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13th May 2021

Cinemas vs. streaming: A poor replacement?

Alex Harris explains why the cinema is so much better than streaming films at home
Cinemas vs. streaming: A poor replacement?
Photo: nestorlv @ freepik

Words by Alex Harris

So, I was going to write about a variety of movies for this article. However, with cinemas being shut down for so long I have become completely disconnected from finding out the release dates for any movies. If it’s not on Netflix it doesn’t feel like it exists. I was going to review Black Widow, Suicide Squad and Mortal Kombat but it seems that Black Widow has been delayed 15 times, Suicide Squad is out there somewhere in the aether, and Mortal Kombat is in a similar place.

The idea of cinemas returning is both terrifying and utterly thrilling, but when cinemas return, I will be very grateful. For the first time in my life I am excited at the prospect of spending £500 on popcorn and drinks at the concession stands.

I am firmly of the opinion that streaming is a much much worse platform for enjoying a movie. In a cinema you are scared to leave your seat for fear that you may miss a vital plot point, but when you are streaming a movie, you get countless unwanted intermissions.

I also long for the stench of a cinema. I’m so deprived of experience that I miss the smell of stale popcorn that lingers in seemingly every theatre. I miss everything about that place – so many memories made and friendships forged. I long for the times that we were able to get lost in the worlds created in the films and leave the cinema confused as to where the sun had gone. The closest I have come to the feeling of the cinema was when I watched the Snyder cut twice back to back, but even so I was painfully aware I was just sat at home, alone.

Streaming services on the whole really annoy me. Take Disney+, for instance – it’s all well and good that they frequently upload content that the normal user can access, like the most recent The Falcon and the Winter Soldier show, or Wandavision. But ‘premiers’ for new movies like Raya and the Last Dragon or even the reboot of Mulan are placed behind a £19.99 pay-wall on top of the £7.99/month subscription fee, until the movie comes out properly.

Because of this, I haven’t bothered watching any of the most recent Disney movies. The idea of paying double the price of a movie ticket for a movie that might not even be good is an insult, when I’ve already committed to paying probably over £100 just for the privilege of the occasional nostalgia trip and watching the Simpsons whenever I want. And I do have to ask – what is Can of Worms doing on there and not the Raimi-directed Spider-Man movies?

So, I long for the days when the cinema can finally come back in all its expensive glory, because it made movies a luxury rather than a right. Movies don’t have the same effect upon me anymore because I dread the idea of scrolling through them all, being torn between three of them, not being able to decide and then realising four hours have gone by and I need to be awake in 2 hours.

I just want to get fully lost in a different world again, and I long for the day I can finally sit in a movie theatre debating with myself as to whether or not my bladder will last another 10 minutes until an action scene subsides.

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