It’s too Long!

For a long time, I was not a binge watcher. Binge eater? Yes. But when it came to TV series, I was a one at a time kind of guy. In the past few years, all that has changed; I must be losing my capacity for patience as I get older. I now look forward to an evening dedicated to one particular show. And I make sure I have plenty of snacks.

Considering how “Netflix and chill” has become the new national motto, it slightly surprises me that there are those that complain about the length of movies these days. This subject comes up now and then on Twitter; which explains a lot.

Every now and then, I watch Turner Classic Movies, and when I do, I sometimes join the discussion on #TCMParty. A few months ago, some people said that they couldn’t watch Doctor Zhivago, because they had to get up early the next morning. Others refused to watch because the film was “too long.” That’s okay–to each their own. The other night, someone claimed that both Lawrence of Arabia, and Bridge on the River Kwai were “sickeningly long.” Well… You are entitled to that opinion.

I believe that a great three hour film feels shorter than a crappy ninety minute movie. But, how long is too long? If Lawrence of Arabia was made today, it would be in two parts; which is something else a lot of people like to complain about. I’m sure that the story could betold in half of the film’s 228 minute running time, but it would not be the same.

If Albert Einstein taught us anything, it’s that time is relative. The Insider lasts 157 minutes, but it doesn’t feel like it, since the film is well paced. One thing I have noticed about a lot of action films made in the past few years is that there is a bit of a lull that occurs just after the big scene that takes place around the one hour mark. Why is that? I have no clue. I don’t know if it’s a writing thing or a me thing. It’s entirely possible it’s there so people won’t miss anything when they go out for more popcorn.


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