The Art of Watching Movies at Home

“‘In my view, the only way to see a film remains the way the filmmaker intended: inside a large movie theater with great sound and pristine picture.

-Ridley Scott

For many a cinephile, as well as people wanting to kill time on a Friday night, the sudden closings of movie theaters across the world as a result of the rapid spread of the coronavirus has made more than its fair share of changes. Many regard the cinema in the same vein of church or any other holy place, and rightfully so: I can’t even begin to recount the countless memories and times of elation and wonder the movie theater has been responsible for. No matter what the film is, even the worse of the worse, the moment the lights turned off and the opening logos come up, I always think “what if it’s good?”. That sense of mystery and wonder is put on hold and we can only respond in adjustment. Like the filmmaking process itself, moviegoers need to adjust and adapt to the situation at hand. This is the world for the interim, let’s make the most of it.

 

  1. Clean that queue up

Regardless of the streaming services you have, it’s inevitable that your queue (or list for Netflix, or “stuff” for Hulu) has been gathering digital dust. Likewise, champions of physical media are bound to have more than a few blu-ray’s that have been yet to be viewed. This time of self-quarantining can be handsomely used by watching those films that have long alluded you. They’re on the list for a reason, you bought the blu ray with the intention to watch it sooner or later. Sure, binging The Office for the third time is not the worse idea, but I know I’d rather watch something new than taking the endurance test of the last two seasons.

 

  1. Put that cell phone down. NOW!

Image result for phone movie theater

One of, if not the biggest don’ts of going to the cinema is being on your phone. You pay a typically pricey ticket for a film, and add concessions to the mix, why go on your phone to spoil your experience as well as the others around you?

For the trigger happy folk who can’t bear not checking social media for a prolonged amount of time, this current situation might be somewhat of a god send. I just hope I never see you. However for those who’ve been practicing the doctrine of moviegoing, this temptation has been nothing but a pestilential compromise of our daily cinematic sermon.

*gets off high horse*

Checking your phone for any reason, whether it’s a text or a casual browse across the social media’s, might seem inconsequential but adds up the more frequent you do it. You’re constantly disassociating yourself from the movie, eliminating any and all momentum it was building for you, the viewer. You’ve got the remote, pause the film whenever you want to relieve yourself of any distractions and you can get back to it. There’s a story to be told, let the filmmakers tell it.

 

  1. Make yourself comfortable, but not too comfortable

Image result for ed norton watching tv

Chances are you mainly watch movies on the couch. Nothing wrong with that, hopefully the couch is pretty comfy. A big plus of most major theater chains is the chairs. Whether they recline, warm up, or do both with the most comfortable kind of fabric, watching films is not meant to be a grueling test of the fates as it concerns your sitting down. Throw in a blanket, put your feet up with the textbooks you never use and get in a comfortable position to enjoy the film at hand. Beware: adding pillows or even a blanket with one too many thread counts can likely lead you to doze off and wake up to the part where Bruce Willis realizes he’s been dead the whole time

 

  1. Commentaries and Special Features

Image result for tropic thunder dvd commentary

To my knowledge, Disney+ is the only major streaming platform that offers any substantial special features to their films, a pity considering just how many great films are now primarily seen through streaming. Your blu-ray collection doesn’t need to be big enough to support a video rental store, but the movies you have at home almost definitely have some supplementals that go in depth to its making. Filmmaking is, of course, a time consuming, patience testing and sanity trying endeavor, and whether it be concept art or the director’s commentary, special features can help the viewer gain appreciation for even the worse of films. It takes a village, and to see the making of your favorite films can prove to be as enriching and gratifying as the films themselves. Give it a shot, it’s not like you’ll hate The Lion King remake even more. Well, come to think of it…