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15 October, 2008 / Erik

End of Days?

J. J. Abrams and I agree on something! According to MTV, Abrams will release his Star Trek film as a lean two hours. His reasoning?

“I’m sick of these two hours and forty-five minute movies. Seriously, it’s like I don’t have enough time to stay two hours and forty-five minutes. I’m exhausted just saying that twice. I can’t stand it.”

While not the most elloquently phrased thought, it is a true statement. Major tentpole movies have a habit of being twenty-five to forty-five minutes too long. Look at most modern Bond movies (or even some of the early ones), the major conflict and bad guys are dealt with, but another twenty-five minute set peice follows. “The World is Not Enough” and “Moonraker” are glaring examples of it. For years, people have been saying Spielberg’s movies are around twenty minutes too long. Imagine how much more palatable A.I. and Minority Report would be at roughly two hours long.

So how did it come to this? Remember all those stories we’d hear about the director fighting to keep his movie in tact, but the exhibitors wanting a two hour flick to have one additional showing a night? It seems that old saw no longer applies. Maybe it’s an infection of Special Edition DVD thinking. In any event, I find it interesting both Abrams and “Quantum of Solace” director Marc Forrestor have chosen to make their big winter releases shorter. Action movies should pace closer to comedy than epic drama.

Except, of course, if you’re making an adaptation of “Dune.”

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