Monday, April 16, 2007

My butt can sit for just so long

The box office failure of the 195-minute “double-bill” Grindhouse apparently has the movie industry in such an uproar that director David Yates has been ordered to cut the running time of this summer’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Grindhouse itself is being released overseas as two separate films and may be re-released as two distinct features — Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof — here in the U.S., as well. (I have to wonder how the DVD will be issued; as two movies plus a full Grindhouse “special edition”?)

I’ve been complaining about the long running time of recent movies for quite awhile now. Peter Jackson's King Kong was an hour too long. I thought last summer’s Superman Returns suffered from 45 minutes it really didn’t need. The second Pirates of the Caribbean movie was so long it bored me stiff. And all the Harry Potter films, in my opinion, have been waaaay too long for my taste; of course, I’m not a big fan of those movies, anyway.

On the other hand, I enjoyed what Rodriguez and Tarantino tried to do with Grindhouse. It warranted its extra length because it was a two-for-one exploitation extravaganza. Most moviegoers just didn’t seem to “get it.” Ah well...

I hear that my next “must see” flick — Spider-Man 3 — runs about two and a half hours. Does Spidey deserve a film of that length? I guess we’ll know on May 4.


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