HBO Max Launches – Here’s What Everything Looks Like Inside #HBOmax

The HBO Max launch is here, May 27, 2020, another significant streaming service available.

For those who got in at the intro pricing $11.99/month or those getting free as part of your AT&T TV or phone plans or paying the regular $14.99/month, whichever the case, you probably don’t need this post. The rest that are curious what it looks like inside? Got you covered.

And no, still no deal with Roku as of launch day (see: Still No Announcement for HBO Max on Roku, But Multiple Alternate Ways to Cast To TV at Launch). I launched the app on my Android phone, a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ and use the Samsung Smart Things app (built-in) to cast to TV. It works great to play the movies and television shows full screen on the TV. That is but one of several cast to TV options available besides a more convenient Roku app.

My first login experience? Clean. Wow. Very clean. Love the dark background and the fact that it instantly wants to allow me add additional profiles a la Netflix.

You can create up to five additional profiles for either adults …

… or kids. The kids require setting a pin, which the system prompts immediately and intuitively to create.

Once you’ve set a pin, then you can define the content level parental controls by MPAA rating.

Here is how the profiles screen appears once a child’s account has been set.

Now, to change an existing profile, use the “MANAGE PROFILES” link at the bottom beneath the +Add buttons. A profile name is limited to 10 characters, so I couldn’t add Todd and Kara or even Todd N Kara — so had to just settle for Todd Kara.

A suggestion, would have been nice if the font size would have auto-changed smaller to allow for a few more characters. At least 20, but that’s a minor complaint. Again, UI (User Interface) is very clean and easy to follow. They wanted to make this very Netflix-like in usability, and it shows.

Once your profiles are in order, a feature which for those who don’t know how that works, it allows the system to learn what that particular user can watch, has watched, wants to watch and will provide suggestions to him/her/them based on history.

TV Series as “Series”

Going to breeze through the TV Series portion of the interface, but it’s pretty straightforward, starting with the HBO signature features and adding some coveted complete series like: The Big Bang Theory, Friends, Rick & Morty and more!

Those who already know and appreciate HBO originals will feel right at home here.

Movies

If you don’t finish a movie and move around a convenient “Continue Watching” menu appears at the top of the home menu so you can quickly return to in-progress movies.

Movies have a detailed A-Z menu along the right hand side so you can quickly and conveniently skip to the first letter title of a movie, versus scrolling through the entire list.

The movie sections are divided up into A-Z (full listing with breakpoints by letter as shown above), Originals, Just Added (!), Last Chance, Coming Soon, genre and studio and/or content grouping (DC, Sesame Street, TCM, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Looney Tunes, Crunchy Roll, Studio Ghibli).

I could write a detailed post just describing the DC grouping. It’s like a mini DC Universe worth of movies in there, including Batman getting his own section.

No comic books like DC Universe, but one could see how the two services could merge into one super, powerful mega streaming service (I’m surprised this wasn’t offered from the get-go for like $19.99/month for both). If Warner truly wants to take on Netflix with something they don’t and likely can’t offer, this would be one way to do so. Amazon, could counter this with putting up Comixology which they own. Sure, DC could pull their license of DC Comics from that service, but they wouldn’t. Watch for this being a possibility someday in the future.

DC has all the DC-related live action and animated movies in one organized place. Some of these movies left the DC Universe platform to come to HBO Max (causing unrest in that community, by the way). In September 2020 the DC Universe Rewards program ends and something is going to happen … no idea what that is, but perhaps that will be when there is a bundling deal in time for holiday (this is pure speculation on my part, but not an impossibility by any stretch).

Plenty of cartoons available under the Looney Tunes category. 31 seasons of Looney Tunes, alone.

A-Z some of many movies available for streaming at HBO Max launch

Not going to put out a complete A-Z listing of movies in this post, like we did for Peacock at launch, but below are some few notable titles:

2001: A Space Odyssey
The Abyss
Alien
Aliens
Alien: Resurrection
Alien 3
Alita: Battle Angel
Along Came Polly
American Pie
American Pie 2
Any Given Sunday
Apocalypse Now
Aquaman
The Art of Racing In The Rain
Arthur
Arthur 2: On The Rocks
Babe
Babe: Pig In The City
11+ Batman movies (see below)

Batman fans will be right at home with HBO Max

Beauty & The Beast
Ben Hur
Black KkKlansman
Blinded By The Light
The Blob
Bohemian Rhapsody
Bonnie & Clyde
Braveheart
The Bridges of Madison County
Bright Lights Big City
Casablanca
Casino Royale (the original)
Casino Royale (James Bond – Daniel Craig)
Citizen Kane
Cimmaron
Contagion
Crazy, Rich Asians
4 Critters Movies (Critters 1, 2, 3, 4)
Dick Tracy
Die Hard
Die Hard 2
Die Hard With a Vengeance
A Dog’s Life
Downton Abbey
Emma
Enemy Mine
The Entertainer
Equinox
Eraser
Eraserhead
Eyes Without A Face
Fantastic Planet
Fight Club
A Fish Called Wanda
Flawless
Galaxy of Terror
Gamer
Gangs of New York
Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster
Glengarry Glenross
8 Godzilla movies (!!!!!)

It’s Christmas Day in late May for Godzilla fans at HBO Max!

Gone With The Wind
Good Boys
Great Expectations
Green Lantern
Gremlins 1 & 2
Hackers
Hamlet
Happy Death Day
Happy Death Day 2 U
Hanzo The Razor (3 movies)
Happy Feet (2 movies)
Harry Potter (entire 7 movie series)
Hellboy
Hey Arnold The Movie
The Hitcher (1986)
The Hobbit (3 movies)
How The West Was Won
I Shot Jesse James
It: Chapter 2
Jaws (4 movies: 1,2,3 and 4)
Joker
Judge Dredd
Justice League (Snyder Cut coming in 2021)
Kin
King Kong (The original black and white!)
Kung Fu Panda
La La Land
The Lady Vanishes
The Land Before Time (10 animated movies)

Many The Land Before Time animated movies to watch/rewatch

LEGO Movies (5 movies)
Little Shop of Horrors
Lola
Lolita
Lone Wolf and Cub (6 movies)
The Lonliness of the Long Distance Runner
Long Shot
Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Rings (the complete trilogy)
Lost In Space
Madagascar
Madagascar 3
The Maltese Falcon
The Meg
Metro
Million Dollar Babies
Mona Lisa Smile
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Mrs. Doubtfire
Nightmare on Elm Street (5 movies)

1, 2, Freddy’s coming for YOU … at HBO Max

North By Northwest
Notting Hill
The Nun
The Odd Couple II
Of Mice and Men
An Officer and a Gentlemen
Oliver Twist
Othello
The Outsiders
Paradise Lost (3 movies)
Pearl Harbor
The Pelican Brief
Pet Sematary (the original movie)
Pirahna
Police Academy (7 movies)

Pretty and Pink
Pride and Prejudice
Quadrophenia
Quantum of Solace (James Bond)
Rebel Without A Cause (James Dean)
Rodan (more Godzilla, yes!)
Rock Star
Rock The Kasbah
Scanners
School Of Rock
Scooby Doo
Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
The Seventh Seal
Singing In The Rain

When life after the pandemic returns in your area, there is also a Singing In The Rain slot machine

The Skulls (3 movies)
Solaris
Son of Godzilla
Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains The Same
A Star Is Born (original movie)
A Star Is Born (remake 2019)
A Streetcar Named Desire
Suicide Squad
Teeth
Terror of Mechagodzilla
The Thief of Baghdad
Through A Glass Darkly
To Be Or Not To Be
Tokyo Story
Tropic Thunder
True Lies
Twins
Unfriended
Unfriended: Dark Web
Us
Valkyrie
Water For Elephants
Western Stars
Wild Hogs
Wings Of Desire
The Witches Of Eastwick
The Wizard of Oz
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot)
X-Men
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Yesterday
The Zookeeper’s Wife

A very good mix of movies both very new, very old and in between. A better selection than what’s available at any other single movie streaming service. That’s Netflix, Amazon, they don’t have all these quality movies. They have good selection, but not this overall quality of film library on day one of launch.

However, if you want originals, every streaming service has its strengths. Disney+ has Star Wars, Marvel and their animated classics which are some of the greatest movies ever made. Peacock has the potential for a good library, although their initial launch wasn’t as solid as what HBO Max offers. Maybe when Peacock goes full launch mode in July, they will draw more from their classic library available as well as even more great TV series.

It’s a full-on war of streaming and we — movie and TV show lovers — are benefiting. It’s not what is available to watch, it’s what to watch next?

A very solid launch for HBO Max. I know people may balk at the price tag, but it’s worth at least signing up and watching movies — some of which haven’t been available anywhere else except on TV until now. We’ll be subscribed for awhile.

Are you subscribed to HBO Max? Will you be? What do you think? I’m curious to read thoughts from others.

12 thoughts on “HBO Max Launches – Here’s What Everything Looks Like Inside #HBOmax

  1. I think the biggest obstacle here is the fact that it isn’t available on either the Amazon Firestick or the Roku. This doesn’t affect me so much as I have a recently purchased Samsung Smart TV and 4K Bluray player for my office. But my wife watches in the living room and she uses both a Roku and a Firestick. If I had known that I probably wouldn’t have subscribed and kept CBS All Access. But we’ll give them time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What kind of phones are you using? There are multiple phone apps to use to cast to TV (for FREE), so having a channel app embedded in Amazon or Roku is a convenience, not a necessity.

      The phone actually works really good as a replacement for a remote via Reelgood (FREE), see: https://moviereviewsbyus.com/2020/04/15/how-to-use-your-phone-as-a-roku-remote-with-clickable-movie-and-tv-links-in-reelgood-app/

      Had to retrain my habit for using the phone, but it actually works pretty nicely and eliminates the need for the remote. Maybe you’re wife will like that, given if she tries it out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I can cast easily, but things like that are a mystery to my wife. I mean, not to tell on her but she’s lost using the Roku and/or Firestick. I’ve had to bail her out on those devices a few times because somehow she gets logged out of apps and doesn’t remember the password. And she would be the one using it most of the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I should have added to my last comment that it is totally stupid of Roku not to work hard to get a deal cut and have HBO Max on it. If they don’t get this solved (and I believe in time they will), it will backfire against both HBO Max and Roku. When Roku first started out they were pretty much begging content providers to create channels (so long as they weren’t illegal or porn), now fast forward to where they have some market leadership and look what they’re doing to their customers. Shameful how we end up as the pawns for helping companies gain market leads.

    As for Amazon, they can play hardball until the end of time and it won’t really matter. They prefer to keep HBO in their little “subscribe through Amazon Prime as an add-on channel” box.

    HBO Max is deserving of it’s own standalone service. As I said in the post above, their film library at launch is better than any other streaming service, unless you only like animated films, Star Wars and Marvel, then Disney+ is a better bet. Disney+ can camp out on their IP for a long, long time.

    Netflix way of competing is by becoming their own studio and further increasing their originals and exclusives because they saw the writing on the wall that there’s no way they could compete with the deep, expansive libraries of NBC, Warner Bros and Disney.

    Luckily for consumers we can binge and purge content unless they keep providing fresh shows we want to watch. All of them must do that or they won’t keep a piece of that monthly subscription pie. It’s a good time for movie and TV show lovers. Better than we’ve ever had before, except for the fact that there is some amount of moving between multiple competing services to find our favorite shows and movies. I’m OK with that vs. paying some ridiculous cable TV bill and having hundreds of channels and then paying more for the premium channels I actually want to watch (like HBO).

    Like

  3. Thank you for the information! I keep going back and forth on subscribing but I really want to see those Studio Ghibli movies so I’ll likely check it out for a little while.

    Interesting to that it looks like the new series are doing a 3 episode premiere and then week to week like Disney did with Mandalorian? Makes me wonder if Netflix will change things up with some of their content!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’m not a fan of the drop an entire season at one time and binge it plan. I’d rather follow a new episode every week. Easier for me to stay up with the show, watch the new episodes on a schedule and review them as well.

      I do see the value in those who want to watch an entire series at one time, but those folks could always wait out the episodes to all drop and then binge.

      Two schools of thought, I guess. Either way is OK, I just prefer the traditional TV style way of dropping a new episode every week. Maybe once in awhile dropping two episodes at once or something.

      The three episodes at once plan is OK too, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the article!

    I’m a fan of the old school television scheduling to. Easier to watch. I hate when Netflix drops Stranger Things at midnight and by the time I wake up the next morning I have to stay offline as best I can to avoid spoilers because it seems like half the world is already finished and talking about it. I wish they’d change but then again now that the streaming wars are on a single season drop is basically Netflix’s calling card.

    Liked by 1 person

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