Matt Damon Has Explained Why They Don’t Make Decent Movies Anymore (and it makes total sense)
If you’ve followed my Facebook page or this site for a while and regularly read my posts you’ll probably know that I like to have a rant from time to time. A common theme of many of my posts is “why don’t they make good movies anymore?!”
Don’t get me wrong, they do still make the odd good film but when I say “good” I’m generally talking about the kind of films they made in the 1980’s and 90s. Films (and music) back then were just so much more original than they are today with a lot of movies launching franchises that are still being milked dry even now, years later.
These days the film industry seems to be built on unnecessary sequels, remakes, superhero movies, and films that are aimed at the family-friendly market, presumably in an attempt to ensure more money gets taken at the box office.
So what happened? Why did things change so drastically?
Well, I’ve often wondered this myself, and I think I’ve found the answer!
You may or may not of heard of a YouTube show called Hot Ones. On the show, host, Sean Evans interviews celebrities while they work their way through a platter of increasingly spicy chicken wings.
It’s now in its 18th series and has featured the likes of Kevin Hart, Josh Brolin, Colin Farrell, Tom Holland, Salma Hayek, Matthew McConaughey, Millie Bobby Brown, Drew Barrymore and countless others (and that’s not mentioning musicians like Ed Sheeran and Dave Grohl).
In one of the most recent episodes Matt Damon took on the challenge and was asked to give his insight into what changed within the industry to result in the kind of movies we grew up watching not being made anymore. His answer makes total sense.
He basically said that DVDs used to be a huge part of the business, and that technology (streaming in particular) has unfortunately made them obsolete.
He said that when a movie that wasn’t guaranteed to be a box office hit was released, the studio would get a second chance to make its money back with DVD sales. As fewer people bought them however, it became more important for a film to do well at the box office because there was a greater risk of losing money.
Ironically a lot of the films Matt Damon built his career on are the kind that are now considered “too risky” which is why we’re not getting so many films like Good Will Hunting, Dogma and The Talented Mr. Ripley anymore.
Home video has always been hugely important to the movie industry and has given a lot of films that either flopped, or that just weren’t very well received at the box office a new lease of life on video and DVD.
Films like The Thing (1982), Blade Runner (1982), The Big Lebowski (1998), Donnie Darko (2001), Fight Club (1999) and even The Shawshank Redemption (1994) weren’t box office smashes, and in some cases were panned by critics. It was largely thanks to home video that these films became the fan (and cult) favourites they’ve since become.
In a lot of ways I guess we’re to blame.
I’ve always loved collecting films. First it was VHS tapes, then DVDs, and for a shorter period, Blu-Rays. I used to buy loads, but even I don’t really buy them anymore - just the odd movie that I like so much that I feel the need to own a physical copy.
With streaming becoming more and more popular, and with an increasing amount of original films being released directly to those streaming sites I worry about the future of cinemas. We’ve already lost video shops like Blockbuster, as well as countless independent rental shops.
Could cinemas soon become obsolete with the ever increasing popularity of streaming? I really hope not. Streaming has already become partly responsible for the decline of decent films. Let’s hope that’s where the damage ends.
I still think it’s a shame that the younger generation will never experience going to a video shop to rent a movie on a Saturday night. It was such a big part of my youth, and something we always looked forward to as a family. It would be a tragedy if the experience of watching the latest big release at the cinema while munching on a tub of popcorn became a thing of the past.
Now that Matt Damon has answered this burning question for me it actually seems quite obvious. As much as knowing this information doesn’t change anything as far as the quality of new movies is concerned, it will at least stop me ranting about it so much in future posts.
If you want to watch the actual interview, check out the video below. Just skip to the 14 minute mark to see that particular part of the interview (or just watch the whole thing).
What do you think about this revelation? Do you even agree that films aren’t as good now as they used to be?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.