It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these discussion topics and there’s no better way to revive something than to talk about the past.
The one thing I’ve noticed since I’ve gotten serious about writing movie reviews is how cynical we all are. Online film reviews play a massive part in the modern-day movie industry because you can’t go and see the latest Halloween remake without checking in with one of your favourite film critics before paying to go and see it. Oh, I’m forgetting the most important thing. Once you’ve checked in with the critics you’ve also got to check out the IMDb score, Rotten Tomatoes percentage and The Metacritics score – all before doing anything with your hard-earned cash.
As for Film Critics themselves, most audiences probably think that critics come from Planet Critic-ton and then arrive here in one big fat spaceship or that they’re an Apostle of The Movie God. But the real answer is critics are just like general audiences but they have a special title and they also get paid to crap on movies and they are like fully qualified movie teachers, they teach the movie-makers how to improve their work by telling them how much they suck and they also make up their own test results. Why I say that we’re all so cynical is because we are all looking out for the worst in the movie instead of what’s best.
You’re probably asking what’s this got to do with loving older movies, well because I’ve made the observation that any movies or piece of media that is older or almost older than a decade old are normally considered automatic masterpieces because they have reached double-digits. They’re classics, they’re flawless, they’re untouchable unless they really really suck then they’ll just be panned for eternity. That’s where I came up with the question: Why do we favour older movies over newer ones? (Well I’m about to tell you.)
Let’s look at IMDb’s top 250 movies of all time. From 1 to 5 we have The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather Part 1 & 2, The Dark Knight and Pulp Fiction. The Shawshank Redemption is an excellent film but I wouldn’t really pick it as the best movie of all time, I would be more inclined towards putting The Godfather as Number 1 out of these 5. The most questionable ones for me are The Dark Knight and Pulp Fiction – both great movies but for me personally they would never touch my top 10. The Dark Knight is a great comic book movie and that’s about it. Pulp Fiction is a great movie for being very unique – it was amazing for that time but it’s nothing compared to The Godfather which I think did what Pulp Fiction did but amplified it by being epic!
From 6 to 20 I’m not going to cover all of them because it would take too long, so for starters the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy is here which is pretty much as untouchable as the Top 5. I love Lord of the Rings they’re all awesome and I love them for what they are. Inception is number 10 and I wouldn’t even let that movie touch my Top 50, same with The Matrix which is just simply overrated. As for movies that should’ve been in the top 5, Fight Club should’ve been up there. I have only seen it once and it’s already one of my favourite movies ever. I think One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest should be in the top 25 but Amadeus should come before it and it’s number 100 on this list. Also who’s idea was it to put Avengers: Infinity War as the 20th greatest movie Of All Time!
I could go on and shuffle this highest rated movie list around all day until I’m eventually satisfied but the point I’m trying to make is that all of these movies have been put on very high pedestals because they are known as the best movie of all time, or they were technically amazing for their time, or they were the best looking movie of all time. The thing is most of these movies are famous for just that. Like, for example, Inception is a technical masterpiece but it’s not a great movie, The Dark Knight is a great comic book movie but not even close to the greatest movie of all time or The Lord of the Rings accomplished what some thought was impossible, but that doesn’t excuse it from flaws altogether and The Matrix… is just overrated.
Some of the movies that I just mentioned either blew people away when they first saw it and they’ve been imprisoned on the same train for the last decade still kissing it’s toes, or it did poorly at first release and bounced back once it hit video. Then we get to the movies of today where a great movie like Hereditary or First Man will probably never get any chance to become a classic because of the thousands of movies coming out and because once it comes out, its time to forget it ever existed, that’s just the sad truth of the current market. The only way to be recognised in this current market is to be the next big dumb blockbuster, or if your movie was talked about all year, or if your movie won an Oscar, or if your movie was hated on the most and you, me and everyone on the whole damn planet promotes this!
I’m sure what I just described also happened back in the day but those earlier times didn’t have the internet and since the internet is a rapid fast party bus things don’t stick around as long as they used too. The internet is like high school basically, one moment we’re talking about how the new Venom movie sucked then next we’re talking about the new Aquaman movie, if you’re still talking about Venom then you’ll be kicked off the party bus and will be forced to hitchhike because you need to keep up with the current most popular trends.
So I believe the reason why we favor older movies over the new is simply because newer movies aren’t really made to be classics but to be conversation starters for that week, after that no one is going to care that you saw Tag when it was first released. While older movies stick in our minds because of word of mouth, all the websites you clicked on that say it’s worth watching and just simply nostalgia. I think that’s very much the case with Star Wars fans because most of the old critics of the 70’s and 80’s weren’t very favorable of the original Star Wars movies when they first came out but the kids who grew up during and after their release adored them to death while hating on every new instalment of their beloved classic.
So in the end I could talk about how much I enjoyed First Man but my small candle will be blown away by The Matrix’s bushfire. My main goal here wasn’t to bash on your favourite movies but so you could hopefully see where I’m coming from and to make the point that we treat some movies like we’re still 7 years old and all the new movies like we’re the big bully of the playground. But if you agree or disagree is entirely up to you.
I’m going to end this one on a question that I don’t expect to be answered: Pick any new movie that you saw recently and compare it to your favourite movie of all time and can you critique your favourite as if it came out today and can you critique the new movie the same way you treat one of your favorites?