Screenwriting : Iconic decade defining films post Y2K?? by Owen Mowatt

Owen Mowatt

Iconic decade defining films post Y2K??

When i think of iconic films of the 70s for example, I can immediately recall some fantastic and memorable films, Jaws, Star Wars, Apocalypse Now, The Godfather etc. Through the eighties we had Indian Jones, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, E.T. In the nineties we were spoiled again, The Matrix, Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, Pulp Fiction, The Blair Witch.....but since the start of the millennium I can barely recall a single film which I would consider decade defining or iconic. I mean real ground breaking game changers like, Godfather, Die Hard and Matrix, for their decade, which have all been copied ad nauseam. The only one I can think of which would come close is the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but surly Im missing something or have we really been battered by origin stories for the past 14 years??

LindaAnn Loschiavo

Owen, on your list of "defining" and "iconic" - - how about "The Sixth Sense" [1999] by M. Night Shyamalan? Yes, I realize it's also pre-Y2K -- but deserving of a mention.

Ardua de Potomac

I think it's a lot harder to define iconic films in later time periods because the quantity of films just exploded. In the 1970s, almost everybody who went to films saw "Jaws", "Star Wars", and "The Godfather". In the 1980s and onward, the quantity of films just increased so dramatically that it just became mathematically less likely that "everybody" would see the same small set of "biggest" pictures. I, for example, never saw "Titanic"--it did not appeal to me, and I had a lot of other options. In the 1970s, maybe I would have gone? Just as there were iconic television shows when we had only three network broadcasters, and you didn't have much choice. Now you have hundreds of shows to choose from (or thousands when you include options for watching old shows no longer on the air). Just think how many films are nominated for Oscars which we have not seen, or at least have not seen before they were nominated? Most people saw "The Godfather" before it was nominated--there just weren't that many big Hollywood pictures at that time. That said, it would be hard to argue against "Harry Potter"--it had such a HUGE number of films in that series, for one thing--it was omnipresent for years and years. And it already had a huge fan base from the books--and children dragged along their children (and aunts, in my case!) to watch....

Alexandr Khlopenko

IMHO - the most Iconic scene and moments of the past fourteen years - lost intro credits, you're a wizard harry, social network and now Gone girl (when she cuts the throats and adjusts her hair - classic) the spinning top from the inception ending. DiCaptio raising a glass in Great Gatsby, Von Trier's Melancholia, Antichrist and now almost ten hours of Nymphomaniac. the dog's death in Marly and Me, Brad Pitt carving swastika in Inglorious Basterds, Hugh Laurie's House, Mean Girls and the list can go on - there are films that became more than films, they invaded everyday talk and quickly became the part of the culture for decades to come.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Seriously? The Social Network is so freaking iconic of our times. And there are so many films that will be become classics 30 years from now as well. Crash, LOTR, Inglorious Bastards, Bridesmaids, Pineapple Express, Paranormal Activity, Broke Back Mountain, There Will be Blood, Bourne Identity, THE DARK FREAKING KNIGHT, Memento, No country for Old Men, AVATAR (FREAKING AVATAR!!), The Devil Wears Prada, A Beautiful Mind, Cast away, ughhhh I can go on and on and on and on... Post y2k movies = Amazeballs.

Alexandr Khlopenko

^just what i said , shame on me for forgetting there will be blood, bourne and no country for old man. Also - wanna check if the movie is iconic or not - go to tumblr.com and count how many gifs and editorials are made every hour(!) using stills from any particular film.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Geez, easy film nerds. LOL! (Of course, I'm one too.)

Owen Mowatt

I realise that this is a very subjective topic and Ive probably opened up a real can of worms, but I cannot for the life of me see how The Godfather, Jaws, Die Hard and Matrix can be compared to ......Pinapple Express???.....Marley and Me?????....Paranormal Activity????! Im gonna go lie down for a minute. ;)

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

You're talking about movies that just came out to freaking classics man. Come on now. Jaws and Psycho can be held on the same pedestal, but do you think anyone would have dared to try and compare them when Jaws came out? Or even ten years after? Jaws - Paranormal. Die Hard - Bourne Matrix - LOTR And nobody fucks with the GodFather. I could say The Departed, but I kind of want to punch myself in the face for saying that. And yes, I know remakes and adaptations probably carry half of the movies I have mentioned, but that's the times. It still doesn't take away from the quality of the film. And I'm kind of taken back that you just threw Pineapple Express under the bus like that. Are you telling me in 2045 that movie isn't going to be one of the comedy staples of our times? It has classic written all over it.

Alexandr Khlopenko

when batman was recasted with affleck - everyone pissed their pants screaming how dare they touch the classic trilogy with classic batman-bale.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

^^^ LOL! Exactly...

Owen Mowatt

Guys, thanks for the input but it is difficult to imagine if we could be any further apart in our taste in films.

Christopher Binder

We are in the age of the superhero now as far films that appeal to the cultural majority are concerned.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Umm, I don't think superhero films should be labeled as an "age" but rather as a trend -- a trend I would like to see end, I mean, enough already. ;)

Alexandr Khlopenko

@beth unless they stop making $700mil - 1bn per film I can't see it coming :D

Beth Fox Heisinger

Sure, repetitive high numbers in a genre is an impressive feat and once achieved many push to continue. Why not. It's guaranteed success. However, financial success does not always indicate quality. Redundancy is redundancy is redundancy. What should be mentioned is that the superhero world has a huge base of supporters; comic book fans, et cetera. Fans will come out in droves to see their favorite character on the big screen not because the film in which that character appears in is perhaps any good (Not all films, of course.) How many bad reviews has there been? Nonetheless, any film in this genre will perform well as far as numbers. But, for those of us who are not huge fans and would like to see something different... You know, change is good. :)

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

But they're all different. (As different as stories can get) Some of these superheros I never even heard of "Ant Man" but I want to see it because it takes you on a ride. I'm assuming you don't like big budget action moves then? That's the only reason I can see why people would dislike the superhero films. You said how many horrible reviews has there been? The reviews are usually positive, aren't they? I think for the most part superhero films are Box Office hits and critically acclaimed. No? Now I have to look it up...

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Okay, it's only been in the past 5 years they've been better. Before that, the critics were like 50/50 about them.

Alexandr Khlopenko

you can't blame anyone for going to see those new horrible Transformer movies and not liking south korean drama. If more people like watching people in spandex suits fighting interstellar crime - they'll be making more of that. But still no one can stop me from enjoying danish art house shorts and Park Chan Wook films, despite any reiews and box office, and still consider them classics

Beth Fox Heisinger

Again, easy film nerds. Sheesh! LOL! :) I'm not going to get into a circular, never-ending discussion about personal opinions or GENERAL statements -- to each their own, I say! I was merely expressing my opinion and thoughts shared by some critics, that's all. There have been many bad reviews over the years; Superman, Spiderman, X-men, Wolverine... I really don't have the time or energy to research and list them all for you. And, to clarify, I have been referring to the general THEME and IDEA of "superhero" and that is where redundancy lurks. Clearly, I did not blame anyone for anything. Nor am I asking you or telling you or stopping you from watching what you enjoy. Watch away! Let your superhero freak flag fly high! ;)

Alexandr Khlopenko

sorry, Beth, I maybe getting a bit too passionate (to the point where I'm rude) when it comes to movies :D

Beth Fox Heisinger

And yeah... I guess, I'm not a huge fan of big budget films. I certainly enjoy some -- the amazing special effects and all. They do capture the whole visual/entertainment experience. But, many lack in story, plot, and character development, elements that truly interest me. I prefer smaller films. :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

No worries, Alexandr! I think it's great to have passion about film. That's why we're here talking about it, yes? Best to you!

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Yeah, this whole discussion is fun and games. No need to apologize. I'm smiling while I write this, and have been with every response. Beth, The X-Men trilogy was VERY well received! Only one of their films was said to be bad according to critics (and me), but overall it was a fun ride! Same thing with Spider man. I don't know a person who didn't like those overall body of works. And Same thing with Superman. Wolverine was a dud in my opinion. I don't know the critic's opinion, I'm too lazy to click "new tab" and look it up. The idea of someone receiving an ability to save mankind is a brilliant one in my opinion. It can never grow old. I hope the superhero genre lives on for the next 30 years. I honestly don't think it's going anywhere. It's set in stone, although I wouldn't really consider it a genre for that fact that it's usually either sci-fi or fantasy. You didn't like The Avengers? Why? It was a perfect blend of Comedy and action. And the Dark Knight? It was... fucking brilliant! I seriously would like to know why you didn't like these two specific movies. Really. And did you see them before the hype? Because I think that makes a huge difference...

Christopher Binder

Everybody can find their own interpretation, and it's likely to be the right one.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Was the X-men trilogy well received? I assume you mean the more recent films, right Jean-Pierre? Some of the older ones -- 2003, 2006 -- had some bad reviews, I thought, right? X-men films have so many characters and so much happening, character development suffers some. I know they rely on the audience already being familiar with these characters, but keep in mind I have no knowledge of the comics. My first exposure to these worlds is through film. I have not seen the latest X-men, Days of Future Past, and honestly I probably won't. It's just not my bag, baby. ;) I did like The Avengers, however I struggle some with the Iron Man films because I find them rather sexist, the way they objectify women. Yes, I understand Tony Stark is known to be a womanizer, but still. Yes, Pepper Potts is an okay character, but that's really it. No other female character comes to mind. Was there another? Okay, don't freak out on me -- promise -- but I have not seen the latest Batman movie. What was it, Dark Knight Rises? I did see the first two, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger's performance was outstanding. I do enjoy snarling in my best Christian Bale Batman voice, "SWEAR TO ME!" when someone says, "I swear to God." I mean, give me some nerd credit for that. lol! Oh, and the most recent Spiderman movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was disappointing. I'm sorry, but it was. Many critics thought so too. The only reason I watched it is because I love Paul Giamatti. Perhaps he will play a larger role in the next one... if so, then maybe I'll see it. :) I'm sorry my taste in film causes you such consternation, Jean-Pierre. However, I'm sure your wish will come true. These films will go on for the next 30 years and then some. Didn't Batman start in the 1940s? :)

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

I'm talking about the original live action X-men movies. "X-Men" "X2" and... I don't know what the last one was called. "X3??" The first two were well received, and I think the overall impression of the films was a good one. But if I didn't know anything about their world... hm... I don't know. I'll have to rewatch the movie with that in mind. Nice call out. Paul Giamatti was in the new Spidermans? I don't even remember them. I was talking about Sam Rami's Spiderman. The first two were VERY well received. Especially the second. The last Batman was the the second best out of the trilogy, so it's not necessary. You saw the Dark Knight, and that's all that counts, although you are missing out on some STELLAR dialogue. Better than the Dark Knight's in my opinion. Bale's Batman voice was comical. Sometimes comical enough to take me out of the story. Seth Rogan's "Neighbors" made fun of it. Classic. Iron man being sexist. I usually catch things like that in films, but I have to admit I'm so immersed in the superhero world I must have looked over it. Will definitely rewatch Iron man to catch that. Yes, you're this close to giving me a heart attack Beth. Don't you dare talk bad about my superhero movies. They are sacred and will go down in history as such.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Just breathe, Jean-Pierre, breathe. Remember, no freaking out. ;) One man's religion... indeed!

Beth Fox Heisinger

Oops, fixed my typo... you had me laughing, I messed up.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Oh, Jean-Pierre, I posted an interview with screenwriter and brilliant story consultant, Brian McDonald. He's great. I think you would really enjoy it. Check it out: https://www.stage32.com/lounge/screenwriting/The-High-Bar-w-Warren-Ether...

Sylvia Marie Llewellyn

What an enlightening thread you started Owen. Thank you. Made me smile at every post. It's obvious you all have your favorites. Loved reading every one. Thank you.

Owen Mowatt

Thank you, Sylvia, glad you enjoyed it. I`m not sure I got the reponse I was looking for though. Even with subjective taste, some of the films put forward as classic and decade defining I found odd to say the least. Kind of took the wind out of my sails. LOL

Sylvia Marie Llewellyn

No, no... never let that happen to you... it's so subjective... to each their own, I say. :-))

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

It's because we're still living it! It's not fair... lol. You pointed out some of the lighter films that didn't compare, and horror, which is definitely not on the same level as it was back in the 80s, which I will openly admit (only because younger people are desensitized. Nothing will really wholeheartedly scare them on screen) But what about the others. You didn't say anything about them/ Since we're comparing; Lethal Weapon, Die Hard and E.T can be compared to No Country for Old Men, Social Network, and The Dark Knight? It sounds like I'm bashing the classics when I'm definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY not. I absolutely adore each and every one of those movies. But I'm just saying... You can't think of more than 3, (LOTR) really good, iconic movies post Y2K? Nah... I can't believe that.

Christopher Binder

@Owen that's because you are asking people to name films that match your specific criteria and personal interpretation of what defines an iconic film. You say either "decade defining" or just iconic in general. If LOTR were decade defining then it most likely be in terms of Good overcoming Evil, much like America's supposed "War on Terror" during the Bush administration politically speaking. In terms of the technical, Avatar (which out at the close of the last decade) comes to mind as what blew the lid wide open and asserted digital's presence on the big stage. So far The Avengers (as alluded to in my first post) will most likely be the defining movie of this decade to the cultural majority. It's almost impossible to know for sure until a decade or two have past and people are able to look back far enough and make their own personal judgements. But you are only thinking culturally in terms of America, a very small part of the world to be honest. If you are disappointed then I would suggest expanding your palette to overseas to get a better, richer perspective on things. You'll find many more original stories as opposed to origin stories you seem to be lamenting about.

Owen Mowatt

Well lets talk Social Network. A very well written and topically interesting film, but iconic and game changing? How?

Alexandr Khlopenko

Social Network: 1. Look how many directors after that film want to direct like fincher - from people who directed house of cards after him to this years sensation Damien Chazelle 2. It made Eisenberg and Garfield famous and oscar-worthy, showed a new side of Timberlake. 3. He found Rooney Mara 4. Oscar winning soundtrack that got a cult following of its own. 5. Brilliant screenplay by Sorkin and out of this world cinematography by Croneweth 6. It's been five years since and people still can't get over it.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

^ This guy

Alexandr Khlopenko

@jean-pierre and don't start me on TGWDT and Gone Girl :D Also, if someone tells me that Oldboy is not the pillar of modern cinematography, then I don't know what is.

Christopher Binder

It's not. Russian Ark is.

Alexandr Khlopenko

damn, I forgot about that.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

That whole Korean thriller style of filming is epic... Did it originate with Old Boy? Editing, pacing, and cinematography is just... dreamy. A ton of stagnant shots, and starting a scene SUPER late, and then cutting SUPER early basically telling us "you know what happened". I absolutely adore it. And it always tends to have this EXTREMELY dark humor to it. I love it. I tried writing like that, but eventually stopped because either people didn't get it, or I just didn't know how to write it, lol. I just chalked it up to the style of directing, and not the actual writing (of course). Have you guys seen "I saw The Devil?" Oh my gosh, just pure greatness. The story line wasn't academy award worthy or anything, but damn did they do a good job with that film.

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