film feeling flat

Cinema is constantly changing and altering as technology advances but are stories and originality suffering because of it?

In the early days of film you had people making movies to entertain audiences and distract them from life and the troubles in it. When Universal released their early monster films Boris Karloff's Frankenstein, Bela Lugosi as Dracula or Lon Chaney Jr as the wolfman it terrified and thrilled audiences alike but the magic of seeing these monsters on screen left them breathless. Over the decades after cinema has evolved going through early trials of 3D which at the time seemed like a game changing tool but costs and overly exaggerated storylines to work alongside the new tech left both audiences and studios feeling flat and underwhelmed. There are films which have made the most of the tech and opportunities available and have defined cinema as an entertainment brand. Directed by Lilli and Lana Wachowski The Matrix released in 1999 became a suprise hit and reinvented the sci fi genre with effects never seen before  and a storyline which is both gripping original and has its place in history as a landmark film as it has had imitators but has never been bettered for its off the wall visuals. Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Gladiator, Ben Hur, Halloween  the list is full of films which changed the face of genres and for varying reasons from blurring the lines of genres or groundbreaking visual effects but all these films in one way or another allowed for audiences to be immersed in the respected worlds. 

Over time cinema has become a business rather than an entertainment form as films and stories become brands rather than the immersive experiences they should be. Transformers has had various incarnations but became the global success due to Michael Bay's 5 film franchise something which began well but quickly just became both predictable and in ways overly exaggerated, but while they were profitable they were made. While the appeal of these films were always the over blown CGI setpieces the stories left alot to be desired. The Fast and Furious franchise is suffering the same issues as it nears its 9th film but the franchise is again saved by its action setpieces. These films remain profitable as audiences now have little or no choice now as it is almost becoming too much work to put together films like old and while tech advances very few films fall into the game changing catergories like before.

As cinema grows so does the technology in it. But is technology a good thing for film? While some films can in ways benefit from tech such as 3D and 4D it bares a better resemblance to a theme park novelty rather than an evolution for film. If a film requires added dimensions to enhance its appeal then you have to consider the story may be lacking. IMAX carries more appeal as it widens the scope for viewing allowing for a larger experience.

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