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Classic films are overrated

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Classic films are overrated

Old 08-01-04, 01:35 AM
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Classic films are overrated

I'm only an on-and-off lurker here, but I had to get this out of my system after watching the original Manchurian Candidate last night, and this is one off the most appropriate forums I know for this.

Since getting more into films a few years ago and easy access to DVD playback, I've had a chance to view some of the highest-rated films ever made for the first time. I've largely based my decisions on the AFI top 100 list. I've bought and viewed Dr. Strangelove, Paths of Glory, The Bridge on the River Kwai, half of Lawrence of Arabia, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Chinatown, and more recently The Godfather and The Manchurian Candidate (last night, as mentioned above). I also saw Rear Window and The Producers, a library checkout and rental, respectively. I believe all of the above save for Paths of Glory, Rear Window and perhaps The Producers are one the AFI list (though The Producers is high on their top 100 comedy list). I also own Dr. Zhivago, which is also on the list, but I have yet to watch it.

Though I have liked some of these films to a degree, I have been, overall, rather disappointed. They may have been really good for their time, but the crux of the issue is this: it seems to me that film making has advanced a great deal over the years not only in the obvious areas like special effects and sound/film quality, but also in terms of the calibre of acting, cinematography, camera work, pacing, and general realism/believability. Simply put, good modern films are much more exciting and immersive.

Among those I listed, I'd say the ones that I enjoyed the most are Rear Window, Paths of Glory and Dr. Strangelove, though at least the first two suffered from some of the problems I mentioned (comedies have more leeway by their very nature).

For a couple of examples of more recent films that I enjoyed a lot more than the above-mentioned classics, I'd say L.A. Confidential was a lot more interesting than Chinatown, and To End All Wars was much better than The Bridge on the River Kwai. I haven't yet seen the remake of The Manchurian Candidate, but I expect I will enjoy it a lot more than the original.

Basically, I get the feeling these ratings can largely be chalked up to nostalgia. In another arena, I always used to think the nostalgia charge was bunk in describing certain peoples' love for classic video games. But then I played some of the highly-rated games for the first time after being exposed to what the PS2 and GameCube offers, and I found the gameplay often shallow, and the whole experience rather dull due to the more rudimentary presentation. Rather similar to my recent experiences with classic films.

And here I just bought the "Four Samurai Classics" collection (consisting of Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and The Hidden Fortress), as well as Ikiru -- all Akira Kurosawa films made in the 50's and 60's, all highly rated (especially Seven Samurai, of course). I can only hope they have something to separate them from the Hollywood films of that time.

So anyone have any input? It would be nice to find out I'm wrong and just be able to enjoy these films like I'm "supposed" to, but I know that's probably not possible -- so the next best response would be for everyone to agree and wonder what these critics are thinking ;-). I'd appreciate honest and thoughtful feedback either way.

p.s. I chose the rather provocative and controversial title in part to garner some attention, and in large part because this is just how I feel after viewing a number of them. It's not meant as flamebait.
Old 08-01-04, 01:52 AM
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Yes, I think viewing a film during the era around its release definately can add to one's enjoyment of it. I have also had the same experience as you watching so-called "classics" and not really being very impressed.

I love the Back to the Future movies, but I saw them when they were new and they BECAME CLASSICS TO ME. But if I watched them for the first time today I might not think of them nearly as highly.

The matrix, I believe will end up the same way eventually. It blew me away upon seeing it in the theater in '99, but if I watched it for the first time 10 years from now I might not even be impressed.

Thats my take on it.
Old 08-01-04, 02:22 AM
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How old are you? That may be a huge decision on why you don't love these great movies. I absolutely love Lawrence of Arabia and The Godfather, but I didn't really care for them as much when I was 18.
Old 08-01-04, 02:31 AM
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All films, new or old, are prone to hype. If all you hear before you see a movie is how great it is, how it will change your life and become your favorite movie ever, and after seeing it was merely a somewhat enjoyable experience and you've seen better it's going to be disappointing.

Of course, there's also the fact that what was new and shocking 25, 50 years ago, has likely become standard and overused today. Thus the shocking twist is figured out 15 mins into the film, or plot points get overexplained when they're obvious to any modern day filmgoer. Or things like hypnosis or psychoanalysis in a thriller or space ships/robots etc. in a sci-fi are presented with unbelievable explanations given what we know today as opposed to then.

I'll admit not liking the Manchurian Candidate as well, and I think a lot of what I said above contributed to my feelings. Other films I can respect but don't hold as highly as others do. Citizen Kane comes to mind, I liked it somewhat, then listened to the commentaries and realized what an achievement the film was and I'm now impressed with the film more than I like it (if that makes any sense).

However, there are some classic films I have watched and they have become some of my favorites: Passion of Joan of Arc, The Third Man, Notorious, City Lights to name a few. Keep trying if you're interested in enjoying older films. Pick something that sounds interesting to you, rather than picking something that you feel you should like just because it appears on every greatest list. Maybe pick some of the ones I just listed (of course, then you'll likely fall into the hype trap I mentioned above and not like them ). Otherwise, just keep watching what you want rather than picking movies off of classic film lists, but every now and then if the opportunity arises, give an older film a chance without placing too much importance on it- who knows, you might find you like it.
Old 08-01-04, 02:40 AM
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I don't think there's any particular correlation in the enjoyment of classic films with age or era. I'm 21, but thought Casablanca was a masterpiece, and have also enjoyed many silent comedies from Chaplain and Buster Keaton. And naturally there are other "classics" that i didn't feel were as good as advertised, like Citizen Kane. Movie opinions in general are so opinionated that i don't feel its really a big deal. Just look at the thread from a few days ago where a poster listed his worst movies.
Old 08-01-04, 02:47 AM
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Originally posted by Shamu
How old are you? That may be a huge decision on why you don't love these great movies. I absolutely love Lawrence of Arabia and The Godfather, but I didn't really care for them as much when I was 18.
I'm 23, how about you?

I'm not sure if there would be much of a difference in opinion when I get older, really. I like a lot of modern slow-paced films, but Lawrence of Arabia in particular just seemed so slow and dull as far as I watched, that 6 months to a year later I haven't had the motivation to go back and finish watching.
Old 08-01-04, 02:51 AM
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Originally posted by cortan
Yes, I think viewing a film during the era around its release definately can add to one's enjoyment of it. I have also had the same experience as you watching so-called "classics" and not really being very impressed.
Depending on how you meant that, I think you may be misunderstanding the issue -- I don't think it's an issue of the era you watch them in, it's just that, in my experience, quality standards have improved a great deal. Stuff from the early to mid-90's (10+ years old, as in the Matrix example) still looks just as modern, for the most part, as movies filmed today, as long as special effects are not involved.
Old 08-01-04, 03:13 AM
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opti I agree with you. There were many dud films made back in the day. But many here can't really admit that. They think b&w = great film no matter how bad. I'm also of the opinion that many stars back then had acting styles that weren't that great. Modern acting in the last 30 years has evolved in a good wayand has gotten away from the over acting of the 40's thru the 60's. Case and point Anne Baxter. She's great but her corny acting style in The Ten Commandments was aweful.

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Old 08-01-04, 03:15 AM
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Tscott, just wanted to say first of all that I appreciate the tone and helpfulness of your post, and the thought that went into it.

Originally posted by Tscott
All films, new or old, are prone to hype. If all you hear before you see a movie is how great it is, how it will change your life and become your favorite movie ever, and after seeing it was merely a somewhat enjoyable experience and you've seen better it's going to be disappointing.

Of course, there's also the fact that what was new and shocking 25, 50 years ago, has likely become standard and overused today. Thus the shocking twist is figured out 15 mins into the film, or plot points get overexplained when they're obvious to any modern day filmgoer. Or things like hypnosis or psychoanalysis in a thriller or space ships/robots etc. in a sci-fi are presented with unbelievable explanations given what we know today as opposed to then.

I'll admit not liking the Manchurian Candidate as well, and I think a lot of what I said above contributed to my feelings.


Yeah, the brainwashing idea has since been debunked. Another thing I forgot to mention in my previous post -- one thing that bugs me in a movie like this, Lawrence of Arabia, and Bridge on the River Kwai in the realism/believability department is in the treatment of foreign ethnicities and languages. Foreigners are often played by Americans, and in any case they almost always speak English in the above mentioned films.


Other films I can respect but don't hold as highly as others do. Citizen Kane comes to mind, I liked it somewhat, then listened to the commentaries and realized what an achievement the film was and I'm now impressed with the film more than I like it (if that makes any sense).


Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I watched the first 20 minutes or so of the movie, and from what I saw it didn't seem too interesting in terms of plot or characters, but I recognized some of what I'd read about the advanced camera techniques involved. Still, this only marks it as an influential film, rather than a good one (assuming my impressions hold if I ever watch the rest of it),

However, there are some classic films I have watched and they have become some of my favorites: Passion of Joan of Arc, The Third Man, Notorious, City Lights to name a few. Keep trying if you're interested in enjoying older films. Pick something that sounds interesting to you, rather than picking something that you feel you should like just because it appears on every greatest list. Maybe pick some of the ones I just listed (of course, then you'll likely fall into the hype trap I mentioned above and not like them ). Otherwise, just keep watching what you want rather than picking movies off of classic film lists, but every now and then if the opportunity arises, give an older film a chance without placing too much importance on it- who knows, you might find you like it.
Aside from maybe the Joan of Arc movie, I haven't heard of any of those. Ah, but I just looked up Notorious... I thought that sounded somewhat familiar, I guess I have heard of it as it's a Hitchcock film, but I'm not really familiar with it. I would definitely like to check out more Hitchcock films, esp. Vertigo, Psycho, Rope and North by Northwest, mostly in that order.

But getting to the point, I don't even know how to pick older films to view other than going by lists such as the AFI (or imdb.com rankings as another example). If I just pick something at random based on the front cover or the description on the back, I would likely do a lot worse than if I pick from something like the AFI list. My motivation was not to just watch old movies, but to see some of the movies widely considered to be some of the best ever created. Before viewing the aforementioned films I thought I was rather limited in my exposure to only recent popular fare, and I'd expose myself to everything I'd been missing from previous decades. Now I'm thinking the opposite is true -- these lists should be dominated by recent films.

by the way, it's not that old, but I recently watched Ghostbusters for the first time, as I'd gotten the impression from some mentions on here that it was more clever than your typical mass-market action/comedy movie. It wasn't; in fact it was less so. I found very little to laugh or get excited about.
Old 08-01-04, 05:15 AM
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I personally love classic films. In fact, I prefer them to most of the films that area released these days. There are several reasons:

1) I personally think that black and white photography is superior to color photography when it comes to getting ideas across. Lighting and contrast are more dramatic in B&W and can more readily communicate a story visually.

2) I think many new films rely too heavily on appearing "realistic". Older films may have those driving scenes with the obviously phony background or make obvious use of minuatures but it really doesn't matter. It is secondary to me to the storyline. Reading or storytelling both don't have realistic "backgrounds" but they are still very enjoyable. I can more easily suspend my disbelief with the hooky backgrounds in Casablanca than I can with the bad CGI in Spider-Man. The jerky CGi actually pulls me out of the story making realize that I am sitting in a theater watching a movie rather than being engrossed in it. If something tries to look too realistic, the flaws are magnified. On the other hand if something is obviously phoney, I can ignore it concentrate more readily on the story.

3) Being able to sing and dance as well as act was much more important than then than now. I generally like the craftsmanship of the composers as well. More talent?

Acting styles have changed in the last 40 years. Now the vogue seems to generally be "understatement". Things were obviously much different in the 40's, 50's and 60's. I think this has to do with the fact that these performers were closer chronologically to the silent era or vaudeville or even stage acting where you have to be very expressive to communicate with an audience since you didn't have the luxury of a camera close-up. This kind of acting may seem bogus or corny to modern viewers but I find it enchanting. Maybe it boils down to a matter of taste.

There were definitely some stinkers in "those days". The major studios use to produce 50 movies a year each so they obviously couldn't all be good. I don't think anyone should feel compelled to like a film. Many people don't like Citizen Kane and that is fine. Some complaints that I have heard about this particular film is that it just isn't entertaining. Fair enough but there is a lot going on in that film. It is groundbreaking in terms of how it was filmed. Studying that is what I find most enjoyable about that film although I did find the film to be somewhat satisfyingly ironic. Different strokes for different folks. I'm a big fan of Orson Welles, who I think really pushed the boundaries of everything he did. If you are pushing boundaries, you are "bound" to cross some. The story regarding the Magnificent Ambersons is that it was drastically re-edited after a test screening in Pomona, CA, a very rural community. Was it a bad film because 50% of the audience in Pomona didn't like it? No. 50% of the audience proportedly considered it to be the best film they ever saw. The other half wrote statments to the effect of "I come to the movies to be entertained, not depressed".

On the other hand, Kurosawa believed that for a movie to be "good" it has be be easilby accessible by the audience which is why his films may appear more humanistic than Welle's more experimental ones. Hitchcock tried to express everything visually rather than with dialogue. He felt that dialogue and even color, interfered with basic visual storytelling. I think he is right. Film is firstly a visual medium.

Anyway, I've rambled enough for now.
Old 08-01-04, 05:16 AM
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Originally posted by chente
I personally love classic films. In fact, I prefer them to most of the films that are released these days. There are several reasons:

1) I personally think that black and white photography is superior to color photography when it comes to getting ideas across. Lighting and contrast are more dramatic in B&W and can more readily communicate a story visually.

2) I think many new films rely too heavily on appearing "realistic". Older films may have those driving scenes with the obviously phony background or make obvious use of minuatures but it really doesn't matter. It is secondary to me to the storyline. Reading or storytelling both don't have realistic "backgrounds" but they are still very enjoyable. I can more easily suspend my disbelief with the hooky backgrounds in Casablanca than I can with the bad CGI in Spider-Man. The jerky CGi actually pulls me out of the story making realize that I am sitting in a theater watching a movie rather than being engrossed in it. If something tries to look too realistic, the flaws are magnified. On the other hand if something is obviously phoney, I can ignore it concentrate more readily on the story.

3) Being able to sing and dance as well as act was much more important than then than now. I generally like the craftsmanship of the composers as well. More talent?

Acting styles have changed in the last 40 years. Now the vogue seems to generally be "understatement". Things were obviously much different in the 40's, 50's and 60's. I think this has to do with the fact that these performers were closer chronologically to the silent era or vaudeville or even stage acting where you have to be very expressive to communicate with an audience since you didn't have the luxury of a camera close-up. This kind of acting may seem bogus or corny to modern viewers but I find it enchanting. Maybe it boils down to a matter of taste.

There were definitely some stinkers in "those days". The major studios use to produce 50 movies a year each so they obviously couldn't all be good. I don't think anyone should feel compelled to like a film. Many people don't like Citizen Kane and that is fine. Some complaints that I have heard about this particular film is that it just isn't entertaining. Fair enough but there is a lot going on in that film. It is groundbreaking in terms of how it was filmed. Studying that is what I find most enjoyable about that film although I did find the film to be somewhat satisfyingly ironic. Different strokes for different folks. I'm a big fan of Orson Welles, who I think really pushed the boundaries of everything he did. If you are pushing boundaries, you are "bound" to cross some. The story regarding the Magnificent Ambersons is that it was drastically re-edited after a test screening in Pomona, CA, a very rural community. Was it a bad film because 50% of the audience in Pomona didn't like it? No. 50% of the audience proportedly considered it to be the best film they ever saw. The other half wrote statments to the effect of "I come to the movies to be entertained, not depressed".

On the other hand, Kurosawa believed that for a movie to be "good" it has be be easilby accessible by the audience which is why his films may appear more humanistic than Welle's more experimental ones. Hitchcock tried to express everything visually rather than with dialogue. He felt that dialogue and even color, interfered with basic visual storytelling. I think he is right. Film is firstly a visual medium.

Anyway, I've rambled enough for now.
Old 08-01-04, 05:24 AM
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I'm glad I saw this thread. I recieved The Godfather trilogy from my girlfriend a year or two ago, and finally sat down to watch the first one this past weekend. Maybe it was the fact that I watched it after a 12 hour shift, but I was disappointed. It wasn't a bad movie by any means, but not as good as all the hype I've read here and elsewhere over the years. I applied what I call the "Dune" theory to it. Here's the gist:
I read Dune last year for the first time after hearing was to sci-fi what LOTR is to fantasy. Now, I've read a ton of sci-fi, and enjoyed a lot of it, but by the time I'd read Dune I think I'd already spoiled myself by reading and seeing all the stories that were inspired by Herbert's story. I especially saw a lot of elements that were honed in the Star Wars films and used more efficiently. But because I'd encountered so many inspirations, homages, and rip-off's, the actual source material was nothing special for me. I think that's the problem I had with The Godfather.
Old 08-01-04, 10:40 AM
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What I want to know, opti, is why you only viewed HALF of Lawrence of Arabia?
Old 08-01-04, 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by opti
Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I watched the first 20 minutes or so of the movie, and from what I saw it didn't seem too interesting in terms of plot or characters, but I recognized some of what I'd read about the advanced camera techniques involved.
Geez, why not AT LEAST finish the film?! Not to be rude but do you have a short attention span or something?
Old 08-01-04, 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by Rivero
Geez, why not AT LEAST finish the film?! Not to be rude but do you have a short attention span or something?
Attention span has nothing to do with it. He wasn't interested/didn't enjoy the first half of the film. That's why he never finished it---and he told us that in his posts.
Old 08-01-04, 11:12 AM
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Here's just a few of the problems with so-called "classic films":

1. No hip-hop soundtrack.

2. Very few jump-cut edits. Sometimes shots are allowed to go on for more than five seconds...even minutes!!!

3. Not enough blood or tits.

4. No cool shots of the hero putting on sunglasses and calmly walking away from a huge explosion in slow motion.

5. All the characters are too chatty! STFU already, and blow shit up!

6. A lot of them have original stories, meaning I have to pay more attention to the plot. Couldn't they adapt a comic book or a television show like they do now?

7. Today's actors are just more talented. Classic movies really suffer from not having such greats as Halle Berry, Will Smith, Rob Schneider, Rosie O'Donnell, etc.
Old 08-01-04, 11:26 AM
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Originally posted by opti
Yeah, the brainwashing idea has since been debunked. Another thing I forgot to mention in my previous post -- one thing that bugs me in a movie like this, Lawrence of Arabia, and Bridge on the River Kwai in the realism/believability department is in the treatment of foreign ethnicities and languages. Foreigners are often played by Americans, and in any case they almost always speak English in the above mentioned films.
So this is what's keeping you back from watching all of Lawrence of Arabia. Why don't you just sit your butt down in a locked room where no one will disturb you, and just watch the whole thing. For me, that film is full of awe and wonder. It's amazing to watch and listen to every time. What may be lacking in the choice of actor's ethnicities is overwhelming in the choice of O'Toole, the camera work, the score, the pacing, the irony. Everything about that movie works, and will continue to work for centuries to come.

Originally posted by opti
But getting to the point, I don't even know how to pick older films to view other than going by lists such as the AFI (or imdb.com rankings as another example). If I just pick something at random based on the front cover or the description on the back, I would likely do a lot worse than if I pick from something like the AFI list. My motivation was not to just watch old movies, but to see some of the movies widely considered to be some of the best ever created. Before viewing the aforementioned films I thought I was rather limited in my exposure to only recent popular fare, and I'd expose myself to everything I'd been missing from previous decades. Now I'm thinking the opposite is true -- these lists should be dominated by recent films.
I don't go to imdb.com anymore. Instead, I find classic movies with allmovie.com. That site has given me more information than imdb has ever given me, save for a few bits of info. Plus, it's a lot faster without all the crazy ads. Just look through a director's filmography, or their rankings of different genres like Period Films, etc, and you'll see for yourself how many different films you'll discover.
Old 08-01-04, 11:34 AM
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I love film from just about all eras but just because a film or films appear on a classic films list doesn't mean they're universally liked. For instance, Lawrence of Arabia appears on many classic films list but I just couldn't get into it when I watched it. Doesn't mean it's a bad movie or doesn't deserve its status, just that it didn't appeal to me even though I really like epic filmmaking. Perhaps in a few years, I will grow into an appreciation for it. However, there are many more films that I DO like right now from classic films lists: Citizen Kane, casablanca, maltese falcon (my personal favorite film, Bridge on the river kwai, north by northwest, etc....

Keeping your options open is certainly your best bet. Watch the films that appeal to you from now, but every now and then pick a 'classic' film and see if you like it any better. This forum is the best place to find recommendations that may appeal to you I personally think the AFI best lists aren't really the best place to start. I know I could think of a ton of movies I think deserve to be on those lists other than some of the ones that are there.

Michael
Old 08-01-04, 02:44 PM
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Originally posted by Groucho
Here's just a few of the problems with so-called "classic films":

1. No hip-hop soundtrack.

2. Very few jump-cut edits. Sometimes shots are allowed to go on for more than five seconds...even minutes!!!

3. Not enough blood or tits.

4. No cool shots of the hero putting on sunglasses and calmly walking away from a huge explosion in slow motion.

5. All the characters are too chatty! STFU already, and blow shit up!

6. A lot of them have original stories, meaning I have to pay more attention to the plot. Couldn't they adapt a comic book or a television show like they do now?

7. Today's actors are just more talented. Classic movies really suffer from not having such greats as Halle Berry, Will Smith, Rob Schneider, Rosie O'Donnell, etc.
Not only is this funny to read, but I also suspect that this list is the reason some people don't like classics or films that aren't non-stop action.
Old 08-01-04, 02:52 PM
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For the last 6 months, I have been watching almost exclusively older films (70's down to the 30's) I really can't stand most of the current offerings of films out there - they are geared at 16 year olds. I am 26 so I don't think I am an old fogey yet.
Old 08-01-04, 03:13 PM
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Originally posted by chanster
For the last 6 months, I have been watching almost exclusively older films (70's down to the 30's) I really can't stand most of the current offerings of films out there - they are geared at 16 year olds. I am 26 so I don't think I am an old fogey yet.
If you're looking to the boxoffice list of films, then I can understand why you're looking at older films.

But there are a decent amount of great independant and foreign films released today - and those are worth checking out.
Old 08-01-04, 03:23 PM
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To each their own. I will say that the time definitely plays a part in enjoyment and believability of a movie. For instance, right now I am watching a John Wayne film festival on TCM. The movies are pretty cheesy, but they probably weren't at the time. FWIW, I find their shortcomings pale in comparison to those in modern movies.
In terms of Lawrence of Arabia, I was able to sit through it twice in my lifetime and really found it awe-inspring. The only problem is that it really is a slow moving film without the knowledge of why the movie is a classic. If I had seen movies like Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence, or Dr. Zhivago without doing some serious research on David Lean and the time period in which he made movies, I too would probably be disappointed.
In short, you might have to do homework to enjoy some classics. The only classic that I truly find to stand the test of time and never get old is Casablanca, which I think is pretty close to a flawless movie if I have ever seen one.
Old 08-01-04, 03:30 PM
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I definately agree. I can't watch old movies. And no I don't want to see them modernized or colorized or anything to make me like it. Sure there's people that love that stuff but for me I'd take a modern film over an old one anyday. I can see the influences and all of that stuff but I just can't get into old movies. I hate musicals also and think it's stupid for someone to just start singing about nothing in peticular, because it doesn't happen in real life. A big thing for me is the style of acting... acting now is done more realistally, but old movies they just talked different, almost reminding me of how they do things in theater stuff. I just like newer styles better, but for the folks that like the classics, let em

It's the same with music too. I've been a metal guy since high school (15 years ago). People tell me how I have to like Led Zepplin or old Black Sabbath, but I don't. It just sounds like heavier classic rock to me, which I just don't like. It's not so much the subject matter or the songs themselves, it's the way they were recorded and the way they sound. Judas Priest is a good example, I can't stand their old stuff, but I love the newer stuff and Rob Halford's solo stuff, and I also love when he covers the old Priest songs, because they sound better with the modern kinda equipment, etc, than they did back when they first came out.

Stuff evolves and gets better. If someone likes the old stuff that's great, but me personally I'd rather take the newer stuff, even if they don't make em like they used to
Old 08-01-04, 03:34 PM
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Groucho

5. All the characters are too chatty! STFU already, and blow shit up!


A good film is a good film, be it Citizen Kane or Spiderman 2. I don't understand those who think classic films are overrated any more than I understand those who think modern films are unworthy. While a precious few films are "timeless," most are indicative of their times. This is neither good nor bad, just simply the reality. On the whole, I'm not sure I'd even agree that filmmaking has advanced; it's simply different. We've advanced in many areas and moved backward in many others. Much like language, it's a constantly changing process, and I don't really see any era as better or worse than another.

Pick what you believe to be the absolute greatest film of all time. 50 years from now many people will wonder what the hell was so great about it. The film won't change, but the world around it will. The film won't suddenly become overrated, just people's perceptions and expectations. Strip away all the superficial stuff, though, and a meaningful story with compelling characters will stand strong regardless of when it was made, the quality of the special effects, or the style of the acting.

Some classics are overrated; some are brilliant masterpieces. The same can be said for films of this era and will be true for films of the next. It's also true for anime and foreign films and television and music and every form of entertainment, and I think you're really missing out if you limit yourself away from something, especially what one would call "classic films."

Btw, I wouldn't consider the AFI Top 100 list to be gospel or anything. Look at all their other lists, and you'll see that they're largely a popularity contest, and if you're a film lover, you will often disagree with the public. It's certainly a decent starting point if you're unfamiliar with all the titles, but there are many films on that list that I don't think are particularly worthy of their placement, and many that I can't believe were left off. I'd suggest you keep at it, but if you didn't like The Godfather (more than "to a degree"), you may be beyond hope.

das
Old 08-01-04, 03:37 PM
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Dr. DVD

To each their own. I will say that the time definitely plays a part in enjoyment and believability of a movie. For instance, right now I am watching a John Wayne film festival on TCM. The movies are pretty cheesy, but they probably weren't at the time. FWIW, I find their shortcomings pale in comparison to those in modern movies.
I love a good John Wayne festival.

das

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