Remember when movies were good? Remember when five dollars could lead to an enjoyable evening at the theater? Remember when all the movies up for best picture were actually worthy of the award, while there were still 20 other movies that could easily have been included in the list of nominees? Those were the days. Those were the days when movies were still well made, when movies were original and entertaining, and the movie theater was the place to be on a Friday night. Sadly, those great days have come and gone. All memories of those jubilant times have begun to disappear as quickly as a drawing one spends hours making on an Etch A Sketch dissolves into nothingness with the shake of one’s wrist.
Over the last few years, the ratio of good movies to bad movies has severely dropped. If there is one good movie released a month, I am impressed because quite frankly my expectations have diminished. When I watch the “Academy Awards” every year, I cringe seeing the nominations for Best Picture. They’re just not worthy of the same award given to such masterpieces as “The Godfather” or “Schindler’s List.” In fact, I do not believe the Best Picture Oscar has been given out to a truly deserving film since “American Beauty” won the award in 2000.
The year 1989 witnessed the release of “Ghostbusters II,” “Back to the Future II,” “Batman” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” It is not even necessary for me to explain how fucking fantastic and successful these films were and still are today, but I will anyway. I have seen each of these movies endless times, and they still raise the hairs on my neck even when I see them running on TBS every day for three weeks, every year.
There have been good movies over the last few years and there will always be good movies made, but in 10 years, I believe that the movies being run on TBS will still be “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “Groundhog Day” and not some popular movie made in the last couple of years, because unlike the most current films, the films of the past were fun, entertaining and most importantly, original. Browsing through the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), it came as no surprise that five of the most talked about upcoming movies of 2005 are remakes. One example is Peter Jackson’s (“Lord of the Rings” director) “King Kong,” which is scheduled for a Christmastime release. I find it both sad and pathetic that an industry that is so competitive can only muster a bunch of remakes. The depressing thing is that there is still so much talent in the world. Unfortunately in the film industry, politics is everything, and studio buffs only care for your script if you are a Coppola or come from some other big name family.
It is unfortunate that there are so few memorable movies made today, and the reasoning for this remains unclear. But I think that if there is one thing that has become crystal clear, it is that the price of movie tickets is directly proportional to the decline of good filmmaking. When “Batman” was released in 1989, the average ticket price was $4.10 and today it has reached $6.03, with tickets sold in Newport being sold at $9.50. So, if nothing else is settled, at least I know I’m not only seeing worse movies, but I’m paying more to see worse movies at the same time. God bless inflation. And God bless America.
Adam Wenger is an undeclared freshman.