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.
Tubi TV streams down-under! ALSO: Sasha Baron Cohens new show! AND: The man who censored Britain
Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett
US streaming service tubi is launching in Australia on 1 September. The service, which has been running pretty barebones already in Australia, is an ad-supported destination for movies and TV shows. You don’t need to pay a subscription fee.
Customers in Australia will be able to access tubi via Telstra TV, Tubi.TV, or through Samsung TVs, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Apple iOS, as well as Android tablets and smartphones. The service will also be available via game consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
While you’ll find a couple of well-known titles in there, tubi is a bit of a repository for cheap knock-off movies like Titanic 2 and 2010: Moby Dick. But, tubi also has some amazing gems sitting in the library too. Log on today and you’ll find a bunch of:
Great classic movies like… Django, Charade, Mad Dog Morgan…
Kids shows like… the 90s Nancy Drew, Babar, Denver: The Last Dinosaur…
TV shows like… Tin Man, Low Winter Sun, The Cult, Run, Space Precinct…
There’s lots of fun gems if you dig around. With the service launching properly at the end of the week, like with the US version of the service, you’ll see more premium titles added too.
Marquee titles slated to be streamable in Australia at launch include 3:10 to Yuma, The Blair Witch Project, Kickboxer and Stranger Than Fiction. Over the next six months, Dirty Dancing, The Grudge, Requiem for a Dream, Reservoir Dogs, Saw, Traffic and Young Guns will join the fold.
Coincidentally, we discussed tubi in the latest Always Be Watching podcast. More on that further down the newsletter…
The Laundromat is a new Netflix movie directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, and Antonio Banderas. It is a look at a woman investigating The Panama Papers.
Gideon Raff is the gentleman who created Prisoners of War - the Israeli show that they remade into Homeland. He has a new show for Netflix starring Sasha Baron Cohen. The Spy launches on September 6.
The project is inspired by the story of legendary former Mossad agent Eli Cohen, who successfully goes undercover in Syria in the early 1960s – becoming close enough to ambitious military leaders and their rich friends to earn a game-changing level of trust about Syria’s biggest anti-Israel secret initiatives.
Noah Emmerich co-stars as his Mossad handler who tries to ease his own guilt over the sacrifices Eli makes, Hadar Ratzon Rotem as his wife who is left to raise their family on her own and knows something isn’t right about her husband’s government job, and Waleed Zuaiter as a military officer who thinks he’s found the perfect ally in the undercover Cohen.
Dan Barrett and Chris Yates are joined in the studio again by Sydney film critic and Program Director of the SciFi Film Festival (6-8 September 2019 in Sydney) Simon Foster. They take a deep dive into the many fine things they have watched on TV this week. And 90210.
02:28 BH 90210
15:37 Andy Kaufman: My Breakfast With Blassie
32:51 The Boys
You can listen to the podcast on your favourite podcast apps, or listen to it via the web HERE.
Jason Bailey at Vulture takes a look back at Blockbuster video and reminds us to take off rose-colored glasses. He rightfully explains that the video store sucked.
It was the possibility of discovery, be it instigated by one’s own interests or at the prompting of a knowledgeable clerk, that gave the retail space its particular magic. Bring up the video store to any film lover of a certain age, and they’ll likely tell you a story of how they found the Movie That Changed Their Life at such an establishment, often entirely by accident.
But too often, our nostalgia for video stores is translated into nostalgia for the Blockbuster Video chain. And we should accept no substitutions for the truth in this matter: Blockbuster Video was absolute garbage.
The man who ruled censorship in the UK changed movies and TV. Everything from Bruce Lee to the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles were affected…
For nearly a quarter century, James Ferman was the primary figurehead of the BBFC. During the last quarter of the 20th century, Ferman came to have possibly a deeper influence on British popular culture than possibly any other person living in the country at the time. This was in part because he made a stronger effort to make clear to British filmmakers what wasn’t going to fly.
“The whole business of film censorship is a legal muddle and needs to be straightened out,” he said in 1975, just before taking the role.