A daily newsletter guide to what is happening on your screens - TV, streaming, movies, games, VR, AR
Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
Does going to the movies actually suck?
ALSO: A Home Improvement kid goes bad. AND: Buy the Fast Times house.
Maybe going to the movies kinda sucks?
A.O. Scott asks whether people *really* miss going to the movies, considering the current situation with movie theatres. Ticket sales have been flat, masked only by the success of event films like the Marvel movies, with audiences increasingly lured by entertainment that can be consumed at home. How much can we miss something that we were already churning away from?
There’s nothing new in his essay, but it is a good, sobering read amid articles romanticising the movie going experience.
Was the floor sticky? Was the seat torn? How was the projection? Was there masking on the edge of the screen, or did the image just bleed onto the curtains? Was the sound clear?
These were common cinephile complaints in the pre-pandemic era, and we shouldn’t let them be washed away in the nostalgia of this moment. Moviegoing was often as communal as a traffic jam, as transporting as air travel, and the problems went deeper than lax management or technological glitches.
I think it is worth noting that a lot of the film critics and culture writers who are publicly mourning the closure of cinemas are often those with access to advance and private screenings, which are generally free with occasional free drinks/popcorn on offer. And look, I don’t have a problem with that - a lot of critics sit through a lot of mediocre movies and films they’re simply not the audience for on a regular basis (with many of these same writers working for low wages, if any). There should be some benefits to reviewing films regularly. I do just think it’s worth noting that the experience of the average cinema attendee is really quite different. I liked AO Scott’s piece because he really did look at it from the perspective of the average film attendee.
I’m also considering my own trip to the cinema on Saturday morning. After I got past the shirtless strung-out guy out front, I then went to sit in a theatre that was falling apart while watching a film interrupted by the two senior ladies behind me commenting all the way through. Yet another amazing communal experience.
Star Trek: Discovery is like Arrested Development season 4 - only well made
The new season of Star Trek: Discovery debuted over the weekend. It was interesting to find out that the show is only the second time that a Star Trek series has filmed outside of the US, with the show generally utilizing Californian locations to double as a host of strange new worlds and new civilizations.
With season 3 of ST:D finishing shooting just 10 days before the COVID shut-down, a lot of pick-up shots had to be achieved in post-production.
There was no ability to do pick-ups for inserts or connective reaction shots, so meticulous computer-generated images were used to double characters and create a sense of visual continuity even when coverage hadn’t been there. Think “Arrested Development” Season 4 but with seven years of advances that now really do make any cheats appear seamless (invisible in the first four episodes made available to critics). “The visual effects team was extraordinary, because there are some shots that you will never know aren’t practical, aren’t actually shot on location, that are full CG shots, full CG elements of things that would typically have been an insert,” Kurtzman said.
Home Improvement star Zachery Ty Bryan (he played oldest kid Brad Taylor) was arrested in Oregon and faces charges of strangulation and assault.
The Eugene Police Department said officers were dispatched to a North Eugene apartment Friday night on a report of a physical dispute. They found Bryan, 39, sitting outside and his girlfriend, 27, at a neighboring apartment.
Bryan reportedly assaulted the victim, impeded her breathing, and took her phone away when she tried to call 911, police said. The victim declined medical assistance.
Bruce Willis’ daughter Rumer posted a video of some sort of Die Hard reveal happening in the next few hours. I presume it’ll just be an ad with John McClane needing to drink a Solo after a hard days work or something.
After the last two Die Hard installments starring an increasingly humorless Bruce Willis, I have zero interest in seeing any more feature film outings for the NYC cop.
Trial of The Chicago 7
New York Times has this guide to the background of the Chicago 7 court case depicted in the film. Source: NYT
David Sims writes that the film is the right movie for the right moment. Read: The Atlantic
I can see everything
The new Sony Spatial Reality Display (at a price tag of US$5,000) looks like a cool product, but I’m not entirely sure I understand what the use case for this is just yet.
Former Weekend Sunrise host Basil Zempilas is now the Lord Mayor of Perth. Source: TV Tonight
Star Trek: Discovery has been renewed for a fourth season. Source: Variety
The NBC Town Hall with Trump was a bit of a disaster for the network (which ended up losing out to the Biden Town Hall on ABC, even with simulcasts happening on MSNBC and CNBC), but reputationally it was saved by savage moderation from Savannah Guthrie. Source: Variety
Peter Roth is stepping down as Warner Bros TV Chairman. Source: Variety
The house from Fast Times at Ridgemont High is for sale. Just take a gander at that swimming pool from the comfort of the bathroom inside. Source: The Dirt
Once Upon a Snowman debuts Oct 23 on Disney+.
Big Rad Wolf debuts on Quibi on Oct 19. It looks at the fall of American Apparel.
No Man’s Land debuts on Hulu Nov 18.
Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds debuts on Apple TV+ on Nov 13.
From Directors Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer, Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds explores how meteorites have impacted our planet's landscapes and cultures.
Industry debuts on HBO Nov 9.
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