Friday, February 08, 2008

Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

A long title and a long movie. The running time was two hours and forty minutes. After Jesse was assassinated, I tried to will the movie to end, but it didn't work. I enjoyed the movie; it had gorgeous cinematography and good acting (Casey Affleck is nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor), but it was too long. Maybe I shouldn't have watched it at night, but I really think it could have been reduced to two hours and been just as good.

Extra long films appear to be epidemic right now. I'm torn about my own feelings about this. On one hand, I think filmmakers should be able to make the movies they want to make and viewers can accept or reject that vision. If studios make all the decisions about movies, we'd live in a wasteland of films designed to appease the lowest common denominator. Who wants that? But the viewer in me wishes filmmakers had advisers or studios that called them out on their indulgences, especially the ones that are somehow above the system. No Country is another film that could have shaved 20 minutes off its two-hour run time. I haven't seen There Will be Blood, but it's 158 minutes - two hours and 38 minutes! I doubt that every frame was necessary.

And Juno is a fun, enjoyable movie, but the first third of it is overwritten and therefore comes across as fake and unrealistic. Screenwriters are always going to fall in love with their words. Someone needs to tell them when enough is enough. Honest to blog. (That is a quote from Juno, in case you were wondering.) It doesn't help when self-indulgent movies or parts of movies are nominated for prestigious awards, like this year.

Anyway, that is my soapbox for today.

(My spell check isn't working, so I apologize if there were errors in this post.)

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