Don’t Give Up on Cinema

    A not so unique movie going experience

    Not too long ago I saw Rogue one: A Star Wars Story AND Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in the same day. I was excited because I had been wanting to see both of those movies for quite a while, and to see them in the same day put a little bit of a skip in my step. As the time drew near the whole thing reminded me of my teenage years when I actually had the energy to stay awake the whole time during movie marathons.

    I’d only heard good things about the new Star Wars installment and mixed reviews about the other one. So I went, expectant of being immersed once again in a magical land of wonder even though I sat right on the end of the row next to the curtain with a bit of dried slushy on the floor. You can’t beat that sticky feet experience.

    When I stepped out of the first movie (Fantastic Beasts) I thought to myself, ‘That was alright… there was fantastic beasts and some magic and old timey 1920’s underground bars….so, cool’. I quickly ran to a burger place and bought some fries while I still had time before Rogue One started (the fries were amazing).

    I sat down in the theatre again ready to watch the next movie. My seat was better. No sticky floor. Better position. As I sat, I expected once again that this story would take me into a whole new world, a new fantastic point of view… The first half hour or so I was thinking, ‘so far it’s alright, it’s gonna get real good soon though’, but by the end as I walked out, again I thought to myself, ‘Yeah, that was entertaining I guess’.

    Although I thought neither of the films were a waste of my time, neither of them left me in awe either. I just kind of felt… neutral. They weren’t bad and despite my opinion, they are both still pretty popular.

    Why did I feel this way?

    Earlier on this year I went to see Hacksaw Ridge. This is hands down, one of my favourite movies (#13 to be exact). This one in a hundred movie going experiences left me feeling inspired and encouraged to be a ‘better person’ and stand up for what I believe in no matter how much I feel like I’m going against the tide. It was one of the few movies that gave me this feeling but ironically ruined it for all the others that didn’t quite measure up. They weren’t terrible, but now they were…less good……

    I realised this is rare, to get that feeling of awe and inspiration just from a movie. With all the other hundreds that come out every month, though, sometimes I think ‘Is it worth it? Is it worth digging through the dirt to find the one that may or may not be a gem?’

    The amount of movies that came out this year which seem to fit the description of ‘well that was alright’ far out weigh the ones that leave you feeling like you could kiss a complete stranger on the lips and not feel an ounce of regret.

    The bad ones exist

    Many this year, I can safely say were a flop *cough* Suicide Squad *cough*. I mean, what? Suicide Squad turned out horribly? That’s a laugh. Surely another film set in the DC Universe (despite the fact that they spent only a few weeks of work on the script) is fail-proof. (I saw this movie on my birthday. Thankfully, I get over things quickly…)

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    “I see mediocre movies”

    I did mention before there were a few goodies though, but do the few good justify the bad? And do they justify the large spectrum of ‘meh’?

    These days if you expect to be blown away by a movie you have to carefully pick and choose what you watch when you go to the theatre. Sifting through the dirt to find the gold can be quite a task. If you mess up and make a bad decision, watching a fizzer, it’s like pressing on a wound that was created last time you made the same bad choice. The trailer made it look awesome, so what happened?

    Do not be fooled by that awesome trailer

    Audiences are starting to become more sceptical about whether they should trust the trailer they just watched. For the most part trailers deceptively make movies look 10 times better than they are.

    We really just have to take a gamble, see the movie for ourselves and hope we made the right choice.

    “Everything the light touches is probably a bad movie
    so you should just stay home”

    So should I give up?

    As a filmmaker, I desperately want new inspiration every day. However, i feel the inspiration I yearn for when I watch movies is few and far between.

    It seems as though there are so many movies that have been made purely for entertainment, have questionable content, are poorly thought out stories or are all of the above.

    BUT

    Is this a bad thing?

    Based on the point I just made we can come away with one of two conclusions:

    1. That the film industry is starved for any original ideas as they’re constantly pushing out sequels, prequels, reboots and remakes, that the majority of films these days aren’t actually worthy of the $15.00 I spend on going to the theatre.

    OR…

    1. The fact that there are so many terrible films only emphasizes the few films with powerful messages. These powerful films stand out from all the rest and they are the ones we step out of the theatre thinking to ourselves ‘I made the right choice.’

    When a film like Hacksaw Ridge comes along, to me it’s inspiring beyond what I could have even hoped for. It makes me feel like all of those ‘other’ films are insignificant in comparison.

    And the answer is ‘Not Today’

    These days when a great movie arrives at the theatre, it may be surrounded by 35 more mediocre films. When you see it, though, it becomes all the more memorable. It doesn’t actually get lost in the chaos of ‘which terrible movie should I spend my money on this time?’ It almost sticks out like a sore thumb… in a good way… it sticks out like a pinky covered in glitter.

    “There’s a hundred movies to choose from
    but only one of them will be worth of your time.
    Choose wisely”

    If you find yourself almost giving up on movies because you’ve made up your mind that they’re just another 2 hours of entertainment but aren’t worth your time, then still give them a chance. You’ll probably be disappointed many times, but I can speak from my own experience: many of the movies that inspired me didn’t just jump out at me, I almost had to search for them, but because I gave them a chance, when the right ones came along, they stood out. It was because of these few rare diamonds that made all the mediocrity I sat through not feeling anything was still worth it. Having a beautiful inspirational spark inside me because of a movie defeats all the times that made me mildly displeased.

    I don’t want to give up just yet.

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    • Jay Evans

      Editor

      Jay Evans has spent the last 8 years working as a film editor, 4 of which have been with The Initiative Production Company. In his spare time he enjoys music, comedy, experimental cooking and getting lost in the woods.

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