Just to answer your inevitable (and intelligent) response to my headline: No, not in all cases. Obviously. I wouldn't cut a frame of The Godfather (175 minutes), The Shawshank Redemption (142m), or Aliens(137m theatrical, 164m director's cut), but I'm noticing an irritating trend: over-inflated running times for movies that simply don't warrant that much of your lifespan. My apologies to the fans but ... the Sex and the City movie runs 148 minutes? Really? Just seems a little indulgent for such a little trifle of a movie. And try this conversation on for size:
Mommy 1: Yeah, we're thinking of taking the kids to the movies this weekend. All told it should cost about $75.00
Mommy 2: We were going to take little Timmy to see Speed Racer until we heard it was over two hours long so we just stayed home and ordered pizza. He watched The Incredibles again.
Guess what, Hollywood? People talk like that. Speed Racer at 135 minutes almost seems lazy. It takes a lot of work to trim a flick down to a lean 95 - 110 minutes and make it hum. (I kinda feel bad for the editors of these movies. I guarantee they could deliver better, shorter versions of these flicks.) Even good filmmakers seem to overdo it these days, as if they love their actors / material so much that they simply refuse to trim the fat. (I'm looking at you, Mr. Apatow.) And then there's stuff like What Happens in Vegas, which only runs 99 minutes but deserves about thirty (including commercial breaks).