Not to sound like a Debbie downer (not sure what Debbies collectively did to earn that particular sobriquet), but we only get a certain amount of time on this ball of spinning dirt we call home, and I’d like to make the most of it.
As a film fan, this means watching as many of the best movies as possible, treating myself to trips to the cinema, or a night in front of the box with a curated collection of Blu-rays clutched in my sweaty little paws.
But recently, (and by recently I mean 2010 onwards, which I know isn’t recent at all but forgive me, I was born in the ‘80s and haven’t come to terms with the fact that was four decades ago yet), there’s been an irritating trend in Hollywood, especially for big blockbusters. They’ve been getting longer. At first, this seemed fine, after all, it was more bang for your buck, and films justified their padded runtimes with more spectacle, subplots, and intrigue. It was a feast for the eyes, and we lapped it up like thirsty cats at a saucer of movie milk.
But over time, we began to experience something that I like to term ‘cinematic hyperinflation’. Films became longer and longer, to the point watching some movies feels less like watching a piece of entertainment and more like an ultramarathon you hadn’t trained for. That isn’t some half baked simile I came up with on the fly either. I genuinely believe watching movies has become a physical test of endurance.
What do I mean? Well, you might think I’m going to prattle on about attention spans, periods of alertness, and concentration. Not at all; watching a movie isn’t like work, and it’s pretty easy to follow a film regardless of length without giving your grey matter, whatever the cerebral equivalent of a sprained ankle is. No, what I’m talking about is the human reservoir, your poor bladder.
What a workout: Best action movies
Not to be vulgar, but sometimes watching a film can push the limits of what that little rubber sack of pee is capable of. Spider-Man: No Way Home? More like ‘Spider-Man: no way I’m holding this in for 181 minutes’.
Yet if you’re anything like me, you know the two-pronged anxieties of going to the loo during a film. The first is the most obvious. You don’t want to miss any of the essential plot details. The second, though, is far more horrifying; the fear of disturbing a fellow audience member.
I won’t lie; I could be sitting next to the worst audience member in the world, and I wouldn’t want to disturb them. I’m talking about the type of person who’s on their phone, chomping on Kettle Chips, and whispering to their mate – a real bastard.
Yet still, I would not disturb them if I could absolutely avoid it, such is my fear of making a scene or having a conversation that even slightly bordered on awkward.
Stranger danger! Best thriller movies
This deadly duo of worries has led to me spending the last few minutes of some blockbusters doing a silent ritual tap dance in my seat like some warped shaman doing a rain dance to stop the flow of water.
The obvious answer is, of course, ‘don’t drink before you go to the cinema’. But to you, my dear dehydrated friend, I say, don’t you get thirsty?