Lockdown streaming (Disney+)

Rather than doing individual reviews, I thought I’d give you small reviews of films I’ve watched since the turn of the year, and give my views on the streaming platforms. With Disney+, I can actually link to some of my reviews, so feel free to click through below.

Disney+

With a few certain mega franchises owned by one company, it’s easy enough to point you to the new kid on the block for all your Disney, Marvel and Star Wars needs, if you’re that way inclined. Disney+ was conveniently launched on 24 March, aka the first day of the UK lockdown(!) and is about £6 a month.disneyplusplus-100

This makes it cheaper than the other two big services, but then Amazon Prime gives you free delivery and many other services, and many people will have Netflix already for its original content. It’s safe to say this is less about all three against one another and more about what you want from the service you pay for.

There is also an obvious difference in the depth on here – with Marvel shows planned that align with the films (but delayed due to everyone’s favourite viral pandemic), it will have much more of a draw for some down the line. But you very quickly realise there’s quite a lot of guff that – unless you were a Disney Channel nut – most people will look at and silently flick past with a feeling of “what the hell is that” or “there’s a show about THAT?!”.

It’s very user friendly and familiar to any Netflix or Amazon user, without the former’s infuriating autoplay, and much clearer and easier on the eye than the latter’s overwhelming/busy “shelves”.

Marvel

With the notable exceptions of the two recent Spider-Man films (made by Sony and not available on any streaming service for money reasons) and Incredible Hulk (*tumbleweed*), all Marvel Cinematic Universe films can be found on Disney+. The very best of these (since mid 2014) were reviewed by yours truly at the links below – my advice for any newcomers is that you now have the time to watch them chronologically, so please do so – because this mammoth series is more rewarding that way:

Star Wars

On the Star Wars front, suffice to say all the films (good and bad) are available (as of 4 May anyway) so you can enjoy/grimace/regret your life choices/plot to kill George Lucas to your heart’s content. Here are reviews of those I enjoyed post 2014:

A little diversion on TV

It’s TV where Star Wars is winning. Having invested megabucks in live action series The Mandalorian, Disney also put all the animated Clone Wars and Rebels series on the platform – both of which, while appearing childish, actually feature far more sophistication, interesting character development and adult plots than the vast majority of the films.

I don’t mention this lightly – I watched all of Clone Wars and Rebels during lockdown. The former is absolute crack to watch and binge, and as it goes on becomes better and better. In fact, its portrayal of Anakin Skywalker is so good that I would take a cut and pasted prequel trilogy using this animation and the voice actor literally stuck over Hayden Christensen than having to witness Hayden Christensen’s “performances” again. Rebels is more contained (as is the more child friendly Resistance), but the former picks up big time towards the end and is now tying into…

The Mandalorian, which gives you a 30 to 50 minute hit of Star Wars outlaw goodness across two series (so far) of eight episodes, and is highly recommended. It’s like a Western in space, as Star Wars looked like it was starting out to be back in the day – and the main character could not be any more The Man With No Name from the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns unless he put on a sombrero and wedged a cigarillo in his helmet.

Yes, there’s the cute factor of the lovable “Baby Yoda” (another win for practical special effects), but everything from the music through to the rogue’s gallery of supporting characters means this has been a joy to watch (and on a weekly basis too, with Disney giving us UK peasants an episode a week, concluding the week I wrote this).

If you love Star Wars it’s best to start with Clone Wars before moving onto Rebels and then The Mandalorian in a chronological sense – but it’s not like the latter will ruin anything for you on the former two series, so start that whenever.

Disney (as you know it)

I don’t tend to watch much else made by Disney, but you might be a superfan (and I know quite a few). Suffice to say their very varied back catalogue (from the outstanding Pixars and classics to the mediocre, random animations and Disney Channel crap) could keep you occupied for months!

One notably entertaining/distracting show is The World According to Jeff Goldblum, which features everyone’s favourite eccentric actor experiencing everyday things, and teaching us about them in his own very special way. There are also National Geographic programmes that I’ve added to my lists, with some interesting space and nature documentaries (including Leonardo DiCaprio’s Before the Flood on global warming).

Here are some other posts on the other platforms:

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