Well, observant readers of this blog will have noticed that I passed my one-year deadline to watch all my movies and only reached "M". However, I'm going to continue anyway, and review the rest. Since I now have a total of 173, and will probably even buy more over time, it will take a few months. But I am determined to continue anyway, and I hope somebody is reading and enjoying these reviews.
I'm also adding "decade" tags/labels to all movie review posts. This will make it easier to find movies by date. I will continue to list the copyright date of the film in the cataloging block of each film review.
And now for some general observations and notes. As I suspected, I don't think you can really say that films used to be better in the past than now. Some of the very best movies in my collection are from the 2000s: Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, Moulin Rouge, Batman Begins, (Batman) The Dark Knight. I'd put any of these films up against any movie from the past -- and they'd come out on top, and not simply because of advances in special effects. I personally think special effects should be used to help realistically bring the story to the screen - and an effects-laden story without heart, without character, without story never means anything to me. On the other hand, there is a tendency among film critics to sometimes dismiss a film simply because it uses a lot of special effects. This is frankly a ridiculous prejudice on the part of some film critics. Some films need special effects in order to be told correctly and in order to work as a film -- it's another tool in the director's toolbox, like music, like sound design.
Another observation, and anyone who watches a lot of movies - and not just current movies, but all movies should have noticed this, is that each era seems to produce a certain type of movie, or at least become known for a certain type of movie. The 1930s for example were known for musicals and the beginnings of Film Noir. Film Noir virtually defines the 1940s. The 1970s, by contrast, were known for comedy. The 2000s seem to be producing a lot of big budget, effects-laden epics (a echo of the 1960s maybe?). I wonder if any film historian or film studies professor has ever used a decade by decade approach to presenting the type of films that defined a decade.
Well, the project will continue, so stay tuned.
--Jacqueline O. Moleski