Blockbuster Video Compilation Exhibits All That's Right (and Wrong) with Today's Big Budget Movies

Eterna Epic movie trailer
Photo: Warner Bros.

Using 99 different movies from the works of directors such as Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon, Michael Bay, the Wachowskis, Neill Blomkamp, James Cameron, Danny Boyle, Guillermo del Toro and even Darren Aronofsky and Terrence Malick, video director Vadzim Khudabets (official site) delivers the following 6:10 minute compilation of "epic" moments from a slew of recent movies (all listed below the video) for a video titled "Eterna".

I'm featuring it here for two reasons; 1.) because it's very well done and 2.) I think it highlights the issues I have with today's blockbuster cinema.

The first point is self-explanatory, but to the second point just watching this reminds me of every problem I have with so many of today's big budget spectacle features from the fact they are more style and size over substance and, like the video, overstay their welcome. For as well made as this video is, at the 2:30 mark it could easily be over and yet it still has almost another four minutes left.

Give it a watch below.

Films Included

  • 300
  • 2012
  • 10,000
  • 300: Rise of an Empire
  • 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
  • After Earth
  • The Amazing Spider-Man
  • Angels & Demons
  • Armageddon
  • Avatar
  • The Avengers
  • Batman Begins
  • Battleship
  • Broken Hill
  • Bunraku
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • Clash of the Titans
  • Cloud Atlas
  • The Dark Knight
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • The Divide
  • Dragonball Evolution
  • Dredd
  • Elysium
  • Ender's Game
  • Eragon
  • Fast & Furious
  • The Forbidden Kingdom
  • The Fountain
  • Getaway
  • Ghost Rider
  • Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
  • The Golden Compass
  • A Good Day to Die Hard
  • Gravity
  • Green Lantern
  • Green Zone
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army
  • Hitman
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • I Am Legend
  • I Am Number Four
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Inkheart
  • Jack the Giant Slayer
  • John Carter
  • Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
  • Knowing
  • The Last Airbender
  • Legion
  • Live Free or Die Hard
  • The Lone Ranger
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The Lovely Bones
  • Man of Steel
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
  • The New World
  • Next
  • The Nutcracker
  • Oblivion
  • Pacific Rim
  • Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
  • Priest
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  • Real Steel
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife
  • Resident Evil: Extinction
  • Resident Evil: Retribution
  • The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising
  • Skyline
  • Solomon Kane
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • Star Trek
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Sucker Punch
  • Sunshine
  • Super 8
  • Takers
  • Terminator Salvation
  • Thor
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • To the Wonder
  • Trance
  • Transformers
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  • The Tree of Life
  • TRON: Legacy
  • Underworld: Awakening
  • Upside Down
  • Watchmen
  • World War Z
  • Wrath of the Titans
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • TheLastEquivocationofBrist

    Yeah when blockbusters have an action beat every ten minutes they definitely can overstay their welcome. I tend to think an action climax is more effective if the whole story has been a tense build-up to it. TV does that better than movies these days. See the Blackwater battle in GoT which was built up to throughout season 2, or the Breaking Bad season 4 finale which had been built up to for two-plus seasons.

    • TheLastEquivocationofBrist

      And as you guys discussed on the pod around Red 2 and RIPD, action is more effective when characters we care about are directly participating on one side of the fight, and most effective when *both* sides have characters we care about. Explosives explosively exploding other explosives, not so much.

      I'm always amazed at people who make compilation videos like this though. Seems like it would take a really long time to make.

      • Josh McLaughlin

        You took the words out of my mouth and stated my thoughts more eloquently that I could have done myself.

        Personally, I would have thought that at the point of 1:45 it would have been perfect if it ended there.

  • CJohn

    This may be the most epic video of all-time

  • andyluvsfilms

    i wont ding it as it's obviously been lovingly put together but in terms of content, for every exquisite The Fountain you have an excruciating Green Lantern, probably the worst on here for me

  • Bertram J. Krogh

    The editing is god damn sublime.

  • JN Films

    Wow that was amazing

  • Winchester

    What that shows me is the power or directors and visualists to create some beautiful, spectacular and memorable moments that they couldn't have created even with the techniques of the past.

    Not all of the films these moments and images come from are good films and I'm sure more than the fair share lack 'substance' (which may be dependent on the viewer as much as the film itself) but cinema is about images and visual moments as much as it is great performances and lines that live forever.

    It's also very nicely edited. Must have taken a while to choreograph.

  • Ryguy815

    This is a really epic video!

  • Reindeer

    I'm not a big fan of (most of) the summer blockbusters (especially this year!), but this video actually is pretty good. Really good actually, nicely done.

  • Angelo Da Costa

    Epic video, awesome edited . Mostly of the movies are "crap" nevertheless is a awesome video .

  • Inger Fountain

    Impressive mix of dialogue, music and image but looking at all the clips like this, in isolation, thats alot of creative destruction. It would be wonderful if we could use all that artistic skill and money to create worlds rather than destroy them over and over again.

  • Ian

    That was mind numbingly long. It felt like one of Jimmy Kimmel's Movie the Movie trailers, just with better editing. Or better yet, a trailer for a video game. It's really an embarrassment given all the truly great artistic pieces of cinema that have been made in the past that this is what movies have devolved to. Oh well, at least I can support Fruitvale Station and Only God Forgives this weekend while interesting stories are still (limited) options in cinema, before they all move to television.

    • Sir Trey

      You know, there's a trailer I remember that shows a bunch of people who were shot dead in the first few seconds, has all kinds of dramatic cuts and intertitles, explosions, gunshots, an execution, a car chase, a car crash and the pacing of a blockbuster's promo.

      It's the trailer for No Country for Old Men, a slow-paced, detailed, well-made, hailed, Best Picture winning film...and yet it's marketed like your average action/horror thriller.

      This is just a trailer, and there are some excellent films within that trailer that have these scenes. However, they also have hours of other scenes with stories, good writing, and interesting characters that help them to qualify as "art" as much as the admittedly excellent-looking Fruitvale, or Only God Forgives (which frankly also looks somewhat generically violent).

      And for the record, you can find great art and deep stories in video games as well, don't lump them all in either.

      • Ian

        Just because there is occasionally a trailer like No Country that sells the film as less than what it is, or plays up the action / thriller elements, doesn't mean that most action movies are like that. In fact, the overwhelming majority are not. I'm familiar with and have seen most of the movies in that list. I just counted and I would say that of those I have seen, eleven actually do something beyond mindless popcorn escapism. The rest are completely vapid thematically. Some are more well done than others certainly, but don't go trying to compare No Country to The Avengers or Avatar (just two popular examples). I'm not saying that blockbusters can't be good. I'm saying they aren't anymore because there's been a fundamental shift in how they are seen by the studios. The only point in them now is mindless destruction with a skeleton of a plot that's "entertaining" enough that it makes enough money to justify a sequel. Once you being to realize that all these movies are basically the same, you actually want something more out of the cinematic experience than just the same recycled mindless escapism. Or at least I do, and there are plenty of people that agree with me.

  • jayesh thawrani

    cant wait. when is this coming out.

  • Sir Trey

    The quality of this is spectacular but all it really demonstrates to me, aside from the talent of the editor, is that VFX teams can make some amazing things nowadays. There are great, good, ok, bad and abysmal films in this supercut and it's just a trailer, styled like trailers...which means the moments that made some of the better films there special wouldn't show up anyway. Even with a "classic" film, it's not like the most emotional moments are in a trailer/have the same effect because you need context and this doesn't represent much more for me than a very well done trailer.