Movies Are Getting Longer — ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3’ Continues the Trend — World of Reel

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Movies Are Getting Longer — ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3’ Continues the Trend — World of Reel

Is it just me or are movies getting longer these days? It seems to be an unwritten rule, for many moviegoers, that a film should be anywhere between 90 to 120 minutes.

Much shorter, and you don’t get your money’s worth. Much longer, and you start getting restless. We’ve been trained to expect two hours.

Of course, this isn’t a complaint. As Roger Ebert once said “No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.”

A change seems to have occurred in the last year or two. The latest blockbuster stamped with an epic length is James Gunn’s upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3” which officially clocks in at 2 hours and 29 minutes.

It’s set to become the fourth longest film in MCU history. This goes along well with the recent trend that longer is better in the blockbuster world

“Avatar: The Way of Water” was 192 minutes. “Babylon” was 188 minutes. “Dune” was 155 minutes. “The Batman” clocked in at 176 minutes. Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” will be around 180 minutes.

Not to mention that the latest cut of this coming summer’s “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning” currently stands at over 3 hours. Paramount’s boss has admitted to wanting a trim.

If you’re an avid cinephile, length won’t matter all that much to you, especially if you’re used to, much like myself, watching double or even triple features at Saturday matinees.

When considering a single movie that breaks the sacred 120-minute barrier, there’s hope that it will use its runtime to take its time and build a world that absorbs you, takes you out of your current reality. If the film accomplishes what it sets out to do, you could even come out of it transformed, in a state of pure bliss.

“The Godfather: Part Two” (212 minutes), “Fanny and Alexander” (312 minutes) and “Shoah” (526 minutes) are examples of long films that I can’t imagine cutting a single minute of.

More recently, Scorsese’s “The Irishman” boldly went on for 210 minutes, some modern audiences believed it was perfect, whereas others predictably complained about the length. It didn’t help that a majority of the people who watched ‘Irishman’ did so by streaming it on Netflix.

I’m typing this piece as “John Wick: Chapter 4” is being seen by millions of Americans this weekend. It’ll top the box-office with an opening of over $70 million. Its 169 minute runtime will likely not bother the masses looking for their thrilling fix of ‘Wick.’

Maybe we’ve underestimated the attention spans of modern-day audiences, the fervent binge-watching world we live in has possibly made them more willing to watch a 3-hour movie. I just hope these same audiences don’t mistake the cinema for their living rooms and take out their brightly-lit phones in the theater. Just make sure not to buy that stuff extra large soda beforehand.

“The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.” – Alfred Hitchcock

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