This is companion thread to Solium's Lost Art of Storytelling: Anticipation thread.
Another thing that really irks me about new films is the blatant lack of good character development. Now, I'm not saying that characters in films are completely undeveloped, but there's a lot of stagnation when it comes to how certain characters grow and change as films progress.
Protagonists: The good guys seem to be where all the development goes to nowadays, which is good, but you can't neglect your other characters. The main character(s) of a work should receive the most development with the only exception being the main antagonist if the story calls for it. To me, a hero character who undergoes some sort of emotional growth as the film progresses makes for a far more endearing one than a character who runs the length of the story and remains unchanged.
Antagonists: Good villains can make for some awesome storytelling! But a villain with great screen presence or charisma isn't always enough. Just like with the good guys, films really need to developing their bad guys more. Don't just make them evil for the sake of being evil! Give them a motive and a backstory that explains why they feel the need to go out and make life for the good guys miserable. My favorite villains are always the ones where they're driven to become evil. Like, at one time they were good, but events happened in their lives that drove them to madness and cruelty. Doing this endears your audience to your villains and also makes for a much deeper story, more meaningful conflict, and a more involved audience.
Supporting Characters: Developing supporting characters isn't always easy, but the payoff can be quite beneficial to a story. This one is really tricky because if you give a supporting character too much development they tend to steal the show, give them too little and they're flat and uninteresting.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter.