Yikes! Netflix, Starz, and The Walking Dead

* Yikes! I don’t know what happened but while Netflix has plenty of music performances available, those ones I listed yesterday are not. I’m not sure what happened there – please accept my profoundest apologies.

* From Paid Content and Gizmodo, Netflix head muckety-muck Reed Hastings recently stated that copycat services like Amazon Prime are not his main competition. “It’s very easy for companies to over-estimate copycat competition and not see the real threat, you go back to 1995, and you talk to the Netscape sales force and ask them what their No. 1 competition is, and they’d say Spy Glass, which was taking a little market share from them at the time. But the real competition was Microsoft and bundling.”

For a man who spent most of 2011 making ham-fisted and clueless statements, this one is actually rather insightful. Hollywood’s pressure on Starz to not renew their Netflix contract (in spite of Netflix’ offer to give them TEN times the amount of the previous contract) has left a sizeable gap in the Netflix library.

The real competition for Netflix is whatever allows people to watch whatever they want, whenever they want. Sadly HBO will never deal with Netflix because of their HBO Go initiative. I can’t speak for other people but now that we’ve cut the cord, I love the freedom of stopping and starting programs whenever I wish. I also much prefer television shows as a season collection than as a week-to-week single viewing. I still indulge my Walking Dead fetish.

* Speaking of The Walking Dead, it has really improved since the mid-season break. I’ve loved the series all along – partially because of the graphic novels, partially because of the wonderful characters – but the business at the farm was very slow-moving and the Sophia subplot was good (with an excellent resolution) but dragged on for far too many episodes. Obviously some of the people on the show thought so as well because the last three episodes have been action-packed while still retaining those good character moments. KNB’s makeup effects are outstanding as always.

It is obvious that they are already setting up Season 3 to include The Governor. I’m not sure how I feel about that. The Governor and Michonne are two fan-favorite characters from the comics but I actually dislike them because they (especially The Governor) are so clearly comic book characters. I hope they are changed significantly for the show.

Catch a Falling Starz! Two days only!

In spite of Netflix offering Starz a reported ten time their original contract price, negotiations fell through some time ago. Speculation is that the major studios put a lot o pressure on Starz not to deal with Netflix at all. Sadly all this Starz content expires on February 29th so you have relatively little time to catch up on these gems (as chosen by Gizmodo)

Toy Story 3 – Brilliant Disney/Pixar film – easily as good as the first two but VERY intense towards the end

Tron: Legacy – Ummm it’s stylish but even Jeff Bridges and the beautiful Olivia Wilde can’t bring this to recommended status

That Thing You Do!

Elizabeth – Excellent treatise on Queen Elizabeth’s rise to power complete with court intrigues. Geoffrey Rush is a standout.

Robin Hood Men in Tights – Really not worth your time in spite of the ideal casting of Cary Elwes as Robin Hood.

Peter Pan

Scarface – The quintessential Gangster film. It’s all about honesty and respect. Extremely violent and stylish, Brian de Palma’s Miami is beautiful and scary.

Apocalypto

Hackers – A hacker movie with a very young Angelina Jolie.

JFK – Overrated but fascinating conspiracy trash about JFK with a lot of good stars.

Teen Wolf

Scream – Great slasher horror film that is filled with subversive humor.

Airheads

Twins

Tank Girl

Rumble in the Bronx

Spy Hard

Airport

The Nutty Professor

Young Frankenstein – Skip Robin Hood, this is the Mel Brooks film you should see. Loving parodies of Universal’s classic Frankenstein series.

Beetlejuice – there is still talk of a sequel being made to this quirky comedy.

Spartacus

Let Me In – an unbelievably good vampire tale.

Howl’s Moving Castle – nothing from Hayao Miyazaki should be missed.

Party Down

Ronin – an excellent old school caper film with marvelus modern sensibilities and a fantastic car chase.

The Man Without a Face

Big

Astro Boy