Our staff has been involved in a heated discussion about the impact of Netflix on the world of cinema. While many of our staffers are pro-Netflix, Chris Utley remains decidedly anti-Netflix. Read the latest episode of our ongoing debate as we discuss Bird Box, Roma’s theatrical release strategy, and whether or not the label Streaming Cinema will catch on.
J Alan Sharrer: I’m just going to leave this here . . . an article about Netflix telling people to cut it out with all the Bird Box challenges.
Arnaldo Reyes: (facepalm) So much hype for a meh movie.
Alan S: Amen.
Chris Utley: And you’d rather I stay home and watch this (Bird Box) on Netflix?” (GIF of Tyler Perry’s “Madea” shaking her head)
Alan: Her swan song is March 1.
Chris: . . . till his non-Madea movies flop. Brace up for that.
Steve Norton: No, we’d rather you stay home and watch quality television . . . lol
Chris: You lost me at “stay home.”
Steve: Ha. Well, I’m sure you could watch Netflix on your phone… 😛
Chris: It seems Netfixerization now has a name . . . STREAMING CINEMA. I love it. It differentiates. As it should.
Steve: Until Roma wins Best Pic?
Alan: I don’t know. If that goes too far, movie theaters are going to cry foul. Or they’ll have to change their names . . . Edwards Movies; Regal Movies; Maya Movies . . .
Arnaldo: Streaming Cinema . . . movie theaters “don’t call it Cinema.” (includes GIF telling us to get off his lawn)
Chris: Um . . .there are cinemas in LA LA LAND that proudly call themselves CINEMAS! And there’s Alamo . . . as in Alamo Drafthouse CINEMA.
Steve: That’s weird. They must show Netflix. That’s streaming cinema. The others are the talkies . . .
Chris: And . . . Roma has played in CINEMAS too. Netflix caved. 70MM prints to boot! (Oh my emoji)
Steve: Well, it played in theatres. That’s streaming cinema. I’ve seen movies on Netflix too.
Arnaldo: Netflix didn’t cave . . . they found another way to have their cake and eat it too.
Steve: I like cake.
Arnaldo: Smart business.
Chris: I can assure you that they did not stream a 70MM print.
Steve: Sorry. I’m in a mood.
Steve: My tv is 52’’. That’s bigger than 70mm. I know that’s metric, to be fair. (NOTE: Steve lives in Canada)
Chris: They went from playing all their crap in 2 theatres unadvertised to striking 70MM & Dolby Atmos prints for theatres nationwide.
Arnaldo: They don’t need to stream it that way . . . they stream 4K. That’s what streaming is for. They also said, “Hey, let’s make some more money and show it in a different format.”
Chris: Caving like a mug! They can’t strream Atmos. Thank you . . . next.
Arnaldo: So you missed my point.
Chris: And you missed mine. They can run 4K. Awesome.
Steve: Points are dangerous. They hurt.
Chris: But running 4K and Atmos is exclusively the domain of . . . CINEMAS!
Arnaldo: No, I see your point; it was valid if it meant that Netflix only cared about streaming formats. They don’t.
Chris: They caved because (Roma director Alfonso) Curon made them cave.
Arnaldo: They care about getting more eyes on their film, so why not make it available in a different format? Not caving–just smart business.
Chris: That was Curon. He demanded the cinema release and the large format prints. They obliged. Yeah, it’s smart.
Arnaldo: Netflix now has bigger competition in streaming. And more competition to come. So get out in front and explore different avenues. Smart move.
Chris: Really . . . it’s my original point. No Oscar love until they respect the process.
Arnaldo: Meh. Oscars are overrated IMO.
Chris: They worked with a director who demanded they play ball with the process. Please don’t get it twisted. Netflix darn sure wants one.
Arnaldo: I’m sure they do. They all want one. Still overrated.
Chris: Heck . . . film itself is overrated to you, right? Comics first!
Arnaldo: Nope. I haven’t kept up on comics, they’ve gotten weak in writing lately.
Chris: If Roma gets screened as part of AMC’s Best Picture Showcase, I’ll see it. If it ain’t, I won’t.
Arnaldo: I’m a “let them all in” guy. If streaming is putting out better content than what’s being released in theaters then they should be recognized for it. Last I checked, Oscars were meant to celebrate the best in “Cinema” yet they don’t allow the best in.
Chris: I say give STREAMING CINEMA their own dang awards. Like I always say, you don’t see HBO TV movies in Oscar categories.
Arnaldo: They won’t, because then Oscars would lose more viewership. LOL.
Chris: Why give Netflix a pass?
Arnaldo: It’s not about just Netflix anymore. Oscars need to adapt. If Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon etc. are putting out better quality Cinema, then should recognize it.
Chris: It’s not about movie theatres anymore. I need to adapt . . .
Arnaldo: Actors, directors, writers are flocking to them . . .
Steve: Like Canadian geese.
Chris: (nope nope nope)
Arnaldo: (GIF of Kylo Ren turning to camera, looking sinister) Let the past die.
Chris: The past ain’t the past. When the Avengers reboot premieres exclusively on Disney+ in 10 years, then I’ll adapt. Till then . . . (picture of theater) Till death do us part? 4 LIFE!
Steve: I feel like this is a conversation we’ve had before . . . LOL – I think Chris should do a 2019 challenge where he watches 5 Netflix shows and Arnaldo should do something where he watches 5 movies of Chris’ choosing.
Chris: I watched more than that last year. Stand up comedies. I already gave you the challenge, but Jacob (Sahms) vetoed it: a Google Hangout viewing of Mad Max Fury Road.
Join the conversation! Agree or disagree with our band of ScreenFishers? Ready to challenge their POV? Feel free to share in the comments!