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The evolution of the modern blockbuster movie

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 31, 2009

Matt Zoller Seitz and Aaron Aradillas recently completed a five-part video series on the evolution of the summer blockbuster movie focused on the summers of 1984 and 1989.

Part 1: “The origins of MTV editing and post-Boomer cynicism. Also starring Ronald Reagan, John Hughes, semi-gratuitous T&A, synth-pop videos, The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and Prince.”

Part 2: “Steven Spielberg’s society of the spectacle, the rise of sadism and cynicism in the blockbuster movie, and the influence of the PG-13 rating. Also starring Indiana Jones, Red Dawn, and gremlins. Lots and lots of gremlins.”

Part 3: “A lickety-split recap of the second Reagan term, and begin the Bush years with the rise of hip-hop, Field of Dreams, Do the Right Thing, and the American indie film opting out and breaking out with sex, lies and videotape.”

Part 4: “We watch feel-good sequels ape the spirit of ‘84 while the heroes of Lethal Weapon II and The Abyss flip out, and the unprecedented Batman taps into the decayed American city.”

Part 5: “The New Sincerity, as rediscovered in the hallowed teen-movie triumvirate of Heathers, Dead Poets Society and Say Anything, released within three months of each other twenty years ago.”

Some of the clips are NSFW.

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