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.
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.
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.