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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.
Go deep on steamy Netflix drama 365 Days
ALSO: Da 5 Bloods finds an audience. AND: The Floor... it's lava!
On Friday Netflix launched the new Spike Lee film Da 5 Bloods. With the show landing in Netflix’s Top 10 around the world, it most likely means this is Spike Lee’s biggest opening weekend.
Considering the current cultural moment, this is the absolute perfect time for a Spike Lee movie to debut on a platform as big as Netflix - is Da 5 Bloods finally the moment where Spike Lee’s style has become mainstream?
I wasn’t wild about the film - watching it I thought it was good, but not great. Since watching it on Saturday night, it hasn’t been far from my thoughts… marinating away. This film is a grower.
After watching Da 5 Bloods, you might be curious about this great glossary explaining the politics, people, and movies referenced in Da 5 Bloods: New York Times
Also, the film may leave you in the mood to rewatch Apocalypse Now. Might I suggest watching Francis Ford Coppola’s most recent edit of the movie Apocalypse Now: Final Cut. It is THE version of the film to watch - the film has never looked or sounded better, plus it removes a lot of the flab featured in his early 00s Redux recut of the film. It’s incredible.
WarnerMedia has announced that they will do what it should have done before launching new streamer HBO Max: Tidy up the litany of HBO streaming brands that are causing marketplace confusion.
The joke over the weekend from US media critics was that HBO have tidied this up in the most confusing way possible. It’s actually pretty straight forward.
HBO Go - This is the app subscribers to HBO cable TV get access to. It will no longer be made available at the end of July. HBO Go users will be migrated over to HBO Max.
HBO Now - This is the app that anyone could subscribe to so they could get HBO online. This app will now just be called HBO and will continue as usual.
Can you believe that The Floor Is Lava is a real show and not just a Quibi show? It debuts June 19.
And speaking of Quibi shows… a short-form version of 60 Minutes has debuted on Quibi. It’s called 60 in 6.
Why not just call it 60 - it’s no less confusing a title.
Also, look at those hosts - don’t they all just look so modern and with it? *cough*
If you were a boy in the 1980s, you might want to relive your childhood by way of the Hasbro YouTube channel. Along with a scattered collection of episodes of the 1983 animated show GI Joe: An American Hero, Hasbro have a YouTube live feed that does nothing but stream episodes of the TV show:
Sometimes a person gets so obsessed with finding out if they can create a real world version of Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge that they don’t consider if they should.
It’s funny - Netflix isn’t bound by the same restrictions that US broadcast TV and basic cable channels are, but it still doesn’t let its TV shows and movies get too sexy. Nudity is mostly kept to a minimum and we haven’t really seen the streamer commission or buy many erotic thrillers.
But there’s clearly a demand for it as the release of steamy Netflix original film 365 Days has shown. The film spurted to the top of the Netflix charts.
Cinematographer Bartek Cierlica spoke to Indiewire about the film (that has been largely ripped apart by critics):
“We didn’t want to create porn, but at the same time, we wanted to do justice to the book that is pretty full of very intimate and passionate sex descriptions,” he said. “I knew that as a DP I was walking on very thin ice. It is always a big challenge when you have to bring to life a story that people know and have their idea about. Here the challenge was doubled — how to make it seductive and erotic within the borders of general good taste and my aesthetic.”
In a similar vein, editor Jeffrey McHale has cut together a documentary about the cult rise of the film Showgirls.
I didn’t shoot a single frame of video for this. I was inspired by films like Room 237 and Los Angeles Plays Itself. I thought those were really interesting ways of making films now, with the use of fair use and with commentary. I thought there was something there that I could do on my own, without needing anybody else, and if it didn’t work out, that would be it.
I was a bit distracted for a lot of last week and missed that Dave Chappelle released a short (just under 30 mins) comedy special on YouTube. It was produced by Netflix, where Chappelle has a deal.
It’s interesting that Netflix released this to YouTube instead of its own platform. Is it that YouTube is viewed as a more disposable platform where a time-dependent special can be released, whereas Netflix is a library of content in perpetuity?
It appears YouTube is the place to be for stand-up comedy specials. Hannibal Buress has a special debuting on July 3.
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