Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of a good Netflix binge every now and then.
I love the convenience of being able to watch whole series in a 12 hour period, and I love that if I get a sudden whim to watch a horrible B-movie or a classic Gene Kelly flick, it’s only a quick search on my Roku away.
Still, lately I’ve been feeling a bit of nostalgia for the relationship I used to have with movies. And I think that “streaming” is to blame.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the ways that my relationship with movies was better, or at least more meaningful before digital age.
I can’t be the only one who gets exhausted by the never ending decisions that are necessary for entertainment today. Not only are there thousands and thousands of movies and tv shows to choose from, but you also have to choose which platform to watch it on, SD or HD; Netflix or Hulu: Amazon or XBox.
When I’m in the mood to relax, I usually end up spending 45 minutes scrolling and reading reviews, trying to decide what will satisfy my wants. Then once I choose something, I often watch 5 minutes and if it doesn’t immediately draw me in, I’m back to browsing.
I know that this has its advantages, but for me-it often turns an enjoyable and relaxing experience into a stressful one.
Going to the video store used to be one of my favorite activities. In the way that I still love an old fashioned book store, I got a lot of joy out walking down the aisles and reading the back of DVDs.
Not only that, but when there was a particular movie you wanted to watch, you had to get in your car and drive somewhere to get it. If it was a new release, you often had to wait a few weeks for it to be available.
Sure, it was frustrating at the time. But you have to admit that it made the whole experience a lot more special.
Since you had already made the effort to got to the video store and pay money for a rental, you were much more likely to sit down and watch the movie without other distractions. You also picked up popcorn and candy while at the movie store, so the whole ordeal felt like an experience.
Getting rid of my collection of 400+ DVDs before my last move was one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I got a lot of pleasure in seeking out the movies that I loved and adding them to my collection.
I was proud of my movies. I organized them and displayed them and there is no question that they were a part of my identity. You could come to my house and automatically know that I was a huge horror movie buff and that I had an obsession with John Cusack.
When I made the decision to purge my collection due to lack of space, I figured I would begin to collect and purchase films digitally. That hasn’t happened. There doesn’t seem to be a point. I don’t need to own something to rewatch it, and what’s the point if no one can come over and admire my collection?
On the same note, there was a lot of comfort in the fact that Serendipity was on my shelf.
Back in the day, I would watch and rewatch my favorite movies over and over again. It was such a comfort to relive something that was both predictable and entertaining. Now I hardly ever rewatch movies. There are too many other choices. I know I still could, but it doesn’t give me the same joy when it’s a digital version.
On top of everything else, one of the things I miss the most is watching the extra and commentaries on DVDs. When I really love a movie, I want to know everything about it.
Now I have to rely on the internet to supply me with extra information and it’s just not nearly as fun.
As I said before, it’s not as if I’m against streaming video. I mean, I am a lazy mofo and I really like convenience. I guess maybe I’m still a little bitter about the closing of all the Blockbusters.
What about you? Do you ever miss ACTUAL dvds? Trips to the video store? Being able to make a pile of all of your John Cusack movies and swirl yourself around in them?