (and then some) all the average moviegoer can do is treat it like a redheaded stepchild because it's "too long".

Quote: Really? I thought Kong was 7.5 minutes too long and Narnia 4 minutes. I haven't seen Rent but a friend of mine said that he believed it was 13 minutes too long. It's funny isn't it how people not in the actual business of making and editing films can have so much say and be so precise in their opinions of how long a film's running time should be?
LOL. Nice.
Well I am in the business
stanton heck wrote: I think they should of cut 30-45 minutes out of King Kong. I also thought Narnia was 15 minutes too long.  Rent was 10 minutes too long.

Really? I thought Kong was 7.5 minutes too long and Narnia 4 minutes. I haven't seen Rent but a friend of mine said that he believed it was 13 minutes too long. It's funny isn't it how people not in the actual business of making and editing films can have so much say and be so precise in their opinions of how long a film's running time should be?
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.
captmarvel wrote: A good movie is never long enough, and a bad movie is always too long.

Ditto. I couldn't have said it better myself.
Stanton, have you ever thought that maybe you have a short attention span? I'll agree that King Kong could've lost about 20 minutes, but like captmarvel said, a good movie can never be long enough. I can't image 107 minute cuts of the LOTR films, or Private Ryan, or even Munich. The problem with Kong was not the running time, despite the money they spent on advritising, it was poorly spent and public knowledge of it was very low. This is just too broad a statement for me to get behind.
A good movie is never long enough, and a bad movie is always too long.  To answer Stanton's question, The Brothers Grimm would have been much better if they had deleted 119 minutes of footage.  But seriously, I think Ghost could have used some trimming and would have been a better film as a result.
Back to the orignal question What movie do you think would of been better if they deleted some footage!
stanton heck wrote: They spent $60,000,000 advertising KK.But they could of spent a little bit more, maybe putting advertisements into smaller cable stations, put it on more Universal DVDs, etc. I'm not arguing no more about this, so now my mouth is shut.
They spent $60,000,000 advertising KK. That was $5,000,00- 10,000,000 more than all the others!  Yes all of those movies took in $$ but, most of them could of had footage removed.  Most of them were too long including "Batman Returns"  
stanton heck wrote: I am sure that King Kong  2005 would of made more money at the box office if it was shorter.Have you been paying attention to the box office last year? Batman Begins was more than two hours and made more than 200 million. Narnia made more than 260 million and it was more than two hours. Harry Potter made more than 285 million and it was more than two hours. Star Wars: Episode III made 380 million and it was more than two hours.

The only reason why King Kong didn't make much money than most people predicted is because that it should of been advertised way more.
King Kong was a great movie I agree but it should of been shorter and then release an extended DVD.  I am sure that King Kong  2005 would of made more money at the box office if it was shorter.  Most people that have seen it will say its great but its too long!  When people are "iffy" on seing a movie at the theatre and they here its too long that customer waits for the DVD release.  
Not to be sounding like a d**k, but who cares about films being too long? I mean, yes, King Kong was long compared to the original 1933 version, but that was 1933 and it was released in 2005. Let the filmmakers sort that out.
"Munich" too long "Kill Bill Vol 2" 10 minutes too long!
I think they should of cut 30-45 minutes out of King Kong. I also thought Narnia was 15 minutes too long.  Rent was 10 minutes too long.
Are Movies getting too long?
I read that the avege movie ran about 107 minutes in 1985.  Today its 2hrs and 6 minutes! Do you think the movies made today are too long?  Do you think "King Kong" was too long?