EDITORIAL: How Do You Watch Movies?

JULY 27 2017

WRITTEN BY: DANIEL BAPTISTA
@dbapz

I love movies.

Oh, right. I’m Daniel. Sometimes I can forget that part. Be it for my entertainment or as a momentary escape from the world, movies have always been there for me when I needed them.

If I’m not working or not commuting, chances are I am probably watching a movie. With this in mind, I wanted to extend this question to anybody who may read this:

How Do You Watch Movies? 

Theatre goer? Home watcher? Mobile viewer? There is no wrong answer. (Unless you’re pirating) There are tons of options that allow us to consume movies and I absolutely adore that we live in a time where toomany options is the problem. This isn’t a debate of which option is better, this is a celebration of all the ways we can experience the things we love most, in the ways most accessible to us.

I have fond memories of buying my first iPod Video in 2006 and being able to bring some of my home videos and blockbuster films around with me anywhere I went on a two inch screen. Sure, it was small and clunky. But the time, it was my favourite way to watch movies when I wasn’t able to convince my parents to take me to the theatre or when my big sister was hogging the television. I still own that device today and cherish it like the elder statesmen it is amongst my newer tech.

“Visiting a theatre to me is a religious experience. It is the place I find solace and feel the most serenity.”

Today, as an adult with the ability to pay for my own movie ticket I try and go to the theatre as much as I can. Nothing beats the larger than life screen, booming audio and sharing in an experience with hundreds of people. Visiting a theatre to me is a religious experience. It is the place I find solace and feel the most serenity. On average, I visit the theatre anywhere between 40-50 times a year. Weekly trips are the norm and my family is in full support my habit. My earliest memory as a human being is watching Toy Story (1995) in theatres and standing on the seats the entire time. As I mentioned, it is a larger than life experience and one that I never want to disrespect by taking my phone out or disrupting the suspension of disbelief.

As a Canadian, the Cineplex chain are my theatres of choice (by default) but that isn’t a bad thing in the slightest. With IMAX, AVX and VIP, the biggest screens, best audio quality and comfiest seats are never far away. TimePlay is a game that guests can play in their seat using their smartphones before the movie begins to earn bonus SCENE loyalty points and other prizes. Something I tried recently with my *ahem* fourth viewing of Spider-Man: Homecoming was 4DX. Only available at one location downtown Toronto, 4DX features moving seats, wind, water and smells that sync to the movie you’re watching. I had an incredible time watching the movie this way. It put an exclamation point on every action sequence and is something I’d recommend for anyone to try at least once.

“Nothing makes me happier than seeing my list grow each month and trying to beat my personal best.”

I like lovekeeping a list of the movies I’ve watched in theatres. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my list grow each month and trying to beat my personal best. As of July 2017, I am proud to say I set a new record with 11 movie theatre trips. To track this, I use this awesome site called Letterboxd. Letterboxd is a social network for sharing your taste in film. You can use it as a diary to record your opinion about films as you watch them, or just to keep track of films you’ve seen in the past. It also allows you to rate, review and tag films as you add them. My favourite aspect of the site is that it allows me to see what my friends are watching and reviewing as well.

“There are core moments in life that have defined who I am today and what I want to do with the rest of my life. Watching The Dark Knight was one of those moments.”

In July 2008 and after what felt like years of anticipation I watched The Dark Knight Directed by Christopher Nolan with my Dad and best friend at the time. We waited hours at the theatre for the 7PM showing as reserved seats were not a thing yet. My Dad waited at the back of the an earlier screening’s line so when they went in for their turn, he was the first in line. It’s now something we always joke about when we arrive minutes before a screening thanks to the convenience of booking our seats ahead of time. There are core moments in life that have defined who I am today and what I want to do with the rest of my life. Watching The Dark Knight was one of those moments. The movie itself, broke every expectation and concept of what I believed movies could be up to that point in my life. Leaving the theatre, I knew that experience- making something larger than life is one I’d be chasing the rest of my life.

Wait, is this post still about How Do You Watch Movies? I digressed. Hmmm…How else do I watch movies…

Nowadays, the other way I watch movies is at home.

This is what my collection looked like in 2011:

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This is what it looks like today.

 (shout out to Shahbaz and I’s original short film Him/Her/Them leaning there with the greats)

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Pictured above: The Town (2010) Directed by Ben Affleck playing in my room.

Over the past year I decided to go digital in my purchasing of movies and have traded in a lot of my old physicals for their digital counterparts. Now that 4K has come around, I have decided to go back to the physical form of collecting as they also include a digital copy for me to use when I am on the go or want to watch something while working out at the gym. I love that digital follows me on whatever device I’m using so the convince is a key.

“As of this moment I own 385 digital films and 250 physical including duplicates.”

At home, I consume movies in a combination of ways. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon are awesome for rediscovering an old favourite or finding a new one. To be honest, I use them primarily for watching television shows. iTunes digital and Blu Ray/4K physical copies are my primary methods of watching at home. As of this moment I own 385 digital films and 250 physical including duplicates. I take a lot of pride in keeping my space clean and organized. My movie shelf is something I cherish. I know I’m crazy but I love looking at it. The box art, the attention to small details and the disappointment when the sticker glue doesn’t come off the case !@#$$@%$@#!#$! 

*breathe*

I love movies. To answer the posed question: How Do I Watch Movies?

The answer? Anyway I can.

Share your thoughts below. Let’s talk!

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