One of my favourite comic book series is the fantastic under-the-radar Vertigo series Sweet Tooth. Written and drawn by Jeff Lemire, it is an exceptionally dark, high concept post-apocalyptic story about the emergence of a new evolution of human - animal hybrid kids who are immune to a virus that killed a whole lot of people. After his human father dies, deer-hybrid kid Gus latches onto a former hockey player who is struggling to deal with the loss of his own family, with the two of them taking to the road together.
Hollywood is on track to achieve its biggest box office year ever. So, why are major studios trying to disrupt the system?
Warner Bros and Universal Pictures are increasing pressure on cinema owners to allow them to reduce the 90 day window between a movie’s release in cinemas and a release via home media. The argument they’re making is that all of the money spent on marketing campaigns is rendered useless by the time that 90 day window passes, reducing their potential profit for home video.
One also suspects that studios could reduce budgets dramatically if movies become less about wow-level event films on a big cinema screen.
The only studio who has been adamant that they’re happy with the current model is Disney, who control IP assets that are already hugely lucrative via home media. And that stronghold is only going to become stronger soon:
Publicly, Disney CEO Bob Iger has been a vociferous ally of the exhibition business. “We have a studio that is doing extremely well and a [release window] formula that is serving us really well in terms of its bottom line,” he said on the company’s most recent earnings call.
However, rival studios feel that Disney is being somewhat disingenuous. As the company prepares to launch its streaming service, Disney+, it is lining up several movies with healthy budgets that will forgo a theatrical release.
Netflix coming-of-age animated comedy Big Mouth is coming back for a third season.
It joins a growing roster of adult animated series at Netflix that also includes BoJack Horseman, Paradise PD, F Is for Family, Hoops and Disenchantment. In fact, Netflix has had such success in the adult animation space that the streamer is launching its own animation studio. That will help eliminate costs affiliated with outsourcing the physical animation to third-party companies like Bento Box (which handles animation for series including Paradise PD and Hoops).
While it’s as suspenseful as any Le Carré plot, it’s structured less around spy craft than around a series of seductions, overlapping and conflicting, that allow Park to indulge his fondness for moments of heightened melodrama.
The revival of animated series Young Justice is scheduled for January 4th on the DC Universe platform.
For all of the people moaning about the loss of Warners movie streaming service FilmStruck, hopefully they find value in the curated Criterion streaming service that has risen from FilmStruck’s ashes.
The service hasn’t launched yet, but there are early bird specials for those who sign up ahead of its release. At launch, the service will only be officially available in the US and Canada, but there are plans to roll it out further.
Anyone who has ever bought a video game tie-in to a big new Hollywood blockbuster will tell you that they wasted their money (the notable exception being Alien 3 for the SNES back in 1993, which I stand firm in saying it was awesome).
It’s hard not to have that firmly in mind in thinking about this Wreck It Ralph immersive VR experience.
Crashing is back for its third season in January. I’ve moved from complete indifference about this show at its launch to being genuinely excited to see it back again.
Netflix signed a three-picture deal with the Viacom-owned Paramount, signalling that the future of the organisation may be as a content supplier and not competing with the tech-led giants like Netflix/Amazon/Apple. Scale is everything moving forward and with its aging cable-TV brands, Viacom simply may be unable to compete.
"My Brilliant Friend" lives up to its adjective, creating such a rich, exquisitely rendered plunge into mid-20th-century Naples that it's difficult not to get totally sucked into the hardscrabble, small-village lives. Shot in Italian, after watching six of the eight episodes, there's not much to say but "fantastico."