Archive for the ‘Pop Culture’ Category

What are Twitter Fleets & why I think they’ll succeed

November 18, 2020

What are Twitter Fleets & why I think they’ll succeed

Twitter was all a-flitter yesterday when a major new feature was introduced.

That doesn’t particularly surprise me.

I’m a trainer by profession, and I do process improvement. I’ve taught change management. It’s pretty simple: the majority of people don’t like change.

That doesn’t mean that everybody doesn’t like every change. Humans are both neophiliac (new loving) and neophobic (afraid or disliking the new). The most successful content tends to be things in which the brain can recognize familiar patterns (reassuring) in unfamiliar circumstances (exciting), such as a sequel or a twist on a comfortable genre (for an excellent book on this see Hit Makers ((at Amazon Smile)) by Derek Thompson).

However, it’s a rare person who likes having a routine interrupted, even if it is made better.

That’s because of something called “memory chunking”. Humans are great at memorizing a sequence…and forgetting the individual steps.

When I demonstrate this, I’ll say to someone, “Quick! Tell me the 5th number in your phone number.” I have plenty of time, typically a second or more, to stop them before they actually do that. On the other hand, if I asked them to tell me their phone number, they could have done it immediately.

The fifth digit is one “click” (people who do user interfaces love to count clicks): the whole number is 7 or 10 or 11 clicks, depending on how you think of it. Yet, one click took longer than seven clicks. Why?

The phone number has been “chunked” into a single memory unit & stored for easy retrieval. They aren’t recalling each number individually. There has been no reason to label the fifth number for easy retrieval, so it has to be extracted from the chunk, which is hard to do.

So, when Twitter made a change yesterday which broke the sequence of how people did existing things, it “brupted” them, as one of my parents likes to say. It was an offputting abrupt change.

Not only was there something new in the environment (account avatars at the top of your homescreen…on a phone, by the way, not on a computer), but things were missing.

I actively use two Twitter accounts:

They are different and I want to know which one I’m using when I’m replying to or liking a tweet. I used to be able to see my avatar (profile picture) in my top left corner, but that’s been replaced by a menu indicator (horizontal lines), so it’s not as obvious.

Sure, that was a bit troubling…no big deal, though. My feathers are hard to flap…you know, I tend to be “unflappable”. 😉

Even though I would think that relatively few people switch between multiple Twitter accounts the way I do, that change likely caught people off guard: it’s also how you get to your profile easily.

A change, and Twitter did little that I could see to manage it. There wasn’t some sort of announcement I saw first, to tell me what wasn’t changing (the most important part of change management), and to connect it to my “drivers” (things that motivate me). My first awareness was seeing that Fleets was trending…I honestly thought Star Trek’s Starfleet first.

When I started looking, the most common reaction was, “What’s a Fleet?” Several referenced Fleet enemas! 🙂

I found a Twitter blogpost first:

https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/product/2020/introducing-fleets-new-way-to-join-the-conversation.html

then looked for it in their Help Center:

https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter#fleets

I’ll share my overview of what Twitter Fleets are, and respond to objections I saw expressed.

I’m going to assume here that you are already a Twitter user and know how to tweet.

A Fleet is a “fleeting tweet”: it disappears after 24 hours.

That’s the key differentiator, but not the only thing. The public doesn’t see likes and replies.

Fleet something (it could be text, a video, an image…even a live capture of a photo or video). It’s gone in a day and no one can endorse it or condemn it in situ.

This takes away (for the most part) the “internet is forever” problem, where you apply for a job and they find some embarrassing photo, or opinion you expressed ten years ago, and decide you won’t fit in with the team.

I say for the most part, because someone can screenshot it or use screen recording software.

This is not like Twitter generally, where, unless you delete them, your Tweets are hypothetically forever (I’ve been on Twitter for more than 10 years…my first tweets can still be seen).

It is, though, like some other services.

That’s the first big objection I saw: “Twitter isn’t Instagram or Snapchat: why would I want two places like that?”

That comes from “fluency bias”, which seems pretty common to me in technology. It’s the assumption that most people are as familiar with something as you are.

My guess is that Twitter has the highest percentage of single platform users of any major social media service. It’s been around long time. Entry is relatively easy. “Old media” stars and public figures use it. If someone joined Twitter to follow a politician, a broadcast TV show, or a store (to get offers), that doesn’t mean they also join Instagram or Snapchat.

For them, this is new!

It also means that you don’t have to go to a different app to post something ephemeral. That’s one of the hardest things when using computers (including SmartPhones): going somewhere else. I loved it when a student of mine said, “I want what I want to be where I’m looking now.” Exactly.

That doesn’t mean people will necessarily drop another service and use this instead, of course, although some might.

That’s another issue: “binary bias”. That suggests that everything is a choice between this or that. “Why would I use a Fleet instead of IG?” You can use both. Sometimes one is right. Sometimes another is right. Sometimes both. Sometimes neither.

One of my main areas of focus has been e-books. I got that all the time in the beginning and still see it. Someone will give one way that a p-book (paperbook/physical book) is better than an e-book as a reason to never use e-books. You can use both or one or the other. I can’t think of something where there isn’t another thing that is better than it in some element.

Here are the basics for how to Fleet:

  1. Be on your homescreen (the little house in your bottom left, usually) in Twitter on your phone
  2. Tap the “Add” button in your top left
  3. It will default to your gallery, where you pictures/screenshots/downloaded images are…it may have a different name or default, possibly, but that’s what I see
  4. At the bottom of the screen, you can choose to change it to Text, Capture (“live” from our camera), or video
  5. Create or select it
  6. Tap Fleet in your top right corner

While the Fleet exists, you can see how many (and who) have viewed your own Fleets by looking at it.

It hasn’t been long enough for one to disappear yet, but my guess is that I won’t have a record of it when it’s gone.

Speaking of seeing…

You can tap on an avatar at the top of your homescreen to see the Fleet. If that account has more than one active, it will show them to you sequentially. Then, it automatically moves to the next account, like a slideshow which is running.

You can also see someone’s Fleets on their Profile page, although I haven’t found that myself yet.

If you follow each other, you’ll see a place at the bottom to message the account…but it’s a private DM (Direct Message). No one else sees it. You have no awareness of the popularity or interactions with another account’s Fleets (unless popularity determines the order in which the avatars appears, not sure about that. It appears to favor my tweeps, people I follow and such.

The next question: why Fleet?

It will take a while for the community to figure out what works. The first YouTube video was “Me at the Zoo”…yes, it’s had over 100 million views by now (it’s had more than 15 years), but I don’t think they were picturing Gangnam Style or unboxing videos at that point. 😉

So far, I’ve seen mostly “Hello, world” style, or ones questioning why they were Fleeting (many first tweets are like that, too).

I have, though, seen commercial accounts Fleeting.

That’s going to be part of it.

For example, you could run a contest, maybe a book giveaway, that lasts a day. You don’t have to worry about someone stumbling on it five years later and being mad they missed it. You could promote a show running that night without confusing people a week later.

My Fleets, still visible at the time I write this, alert people to upcoming movies/TV shows on the free ad-supported streamer, Airy TV. I’m not connected with them accept as a viewer.

Airy.TV: a great free (ad-supported) streamer for TV & movies

I may do the same thing with Tubi, Pluto…other streamers.

I’ve done tweets listing “new to streamers”: that might be better in a Fleet. I have had it happen that people find something that’s quite old and tell me why it is inaccurate today, not realizing that it was right when I wrote it (in this case, it would be possible that a movie I said was on a particular streamer might not be years later).

Another big thing is going to be “reaction shots”. You might have a shocked or positive reaction to an event, but not want that out there forever. It could also just be a snapshot in time.

Oh, that brings up an obvious question: NSFW (Not Safe For Work) content. I get that sometimes in my Twitter feed. If you see a Fleet that you feel is inappropriate for everyone, you can report it, or you can mute that account (so you don’t see anything they do again) in your top right corner of the Fleet…there is a little chevron there, a dropdown. I’m sure that will happen.

I also expect, if it succeeds, that we’ll see it written into crimefighting dramas on TV. The “bad guy” posts a picture or video of the crime in progress (maybe a kidnapee), but if vanishes before they hear about it. Twitter says it may hold on to Fleets for a while, if they look…let’s go with suspicious.

Something else I expect: a game. Clues are fleeted once a day. That would get engagement. A movie studio could do the same thing: Fleet a single picture a day from an upcoming movie.

I do have a few questions and concerns:

  • Is there a record of the metrics I can see…how many people viewed it? That would make a difference for A/B analysis of what worked best
  • I’d prefer that the icons for tweet/DM/Fleet were more differentiated…maybe by color background, or putting speed lines on the Fleet. More than once on my phone, I’ve accidentally tapped Fleet when I went to share
  • Do I get a notification if someone tags me in a Fleet?
  • I don’t see a way to delete a Fleet

Speaking of that last one (deletion), that’s the other big complaint I saw on Twitter. They did this, but didn’t give us spellcheck or revising a posted Tweet? I’m always amused by that. “You can fly now!” “Yes, but am I super strong?” 😉 There is some impact of finite resources in a company, but the same people building Fleets might not be building a revision feature.

I also had someone explain to me why a revision feature would be a lot trickier than it seems. Suppose you had like a Tweet, and then the person revised it to express the opposite opinion? You would appear to be endorsing something you don’t. That’s not insurmountable (a revision could place interactions into an invisible holding state, awaiting reapproval from the reactor), but it’s complicated.

I expect we’ll still have Fleets as a feature three years from now, but we’ll see. It may become a thing like Vine was to just let the Fleets scroll by, maybe while waiting in line or for something to load. No scrolling, no interaction.

What do you think? Will you create Fleets? Will you view them? What should be changed? Feel free to let me and readers know by commenting on this post or interacting with me on Twitter…you could even Fleet, but I might not see it. 😉

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Bufo’s Alexa Skills

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in theThe Measured Circle blog

Airy.TV: a great free (ad-supported) streamer for TV & movies

November 11, 2020

Airy.TV: a great free (ad-supported) streamer for TV & movies

I know, I know: another streamer, right? 😉 As regular readers know, we use a lot of streamers: HBO Max, Disney+, Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Pluto, Tubi, Peacock, YouTube…I wasn’t really looking for another one.

However, I saw Wesley Eure (@WesleyEure on Twitter) mention that he’d run across his show, Land of the Lost (he played Will), on something called Airy.TV.

I love those Sid and Marty Krofft shows, so that got me to check it out.

I’ve been enjoying it! I’ve seen shows I haven’t seen in years, including Forever Knight & Automan. They have movie channels that I can just leave running: a Godzilla channel, a musical channel…wait, before I get too much into the content, let’s get a little higher level. Here are some key points:

  • It’s free! It is ad-supported, but the ads aren’t intrusive (unlike some streamers). They don’t interrupt a movie: typically, there might be a roughly thirty second ad when you change channels, before the show starts. You don’t even need to create an account, although you can
  • The app is available for Fire TV & I also watch it on my Android phone. You can watch it on the web, and while I haven’t done it, it’s available for iOS (for iPhones and such)
  • This is strictly streaming: no on demand. That means you watch what they put on when they put it on. In that way, it’s like old-fashioned TV. There are plenty of options, though. You also can’t pause or rewind
  • Generally, the video quality is good, but I have run into some TV shows that look like VHS videotapes
  • I’m writing about this in the USA and just as a user. The website has information for people who want to advertise on the service, and for those who want to provide a stream. There is a Rewards program for viewers, but I haven’t investigated that
  • The interface is simple: you can watch full screen. You can mute or not. Shows/movies thumbnail at the top first, then you can select them to make them full screen. There are two themes (I’ve only used one). I haven’t seen any search capability. The programs don’t have descriptions, just titles. For a TV show, for example, it doesn’t tell you the episode or give you a summary
  • They have responded to me: good customer service! I spotted a typo (no big deal), mentioned it to them, and it got fixed. I don’t know, of course, that it was just me that mentioned it, but it may have been
  • One curious thing: when I select a TV show, even a few minutes after the hour/half hour, it seems to start at the beginning: not sure if that’s coincidental or clever programming
  • I haven’t seen closed captioning as an option

So, basically, I just…watch. 🙂

Now, let’s talk about content!

Note that this is just a snapshot of how it is right now, as I’m writing: even the channel availability can change. They had a couple of Halloween-related channels in October, for example.

  • Celebrity Scene TV Live (this appears to be contemporary showbiz news)
  • Newsmax
  • FightTV
  • SportsTV
  • Camera Smile TV (this seems to be Candid Camera type bits, but not sure)
  • Spydar TV (it appears to be an eclectic set of black and white older shows, but I’m not entirely sure…haven’t watched it much yet)
  • Kartoon Funtime
  • Classic Comedy
  • Cartoon Classics
  • Lone Ranger
  • Airy Westerns
  • Travel & Food TV
  • Race Central
  • 70’s Classics (Vega$ is on right now)
  • Dragnet (yes, all Dragnet, all the time! Many channels are like this)
  • The Streets of San Francisco
  • Open House
  • Rope 2 Rope (wrestling)
  • Movie Channels: right now there are five “generic” movie channels: running titles at this moment include:
    • The Lifeguard
    • Fargo
    • Gone in 60 Seconds
    • Crocodile Dundee 2
  • XTREME Movies: Warren Miller; Higher Ground
  • Classic Movies section
    • Classics: Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki
    • Classics 2 Happy is The Bride
    • Western Club: Joe Dakota
    • Western Club 2: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
    • Western Club 3: West of the Divide
    • Godzilla TV: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzila 2 (I can just turn this channel on any time and be happy)
    • Blaxploitation: Golemite
    • Kung Fu Movies: Warriors of the Steppe
    • Monsters, Aliens, &…: It Came from Beneath the Sea
    • Screen Sirens: Ladies of the Chorus (this is nicely curated)
    • Musicals: The for the Show (I can just have this running for my Significant Other and myself, which is not a good choice with Godzilla. 😉 I’ve seen My Sister Eileen, The Gang’s All Here (a Carmen Miranda vehicle), and more
  • Classic TV Series section (channels here have a variety of shows
    • 50’s Classics: I Married Joan
    • 50’s Classics 2: The Restless Gun
    • 60’s Classics: Petticoat Junction
    • 60’s Classics 2: The Munsters
    • 60’s Classics 3: Flipper
    • 70’s Classics: Vega$ (same as above…the top section has featured channels)
    • 70’s Classics 2: The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams
    • Horror TV: Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter
    • Sci Fi TV: Space Patrol (this is another one I can just leave on…Buck Rogers, Time Tunnel, Misfits of Science, Tomorrow People…)
  • Classic TV section (this tends to be only one series: maybe the section names should be swapped?)
    • Gimme a Break!
    • The Greatest American Hero
    • Midsommer Murders
    • Doctor Who
    • McHale’s Navy
    • Highlander (strangely, this one appears to list the episode titles)
    • Dragnet
    • The Bob Newhart Show
    • The Rifleman
    • Degrassi TV
    • Gomer Pyle
    • Hogan’s Heroes
    • Dukes of Hazzard
    • My Three Sons
    • Rockford Files
    • Highway to Heaven
    • Bonanza
    • Renegade
    • Green Acres
    • The Commish
    • Sanford and Son
    • Moonlighting
    • The Man Show
    • The Jeffersons
    • Mission:Impossible
    • The Three Stooges
    • MXC (Most Extreme)
    • 21 Jump treet
    • Barney Miller
    • Columbo
    • The Fugitive
    • My Little Margie
    • Bewitched
    • Perry Mason
    • The Streets of San Francisco
    • Are You Being Served
  • Classic Kids section
    • Classic Cartoons: Felix the Cat
    • 90s Cartoons: Doug
    • 80’s Cartoons: He-Man
    • 70’s Cartoons: Fat Albert
    • Tom and Jerry TV
  • TV Shows
    • Encore+: The Odd Couple
    • Celebri-TEA: Actually Me
    • Talk Shows: Last Week with John Oliver
    • Bob Ross
    • How It’s Made
  • Reality section
    • Kitchen Night: Kitchen Nightmares
    • Judge TV: Divorce Court
    • OMGnetwork: Real and Chance
    • Reality Pleasure: Beauty and the Geek
    • Money Makers: Barter Kings
    • Conspiracy: The Exodus Decoded
    • Hell’s Kitchen
    • Hoarders
    • Ice Road Truckers
    • The Maury Show
    • Duck Dynasty
  • Comedy
    • David Spade
    • Shade: Wild N’ Out WildStyle
    • Comedy Central: Key & Peele
    • British Comedy: The Goodies
    • Just for Laughs
  • Food & Travel section
    • Wanderlust: Cambodia
    • Bon Appetit: Sweet Potato Casserole
    • Disaster Channel: Rogue Boeing 737
    • Open House: Property Virgins
  • Documentaries section
    • World Documentary: Cash: A Thing of the Past
    • Ancient Aliens
    • Wildlife: Natural Curiosities
    • Military: Starting Strong
    • Deep Space: Death of the Earth
  • Thriller section
    • True Crime: Mugshots
    • Medicale Detectives
    • Fright Night: Nightmare on Elm Street Kill Count Vol. 1
    • Paranormal: Ghost Stories
    • Real Stories: Too Posh to Pay
    • Crime Stoppers: Dog the Bounty Hunter
    • Crime Stoppers: Woman Behind Bars
  • Espanol section
    • TV Espanola: La Reina del Sur
    • TV Espanola: La Fea Mas Bella
    • TV Espanola: El Zorro la espada y la rosa
    • Captiva TV
  • Sports section
    • Rugby
    • Table Tennis
    • Climbing
    • Ultimate Frisbee
    • Gymanstics
    • Curling
    • Golf
    • Roller Derby (looks like contemporary)
  • Music Section
    • Music Videos: Guns N’Roses
    • Top of the Pops: TOTPS 1996 (on deck is TOTPS 1980)
    • Vintage Radio

Wow, right? 🙂

Note again that this just a snapshot right now: there will be different movies & TV shows when you check, and possibly different channels.

I’m confident that I can always find something on Airy.TV to watch…accessible to me anywhere.

I don’t know how much turnover there will be…it’s possible that six months from now, I feel like I’ve seen a lot of it, but that may not be the case. Besides, there is a lot available, and I don’t mind watching something more than once (with some time between viewings).

Does this replace my other services? Nope. There are definitely times I’m going to watch a particular show. However, it definitely supplements it, being a choice when I just want to have something on that I want to watch, and when I want to be surprised. A lot of what it has isn’t available on my other streaming services.

Enjoy!

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project (AKA Enwoven)!Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in theThe Measured Circle blog

Halloween movies by mood

October 29, 2020

Halloween movies by mood

I’ve already done a post with a long list of Halloween movies on a variety of streaming services:

Screamers on streamers: Halloween gems on Netflix, Disney+, Prime, HBO Max, Peacock, and more!

However, while I have added some descriptions there, it’s much more useful for readers who are already familiar with the movie titles. It has everything from kids’ movies to R-rated fare, and only separates them by streamer and time released.

I thought some of you might appreciate a shorter list divided by “moods”…if you aren’t familiar with them, it should help you pick something to watch, including depending on your audience.

All of these are available at no additional cost, meaning that they are either free or included in what you are paying for a streamer. This list is for the USA.

Note: I hope to keep adding to this! Please feel free to ask me about specific movies or for recommendations by commenting on this post or reaching out to me on Twitter https://twitter.com/bufocalvin

Last thing: we may not agree on the categorizations! Something I might consider mild you might find objectionable…and vice versa. 🙂

Spooky

These movies may be scary, but I would consider them appropriate for kids…no explicit sexual content or gore.

  • Dracula (1931): the Lugosi original (Peacock TV free)
  • Son of Frankenstein (1939): while a later entry, you can watch it without seeing the earlier ones. Karloff plays the monster, Lugosi is Ygor (Peacock TV free)
  • Dr. Cyclops (1940): mad scientist shrinks people (Peacock TV free)

Drive-In

  • It Came from Outer Space (1953): Jack Arnold directs Richard Carlson (Peacock TV free)
  • The Blob (1958): Steve McQueen (HBOMax)
  • The Killer Shrews (1959): (Prime Video, Tubi, Shout TV)

Weird

I think it’s better to approach these without me giving you any context…

  • Spider Baby (1967) (Prime Video)
  • Matango (1963) (Prime Video, Tubi)
  • The Manster (1959) (Prime Video, Tubi, Epix, Classic)

Highbrow

  • The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) (Peacock TV free)
  • The Shout (1978) (Prime Video, Epix)

Funny

  • Zombieland (2009): (Peacock TV free)
  • A Bucket of Blood (1959) (Prime Video)
  • The Addams Family (1991) (Prime Video)
    • Addams Family Values (Prime Video)
  • I Married a Witch (1942): Veronica Lake stars in this movie that clearly influenced Bewitched (HBOMax, Watch TCM, The Criterion Channel)
  • Bell, Book and Candle (1958): Another influence on Bewitched, starring Jimmy Stewart & Kim Novak (Pluto)

Silent

  • Nosferatu (1922) (Prime Video)
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Prime Video)
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1925): Lon Chaney (Prime Video)

Gonzo

  • The Devil’s Rain (Prime Video)
  • Killer Klowns from Outer Space (Prime Video)

Eco-Horror

  • Frogs (Prime Video)

Musical

If you think of musicals as Judy Garland and Gene Kelly, these aren’t that! They may be quite dark and/or have sexual content/violence…still, people sing along!

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1974): arguably, the ultimate cult movie! When Disney+ was launched, it was clearly parts of their Fox library weren’t going to show up there…Disney said they’d put them on Hulu. That’s where this one is (Hulu)
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again (2016): Fox TV remake starring Laverne Cox (Hulu)
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008): Anthony Head, Paul Sorvino, Sarah Brightman: this has a Rocky Horror appeal, released a generation later. There’s a pandemic, but this has to do with a company repossessing organs (Prime Video, Tubi)
  • Anna and the Apocalypse (2017): it’s an R-rated high school zombie musical! (Prime Video, Hulu, Epix)

Socially relevant

  • The Stepford Wives (1975): Katharine Ross…based on Ira Levin’s book about gender relations (Prime Video, Tubi)

https://measuredcircle.wordpress.com/2020/08/30/how-to-trick-or-treat-in-2020/


Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project (AKA Enwoven)!Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in theThe Measured Circle blog

Screamers on streamers: Halloween gems on Netflix, Disney+, Prime, HBO Max, Peacock, and more!

October 9, 2020

Screamers on streamers: Halloween gems on Netflix, Disney+, Prime, HBO Max, Peacock, and more!

There’s never been a better time to watch Halloween movies at home! With all the streamers (streaming video services) competing for audience, a lot of content which would have been hard to find is just a click (or remote button…or voice command, or…) away!

This time, I’m going to keep it high level, but break it down by streaming service. We subscribe to several (some are free perks for other services for which we pay), but they also generally offer a free trial…you might do that right before Halloween.

Note that these aren’t all the offerings…or all the streamers…or even all the ones I watch! That’s how many options there are. 🙂 If you want to add more suggestions, feel free to do so by commenting on this post (or on Twitter, if you see this there first). I may also add to it myself (including descriptions): I wanted to get this out for the weekend…getting close to Halloween!

One last note before we start unreeling: these are based on USA availability. I recommend the free app JustWatch: you can set your country and streaming services there.

Want to thank me for this? Please take a look at my suggestion on how to safely keep the trick-or-treat traditions going in 2020, and if you like it, share it freely…you don’t need to ask permission or even to attribute it to me. I love Halloween & just want to help:

https://measuredcircle.wordpress.com/2020/08/30/how-to-trick-or-treat-in-2020/

Peacock (free tier, but I’ll also be including Peacock Premium here)

  • The Universal horror cycle which started in the 1930s: this is the crown jewel of Peacock for me, and possibly, of any of the streaming services 😉 . Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman…here’s my article on it: Home Film Festival: Universal Classic Horror on Peacock TV July 2020. These are available on the free tier unless I note them as PREMIUM
    • Dracula (1931): starring Bela Lugosi…the classic! (also on DIRECTV, Watch TCM)
      • Dracula’s Daughter (1936): starring Gloria Holden
      • Son of Dracula (1943): Lon Chaney Jr.
    • Frankenstein (1931) PREMIUM: Boris Karloff…it’s alive!
      • The Bride of Frankenstein (1935): includes Elsa Lanchester…routinely gets listed among superior sequels
      • The Ghost of Frankenstein 1942: Lon Chaney Jr. as “the monster”
      • Son of Frankenstein (1939): Boris Karloff is back as “the monster”, Bela Lugosi plays Ygor
    • Werewolf of London (1935): Henry Hull…years before the Lon Chaney Jr. definitive establishment of The Wolfman, some elements are in place
    • The Wolf Man (1941) PREMIUM: Lon Chaney Jr….Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man were all based on novels (although Dracula took a lot from the stage play based on the novel), while Curt Siodmak’s brilliant original script had many convinced it was based on existing folklore
    • The Invisible Man (1933): Claude Rains: directed by James Whale, it has humor, and clever writing…but still scary (also on IndieFlix)
      • The Invisible Man Returns (1940): Vincent Price is falsely accused of murder, but when he becomes invisible, he tries to clear his name
      • The Invisible Woman (1940): strictly a comedy with Virginia Bruce, John Barrymore, and Margaret Hamilton
      • The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944): Jon Hall & John Carradine
    • Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman
    • House of Dracula
    • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
    • Abbott and Costello Meet The Invisible Man
    • Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy
    • Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
    • Phantom of the Opera (Claude Rains)
    • The Mummy PREMIUM
      • The Mummy’s Hand
      • The Mummy’s Ghost
      • The Mummy’s Curse
    • The Creature (from the Black Lagoon) Walks Among Us (the original movie had been on Peacock, but isn’t now: looks like it is on DIRECTV)
  • Here are some others (free tier & premium…if it’s premium only, I’ll note that):
    • Pre 1980
      • Island of Lost Souls PREMIUM: 1932, Charles Laughton is Doctor Moreau, Bela Lugosi is the Speaker of the Law…”Are we not men?”
      • The Incredible Shrinking Man (sci-fi horror): 1957, Grant Williams…this is a thoughtful movie, but I included it because it does have some horror to it, and it’s a great movie! Marginally Halloween, though
      • Brides of Dracula (Peter Cushing)
      • The Evil of Frankenstein (Peter Cushing)
      • The Phantom of the Opera (Herbert Lom)
      • It Came from Outer Space
      • The Curse of the Werewolf (Oliver Reed)
      • The Strange Case of Doctor Rx
      • Dr. Cyclops
      • The Raven
      • Night Monster (Bela Lugosi)
      • Psycho PREMIUM
      • The Birds PREMIUM
    • 1980-2010
      • Sleepaway Camp
      • Dead Ringers
      • Hollow Man
      • House of the Dead
      • Dawn of the Dead (2004)
      • The Grudge (2004)
      • Zombieland
      • Monster House
      • Hellboy II: Golden Army
      • Haunting in Connecticut
    • 2011-
      • It Follows
      • Jigsaw
      • Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (Spike Lee)
      • Final Girl
      • Tyler Perry’s Boo 2!
      • Bigfoot (Danny Bonaduce)
      • Zoombies
      • You Should Have Left PREMIUM
      • The Purge PREMIUM
      • R.I.P.D. PREMIUM

Prime Video

  • Pre 1980
    • Nosferatu (1922)
    • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
    • The Phantom of the Opera (1925: Lon Chaney)
    • Don’t Look Now
    • Spider Baby
    • Dementia 13
    • The Comedy of Terrors
    • Vampire Circus
    • The Beast Must Die
    • Season of the Witch
    • The Day of the Triffids
    • The Shout
    • The House That Dripped Blood
    • Bug
    • Squirm
    • The Creeping Flesh
    • Twins of Evil
    • Frogs
    • A Bucket of Blood
    • Night Tide
    • Trilogy of Terror
    • Beyond the Door
    • Alligator
    • Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things
    • The Devil’s Rain (William Shatner)
    • Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell
    • Planet of the Vampires
    • Phase IV
    • A Chinese Ghost Story
    • The Crazies (1973)
    • Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter
    • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
    • Night of the Living Dead (1968)
    • Phantasm
    • Last House on the Left
    • The Stepford Wives (1975)
    • The Tenant
    • Diabolique
    • X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes
    • Dr. Phibes Rises Again
    • Matango
    • Manos: The Hands of Fate
    • The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)
    • Blacula
    • Lady in a Cage (Olivia de Havilland)
    • The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)
    • Carnival of Souls
    • The Little Shop of Horrors
    • House on Haunted Hill (1959)
    • Alice, Sweet Alice
  • 1980-2010
    • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
    • Night of the Demons
    • Q
    • Dead Heat (1988)
    • City of the Living Dead
    • Escape from New York
    • Humanoids from the Deep: 1996, Emma Samms, Robert Carradine…this is not a monster movie for kids, it’s an R-rated, raunchy Roger Corman produced movie
    • Labyrinth
    • Dance of the Dead
    • Mausoleum
    • Dolls
    • Waxwork (1988)
    • Lord of Illusion
    • Transylvania 6-5000
    • Witchboard
    • Bloodrayne
    • C.H.U.D.
    • Creature (1985: Klaus Kinski)
    • Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)
    • Phenomena (Dario Argento)
    • The Addams Family (1991)
      • Addams Family Values
    • Resident Evil (2002)
    • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
    • Fright Night (1985)
    • Hellboy (2004)
    • Bride of Re-Animator
    • Poltergeist II
    • Wishmaster (1997)
    • The Gift (2000)
    • Little Monsters (1989)
    • Silent Hill (2006)
    • Monsters (2010)
    • 30 Days of Night
    • Delicatessen
    • Ju-On The Grudge
    • Children of the Corn (1984)
    • The Mothman Prophecies
    • The Haunting (1999)
    • Vampires (John Carpenter)
    • I Spit on Your Grave (2010)
    • Repo! The Genetic Opera
    • Killer Klowns from Outer Space
    • The Midnight Meat Train
    • The Stuff
    • The Relic
    • Motel Hell
    • My Bloody Valentine
    • Species
  • 2011-
    • The Lighthouse (2019): Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe…an 1890s R-rated horror piece set at a lighthouse
    • Midsommar (2019): Florence Pugh, running afoul of an old religion today…reminded me a bit of The Wicker Man (R)
    • The Vast of Night (2020): Sierra McCormick…a thoughtful 1950s period piece about flying saucers and a small town radio station (PG-13)
    • Willow Creek (2013)
    • Hereditary (2018): Toni Colette (R)
    • Train to Busan
    • I See You
    • Crawl
    • Zombeavers
    • The Lazarus Effect
    • The Addams Family (2019 animated)
    • The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
    • The Wailing
    • The Neon Demon
    • Child’s Play (2019)
    • Suspiria (2018)
    • Pet Sematary (2019)
    • The Love Witch (2016)
    • The Lords of Salem
    • Anna and the Apocalypse
    • Hatchet

Netflix

  • Pre 1980
    • The Car
  • 1980-2010
    • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins…lauded psychological horror with Dr. Hannibal Lecter (R)
    • Pan’s Labyrinth
    • Poltergeist
    • The Witches (1990)
    • The Evil Dead (1981)
    • Underworld
    • House of 1000 Corpses
    • Bhoot
    • Anaconda
    • The Witches (1990): Nicolas Roeg directs Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, and Rowan Atkinson in this version of the Roald Dahl story (there is a 2020 version, see HBO Max)
  • 2011-
    • Dark Skies
    • House at the End of the Street
    • As Above, So Below
    • The Boy
    • Death Note (2017)
    • The Bye Bye Man
    • Hubie Halloween
    • Bird Box
    • Veronica
    • In the Tall Grass
    • Apollo 18
    • Vampires vs. the Bronx
    • The Girl with All the Gifts
    • It Comes at Night

Disney+

  • Pre 1980
    • Ichabod and Mister Toad
    • Blackbeard’s Ghost
  • 1980-2010
    • Hocus Pocus: an annual watch event for many…Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy
    • The Haunted Mansion
    • The Nightmare Before Christmas
    • Return to Oz (very scary: I’d call it a horror movie)
    • Halloweentown
    • Monsters, Inc.
    • Twitches
    • Mr. Boogedy
    • Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire
    • The Scream Team
    • The Ghosts of Buxley Hall
  • 2011-
    • Maleficent
      • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
    • Frankenweenie
    • Girl vs. Monster
    • Coco
    • Zombies

HBOMax

  • Pre 1980
    • Jaws (1975): Roy Scheider…Spielberg’s movie that really established the summer blockbuster. I’ve always felt it was a monster movie, although I know others disagree (PG-13)
    • Vampyr (1932)
    • I Married a Witch
    • Alien (1979): Ridley Scott directs Sigourney Weaver in the original series starter…in space, no one can hear you scream (R)
    • Carnival of Souls
    • House (1977)
    • Night of the Living Dead
    • Scanners
    • Blithe Spirit
    • Day of the Dead
    • The Blob (1958)
    • Eyes Without a Face
    • The Brood
    • Piranha
    • Magic
    • Equinox
    • Kwaidan
    • The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
    • Horror of Dracula (1958: Christopher Lee)
    • Godzilla (1954)
      • Many Godzilla and other Kaiju movies!
  • 1981-2010
    • Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
    • The Haunting (1999)
    • Vampire in Brooklyn
    • Lifeforce
    • I Was a Teenage Zombie
    • Dreamscape
    • Leprechaun
    • The Hitcher (1986)
    • The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
    • Constantine
    • Teen Witch
    • Signs
    • Death Becomes Her
    • Scooby-Doo (2002)
    • The Frighteners
    • Jeepers Creepers
    • The Ruins
    • Devil
  • 2011-
    • The Invisible Man (2020): Elizabeth Moss…Universal’s modern take focuses on a woman not being believed (also on DIRECTV)
    • Red Riding Hood (2011)
    • The Devil Inside
    • Doctor Sleep (2019): Ewan McGregor, long-awaited sequel to The Shining has a grown-up Danny (R)
    • Us (2019): Jordan Peele writes and directs Lupita Nyong’o in a movie about identity (R)
    • It Chapter II
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
    • The Conjuring 2
    • The Curse of La Llarona
    • The Witches (2020): Robert Zemeckis directs Anne Hathaway & Octavia Spencer is this new version of he Roald Dahl story (Guillermo del Toro is a producer & co-screenwriter). The 1990 version is on Netflix

Hulu

  • Pre 1980
    • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1974-R): cult tribute to old horror and sci-fi that is so much more, including an iconic performance by Tim Curry….they also have the 2016 version with Laverne Cox
  • 1980-2010
    • Twilight (2008): Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner…series starter based on the bestselling books about modern vampires & werewolves (PG-13) (also on The Roku Channel)
    • The Host
    • Interview with the Vampire
    • Let the Right One In
    • Hellraiser
    • Children of the Corn
    • Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
    • Double, Double, Toil and Trouble (the Olsen Twins)
  • 2011-
    • The Lodge
    • Crawl
    • The Addams Family (animated 1999)
    • Cabin in the Woods (2012)
    • The Wretched
    • Child’s Play (2019)
    • Wolfcop
    • I, Frankenstein
    • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again (new version with Laverne Cox in the role Tim Curry originated)

Tubi

  • Pre 1980
    • Suspiria (1977)
    • The Crazies (1973)
    • The Boys from Brazil
    • The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
    • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
    • Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
    • Night of the Living Dead
    • Beyond the Door
    • War of the Colossal Beast
    • The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
    • The Gorgon
    • Dracula (Jack Palance)
    • The Angry Red Planet
    • Schlock
    • Attack of the Crab Monsters
    • The Medusa Touch (Richard Burton)
    • Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors
    • Demon Seed
    • Devil’s Rain
    • The Last Man on Earth (1964)
    • The Day of the Triffids
    • Squirm
    • Horror Express
    • Destroy All Monsters
    • The Creeping Flesh
    • Blood Feast
    • The Tingler
    • A Bucket of Blood
    • Night Tide
    • Phantasm
    • The Stepford Wives (1975)
    • Nosferatu (1922)
      • Nosferatu: The Vampire (1979)
    • The Cabinet of Caligari (1920)
    • Black Christmas
    • Carnival of Souls
    • Plan 9 from Outer Space
    • House on Haunted Hill (1959)
    • The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
    • Tales from the Crypt (1972)
    • Rabid
    • Cat O’Nine Tails
    • Black Sunday
    • Blood for Dracula
    • The House That Dripped Blood
    • Spider Baby
    • The Beast Must Die
    • Season of the Witch
    • 20 Million Miles to Earth
    • Day of the Animals
    • Dementia 13
    • Gargoyles
    • Scream Blacula Scream
    • Vampire Circus
    • Thirst
    • Eaten Alive (1976)
    • Matango
    • Manos: The Hands of Fate
    • Shock Wave
  • 1980-2010
    • The Descent
    • The Dunwich Horror
    • Let the Right One In
    • Witchtrap
    • It Waits
    • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
    • Hellraiser
    • Mausoleum
    • Dance of the Dead
    • Hell Night
    • Vamp
    • Wishmaster
    • The Uninvited (2009)
    • Basket Case
    • Bones
    • Forbidden World
    • Death Race 2000 (1975)
    • Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
    • Little Monsters
    • Dog Soldiers
    • Stage Fright
    • Once Bitten
    • Waxwork
    • Witchboard
    • C.H.U.D.
    • Wraith
    • City of the Living Dead
    • Creature
    • Repo! The Genetic Opera
    • The Haunting (1999)
    • Bubba Ho-Tep
    • Night Breed
    • Hatchet
    • Ju-On The Grudge
    • Children of the Corn
    • Killer Klowns from OUter Space
    • Battle Royale (2000)
    • Ginger Snaps
    • Rubber
    • Troll Hunter
    • House of 1000 Corpses
    • Sleepaway Camp
    • 30 Days of Night
    • Re-Animator
    • The Return of the Living Dead
    • The Stuff
    • Chopping Mall
    • House (1985)
    • Lair of the White Worm
    • The Ninth Configuration
    • Cloverfield
    • Teeth
    • An American Werewolf in Paris
    • Day of the Dead (1985)
    • Humanoids fro the Deep
    • The Midnight Meat Train
  • 2011-
    • Train to Busan: Korean movie about martial law imposed because of an epidemic
    • The Host
    • Wolf Cop
    • Chillerama
    • Evil Dead (2013)
    • Cockneys vs Zombies
    • The Wailing
    • Tales of Halloween
    • Zombeavers
    • The Mothman of Point Pleasant
    • Da Sweet Blood of Jesus
    • The Void
    • The Last Witch Hunter

That should satisfy pretty much anybody’s Halloween movie needs! Feel free to add more by commenting on this post or replying on Twitter.

Want to thank me for this? Please take a look at my suggestion on how to safely keep the trick-or-treat traditions going in 2020, and if you like it, share it freely…you don’t need to ask permission or even to attribute it to me. I love Halloween & just want to help:

https://measuredcircle.wordpress.com/2020/08/30/how-to-trick-or-treat-in-2020/


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Why Disney Plus is charging $30 to stream the new Mulan

September 5, 2020

Why Disney Plus is charging $30 to stream the new Mulan

I’ve seen a lot of people expressing confusion about why Disney is charging $29.99 to stream the new (non-musical, non-Mushu) version of Mulan on Disney Plus.

Clearly, that can seem like a lot of money. Yes, I’ve seen people irritated and complaining about it.

To me, it makes sense.

Let’s take that ill will that some people have: what will the impact be from that? Honestly, I think very few people would drop D+ over that. It doesn’t cost them anything unless they choose to pay it. They can also just wait until December 4th, when all D+ subscribers will get it at no additional cost. The actual economic impact is probably very small.

I think most people recognize that this isn’t like most other content on the service: they aren’t what would have been first-run theatricals.

Second, $30 just isn’t as much as it might seem. If this effectively replaces going to a movie theatre, and let’s say you have four in your family (even if two of them are kids), it’s about the cost of tickets (and not counting other expenses, like treats and parking/transit). $30/4=$7.50. It’s also worth noting that the $30 gives you unlimited viewings…lots of people see movies more than once in the theatre, doubling or more their cost.

Another piece of this is it actually makes a D+ subscription seem more valuable in December (you’re getting something that cost $30 for no additional cost)…and that’s when people might be paying for the subscription as a gift.

Now, you might wonder who would pay $30 instead of just waiting until December 4th. Many kids have been waiting for this…and especially this 3-day weekend, families may want to indulge in that. Seeing something before other people lets you avoid spoilers. We know some  people may invest time and energy to see something when it opens, perhaps waiting in line for hours for a midnight show.

This is an experiment, but it could pay off. D+ reportedly has something like 50 million subscribers. If 1% of them (a tiny fraction) decide to do this, that’s $15 million…10%, and that’s blockbuster territory.

There’s also no revenue sharing with theatres, although Disney would have taken the lion (King)’s share of the ticket price anyway (theatres make their money on concessions). I’m also talking about the way things worked pre-Covid-19: the opportunity to sell movie tickets just isn’t where it was summer of 2019. We’ll see how Tenet does this weekend, but the theatre capacities are down, even if people want to go.

So, it seems to me like there is a small downside risk, but considerable upside possibility.

Feel free to let me know what you think by commenting on this post.


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New movies to streamers: September 1st 2020

September 1, 2020

New movies to streamers: September 1st 2020

It’s a great time to be a movie fan with the internet! The new streamers are trying to outdo each other with their selections. That used to mostly mean movies which had recently been in the theatres, but that’s not the case any more. Whether you’re a fan of the golden age of Hollywood, foreign movies, classic horror, or cult classics, they are all starting to show up. Yes, these are mostly subsers (subscription services), but they generally offer free trials. We subscribe to several, but I know not everybody does. I’ll break down the listings by service. In this post, I’ll also include some of the highlights for each of them that aren’t new today (1 September 2020).

It’s also worth noting that movies get added throughout the month.

I’m using

JustWatch

for the USA (you can set other countries).

I’m only hitting some highlights for each service: Prime Video, for example, added 238 titles today per JustWatch. Last month, I did a quick summary for each movie, but don’t have time for that this morning…feel free to ask why I included a title!

Prime Video

Overview: Prime has been staking out the territory of carrying movies the other ones wouldn’t…cult classics, blaxploitation, and so on. Think of them as that four-walling theatre that wasn’t in the best part of town, but where you could see three movies for a buck (yeah, I actually used to go to a place with that pricing). That doesn’t mean that they don’t have other more prestigious movies, they do, but this is what makes them stand out. These are movies which are included with Amazon Prime at no additional cost. You have to be a little careful about that, since they also have movies to rent or buy by the piece.

Added today:

  • Rambo
  • Grease
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Casino Royale (Daniel Craig)
  • Stargate (the movie)
  • Star Trek IV
  • Silent Hill (2006)
  • Marie Antoinette (2006)
  • Last House on the Left (1972)
  • Back to School
  • The New Guy
  • Fright Night
  • An Officer and a Gentleman
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan
  • The Graduate
  • Alex Cross
  • Harlem Nights
  • The Birdcage
  • Kramer vs. Kramer
  • Hoosiers
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  • Lord of Illusions
  • Madeline (1998)
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • Fun in Acapulco
  • Frogs
  • The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)
  • Blacula
  • Vicious Lips
  • Man of La Mancha
  • Scream and Scream Again
  • Queen of Blood
  • The House on Carroll Street
  • Yongary Monster from the Deep
  • Twice Told Tales
  • Whoever Slew Auntie Roo
  • J.D.’s Revenge
  • Bad Girls from Mars
  • Die Monster Die
  • Gas-s-s-s
  • Sugar Hill
  • Lord Love a Duck
  • Space Time
  • Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You

HBO Max

Overview: they’ve got the DC superheroes, but also a classics section curated by Turner Classic Movies, and Studio Ghibli animation. Other library highlights include the Harry Potter movies, Elf, and Death Becomes Her.

Added today:

  • Election
  • Dolores Claiborne
  • Dog Day Afternoon
  • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
  • The Dogs of War

Peacock

Overview: the new kid on the block has Hitchcock and the Universal horror cycle of the 1930s & 1940s. Those may be the crown jewels, but they have a deep and broad selection of movies.

Added today:

  • Charlie Wilson’s War

Netflix

Overview: the grandparent of the streamers, it does back to the days of sending DVDs in the mail. It’s probably more known now for original productions, but there are still good theatrical releases to see.

Added today:

  • Back to the Future (& II & III…marathon time!)
  • Zathura
  • Coneheads
  • Lakeview Terrace

Hulu

Overview: Disney pretty much owns Hulu now, and the plan is that they’ll use it for the movies that don’t fit what they present as the family-friendly Disney+. However, they certainly have non-Disney movies as well. One interesting note: we used Hulu partially for current TV shows, but some of the ones we watch there are now on Peacock, and I prefer the Peacock interface, so we’ve started watching them there instead

Added today:

  • Twilight: New Moon; Twilight: Breaking Dawn
  • I Feel Pretty
  • Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron)
  • Any Given Sunday
  • Back to School
  • Some Kind of Wonderful
  • Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
  • Mississippi Burning

Pluto TV

Free, ad-supported…they do both on their schedule (they have channels for Cult Films & Paramount movies, for example), & on demand.

Added today to on demand:

  • The Pianist
  • Battle Beyond the Stars
  • Class of 1984
  • Big Bad Mama
  • Sagebrush Trail
  • The Over the Hill Gang
  • Where the Boys Are
  • Tulsa
  • The Return of Rin Tin Tin

Well, that should get September off to a good start! If you have other suggestions for my readers (this is just a small fraction), feel free to add them by commenting on this post.

Enjoy!

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Chadwick Boseman Home Film Festival

August 29, 2020

Chadwick Boseman Home Film Festival

I was sad to add Chadwick Boseman to our

2020 Geeky Goodbyes

He obviously had great commercial success as T’Challa/Black Panther, but I first really admired him in 42 (a biopic of Jackie Robinson). He had already won many awards, and it seemed inevitable to me that he would get an acting Oscar in the future. He was an inspiration to adults and children.

I plan to watch at least one of his movies today, in his honor, and wanted to give you some no additional cost streaming options (in the USA) to do so as well. This will likely not be a comprehensive list

* The Truth or Consequences episode of Lie to Me (season 2, episode 2): IMDbTV (ad-supported)
* Nathaniel Ray on Lincoln Heights (season 3: eps 4/9/10, season 4: eps 1/2/3/6/9/10): Freeform, Hulu
* Cameron James in the Subject 9 episode of Fringe: IMDbTV
* Lt. Samuel Drake in The Kill Hole: Tubi (ad-supported)
* James Brown in Get on Up: HBO, HBO NOW
* Thoth in Gods of Egypt (voice): BBC America
* T’Challa/Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War; Black Panther; Avengers: Infinity War; Avengers: Endgame (all on Disney+)
* Vontae Mack in Draft Day: Prime Video
* Stormin’ Norman in Da 5 Bloods: Netflix


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DC in memoriam: 2020

August 22, 2020

DC in memoriam: 2020

I regularly track the reported deaths of creatives connected to science fiction & fantasy works in my Geeky Goodbyes…well over 200 in 2020 so far:

2020 Geeky Goodbyes

In honor of the DC Fandome live event today,

A new kind of con: DCFandome is free & online Saturday 22 August

I thought I’d expand a bit in my comments on those connected to DC who have reportedly died this year. We recognize them for the ways they made our lives a bit better.

Cheryl Wheeler Duncan (12 February)

The stuntperformer worked on 1997’s Batman & Robin

Claudette Nevins (21 February)

She played Barbara Trevino in the The Witness episode of Lois & Clark

Stuart Whitman (16 March)

With a wide-ranging career, Whitman played Jonathan Kent on the Superboy TV series

Lyle Waggoner (17 March)

While most might associate him with The Carol Burnett Show, Waggoner played both Steve Trevor & Trevor’s son (the series took a time jump) in the 1970s Wonder Woman show

Curley Neal (26 March)

The star Harlem Globetrotter appeared in the The Fixer episode of Superboy

Julie Bennett (31 March)

She did appear on screen in the 1950s Adventures of Superman, but then had a long career as a voice artist, including as Lois Lane on the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure

Logan Williams (2 April)

He portrayed the young Barry Allen in the 21st Century The Flash TV series.

Takami Asano (12 May)

The composer provided music and sound effects for the 1987 Superman videogame

Fred Willard (15 May)

The well-known comic actor appeared as the President in three episodes of Lois & Clark. This followed an appearance as Finn Howard, Metropolis Deputy Mayor in Superman 50th anniversary.

Joel Schumacher (22 May)

He directed Batman Forever, & Batman & Robin

Milton Glaser (26 June)

The graphic designer created the “4 star” DC logo.

Annie Ross (21 July)

She played Vera in 1983’s Superman III

John Saxon  (25 July)

Starting out representing the younger generation on screen, John Saxon had a long career, noted for Enter the Dragon & A Nightmare on Elm Street. He appeared in a Lynda Carter Wonder Woman 2-parter, The Feminum Mystique as Captain Radl

When we are celebrating the present and future of DC today during Fandome, let’s also share a thought today for those we have lost this year.


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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blo

 

A new kind of con: DCFandome is free & online Saturday 22 August

August 21, 2020

A new kind of con: DCFandome is free & online Saturday 22 August

Science fiction conventions date back to at least 1939, and I’ve attended cons of various kinds in my time.

Traditional conventions, though, mean lots of people packed closely together. I’ve been in lines waiting to get into something where we were so pressed together, we worried about getting injured. I relieved some tension by yelling, “The scoops! The scoops!”, a reference to the overpopulated world of Soylent Green.

That’s just not going to happen with the current public health emergency.

So, if we can’t convene (bring together for a meeting or activity) in person, what do we do?

In a sense, there is a perpetual convention happening online. You can always communicate with like-minded people, you can shop (the “Dealers’ Room” or “Hucksters’ Room” was a big reason to go to a convention, to get merchandise/collectibles you couldn’t find anywhere else), you can listen to/watch interviews & panels…you can show off your cosplay (costumes…I’m being loose with definitions here).

That works for the fans, but one of the things that has happened with bigger conventions (especially SDCC…San Diego Comic-Con) is media companies participating, especially trying to increase interest in something which hasn’t been released yet. What do they do?

Well, I think DC comics may have come up with something quite clever!

Tomorrow as I write this (Saturday, 21 August) is going to be the first day of

DC Fandome

It was originally going to be just one day, but now, there will be two. Tomorrow is the “Hall of Heroes”, and “Explore the Multiverse” will be on September 12th.

The Hall of Heroes (and I think they’ve been very fan-friendly with names…I even like the play of “Fandome” on “fandom”) will be mostly panels with their top stars…from what we can tell. There will be more than that, and they will encourage some types of fan participation.

It starts at 10:00 AM Pacific Time (UTC-7) and run for a day. It’s an 8-hour schedule repeated twice, to account for fans around the world. I also like that…it means I don’t have to worry about missing something that only happens once in the middle of the night my time. Most cons don’t do events over night, although unofficial things happen 24 hours (some people get no sleep for days during a con). For example, I’ve sung “filksongs” (geeky-material related songs, usually sung to the tune of others song, but not always) with an impromptu group, sitting in a hallway. For people who play role-playing games or do LARP (Live Action Role-Playing), that might be available non-stop.

Here’s a big difference between this and most in-person cons:

IT’S ALL FREE!

That’s right…free. You go the website (it will all work on mobile) and watch whatever you want.

They say it won’t be recorded and made available later…you miss it during those 24 hours, you miss it. I suspect we’ll see clips.

By the way, in terms of it being truly global: no geofencing, and video will be subtitled in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese, officially by the con. I’d expect you to find live-blogging in Elvis, Klingon, and maybe Mangani, too. 😉

Here are the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

https://www.dccomics.com/DCFanDomeFAQs

I think you have to sign-in (no charge) to see the schedule.

Really important to note: they also have a kids’ event happening. There was a time when people would have expected any comics related event to be kid-friendly, but  a lot of superhero content now is not kid-friendly. Here’s the special site they set up for kids (again, I applaud them for that):

 

http://www.DCKidsFanDome.com

That’s all I have time for now, but I wish them the best, and plan to browse to the event on my Fire TV & just leave it on all day…it won’t be the same as an in-person con, but I expect to enjoy it!


 

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

New movies to streamers: August 1st 2020

August 1, 2020

New movies to streamers: August 1st 2020

It’s a great time to be a movie fan with the internet! The new streamers are trying to outdo each other with their selections. That used to mostly mean movies which had recently been in the theatres, but that’s not the case any more. Whether your a fan of the golden age of Hollywood, foreign movies, classic horror, or cult classics, they are all starting to show up. Yes, these are mostly subsers (subscription services), but they generally offer free trials. We subscribe to several, but I know not everybody does. I’ll break down the listings by service. In this post, I’ll also include some of the highlights for each of them that aren’t new today (1 August 2020).

It’s also worth noting that movies get added throughout the month.

I’m using

JustWatch

for the USA (you can set other countries).

I’m only hitting some highlights for each service: Prime & HBO Max both added close to 100 titles today.

Prime Video

Overview: Prime has been staking out the territory of carrying movies the other ones wouldn’t…cult classics, blaxploitation, and so on. Think of them as that four-walling theatre that wasn’t in the best part of town, but where you could see three movies for a buck (yeah, I actually used to go to a place with that pricing). That doesn’t mean that they don’t have other more prestigious movies, they do, but this is what makes them stand out. These are movies which are included with Amazon Prime at no additional cost. You have to be a little careful about that, since they also have movies to rent or buy by the piece.

Added today:

  • Top Gun (1986): the sequel’s been delayed, but if you feel the need for speed, you can join Maverick & Goose in the cockpit
  • For a Few Dollars More (1965) Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name is back in the spaghetti Western sequel
    • Start with A Fistful of Dollars, which they also have. Make it a Home Film Festival with The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, and Hang ‘Em High
    • A Fistful of Dollars was adjudicated to be a remake of Yojimbo (available on HBO Max)
  • Hotel Rwanda (2004): serious drama with 3 Oscar noms, including Lead Actor for Don Cheadle
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) & Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991): the original crew on the big screen
    • Make it a Home Film Festival with ST:TMP, Star Trek II, Star Trek V (for some reason, IV isn’t included at NAC…No Additional Cost)
  • My Bloody Valentine (1981): R-rated horror which takes place on Valentine’s Day
  • Four Wedding and a Funeral (1994): Romcom with Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell
  • Red River (1948): Howard Hawks directs John Wayne and Montgomery Clift
  • Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965): aliens ask to borrow Godzilla and Rodan to fight Monster Zero…and they’ll pay for it by curing cancer! When Nick Adams gets there, MINOR SPOILER ALERT we find out that Monster Zero is the three-headed Ghidorah
  • The Children’s Hour (1961): nominated for five Oscars, William Wyler directs Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, and James Garner in a drama set at a private school where a student accuses the two owners of having a romantic relationship
  • For Colored Girls (2010): Tyler Perry directs this adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s book
  • Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction (1995): when this film, which purported to have actual footage of the autopsy of an alien from the Roswell crash, aired on Fox, it generated a lot of press and controversy

HBO Max

Overview: they’ve got the DC superheroes, but also a classics section curated by Turner Classic Movies, and Studio Ghibli animation. Other library highlights include the Harry Potter movies, Elf, and Death Becomes Her.

Added today:

  • The Dark Knight (2008): lauded sequel to Batman Begins (which they also have), Heath Ledger won a posthumous Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as The Joker
  • Blade Runner (1982): Ridley Scott directs this seminal science fiction noir with Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Daryl Hannah
  • Ocean’s Eleven (2001): the all-star heist movie remake, with a crew led by George Clooney
  • Kung Fu Panda (2008): Jack Black voices Po the panda, who has to transform from sleep slacker to warrior
    • They also have Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Interview with the Vampire (1994): Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, a young Kirsten Dunst, and Antonio Banderas are directed by Neil Jordan in a stylish adaptation of the Anne Rice bestseller
  • The Fugitive (1993): Harrison Ford stars in this adaptation of the classic TV series, with Tommy Lee Jones after him
  • Driving Miss Daisy (1989): Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy star in this Best Picture Oscar winner (Tandy also won for Lead)
  • All the Presidents’ Men (1976): Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman star as Woodward and Bernstein who “follow the money” and uncover the Watergate scandal
  • Walk the Line (2005): Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon star in this biopic of John Cash and June Carter
  • Wedding Crashers (2005); Blockbuster comedy stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as womanizers
  • Contact (1997): Robert Zemeckis directs Jodie Foster in this adaptation of Carl Sagan’s novel
  • Chariots of Fire (1981): A drama about the 1924 Olympics which is much more than its legendary theme song
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011): Before she was a Marvel star, Elizabeth Olsen starred in this movie about a cult
  • Swing Time (1936): Sit back, relax, and let Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers do the dancing!
    • Make it a Home Film Festival with Top Hat, The Gay Divorcee, Carefree, and The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
  • House Party (1990): Kid ‘n Play star in this comedy
  • Three Days of the Condor (1975): Sidney Pollack directs Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway in this spy thriller
  • Leprechaun (1993): Warwick Davis stars as a malevolent leprechaun (and a young Jennifer Aniston appears) in this horror movie which launched a franchise
    • Make it a Home Film Festival with Leprechaun, 2, 3, 4, Origins, in the Hood, and Back 2 the Hood
  • Altered States (1980): William Hurt stars in this trippy Ken Russell movie inspired by John C. Lilly
  • The Candidate (1972): Robert Redford is running for Senate…but he isn’t your traditional candidate
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969): Maggie Smith stars in this classic about a strong school teacher
  • Jim Thorpe – All American (1951): Burt Lancaster stars in this biopic about the Olympian

Peacock

Overview: the new kid on the block has Hitchcock and the Universal horror cycle of the 1930s & 1940s. Those may be the crown jewels, but they have a deep and broad selection of movies.

Added today:

  • Beetlejuice (1988): Tim Burton directs this tour de force supernatural comedy starring Michael Keaton
  • E.T. (1982): Steven Spielberg classic about an alien who just wants to phone home
  • Escape from New York (1981): John Carpenter directed and co-wrote this dystopian adventure where New York had been turned into a free-for-all prison. When the President (Donald Pleasence) crash lands inside, Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is sent inside to rescue him
  • Lost in Translation (2003): Sofia Coppola directs (and won an Oscar for the screenplay) Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson
  • Brokeback Mountain (2005): Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Michelle Williams are directed by Ang Lee in this groundbreaking drama
  • Rush Hour (1998): Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker star in this buddy cop comedy
    • Make it a Home Film Festival with Rush Hour 2 and 3
  • Twister (1996): Cow!
  • The Conjuring (2013): Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson star as real life demonologists Lorraine and Ed Warren
  • Snakes on a Plane (2006): Bonkers Samuel Jackson movie summed up by the title…and that iconic line
  • The Graduate (1967): Mike Nichols directs Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, and Katharine Ross…I think this movie is trying to seduce me

Netflix

Overview: the grandparent of the streamers, it does back to the days of sending DVDs in the mail. It’s probably more known now for original productions, but there are still good theatrical releases to see.

Added today:

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004): Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet star in this Michael Gondry movie where memories can be erased…and what that might mean for people
  • Being John Malkovich (1999): Spike Jones bizarreness wherein John Cusack finds a portal literally into John Malkovich’s mind (who also appears, allong with Cameron Diaz)
  • Jurassic Park (1993): Steven Spielberg directs this adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel about an amusement park where dinosaurs have been brought back. We’re still getting sequels to it
    • make it a Home Film Festival with 2 (The Lost World) and III
  • The Addams Family (1991): okay, I’ll be honest…I prefer the original TV series, but this adaptation also has solid fandom
  • Seabiscuit (2003): a biopic of the famous racehorse

Hulu

Overview: Disney pretty much owns Hulu now, and the plan is that they’ll use it for the movies that don’t fit what they present as the family-friendly Disney+. However, they certainly have non-Disney movies as well. One interesting note: we used Hulu partially for current TV shows, but some of the ones we watch there are now on Peacock, and I prefer the Peacock interface, so we’ve started watching them there instead

Added today:

  • Top Gun (1986); see Prime Video above
  • 3:10 to Yuma (2007): James Mangold remake of the classic Western, this time starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe
  • Hellraiser (1987): Clive Barker directs this adaptation of his work, which has seen Pinhead become a horror icon and appear in additional movies
  • Child’s Play (1988):  With a recent remake and a TV series on the way, Chucky may really be our friend to the end
  • Rain Man (1988): Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Lead Actor (Dustin Hoffman) were the four Oscars won by Rain Man (it was nominated for four more)
  • City Slickers (1991): Billy Crystal stars, but Jack Palance may have stolen the show in this comedy
  • My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997): Julia Roberts romcom
  • The Brothers McMullen (1995): Edward Burns, wrote, directed, produced, and starred

Well, that should get August off to a good start! If you have other suggestions for my readers (this is just a small fraction), feel free to add them by commenting on this post.

Enjoy!

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project (AKA Enwoven)! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)


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