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Do the Movies Have a Future? Hardcover – 2 Oct 2012

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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The State of the Art 9 Oct 2012
By The Bibliophile - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Denby probably ranks as my favorite critic writing about movies these days, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that this book reads like a perfect reflection of my own thoughts on the past 15 or so years of American cinema. Denby isn't the breeziest or snarkiest of film critics. He's better: he's a thoughtful one, clearly passionate about the idea that movies actually matter, in people's lives and in our culture. Denby deftly explicates why film after film either works or doesn't, charting out the evolution of American cinema in recent years as the art form has been hollowed out by business interests and advances in filmmaking technology on a level unprecedented in the medium's history. In some ways it's a call-to-arms kind of book, and it gracefully manages to be both cautionary and celebratory. I hope its observations don't go completely unheeded, because if they do, we'll all be the poorer for it. Thanks for writing this book, Mr. Denby.
Splendidly Written and Both Quite Entertaining and Informative 24 Jan 2013
By J. William Urschel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have already highly recommended this book to several friends who are movie enthusiasts. I must admit that my inital reaction was more than a bit over the top enthusiastic, based upon the book's introduction, because the author quickly presented a great summary of the current state of the industry, the technology, and the audience, as well as the decades of growth (really regression) leading up to the present. And of course, what the author
accomplished, from my perspective, was to encapsulate both the "facts" and the spirit of what has happened, and what IS happening to the movies - a point of view just absolutely parallel to my own, but stated so knowledgeably and elequantly!

At this point, according to my Kindle statistic, I am 67% of the way through the book. And now, I feel there are times that the author goes on too long about certain stars or directors (most of the book is drawn from prior appearances in the New Yorker Magazine, where what appears by anyone is typically overwritten and just toooooooo long!), typically when my viewpoint diverges from his, which it often does. I admit to being appalled by his vaunted view of some who I have held in contempt for some time. But even here when I disagree the most, he has maintained my attention and interest. And for the most part, I must say that I am in agreement with him, and also certainly enlightened.

Of all the texts on movies which I have read in the last five years, this one is at the top of my list and recommendation!
Goes beyond reviews 7 Jan 2013
By Timothy Jackson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Denby is a wonderful writer of film but he does something more here. The opening essay provides some great perspective on the current need for good film criticism beyond mere reviews. Two ideas are introduced; film is either too complex these days for thumbs up/thumbs down reviewing or secondly, too commercially compromised by corporate marketing formulas and genre writing. Writers need to encourage a broader perspective for a renewed and vital film culture. I think that's what the book does well.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
intelligent and well written, but disagree with most of his points 10 Nov 2012
By philadelphia sports fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I got this from the library and expected something else (an actual book about the future of film.) Instead I found a collection of essays from the new yorker magazine film critic. Anyway, having not heard of the author, and realizing after reading a good bit of the book that I hadn't read the author info nor seen the author's picture, I decided to try and guess his age and race based on what I had read and was pretty dead on; older white guy. the reason i came to this conclusion so easily was because many of the pieces have a "kids today" hectoring tone. For instance, the piece about "format agnosticism" laments the fact that kids today watch movies on their phones. The horror! What he ignores or refuses to acknowledge, is that kids today will watch movies they enjoy again and again, like listening to a favorite song. And that in most cases the choice is between movie on phone or no movie. Personally, I'd prefer to watch a movie while sitting in the dentist's waiting room than not.

And some of his examples when talking about why movies sucked circa 2000 were a bit ridiculous. Specifically when he was comparing Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor to The Godfather.

As I said, it's all well written and intelligent, I just disagree with the arguments.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Interesting reading for movie lovers, but ... 22 Oct 2012
By Freddy McCall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a subscriber to The New Yorker magazine I feel somewhat ripped off,
since the great majority of the articles in this book have
previously appeared in that magazine and, being a fan of Denby,
I have read them all. All of the articles in the book were
written in the 1999-2011 timeframe, some with revisions that
have not altered the original intent.

The book has been well organized into seven broad categories
such as "Trends," "Directors," "Stars." If you love movies
and have not read the articles before, then this book sould
be worth your time (in fact I enjoyed rereading a number of
the pieces). Denby has a clear writing style that is easily
accessible to the average reader.

The book does address the question posed in its title.
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