I don’t like movies. That simple fact seems to shock my friends and colleagues to no end, but it’s true: I’m just not a very big fan of movies.
That’s not to say I don’t own any movies or have never watched one before; that would be a crazy notion in the modern world.
I like some movies, but if someone were to invite me to watch a movie with them, I’d probably decline, because more often than not, I don’t enjoy watching them.
Movies leave me craving more substance but are extremely limited by time restraints.
Compared to other forms of entertainment, film is by far the shortest and the least capable of in-depth content; it just can’t keep up.
Unlike television shows, video games, or books—which offer hours, days, or even weeks of entertainment—movies are unable to create detailed stories or characters in the few hours it takes to watch one from beginning to end.
Most movies run anywhere from one to four hours, although two to three is probably the average for mainstream films. A lot of content (especially character development) is sacrificed to ensure that more plot points can be included in the allotted time. Not many people would be willing to watch a seven-hour movie in the theater, no matter how good the content was (so many bathroom breaks); it’s just not practical for the fast-paced lifestyles of Westerners.
While you can read a chapter of a book per day on your commute to work, movies are watched in one sitting. They have to be relatively short, so content and subtlety found in other forms of media are cut in this particular medium. An important character trait or a gradual change of heart might take four hundred pages of a novel to develop; it will feel more realistic than the same idea reduced to thirty or forty minutes of screen time. Which is a shame, because a lot of excellent content is being wasted because it doesn’t fit the time constraints.
I am a bit biased when it comes to content and content length. As an avid reader of fantasy, a 1,000 page book, one of 12 or 13 in a series, is not an uncommon occurrence. That much content, or 60 hours of a video game, is a lot different than a three-hour film, and I think that’s one of the biggest reasons I don’t really like movies.
When I sit down to a movie, I’m left wondering what happened to all the content I’m used to seeing with my stories. Even television shows, which share a lot in common with films, are able to address these issues of content quality because they can run for hour after hour, season after season.
Recently, my friends “convinced” me to start watching some of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’ve seen through Phase One and am part of the way through Phase Two.
I still haven’t seen the newest films (so no spoilers!), but this is the most time I’ve spent watching movies in years. And it’s weird to say, but I’m enjoying myself.
For the girl who has never really enjoyed movies, this is a big deal.
After watching some, though, I realized that the new Marvel movies aren’t similar to other movies being released. Sure, they include action and comedy (staples of the movie industry), but despite each movie only running for three hours, they seem to have conquered the issue of content discrepancy.
The Avengers and other titles in the MCU help tie multiple movies together in a way that is uncommon in the industry. For someone like me who wants more content and better character and plot development, this makes the movie-watching experience more engaging and entertaining.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even admit that I like movies.