I suffer from a problem that gets worse with each passing month, each passing year: it pains me to say it, but there are too many films out there. I am cursed with a mind that is constantly seeking out new films, new stories, new ideas, so despite having a collection of around 800 films on DVD and Blu-Ray I am always looking for new content to absorb and write about. As time has gone on this has become much easier with the expansion of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. I have been a user of both services in the past, with Netflix winning the fight in the early days and retaining my subscription since the service launched back in 2012. I had previously been subscribed to the Lovefilm service and made occasional use of their streaming service, but Netflix had a couple of advantages over their established rival – it was very easy to cancel my subscription (just log onto my account and hit a button), and the quality of their streaming service was far, far better. Since being re-branded under the Amazon Prime banner the Lovefilm streaming service has improved, however much of their content, whilst being newer than much of that on Netflix, are films that I’ve already seen at the cinema. Suffice to say, despite testing the service out earlier this year with a free trial of Amazon Prime, I have not resubscribed as besides the works of Ingmar Bergman there is little else on the service to tempt me in. At the moment, at least.
And that brings me onto my next point – in the last couple of years I have become a voracious devourer of new films at the cinema. Whilst I do not get opportunity to see absolutely everything that I would like to (thanks, obligatory working week and the need to pay the bills), I often end up at the cinema twice a week, sometimes three depending on what has just been released and what I deem to be a “must-see”. Whilst I am more than happy to watch films at home on my rather lovely television, I do still enjoy the cinema experience despite the occasional disruption from other members of the audience. There’s something about the setting – even in the big multiplexes which I frequent – that sets it apart from anything else. The only reason I can afford to do this is because of the Unlimited card offered by Cineworld – I fear that if I were to pay the standard ticket price every week it would cost me upwards of £100 a month. If it wasn’t for my Unlimited card, I would definitely not be at the cinema as frequently as I am, no matter how many cheap Tuesdays and Orange/EE Wednesdays they throw at us.
Finally, in terms of streaming services, there is Sky Movies, which not only has a full schedule of films every day, but also lets me download films directly to my Sky+ box as part of my subscription. Just having the service for a few weeks has led to 15 films taking up space on the box, and not much room left for anything else. I’ll certainly be kept busy for the next few weeks. It’s either that or I start deleting films – heresy in my book. I’ll watch all of them, I’m sure, although again due to the amount of money they have to throw around, Sky frequently get exclusives on films I’ve already watched at the cinema. Despite this, I still currently have a shortlist on Sky Movies of around 100 films. This is in addition to the 200+ that I currently have sat waiting for me on Netflix.
That doesn’t even cover the films I have on DVD, most of which I have yet to re-watch and review for this website. Then there are the brand new DVDs and Blu-Rays which I have bought in the last 18 months and are still yet to watch. Much to my own disgust, I have not yet finished watching my Coen Brothers Blu-Ray set despite owning it for nearly 2 years. I have already seen two of the films in that set, but regardless – it needs to be watched. As of this post I have 25 films on DVD and Blu-Ray which I have either not yet watched or not even opened from the cellophane wrapper. This is another issue with my life over the last 2 years – I went out of my way to make myself busy, and now I find myself almost too busy to do everything I wanted. I shouldn’t complain, but the thought of losing one of my hobbies is a painful one. More effective time management is clearly something I need to work on.
In many ways it’s my own fault – I should know when to draw the line and not get preoccupied with the sheer amount of material that’s out there for me to endure or enjoy. Rather, I should see it as a good thing. Instead of obsessing over the fact I’ll likely never get round to watching absolutely everything on my list (at this time I still have to watch both Bad Boys films – one day, I’m sure), I should instead focus on the fact I will never be bored or lacking film related entertainment to keep me occupied. Of course, that’s only fine if I don’t get otherwise preoccupied with the huge pile of books, video games and TV series box sets I also need to catch up on, but that is another matter entirely. It’s a nice thing to know that I will never be stuck for something to do, even if I occasionally let the “backlogs’ as I call them get the better of me. Either way, with all of this content out there to be absorbed, and generally at reasonable prices, I’ll be kept busy for a very long time to come. This is actually a very good thing. Honest.