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Movies Today: Old News or New Ideas

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/2/2014 Category: Movies
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,437 times Debate No: 58505
Debate Rounds (3)
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Debate No. 3 (see previous debate for explanation)

I was at work the other day and a few us got to talking, the topic, are the movies of today really any different than movies of the past. This discussion wasn't about better graphics and CGI and special effects. We were discussing plot lines and substance. Basically, do movies ever really surprise us anymore or are the endings predictable? I'm actually of two minds on the subject but for the purpose of this debate I'm going to argue the side of, No, movies aren't any more predictable than they were twenty years ago.
One really excellent example of this is the movie Identity. If you've never seen it then you don't know but if you have...well tell me, were you able to predict the ending? And if you say yes I'm going to be real blunt and say it right now, liar.
Anyhow, movies are still entertaining and fun to watch, and if they were as predictable as some may say, then why are so many people still going to see them?

On a side note, I don't debate to win or lose, I don't debate to a resolution or whatever. I debate because I enjoy having intelligent, fun and sometimes heated arguments with those who don't agree with me. Heck, I love arguing with myself, which is why I'm so often on the fence on issues. So go ahead and debate with me but just know that it's all in fun and I, for one, am not taking it all that seriously. At least not on the matter of movies.


Shakespeare wrote , "The poet toys with the old idea that 'there is nothing new under the sun." Movies tend to follow a typical set of rules and guidelines. Sometimes movies that seem to break these guidelines come along and we remember them. Identity was not one of them. By that I mean one that broke the rules. The way it was presented was unique. But the basic rules of the genre were the same.

Identity is basically a who done it story. These stories are detective stories. One of the rules of this genre is that the audience must have the opportunity to solve the crime. That means that the audience has to be shown everything that is needed to figure out who is doing the crime. A clever person can figure out the the murderer. Roger Ebert wrote , "Altogether, there are 10 guests. One by one, they die. Agatha Christie fans will assume that one of them is the murderer--or maybe it's the clerk...I think it is possible that some audience members, employing [my] Law of Economy of Characters, might be able to arrive at the solution slightly before the movie does."

"And Then There Were None" is a who done it style book written by Agatha Christie. The plot? 10 characters arrive at a deserted location...they start getting killed off one by one. Sound familiar? It was recreated into several films itself.

The question was asked, "if they were as predictable as some may say, then why are so many people still going to see them?"

One of the rules for beginning screen writers is to keep it around 90 minutes long. Why? Because people don't want to sit in a theater much longer than that. Structure is very important in screenplays. Ever hear Kevin Smith talk about working on big budget films? He talks about how you must have an action beat every so many pages. Then this has to happen hear. This structure is very important in films.

Many of the rules and guidelines for each genre come into being specifically with the audience in mind. Romantic comedies almost always follow the patter of boy meets girl. At least one of them falls in love. There is some conflict that keeps them apart. They finally resolve the conflict. That is what people go to see when they watch a romantic comedy.

It doesn't stop there. Overall themes are often repeated. Good vs Evil is one of the most common themes in films? Why is is so common? Because that is what people want to watch. We enjoy that struggle on some level.

We are creatures of habit. To show how little most people like surprises....Books are one of the most popular sources for films. What happens when a film is adapted to from a novel? Changes are made. What happens (which baffles me)? People complain. They want the film to be just like the book. No change.

Just to close how I started. My opening quote was by Shakespeare. It is often said that he plagiarized his works. Why? Because he copied from what was popular. Why? Because he understood that is what people wanted. I would wager that it dates back as far as we have story telling.
Debate Round No. 1
Debate Round No. 2


Jelera forfeited this round.


macaztec forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by macaztec 7 years ago
No worries.
Posted by Jelera 7 years ago
Sorry about this, I'm going to be really busy the next few days.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by telisw37 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Bop not established, con had better argument, con had better grammar, con did a much better job ?
Vote Placed by lannan13 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession by Pro.

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