„Netflix and chill“ – or movie night, as we used to call it back in the days (about three years ago), has always been quite the hassle for me. Taking it from good to great requires a lot of preparation and essentially three pieces that make up the perfect movie night: Movies, friends and food. What’s most important for movie nights, as for everything else in life, is food. Food is awesome! It often tastes good and it helps not starving. What more could you ask for? Now true purist cinema aficionados may disagree, but to me there’s no movie night without lots of food. The more convenient the better. I’m talking pizza, burgers, chips, popcorn, you name it. But that’s just for starters, if you want to kick it up a notch, you’ll have to surprise your guests (or hosts, in case you’re the guest). Canned food can help you, become a true movie night snack legend! Pop open a can of tuna, a can of pickled jalapeños, load it on your nacho chips, sprinkle with cheese and put it in the oven. You can thank me later. Or you could just open a can of chick peas, season them with the spices of your choice and bake covered in oil until crispy. That’s just two examples of easy, super quick and incredibly tasty snacks you can make with canned food that you probably already have in your pantry anyway. Got your mates over? Get some canned beers from the shop. And in case you have a romantic evening planned, go grab some canned prosecco. Canned food and drinks are super versatile, easily accessible and pretty affordable and above all, metal cans preserve flavor better than any other case. It’s food, friends and movies. In that order
Since you’re now settled for food, let’s talk about company. Speaking for myself, I’d always preferred to keep the party rather small because that would make it easier to decide on one movie. Although the right movie plays a very important role, the friends, you decide to watch the movie with, are probably more important. There’s just nothing worse than some dude not shutting up, all while you’re being concentrated, grasping the melancholic beauty of this phenomenal piece of art. This is even worse than going to the theater and having some prepubescent kids sitting in the row behind you, talking all the time and trying to make the one girl, who agreed on going out with them, laugh. On behalf of every movie-goer ever: Please stop! No, I’m not traumatized.
One step at a time
So once you managed to decide on who you watch the movies with, all you’ve got to do is choose the right movie. Easy, right? Wrong! The process of choosing what movie to watch with my girlfriend would often outlast the playing time of the movie itself. It’s always the same: Every single movie I try to talk her into gets rejected because “it looks interesting and we’ll definitely watch it some time in the future (we won’t) but I’m currently not in the mood for that”. We’ll end up watching Up or some other animated Disney movie that we’ve already seen five times. Now I don’t want to come off sexist by any means but this kind of behaviour is so stereotypically female that it could’ve jumped straight out of Bill Burr’s stand-up routine. (You can easily replace Bill Burr with your country’s major comedian who is most famous for talking about the differences between men and women.) But I don’t want to complain too much, since choosing a restaurant is quite easy with her.
Oh time, where hast thou gone?
Things used to be simpler when video streaming wasn’t as widely spread as it is today. Of course back then we had to go to the video shop and rent a DVD (or Blu-Ray Disc) or even worse: Buy one. We would often end up renting a movie there and while we were already there we’d grab a couple of snacks that were guaranteed to be double the price as the exact same ones in the grocery store next door. It was probably just my imagination but I was always certain that the snacks tasted better when bought there, just like the nachos and popcorn you buy at the theater always tasted better than the ones you sneaked in in your bag. Video shops have always fascinated me. They have that scent of the past, like public buildings that permitted smoking back in the 70s and kept the smell because air circulation wasn’t a priority when it was built. Stepping into a shop like that is kind of like listening to Morrissey – beautiful, yet sad and reminiscent of the past. I could see a small business and a branch of the huge movie distribution industry die. All while being kindly reminded of the time when me and my dad went there to rent Jurassic Park on VHS and then copy it so we wouldn’t have to pay again to re-watch it. The memories will stay for years. Long after the shops have closed and some semi-serious gambling halls have popped up in the place instead. That’s some legit transience right there.
All that glitters ain’t gold
But let’s face it: Not everything we so proudly romanticize about the past is really worth that much of our attention. Unlike the vinyl disc which will likely carry on for long since it actually provides major upside towards their digital counterparts, DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs will slowly but surely fade away into non-existence because of their storage limitation. Digital distribution is already growing enormously and will continue to do so. That is actually pretty great, though, since CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs are costly to produce and they’re not as easily recyclable as let’s say cans.
Everything comes with a price
When it comes to recycling, the movie industry has made huge advances as of lately. Film aficionados may hate it, but the industry went ahead and made the transition from shooting on film to digital, thus saving money, material and time for the price of losing the iconic film grain, provided by actual film. From an environmental point-of-view that’s a vast improvement whereas film nerds will continue to just shake their elitist heads in disapproval. The industry not only reduces waste like that, it also recycles like a true metal packager. And they not only recycle metal in big fashion, they also reuse movie ideas on the daily. Super hero movies are not only as boring as watching Tiger Woods play golf, they’re also as generic as the leaves of grass, Tiger Woods plays golf on. The very first Spider-Man movie was released in 2002 and had two sequels (2004 & 2007), in 2012 it got rebooted as “The Amazing Spider-Man” (who wasn’t as amazing as the name may have suggested) along with yet another sequel (2014). This year, in 2017, we’re getting the second Spider-Man reboot. Sigh. That’s 6 Spider-Man movies in 15 years, including restarting the series twice. Twice. Taking into consideration that this is just Spider-Man and Marvel has tons of other superhero movie franchises they constantly harvest, one could argue that they’re true champions of recycling.
If everybody took them as role models in terms of recycling, humanity might be able to defeat global warming for good by 2030. (This number is of course entirely made up.)
What’s your favourite movie? Does it contain superheroes? And are you as good at recycling as Marvel is? Let me know in the comments below!