alan little’s weblog

movies aren’t getting worse

22nd January 2004 permanent link

One of Brian's favourite themes - the web, and weblogging in particular, as learning tools. You say something off-the-cuff: “Nazi Germany was clearly even worse than the Soviet Union”, “movies are clearly getting worse”. Somebody questions this, you think “hmm, maybe it's not so self-evident after all” and you re-examine your assumptions. Which is never a bad thing.

The latest example of this: Brian commented on my off-the-cuff observation that “they don’t make films like that any more” – “do art forms have a life cycle, and are movies at the end of theirs?”. Bruce Baugh replied that “I'm not convinced that much pessimism is warranted", and reeled off a list of great (in his opinion) movies made in the last twenty years or so. Of which I agreed with a few, strongly disagreed with one (the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and hadn't seen the majority. And he made me think. Do I really think movies are getting worse?

Fortunately, for this question we have - unusually - a good source of hard quantitative data on the inner workings of Alan's mind, in the form of my ratings on movielens. And plotting rating against the year the film was made gives us this, where 5 = “absolute classic” and 1 = “dreadful”:

alan's movie ratings

What I see here:

So ok, I admit movies aren’t getting worse after all. One less thing to be pessimistic about. Thanks Bruce.

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