Wednesday 21 March 2018
8 Year Anniversary Post
The Eightful Eight
That’s 8 years.
If you started reading my posts since my first one... that’s how long I’ve been reviewing films on this blog for.
Things have changed a little over the years, though.
When I first started writing this thing, in fairly short reviews for a little while until I started churning out longer articles, I could pretty much review what I liked in terms of the films and books I had laying around. While that’s still technically true now, we are living in an age where, in terms of the moving image at least, there is an abundance of new product... way more than I can personally feel comfortable with.
Quite often these days I just want to sit back and watch a movie I haven’t seen at home but... nope, no time. There’s two to four new cinema releases that week (out of many) and I need to see as many as I can cram into the little time I have left after writing about them rather than spend time on the couch. The blu ray and book piles just keep getting bigger and bigger... because I’m busy neglecting them for watching as much of the new stuff at the cinema that I possibly can. Its just crazy. The last two years in particular have seen, as far as I’m concerned, a lot more movie candidates for spending hours with at the local flea pit than many years before. And even if a majority of them are not all that good... they nearly always look like they’re going to be of some interest to me.
Meanwhile, over in stark contradiction land, we have my other main problem as a blogger these days. Exclusive content distributed by channels like Netflix and Amazon.
I was lucky to see Duncan Jones’ new movie Mute (reviewed here) because, although it’s 'almost' exclusive to Netflix, it did get a few screenings in London and I was lucky enough to catch one of them. Not something I would have been able to check out if I was left to the mercy of the monthly bill for various digital channels.
Films like The Cloverfield Paradox are completely unavailable to me unless I go the bootleg route. You’d think that, since the fourth Cloverfield movie is supposed to hit cinemas this year, the people who made it would want me to see the third one somehow. After all... I’m not going to see the fourth one at the cinema unless I’ve seen the previous instalment. I don’t watch film series' out of sequence. End of.
I also have no chance of seeing Annihilation in this country unless I can snag a copy of the US Blu Ray when it comes out (in the US, the movie had a proper cinema release)... which does nothing to endear me to Netflix either, I can tell you.
Now I can see that, with the kind of audience you’d get on a digital subscription chanel, this practice might be good for the art of film in some ways. After all, the target audience can’t be as narrowly youthful as the cinematic one and that means a wider range of product... albeit, it means that product makes less money back per item (which will also finish them off at some point if they’re not careful). However, it also restricts certain works of art which might have reached an audience via the window of cinema and... that's also a pretty big shop window for Blu Ray and DVD release purchases. This part of the non-crossing over audience are being ignored and, as someone not willing to pay stupid monthly fees for channels like Netflix at the moment (let alone having the time to watch much on there), this is a real kick in the teeth. It also means I can’t review these films for the blog when they come out so... not so great for me.
Yes, I know I’m simultaneously moaning about the abundance of product at the cinema while at the same time pointing out that it’s being excluded in terms of showing specific product but, what can I say, mankind is, perhaps, inherently contradictory.
And that’s me done on this one and I appreciate that this is a very short post but the anniversary took me by surprise again this year. I don’t know why I always think it’s in April.
Once again, I’d like to thank all of you who read this... from dedicated, long term readers to people who have only read a few posts or, you know, only this one... for spending some time here. It’s much appreciated and means a lot to me.
All the best to you.
21st March 2018.