By Ian Morton

The life of the amateur film critic can be one of ups and downs as you struggle to decide what films to watch, when you can fit them in around a full time job and more importantly, what you’re actually going to review. While some would quite rightly argue the middle class nature of the problem (he said while wearing a monocle and sipping tea by the bureau), it’s an issue responsible for me almost chucking it in on more than one occasion.

Sitting back and pondering the missed opportunities over the last few months, I thought I would take some time to look at what makes watching/reviewing films just that little more difficult than it should be. Whether its meticulously planning the week to include both blockbuster and potential Oscar winners, or smashing through the seemingly limitless amount of Netflix originals, it’s soon clear that you can’t have it all and eventually a decision must be made!

As Friday night looms, the daunting yet inevitable question begins festering in the crevices of the mind – do we cinema or Netflix and chill (sexy times not guaranteed)? Much like Batman’s un-eviable choice at the end of the Dark Knight, we’re forced to pick one over the other; a decision laced with bittersweet consequences. True, in our situation the loser won’t end up blowing sky high or losing a half a face but it’s still a decision I avoid as much as I can as I skip home from work at the end of a tough week.

Case in point, next Friday (12th October 2018) see’s the UK wide cinema release of First Man and Bad Times At The El Royale. A tough choice in itself that’s made ever harder as they coincide with the much anticipated release of Gareth Evan’s new Netflix horror, Apostle. Now i’m not saying this is something that many people would cry about, but the budding reviewer in me is torn to shreds at the mere thought of choosing one over the other. Do I listen to the fat man who loves the couch or the keen Mark Kermode wannabe buried inside?

Thankfully, the ever expanding list of Netflix failures has made this an easy choice in recent years but with more and more studio releases on the slate, its a problem that will likely get worse before it gets better. Following Gareth Evans, Netflix could be in for a windfall in the next few years with more directors jumping aboard the streaming train. With the imminent release of Paul Greengrass’s, 22nd July and the upcoming buzz surrounding Martin Scorsese’s, The Irishman, it’s certainly looking peachy for the at home entertainment giant.

On the other hand however, I cant ignore the fact that I love sitting in a dark room not talking to anyone! To this day, i’m yet to be convinced that you can experience a film in any format other than it was intended; the big screen. Regardless of how many times you pop the Blu Ray in, it never quite matches the feelings you get watching it at the flicks. There’s an inexplicable electricity about it all as the the surround sound pummels your insides and you fall hopelessly in love with the events unfolding on screen. Depending on what you see, the cinema can make a film funnier, scarier and more chilling than you can ever truly experience on the telly box.

Alas, I was hoping that getting these thoughts on paper would help alleviate the stress building on my impending choice but it seems like I’ve only made it harder for myself. Fingers crossed i’ll make the right one but i’m sure you’ll see once the reviews are released over the weekend which one I ultimately went with. It’s at times like this I wish I could pick the red of the blue pill…although knowing my luck, I would probably end up stressing over that choice just as much!
Safety announcement: If you’ve been affected by any of the issues discussed in today’s article, unfortunately there’s fuck all out there to help (and rightly so) – with that in mind, chuck us a comment with what makes you ‘movie stressed’ and we’ll make sure to get back to you as soon as possible!

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