The Avengers

Or why the cinema (not the film) sucks.
A portrait photograph of Gareth Latty.

So, I went to see the Avengers film - Avengers Assemble (yes, really) here in the UK. Let me just begin by saying it’s a great film. I was hopeful, and fortunately they succeeded in making a film that lives up to the previous films in the continuity.

I was a big fan of the previous films (especially the Iron Man films) and Robert Downey Jr. continues to be the star of the show for me, keeping the comedy level up throughout.

It’s a long film, but it in a really good way. You did notice that it was a long film, but it never felt boring or dragged out - there was enough content and plot for the whole thing. The pace was good throughout the film, keeping you interested all the way through.

Now, while the film was good, I was once again reminded why Cinemas are dying. While some of these experiences will be individual to the exact Cinema I went to, most of them are universal.

So we begin with the classic - highly overpriced tickets, food and drink (I paid like £6 to get in for the film, with a student discount), and avoided buying anything from the refreshments stall due to the high prices.

Then I sit down in a horribly uncomfortable seat (seriously, this is really just my local cinema, but it’s a cardinal sin for a place that requires you to sit down for long periods to have uncomfortable seating), and watch the film. I was then reminded of why people come to the cinema - the ‘cinema experience’. Some child behind me constantly asking ‘who is that guy’ whenever a character (often main characters) walk on-screen, people walking to the toilets in front of me. Great.

The reality, as I reflect upon it is that there is absolutely no reason I’d visit the cinema now if not for the fact that they still have a monopoly over new films. If I could buy a DVD/Blu-ray/un-DRMed file of my film the day it came out in the cinema, I’d definitely do that instead. I’d also happily pay to for a digital rental, that’s fine too.

Large 1080p screens are commonplace these days, and when you are sitting as close to them as you are in the average house, the difference between that and a cinema screen is negligible, and everything else is better.

I really want the cinema industry to die - I know it sounds terrible, and some people will lament the loss of the event that going to the cinema is, but is that worth it, really? The cinema just has no benefit for me any more. It’s just an annoyance and expense that I could avoid if I wasn’t forced into it to enjoy a film as it comes out, and that sucks.