Streaming soon: Disney+

If you read the post just below this cartoon/post, you know how I feel about movies. Movies and sport, 4K and what TV-watching we do in our extended family on Lot 4.

I wrote that piece because this cartoon was emailed to me by one of our regular followers. And I certainly accept that Bob Iger and Disney have the talent pool and sufficient geedus to capture as much of our allotted electronic entertainment time as anyone else in the business. Gobbling up Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and adding that to existing goodies like Pixar and Marvel and ESPN ain’t easy-peasy. I expect the talent pool at Disney will come through to meet the standards set by Iger.

And as I said in the preceding post — “Storytelling will play as big a part as cost, no doubt. But, the storytelling is how it always starts. A great deal on crap television is not what we’re looking for.”

Streaming soon: AppleTV+


Click to runDailyMotion

We cut the cable cord [well, satellite box cord] a couple of years ago. AppleTV had been a consistent, productive adjunctive device providing some of my favorite movies – and 4K was coming. We’ve experimented with a couple of streaming services, now, and I don’t mind admitting that to date cost is prime. Yes, “Prime” is another important word in our extended household.

Quality delivered for a certain cost is more important than quality alone. Our wee compound is entirely populated by retirees. Politicians who would screw over social security or Medicare or Obamacare should only dare enter our driveway in an armored vehicle. Budgets for retirees always end up being a life-or-death discussion.

Right now, AppleTV is primarily a delivery system. Damned good, for example – when we actually catch a live 4K feed of, say, a Euro or British football match. Exceptional, satisfying, mind-grabbing when it’s episode after episode of a murder mystery with Detective Bosch stalking the villain. Yeah, the commercials are right.

We’ll decide about AppleTV+ — the streaming service — after we try it. Storytelling will play as big a part as cost, no doubt. But, the storytelling is how it always starts. A great deal on crap television is not what we’re looking for.

30th Birthday of the Engine That Powered the CGI Revolution

❝ When Pixar President and co-founder Ed Catmull announced his retirement earlier this year, people rightly saw his impending departure as a transitional moment for the animation studio. But it’s bigger than that. Catmull’s shadow looms large not just over groundbreaking films like Toy Story and Coco, his influence can be traced all the way back to the dawn of digital visual effects. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The Abyss. Terminator 2. Jurassic Park. All of these titles came out before Woody and Buzz Lightyear, yet all remain watershed moments for VFX—and all used the tool that Catmull and his colleagues helped create at George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic.

RenderMan, as it’s known, came out of ILM’s computer graphics team (the same one that would later spin off into its own company called Pixar). It started as a powerful algorithm, but then became something greater—a graphical interface. “Up until that point,” says Catmull, “the look, the lighting, essentially had to be done by programmers.” A movie like 1982’s Tron might have been mindblowing, but its digital sequences also necessitated an absolutely knee-buckling amount of work, creating its futuristic effects frame by frame. RenderMan, though, allowed effects artists to realize their visions without needing to write code.

CGI Rulez! Most sci-fi geeks would agree. Most would also understand how the threads and techniques reach out into many aspects of today’s film-making regardless of genre. RTFA!

Let the sun shine!

Amazon Prime added HAIR this weekend. Of course I cried watching it. Thousands of American soldiers died. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese died. And many still live crippled by what our nation did. The United States government still doesn’t own up to Agent Orange, the genetic poison crippling folks in that Asian land.

Politicians in both political parties collaborated for decades until the grassroots revulsion against that war forced an end. And, please, don’t delude yourself into thinking the current scumbag in the White House wouldn’t be greedy enough to buy a bagfull of “patriotic” votes to stay in office – and roll out the profits of another war to fund all the corporate help he could ever wish for.

Watch the clip. Watch the film if you’ve never seen it. If you lived it as I did – shed a tear for the loss of Aquarius and the thousands murdered in the name of The Land of the Free.