Digital streaming services are everywhere now and the amount of content getting pumped out is insane. Many times, because of the high volume of quantity, the overall quality of what is being produced is sub-par. Companies have been trying to push their products out the doors ASAP ROCKY without doing much vetting, ultimately asking themselves, should we actually release this?
Oh and for the record, I’m talking about you Netflix. I have sat through so much shit that you’ve pumped out for the sake of being a film-nerd and I just can’t take it anymore. For most of the “originals” that lacked just that, originality, there isn’t enough booze in the world to make those films worth while.
Now, sometimes there is a diamond in the rough. A prime example would be this year’s Mudbound. An incredible film that deserved the awards that it received or was nominated for, however, there are many out there that believe that films put out by streaming services shouldn’t be in the running for the most prestigious award, the Oscar. Most recently a very influential film director conveyed his thoughts regarding this matter, Steven Spielberg.
Spielberg, who has been a staunch supporter of original films, has been mightily outspoken during his most recent film promotions for Ready Player One. He says that, “streaming services pose a clear and present danger to film-goers. I don’t believe that films that are given token qualifications, in a couple of theaters for less than a week, should qualify for Academy Award nominations. Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. If it’s a good show, you deserve an Emmy but not an Oscar.”
I’m not here to try and argue with one of the all-time greats, but Steve is probably a bit of a film purist, and that’s okay. This is a different day and age we live in, and streaming services are growing in popularity at an alarming rate. Which is also…okay. All prominent streaming services have the budget to hire prestigious actors, writers, and directors to make an original film. I don’t know about you, but I feel like that is a good thing. As a film lover, I really don’t care where the movie comes from, I am more concerned about the quality of the movie I am watching and not the studio that produced it.
Does the film move me? Does the story have a captivating theme? Do the actors feel authentic? Those are the things I look for when I’m at the theater… or even just sitting home on my couch.
Even though Netflix churns out a multitude of duds, Mudbound was a beacon of hope in a sense, giving me belief that streaming services can create good content when having the right team working behind it. For this instance alone, I will slightly disagree with Mr. Spielberg. All awards should be a possibility for any film, as long as its deemed one of the best of that year. Still skeptical and irked by many of the misses that have outweighed the hits, I will still continue to watch originals on Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Praying before every view that I wont have to use the example “diamond in the rough” any longer.
By Nick Weninger