I spent 24 years reviewing films for WFAA-TV in Dallas, the highest rated ABC affiliate in the country, and after more than 10,000 movie reviews I have come to the startling, even shocking, conclusion.
Watching movies at home is a much better experience than going to the theater.
Don’t get me wrong, I spent most of my life in a darkened movie theater, often calling it a palace, even a “shrine.” Noting that movies were meant to be seen together, with strangers, in a communal setting. I grew up wanting to share that experience with anyone and everyone, and the concept of watching movies at home was as foreign to me as the vast landscapes depicted in “Lawrence of Arabia.”
But, everything has changed over time, particularly escalating in recent months. Better, more affordable home television systems with much better sound, combined with major releases arriving earlier and earlier have payed off for the impatient movie goer.
It’s not uncommon to see more and more “day to date” releases meaning the movie is on demand at home the same day it arrives in theaters. I have to admit, almost all “day to date” movies are still lousy films, “This Is Where I Leave You,” is a good example. But the push to make it happen is moving at warp speed.
And the price point makes sense. For $14.99 or much less, I can watch at home, prepare my own dinner, open my own bottle of wine, turn up the sound and block out the crazies that seem to be pointing their bad behavior directly at me when I do venture out to a theater. I stopped going to the movies on Friday and Saturday night years ago simply because the experience was so annoying.
I have to see movies, I must see movies, and I will see movies, but like everything else in our culture I want it my way if I am paying for the experience.
And the experience at home has simply been the best. My extraordinary wife is a gourmet cook, our wine selection is always crafted with loving care, our leather sofa is comfortable, my screen is big, my sound is better, the crazies are annoying someone else, my car is safe in the garage, and my dog snuggles up with us.
Some movies still get me to the local theater. Most movies are better watched at home.
- Gary Cogill