Ads, everywhere ads, ads, ads. Movies, TV, you name it.
Remember Ready, Player One ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ the evil Nolan Sorrento wanted to put ads everywhere in the viewing space. It was a selling point if he took over the Oasis and could control the viewer area. This sort of ad intrusion is what ruins user experiences to the point of driving us away.
But FREE with ads means we can do more without $$$. Time is valuable or they wouldn’t make the offer. Our time is limited on earth and we should limit it being recipients for people trying to sell us stuff. The money you might spend avoiding the ads to begin with is probably less than what your impulses do with shopping. Aye, the rub.
While it might sound like I’m completely anti-advertising, I’m definitely not. Certainly not from a business standpoint. Even from a customer/user, ads are just fine in moderation and I, too, will click and buy from them sometimes.
The problem is too many people showing them on sites/apps/etc. don’t understand the concept of less is more. Subtle text ads in Google and Gmail are what made them what they are today. Don’t get me started on the excess advertising on FREE streaming sites like Crackle. How anybody can endure that streaming experience? Has it gotten better? Somebody let me know when it improves and I’ll give their site another try. In the meantime, whenever any movie I want to see is only streaming on Crackle, I pass.
So, not sure about you, but I hate the idea of viewing (even more!) ads on our cell phones, intrusively bugging us when simply trying to perform basic routine phone tasks. I use my phone to make phone calls, send text messages, take pictures, videos and email for business and personal use. I rarely even play games on my phone, although do have a few installed. Would rather use my tablet — bigger screen — for games. Also rarely use my phone to watch movies, again because of the screen size, see: Where Do You MOST Watch Movies? (Theater, TV, Computer, Tablet, Phone)
Surely, they won’t block quick calling 911 for emergency by showing some stupid game ad first. Hey, I’m bleeding out, but first need to watch Candy Crush ad before I can dial 9-1-1.
Absurd. I’m joking, that’s probably not even legal to do, but AT&T is certainly looking at adding ads and giving customers the option to view them and save a few bucks every month.
AT&T (NYSE:T) CEO John Stankey recently told Reuters that the telecom giant could launch ad-subsidized wireless plans within a year. Stankey claimed a “segment” of its customer base would likely accept some advertising on their phones “for a $5 or $10 reduction” in their monthly bills.
Somewhat surprisingly, there is one more wide release planned in October than September.
We’ve been following the historic movie theater scene in 2020 and what a year so far, huh? Not from amazing movies coming out and huge box office numbers — what could/should/might have been in some parallel universe — from everything that seems to prevent that from happening.
Brief recap. In mid March all US theaters closed. In late August they started reopening and as of this writing at the end of September an estimated 70% of theaters have not reopened. The two major markets, New York and California still have many closures, but I keep reading that they’re planning on reopening soon. In our local area — not too far from the Seattle area where most of this all started — a bunch of theaters, like a couple dozen at least, remain shuttered. These areas are still in Phase 2 of the local government shutdown and cannot reopen theaters yet. These local restrictions are, very slowly, being relaxed and unless there are missteps with the virus, should reopen before No Time To Die (ironic title, I must admit) is scheduled to come out.
Tenet, the biggest movie since the pandemic started launched hasn’t had the US box office sales hoped for. Blame on this in part is placed on the two major markets with theaters still closed. Meanwhile.
Below you’ll find the movies listed as being released in theaters before month’s end as well as the streaming and VOD movies and at the bottom the movies that were originally planned to be released in September and delayed along with the current release dates, if known.
As has been the case since the end of March 2020, all titles remain subject to change, but since we’re actually seeing movies in theaters again, if this positive trend of reopening theaters continues, we should be able to get back to a schedule of releasing these coming soon lists sooner. In the meantime there’s no point in releasing ~45 days or so before the month due to the studio changes and postponements.
For historical reference, we’re including the films originally planned along with their rescheduled release dates, several have been pushed to 2021.
If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post is being updated throughout the year). We have a post showing all wide release movies scheduled in 2021, but as of this writing is still in draft status due to frequent changes being made. Would like to say we’re confident no further changes will be made, but that isn’t realistic currently. We’re going to post it sooner or later, probably sooner. Several movies are planned for 2021 that we had planned to see in 2020 and there are still 2021 planned titles coming to fruition — maybe.
Here, for now, let’s focus on October 2020.
All movie release dates unless otherwise indicated are for the United States, the release dates in other countries can/may/will vary.
Of the five wide release movies planned in October, this is #2 am most looking forward to seeing. It has a fun looking old vs. young vibe, especially with that wacky dodgeball scene. I like how De Niro asks the older woman if she wants to get back at the kids and she’s like “yeah!” This could be a dud or fun or … well, it could be underwhelming. I’m going to try and stay positive on this one. I mean, Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro … these guys are talented actors. Don’t lay an egg on us, please!
Honest Thief (delayed, moved from Sept 4 to Oct 9, move #2 to Oct 16)
Somewhere I remember reading or seeing a video that Liam Neeson wanted to get out of action films. Or at least films like Taken, but maybe I’m dreaming, because this role seems very Taken-ish. Especially with his “I’m coming to get you” revenge line. I like Liam Neeson’s quiet guy goes postal routine.
With Wonder Woman pushed to Christmas day, this becomes the standout title of October in theaters. Am looking most forward to this one.
2 Hearts (delayed, Sept 11 to October 16)
Lukewarm interest from the trailer, but of course we’ll see it regardless. This might be an OK date night movie, I don’t know.
The Empty Man FIRST LOOK (delayed, August 7 to December 4, 2020, move #2 to Oct 23, 2020)
No official trailer available as of this posting.
October is the perfect month for horror films. We had some good ones planned that got postponed, and no idea how this one will fare, should it go on as expected, but it’s #3 of the 5 for films I’m most looking forward to seeing in October.
I’m intrigued from the comic book aspect and more than a little surprised we don’t see a trailer for this yet. It’s like three weeks away and still no official trailer?
Fatale (moved AHEAD from Oct 20, 2020 to June 19, move #2 delayed to Oct 30)
No official trailer available as of this posting.
I don’t know much of anything about this movie other than the plot synopsis on IMDB. That’s not enough to make it move from #5 of 5 for looking to see in October 2020.
Which of these movies, if any, are you looking forward to seeing?
Of the list of movies above released or delayed, what are you most looking forward to seeing? Are you going to wait for these movies to come to streaming or venture into theaters? If you’re still in a holding pattern, it’s all good. Let’s chat about it in the comments.
As always, wishing you all happy viewing, whatever you’re watching!
Congratulations to AMC’s Shudder for hitting the seven figure subscriber milestone.
“The addition of original series and movies turbocharged our growth and turned Shudder into a must-have service for anyone interested in great horror, thriller or supernatural entertainment,” said Miguel Penella, president of SVOD at AMC Networks, in a statement. “Our relentless focus on quality programming, innovative content and finding the best up-and-coming creators has enabled Shudder to break out in the crowded world of subscription services.
This news comes in the middle of their 61 days of Halloween horror event that kicked off on September 1 and runs through Halloween 2020.
Being a huge horror fan myself, Kara finds it one of her least favorite genres, this news is even better. Have said it before that Shudder is a must have for hardcore horror fans. Even if you subscribe, binge what you want for a couple months, leave and then come back and do it again a few months later. Whatever your horror watching strategy, at some point Shudder should be part of it.
And nobody is paying me to say that, nor are there any affiliate links to the site here. We’re subscribers and horror fans, that’s all, passing along something good.
As far as niche streaming sites go, this one is one of my most favorites. DC Universe used to be, but they are getting out of the streaming movie and TV show business, going comic books only and their video content is moving to HBO Max.
Anything you’d like to see playing on Shudder? They do have some modern horror films, but their sweet spot is titles that are older and newer originals, like recently I watched Nicolas Cage in Color Out Of Space ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (recommended).
It’s problematic seeing comparisons with last year box office stats vs. this year. There are so many mitigating factors, the biggest of which is The Thing That Should Not Be Named. We remain believers that moviegoers will return to theaters when the following things happen:
Theaters nearby are reopened
They feel it’s safe in their area to do so
There are new movies they want to see
#1 is out of moviegoer’s control. If your favorite movie theater hasn’t opened yet and doesn’t plan to do so any time soon, then you’re not likely to return. #2 is more challenging to calculate because it involves multiple factors. #3 after #1 is the most important. If new movies are out that people want to see, very little else is going to matter. You know, build it and they will come. Sure, #2 will be a factor, but I think a bigger factor for most moviegoers — I’m talking the people who actually watch at least the average of 3-4 movies in theaters per year — is whether or not there is a movie they want to see.
The biggest movies people want to see, Tenet aside, just keep getting delayed and pushed back. Black Widow has dropped out and it’s up to No Time To Die (Bond #25) coming in November — maybe.
Back to the box office stats today. Why the numbers are wildly skewed?
We look around and see how many theaters, just in our local area, are still closed. Not just a few theaters, we’re talking like 25+ movie theaters dark and doing $0 business.
Factor in all that revenue, whatever it would be, if these theaters were open. None of that money is or can be reflected in the stats this year.
Over the weekend, North American ticket sales were an estimated $13.2 million, according to data from Comscore. For comparison, the U.S. and Canadian box offices hauled in $125.4 million during the same weekend last year thanks to the openings of “Downton Abbey,” “Ad Astra” and “Rambo: Last Blood.”
We remember seeing the movies quoted above a year ago. Rambo: Last Blood was our first 4DX movie ever seen at the Red Rock Regal Cinema in Las Vegas. That theater is reopened and running, but we don’t live in Vegas. We haven’t been back to Vegas since March. We’re planning on going there again after the first of the year. Probably January, Feb or March, but it all depends on what’s going on in the world.
In the meantime, we’re adding our revenue to box office stats. We’re seeing all new wide release movies being released, which is a total of 7 movies since the theater opened south of us.
The Last Shift – R – 1 hr 30 min NO SPOILERS Movie Review Watched in theater Friday September 25, 2020 Regal 16 Cinemas – Lacey, Washington #35new movie seen in theater in 2020
Stanley (Richard Jenkins) has been working at Oscar’s Chicken & Fish for 38 years. He works the graveyard shift, giving great care and concern to how he makes Oscar’s signature chicken and beef burgers for late night drunk customers and the occasional friendly customer that, of course, recognize the seasoned employee. It’s his last week of work before he finally retires and new employee Javon (Shane Paul McGhie) is training to take over.
From literally the opening scene, this movie nails the art of the pregnant pause — but not in a good way. Every scene, including the opening one is dragged out until the viewer is suffocated by the silence. Music, sound, we don’t need any of that apparently. We’re in a dark theater and silence works at times, but not throughout almost entirely 90 minutes of run time.
The hardest films not to spoil in a no-spoiler review are the ones that suck the most. This film sucks more than a brand new industrial vacuum cleaner. Like if you put your face within five feet, you’ll be violently yanked into a void of depression and anger.
We didn’t know this movie was a comedy until I sat to write this review. Leaving the theater in our video review below, warning, warning, warning, you’ll hear both our disgust at what a monumental failure of a movie this turned out to be.
It’s a LIMITED release, so maybe the good news is it probably isn’t available in one of the few domestic theaters that are open in the United States.
Let me distill some of the important bits, trying not to ruin the film review fast food equivalent of a round hamburger disc that’s dropped on the floor and used to play shuffleboard by the employees. This, incidentally is a scene in the film — seriously! Viewers must ask themselves in horror, did they go ahead and cook those burgers and serve them to some hapless customers? O-M-G.
In 1971 Stanley and his friends witnessed a black student being attacked. They fled the scene, but ultimately it was a case of a bunch of racist white students (just a guess though, we’re never actually shown or told their race), probably in a school that was almost entirely white (again, left open to viewer interpretation), lynching a black student. Stanley is supposed to be like your typical racist old white guy, because he’s tried to put this terrible lack of doing the right thing out of his mind all these years. Viewers will immediately hate this guy. At least sane ones will.
There’s no sympathy for a coward that doesn’t stick up for another human being, either during the incident or summoning authorities or, when there is a trial, not standing up and calling out everybody involved in the murder. So, Stanley is someone viewers dislike pretty much instantly. We can’t pity Stanley for working 38 years in a seemingly dead end job. We don’t worry about his sick mother that he saves up money to get out of the nursing home. We don’t care that he can’t drive. We don’t like Stanley.
We think Stanley’s an idiot for carrying around his life savings in an old backpack around a bad part of town. We don’t care that Stanley didn’t finish high school and that he’s portrayed as uneducated and feeble-minded. We just can’t like this character — at all.
Enter Javon, the new employee. He’s hired by Chaz (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), the black woman manager who might possibly be the most likable character of the trio — unfortunately, we only get bits and pieces of her in the movie. I wouldn’t call out her skin color in this review, except it’s relevant in that the movie is not so thinly disguised to show the juxtaposition of stereotypes, racial inequality and lopsided power. It’s a story that’s been being told for umpteen years now and keeps getting repeated.
The problem is Javon is about as cliched a character as we’ll ever see on screen. He’s young, black, on probation, a father who must either stay employed or go back to jail. It’s not Javon’s legal troubles that we dislike as viewers, it’s his bad attitude and choices. He has a baby child and a beautiful girlfriend and doesn’t spend time with them, he’d rather be outside with his bad influence friends smoking weed.
So Stanley trains Javon into a job he doesn’t want, but has to have because it’s better than jail. Javon’s constant bashing of how much the job sucks is neither funny, entertaining or enjoyable while Stanley’s loyal employee foundation crumbling is supposed to pull viewers through this miserable 90 minute slog of a film.
Yes, we hated this film. I don’t mean disliked it a little. Hated it. There are so many positive stories that can be told in these already dark times that we don’t need another not so cleverly disguised movie about a racist and oppressed reforming criminal dressed up as a fast food worker and his protégé in their last week together.
The movie’s title is bogus, too. It’s about a week’s worth of “last” shifts. What happens on the very last shift is what we’re leading up to, so credit an extremely tiny amount of suspense, but by then most viewers will not care. They will have given up on this aborted comedy. I mean, what is funny about any of this story? It’s sad, depressing and frankly will just make both races angry. Yeah, that’s what we need in these times, a comedy to incite further controversy that nobody needs for entertainment.
Earlier in the day I listened to an interview with the former Seattle Police Chief who quit abruptly. If you haven’t seen the craziness going on in downtown Seattle on the news, it involves a 10-block downtown section of the city taken over by an angry group of people. The police response to this was to do almost nothing. It’s literally an example of a gang of lawless people taking it to the streets. One can only feel sorry for any business or property owner inside this renegade ring. Our idiotic City Council wants to reduce the police budget by laying off 100 police officers, part of the moronic “defund the police” movement. That sure will help, right? Wrong.
So, after a morning listening to the former police chief making almost $300,000 a year and now retiring to a pension that will pay her six figures after working some 30 years on the force, reciting how she quit because she couldn’t do the job on the ham-string budget she was given. After this, my wife and I go out to be entertained watching a movie that is billed incorrectly as a comedy — because there isn’t anything remotely funny about it — we pay to watch a film that is the textbook example of unwatchable. The popcorn was old and terrible, the soda tasted like the syrup lines hadn’t been cleaned in the last week. Employees looked like zombies behind the counters waiting for somebody to come through to serve. Argh, what a horrible cinematic experience.
Other moviegoers were smart. Friday night at 8pm, where to be? Not at the movie theater for trash films like this. It was a ghost town, barely a few other people in the theater. Maybe a scattered few were rewatching Tenet for the second or third time, trying to understand that glorious spectacle.
An awful night at the movies. If this is what it’s going to be like the next two months until No Time To Die James Bond tries to save the cinematic day, just shut it all down — again.
Bottom line: avoid this fast food greasy dumpster fire abomination, unless you want to see a poorly told story of black = bad, white = worse than bad, both together = miserably bad. Hopelessly depressing, devoid of almost any redeeming, watchable character, save for the barely attempting to reform criminal young adult who isn’t even remotely likeable except maybe, perhaps, debatable five minutes of the movie.
The gang is on a fishing trip, but not having much luck. Scooby is fishing in a pail in the back of the mystery machine. Fred takes a detour through a creepy swamp and they think they might be lost. They meet a zombie on the side of the road. They drive away to some nearby dwellings. A fisherman tells them that the zombie was created by a witch using voodoo magic.
The witch showed up about six months ago and the two fisherman were scared away from the swamp by the witch. Others in the town are scared as well, leaving the gang a mystery to solve.
Scooby, with his neverending appetite mistakenly eats some jumping beans. Shortly thereafter, Scoob and Shaggy go searching out clues at the second fisherman, Zeb’s place.
A furry swamp creature and Scooby have a cute encounter. The swamp thing doesn’t find Scoob’s licking his face very inviting.
They find a voodoo doll of Zeb.
Shaggy and Scoob share their finding with the rest of the gang, which head into the swamp. They find more voodoo dolls of all of them. The witch is trying to scare them from figuring out what she’s up to in the swamp.
Will the gang ignore the alleged voodoo curse and figure out what the witch is up to in the swamp? What’s the story behind the zombie? These questions and more are answered by the end of this busy episode.
Another episode where the creators think we needed two different monsters. Either the witch or the zombie would have been scary enough for a 20 minute episode, but instead we get both. And why would a witch create a zombie to do her bidding? There is an explanation, although thin. They could have parlayed these two monsters into two separate episodes.
The zombie is not drawn very scary looking. Probably intentional, but he doesn’t invoke the scares of other baddies in the series.
The actual mystery behind what’s going on in the swamp is pretty good. This show set the standard for how much can be packed in a 20 odd minute episode: the mystery gang, a mystery to solve, Scooby and Shaggy’s zany antics and spooky bad guys trying to scare the gang away. It’s easy to see why this show was warmly received by audiences upon release. Great writing, voice acting and stories. Another easy to recommend episode.
in a recent study from tech company Flixed, when participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with each service’s interface, Apple TV+ didn’t just rank badly, it was dead last behind Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and even cable TV.
Am not familiar with Flixed (https://flixed.io/). It looks like a service that helps match up cord cutters with service. An affiliate code gateway, if you will, with some helpful looking articles and a fairly clean website interface.
The omission of Quibi from the ranking for a tech company is curious. Why not include Quibi?
We’ve tried all the main streaming services and are currently subscribed to the main ones (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock), and a few of the secondary and/or niche streamers (CBS All Access, Shudder). Quibi and AppleTV+ we do not have subscriptions to at the moment, but at last check, we were (very) underwhelmed.
Greyhound starring Tom Hanks premiered on AppleTV+ in 2020. That is one of their high points. They had some TV shows (The Morning Show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon) that generated some buzz and there have been a few other movies they’ve cherry picked. My main criticism for their service is not enough content. Sure, they “only” charge $4.99/month, but they need more to justify charging even that.
Quibi has more content, but it’s the way they released it, in small 10 minute or less chunks and the fact that they wanted to force us to watch it on our cell phones that raises the most concern. They’ve repeatedly said they were going to enable cast to TV, but to date they still aren’t on Roku or Amazon Fire, only Chromecast. Yes, they share that in common with HBO Max, but the difference is WarnerMedia has wanted to work a deal since day one where Quibi launched with no interest in enabling cast to TV as an option. In fact, they specifically blocked this functionality.
We don’t need a study from Flixed or anybody else to declare Quibi the bottom of the streaming barrel, followed quite a bit higher by AppleTV+.
Parents protecting their children is an innate trait, but how far can this be taken? How far would you go to protect the actions of your child? A parental psychological thriller, if you will.
A remake of a 2015 German film titled We Monsters, the film stars Joey King (The Kissing Booth 2, The Act) as a teen girl who confesses to killing her best friend. Her parents, played by Mireille Enos (The Killing) and Peter Sarsgaard (An Education), decide to help cover up the crime, setting off a chain of spiralling events.
Some exciting horror-related news dropped 9/24 concerning the anthology Creepshow series at Shudder. The announcement came originally via a Shudder tweet which was promptly picked up by various news sources, including Bloody-disgusting further below.
While we knew that Creepshow Season 2 filming was delayed due to the pandemic (it has since started filming in Atlanta), we didn’t know they were secretly working on a fully animated Creepshow TV special that will contain two stories from the Stephen King family in time for Halloween 2020!
Shudder details. “Though Greg Nicotero and his team are hard at work shooting season 2 (coming in 2021), they’ve crafted a fully animated Creepshow special for us just in time for Halloween, featuring two tales to die for: “Survivor Type,” based on the short story by Stephen King and adapted by Nicotero, stars Kiefer Sutherland (24, Designated Survivor) as a man determined to stay alive alone on a deserted island no matter what the cost. “Twittering from the Circus of the Dead,” based on the short story by Joe Hill and adapted by Melanie Dale, stars Joey King (The Kissing Booth, The Act) as a teen whose family road trip includes a visit to the gravest show on earth. (Also available on Shudder Canada, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ).”
Am not familiar with Joe Hill’s story, but am very familiar with “Survivor Type” from King’s collection, Skeleton Crew (an awesome name for a horror short story collection, btw).
Creeepshow showrunner Greg Nicotero has been trying to figure out how to adapt King’s “Survivor Type” on a budget for quite some time. This was the very first story King and Nicotero discussed being adapted. As it turns out King’s story “Gray Matter” was used instead for season one.
Nicotero says he realized very quickly that they couldn’t shoot the script in a way that would do it justice. “We couldn’t go to the beach to shoot, because we didn’t have the cash to do it,” he reveals. “So after a little bit of struggling back and forth, I went to my production team and just said, ‘Guys, we’re not going to be able to make this script right. I don’t want to shoot it on a lake and then digitally erase all of the trees, or shoot it in a parking lot with a blue screen behind it.’”
Apparently the animated route was the way to get this project completed. No idea what the quality of the animation will be like (the first season animation segments received mixed reviews), but I remember reading the original graphic novel of the first movie. Great stuff. You can still find that out there on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions (recommended!).
Speaking of books, there is a new young adult paperback just released this month called Creepshow: The Taker. It’s not aimed at adults, so keep that in mind. Not sure if it a graphic novel either, so adult buyers beware. You can search Amazon and other booksellers to find if interested.
Back to the animated special we’re spotlighting in this post.
Also announced, Kiefer Sutherland, who’s last role in anything by Stephen King was playing Ace in Stand By Me, is the voice actor for the shipwrecked doctor in “Survivor Type.” Jack Bauer meets Stephen King, oh yeah. Joey King (no relation to Stephen King), the actress will be the voice actor for Joe Hill’s story.
If this special episode goes over well, maybe we’ll get a full season order of a Creepshow animated series from Shudder? I’d be interested in a full series. They can make animated episodes on a lower budget than live action, so why not? I remember reading that each episode of Star Trek The Animated Series (1973) were created on a budget of $75,000 per episode — and that included the voice actor fees. They can’t do it that inexpensively in 2020, but it shows the budgetary requirements, not to mention pandemic restrictions, favor animated productions.
Creepshow: The Animated TV Special will stream exclusively on Shudder on October 26, 2020.
Raging Bull’s Jake LaMotta would make a cool grandpa. Unless, perhaps he took over your room.
These adult vs. kids family movies come along here and there, seems like at least one notable one every year. In 2020, we’re getting Robert De Niro facing off against the child who took his room. An unfriendly roommate dispute, we might say.
Based on the classic children’s novel by author Robert Kimmel Smith, The War with Grandpa looks pretty damned silly, but that’s what makes the movie actually look like it could be a fun time out with the kids. Strangely enough, Robert De Niro looks like he’s having fun in The War with Grandpa, and quite frankly, so do his co-stars. Given the source material, there’s a chance that De Niro and Oakes Fegley’s cinematic war for the ages could be something that kids and adults alike will enjoy.
The trailer looks fun enough. October at the theaters is looking pretty lean with this and Honest Thief, the Liam Neeson vehicle leading at least the number of advance previews shown at the start of other movies.
The War with Grandpa opens wide in theaters on October 9, 2020.