Ridley Scott's new film Exodus: Gods and Kings recasts the myth of Moses in typically grimdark swords-and-sandals fashion. It... ain't so good. Want something more artful? Look no further than The Prince of Egypt [alt], an underrated masterpiece of DreamWorks' traditional animation era. Directed by Brenda Chapman (a first for women in animation), scored to spectacular effect by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz, and voiced by, among others, Voldemort, Batman, and Professor X, the ambitious film features gorgeous, striking visuals and tastefully integrated CGI in nearly every scene. It also manages the improbable feat of maturing beyond cartoon clichés while humanizing the prophet's journey from carefree scion to noble (and remorseful) liberator without offending half the planet -- while still being quite a fun ride. Already seen it? Catch the making-of documentary, or click inside for more. [more inside]
"Every month, Netflix quietly clears its virtual shelves to prepare for the arrival of new offerings. There are roughly 80 movies expiring from Netflix Instant at the end of November. We've picked seven that we think you should make sure to watch before they’re no longer streaming – one for each night until Dec. 1." (Paste Magazine)
But in addition, and to make the dub look as realistic as possible, she must also identify every instance of a character uttering a word with an m, p, or b in it in English, and find a word in French with the same consonant. And the replacement word has to fit into that sentence in exactly the same spot as where the American actor’s mouth makes the m, p, or b face. And you think your job is tedious! What It Takes to Be the French Jennifer Lawrence.
HBO Says It’s Going to Start Selling on the Web Next Year. Maybe because Netflix now has more subscription revenue than HBO? But wait, is A la Carte the Worst Idea Anyone Has Ever Had?
ComicsAlliance writer Benito Cereno has put together a collection of links to horror films available for streaming on Netflix this October: The Haunting of Netflix House 2: Your Sister is a Netflix
293 Thoughts I Had While Watching “Gilmore Girls” For The First Time. Gilmore Girls begins streaming on Netflix tomorrow.
Between the limited amount of titles on streaming services and the fact that Netflix seems to be shifting away from DVDs altogether, are you just out of luck if you want to watch a non-blockbuster like "Sweet Sweetbacks' Baadasssss Song" or "Raising Arizona"? KQED investigates.
BoJack Horseman Is the Funniest Show About Depression Ever
BoJack Horseman is a weird cartoon about a washed-up sitcom star (who's a horse), a snappy social criticism of the entertainment industry, and the kind of in-jokey cartoon designed to tickle the internet. It's also one of the most aggressive portraits of depression I think I've ever seen. Look past the anthropomorphic animal characters and the satire of toxic celebrity culture: This show is radically sad. I love it.Netflix Original's animated series BoJack Horseman stars Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, and Alison Brie. It co-stars Aaron Paul and Paul F. Tompkins and has a long and impressive list of guest stars. [more inside]
Are you combing Netflix trying to find all the TV shows you missed the first time around? Or maybe you just want to take a nostalgia trip and revist all of the great television that is gone but not forgotten? So much good TV! Problem is, it's not like you can stand at the office watercooler chatting about that awesome episode you saw last night...especially if it first aired in 1994. So what do you do when you want to really mull over an episode you just watched? You listen to some great podcasts with fans discussing in depth your favorite shows, that's what. [more inside]
Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps 10Min. Reviews are streaming in for Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps. Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps. Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps. Test Pattern: Downscaling 2997fps. Satisfied viewers are saying "Not as good as the book" but still a "A start to finish THRILL RIDE!" and "Deeply. Riveting". It's currently the most popular Netlix movie on Instant Watcher and destined to be a classic.
Colin Nederkoorn used the Netflix test video to show Verizon's horrendous throttling versus running his connection through a VPN.
Recently, the song "Bitchin' Camaro" by the band The Dead Milkmen was featured during the closing credits of an episode of the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black". Because the Universe is entirely devoid of pity, this somehow led to a mildly profound and deeply disturbing discussion between lead singer Rodney "Anonymous" Linderman's mother and himself on the nature of "selling out".
John Oliver and Last Week Tonight do an extended piece on Net Neutrality.
After the controversial decision last month (previously) to leave actress and activist Laverne Cox out of their "Time 100" issue, Cox has become the first transgender person to grace the cover of Time magazine.
Feel as if you've watched everything on Netflix? You might find something new at Summary Bug, where a text-display glitch generates whimsical cinematic possibilities.
Why Scandal beats House Of Cards at its own game Why ‘Scandal’ can’t hold a candle to ‘House of Cards’ Barack Obama Says Life in D.C. is “More Boring” Than Scandal and House of Cards Depict [more inside]
On March 7th, 2014, Star Wars: The Clone Wars series comes to a close with the release on Netflix of the Lost Missions, 13 final episodes that represent a shortened season 6. Hyping the release is a nearly three minute long trailer which reveals, among other things, foreshadowing of Order 66, the secret order to eliminate the Jedi programmed into the clone army, and of force ghosts, among trying to help tie the prequel films together. [more inside]
The new Trailer Park Boys seasons 8 and 9 will debut be on Netflix (all round, internationally). In addition, all previous seasons, the new Trailer Parks Boys 3: Don't Legalize It film (in time), and Swearnet the Movie will be available Netflix wide. Reaction to the announcement has been mixed. Particularly from those who have paid for Swearnet.com subscriptions. Mike Smith (Bubbles) responds.
Lifehacker: "One of the more annoying things about Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon's television streaming libraries is the vast difference between the selection available. It would be almost impossible to get a thorough idea of who has the better library without searching for hundreds of TV shows on each service and comparing them manually. So we did just that." [more inside]
In a survey performed in 2012, Incapsula found that 49% of the visitors to 1,000 selected sites were human, compared to a growing percentage of "good bots" like search engines, and "bad bots" including hackers, scrapers, spammers and spies of all sorts. Last year, human web visitors accounted for 38.5% of site visitors, with an increased percentage of search engines and other good bots, and similar ratios for the "shady non-human visitors." [more inside]
Verizon and Cogent Communications are at odds over how much money needs to change hands to deliver decent Netflix performance. Verizon has developed a rival to Netflix, Redbox and have been accused of tinkering with Netflix and AWS speeds due to the recent FCC Net Neutrality ruling. Things may change again, but then again, maybe not really.
Want to talk about House of Cards online without spoiling other, slower viewers? Slate offers a few a reasonable guidelines.
On Valentine's Day, Netflix released the second season of House of Cards. 16 percent of Netflix users on one particular Internet service watched at least one episode of the show over the weekend, and shares of Netflix hit an all-time high of $439.49 on Thursday. But when, exactly, Does Watching a Lot of Netflix Become a 'Binge'?
If you use Netflix, you've probably wondered about the specific genres that it suggests to you. Some of them just seem so specific that it's absurd. Emotional Fight-the-System Documentaries? Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life? Foreign Satanic Stories from the 1980s? ... Through a combination of elbow grease and spam-level repetition, we discovered that Netflix possesses not several hundred genres, or even several thousand, but 76,897 unique ways to describe types of movies.
Yule Log. Yule Log on TV. Yule Log '83. Yule Log on YouTube. Yule Log with Music. Yule Log on Netflix. Yule Logs for Designers. Yule Log with Bacon. Previously, previouslier, previousliest.
For your October delight: Top 10 horror movies, as picked by Guardian critics, Ten Exceptionally Well-Written Horror Films, Top Ten Horror-Sci-Fi Films: A Primer And Pseudo-History, The 12 Weirdest Vampire Movies Ever Made, The Top Grossing Scary Movies Of All-Time, and, perhaps most importantly of all: The 25 best horror films on netflix instant.
Media Studies professor Anne Helen Petersen writes about the dominant role of Netflix in her students’ film and television consumption, and its effect on the lasting influence of works that are — or are not — available there:
Through this reliance on Netflix, I’ve seen a new television pantheon begin to take form: there’s what’s streaming on Netflix, and then there’s everything else…[more inside]
With the momentous series finale of Breaking Bad just hours away, fans of the show are hungry for something, anything to wile away the time before the epic conclusion tonight. So why not kick back and chew the fat with your fellow MeFites with the help of a little tool I like to call "The Periodic Table of Breaking Bad." [more inside]
New Netflix original series "Orange is the New Black", based on a memoir by Piper Kerman about her year in a women's prison, and created by Jenji Kohan of Weeds, has been garnering heaps of critical praise. Plus, it's super gay. Of the show's "naïve yuppie" lead character, Jenji Kohan says "I don't think I could have sold a show about black and Latina and old women in prison, you know? But if I had the girl-next-door coming in as my fish out of water, I can draw a certain audience in through her that can identify with her, and then I can tell all of these stories once she's in, once we've signed onto this journey. She's just a great entry point for a lot of people."
Embrace the mystery: Is repeat viewing the best way to approach complex TV?
"Arrested Development's fourth season is triumphant when it's not completely falling apart." That seems to be the critical consensus, which sees the season as ambitious but flawed—a "hot mess", if you will. The American Prospectcompares Season 4 to the housing crisis; Daniel Fienberg simply calls the season's length "exhausting". But how has binge watching affected the critical response? Showrunner Mitch Hurwitz asked viewers not to watch the whole season in one glut: "[Y]ou can’t really laugh the whole time. You have to take a break. There’s so much material." Some critics agree with Hurwitz; others argue that this season is "essentially a 7-1/2 hour long episode" and that binge watching is the only way to appreciate the new show. (Sadly, Hurwitz's original plan—to have the new episodes be watchable in any order—fell through.)
As has been widely reported, today, May 1, Netflix is letting thousands of titles expire (link down due to heavy traffic) mostly licensed from Warner Bros, Universal, and MGM. Some will possibly to move to the new streaming service offered by Warner Bros itself. (Warner Archive denies that they are "taking" content from Netflix.) Less widely reported is the fact that Netflix has also let their deal with Viacom expire this month, removing large swaths of children's favorites (including Dora, Thomas, Bob the Builder, and Backyardigans) from the service. Despite forecasts that this could be the end for Netflix (again) The company maintains that they are headed in the direction they want to go.
The Nielsen Family Is Dead. Nielsen Now Tracks (Almost) Everything You Buy: Credit, Debit and Bank Data Now Combined With TV, Online Viewing. Nielsen Offers Focus on ‘Zero-TV’ Homes. Nielsen Agrees to Expand Definition of TV Viewing. The 23,000 U.S. homes Nielsen currently samples are going to see some changes this year. [more inside]
House of Cards is a new original "TV" series that is not destined for any TV distribution channel. Instead, it was developed by, and is only available through, Netflix. Netflix posted the entire first "season," 13 1-hour episodes, on Friday. (Is this the new thing?) Some of us, cough, watched the whole thing. [more inside]
Back in July, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings posted on his Facebook page that users of the service had enjoyed over 1 billion hours of viewing in the month of June. The post was (and is) public, and subscribed to by over 200,000 users (some of whom were journalists). Netflix stock jumped for the day on the news. But the SEC was apparently less impressed. [more inside]
Netflix has open sourced tools it uses for load balancing and failure management with Amazon Web Services . They plan to release more tools in the future. They are on Github.
Netflix's lost year: The inside story of the price-hike train wreck.
Leading up to the first anniversary of the Netflix meltdown, CNET interviewed former and current Netflix employees to find out how a series of missteps turned into a lost year, and whether it has rebounded from those self-inflicted wounds.
Now the story of a wealthy new media company that nearly lost everything and the one TV series that had no choice but to keep it all together. It's Arrested... Development... on Netflix. [more inside]
"I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation." Netflix has lost 26% of its value after raising prices and splitting their DVD and streaming services (previously); they'll lose lose 600,000 subscribers by September 30 instead of gaining the 400,000 they predicted. Now Netflix is spinning off their DVD-by-mail service into a separate web site, Qwikster. [more inside]
Reviewing Netflix's 'Example Short 23.976.' Netflix has subsequently released the short in a variety of forms and at various lengths, in one case looping it for a full eight hours in a version that many viewers compared to Andy Warhol's 1964 film Empire. In another case the film was compiled into "a sample show with many episodes" titled Example TV Mega-series 700, containing exactly 700 episodes.
The Professor is Dead. Long Live Netflix! As Netflix rebrands itself as a cable TV alternative rather than a by-mail video rental service, it's killing off its user community and anonymizing reviews. Top reviewer The Professor is philosophical about the change (see main link), others less so.
The First World Problems Rap (SLYT)
Amazon's Prime Streaming service has gone live. The online retailer is adding this to its free 2-day shipping service gratis.
"The brutal reality is Netflix’s bargain days for streaming movies and television is coming to an end."
Is Netflix Streaming Its Way Towards Disaster? In the wake of last month's price hike, Edward Epstein (author of The Big Picture and The Hollywood Economist) explores a few issues with Netflix's turn toward streaming video. The licensing deals Netflix cobbled together before studios fully grokked the value of streaming are expiring in the next year or two, outlets like Amazon and HBO are starting their own streaming services, and the right of first sale, which allows Netflix to buy DVDs and then rent them over and over, doesn't apply to streamed content. Via this post from Slashfilm, which adds more links and info. [more inside]
The Rise and Fall of Blockbuster. After filing for bankruptcy yesterday, many wonder what the future holds for the fallen video rental chain.
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