Before I get into this article, let me preface it by saying I love watching Disney movies. That includes the ones they themselves make but also ones made by Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, Pixar, etc. That being said, they have their issues.
The new Han Solo film has become yet another example of Disney and its subsidiaries being unable to work with a director. In this case, multiple directors. As most probably know by now, the original directors of the upcoming Han Solo film have been fired and replaced by Ron Howard. This new director is a great one and I’m sure his character-focused repertoire of film-making is a great fit for the film. That being said, it’s yet another situation where Disney just seemingly couldn’t handle a filmmaker’s individuality and creative approach.
When I look at most movie series, I can easily rank the films in order of quality and preference. However, Disney films are something that I and many others are struggling to do so with. That’s because each film Disney puts out is basically the same movie with a different skin. That isn’t to say their movies are bad, in fact I enjoy seeing each and every one of them. However, where individuality and creativity are concerned, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between them besides on the surface.
This is because Disney and its subsidiaries (Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios for example) churn out films like the world is going to end soon. As such, they have this factory-made lack of authenticity to them that, while still good, can rarely be great nor horrible. Due to this approach, Disney struggles with allowing the talented filmmakers that they hire to express themselves and, rather, seem to be looking for yes men.
Han Solo is only the most recent example of this. Sticking to Star Wars, Rogue One had to have extensive reshoots because Lucasfilm and Disney weren’t happy with Gareth Edwards’ original approach. While the original gritty war movie approach that Edwards wanted kind of stayed, the end result was a strange mess. Rogue One was still enjoyable and had great scenes but it ended up having a disorienting and choppy beginning with random moments added in as nothing more than fan service.
Going back to The Force Awakens, Michael Arndt, the writer for Toy Story 3, was originally involved and then ended up leaving, supposedly, for other commitments. His original ideas had a greater focus on the children of the original trilogy’s cast and actually gave Luke Skywalker something to do. Despite how good Episode VII became, it had the potential to be great with Arndt’s ideas involved.
Moving away from Star Wars, Disney has this issue with Marvel movies as well. Edgar Wright was originally supposed to direct Ant-Man but after years of it being delayed and some creative differences, he was replaced with Peyton Reed. Ant-Man turned out just like Rogue One and The Force Awakens: enjoyable but felt copy-pasted, filled to the brim with fan service, and was largely forgettable.
Finally, we have Joss Whedon. Renowned for his work on TV shows like Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Disney and Marvel made a great call having him direct The Avengers. However, he has gone on record to say that he didn’t really want to direct a movie about Loki, but rather Ultron. When the second film came around, he finally got to work on his dream project but in every single interview about the project he came across as tired, bitter, and defeated. Age of Ultron, just like Ant-Man, The Force Awakens, and Rogue One after it, suffered the same issues. He then dropped from the director’s chair for Infinity War and moved to DC and Warner Bros. Now he’s working for Marvel’s biggest rival helping finish Justice League in Zack Snyder’s absence and directing Batgirl.
I’m sure all of Disney’s upcoming movies, Han Solo included, will be just fine. However, unless they start allowing themselves to take risks and do something different, people are going to start getting sick of their movies. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is vast and wide but when Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, and Iron Man all have the same basic plot it’s time to branch out. As for Lucasfilm, the shock and awe of having a new Star Wars film every year has already worn off on most filmgoers. They’re never going to have the same hype Episode VII did unless they differentiate from the other films in the series.
What do you think? Comment your thoughts down below.
‘Amazing’ Final Fantasy Movie Inspired The Marvels Director
Generally, The Marvels is good. It has a 59 on Rotten Tomatoes, which isn’t great, but it’s better than Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and Disney+’s Secret Invasion. Perhaps director Nia DaCosta’s video game inspirations contributed to that.
The American filmmaker said Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children influenced her latest film at a press junket with IGN. “It’s just an amazing movie, with great fight scenes and a great ending sequence with the main character being thrown into the sky by all the other characters,” she said.
Despite poor reviews upon release in 2005, Advent Children has become a Final Fantasy cult classic. DaCosta seems to agree that the film is a classic. PlayStation exclusives also influenced the Marvels.
In the interview, she said she didn’t want the superhero film to look “too much like a video game” but did draw from Sony’s biggest franchises, like The Last of Us and Horizon Zero Dawn. “For me, it was from the best games, the best stories that you get, that sort of inspires me to play, and I think inspires people to watch movies like this,” she said.
Since movies have shaped video games since their inception, it’s interesting to see the dynamic slowly changing. Now that technology and interactive storytelling are more complex, filmmakers are looking to PlayStation for inspiration.
Netflix raises prices again after strong subscriber growth
Netflix reported third-quarter earnings and is doing well. Revenue increased as the company added 9 million subscribers worldwide.
Netflix is also using this opportunity to raise the prices of some of its U.S., U.K., and French plans to differentiate ad-free plans from its entry-level ad-supported plan. New subscribers to the most expensive plan will pay $22.99 per month.
Let’s step back and examine Netflix’s current situation. Netflix cracked down on password sharing in its home market and dozens of others in May. The third quarter is the first full quarter under the new rules, so we can see the effect of password sharing.
The company removed the basic tier in the U.S. and U.K. two months ago to simplify its offering. People must pay a lot to remove Netflix ads.
Reports suggest that many customers are experiencing subscription fatigue and considering canceling some streaming subscriptions, but Netflix still has room for growth, especially with advertising revenue.
The company has 247.15 million subscribers. The number of subscribers increased 8.76 million this quarter. Netflix subscribers haven’t grown that much since Q2 2020, when Covid lockdowns were enforced worldwide.
Netflix earned $3.73 per share on $8.5 billion in revenue this quarter. As ads plan subscribers rise almost 70% quarter-over-quarter, ads are contributing more to the bottom line. Nearly a third of new subscribers use ads.
Netflix shares are up 13.75% pre-market ($393.79 per share) on good news for shareholders. However, subscribers will be unhappy because the company will raise prices for some plans again in three key markets. Full breakdown here.
In the U.S.:
- Standard with ads: $6.99 per month (no change)
- Basic (no longer available): $11.99 per month (up from $9.99)
- Standard: $15.49 per month (no change)
- Premium (with 4K streaming): $22.99 per month (up from $19.99)
In the U.K.:
- Standard with ads: £4.99 per month (no change)
- Basic (no longer available): £7.99 per month (up from £6.99)
- Standard: £10.99 per month (no change)
- Premium (with 4K streaming): £17.99 per month (up from £15.99)
- Standard with ads: €5.99 per month (no change)
- Basic (still available in France for now): €10.99 per month (up from €8.99)
- Standard: €13.49 per month (no change)
- Premium (with 4K streaming): €19.99 per month (up from €17.99)
New subscriptions start at these prices today. Bills for existing subscribers will rise in the coming weeks.
Last of Us HBO Showrunner Quietly Removes Name from Troubled Borderlands Flick
When your writer—one of Hollywood’s hottest—tries to hide their involvement, it’s a bad sign. The Borderlands film’s original script was written by Craig Mazin (The Last of Us, Chernobyl), who recently asked the WGA to use the pseudonym “Joe Crombie” instead of his name.
We hope this means Mazin considers Joe Abercrombie, Lord Grimdark, the grittiness GOAT, but that theory is unproven. Since Mazin wrote the script in 2015 for Eli Roth to direct, a steady stream of writers has been brought in. Aaron Berg, Chris Bremner, Sam Levinson, Zak Olkewicz, Tony Rettenmaier, Juel Taylor, and Oren Uziel have put around 70 fingers in the honey pot.
The name change likely avoids confusion. Mazin probably doesn’t want to be blamed for Jack Black/Claptrap madness, but he wants to keep his rights.
When this surprising star-studded film (Kevin Hart, Jamie Lee Curtis, Cate Blanchet) limps out, what are your expectations? We think this was supposed to coincide with Borderlands 3’s 2019 release, but it’s overshot the mark.
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