I was at the cinema a week or so ago to watch Us, the Jordan Peele film about the duality of existence wrapped-up in a horror-comedy of sorts. After great fanfare amongst critics and regular filmgoers alike I decided to take a look, but for me it just didn’t do anything. I should have known really as his previous film Get Out (2017), which had both critical and box office success just kind of bored me. So it was again, as almost thirty minutes in I felt a pang of boredom, admittedly after what was a decent opening. Things soon got worst from there on in and I then quickly developed the urge to step-up and walk out the door around the mid-point of the film. I wish I had, but for some reason held back and lasted the duration in the knowledge that another two hours of my life would be lost forever. Film does that on too many occasions doesn’t it? Although, when thinking about it I’ve found that I’ll much more easily drop something on the small screen at home, it just hasn’t transpired into similar action at the cinema as yet.
The advent of Netflix has certainly strengthened my ability to switch something off at the press of a button, safe in the knowledge that there’s something I can quickly skip to without too much drama. My monthly subscription payment for Netflix has already gone out of my account, meaning there is no additional cost to me to drop things part way through and move on to something very easily. However, you just can’t do that at the cinema. Paying £10+ for a ticket pretty much means you’re wedged to your seat until the closing credits, which is highly unfortunate when things aren’t going your way on screen. On top of this is the investment of time and energy in getting to the cinema in the first place, then travelling back home again afterwards, along with whatever confectionary you’ve just bought at rip-off prices to accompany you in your cinematic pleasure. It all leads to a fundamental questioning around the point of it all. Yes, a regular cinema goer can save on costs through a monthly membership fee, but the urge to sit through something to the death is still apparent. So perhaps time is the overriding factor in the end. Obviously there’s a financial cost driving behaviour but take a look at Netflix again and your own viewing patterns on a regular night. How long does it take you to choose one thing from a choice of ten thousand? You then settle on something but end it within minutes; and repeat. What was once 7pm is now bedtime and all you’ve got is a displeased partner furious at you again for anther wasted night at home. Just watch something, anything, comes the shout. And you think they’re right, but hey you say, let’s just give this a go, while you quietly contemplate the joy of cinema after all, and seeing things through to the end; alone, in the dark, all sugared out.
Films to watch over the coming months….
Long Shot (3rd May): Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron star in this funny rom-com as sparks fly between a free-spirited journalist (Rogen) and an accomplished powerhouse diplomat (Theron), as they embark on a whirlwind romance when she hires him as a speechwriter in her run for the Presidency.
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (17th May): Keanu Reeves is back in this high adrenaline action-packed third installment of the assassin-based franchise, with John Wick struggling to cope against the $14 million price tag on his head and the subsequent army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail.
Ad Astra (24th May): Brad Pitt leads this sci-fi adventure as a son looking for his father two decades after he embarked on a one-way trip to Neptune, where along the way, secrets are uncovered that could reveal a threat to Earth’s survival.
Sometimes Always Never (14th June): This quirky comedy-drama stars Bill Nighy, looking to reconnect and repair his relationship with his youngest son Peter, as he tries to solve the mystery surrounding his eldest son’s disappearance after he stormed out over a family game of scrabble years earlier.
Toy Story 4 (21st June): Almost a decade later from the last Toy Story film, and the gang are back with a new toy call ‘Forky’ joining Woody on a road-trip with old and new friends, with their latest adventure turning into an unexpected reunion as Woody’s slight detour leads him to his long-lost buddy Bo Peep.
See you next time