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Do the Movies Have a Future?

3.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  77 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In the second decade of the twenty-first century, the movies, once America’s primary popular art form, have become an endangered species. Do the Movies Have a Future? is a rousing and witty call to arms. In these sharp and engaging essays and reviews, New Yorker movie critic David Denby weighs in on “conglomerate aesthetics,” as embodied in the frenzied, weightless action ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2012)
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Dan Lalande
Since the '80s, when conglomerates first displaced directors as cinematic auteurs, critics have been actively engraving the tombstones of a twin burial plot: that of the movies and of their own function. These verbose laments for the transition from Truffaut to 'Transformers' are often slapped together with a best-of review collection and put out in book form. The New Yorker's David Denby is the latest intellectual-at-the-exit to be so marketed. His conclusions about a cinematic afterlife are th ...more
Tucker Stone
David Denby has carved out a decent place for himself in recent years as the staunch defender of blockbusters of above average quality, a place he ended up in part because he seems mostly to prefer writing about movies that are seen by millions of people, as long as they aren't based on comic books. This, after all, is the guy who got actual death threats for pointing out that the Dark Knight marketing team should hold off on promoting their Keysi fight choreography until they hired a cinematogr ...more
Apr 09, 2016 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a model for how a film critic (or any critic, really) should re-present and anthologize their work. Rather than just collecting every review from the past five years, say, Denby organizes reviews and essays he's written by theme, and allows certain ideas to repeat, come to the fore, and be expressed in different ways. Denby curates his work, instead of just amassing it.

At first, Denby appears to fall into the fairly conservative critical position that everything made by Hollywood has fal
Oct 07, 2012 Bernie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Movies are commerce. Studios often produce bad movies. (As if they didn't in the 40s, 50s and 60s)Audiences love movie stars. There are too many movies with explosions and car chases. Technology has taken over the movie businessa -- and it ain't good. etc etc.
This is pretentious and superficial at the same time.

Apr 17, 2013 Vicky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with many books I decide to read, I came upon this one through an interview with author on RadioWest, which is worth listening to. I would give this 3 and half stars. Denby is the film critic for the New Yorker and this book is a collection of reviews and other essays which have appeared there and a few that have not been published before. With the death of Pauline Kael, Andrew Saris, Gene Siskel and most recently Roger Ebert, the film critic might be ...more
Mar 21, 2014 Kirsti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here is what David Denby thinks of . . .

The Passion of the Christ: "A sickening death trip."

Leonardo DiCaprio: "the kind of sexually unthreatening cat-faced boy . . . that girls love to dream about"

Zac Efron: ditto

Russell Crowe: "ungovernable"

the Coen brothers: "The Coens may be the first major filmmakers since Preston Sturges to exploit the dramatic possibilities of stupidity."

The Big Lebowski: "a tribute to harmlessness, friendship, and team bowling"

Kill Bill: Vol. 1: "Coming out of this dazz
Bob Arnett
Jan 17, 2013 Bob Arnett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
In Do Movies Have a Future, Denby is the most insightful when he discusses the films and directors that affected him positively. When he's negative, he seems, to me, whiny and old. He states clearly that his preferences are for realism and, guess what, he doesn't like modern CGI spectaculars. The CGI spectaculars may be emblematic of our time, but they also represent a point where old critics don't get it anymore. Still, I have enjoyed Denby's writing in the past and this book is especially help ...more
Cody Sexton
Criticism, in particular film criticism, is dead. Not in the sense that it no longer exists but in the sense that it might as well since nobody cares about it. "Everyone's a critic" is no longer a popular over used cliched response to other people's, largely unsolicited, opinions but is in fact actually true. And anyone with an Internet connection seems hell bent on making theirs known. So, in response to the rhetorical title of your book, Do the Movies Have a Future? Yes Mr. Denby they do, but ...more
Highlights here are an excellent essay on Pauline Kael and her legacy (Denby was one of the much-discussed "Paulettes" back in the day), and numerous cranky observations on the state of film in the digital age, albeit with some rays of hope spraying through the increasingly thick clouds of doom. Enjoyed Denby's erudition and passion - a good book for film buffs looking to delve deeper into the art form.
Jessica Robinson
I liked it more than I thought I would in the beginning but it really just made me miss Roger Ebert all over again. I didn't always agree with him but even when we were on opposite sides of an opinion I would love the way he hated something. Denby just makes me wish that he would avoid the things I like so that I wouldn't have to hear his obnoxious, judgmental opinion on it.
Jan 25, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fine collection by a fine critic. Although I disagree with Denby about many individual films, his reflections on the "conglomerate aesthetic" that may be the death of film art are dead on. More of a collection of New Yorker pieces than the title indicates, this is still a coherent and insightful book that any serious movie lover should look into.
May 30, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very perceptive critique of movies. I, especially enjoyed the excerpts on genres.
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David Denby is an American journalist, best known as a film critic for The New Yorker magazine. Denby grew up in New York City. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1965, and a master's degree from its journalism school in 1966.
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