It's easy to forget what movies were like seventeen years ago. For myself, a twenty-one year old, that's more than half a lifetime ago. Since 2001 I think we can all agree much has changed either for the better or worse.
For example, I can legally drink alcohol now... which is a plus. We've seen three different presidents in the White House and a massive cultural shift due to an upsurging social media. So how have movies changed since then? Well, in 2001 we were lucky enough to be introduced to blockbuster hits like, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", "The Fast and the Furious", "Jurassic Park 3", "Zoolander", "Ocean's Eleven", and "Rush Hour 2".
Now let's jump to 2018 and take a look back at some recent movies as well as some upcoming, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows-- Part 2", "The Fate of the Furious", "Jurassic World", "Zoolander 2", "Ocean's Eight", and Rush Hour 4". So I guess not a whole lot has changed, right? Does this mean movies are doomed? A destiny plagued with superhero crossovers, Star Wars reboots, and any past success being renditioned with "pretty lights" and an attractive youth. No. No, of course not. And I'm not saying these movies are bad, I'm saying they lack meaning and originality. There's still plenty of good/original movies being made, you just have to find them beneath the intense glare of a renditioned Spielberg, Stan Lee or Lucas story.
I think these last few years in cinema have been a sort of buffer period. A lull in meaningful and original storytelling. But there IS a light at the end of the tunnel... I think. I believe the industry is becoming more self-aware. They tried the, "let's just throw as much money as we can into the project and hope CGI and special effects distract from our lack of story", and it worked for awhile too. But now we're bored. We want more. I'm not talking about the movies that you just rent a seat to for two hours of relaxing entertainment, I'm talking about movies that entertain you for days... weeks.
That stick with you and you can't help but think about them-- because there's a REAL story, with meaning. And so you connect with it. Or maybe it's just a memorable character that sticks out from anything you've seen before. Whatever the case, I think movies are moving in the right direction.
With an upsurge in films driven by there story and or characters, not just fancy effects and "easy on the eyes" actors. With recent movies such as, "Lady Bird", "Call Me by Your Name", "Dunkirk", "The Florida Project", and "The Revenant" we've seen that quality movies still flourish in the limelight. If it was my guess, we're moving out of the "superhero/ super effects" era and back into that warm place of meaningful storytelling.