Cinema can still blow your mind in a way television just can't

The task that comes with being a critic is rather strange. I mean, a good critic at least has seen tens of thousands of movies in his or her lifetime. You name it, countless stuff from almost every decade since film existed. Our tastes, just like any art (painting, novels) gets refined the more we consume or absorb it. Simple as that. As early as the 2000's the mainstream would consume much less and at a much slower rate. And yet, here we are in the age of binge-watching, and the mainstream's palettes have obviously changed. People can watch almost anything they want. Especially in Television where some of the stuff that runs on cable is just mind-bogglingly brilliant ("Fargo," "Atlanta," "The Night Of," "Better Call Saul," "The Leftovers," "Big Little Lies").

And yet, I don't think television can blow you away like masterful cinema does. It just can't, for now. I watch a lot of movies, been doing so for most of my life, so my tolerance for recycled fare is dim to none, I'm allergic to cliches, I need to be excited about what's on-screen, there has to be an intrigue to fully catch my attention. If you go to arthouse fare like I do, you will find that in spades. Foreign and indie cinema is in the kind of surge you wouldn't even imagine. But for me, what distinguishes cinema to TV are the films that really blow your mind and make you realize just how important the medium is. I have these kinds of experiences, if I'm lucky, 2 or 3 times a year. Take for example this decade's astonishments: "Dogtooth," "Enter the Void," "The Tree of Life," "Margaret," "Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives," "A Separation," "The Master," "Holy Motors," "This Is Not A Film," "Inside Llewyn Davis," "Upstream Color," "Under the Skin," "Whiplash," "Son of Saul," "Paterson," "Krisha," "Mad Max: Fury Road."

Can any of the aforementioned be made for television? NOPE. NADA. NO. NIET. They give you a transcendent feeling that is uncapturable on the small screen. As long as movies like these are being released in theaters, then cinema will always have the upper hand. So, I don't want to hear another television binge-watcher tell me, for the umpteenth time, that "TV beats movies, dude," because it just doesn't. Television hasn't reached the height of movies, it still hasn't given us the same high in watching something made by Kubrick or Welles. It just hasn't.

Of note: The only thing I saw in Television this decade that I would put next to the above 20 titles is "OJ Simpson: Made in America," an 8 hour, ESPN-produced documentary on the trial that shook up America.