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When was the last time you sat down with your popcorn for a blockbuster film and left the theater in less than two hours? If you think movies these days are simply too long, you're in good company: Ethan Hawke agrees.
"I don't know what has happened to movies, but lately every movie is at least 20 minutes too long," the 39-year-old Oscar nominee told the LA Times. "It used to be that if you were three hours long it was because it was epic -- a movie about Gandhi; something with very important subject matters. Now, it doesn't matter what you're making a movie about; everyone thinks their movie is so brilliant that it has to be three hours long.
As it happens, Hawke can point to his latest film as an exception. His new vampire thriller Daybreakers lasts just over 90 minutes.
We do think Hawke has a point: Not too long ago, hunkering down to watch a movie lasting 120+ minutes was a rare event. Directors were encouraged to cut to around 100 minutes, so as not to lose the audience's attention. The 1988 Tom Hanks comedy Big clocked in at 104 minutes after director Penny Marshall reportedly cut nearly 30 minutes of footage. Other milestone movies of the '80s show similar brevity: Ghostbusters is 107 minutes, Top Gun is 110, Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T. are 115.
In the '90s, hit movies got a bit longer: Forrest Gump is 142 minutes, Jurassic Park is 127, Independence Day is 145. Now, epic running times seem par for the course, and Avatar's 162 minutes certainly wasn't the most headline-generating element of James Cameron's latest film. Even fun family flicks, like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, clock in at two-and-half hours.
While everyone enjoys a big epic movie now and then, we're glad that independent films such as Daybreakers still embrace the art of telling a story in just 90 minutes. Ethan Hawke, our short attention spans salute you.
Does it bother you when movies are more than two hours long? Chime in below!