I’ve always preferred the theater. There is something magical about enjoying stories as a group, when people come together as equals to sit in rapture of those moving pictures. Even if the person in front of me is texting or the jerk behind me is smacking his buttery, popcorn lips, I’m still experiencing a story with these people. It’s like kindergarten, when the librarian pulls out a beautiful, shiny copy of your favorite picture book, and as she reads it the class oohs and aahs together. It’s amazing. It’s story time. And the movie theater is storytime on steroids.
But books are not only meant to be enjoyed en masse. Of course they can be read alone too, and they should be. I once sat down and read the entire Harry Potter series in 4 days. Not only did that score major points with the ladies, but I was also able to totally immerse myself, uninterrupted in that world of magic. No distractions, no popcorn lips. So as much as I am a proponent for seeing film on the big screen, I also love the modern ability to stream from anywhere at any time. It’s a very personal experience and I find myself able to connect intimately to the story, sitting there with my iPad ten inches from my face.
There’s another important advantage to streaming. It’s so damn cheap. Remember when movies cost a nickel to see? I don’t. A trip to the movies for me is usually bittersweet. I smile knowing that it’s storytime, and I curse through my teeth when I drop 25 bucks for a pair of tickets and close to 20 on snacks. So naturally Netflix was like a savior to me. Now I can sit at home with my wife, knock back a couple of beers (another advantage of home viewing) and let that baby stream. After a while came Hulu, then Amazon Instant Video, and now the options are endless.
Endless. Constant. A constant stream of stories. How does somebody navigate all these options? My friends ask me all the time what movies they should watch. Three hours later, when I’ve completed my thoughts, they are probably even more overwhelmed. So I decided I should write it down, and here it is. This blog. It’s essentially a map, but kinda like a map that a crackhead drew with one of those little crayon nubs. I hope it’s helpful. But I’m not promising anything.