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To paraphrase the late Gil Scott-Heron, the revolution will not be televised — it will be streamed. Given the surge of popularity of streaming devices and entertainment, Target recently announced that they'd be joining the streaming bandwagon with their new "Target Ticket" service.
In the age of "binge-watching," it almost seems archaic to watch episodic television on a weekly basis. Why must we give in to the draconian schedule of broadcasters we cry! Old Blockbuster stores will serve as the post-apocalyptic backdrop to the latest original series on Netflix and on-demand cable is just a thumb in the dam — blocking the imminent flood of streaming entertainment.
Target's catalog of 15,000 movies and shows may seem measly compared to Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Netflix and Apple TV libraries, but they've just entered the game. While quantity is a huge appeal to viewers, quality is what will beat out the competition. One of the main reasons why movie fans flocked to Netflix and streaming services in the first place was to find alternative titles than the wall full of Garfield DVD's that would greet you at your local video store. Now Apple TV even streams movies before they hit theaters — giving indie films a whole new audience, especially for those don't have access to art-house venues.
Besides catering to niche interests using fancy algorithms and shifting libraries, original programming seems to be the new frontier of which many of these services are shooting for. With the advent of Amazon's new production company and Netflix nabbing 14 Emmy nominations for their original series, these companies are no longer just a platform. Their definition of streaming devices as "inexpensive smart TV adapters," is apt considering the way we consume entertainment now.
Despite their convenience and cost, these services still have to answer to the big entertainment companies who continue to drive up the cost of their content. Just this year, they also lost 1800 titles due to contracts with MGM, Universal, and Warner Brothers that were not renewed causing a massive backlash against this "streamageddon" by users. But for every title lost, another one takes its place, as the company announced a new deal with the Weinstein Co. that will give Netflix the exclusive streaming rights to the company's first-run films starting in 2016. The costs are understandable, considering the sheer numbers that go into making the content. And until these companies find some sort of mutually beneficial solution, your favorite titles will continue to fluctuate. Although now Netflix will update you when something is about to expire.
Our televisions have become thinner, hi-def, 3D but have they become any smarter? While the cable companies battle it out with broadcasters, Sony, Intel, Google and other companies are looking to sidestep cable altogether by offering packages of channels via online. Nobody wants to settle for exorbitant cable packages and be stuck with useless shopping channels. As the Internet would reply — "ain't no one got time for dat."
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One of Gil Scott-Heron's daughters has filed legal papers in a New York court to have her half-brother removed as the administrator of the jazz great's estate amid allegations they are not actually related. Raquiyah Kelly-Heron is convinced Rumal Rackley "defrauded" the iconic musician in his later years into believing that the 36 year old was his biological son, even though a DNA test taken in 2011 reportedly proves they do not share a common lineage.
She recently asked a judge at Manhattan Surrogate's Court to remove Rackley from Scott-Heron's estate based on the test results.
Rackley has hit back at the accusations in his own legal documents, in which his mother, Lurma, claims he was conceived following a two-year affair with the famed poet and activist in the 1970s.
Lurma states that she intentionally kept Scott-Heron's name off her child's birth certificate because she was determined to raise the boy as a single parent, without any help from her lover, but Rackley alleges that the late star often "introduced me from the stage as his son" and points out that the singer's 1994 album, Spirits, included a dedication to "my son Rumal".
A hearing into the case has been set for later this month (Aug13).
It's the latest legal battle involving Scott-Heron's family since his death in 2011, when he passed away without leaving a will.
Rackley, as estate administrator, previously accused his half-sister Gia Heron and her mother, the musician's first wife Brenda Sykes, of illegally helping themselves to $250,000 (£160,670) of the star's cash. They settled the dispute for an undisclosed sum earlier this year (13), reports the New York Daily News.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
October 31, 2001 12:15pm EST
The 53rd Annual Emmy Awards will take place Sunday in Los Angeles under heavy security. According to Reuters, organizers have worked with the Federal Aviation Administration, FBI and local police to close the airspace around the Shubert Theater. All guests will also be asked to go through a metal detector.
A Los Angeles judge has ordered Tom Cruise to pay $27,900 in legal fees to Kristina Ann Kristin for frivolously including her in a $100 million defamation suite against her ex-husband, Chad Slater, People.com reports. Kristin had talked to the National Enquirer about Slater's claim that he had an affair with the actor.
The heirs of Gone With the Wind producer David O. Selznick are suing Turner Entertainment Co., claiming the company has not accounted honestly for profits. According to Variety, Selznick's heirs collectively own a 5 percent interest in the film.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned whether a 1996 law barring the distribution of pictures depicting a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct can be applied to movies in which older actors play sexually active children. According to Reuters, Justice Stephen Breyer named Traffic, Lolita, William Shakespeare's Romeo and Julietand Titanic as examples of films showing simulated sexual activity by a minor.
Gil Scott-Heron, the creator of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and Whitey's on the Moon received a one- to three-year sentence Monday after failing to show up at a Manhattan Criminal Court to begin mandatory rehab, PageSix.com reports. The rehabilitation was part of an earlier plea bargain on drug charges.
An archive showcasing the development of The Lord of the Rings is expected to fetch up to $50,000 at Christie's as part of a sale of 20th century books, Reuters reports. The archive includes proof copies, first editions and letters by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Liam Neeson has been cast to star as the young Father Merrin in an upcoming prequel to the 1973 horror film The Exorcist. According to Reuters, the project will be helmed by director John Frankenheimer (The Island of Dr. Moreau) and go into production in the spring of 2002.
A wizard's hat and three gold coins from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone that went missing from the set during filming have shown up on an Internet auction site, Reuters reports. Police could not confirm newspaper reports that crew members were believed to be behind the thefts.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, VH1 is looking to create its own West Coast version of MTV's Total Request Live hosted by Carson Daly. The network is looking to convert a Hollywood complex into a studio for live daily music performances.
Napster is considering getting congressional help to resolve licensing issues. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Napster CEO Konrad Hilbers hopes congress will consider compulsory licensing of music for on-demand services.