|Photo by Steve Snodgrass|
2016: Year of the WeirdTo provide some background, this has been one of the stranger years of my life. We’ve made three trips to the ER with our daughters for completely separate ailments. Our longtime cat also passed away last week. This isn’t a “woe is me” article, but it does help explain why movies haven’t been so prominent. It’s hard to worry about missing a mindless blockbuster when you’re spending time at the hospital. At times, I’ve felt like a character in the Final Destination series. Whatever we do, there’s always another challenge. Obviously, I don’t believe the end result for those characters is coming here.
|Not the actual snake, but this one is a lot more frightening.|
Have you ever felt like a dark cloud was hanging over your head? I’m not referring to the targeted rain in The Truman Show. It does sometimes feel like we’re in a similar manufactured environment, however. I’m not a very religious guy, but there do appear to be other forces at work here. This isn’t on the level of Hurley being cursed by the numbers on Lost, thankfully. It’s just a weird sensation when so much happens in a short period of time. It hasn’t been all bad, however. We stayed at a ridiculously nice resort at Disney World in January, and there have been great times along with the challenges. It does relegate pop culture to the background, though.
A Limited CropThis experience in missing the 2016 releases has made me wonder about a few issues. Have I lost interest in most of what Hollywood is producing? I do plan to see Captain America: Civil War pretty soon, but I don’t view skipping Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice or even X-Men: Apocalypse as a big deal. The biggest omission thus far has been Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship. He’s one of my favorite directors, and I’ve heard raves about his new film. I’m sure that good movies are still coming, but it doesn’t feel essential to see them right away. Even with the extenuating circumstances, this trend has existed for more than just this year.
These feelings do induce guilt about not supporting theaters. I don’t believe that home viewings can match the big screen, particularly on streaming services. Even so, the convenience of not setting aside three hours and getting a babysitter is hard to skip. I was once a regular visitor to the theater, so I’m essentially a reason that some venues are struggling. Part of the change is just getting older and losing the need to stay on top of things. I still listen to podcasts and read reviews, but there’s less connection with the super fans. This isn’t a new feeling but has grown this year. I do plan to write more on this site and engage better with the cinema culture. Even so, I’ll probably make only a handful of trips to the theater this year. Whether this is an aberration or the new normal is still in question.