That’s right, it’s time for a brand new episode of The Flickcast. It’s another new years gift just for you!
On this week’s episode Chris and Joe discuss everything Sherlock. They also discuss TV shows such as Shut Eye, Ash vs. Evil Dead, The Young Pope and movies such as Spectral and Parallels. They also talk about Netflix’s business model, who is the best James Bond and a whole lot more. Plus, the usual even more.
Beer selections this week include Shiner Bock for Chris and Brrrr Hoppy Red for Joe. Picks this week include Chris’ pick of the film Hidden Figures and Joe’s pick of the new Hulu show Shut Eye.
As always, if you have comments, questions, critiques, offers of sponsorship, or whatever, feel free to hit us up in the comments, on Twitter, at Facebook, Google+ or shoot us an email.
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For most people, the iPad has become their de facto device to watch movies and television programs while on the go. To help facilitate this, services like Netflix and Hulu offer iOS apps to run on the device.
Today, in an effort to enhance that experience further, Hulu updated its app for the iPad. Here’s what the update gives you:
• Easier navigation. Simply tap or swipe as you navigate to find shows and discover great new content.
• Discover Panel. Tap the image of a new show, movie or episode, and we’ll give you a summary and more info instantly.
• Minimized Player. Want to multitask? Keep watching your desired video in a minimized player while you browse.
• New Series Pages. Includes both the most entertaining clip and the most relevant episode at your fingertips.
• Improved Search. Faster, more intuitive search bar.
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Well, well, how things are changing. Not to be left behind as the paradigm shifts from traditional cable and satellite networks towards what paid subscription services like Apple, Hulu and Netflix are doing, YouTube today announced the first channels that it will offer via monthly subscriptions.
Following a 14-day free trial period, channels such as Sesame Street, Baby First Plus, Cars.tv, HD Net, Coreman’s Drive-In and UFC Select will be available for monthly fees raging from $2.99/Month to as little as $.99/Month. Payment will be accepted via credit card or Google Wallet.
According to the announcement, some of the programs will feature ads, but a majority won’t, with most of the content being available as on-demand. Google will reportedly collect about 45% of the subscription ad revenue.
While this list of channels and programming is not that extensive yet, Google expects other channels and networks to launch subscription services on YouTube soon and will roll them out over the coming months. For the full list of content available now, go here.
With the current amount and diversity of content, it will be very interesting to see if people actually decide to subscribe to some of these channels or wait until there’s more to choose from. Will this development end up being the digital straw that breaks the virtual camels back and starts the mass exodus from more traditional cable and satellite providers? It just might be.
For those of you old enough to know, the Criterion Collection made its name putting together pristine collections of movies and supplemental material back when the Laser Disc was the standard. These collections featured state-of-the-art audio and picture quality as well as behind-the-scenes info, docs, photos and much more.
Over the years the Criterion Collection moved from the Laser Disc to DVD and then Blu-ray. Fortunately, they don’t confine their outstanding catalog of titles to only physical media. In fact, many of their movies can be found online at places like Hulu.
Which, of course, brings us to the point. Because the folks at the Criterion Collection are so cool, they’re offering their entire catalog of films that stream on Hulu for free this weekend. That’s right, free. . . as in free beer.
Actually, this free movie fest started on February 14th and goes until February 18th. So, that’s more than a weekend! Now you have no excuse to go to Hulu and enjoy some great films.
Until today, if you used Apple’s Apple TV device, you were pretty much limited to programming via iTunes or Netflix. One other service that was conspicuously absent was Hulu Plus.
No longer. AS of today, according to a mention over at Hulu’s blog, the Hulu Plus service is now available to users using the new Apple TV. It also features detailed instructions on how to enable the service on the device including a way to set up the charge for the service using your iTunes account.
Hulu Plus streams a variety of TV shows including current and old series from ABC, NBC, FOX, The CW and Univision. It’s not as great for movies but the selection has been improving over the last few months. Perhaps it’s time to give it a try again?
Kevin Smith is an excellent entertainer. His movies have a limited audience, but his podcasts and speaking engagements have proven Smith can engage a crowd like few others can. Now that his directing career seems to be coming to a self-imposed end, it is nice to see him pursuing other outlets for his talents.
One of those outlets is a new show called Spoilers on Hulu, according to Wired:
The show, which will premiere June 4 on Hulu, will showcase Smith and 50 die-hard movie fans right after they’ve seen a big blockbuster movie on opening night, creating a monster gab-fest full of opinions, fights and — because it’s a Smith endeavor — plenty of gags and a bit of Jason Mewes (the Jay to Smith’s Silent Bob).
The concept of the show is rock solid. A psuedo-review show that is after a more general public opinion instead of the academic opinions you often find on televised review shows. The list of movies they already plan on covering is impressive, hopefully the show’s format works as well in practice as it does on paper.
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In the next couple of weeks a very interesting new movie will be hitting theaters nationwide. What makes Haywire so intriguing is that it has a fantastic pedigree, yet it is being released in the January doldrums. Normally this would speak to the poor quality of the movie, but early word has been strong and it is hard to bet against Steven Soderbergh.
The movie is released in a couple weeks, but to help drum up more excitment the first five minutes of the movie have been released on Hulu. For those of you who are unaware of what the film is about, here is the synopsis:
Mallory Kane is a highly trained operative who works for a government security contractor in the dirtiest, most dangerous corners of the world. After successfully freeing a Chinese journalist held hostage, she is double crossed and left for dead by someone close to her in her own agency. Suddenly the target of skilled assassins who know her every move, Mallory must find the truth in order to stay alive.
Using her black-ops military training, she devises an ingenious—and dangerous—trap. But when things go haywire, Mallory realizes she’ll be killed in the blink of an eye unless she finds a way to turn the tables on her ruthless adversary.
The first five minutes showcases some of the excellent fighting this film promises to deliver. If the hundred or so minutes that follow this scene are any where near as good, we can be looking at an early year gem.
You can also check out the video and the full trailer for the film after the jump.
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I don’t know about you but it seemed like I used to have several Barnes & Noble stores in my neighborhood and now I need to drive quite far to find one. Not that that really means anything. Amazon doesn’t have any stores at all and they’re doing pretty well.
The above only goes to illustrate that you don’t necessarily need a solid business model to launch a tablet these days. Heck, look at Motorola and RIM, they did it. So, if follows that Barnes & Noble, a company that already has eReaders and such like Amazon does, would try their hand at a full tablet as well.
In fact, they just announced one today. And, judging from the specs and the early word on the street, they seem to have done a pretty good job. The company took the wraps off of said Nook Tablet during a press event in New York City this morning. Here’s the major specs:
• Screen: 1024 x 600 “laminated, no-air” 7-inch IPS LCD
• Weight: 14.1 ounces
• Processor: 1GHz dual-core TI Omap 4
• Platform: Customized version of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
• Internal memory: 16GB
• microSD card expansion slot: up to 32GB cards
• Integrated microphone
• Battery life: 11 hours reading, 8-9 hours video (with wireless off)
• Price: $249
• Availability: Pre-order now, ships November 17
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The internet business is a pretty tricky thing to keep one’s thumb on. Especially when you are in charge of hundreds of thousands consumers ready for their on-demand entertainment. That’s why it was especially puzzling when Netflix CEO Reed Hastings decided to belly up to the DVD/VOD war and claim Qwikster would be his champion.
That’s when things got tricky, as Netflix subscribers were fleeing the scene, hoping this meant they wouldn’t have to spend double the amount they were spending to get the same DVD and streaming service. Now that Qwikster is dead and gone, it seems that the original company is still suffering from its mistake. From Variety:
While investors were disappointed with the reported decline of 810,000 streaming subscribers in the second quarter, some equally depressing projections for the final months of 2011 also contributed to a 27% drop in after-hours trading, sending the stock to $85. It had opened the day at $119.37.
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At first, Hulu seemed like a great idea and many trumpeted it as a new way to watch TV programming. Now, Hulu is up for auction and looks to be in real trouble.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, bidders don’t seem to be coming out of the woodwork to buy the online network and the deadline for bidders has been extended to this Friday. At the moment, companies like Yahoo, Google and Amazon are among those looking closely at the online streaming video service owned by News Corp, Disney, Comcast and Providence Equity Partners.
However, that doesn’t mean any of those companies have actually decided to move forward with a bid. They haven’t. Still, with bids expected to be as high as $1.5 billion-$2 billion, things may not be over for Hulu just yet.
Although, even if one of the companied does bid and Hulu is sold, that doesn’t mean it wil continue in its present form. Given the current state of its business, chances are it probably won’t. In fact, I would be surprised to see Hulu in existence in another three years.