I go to the cinema a lot. Watching over 100 films a year, and going back to see the ones I really like more than once. To put it another way, in an average month I see more films at the cinema than I had seen by my eightieth birthday. But would I go so often if I had to pay full price? Probably not!
This article started out as something very different. I intended to talk about the directors whose films I would go and see without knowing a thing about them. When Kathryn Bigelow made The Weight of Water (2000), a film that was so far below the radar most people have forgotten it exists (if they knew it existed in the first place), and Martin Scorsese made Hugo (2011), a kids movie in 3D, I went to see them without reading a review. There are a handful of other directors that I feel the same way about, however suddenly I came to realise something hence the change in direction of this post. I have seen all of Paul W.S. Anderson’s films and all but one of Michael Bay’s films, I couldn’t bring myself to see Pain & Gain. My expectations and the standards I expect from a film have dropped.
I have mentioned previously that I pay for a monthly cinema pass, It works out as less than £2 a film in comparison to the £8 to £10 that my local cinemas charge saving around £1,000 a year. At full price it is unlikely that I would have seen all the films that I have this year. The ones I am unlikely to have bothered with are: I, Frankenstein, Robocop, Lone Survivor, Jack Strong, Stalingrad, The Lego Movie, 300 Rise of an Empire, Need For Speed, A Long Way Down, The Last Days on Mars, Brick Mansions, Pompeii, Sabotage, Maleficent, 22 Jump Street, 3 Days To Kill, Transformers: Age Of Extinction. Looking at it from the other point of view, I have been back to see the following films for a second time: Only Lovers Left Alive, The Grand Budapest Hotel, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Edge of Tomorrow. I intend to see Boyhood again later this week. This is something I wouldn’t have done at £10 a time.
But there is another factor at play. I have had my current pass for 14 years, before that I used to buy the old 8 week mega pass from Virgin. Back then I watched a lot of films but not as many as now. I didn’t “keep score” until I started blogging but am sure I watch a lot of films I wouldn’t have before I started blogging. I don’t kid myself that I am as immersed in film or see anything like the number of movies as a professional critic but understand the more I see, and the more variety I see the more I understand film. The only downside to this is that I watch less older films than I used to.
I’m not sure that my expectations are diminished I just choose to watch more films and more varied films because I can.