When Will This Film Actually Begin? I’ve spent 30 Minutes Here

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When Will This Film Actually Begin? I’ve spent 30 Minutes Here.

When will this film actually begin? I’ve spent thirty minutes here.

I put off seeing the new Martin Scorsese film “Killers of the Flower Moon” for a few weeks because of its intimidating three hours and twenty-six minute runtime.

Nevertheless, I traveled to my neighborhood theater in New York City on a recent weeknight for an 8:30 p.m. showing.

I made sure to arrive a few minutes late in order to avoid some of the pre-show commercials and trailers because I knew it would be a long evening.

Not sufficiently late. Even so, I had to endure several minutes of previews and promotions from AMC Theatres before Leonardo DiCaprio made his on-screen debut.

But not in the film; he was speaking with Scorsese about the background history of the picture, which tells the story of the planned killings of Osage tribe members in Oklahoma in the 1920s.

The movie appeared to be ready to begin after the couple chatted for three or four minutes. At that point, the theater went dark.

And yet, there was Scorsese once more, thanking the crowd and expressing his gratitude for having been able to “tell this powerful historical story in the most authentic way possible.”

A three-hour-26-minute film had stretched into a nearly four-hour evening by the time it finally appeared on screen.

 

Scorsese is just one of many directors and critics who have advocated for watching movies in theaters on a big screen instead of at home on streaming services.

However, I wonder how many of these movie buffs—who usually watch films in a comfortable theater without having to endure PlayStation commercials—have actually visited a theater in the last few years. It’s now a taxing experience.

Put away the $10 bags of popcorn and the bewildering selection of projection formats (Dolby, 4DX, and Imax), which can drive up the cost of the ticket to $25 or more.

Furthermore, I have no problem with moviegoers chatting and glancing at their phones during the film; complaints about rowdy guests go all the way back to the days when people read the title cards aloud during silent movies.

No, what’s made moviegoing an endurance test are the bloated running lengths of so many modern films and the growing pre-show folderol.

 

It seems strange to think back to a time when the only places to watch movie theater commercials were in Europe; fortunately, American movie theaters were spared from them.

Not any longer. During a subsequent trip to the multiplex to watch Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon,” which lasts a relatively short two hours and forty-eight minutes, I counted twelve commercials for everything from Hyundai to M&Ms.

Then, the Regal voice of God instructed us to turn off our phones and “enjoy the show.” Following this, there were six trailers for upcoming films

(because there’s no better place to find fans of “Aquaman and Lost Kingdom” and “Drive-Away Dolls” than the screening of “Napoleon”?), and a pitch for the Regal Unlimited subscription plan.  A thirty-minute hard-sell was followed by the start of the film.

 

Please understand that I adore going to the movies. I went back to the movies after the pandemic a lot earlier than most of my friends.

However, it’s getting more difficult to defend going through with the ordeal at the multiplex as opposed to waiting a few weeks for the movie to appear on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

When Will This Film Actually Begin? I've spent 30 Minutes Here
When Will This Film Actually Begin? I’ve spent 30 Minutes Here

 

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