But sequels ..

Something that Clamjamz has mentioned in passing (more than once) has actually been on my mind lately. That is: Movies Suck. What happened?

The way I see it, films "jumped the shark" around 1997. Sure, you have a few hits here and there (Fight Club, Sixth Sense and The Matrix all came out in 1999), but my instinct is that these films are the exceptions that prove the rule. Pre-1997, each year has more notable hits than Post 1997. I don't want to list films, because this isn't a proof on the hypothesis, it's a question of causality. What happened in 1997 that made movies terrible?

The easy answer is CG. CG allows a director/studio easy access to effects without forcing them to consider the necessity of an individual shot. But CG isn't a total cinematic Hitler. I think Jurassic Park is one of the best summer films of all time, and we know that its visual success is due to the inclusion of computer graphics.

So, what else happened in 1997? The proliferation of the Internet and the rise of the WWF.

The internet really hit its stride in the mid-90's. The effect it had on film is tangible; just look at what Aint-It-Cool-News second-guessing did to Batman and Robin. Test screenings and hype became as important as the film itself.

And the WWF mentality stripped horror/action/thriller films of their meditative fugues. Look at the difference between Nightmare on Elmstreet (not a great movie) and Freddy Vs Jason (A terrible one). Or Aliens/Predator compared to Aliens Vs Predator? Films are no longer a patient exploration of fear or hate - they are cage matches of over-the-top characters.

Again, we can argue the truth of any of these sophisms all day long, but -- what I'm searching for is an answer to a nauseating modern instinct. I think it's something we all realize when we buy our tickets for ... hell, even Kill Bill 2. It's just not good. There are objective qualities that are elements of good movie making and storytelling, and they're absent from the majority of today's films.

Terminator 3 sucked.