AMC Network drops lawsuit against AT&T over alleged network unfairness

The Shudder promo code above likely doesn’t work any more, but you can find more

An update on the lawsuit between AMC and AT&T over alleged unfairness AT&T was showing its existing network over competing networks. The carriers have reached an agreement.

The Walking Dead parent alleged AT&T favors its own competing networks including HBO and TNT by insisting on “discriminatory” terms to renew affiliation agreements with AMC. AT&T had called the complaint “without merit” and insisted it treats “all programmers fairly.”

AMC Networks Request To Withdraw Complaint Against AT&T Granted By FCC – Deadline

What’s most interesting in the Deadline article is what AT&T says about AMC toward the end of the article.

“The cost to provide AMC Networks’ programming to our customers should reflect that AMC Networks’ shows have been declining in popularity as compared to their peers for several years.”

Ouch. Don’t know if AT&T is correct about the stats, but do know from a fan standpoint, I disagree on at least one area of AMC Networks.

AMC is the network behind Shudder, for that alone they deserve my respect vote. Shudder is an awesome, low-cost niche streaming service for horror fans. If you like horror and aren’t subscribed to Shudder, find yourself one of the many easily available promo codes (just do a Google search for “Shudder promo codes”) and check out a free month trial. With Halloween right around the corner next month, the timing is great.

We resubscribed to Shudder this week, making it the ninth streaming service we are currently subscribed to:

  1. Netflix
  2. Amazon Prime Video (as Prime members)
  3. HBO Max
  4. Disney+ (subscribed annually, mostly for our grandchildren, we hardly ever watch it)
  5. Peacock (premium subscription is free, since we are Xfinity internet customers)
  6. Shudder (resubbed new this week of 9/14)
  7. Hulu (will cancel once working through the movies & shows we’re currently watching)
  8. CBS All Access (contemplating dropping after Lower Decks, just not that much else there of interest)
  9. DC Universe (most likely dropping soon, but waiting first to see what this week’s big announcement is, see: )

Add all these subscription fees up and it’s pushing $75+/month. We can’t watch all these channels enough to justify keeping all, so we’ll drop the ones we’re watching least and return when something we really want to see on the channel returns.

Shudder from AMC, to get back to the article in question, is well worth subscribing to, especially in the fall, when that horror halloween witchy time of year is in full force.

The Drew Barrymore Show promises no “mundane questions” that launched 9/14 – Will it be on CBS All Access?

The Drew Barrymore TV show launched Monday 9/14/2020 — yes, a new show launching during the pandemic, yay! — and she virtually and not-so-virtually had her former Charlie’s Angels Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz on, as well as a video message 50 First Dates style from the sandman Adam Sandler.

The hour long daytime talk show airs daily and you can figure out “where to watch” by clicking a link on Drew’s official website (https://www.thedrewbarrymoreshow.com/).

Based on her own experience in a ton of interviews, she promises no “mundane questions.”

“People are looking to have a different conversation. I think they are looking to if they are putting themselves out there, I assume, to reveal things about them that are not commonly known,” she says of her guests. “I think it is really weird when people choose to do a profession but you can’t know anything about me. It’s like, well, you took the wrong job, it is fair game. Most people want to present their heart and humor, the same thing on this show.”

Drew Barrymore on What to Expect From Her New Talk Show (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

Is this a shot across the bow to Ellen Degeneres, the queen of daytime TV talk that has been under fire for having an alleged behind the scenes toxic work environment? Or is this just a friendly show description?

Neither of us are big on daytime talk shows. I’ve never watched even one full episode of Ellen — ever, but have watched some of her interviews over the years. She has a comfortable interview style that seems to put her guests at ease and it’s softball stuff. Definitely not the kind of hard-hitting, under the covers Howard Stern interview style (love many of Howard’s interviews!). Not sure how Barrymore will do, but will probably check out some of what she’s up to. I’m a fan of Barrymore and would like to see her succeed, if her show doesn’t suck, it just might.

Marketing a new show in 2020

What is curious about Barrymore’s show from a marketing and distribution standpoint — CBS, looking at you — is why it’s not on CBS All Access? Or is it, and I’m just not finding it?

This is bizarre in 2020. Especially considering CBS is trying to expand CBS All Access and make it a more major player in the streaming market (see: CBS All Access Working on Greatly Expanded Library For Release in 2021). Maybe Drew’s show, if it takes off, will be part of this expansion in 2021(?)

Instead, it seems, to watch the show right now, today, launch week, we’ll forced to watch on live TV? That’s not likely to happen often in our household anyway, even though we can watch via Locast (see: How do you access streaming channels on your TV in July 2020?). This is 2020, why didn’t Drew and CBS take care of the cord cutting streamer audience?

Maybe they’ll eventually go with a schedule like The Talk does and have live episodes on traditional TV and archived episodes on streaming (CBS All Access). There is an official Drew Barrymore YouTube channel to subscribe to (21k+ subscribers as of this writing) that already shares clips from the first show, so this might be the way they’re going to roll for awhile. Full show on live TV (and the commercial love), clips on their official YouTube channel and no archival full episodes on streaming.

For those who watched the debut episode of The Drew Barrymore Show: did you enjoy it? Will you be tuning in regularly? Watch a few episodes here and there? Rather see Drew in movies and don’t care? Your perspective is welcome in the comments below.

Robin Williams helped homeless with stipulation in his contract

Who doesn’t miss Robin Williams? He passed away too soon from suicide on August 14, 2014. Even with his health worsening at the end, he was always thinking of others in his work as evidenced by his contract.

Prior to his death, Robin Williams had a stipulation in his contract that for any movie or event he did, the company hiring him also hire a certain number of homeless people and put them in work.

37 Genuinely Wild Facts About Celebrities That’ll Alter Your World View

My favorite Robin Williams comedy is Mrs. Doubtfire, but have enjoyed several movies he’s starred in. Mork and Mindy, the TV show with Pam Dawber was my introduction to him. That was a fun show, too. Williams didn’t only star in comedy movies though, showing he had range far beyond his comedic roots. His energetic voice acting was top notch.

Walmart Plus launches September 15, maybe they should have kept Vudu

When Walmart sold their streaming service, Vudu, earlier this year (see: Fandango Buys Vudu from Walmart – What Does This Mean For Both Services?) I was puzzled. Now that they are launching their Walmart+ service on September 15, it would make even more sense to have had the streaming service to offer as a perk for subscribers, like Amazon does with Prime Video. I know Vudu has movies for FREE with ads similar to IMDB, but they could also have had some videos without ads for their Walmart+ subscribers.

Oh well, that will not be one of the perks of Walmart+.

Walmart’s most significant competitor for on-demand subscription service is, of course, Amazon Prime, where users have access to similar benefits such as free two-day and even one-day shipping on eligible items. There are other perks from the online sales giant, too, like Prime Video, Twitch, Amazon Pantry, Amazon Fresh and more. Those additional benefits come at a slightly higher annual cost

Walmart Plus: What you need to know about the new service

Walmart+ is available for just under $100 in our area and the free delivery service for minimum orders of $35. No idea if we’ll be signing up and trying Walmart+, because we tend to do the bulk of our grocery shopping at Winco Foods (prices are better, but you do have to bag your purchases).

I like the idea of Walmart’s Scan and Go service that lets you pay while you shop and skip the cash register lines.

Anybody else interested in Walmart+?

Time To Die for Bond? – Should Brands, Franchises and IP continue without the original creators?

Ian Fleming has been dead for many years, but his iconic espionage character James Bond has lived on through the eyes of multiple actors.

Daniel Craig has already filmed his last outing in Bond #25: No Time To Die. Presumably we’ll see this movie before the end of 2020, but with moves and delays, it might be 2021. Whenever that film debuts, should there be Bond #26 with another actor playing James Bond?

That’s a question that’s been asked after every Bond actor has left the franchise. When Sean Connery left and was replaced by Roger Moore (also for one film George Lazenby). Moore left, then Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and now, soon, Daniel Craig.

Bond will go on with another actor in the title role.

It’s an interesting question, though, how many iterations should continue before the purity of the character is completely compromised. Maybe that’s already happened. James Bond as Fleming originally conceived is dubiously relevant any more. Should they have kept the character frozen in time, continuing to work through missions in the 60s or brought him into modern times, changing him to fit into modern times. They’ve done the latter, at times fairly successfully, so it seems that the original creation can be changed with time and box office success can continue.

It really boils down to a deeper, more pure question: should it continue? We know it can

In the music world, comparatively, we’ve seen more and more original members of rock bands dying and fans divided over the band continuing with very few or no original members left. Most recently, this happened with Frankie Banali the drummer for the band Quiet Riot. Kevin Dubrow, the lead singer died years ago. Banali originally retired the band vowing never to play again out of respect for Dubrow. Then a few years later he decided, with the blessing of Dubrow’s family, to continue. Quiet Riot would cycle through singers, including James Durbin, an American Idol finalist. Jizzie Pearl was the singer for a little while, then left when Durbin stepped in and recorded two albums, then left, and Pearl is back as the current singer.

And then a few weeks ago, Frankie Banali succumbed to death by pancreatic cancer. The band had committed dates and have decided to continue on, essentially without any members of the classic lineup of Quiet Riot (Dubrow, Banali, Carlos Cavazo on guitar and Rudy Sarzo on bass).

The surviving members of QUIET RIOT said it was “Frankie Banali’s wish that the band continue and we keep the music and the legacy alive.”

Quiet Riot ‘Isn’t Going Anywhere,’ Says Guitarist Alex Grossi -Blabbermouth.net

Quiet Riot is noteworthy for being the first heavy metal band to chart #1 with their album Metal Health. I saw them on their follow-up tour for Condition Critical in the 80s. They were a good band, albeit formulaic, and it seems they could never match the success of Metal Health. A lot of 80s bands put out 1 or 2 great albums and then just faded into obscurity.

Sarzo and Cavazo are still alive and one would think they’d be the ones most likely to carry the band name forward, but they are involved with other projects. Chuck Wright, the current Quiet Riot bassist did play bass on a couple songs on the recorded Metal Health album, so that’s about the closest connection the band has to the classic lineup.

As more bands become brands, it’s essentially the same thing as what’s happening with James Bond. Should the brand, IP, franchise continue without the original creators?

James Bond is a somewhat unique case. He’s a character that can continue to evolve with times, since he’s done it already. As a fan of the original Fleming Bond, I’ve become less interested over time in the modernizing of the character. That’s not to say some of the recent Bond films haven’t been good, they just haven’t been Goldfinger or Dr. No. Even some of the cheesy 80s Bond films with Roger Moore like Moonraker seem closer to the flavor and spirit of Fleming’s original character than more recent iterations, but it’s a deeper and more complex issue.

Should James Bond Continue?

I think yes. How he is portrayed is the subject of greater debate among fans. Personally, I’d like to see a retro Bond explored next. Go back to the 60s and give us another cold war spy thriller.

Yes, the times have changed and a lot of what happened during those times would not be socially correct in a film post 2020, but hey, do it anyway. No cell phones, no internet, just Bond and Q’s gadgets fighting and foiling global dominators. At least give it a try and see what the ticket sales say. If it works, make a few more. When the retro fad energy dries up, then go back to the modern Bond and see what a James Bond today would be like.

My feelings on rock bands is essentially the same. Let the artists play the music as long as people will pay to see it. Cover bands have existed forever, and will continue, so why not? The music should continue. Whether or not to tour under band names without original members? It’s a case by case basis. Rush touring without Neil Peart? Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson say no for the moment, but maybe in a few years they decide to get out there again. AC DC can go on as long as they have Angus Young, but when he’s gone? Well, there’s always Hell’s Belles.

There really isn’t a right or wrong answer that fits every circumstance. Generally speaking, when the character or franchise becomes big enough, when it attracts a large enough audience, it gains its own form of immortality. It can live well beyond the creators.

What do you think? Should they?

6+ Cut Throat City Reviews – Hurricane Katrina good backdrop for crime caper

Cut Throat City ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This dropped into theaters out of nowhere on our radar. Didn’t see any advance fanfare and liked the choice of the background for a crime thriller set during the Hurricane Katrina timeframe. The New Orleans area was ripped apart and flooded and I’ve often wondered why his wasn’t used as the backdrop for more movies (maybe it has been and have just missed them).

Unfolding in the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, RZA’s trenchant take on the synergistic interaction of poverty and greed gradually loses focus as it devolves into a familiar account of warring gangsters, corrupt politicians and a city struggling for redemption. Cut Throat City will doubtless grab the attention of RZA’s diverse fanbase, but looks unlikely to make a significant mark among contemporary crime dramas.

‘Cut Throat City’: Film Review | Hollywood Reporter

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

In and out of the theater fast

We saw this on opening weekend and it was gone shortly thereafter from the theater. This isn’t a positive sign normally for interest in the film, but I think this one got a bad break because there was a lot here.

When you see this on streaming — probably soon, I’d imagine — it’s worth checking out.

Too long, yes, the modern version of filmmaker’s bloat

RZA must subscribe to the Oliver Stone and Martin Scorsese school of longer films are better. Sure, they can be, if the material supports the run time. Otherwise, it’s just going to irritate moviegoer bladders. This film is weighted down by a gang of characters that have some subplots and arcs, but not enough to warrant the run time.

Part of the problem is there are trying to be too many tales told. Is this about the corruption of FEMA? Poverty in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina? A botched casino robbery? A group of friends making bad decisions? A vicious crimelord? A man who tries to get a job, fails and then turns to crime? It’s about all of these things … and yet never really commits to any single one.

The throw everything against the wall and see what sticks film style leaves the viewer feeling undecided about what to care most about.

Hurricane Katrina backdrop is great

A positive that I just couldn’t get over when watching was how good the background was for this story. It seemed well researched and the dark and gritty cinematography was catchy. This kept me in the movie, despite the other flaws.

Let’s talk about the double ending

Yes, not one ending, but two. As you can tell from our review, we were more than a little confused which ending was correct. Since we’re in spoiler territory, we can talk about the ending in the comments. We’re not sure if it was the happy ending or the other ending … which one?

Reviews by Others

What do others think of Cut Throat City?

Recommended

  1. A King Named Simba (7/10): “The movie is a little weighed down by superfluous characters, but the performances are strong overall and the story is grounded in a reality missing from most heist movies.”
  2. Film Inquiry / Zachary David Rogers: “A film like Cut Throat City could easily fall into cliches in its treatment of race, poverty, and crime, but RZA, screenwriter P.G. Cushieri, and the magnificent cast of this film constantly work to humanize the characters and to help us understand how their actions grow out of their material circumstances.”
  3. J. Luke Carney / Ludicrous Movie Reviews (70/100): “It feels like forever since I’ve seen engaging storytelling like this”
  4. Jonita Davis / Blerd Galaxy Magazine: “…is not your average heist film. In addition to being an epic journey, the story begins and ends with a celebration of Black love that makes the perfect bookends to this story…until RZA’s pipe wrench of an ending comes in to play with your emotions.”

Not Recommended

  1. Joe Baker / Dallas Film Now: “Juggling all these characters, Cut Throat City eventually loses its drive and devolves into cliche violence begetting violence. Unlike last year’s Queen and Slim that poses some of the same candid reverberations about racial inequality and a Bonnie-and-Clyde-like middle-finger-to-America saga of promising livelihoods gone wrong, RZA’s film lacks the nuance that made Melina Matsoukas’ film so incisive.”
  2. Music City Drive-in / Richard Valero: “The film was far from perfect, and it surely had some flaws, but overall it is a very watchable movie. The story is somewhat easy to follow after that rough around the edges opening thirty minutes. You find yourself invested in what is to come, and that’s what makes the film good.”
  3. rogerinorlando / Movie Nation: “…even though RZA makes GREAT use of the city and delivers a movie rich with local color and atmosphere, even though characters make relevant points about poverty, exploitation and corruption from the locals all the way up to the Feds, even though he rounded up a good cast, “Cut Throat City” never gets on its feet and on the move.”

Linked above and wondering what would be cool to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did we miss your review? Use the comments and share your movie-related/review blog. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

Jim Lee Promises “big news” Regarding DC Universe’s Future “next week” – Let’s Speculate!

Who let the dogs out? Harley rides her Joker sled in an episode of Harley Quinn on DCU

Should we start speculating what next week’s “big announcement” will be for DC Universe? Sure, I’ll bite, after the jump.

Lee made the announcement via Twitter, after congratulating DC Universe’s Doom Patrol on being renewed for Season 3. “Stay tuned next week for big news about @thedcuniverse and it’s [sic] exciting future!” Lee wrote.

Jim Lee Promises a Major Announcement Regarding DC Universe’s Future

My guesses? Some kind of bundling with HBO Max and/or Cinemax (see: HBO Max and DC Universe bundle is a good idea – Merging? No, here’s why) and/or reduced subscription pricing or expanded comics access (perhaps reducing the window from one year to six months for new titles to show up on DCU) for the unlimited comic book reading experience.

Whatever the announcement will be, it’s kind of odd that they didn’t bring it during DCFanDome on Saturday 9/12? I mean, that was the perfect platform, date and time. A week later seems off (?) All we heard was Doom Patrol news (see: Doom Patrol greenlit for season 3 exclusively on HBO Max, no love for DCU continues). Good news there, but expected we’d hear Harley Quinn season 3 was being greenlit.

Although a criminally bad decision if it doesn’t happen, we can rule out a HQ Season 3 greenlight announcement since WarnerMedia has already stated there will be no new original shows on DCU, so it must have something to do with just how committed they are to DCU going forward (see: Jim Lee on DC Universe: “It’s definitely not going away”)

Anybody else want to guess what this news will be? The comments are waiting below.

The Broken Hearts Gallery ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

The Broken Hearts Gallery – PG-13 – 1 hr 49 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Saturday September 12, 2020
Regal 16 Cinemas – Lacey, Washington
#33 new movie seen in theater in 2020

Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) is an emotional hoarder, hanging onto random crap that reminds her of her past relationship partners. She works at an art gallery and after her most recent break-up, dips too much into the tequila and ends up getting fired.

On the way home she decides to take a Lyft and gets in Nick’s car calling him by the Lyft driver’s name. The only problem is Nick is not a Lyft driver and Lucy continues to ignore him and ask him for a ride home. On the way, she tells Nick about her break-up.

And thus begins Lucy’s interest in cash-strapped Nick, who is trying to remodel his own hotel. Lucy has an inspiration in the balcony to hang the tie of her ex (Utkarsh Ambudkar) and make a shrine to other items from past loves for others. From there it goes online and social, spreading the art of broken hearts.

Lucy’s two girlfriends, one a lesbian who breaks up a lot herself, and another who lives with her mostly mute boyfriend, Jeff (Nathan Dales).

The writing is crisp and the characters are drawn well. There are some innovative touches in a genre — the romcom — that is too often rife with cliches. Downsides? Somewhat easy seeing the long story telegraphed and the ending is sweet, but a little corny.

Despite the shortcomings, the fever pitch phrasing keeps us clicking through the plot. More than a couple a times I looked over and noticed Kara was smiling. This is a great dating movie for couples. We saw it in the theater surrounded by other couples and it makes you feel good.

There aren’t a lot of new movies out there right now, but if you feel safe and want to take out your significant other to a warm-hearted romance with a dash of comedy, this is easy to recommend.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

What if The Mandalorian focuses on new characters halfway through season 2?

Maybe just me, but was Pedro Pascal’s character really the focus of season 1 anyway? Mando roams around with the bounty hunter helmet on, expressionless and often with a very dry, yet effective delivery (credit Pascal there). It was all about Baby Yoda, er, The Child. Everybody wanted Mando’s playful, cute alien buddy and Mando was the guardian.

An update follows for: Do “BIG” problems exists with The Mandalorian Season 2?

Not going to label this a spoiler, because I put the credibility of these rumors at less than 10% accurate. And, even if the rumors are somewhat true, it might fit the story perfectly. It’s a weak spoiler at best anyway, since we don’t know what the other characters would be — again, only if true — and if those characters stories turn out to be entertaining none of this speculation matters.

My money is on Jon Favreau. I’m not blindly loyal to his work, but believe he’ll do us good, whatever the drama behind the scenes.

Hurry up, we need to see The Mandalorian season 2 already, because the rumor mill is working overtime trying to make us not like season 2 before it debuts next month. It won’t work for me, I’m going to tune in and form my own opinion, episode by episode. The first season was just way too good to completely fall apart in season two.

Maybe.

Mando, it seems, might not be 100% the main focus throughout the entire second season. Pedro Pascal “might” (emphasis on that word) have had some sort of problem on set, so much that the creatives may have decided to focus on other characters at the mid-point of season 2.

Again, while Grace doesn’t say the problems are specifically about Pedro Pascal, if I had to guess judging by what she said above, it sounds like while filming Season 2, Pascal had problems with someone on the set (possibly an exec), which might have actually caused Pascal to walk off the set (or even be told to walk off the set), as they didn’t use Pascal to film following the halfway mark of Season 2 and instead, since Pascal wasn’t around, used other characters to finish the season.

Star Wars Powder Keg: Pedro Pascal Problems With Mandalorian | Cosmic Book News

All pure rumor and speculation, so don’t get too tied up in this being reality, but Grace Randolph has apparently been right with her sources in the past. More than throw a dart at a board and hit a bullseye right, so she’s worth at least a second or third consideration.

If the other character is Baby Yoda’s origin, is that such a bad thing? I know, I know, the title character should be the main focus, but it was about the duo in the first season more than only Mando. The story might have been more about The Child than Mando, in fact.

I wouldn’t be put off if they dug into the lore behind whatever race The Child is and had less focus on Mando. The fact, if true, that there might have been creative tensions on set isn’t necessarily game changing news. You get creative people and execs on set and conflicting viewpoints are bound to be manifested.

There is also the possibility that Boba Fett is another character explored. That also would interest me. So, these are just two possible alternate character lore that season two could get into that don’t focus on Mando and they might be darn interesting storylines to explore.

Sometimes rumors help to hype up watching something, and I think whatever this alleged kerfuffle with Pascal is, does that here.

We’ll find out what’s really happening soon. I’m not going to let the parade be rained on and neither should you, friendly readers. We’ll replenish and recharge our anti-Mando shields. Wish season two was here already! You?

The Mandalorian Season 2 will start streaming on Disney+ October 30, 2020. If it’s like last season, it will be a new episode every week or so taking us a couple months to cycle through the 8 episodes.

Doom Patrol greenlit for season 3 exclusively on HBO Max, no love for DCU continues

Good news from round two of DCFandome (see: DC FanDome Kicks Off Today August 22 @ 10am PT – Share Your Schedule – What are you looking forward to seeing?) a third season will be coming for Doom Patrol, but only for HBO Max subscribers.

I’ve watched a few episodes of season one (on DCU, ironically) and from what little I saw, it’s a weird, wacky and fun superhero show. Nice to see Brendan Fraser again, too. It’s on my list to return and watch more episodes, maybe even formally reviewing it here someday.

That Doom Patrol would become exclusive to HBO Max comes as little surprise as scripted originals have increasingly been moved off of DC Universe. “The original content that is on DCU is migrating to HBO Max. Truthfully, that’s the best platform for that content,” DC’s Jim Lee told THR last month. “The amount of content you get, not just DC, but generally from WarnerMedia, is huge and it’s the best value proposition. … We feel that is the place for that.”

‘Doom Patrol’ Renewed for Season 3 on HBO Max | Hollywood Reporter

Official trailer for Doom Patrol:

Doom Patrol season two official trailer

WarnerMedia hasn’t made a decision on renewing the adult animated Harley Quinn show, but reports that it is being enjoyed by a new audience of subscribers on HBO Max. Keep watching it, friends, that will help WarnerMedia budget for a third and perhaps fourth season of HQ.

Although expected, it’s disappointing to see DC Universe just pushed further and further into the shadows.