Tuesday, 25 February 2020

The Simpsons stay on Sky despite Disney+



The Simpsons won't be available on Disney+ in the UK. D'oh!

Managing Director of Content Zai Bennett was interviewed on Radio 5 Live and confirmed The Simpsons would remain on Sky One for the foreseeable future. Fans have been in an uproar regarding Disney+'s silence on the matter. Discussing how the launch of Disney+ will affect Sky, Bennett said: “For the immediate term – for the next year or so – our customers will not notice any difference at all to what they have got.”

Evidently, an existing first-run deal is in place until 2021 at the earliest. Sky Cinema Disney has proven to be lucrative and it would be a stretch to assume Sky would want to end a deal with The Walt Disney Company. Further to this. There's a rumour the Disney+ app is coming to Sky Q and NOW TV devices. It's a win-win for both companies.

Are you subscribing to Disney+? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Pre-order Disney+ for £49.99



Disney+ launches in a month and early-bird subscribers can avail themselves of an annual subscription discounted to £49.99. This makes the nascent streaming service cheaper than established rivals such as Netflix and NOW TV.

Disney+ will be on the following devices at launch and supports 4K with HDR and Dolby Atmos + Vision at no extra cost to subscribers:

Apple TV
Amazon FireTV
Android mobile devices
Android TV
Chromecast
Desktop web browsers
iPad
iPhone
LG WebOS Smart TVs
PlayStation 4 (PS4)
Roku streaming players
Samsung Smart TVs
Xbox One

Due to existing distribution deals, Disney+ will not offer the same content in every territory. No announcement has been made regarding the availability of The Simpsons in the UK as Sky has a first-run deal. So, it may be a while before all seasons show up (if at all). This isn't a dealbreaker for me and I've pre-ordered ahead of 24th March. The Marvel Studios and Star Wars live-action series are the biggest draws.

DisneyLife subscribers will need to create a Disney+ account if they wish to benefit from this limited time offer (ends 23rd March). For more information and to subscribe, visit here.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Locke & Key is a millennial The Goonies



Netflix's latest fantasy series Locke & Key, adapted from IDW’s graphic novel series created by writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez, is a spellbinding spin on haunted house and familial trauma tropes, underscored by a lush soundtrack channelling the devilish whimsy of composer Danny Elfman (Batman).

To my comic book reading shame, I'd never heard of Locke & Key until it appeared on Netflix!

Over the past twenty years or so, local comic book specialist stores have closed down, my personal life was subsumed by a family tragedy (from which I will never recover) and haven't set foot inside Forbidden Planet since the nineties.

So, I was curious to see what this new series entailed. Would it be The Haunting of Hill House lite meets The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina? Well, in a manner of speaking, yes, and that's a really good thing as Netflix has cornered a niche for supernatural nostalgia beginning with Stranger Things.

Locke & Key follows the fallout from a father's brutal murder, school guidance councillor Rendell Locke (Bill Heck), and how a family copes in the aftermath. Teens Tyler (Connor Jessup) and Kinsey (Emilia Jones) and kid brother Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) move, with their mother Nina (Darby Stanchfield), to a grand gothic pile in the tradition of The Addams Family.

Here, mysterious keys start to appear: gateways to dreams, fears and the fantastical. Thus begins a coming of age tale that draws influences from Harry Potter to The Goonies as our intrepid band of heroes try to thwart a merciless evil and demons within.

Friday, 21 February 2020

Hasbro's animatronic Baby Yoda is star of toy fair



This year, Star Wars fans are in for a treat with merchandise from Disney+'s The Mandalorian flooding toy aisles around the globe. From Funko to LEGO, there's something for fans of all ages.

Hasbro's animatronic The Child AKA Baby Yoda stole the show at this year's New York Toy Fair when it appeared on Good Morning America (GMA).



“You can pretend to harness the power of the Force as he closes his eyes, raises his arm, and sighs as if exerting a great amount of energy,” wrote Tony Morrison for GMA. “Lay him down and he will close his eyes and take a ‘Force nap.’”

The Child animatronic edition will be this holiday season's must-have gift. Pre-order from Amazon (affiliate link) today.

The second season of The Mandalorian is set for release in October and the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars premieres today on Disney+.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Westworld trailer teases war of the machines



HBO has released a new trailer for Westworld season 3. Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy's sci-fi thriller ups the ante with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve (Thandie Newton) coming to blows. It's the Battlestar Galactica prequel series, Caprica, writ large.



The new season stars Evan Rachel Wood, Aaron Paul, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Thandie Newton, Lena Waithe, Marshawn Lynch, Kid Cudi and Vincent Cassel.

Season 3 begins 15th March on HBO and 16th March on Sky Atlantic.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

The Mandalorian to stream weekly on Disney+ UK



Disney+ has launched a dedicated UK Twitter account ahead of the 24th March launch of the House of Mouse's nascent streaming service.

Episodes of the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, will seemingly be released weekly as they were in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and The Netherlands. So, there's no official way to binge-view the entire first 8-part series unless you're prepared to wait. Be sure to check back for updates should the situation change.

Disney has confirmed existing DisneyLife subscribers, in the UK and Ireland, will be migrated to Disney+, which was expected. Although unconfirmed, Disney+ will be available to Sky Q and NOW TV subscribers in a similar deal that sees Netflix on both Sky-owned subscription-based platforms.

There's no sign of The Simpsons on Disney+ in the UK. However, classic animated series DuckTales, Chip 'n' Dale, Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles and The Gummi Bears will be available at launch. These titles are currently available on DisneyLife. Now, where are the Wuzzles?



In related news. Disney has released a Star Wars narrative timeline ahead of the seventh and final season of The Clone Wars this Friday on Disney+. The Rise of Skywalker is coming soon to the streaming service and bows on Blu-ray (affiliate link) next month, just 3 months after its theatrical release.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Apple TV+ teases Amazing Stories



Director Steven Spielberg (Jaws) is bringing Amazing Stories, his eighties anthology television series, back to Apple TV+.

Apple has released a nostalgia-filled teaser, featuring the late Robert Forster (The Black Hole) in one of his final roles, for the upcoming 10-part series and it includes John Williams' original opening theme. All the feels.



Amazing Stories starts streaming exclusively on Apple TV+ this March.

Friday, 14 February 2020

From Russia with Love... Stranger Things 4 first look



Netflix has released a first look trailer for Stranger Things 4, which sees fan-favourite Jim Hopper (David Harbour) alive and well in Russia. Hopper seemingly sacrificed himself at the end of Stranger Things 3.

“We’re excited to officially confirm that production on ‘Stranger Things 4’ is now underway — and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper!” the Duffer brothers wrote in a statement. “Although it’s not all good news for our ‘American;’ he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human…and other. Meanwhile, back in the states, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long-buried, something that connects everything. Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime, pray for the American.”



Netflix has not announced a release date for Stranger Things 4. Are you excited to see the return of Hopper? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Rian Johnson's thoughts on The Rise of Skywalker



Director Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi) spoke to MTV, on the red carpet at the Academy Awards, about his thoughts on JJ Abrams' The Rise of Skywalker:

“I want to sit down like a Star Wars fan and just get my popcorn and just be 10-years-old again and see this whole thing brought home in a beautiful way that surprises me… it’s Star Wars. It takes you there. It transports you. The instant that John Williams score comes up, the instant you’re back in that world and hear those lightsaber sounds, it’s just [snaps] – you’re back to being ten.”

Eloquently put in the wake of the fandom menace surrounding the conclusion to the sequel trilogy. Johnson is currently developing a new Star Wars trilogy at Lucasfilm.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Westworld Season 3 premieres this March



Game of Thrones and His Dark Materials may be over. But, fans of HBO's prestige dramas won't have to wait much longer to return to Westworld. Season 3 begins 15th March on HBO and 16th March on Sky Atlantic.



Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have an endgame, as Joy tells Den of Geek:

“We have an ending in mind; we’ve had it from the pilot. It’s very emotional, I think. I can’t tell you exactly when that ending will come… but I think for every season what we try to do is tell a chapter of the story that gives you closure and then opens a door to a new chapter… The overarching question of the series is, what will become of this new lifeform? So I feel it would be irresponsible to not have an end goal in mind.”

Looking forward to Westworld season 3? Let me know in the comments below.