I’m on a roll (with mayonaise and cheese!), so let’s keep this going:
Netflix Unveils $99 Video-on-Demand Player
Netflix, no doubt in a bid to save themselves when DVDs go the way of the Dodo, has unveiled a new subscription video-on-demand set-top device to play content from Netflix’s online streaming video service. For only $99 for the device and then $9 a month, you too can enjoy unlimited downloads from the Netflix catalog. The rub? Only 10,000 titles are available (a tenth of Netflix’s catalog).
I know, some rub, right? Like any of us are going to need more than 10,000 choices on any given night (well, if they’re all “Norbit” sequels then that would be different). I think this is a huge opportunity for the more independent films available on Netflix, and the reasoning is this:
The studios are going to be falling all over themselves deciding which service to go with, since Netflix is but on VOD solution currently available or in development. Vudu, Apple, Microsoft, and Tivo all have systems available or in progress, but most of them don’t have quite the breadth of cinema available that Netflix has, and likely won’t be battling for exclusive rights to that indie film that we all adore, but no one else seems to know exists. While the more mainstream content is split, the door is open for more of the indie stuff to step in, especially considering how welcoming Netflix is to the more obscure titles around. Essentially, passionate film fans might find themselves loving and embracing Netflix even more than they already did. And that’s not a bad thing…
“Death Note” in Theaters Today and Tomorrow… and That’s It!
I am not a big fan of manga or anime, all told. I’ve read some, I’ve seen some and I’ve even liked a little of what I’ve experienced, but I don’t collect or track anything down. I’m a casual observer. That said, one manga-turned-anime that I do find interesting is “Death Note.”
“Death Note” tells the story of a 17-year old named Light who finds a death god’s notebook. The notebook has the power to kill anyone, anytime and in any fashion if someone writes said details in the notebook. Light decides that the notebook should be used to rid the world of evil, and starts a crusade of killing off suspected criminals using the book. And it’s working… until he starts getting hunted by the police and things get even more morally ambiguous as now good people have become his enemies, and what should he do about it?
“Death Note” is one of those intellectual properties that causes controversy, as fans of the manga/anime have had a habit of creating their own death notebooks. And in a post-Columbine age, having children bringing their own death notebooks to school listing the names of schoolmates they dislike is not something to be ignored (though, in all honesty, perhaps if they get their aggressions out in more creative ways such as this, they maybe don’t act on said impulses; kids have been hating and fighting other kids for ages, this whole “shoot up the schools” thing seems to be a byproduct of a lack of imagination (and hope)).
The anime of “Death Note” can be seen late-nights on the Cartoon Network (or streaming for free on the Adult Swim website), and it’s an interesting watch; fascinating how power corrupts, how a hero becomes a villain. Now, for only two days, there’s a live-action film hitting theaters in America (it’s been out for two years in Japan; one of three films). Check out Fathom Events and hunt down a theater by you, if you’re a fan of the show or are curious about how a live-action version could translate (no pun intended).