So last weekend I watched No Time to Die via a Netflix DVD, and I enjoyed it. I’m not a huge fan of Craig’s run but with some minor quibbles, I thought this was an excellent job. If not for the pandemic, I could have seen it in the nearby multiplex but … would I have done so?
I’ve been stepping away from watching on the big screen for a while. Don’t get me wrong, it’s way more fun than watching at home, despite home’s creature comforts and cheaper snacks. I was a regular once a week filmgoer, occasionally more than that, but then I moved up to Durham to get married. TYG isn’t as much of a movie buff as I am and while we did go occasionally pre-pandemic, a lot of times I’d be going alone. Sometimes it’s easier to hang around the house with her and our dogs.
Then came the pandemic. As a result I have seen one movie in a theater in the last two years, Eternals, and that was because it fit into my Alien Vistors book — or as McFarland has decided to title it, The Aliens Are Here. I picked a matinee show because I didn’t want to crawl into bed late at night. I enjoyed the movie (I probably enjoyed 007 more) but I didn’t enjoy the price tag, $16. For a matinee (though the cost is, of course, a legit business expense).
I thought maybe that was because it was a three hour movie but I checked prices on some other movies recently (not that I’m planning to catch one any time soon) and they all seem to be at that price point. I presume it’s because the local AMC, the most convenient movie house, has upgraded its facilities — recliners, space, better food — so now they assume they can charge a higher price.
For me, though, the price feels like a lot. It’s not that I can’t afford it — though obviously I can afford fewer than if it were $10 — but for me, above $10 is the cut-off at which things stop being “disposable income, no big to buy them” and become “how much do I really want this?” Given the alternative — stay home, watch something different on Netflix or Hulu or whatever, spend the $15 on a TPB or a book — and the certainty I’ll be able to see anything new in a couple of months, the answer to question b is often “not that much.”
I don’t doubt I’ll be back at the multiplex at some point, when the pandemic’s down to reasonable levels. The local art-house theater is a lot cheaper and the movies are good. Or there will be some movie so fricking awesome I’ll just have to shell out for the tickets. I’m an 007 fan; No Time to Die might have gotten me into a chair (TYG would probably have come too). But even though I miss doing it, it’ll never be a regular thing again.