I was raised on oldies and classic rock. That’s what my dad listened to. Those were the mixtapes he made for me growing up. That’s what I listened to. Incidentally, he also facilitated me discovering my own tastes when he introduced me to Weird Al Yankovic. I started reading the liner notes on Yankovic albums, figured out what songs he was parodying, and my interests spun out from there. But the Weird Al story is a song for another time. This is a story about me furthering my musical interests with weird shit. Weird shit like Daft Punk.Continue reading “Daft Punk: A Fond Farewell To a Huge Influence”
My list does exclude a few awards season films that are being included due to the extended award season, yet are still 2021 releases. Judas & The Black Messiah, for example, is expected to have a presence at the Oscars this year, but is technically a 2021 film, so expect that to show up round this time next year, but not on this list.Continue reading “Best in Cinema 2020: Part 2 – Individual Achievement”
Nomadland represents the last of the 2020 awards contenders to cross the line into accessibility for home viewing. The major streaming services each have something to offer us this week, so let’s check them out.Continue reading “New Movies Weekend of February 19th”
I have a soft-spot for 90s era super-hero-adjacent films. Stuff like Darkman, Phantom, The Crow, Dark City, The Shadow, even The Mask, or treading into proper (anti)heroes like Spawn and Blade. And I’ll even put the original Mortal Kombat duology in that mix, despite how Annihilation turned out. I do still love them so. It was that love of the property that led me to closely following the production of the new Mortal Kombat reboot film from Warner Bros. And now we finally have a trailer for it. Check it out below:Continue reading “Warner Bros Releases First Mortal Kombat Trailer”
With very few exceptions, we’re now moving away from 2020 holdovers into 2021 releases, even if they are just rescheduled 2020 releases. We hit the ground running with a pair of teen romance films, a silly 90s throwback comedy, and one of the big Oscar contenders of this extended awards season.Continue reading “New Movies Weekend of February 12th”
It’s the weekend of the Super Bowl, so you know what that means! Server load will be the lighter than usual so movies on streaming should load up faster on Sunday evening! I haven’t watched football in years. The Great British Bake Off is my sports now. And Baseball. But mostly baking. Here are some movies coming out this week, mostly to streaming/VODContinue reading “New Movies Weekend of February 5th”
To say my favourite films of 2020 are a reflection of the 2020 experience would be a whimsically reductive assessment of films made prior to the turning of the calendar and shit-hitting of a fan. But the art we gravitate to, be it book, song, film, whatever, are a reflection of ourselves and our state of mind. Could my picks for best films of 2020 be more of a commentary on how I was internally processing the events of the year? Perhaps. But they’re also just quality films worth checking out.Continue reading “Best in Cinema 2020: Part 1 – The Films”
Warren Zevon was a rocker’s rocker. A musician’s musician. An artist’s artist. He never quite broke through to the mainstream, outside his perennial favourite “Werewolves of London” (which I’ve intentionally left off this list), and he wields little in the way of “casual” fans. But the man’s mark on music looms large, and though he tragically passed away 17 years ago due to complications from mesothelioma, he continues to gain new fans through his witty, sardonic lyrics. No one told a tale through song quite like Zevon, rock & roll’s bard.Continue reading “My Top 10 Warren Zevon Songs”
The long delayed and highly anticipated trailer for the biggest Monster Mash since 1962, Godzilla vs. Kong. Check it out below:Continue reading “Warner Drops Trailer for Godzilla vs Kong”
Launches is not quite the right way to describe what we’ll get on the 4th, as it’s CBS All Access expanding to become a more of a competitor in the streaming wars, with Viacom/CBS rebranding All Acces to be Paramount+
Live sports, breaking news, and a mountain of entertainment. CBS All Access is becoming Paramount+ on March 4th. pic.twitter.com/nLdA9pgaUP— CBS All Access (@CBSAllAccess) January 19, 2021
CBS AllAccess launched all the way back in 2014, but didn’t start picking up steam until they launched some original programming, specifically their revival of the Star Trek franchise on TV with Discovery in 2017 and Jordan Peele’s approach to Twilight Zone in 2019. With the re-merge of Viacom and CBS in 2019, as well as all the major studios gunning for a piece of the streaming pie, it was only a matter of time before they pushed to have the entire catalogue under one branded umbrella.
And as glad as I am they are doing this, as there is a lot of content to be enjoyed under this banner, really Viacom/CBS? Paramount+? Like… Disney already had “+”. Technically Hulu had it when they had their first premium iteration, but since Hulu and Disney+ are both Disney platforms (Comcast/NBC/Universal still has like a 30% non-controlling stake, FTR). But Disney+, and Discovery+ just launched on January 4th.
My hope is that we’ll see them really fill out some of their problem areas. Currently, CBS AllAccess has a smattering of various back catalogues, and some of the shows they have are missing episodes. A lot of episodes. By focusing on a robust content library, I think they can really be a modest player in the streaming landscape to set themselves apart. And they do have a very key segment they can lock in with a full library: 90s/early 00s nostalgia.
Late Gen-X, Millennials, and early Gen-Z. Specifically with their Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and MTV properties. If they can build that out, they can get some of the younger crowd to their platform. They’ll get the older crowd with their deep well of NCIS/CSI/JAG shows. But tap into that 90s nostalgia. The 2020 documentary The Orange Years already got that ball rolling for you.
What gives me pause are three big properties Paramount has that are showing up elsewhere right when it would be beneficial to have them in their arsenal. I won’t pretend to know the intricate ins and outs of licensing and distribution and all that. But cult fave TV show Freaks & Geeks is going to Hulu, with its music rights intact, which is a huge win for fans of the Paramount produced show. That show did air on NBC, so maybe it’s a distribution issue, and with the music rights in play, maybe Hulu was the best option. I don’t know. But that would have been a good selling point for Paramount+.
As would the delayed theatrical releases of Coming 2 America, the long gestating sequel to the 1988 Eddie Murphy classic, and Without Remorse, the Jack Ryan-adjacent Tom Clancy film starring Michael B. Jordan. Both would have been solid theatrical successes had 2020 not happened, and both would have been good launch content for Paramount+, had they not auctioned the distribution rights to Amazon Prime.
Freaks & Geeks heads to Hulu on January 25th, while Coming 2 America and Without Remorse head to Amazon in February. Again, I won’t pretend to know the ins and outs of distribution rights and streaming rights, and there are probably bigger things at play preventing those properties heading to Paramount+, but it just feels like missed opportunities for Viacom/CBS to launch Paramount+, and doesn’t fill me with much confidence on their library going forward.
I’m already a subscriber to CBS AllAccess, so not much will change for me. I do it to support Star Trek. I will sing its praises if they invest in and fill out their Nick, MTV and Comedy Central libraries. That and Paramount Picture’s 110 year history of cinematic excellence that includes The Godfather films, Forrest Gump, Titanic (with Fox, so Disney has that, too), Marx Brothers films, Hope/Crosby’s Road To… series, (some of) Friday the 13th. If they highlight that and their TV properties, they can be a contender, following a similar path to success Warner has with HBOMax. Paramount even has Showtime, so a well known, well respected premium cable brand is in their back pocket, too.
Viacom/CBS may not have the most exciting launch of a branded streaming platform, as they’ve just completely dragged their feet to the finish line. But they do have an impressive catalogue if they can just make effective use of it. As an elder millennial, I’m anxiously awaiting the chance to deep dive 90s era Nickelodeon. Been far too long without Hey Dude or Salute Your Shorts in my life.