Opinion Piece – The Problem with Netflix

Netflix came in and saved Mute, but was the end product worth it?

Opinion piece by Eddie on 20/07/2018

Now let’s get one thing straight, I think Netflix is a fantastic thing, an easy to use and ever evolving member of the household that allows film and TV lovers from all over the globe an opportunity to watch and enjoy content from around the world in the comfort of their own living rooms, what’s not to love?

There is however something that I’ve begun to worry about when it comes to the streaming giants current situation and it revolves around Netflix’s original film offerings.

As lauded and well received as many of Netflix’s original TV offerings are, there has been an increasing amount of disappointment surrounding many of Netflix’s original movie releases.

For every Annihilation, Mudbound or Beasts of No Nation, there seems to currently be dozens more Game Over Man’s, The Week Of’s or the terrible Mute and The Cloverfield Paradox’s and it appears to be that the money handlers in charge of funding Netflix original’s need to quickly set about some quality controls should they instead find their loyal subscribers uninterested in their original offerings.

Mudbound was one of the streaming giants most proficient and savvy releases

The joys of Netflix have always centred around not only convenience and choice but the ability for viewers to all of a sudden be able to enjoy a plethora of new content that would otherwise never see the light of day in the hard to break Hollywood system.

From low-budget oddities through to high-concept risky productions, Netflix is the perfect breeding ground for filmmakers looking to test the waters and push themselves to try things away from the competitive summer blockbuster seasons or awards heavy end of year runs, yet seemingly what we are getting are film’s that are lacking polish, effort and magic and therefore making Netflix seem like the house of mediocrity, rather than the house of movie treats.

Recently while watching the downright terrible Netflix distributed The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter it dawned on me that there were good reasons as to why Jody Hill’s Josh Brolin and Danny McBride comedy wouldn’t have been released any other way, simply put, it was lifeless and devoid of any reason to exist, its exactly the type of film Netflix should be avoiding supporting, rather than financing and promoting.

Netflix has the rare opportunity and circumstance where it can be a pioneer and saviour of sorts of original movie-making and the company where budding filmmakers get the chance to have their products seen by millions, instead of lost in an arthouse cinema somewhere obscure, to be enjoyed by a handful of punters.

Despite two fine lead actors, The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter was another major Netflix disappointment

In theory it’s a fantastic thing for everybody, from the casual movie-goer through to the hard-core cinephile but at the moment in practice it’s not exactly working out that way and we as consumers should demand more from a company many of us are financially supporting through our monthly subscriptions.

While we are spoilt for choice with Netflix’s offerings, it doesn’t mean we can’t expect and demand more from an organisation with the means to provide it for us.

I really do hope as a fan of movies of all shapes and sizes that Netflix can look to employ more quality control over their products without losing the appeal of giving creative freedom to their filmmaker’s, for as it stands at the moment, I’m finding myself more so inclined to pass up on their original’s and seek out my film fixes from elsewhere.

What are your thoughts on Netflix’s original movie offerings? Love them or hate them? Let me know in the comments below!

29 responses to “Opinion Piece – The Problem with Netflix

    • Problem at the moment seems to be mate that they aren’t being made elsewhere for good reason ha. I really love the idea of Netflix being able to get properties made that normally wouldn’t but not a lot so far have justified their existence.
      E

      • It’s a problem that’s been around for a while then!
        Again I think Netflix is great mate but gee wiz there have been far to many movies I’ve watched from their original release schedule that make me believe they need to address their quality control measures, no point just releasing films for the sake of quotas, actually make sure they meet a certain standard.
        I’m not expecting every film to be amazing and nor should anyone but a very high percentage of their films rates at the very bottom of the barrel.
        E

  1. It’s always difficult to say as movies are a personal experience. Some people might love the mediocre films too. Overall though I have to say that I don’t dislike Netflix’s movie offerings. Not all of them are topnotch as you so rightfully point out, but I’m still quite enjoying them. You might want to add Spectral to the list of winners. I really enjoyed that film 😊

    • I will have to check out Spectral mate. My problem with the current batch of films that are being released is that just far to many in my mind are almost entirely pointless and I worry people will just begin to accept that as the normal.
      E

  2. But then you remember how Bright was the streaming service’s most watched movie last year, and this does not matter anymore.
    of course I am with you, but the average movie watcher, who has half their attention on the screen and half on their phone, who care nothing about the attributes that make a film good or bad? they will keep on watching the latest adam sandler crapfest.

    • Oh man Bright haha gee wiz, what a waste of a film/idea. I think your onto something though, people almost put Netflix on for background noise as they browse their phone/play Fortnite.
      E

  3. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 7/16/18 — 7/22/18 | Through the Shattered Lens·

  4. There is another side effect in all of this – the number of quality art house/independent cinema releases (especially in the summer – in the UK anyway) falling dramatically as the Netflixs, Amazons and TV companies soak up all the talent and buy the best product after Sundance etc. For those of us who still love going to the cinema as their favoured means of watching films, this spring/summer has been dire. Only Isle of Dogs really registered with audiences. Many independent cinemas reliant on quality, engaging new product are hurting right now.

    This isn’t the fault of Netflix per se, but is an underdiscussed byproduct of it.

    Moral: Use it or you’ll lose it (Netflix will always there).

    • A fantastic point!

      I know I love to mix up my movie going experiences with the big summer fare and then the more art-house orientated screenings, I really hope we don’t lose out in this space.
      E

  5. Bright wasn’t great, I’m more of a TV watcher so haven’t seen the others. They do really well on series’ still but seem to be lacking with films. Wrong time to be releasing underachievers because Amazon & other streaming services are picking up their game!

    Enjoyable read.

      • Definitely not. As we all know as time goes on the industry gets much more heavily open to constructive criticism. As it should – it pushes artists of any form to produce much better work.

        Have you heard about the new Titans show for DC’s new streaming series? I’m not expecting it to be vastly popular but the Marvel Netflix shows based around the Defenders are getting a bit of stick lately for being far too slow. I do think Titans will pave the way for much more significant competition to The shows on Netflix.

      • I think Netflix needs the competition, it feels like they’ve had a really solid go at it for a few years now and always good to keep the leader on their toes!
        E

  6. This is a great post, and pretty much describes perfectly why I buy the the films I want to watch or just torrent them.

    I don’t have netflix and never will, but I went to a mate’s place and he put on what I think was a Netflix-aided production. ‘The Maus’. And fuck me it was terrible, we were both laughing at its awfulness.

    While it seems very easy to use, if one has access torrents or other means, they will always reign supreme IMO. No need for the internet to watch it once downloaded. No issues streaming 4K content. And rather than a stupidly big library to distract, I download or buy what I want to watch. I have a big enough watchlist as it is without a bunch of netflix crap.

    That said I can see the appeal. But its strange that every person who asks me and I reply I don’t give a shit about netflix, they eye me weird. As if its the norm and if you don’t have it you are ‘out of the loop’. As if I could ever be when I have access to any movie I want!!

    Great post as always, I’m glad you commented on my post and reminded me of your site! Cheers guys

    • Great to have you back on board mate and cool to see you’ve avoided the Netflix bandwagon so far!

      I honestly don’t use it more than a few times a month, I don’t exactly have the time to binge all their shows like some do and yet to find a real reason to include it in my nightly rituals.
      E

      • I’ll never jump on the bandwagon mate haha, though there have been some good movie from them. Well… a few haha. My favourite was The Meyerowitz Stories, Adam Sandler was actually great and Dustin Hoffman just killed it.

        Problem is with movies like Annihilation. That is a movie to see in the cinema. But no one had the chance, then ten days later its on netflix and while I love my home theatre setup and loved the film, nothing beats the cinema.

        It is a weird time for film.

      • Agreed man. I am so hoping that they screen both Apostle and The Irishman at cinemas here in Aus, I would be shattered if I cant see them on a big screen somewhere.
        E

      • Heh I have no heard of either mate of those mate!!! God I am so bad with upcoming film, I always seem to miss gems (like Foxtrot, that looked really interesting but I didn’t see it listed until its last two days of playing). I shall have to look them up. Hopefully they do get here. So are they Netflix productions are they?

      • Yep both look really cool! I think there’s a film called Velvet Underground or something along those lines, with Jake Gyllenhaal and the director of Nightcrawler, that is a Netflix release to.
        E

      • oooo I liked Nightcrawler. You certainly seem to have your finger on the pulse. I seem to live under not just a rock, but under Uluru! There are so many movies that are flying under my radar. Not having Netflix probably doesn’t help in discovering stuff that probably won’t be screened down here

      • I read that Saulnier and Macon Blair’s next movie is gonna be on Netflix too. Interesting how its all changing. I don’t like it tbh, I think the cinema is an unbeatable experience, and even though I have a 5k sound/TV setup, it will never beat a cinema (except for my 1,300$ sub :P)

      • indeed. Netflix is certainly changing up how movies are distributed, but Annihilation for example…. damn I woulda loved to see that on a big screen!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s