Before delving into the recent viewings, some of the recent works we’ve checked out include Call of the Wild and Birds of Prey, the theatrical release of The Rhythm Section, and some catch-up recently on A Quiet Place and Cold Pursuit. This past month also had Darius stepping in to provide a review for The Photograph. We’re looking forward to when theaters can open again and get behind supporting them so we can continue to enjoy the big screen experience.
But I have to admit, I’m fearing that things aren’t going to be able to come back. We know that there will be a lot of things different when we finally do start moving past the COVID-19 pandemic in full. We’re seeing various pieces of it as the first re-openings are happening (too soon, in my opinion) but we’re also see lot of gaming out by people involved in various industries how those businesses will come back.
I didn’t get a chance to watch and films this week as I was pulled in a few other directions. A few things have me really wanting to hit up some films, but the time to sit and watch wasn’t there. And some of that was, sadly, influenced by hearing a lot of people I like talk about how movie theaters should remain dead from this as you get everything you need from a home theater.
And that really made me sad.
I understand for a lot of people that they get a better experience at home than at the theater. Not all theaters are created equal and I’ve been incredibly lucky with my local Regal where I used MoviePass for about eight years and a ton of films and had maybe one or two issues over the years. I’ve had far more positive experiences but I know that’s not the norm for those that go once or twice a year.
But the communal nature of a shared event, like sports, that you go to and partake in is magical. Cinema in particular because of the narratives and investments that everyone brings differently to what’s being told. I spent the past decade taking both my kids to the movies from a young age and teaching them about proper etiquette and how to behave. Much to the frustration of their friends when they go with them because they actually shush their friends into behaving properly. I’ve spent a lot of time with a “film education” program at home with both of them to expose them to a lot of different things. When we’d go to the theater and see 20 minutes of trailers, they’d want to see almost everything because the variety they got at home made them want to see a lot on a big screen.
I hate the thought of losing that experience
It was also reinforced while watching Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian where you had this group of directors of various ages all talking about how their first theatrical experience with Star Wars was. That was a generational game-changer back in the 70s. It inspired countless people to go into the creative arts in all kinds of ways and it was a massive shared experience. We had similar from audiences with Jurassic Park and we just had an entire generation grow up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe where it told a tale of dozens of characters across all walks of life through twenty-two films. And as these kids started watching when they were eight, nine or ten, to find themselves graduating with Avengers: Infinity War or Endgame was a kind of general culmination as well.
I understand why people would write something off easily that they have no love for. It’s why I’m very careful to not do it for anything that I’m not particularly into, such as sports or something. But the way things are going really has me worried that we’re seeing not necessarily the end of theaters but a transformation that is going to change not just that physical aspect of the movies but what kind of projects get made. We’ve had a winnowing of that for years and it could find itself accelerated even more now and the losses are going to be devastating once we realize it.
What are you watching this week?