After the “Saturday Night Live” star bemoaned the lack of “short-ass movies” in a digital short of the same name, Netflix introduced a new category for films that fit Davidson’s definition of a film that runs no more than an hour and 40 minutes long.
Yep, the streamer has assorted some “short-ass movies” that won’t make your legs fall asleep. Among them: the fourth and fifth entries in the “Scary Movie” series, the comedy “Zoolander” and the acclaimed “Stand By Me,” among some other random options.
In his musical plea, Davidson lamented the runtimes of films like “The Batman,” which was nearly three hours, as was recent best picture nominee “Drive My Car.” “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was almost two-and-a-half hours, and the 2021 remake of “West Side Story” ran a few minutes longer. When long runtimes plague both prestige films and superhero flicks, what gives?
Film experts told CNN in February that films with recognizable IP (e.g. Marvel films or big-budget sci-fi pictures like “Dune”) tend to dominate the box office. These become “event movies” and often tie into other film or TV projects or have to set up future installments, hence a stretched-out runtime. And when films like “Avengers: Endgame” that run more than three hours set box-office records, there’s no incentive to keep these cinematic stories short.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that the Judd Apatow film in which Davidson starred, the semi-autobiographical “The King of Staten Island,” ran over two hours — a fact also acknowledged by the “SNL” short. It did not, as far as we know, set up a Davidson cinematic universe. Just sayin’.
Netflix’s short-ish flicks are available to peruse at netflix.com/shortassmovies.