What Makes A Movie Great?

Author: ethang5 ,

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  • ethang5
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    It seems to me, that if people pay to see movies, then the movie ought to deliver what the person is paying for.

    I know different people want different things from movies, but surely we can come up with a somewhat common denominator?

    Enjoyment? Too general.
    Escapism? Too vague.

    We want a movie to take us into its world, and make us believe and enjoy the experience. So then the movie must have an interesting world, be consistent and plausible within its world, and gave us experiences that are creative and enjoyable within that world.

    Does that cover it?

    A great soundtrack is not a great movie.
    A beautiful lead actor is not a great movie.
    Neither is titillation.

    Going by these criteria, what is a great movie?
  • SirAnonymous
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    --> @ethang5
    The greatest movie is the one that makes the most money, of course!
  • ethang5
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    --> @SirAnonymous
    There is some validity to that. That is the same reason Coca Cola and McDonalds can be called "great". They deliver what the buyer wants.

    A movie cannot keep packing people into theaters week after week if it isn't giving them what they are forking out their hard earned money for.

    I just also think it is possible for a "great" movie to tank at the box office too. Today, good marketing is almost as important to  movie success as is good storytelling.

    A stinker may hit because of good  marketing, and a good movie may tank  because of poor marketing.
  • SirAnonymous
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    --> @ethang5
    That's true, but it doesn't fit in a vaguely funny one-liner.

  • ethang5
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    --> @SirAnonymous
    OK. At least it was more than vaguely funny.

    So what movie(s) qualify to you as great movie(s)?

  • SirAnonymous
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    --> @ethang5
    Casablanca, Ben-Hur, White Christmas, The Great Escape.
  • ethang5
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    --> @SirAnonymous
    Classic old school guy huh? Those are certainly great movies.

    Let me see If I can peg you based on the few choices you mentioned above.

    You would also like:
    12 Angry Men
    The Shawshank Redemption
    Gladiator

    How did I do?



  • SirAnonymous
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    I don't know; I've never seen any of those.
  • ebuc
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    E.T. was the first movie to really prove this point below.  PG sells most.

    ..." Numbers show that PG and PG-13 films gross roughly twice what R-rated films take in. ... anyone under 17, has a necessarily smaller potential audience. ... impact when rating films, she recalled former MPAA chief Jack Valenti addressing the ... PG-13 is the ratings classification showing the biggest returns. "........

     Best is in eye beholder. First " Blade Runner " was best.

    Science, action { dyanmic }, visually stimulating { technological }, music theme { electronic } and piano music in apartment, romance { sexual tension }, imagination of potential humanity, some mystery, but could have used deeper mystery to be even better, i. more twists and turns ex as in the " The Firm " { Tom Crusie }.

    No dancing was also lacking tb more  wholistic.





  • ethang5
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    --> @SirAnonymous
    I don't know; I've never seen any of those.

    Wow. Just wow.

  • ethang5
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    --> @ebuc
    The latest Blade Runner was not bad.
  • SirAnonymous
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    --> @ethang5
    I'm not a big movie guy. I watch my fair share of movies, but there are a lot of popular movies that I haven't seen.
  • ebuc
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    --> @ethang5
    The latest Blade Runner was not bad.
    It lacked something or a few somethings compared to the first. A little to slow, and hard to see into or follow what ever was Gosling kept thinking and search to find out, if he was and android or not.

    The android in the rain, chooses to save Ford from falling from edge of roof, to show that has the compassion of human. Then he dies and the white bird{ dove } flys from his arms.

    Golsing didnt have the romance in his movie that Ford had.

    " .....Do androids dream of electric sheep? "..P K. Dick

    Oh yeah, neither had much comedy, however, Ford does have a few funny lines in his so it may also have been more comic than goslings. Plus th comical robots in the engineers apartment.



  • ethang5
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    --> @SirAnonymous
    I'm not a big movie guy.
    I'll say. So if not movies, what are you into?

    But from your Dart name, I know you've seen the movie V For Vendetta right?

  • ethang5
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    --> @ebuc

    ".....Do androids dream of electric sheep? "..P K. Dick
    I love science fiction! And Dick is one of the greats.
  • SirAnonymous
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    --> @ethang5
    I haven't seen that movie either. I read history.
  • ethang5
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    --> @SirAnonymous
    OK. History is cool.

    If you get a chance, watch that movie. It has a connection to your name and has a history related theme.
  • SirAnonymous
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    Ok.
  • blamonkey
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    --> @ethang5
    Quality is subjective. There are elements of films that add to enjoyment for most people, (i.e. good actors, good cinematography etc.) Personally, I want a movie that immerses me. If I forget that I am slumped on the couch and sloppily eating popcorn, then it has succeeded in its purpose. Some movies rise above those expectations by posing interesting philosophical questions, defying the norm, using versatile actors, possessing interesting dialogue, etc. Those movies, the ones that do more than simply immerse me by also intriguing me, those are the ones that have lasting appeal and cement themselves as great movies. However, many film-makers, in their attempt to embellish a story to make it more interesting, will remove the audience from the immersive world they created to remind them that they are only watching a movie. Take, for example, The Lady in the Water. Most would agree that the film is sluggish, insipid, and fails to have any significant message. The director, (Shyamalan) tries to establish motifs without subtlety (in one case by literally naming one of the characters "Story"), indulges in idiosyncratic dialogue, and gives every single character a quirk in favor of character development. Context is practically absent from most of the film, and when there is context, it is an inscrutable mess.

    Qualities such as idiosyncratic dialogue or motifs, when used by other film-makers, can make a story more interesting. Pulp Fiction uses both to establish character (i.e. Vince Vega's vast knowledge of pop culture and social awkwardness) and leave the audience intrigued (i.e. the briefcase that *spoiler warning* is filled with something so magnificent, but is never seen by the audience.) The movie doesn't come off as boring or pretentious either because it still tells an interesting story regardless of whether the audience members are looking for motifs or interesting tidbits about a character and because it employs a Tarantino-brand mix of low-brow and high-brow humor which is still interesting for the lay moviegoer without sacrificing its core theme of redemption and "doing right" in a world gone wrong.

    The fundamental difference between the two movies is fun. Shyamalan uses the elements of movies to create a story that is both boring as meaningless, while Tarantino uses them to tell a cohesive, philosophically potent story while not veering too far into high-brown nonsense and maintaining audience enjoyment. I enjoy watching Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta joke about foot massages right before bursting into a room and assassinating their target. I don't enjoy whatever happens in any of the scenes from The Lady in the Water. 

    So yeah, an immersive story with intriguing elements are the most important things to me.

    As far as my favorite movies:

    Fight Club
    Pulp Fiction
    Mulholland Drive
    Kingsman: Secret Service
    Thank You for Smoking
    The Great Debaters
    Groundhog Day
    Forrest Gump
    National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

    There are more, but I can't think of them right now.
  • ethang5
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    --> @blamonkey
    Excellent post. Agree on all points and all movies chosen. This post is like the kind of vote that clique vote mods hate. Too smart to be dismissed.

    Funny you should mention Tarantino. I just saw an interview where he said that he viewed the audience like an orchestra and him the conductor that leads them.

    The two interesting things about this was that first,  in his analogy, the movie became the musical instruments and was manipulated by the orchestra, and second, It is the orchestra that makes the music, not the conductor!

    In Tarantino's view, it is difficult to say who "makes" the movie. No wonder his movies are so likable. If I made a movie, I would like it! One thing I like about him is that his movies tend to be emotionally satisfying. Why other filmmakers don't see the necessity for this is a mystery.
  • SirAnonymous
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    --> @ethang5
    This post is like the kind of vote that clique vote mods hate. Too smart to be dismissed.
    You do remember that he is a vote mod?

  • ebuc
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    I watched original Blade Runner 1983 last night. In opening stage setting, the begin with textual narravtive..." in the year 2019 ".... Ha!


    Blade Runner 1983 awards

  • SupaDudz
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    I like TV shows more than movies tbh with ya
  • ethang5
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    --> @SupaDudz
    Yeah, Since GoT, Breaking Bad, and etc, TV has gotten a lit better.
  • ethang5
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    --> @SirAnonymous
    I never forgot, so I didn't have to remember. ; )