Parasite wins! Now, this was an interesting year at the Oscars with lots of the nominations going to Netflix productions including two in Best Picture (Irishman and Marriage Story) and two in Animated Features (Klaus and I Lost My Body). So we had some of the usual suspects winning like Disney\Pixar taking home yet another Animated feature Oscar and lots of the favorites won as well, all the acting awards went to the winner from all the previous award shows. But it was pretty crazy that we having Parasite, a South Korean film winning four of its six nominations. Everyone expected Best International Film but Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, that’s just crazy. Finally we have a non English film winning Best Picture. Looks like I’ve got to get around to watching it soon. For a year where there was once again complaints about the lack of diversity in gender and race in most of the categories. We get some firsts Taika Waititi is the first of Maori decent and the first person of Indigenous Descent to win Best Screenplay, Hilda Guonadottir is the first solo female to win for Best Score and South Korea and Bong Joon-ho dominating the night.
Cowboy Bebop is a classic anime show from the late 90s which introduced so many in the West to the genre. There have been rumors of a live action feature film for about a decade with Keanu Reeves as Spike Spiegel but there is more exciting news as Netflix has announced that they will be airing a live action television series based on the show.
The announcement said that there will be ten episodes. Shinichiro Watanabe, director of the anime, will serve as a consultant. This seems like good news but I’m not sure we’ve got to see something from this production before casting opinions. However, this wasn’t the only news from Netflix about anime. This isn’t the biggest news as Netflix is adding a bunch of other anime including Evangelion in 2019. Netflix is slowly becoming a go to place for Anime and this is a great thing for just about everyone.
The has been news recently of Netflix cancelling both Iron Fist and Luke Cage there has been some individuals that are worried that Marvel on Netflix is coming to an end others are hoping that we get some sort of Heroes for Hire and/or Daughters of the Dragon shows to replace them with. While this isn’t the most shocking of news Iron Fist wasn’t that great and the second season of Luke Cage dragged in the middle, as is common with many of these Marvel shows on Netflix. So it’s down to Daredevil, Jessica Jones and The Punisher these show seems a bit more straight forward as they are more grounded. The other news is that Orange is the New Black is going to end after this upcoming season. Now having all these show coming to an end really isn’t that big of a deal with Netflix is also ramping up their original content with about $13 Billion spent this year and that number only expected to increase over the years with Disney and like every other major player trying to have their own streaming service. Some of these show have reached a natural conclusion other have been left open-ended. Sure people are going to complain if a show they like comes to an end when they though it wasn’t ready to end, but who knows what is to come in the upcoming years.
This is pretty interesting as the huge crossover miniseries The Defenders arrives on the streaming service. A Variety article from 18 August 2017, the day the show was released, highlights the success of the Marvel Shows (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist) as they have all been among the top five most-viewed recently released Netflix originals in the first 30 days after their premiere. Netflix does not share viewership data but using these trends it seems likely that this show will also be among the most watched shows in its first 30 days. Now I am among the crowds of people who watched it the first weekend sure it is that late summer season wasteland on television so why not binge this show and the new season of shows doesn’t start for like a month still.
We all knew this was going to happen at some time but who would have thought it would have happened this way. Yet another big studio is making it’s own streaming service so we are going to be eventually having to have a streaming service that collects other streaming services and let you watch them for a simple fee. This seems like it will eventually end with what happened with television and cable where we will have to pick and choose what service to watch and they are all going to cost about the same amount and offer a fragment of what we all want to watch. With Bob Iger at Disney in his current term until 2019 it seems like a smart move for Disney as they will be getting the money rather than paying Netflix to stream the films, this goes even further with an ESPN streaming service which would be cater content of the games and leagues that you really care about. With ESPN owning most of the rights for most leagues this has huge potential. Hopefully this won’t turn into everyone streaming their own content as that would be the worst case for all involved, unless Netflix or someone else turns into a service to access that accesses the other streaming services. It will be interesting to see what happens.
This year it will be light in huge announcements for Star Wars today the trailer for Last Jedi came out at Celebration last month and I doubt that we’d have anything major from the Han Solo movie yet. Perhaps something about the post 2020 films or maybe the long gestating television series is going to be made. It seems like the right time for a live action series taking place in the Star Wars Universe, it is bound to be good and the timing is right. Look at the success that Marvel (The Defenders) has had on Netflix as well as all their other series and those other streaming services like Hulu who’s Handmaid’s Tale is getting great reviews and Amazon Prime with Transparent. There are a lot of way to explore the universe and it could be multiple shows, does it need a Jedi or Sith in it to work or could we just have the average people living in the Empire. Not sure what would make a great show, but it would be wonderful if there were something besides the animated shows that explored the world of Star Wars.
Netflix has recently added a new show with Bill Nye. It’s a talk show that has a base in science in general it came out just in time for Earth Day. It sort of like Star Talk I guess but more focused on a single topic like the old Bill Nye, the Science Guy show. It takes a look at topics ranging from Climate Change and alternative medicine to sex and GMOs. Now this show has gotten some bad reviews as people are saying that it is uninformative, dumbed down, glosses over topics, political and not sure who the key demographic is.
Yet, this is what people in America need, most of us aren’t that scientifically literate to understand a lot of things. I mean look at the numbers of climate change deniers out there. Not to mention the current head of the EPA and President aren’t big fan of science. Science needs to be an aspect of all of our lives and we should understand it. Sure the simplicity of Bill Nye might be not what some people need but it gets some basic ideas out to people about the world and how science is all around us. If the show gets a second season perhaps the kinks will be worked out and it will be a better show which will help bring more science to the masses. More science would be great like that commercial with Millie Dresselhaus, It would be wonderful if we could name more than a handful of living scientist (Hawkings, Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson).
The latest documentary Five Came Back on Netflix focuses on five directors who went to and fought in World War II and came back from it alive. This documentary was interesting as when it comes to World War II we some 70 years out all know the broad strokes of it, there Hitler takes power, Pearl Harbor, D-Day, Holocaust, Bombings at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Sure HBO’s two brilliant miniseries focusing on the Army (Band of Brothers) and the Marines (The Pacific) telling the stories of the two theaters of war and there are a bunch of great films on World War II but this documentary tells an interesting story of the people who went to war and how it changed them.
Five Came Back focuses on John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens all of whom are directors who joined the War effort Ford joined the Navy while Wyler, Huston, Capra and Stevens all were members of the Army Signal Corp. All of them were involved in filming World War II. The documentary features famous directors all talking about one individual Steven Spielberg talks about Wyler, Francis Ford Coppola talks about Huston, Guillermo del Toro talks about Capra, Paul Greengrass talks about Ford, and Lawrence Kasdan talks about Stevens. In the first hour we hear about how they made names for themselves before the war, the second hours is about their time at war and the third hours from D-Day to after the war and what became of them afterwards. If you are a fan of film history this is a very interesting film to watch.
One of the coolest things that I’ve discovered after watching is that you can watch the films that they made during WWII which were talked about in the documentary on Netflix as they have a handful available to watch. If you have some time I would recommend that everyone watch this.
According to Netflix they are replacing the star rating system with a thumbs up/down model. This is a good idea as it makes it a whole lot easier in a general sense, instead of debating if it was a 3 star or 4 star movie you just have to decide if you liked it or not. I was one of those people hoping that Netflix would add like half star ratings to pinpoint exactually how I felt about a film. Yet a thumbs up or down seems like a much simpler solution.Netflix is saying that this will lead to better predictions about what shows/movie would be of interest to you. It sounds better as I hardly ever watched what Netflix recommends that I could like based on the show/movie. It’s a nice move but it’s taken them long enough to figure out a better way to rate things.
This is some pretty cool news as that the final film Orson Welles worked on, The Other Side of the Wind will soon be released. It has taken a while for this film to get finished as filming ended in 1976 and it’s now 2017. This a a bizarre story but hopefully it will have a happy ending with the latest Welles film being worth the wait. The film itself is sort of a mockumentary on Hollywood of the 70s with the ‘Classic Hollywood’ of the 20s-60s passing away and being replaced with the new wave of avant-garde young directors in ‘New Hollywood’. The film is about a 70th birthday party of an director who wants to make a comeback. It is said to use a mix of still photos, and 8mm, 16mm and 35mm color and black-and-white film shot at the party, along with scenes from his unfinished movie, and the film would be a collage of all these various types of film. It sounds like a unique film as I can’t think of a film that uses all these different types of film gauges.