The slippery slope for movies

Julian Smith, Staff Writer

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Movies have been ingrained into American society since the 1920’s when they were first introduced. In recent times, however, it seems that with the shift in society came also a shift in movies themselves, from a respected art form to a money-making celebrity popularity contest.

 Maybe it can be attributed to the repetitive nature of movies and their ideas, or lack thereof; nonetheless, movies have progressively failed to connect with their intended audiences.

It remains evident that the lack of originality is becoming more and more prevalent. Although some movies are rewriting the outlines for movies and creating innovative ideas, not all are following in their footsteps. Movies have become predictable, cliche, and outright boring.

In 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported  that since 2003, movie attendance rates have dropped from 1.6 billion to 1.3 billion.

Senior Samantha Demattei said, “I mean I think every movie is good, but I definitely see the decline in their overall quality.”

American society has always valued its celebrities, but advancements in media placed a ridiculous amount of attention given to them. People in our society find one star and hold them close as if they had a personal relationship. And frankly, there is a mold in which celebrities must fit into: good-looking, charismatic, charming, and overall attractive.

Since the bottom-line for any business is profit, many big blockbusters now cast which ever celebrity poses the most appeal to their movie, not necessarily who is the most fitting for the role, but who attracts the most attention to the movie.

Senior Michelle Kopetman said, “I’ll watch any movie with Robert Downey Jr. in it.” Kopetman, as with many others, have become so attached to single actors that it is easy to neglect the art of film-making or the overall quality of the movie in general.

There will always be an offspring of extremely talented movie actors, but in today’s society, with no connections to Hollywood comes little chance to ever become a household name. This popularity contest of sorts allows for the famous to remain famous and the unknown to remain unknown.

Actors like Morgan Freeman, 76, or Jack Nicholson, 76, are becoming aged. Leaving with them their revolutionary performances that have yet to been reproduced in the modern era. With many of the great actors in American history either passed away or approaching it, it seems little can be done to fill their Shaq sized shoes.

Historically, going to the movies have always been cheap compared to other forms of entertainment, but now with prices for a ticket reaching $15 it is no longer just a fun family outing.

As if the ticket prices were not enough, popcorn and a drink now costs upwards of $10, not including all of the other enticing snacks the movies employ upon us. The movies have transformed from a fun family getaway into a financial burden. All catering to the financial gain to be made by the largely monopolized movie business.

Roger Ebert, acclaimed movie critic, asserted “Ticket prices are too high… the charm of paying a hefty surcharge has worn off for the hypothetical family of four.”

With all of that said, today’s movies are some of the most innovative, life-like, and awe-inspiring ever seen on the big screen.

Movies like “The Hurt Locker,” 2008, put its audiences through the lens of a man in combat in such a realistic and endearing way that it is near impossible to not fall in love with it.

“Avatar,” 2009, brought special effects to an unprecedented realm, one which engrossed the attention of near all who watched it through its surreal special effects. Perhaps the most innovative of all movies in the modern era.

Movies like these, and many others, instill a sense of past enjoyment back into movies. An enjoyment that so strongly compels anyone to go to the big-screen, if they can withstand the small fortune it costs to see them.

Our technology may have shifted much of our attention to celebrities, but it also came with absolutely stunning special effects. These new special effects put the audience in a place as if they were in the film itself, a much needed tool for directors when drawing up innovative ideas and creative scenes is the livelihood of their jobs today.

Senior Logan McPherson said, “Special effects make me feel like I’m a part of the movie.”

The art of movies will never die as long as the art form itself is received and appreciated. The Academy Awards annually recognize and reward those individuals who keep the integral art of movies alive. May that be from delivering a heart-warming performance or creating the soundtrack for a movie, these are the people who keep the art relevant today and will continue to in the future.

Movies have always been a part of American society, and they will continue to have a profound affect upon our culture, but whether they can recapture their past greatness and quality will only be seen in the years to come.

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