We here at The Richest are massive movie fans. Like so many other people, we look forward to the release of many of Hollywood’s attempts at creating hugely lucrative and entertaining blockbusters every year. Just like you, however, we’ve noticed a few trends that are resulting in more and more movies missing the mark. We’re not here to claim the sky is falling. There are still several awesome movies that get released every year, but if only a few things could change, we’re confident the results would massively improve.
When we put together this list, we sat back and thought about all of the recurring problems that have taken away from our enjoyment of far too many movies. We’re not here to tar and feather the entire industry; we realize that every generation has their fair share of movie mistakes that spread across the cinema like a virus. Instead, we’re just hoping that taking an in-depth look at modern movies and what many fans want to see changed will eventually make someone listen.
16 Following Trends Until the Bloody End
When a business manages to attach itself to a popular trend, it is a sure-fire catalyst to immense success. Instead, when business jumps on a little bit late and attempts to ride the wave far too long after it has already come ashore it makes them look out of touch, which can easily be the kiss of death. With that said, although we realize the business side of Hollywood has a huge impact on the movies that get made, this list is focused on the creative end and trends can be just as damaging there.
15 Michael Bay
Team America: World Police said it best in the song "Pearl Harbor Sucked": why does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies? The obvious answer, of course, is that his films continue to rake in tons of moolah at the box office. Fair enough, we suppose, but the reason the question still needs to be asked is that the man’s style has had a horrible effect on the craft of filmmaking.
14 Movie Makers on Social Media
Twitter, Facebook & Snapchat: these social media platforms have served to connect people in ways the world has never seen before. Prior to this latest age, if you wanted to connect with a movie star, director or even producer you had to get lucky, stake out red carpets or become a stalker of sorts. The access we have these days, to the people who appear on our screens has allowed us to feel more invested and learn more about the intended vision for the media we love. The direction only seems to be pointing towards more access, too.
Now in Technicolor 3D! Sure, we converted a film that we made without a 3D presentation in mind and the process has made every frame far too dark, rendering the action difficult to decipher but hey it kinda looks like it is coming towards you. That’s cool, right? Shaky cam, the filmmaking marvel that delves your audience into a world of chaos! Sure, some movies have way overused the effect and god help you if you find yourself sitting in the first few rows of the theater because those poor bastards may just be queasy by the time the credits roll.
12 Poorly Lit
Since you are reading these words, we can only assume that you live in a modern world that is full of technology, which includes basic lighting, wherever you go. So we’re guessing that you, like us, spend nearly every waking moment of your life in a world that is lit by either the sun, lights or at the very least moonlight. Yet so many modern movies seem to think that covering the screen in darkness somehow creates a mood that improves the telling of their story. In some cases, that can be true. In a horror movie, for instance, when a protagonist is attempting to survive and they can’t quite make out the path, the lack of light can make us empathize with their fear.
11 Whisper Quiet and then Super Loud
Soundtracks can make a mediocre movie good and a great movie an all-time classic. The volumes at which they get played in contrast to how loud an actor speaks, unfortunately, can have the opposite outcome. Interstellar, for instance, a massively budgeted sci-fi movie with a rabid audience awaiting its release managed, at times, to render dialogue utterly unintelligible because of the overpowering music that trumped it.
10 Movies that are Too Long
One of the greatest assets filmmakers have is that the runtime of their movies, in a lot of cases, are left up to them to decide. Sometimes studios step in and exert their will so they can get a few extra screenings in but in a lot of cases the director, producers and editors have a great deal more control. Wow, do we ever wish they kept their grandiose vision more under control at times. When Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King came out, we, like almost everyone, couldn’t wait, yet somehow we were very restless in our seats by the end. Sometimes losing a scene or two can really aide an audience’s patience.
9 Story Elements that Aren’t Earned
Speaking of Batman v Superman, in a pivotal scene of that movie, a character suddenly changes his mind, one hundred eighty degrees on a dime, in a moment that is completely unearned. When you set up a motivation for an entire movie and tell us, your audience, to expect an outcome and then turn it on its head, you need to leave breadcrumbs that make the switch understandable in some way. Conversely, if you don’t want to include any foreshadowing then, at least, give us a plausible explanation and/ or discussion during the moment in question.
8 Too Many Writers
In the studio system that has worked at the core of the filmmaking industry for decades, movies are seen as a business. A strange dichotomy as they are, in fact, an actual art, the ever increasing amounts of cash that are required to make the ever larger flicks have caused those in charge to comb over every detail more and more. For the most part, these days, a concept for a film is decided upon, a budget is created and then the creative people that are supposed to make it happen are hired.
7 Trailers that Tell the Entire Story
Every once in a while, we see a perfect trailer. It whets our appetite to perfection while leaving the story of the film a mystery. If you want to see a perfect example, search YouTube for the original teaser that was put for The Shining. Featuring nothing but the unforgettable scene where an elevator opens up and a river of blood flows at the camera, audiences had to be taken aback and fascinated by how the movie made the scene make sense.
6 Lack of Female Storytellers Getting Opportunities
For the majority of Hollywood history, the people who got to decide which stories got told were men. An unsurprising but disgusting fact, since for a very long time most industries had men at their helm. Over the last few decades, as more and more women got jobs of higher stature in the industry a few female filmmakers have managed to break through at a far too slow pace. Kathryn Bigelow, the patron saint of commercially and financially prosperous female directors deserves a hell of a lot of respect but her career shouldn’t stand out so much.
5 Lack of Diversity
Movies these days have a huge representation problem. Lacking female directors is a big problem but even bigger one may just be the fact that the majority of films are directed by white people and star white people in the majority of their roles. It has become such an accepted fact that movies are mostly white, that the token friend of a different ethnicity has become a widespread mocked trope.
4 Too Many Sequels, Prequels, and Spin-Offs
Taking your project and connecting it to a franchise that is already beloved by millions of people is a no-brainer, in a world where film projects are seen as business ventures. The problem is, that for every Star Wars: The Force Awakens we can expect a bevy of Terminator sequels, A Good Die to Die Hard or Hangover retreads that get released. If we thought for an instant that most of the bean counters saw these movies as anything but a cash grab we may feel different, but alas this entry is all too necessary.
3 Too Much CGI
Computers have forever altered nearly every facet of our lives and the way films are made is far from immune. The fact that the software that makes filmmaking possible are now within the grasps of the everyday person has given some talented storytellers an opportunity they wouldn’t have had otherwise. As great as that is, we also have the computer age to blame for way too many awful effects that are a blight on the face of modern cinema.
2 Stretching Out Stories
The Deathly Hallows Part 1, and Mockingjay Part 1 are both examples of movies where a single book was drawn out into multiple movies. With each of these adaptations, one of the most common complaints was that too small of a story was spread way too thin so that the studios could make as much money as possible. Although, from a simple bookkeeping standpoint, we understand the impulse, we’re confident that over time the words part 1 on a poster will come to mean crappy quality.
1 The Studio System
If there is one thing that reading this article should make clear, it is that nearly every issue that plagues modern cinema can be blamed on the studios that hold the key to the castle in their hands. During the seventies, when they seemed to be on the brink of disaster, they handed the power over to the artists and the results speak for themselves. Movies like Apocalypse Now, Raging Bull, Star Wars, and so many other classics owe their very existence to a far more hands-off approach.
The executives that seem to be the driving force behind so many of the things we see on screen today need to have their focus dramatically shifted. They should be in charge of ensuring projects are completed under a reasonable budget while cultivating any talent, no matter their genetic makeup that shows any sign of success. If a director makes a movie that costs forty million and turns a healthy profit, put them charge of a film that costs sixty million and trust them. If you worked as an executive at Pizza Hut for example before this, you have no idea what goes into making a good movie, stop trying to pretend you do.
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