One of the most common refrains among the men and women who work on high-caliber television shows — specifically television dramas — is that their programs are really just 10-hour movies. (Or 8-hour movies, or however many episodes are in a given season.) TV, at least when you hear how the people who make it discuss it, wants very badly to be seen not as the red-headed stepchild to cinema, but to be cinema itself.
Often, the comment that the latest buzzy TV show isn’t really a show, but an extremely long movie, ends up being a ridiculous defense against a story that doesn’t get told well in a small-screen medium. If you’re really making a 10-hour movie, that might mean the resulting 10 installments feel incomplete on their own, and thus become a distinct form of poorly conceived TV. With the marquee new Disney+ show, The Mandalorian, however, you genuinely can suggest that its first season feels like a movie. So far, though, it feels like The Mandalorian really ought to have been a movie to begin with.
This post contains spoilers for the first two episodes of The Mandalorian.
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The “Streaming Wars” are here, that much is sure. With an insane number of streaming services launching this and next year, and license deals for library content shifting around in the wake of the new platforms, everyone is theorizing over what will be the biggest draw going forward. Is it original content like The Mandalorian or The Morning Show? Is it having that one show you play on the background after a long day of work like Friends or The Office? Is animation becoming a new battle ground with Studio Ghibli movies and Nickelodeon becoming hot properties for HBO Max and Netflix respectively?
For many families, none of those will be what helps them decide what service to go for. One thing that really matters but is never brought up in all the streaming service comparisons is simply being able to watch something that the entire family can understand – with the help of subtitles.
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All throughout the production of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, I had heard rumblings of the groundbreaking technology being used to create the first-ever Star Wars live-action television show. Producer Jon Favreau has talked briefly about the process while doing press, mentioning that the series makes use of a new tech that creates virtual backgrounds using large high-resolution screens. The filmmaker would rather have audiences concentrate on the story than the tech, so we won’t likely see any real behind-the-scenes features on the technology until after the first season airs in its entirety (Notably, Favreau took the same approach for Jungle Book and Lion King).
I’ve watched the first two episodes of The Mandalorian multiple times now and tried to find the seams. Where is this tech being used? What is practical and what is being generated virtually on a performance capture “volume” in the soundstages next to James Cameron’s Avatar sequels?
Yesterday, I attended a “Women of Lucasfilm—What Drives You?” panel discussion at the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles in support of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It was wonderful to hear stories from the women who are bringing Star Wars into the next decade and beyond.
Late into the panel discussion, the conversation turned to George Lucas‘ fearless innovation that has been a part of the Star Wars DNA. Remember, ILM was created to help bring a galaxy far, far away to life. The female dream team on the panel spoke for over 15 minutes about how this new tech could change television and cinema forever. And director Deborah Chow talked about possibly using this new “Stagecraft” technology in Disney+’s upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi tv series.
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Disney+ is one of the cheapest streaming services out there, but that hasn’t stopped people from selling hacked Disney+ accounts for even cheaper on the dark web. According to a new report, thousands of hacked Disney+ accounts are already for sale. In fact, hacked accounts were available for sale on hacking forums within mere hours of the Disney+ launch.
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This post contains spoilers for The Mandalorian.
Writing about The Mandalorian episode-to-episode feels like folly, since the show seems so clearly designed for the binge era of streaming. Granted, “Chapter 2: The Child” arrives just three days after “Chapter 1” (which looks discernibly Star Wars but zips past anything discernibly human), though were the gap a traditional seven days, the hook might not have been strong enough to linger in people’s memories and draw them back for more. Yes, there is a little green baby that resembles Master Yoda. No, this infant’s presence doesn’t immediately challenge the Mandalorian — perhaps it might in episode 2?
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There are two things that stand out in The Mandalorian, the live-action Star Wars series on Disney+. One is a certain character we kind of have to dance around to avoid spoilers. The other is Werner Herzog. As great as he is on the show itself, the real fun of this whole endeavor has been hearing Herzog talking about the show and Star Wars in general during interviews. Everything he’s said has been fascinating, simply because he’s Werner Freakin’ Herzog.
So when Herzog was recently asked about that mysterious character I mentioned above, his answer was typically Herzogian and amazing. In short: he said it made him cry. Spoilers follow.
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We’ve known that Marvel Studios was working on a Loki series for Disney+ since last fall. However, very little is known about what the series will entail other than the return of Tom Hiddleston as the titular god of mischief, who finds himself popping up at various points throughout time as an unlikely influence on historical events. But now the series has a co-star in the form of Netflix’s Flowers star Sophia Di Martino, who was recently seen in Universal’s fantasy comedy Yesterday. Find out more below. Read More »
Disney+ arrived this week to much excitement and glee from fans anxious to stream everything from the new live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian to Disney classics The Lion King and everything in between. However, one of the more enticing library titles from Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox immediately disappointed fans. But thankfully, it’s about to be fixed.
Every single season of The Simpsons is available on Disney+ right now, but when it comes to the first 19 seasons of the show, there was an issue. The aspect ratio for those episodes was presented in the widescreen 16:9 ratio, the shape of your average television today. But those episodes from the first 19 seasons aired when the full screen 4:3 ratio was the standard for television. The result was episodes that lost visual quality and some hilarious sight gags. But Disney+ will have The Simpsons aspect ratio problem fixed in the near future. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
On the November 15, 2019 episode of /Film Daily, /Film editor-in-chief Peter Sciretta is joined by /Film weekend editor Brad Oman to have a spoiler discussion about The Mandalorian “Chapter Two”.
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The 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special has been famously ridiculed — the dated 1970s variety special structure; the hokey musical sequences; the endless Wookie grunts; Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill looking absolutely mortified — but for a rare few fans, it holds a special place in their hearts. One of those fans is apparently Jon Favreau, the creator of the successful new Disney+ series The Mandalorian, who actually has the power to do something about that. Favreau revealed that he is genuinely interested in making a new Star Wars Holiday Special and in fact already has plans in place for one.
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