Woman Streaming Show

Quibi’s Quick Decline Shows How Competitive The Streaming World Is

Quibi announced recently that they would be calling it quits, less than one year after launching into the streaming service industry that is now saturated by big business owners and their endless content.

The app’s demise was officially announced this past Wednesday, six months after its launch, in what’s being referred to as the most predictable business failings of 2020. The app was founded by Disney and DreamWorks alumnus Jeffrey Katzenberg and former Hewlett Packard and eBay CEO Meg Whitman.

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The app initially advertised itself as a streaming service that delivers face-paced, short-length television episodes and movies that the average individual can watch throughout their day whenever they have free time. The idea behind Quibi was that you can watch an episode of a TV show while waiting for the train, or on your lunch break, without having to worry about stopping the episode half-way through when you have to return to your daily responsibilities.

Hence its name, Quibi, which means “quick bites” of entertainment. On average the TV shows and documentaries were 7-9 minutes in length. Initially, the app had a lot of Hollywood agents and investors ready and willing to dip their toe into this new form of streaming. However, when the Covid-19 pandemic arose in March, the idea of “on the go entertainment,” became a foreign idea for most who were now quarantining in their homes indefinitely.

In March, when Quibi was asked about the dilemma of running an app that advertises itself as entertainment on the move in the middle of a pandemic that forces everyone to stay home, the company dismissed the concerns. However, the pandemic wasn’t the only issue that arose with the app. After the first two months users were left uninterested in the limited and quick content that it offered, and many began deactivating their accounts.

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Quibi also arrived on the market months after the initial wave of major companies in the world announcing their participation in the streaming service industry. Platforms such as Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and of course the more established Netflix and Hulu have existed for quite some time now, so a completely new streaming service offering a new type of entertainment entering into the market right at the beginning of a global health crisis, set Quibi up for some massive failures.

In a recent open letter published by both Katzenberg and Whitman, the two acknowledged that they personally may never understand why the platform failed as quickly and greatly as it did.

“The media migration from the traditional ad-supported template to a direct-to-consumer subscription model continues to basically fly blind, leaving companies largely guessing about where the saturation point resides.”

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently was interviewed about the future of the streaming industry and the multitude of new players trying to get involved. He claimed that additional service casualties will definitely be expected as time progresses, but overall “we’ll see what happens.” Quibi unfortunately set the standard of these casualties, which will likely lead many businesses to rework their plans for new services.

Dancing Show

Strictly Come Dancing in A Socially Distanced World

Strictly Come Dancing has been a firm favorite on our television screens across the world for many years. Based upon the UK version of Strictly Come Dancing, the programme is loved far and wide having been licensed by the BBC in over 60 territories, where it is also known under other similar names such as Dancing With The Stars. However with the Covid-19 anxiety that is impacting every industry right now, fans were propelled into anguish that the show may not be returning to our screens.

The show is based around a number of celebrities each being paired with a pro dancer to learn both latin and ballroom routines and compete for the Glitterball trophy but in the midst of living a socially distanced regime, it was speculated to be on hold this year. However, fans were delighted to see that the UK Strictly Come Dancing series kicked off on the 19th October.

It seems the show is still off to a great start. Hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, viewer ratings of this season’s premiere were reported to average at 8.6 million viewers, noted as an increase to the previous year’s ratings of 7.8 million.

The first full live show revealed which pro dancers were being paired with which celebrity partner, including comedian Bill Bailey, YouTuber HRVY and reality tv show Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing. The hosts remained standing at least a 2m distance at all times and the judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse also sat at podiums of the same distance.

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Each dancing pair has formed a bubble to be able to participate and there was a smaller, socially distanced audience.

Although audiences are happy the firm family Saturday night favourite is back on our screens, UK viewers will be sad to know they will be missing out on the epic halloween week this year that normally showcases spectacular costumes and spooky routines. This is often a highlight of the series for many, as well as the trip to the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool, a monumental occasion for audiences and dancers alike. Also, well-loved judge Bruno Tonioli has not been able to be a part of this season so far, due to his commitments to the American show and the self isolation regulations that currently affect travel.

The American season already sprung into action. Dancing With The Stars returned to screens on the 12th Sep 2020 on ABC. The pandemic has not halted the 29th season, hosted by Tyra Banks, that introduced 16 new stars to this year’s competition including big names such as Carole Baskin, who for many has been a highlight of 2020 after soaring to fame in hit Netflix series Tiger King. Unfortunately Carole, the owner of Big Cat Rescue was voted out in week two. The series also features stars such as AJ McLean from boy band Backstreet Boys, Rapper Nelly and Chrishell Stause, actress and star of the Netflix hit series Selling Sunset.

However Australian fans who would have been eagerly awaiting the return of the show, which typically comes to their screens in Feb, were disappointed to learn that the show has now been discontinued.

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Channel 10, the home of the Australian Dancing with the Stars has announced that the show has been cancelled and will not return to screens in 2021. Hosted by Grant Denyer and Amanda Keller, the show has confirmed it will not be returning but this is not due to difficulties caused by the pandemic, but because of the disappointing ratings of last season.

A spokesperson commented; “We have decided to hang up our dancing shoes, lycra pants and sequined jackets for the time being” and “We would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to all those involved in the show, in particular Amanda Keller and Grant Denyer, who were fabulous hosts, as well as all the judges, dancers, the stars and of course the crew.”

Dancing with the Stars first came to Aussie screens in 2004 and through to 2015 it was broadcast by Channel Seven. In 2019 the show was picked up by Channel 10 and introduced two new hosts Grant Denyer and Amanda Keller.

The revival show premiered on 18th February 2019, and a second series premiered on 9th February 2020. Yet Channel 10 have decided not to continue with a third series. As the pandemic began to take hold across the world at the beginning of 2020, the end of the filming of the 2020 series was subsequently recorded without an audience. This is becoming a common occurrence for many shows at present. The final drew in 635,000 viewers, still an impressive figure but unfortunately not enough to justify the budget of the show.

The entertainment industry is trying its best to survive and recuperate from the effects of Covid-19. Reality shows such as Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing With The Stars are remaining on our screens, but many without the traditional elements, such as a live studio audience, that provides a lot of atmosphere, and themed weeks that provide iconic moments. Will these changes try to ensure survival impact on the audience ratings? Could we see other dancing shows suffering a similar fate in the future? Whatever happens, Strictly Come Dancing looks set to bring some glitz and glamour back to our Saturday nights.

Earth

David Attenborough’s: ‘A Life On Our Planet’ Documentary

Sir David Attenborough is a 94-year-old naturist, natural historian, broadcaster and climate activist. His highly decorated award-winning work has consisted of documentaries exploring the natural world since the 1950’s. As the world has changed and nature has begun to reflect the damage done by climate change so has his message, moving to one of urgency, shining the light on how humanity is harming the earth and its inhabitants. Recently, Attenborough has released his latest documentary, ‘A Life on our Planet’ which stands as his personal ‘witness statement’ on the changing natural world that he has lived through. The documentary not only points to the destruction of wildlife and the natural landscape but starkly underlines that this level of devastation will lead to our own extinction. Humanity is making earth inhabitable for even humankind.

The documentary was released on the streaming service giant Netflix, and is accompanied by Attenborough’s new book ‘A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future.’ It parallels both his career with growing effects of climate change on the environment, placing the progression David Attenborough’s incredible life as a natural historian and broadcaster with the witnessed changes to the worlds eco-systems, landscape and wildlife populations. The effect of which is a comprehendible and humanized depiction of climate change that can so often seem abstract and difficult to effectively understand.

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This narrative is poignantly marked with statistics that show the level of carbon in the atmosphere in parts per million, world population and the remaining level of wilderness. These start in 1937, the year of Attenborough’s birth, at 280 parts per million, 2.3 billion people, and 66% remaining wilderness. Towards the end of the documentary these figures have moved to the present year, 2020, where a population of 7.8 billion has increased the Carbon to 415 parts per million and reduced the wilderness percentage to 35%.

His witness statement projects past 2020 and into the future, with scientific evidence pointing to the more dramatic and snowballing effects of global warming in the remainder of the 21st century, as the rainforests burn, the ice-caps melt and no longer reflect the sun’s rays, methane releases into the atmosphere, wildlife species begin to die and slowly so do humans. The deteriorating climate solidifies the extinction of humankind into place, much like the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Yet, there is a message of hope, which is successfully instilled. After starkly underlining the dystopian future, Attenborough provides an alternative. He points to the changes both environmental and economic that have been proven to help climate change. From smarter farming, to fishing restrictions, to improving the quality of human life globally, to meat consumption reduction and so much more. He demonstrates to the audience how humanity can protect, cultivate and heal this biodiverse planet, and how these solutions are relatively easy. Small changes such as designated marine reserves would allow marine life to replenish, this would have a knock-on effect to all of the other animals depending on the food source, including humans. Which has been demonstrated on the Pacific island nation of Palau, where fishing restrictions not only meant that marine life was protected but eventually lead to a surplus in fish spilling over into fishing zones.

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He looks to utilizing the natural world to help with this, renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro and geothermal energy can be endlessly tapped from mother nature. Reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere can also have a snowball effect – for example, trees and other greenery naturally recycle CO2 in the atmosphere, turning it into oxygen. As we devote more landmass to tree planting and restore rainforests and other wildlife habitats, we will reduce carbon levels naturally. Further affecting this, as approximately 50% of land is devoted to farming, the combination of smarter farming (as demonstrated in the Netherlands) and more people opting for a plant-based diet, could also mean that land could be given back to trees and wild animal habitats.

David Attenborough’s words summarizing his witness statement are both voiced in the documentary and echoed on his book’s blub:

‘’I am 94. I’ve had an extraordinary life. It’s only now that I appreciate how extraordinary.

As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world – but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day – the loss of our planet’s wild places, its biodiversity.

I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. It is the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake – and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right.

We have one final chance to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited.’

All we need is the will to do so.’

Halloween Movie

Classic Halloween Movies To Get You In The Spooky Spirit 

Halloween in 2020 definitely looks a little different than what the world is used to, however, just because there’s a global pandemic happening outside of our doors that doesn’t mean we still can’t enjoy all the fun festivities the holiday has to offer. And what better way to get you and your quarantine crew in the mood for spooky season than some classic Halloween entertainment? 

Scream: This classic teen-slasher film is a trailblazer for modern murder-mysetery scary movies. This cult classic follows Cindy Prescott, a year after her mothers murder, as she fights off an evil ghost-faced killer who’s hunting down her and all of her friends. 

Get Out: This newer film has already been highly regarded as a horror classic. Written and directed by Jordan Peele, this film follows a Black photographer who goes home with his white girlfriend to meet her family for the first time. Surrounded by comments of casual racism, the relationship and dynamics of the characters only gets more and more ominous as it progresses. 

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Beetlejuice: This Tim Burton horror/comedy classic follows a ghost couple who are working to haunt their prior home with the help of a devilish poltergeist spirit known as Beetlejuice. The 1988 film has had multiple modern adaptations, including a Broadway show, but nothing compares to the original classic. 

Halloween: It truly isn’t Halloween until you’ve watched the classic 1978 film of the same name. This movie was a part of that classic set of horror movies that were filmed in the 70s and 80s that set the standard for the horror movie genre as we know it today. While there have been multiple sequels, reboots, and spin-offs, the original film starring Jamie Lee Curtis has gone doesn in history as one of the best horror films of all time. 

Edward Scissorhands: This movie also comes from the unique and spooky mind of Tim Burton and stars Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. This unlikely love story follows a man with scissor blades for hands who falls for your average girl next door suburban teenager. 

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Ghostbusters: If you’re looking for a more family-friendly Halloween movie to watch look no further than the 1984 classic Ghostbusters. Or spice it up with a marathon and watch the first, second and third film and top it off with the hilarious 2016 remake starring Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. 

Carrie: This Stephen King novel adaptation follows an introverted teenage girl with a complicated relationship with her mother, and an unexpected secret gift. After being bullied relentlessly all year Carrie finally decides to stand up to herself at the school prom and let’s just say it gets quite … messy. 

The Exorcist: You aren’t a real fan of horror movies unless you’ve seen this 1973 classic. This film set the standard for all demon possession type scary movies as it follows a young girl and her mother who attempts to save her daughter from demonic possession. After countless attempts she finally calls upon the church to perform an exorcism. 

Hocus Pocus: Another family-friendly classic Halloween movie, this film stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as three witches in Salem, Massachusetts who are resurrected on Halloween and spend the night trying to suck the youth out of all the trick or treaters as a means of staying young and beautiful. 

Child’s Play: This movie introduced the infamous Chucky doll horror character to the world in 1988. When Chucky gets possessed by a serial killer, he wreaks havoc on his new owners and changes the definition of “play time.”

Gold Award Trophy

Highlights From The Highly Anticipated 2020 Billboards Awards

The biggest stars of the music industry were out in force yet again this week for another pinnacle event in the annual calendar, the Billboard Awards 2020, but as with so many other events this year, the usual festivities took a slightly different form. With the live performance opportunities currently halted for many artists in the entertainment industry, these events are keeping the love for performance and music alive and sending a message of hope from the iconic stars.

The event took place on Wednesday 14th October in Los Angeles at the Dolby Auditorium, having already been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic from its original scheduled date of 29th April 2020. The host for the evening was former American-Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, age 38, who has hosted the show for the past three years. Looking stunning, over the course of the evening the singer remained glamorous as ever in 7 noted outfit changes creating awe inspiring looks. Kelly opened the show with her rendition of Higher Love, a Whitney Houston classic, with other performances of the evening coming from Alicia Keys, Garth Brooks, Brandy and Doja Cat.

Post Malone was celebrated as the biggest winner of the evening, awarded Top Male Artist and Artist of the Year amongst his 9 awards, of which 8 were delivered in style via a cart pushed by Kelly towards the star whilst joking “I can’t touch you, so I had to wheel it out”. Khalid received the second highest number of awards for the evening, cleaning up all the awards within the R&B category including Top Artist, Top Song and Top Album.

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Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus both took home four awards on behalf of their collaboration Old Town Road (Remix). Kanye West was also a winner of four awards in the Christian and gospel categories accepting Top Gospel Album, Top Christian Album for Jesus is King, Top Gospel Artist and Top Gospel Song, with Lauren Daigle winning Top Christian Artist.

Other noted winners of the evening were Billie Eilesh winning Top Billboard 200 Album for her latest offering When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, Top Female Artist and Top New Artist.

BTS were the winners of The Top Social Artist Award, an acclaimed award as it is voted for by fans and which they are honored to have won for the 4th consecutive year. Performing ‘Dynamite’ on the evening to signify their first number one hit on the Billboard Hot One Hundred and the success of their first song sung in English.

Looking at the Country category, Luke Combs won Top Country Artist for the second year in a row as well as Top Country Album. George Strait accepted the award for Top Country Tour and Justin Bieber took the award for Top Country Song for his collaboration with Dan and Shay, 10,000 Hours.

In the Rock categories Panic! At The Disco won Top Rock Song for a second year running and the band Tool took the award for Best Rock Album.

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Other winners included The Chainsmokers accepting Top Dance/Electronic Artist for the fourth year in a row, Rapper Cardi B won Top Rap Female Artist for the third year in a row, Bad Bunny won Top Latin Artist for the first time, and Pink won Top Touring Artist.

The evening also played host to a number of performances with a message, such as Demi Lovatos ‘Commander in Chief’, highlighting the importance of voting in the upcoming Presidential election next month. Other artists sharing a message were Lizzo who during her acceptance of the Top Song Sales Artist Prize, wore a dress inscribed with the word “VOTE”. Also, as part of her acceptance speech Billie Eilish enforced the message saying “Please vote, please wear a mask, please wash your hands and be safe”.

John Legend has also been praised for his emotional performance of his song ‘Never Break’. After the sad news of the loss of their third baby at the beginning of the month, John dedicated the performance to his wife Chrissy Tiegan. Set to be a tear jerking performance, Kelly announced the song with a message to the family; “Our hearts go out to you both in this very difficult time and I’m thankful that you continue to share your light and your talent with all of us for the very special performance, possibly my favorite of the night”.

The evening also paid tribute to Eddie Van Halen, iconic guitarist and founder of the group Van Halen, who sadly passed away 6th October. The tribute to the guitar legend took a unique format, with the star’s guitar solely taking center stage and projected in the background was footage of his last performance at the Billboard Awards 2015, alongside his son Wolfgang Van Halen. The evening also honored various stars who we have sadly lost in the past year including Little Richard and Kenny Rogers.

The show was closed by En Vogue who celebrated their 30th anniversary, having released their first single in 1990. They held a special performance marking this milestone in a modern take on their classic Free Your Mind. The band consisted of founding members Terry Ellis and Cindy Herron, accompanied by Rhona Bennett who has been with the group since 2003 following the departure of Dawn Robinson and Maxine Jones.

The hit song is known for its anti-prejudice message and also made the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1992, so was the perfect choice to close the highly anticipated show.

Popcorn and Netflix

Netflix Cancels Original Series: Glow

The original Netflix comedy series, GLOW was renewed last summer for a fourth and final season. The show, centers around a troupe of female wrestlers in the 1980s and was inspired by, and loosely based on the narratives of a real-life women’s wrestling show in the late 80s and early 90s. GLOW, an acronym for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling starred Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Moran and Kate Nash. It had been nominated for 15 Emmy awards, winning three during its three seasons. It had already begun shooting the fourth season earlier in the year, wrapping one episode and starting a second before it was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On the 5th of October, Netflix announced that the show would be cancelled with the reasoning that COVID “makes shooting this physically intimate show with its large ensemble cast especially challenging”.

The narrative follows Ruth Wilder, played by Alison Bree, a failing actress struggling in both her professional and private life, who grasps at a last chance of stardom in the relatively unknown world of women’s wresting. Her complex private life follows her there as her ex best friend Debbie, portrayed by Bettie Gilpin, joins too. What follows is a complex story of a band of women breaking into the male-dominated world of wrestling as they shoot for stardom. Season three of the series followed the wrestlers blooming success as they relocated from southern California to Las Vegas to perform a live show at a casino. The fourth season was reportedly given the tagline ‘The Final Match’ and hopefully picked up from Season 3’s cliff-hanger ending, where the wrestling show both saw success and a new change in direction.

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A Netflix spokesperson told Deadline: ‘“We’ve made the difficult decision not to do a fourth season of GLOW due to COVID, which makes shooting this physically intimate show with its large ensemble cast especially challenging… we are so grateful to creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, Jenji Kohan and all the writers, cast and crew for sharing this story about the incredible women of GLOW with us and the world.”

In a statement, series creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch said: “COVID has killed actual humans. It’s a national tragedy and should be our focus. COVID also apparently took down our show, Netflix has decided not to finish filming the final season of GLOW. We were handed the creative freedom to make a complicated comedy about women and tell their stories. And wrestle. And now that’s gone. There’s a lot of sh*tty things happening in the world that are much bigger than this right now. But it still sucks that we don’t get to see these 15 women in a frame together again… We’ll miss our cast of weirdo clowns and our heroic crew. It was the best job. Register to vote. And please vote.”

As the TV show navigates the complex lives of female wrestlers, the very concept of the physical requirements of wrestling made the show difficult to produce safely during the coronavirus pandemic. Physical contact, high energy exertion, shouting, heavy breathing, and close proximity all play a part in wrestling but are high risk for a wrestling show. Deadline also underlined that the show was filmed entirely in Los Angeles, an area that has been particularly difficult to film in since the coronavirus pandemic. Adding that:

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‘Already an expensive, high-end series. GLOW faced high additional COVID-related costs for its large cast of 20. That, combined with the uncertainty around COVID-19, and the inherent physicality of the series whose risk had to be mitigated, ultimately pushed the budget of the series too high for Netflix to proceed, sources said. Additionally, the earliest GLOW would have returned to air would be 2022, at least two and half years after Season 3. With the significant delay and the increased costs of production, Netflix brass didn’t have confidence there would be a big enough audience who would tune in at that point to justify the investment.’

The stars have been sharing their sorrow on social media, Alison Bree posting several pictures of the cast on Instagram with the caption: ‘Going to miss this… forever grateful to my GLOW family for changing my life.’ Other cast members such as Britt Baron, Marc Maron posted comments and tributes to the show on social media.

GLOW is among other shows that have been cancelled by Netflix due to the pandemic “The Society” and “I Am Not Okay With This” were both recently cancelled. Other production companies such as ABC and Amazon withdrew “Stumptown” and “Cortes y Moctezuma” respectively.

Music Awards

2020 Billboard Music Awards Recap: Post Malone Wins Big In Nine Categories 

Post Malone proved to be the big winner of 2020’s Billboard Music Awards, taking home nine awards including top artist for the year. Kelly Clarkson hosted the ‘Covid-19 style” award show that involved many remote performances, a crowd less Dolby Theater, and plenty of distancing for the artists that were there to accept their awards. Eight of Post Malone’s awards were delivered to him via cart by Clarkson. 

The show was originally scheduled for April, but obviously the pandemic through a wrench in that plan. Since this award show was meant to take place six months ago, it mainly awarded songs, and albums from last year. For example, Lil Nas X took home four prizes for his 2019 shit single ‘Old Town Road.’

Many of the winners for the evening used their speech time to urge their fans to get out and vote. Lizzo took it all a step further and wore a simple black dress with the word ‘Vote’ repeated all over it while she accepted her award for being the Top Song Sales Artist. 

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“Let me tell y’all something, when people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power. They’re afraid of your power. So whether it’s through music, protest or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice, and refuse to be suppressed.”

Billie Eilish picked up three awards throughout the whole night including top female artist and top new artist. When Eilish won the new artist award she stood on the stage and simply said “Please vote, please wear a mask, and please wash your hands and be safe.” Demi Lovato also performed her new politically charged single ‘Commander-In-Chief” which takes aim at President Trump and his harmful policies in terms of the pandemic and other areas of reform.

NBC censored the part of Lovato’s performance which displayed the word “Vote” on the screen, as the broadcasters felt it would be seen as a call to vote against the current president, instead of a neutral call to action. NBC did, however, tweet out the image of Lovato with the word displayed behind her. 

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John Legend gave an emotional performance of his song ‘Never Break,’ which he dedicated to his wife Chrissy Teigen, who suffered a misscarriage a couple of weeks ago. There were several other performances throughout the three-hour show, including a performance of ‘Love Looks Better’ by Alicia Keys and ‘Better Together’ by Luke Combs. The two performances have been regarded as heartfelt and empowering. Combs also won the award for Top Country Artist this year. 

“I know everybody out there has been through so much this year. I want to thank the crew that is working on this show tonight, because they have gone through some insane stuff to make this happen for you guys. I hope everybody’s staying safe at home.”

BTS gave a remote performance of their hit single ‘Dynamite’ from South Korea, where they shortly after won the award for Top Social Artist; an award that’s voted on by the fans. Doja Cat then gave a ‘Chicago’ inspired performance of her songs ‘Say So’ and ‘Juicy.” 

The real winner of the night was Post Malone, and unsurprisingly so as well considering what a year 2019 was for the young artist. In 2019 alone Malone scored two multi-platinum singles in the US with ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Circles,’ while his third studio album ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’ sold three million copies. The singer-songwriter and rapper, 25, said he was “blown away, just by the love that everybody’s shown to me.”

For a list of all the winners, click here

Warner Bros

Warner Bros Announce Delays in Filming Amidst The Covid-19 Pandemic

After an already challenging year for the film industry, it seemed as though there might have been a small amount of relief with people heading back into cinemas and the releases of some of the biggest blockbuster films to look forward to.

Spending more time at home has fostered an increased appreciation for the entertainment industry and the escapism the world of film can bring to its audience, particularly through the uncertain times of covid-19.

However fans were disappointed this week when movie-making mogul Warner Bros announced they are set to delay the release of two of their most anticipated upcoming movies Dune and The Batman.
They cited how the lockdowns as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have already impacted large scale blockbuster releases and as social distances measures are set to continue, audiences are reluctant to return to the cinemas and some chains are making tough decisions over whether they will remain open.

When looking at the current situation across the world, the pandemic still remains a threat, with the United States and United Kingdom experiencing a rise in cases as well as countries across Europe, leaving cinemas unable to open and people anxious to visit.

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It is on this note that Warner Bros made the decision to postpone Dune, a science fiction movie brought to the silver screen by director Dennis Villeneuve. Based on the 1965 novel of the same name by Frank Herbert, the film stars Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin amongst others. The story is set to be shared in two instalments with the first originally scheduled to be released Dec 2020, but moviegoers will now have a longer wait until the new release date to be October 2021.

Looking further ahead in Warner Bros calendar, The Batman has also been extended with its release being moved to March 2022, much later than its initial release in October 2021.

Audiences have already been enticed with the latest offering of The Batman, with British actor Robert Pattison cast in the iconic role of the caped crusader and Bruce Wayne. With filming still taking place, it was reported last month that filming had to take a two week break due to the leading star testing positive for the Covid-19 virus, which remains unconfirmed by the Warner Bros studios.

The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves, will take us back to Gotham City, midst election where the candidates are being murdered simultaneously with the killer leaving behind a trademark clue, in the form of a riddle. Fans are eager to see the new adaptation of the character The Riddler, a well known nemesis of Batman that will be brought to life this time by Paul Dano. The Riddler has previously been played by Jim Carey, in Batman Forever, and Cory Michael Smith, in Gotham.

But what does this mean for the film industry that is currently facing so much uncertainty? In order to bring us the top blockbuster movies with magnificent effects and leading actors that are so well-loved, it relies on movie fans to go to the cinema to generate the revenue to keep bringing us the films that we enjoy to watch.

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Through the course of the pandemic thus far we have seen many films appear on our screens though streaming sites such as Netflix or cable/online Box Office subscriptions that have allowed us to rent the movies at home, but it is a decision that comes with an element of loss. In an industry that is all about delivering art and capturing stories through film, it relies on generating significant funds that are not present within the current necessary ‘stay at home’ culture.

We have seen many films this year share the same fate, and it will come as a huge disappointment to all involved from directors, actors and audiences that these films have to be rescheduled.

However, the film experience is so much more than just the movie alone; travelling and being in the cinema theatre settings, amongst fellow avid fans, the outstanding picture quality, epic surround sound and of course our favourite movie snacks such as popcorn all complete the experience that we love and hope to have soon again.

For the time being, it is important we all keep safe and protect lives as well as these industries. Beyond the glitz and glamour of the big production, companies such as Warner Bros have a lot at stake with these two upcoming movies and with continuing uncertainty, it is likely to be the best course of action to extend their release schedule to enable filming to be complete and audiences to return in a safe way.

With so much anxiety remaining that is likely to continue for some time, we eagerly await the new film releases and hope that we can visit cinemas in a safe way not too dissimilar as we did once before.

Watching Scary Movie

Movie Ideas For A Great Halloween Film Fright Night

Scary film season is upon us and what better excuse to cuddle up under a blanket with a scary movie then a socially distanced Halloween? With film studios releasing films digitally and streaming services doing their usual roundup of Halloween themed films you will have a variety of movies to choose from, from classic horrors to newly released thrillers. With social distancing and lockdown measures in place, it may be difficult to attend the cinema or catch some of the newest releases in the horror genre this year. However, there are some great 2020 films in the horror/thriller category that have been digitally released or are heading to streaming services ready for Halloween. So, here are some ideas to accompany your frightening film night in.

The Invisible Man (2020)
Elizabeth Moss’ portrayal of this HG Wells-inspired adaptation was slightly eclipsed by the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the year, however that does not mean that it can’t be revived, with high ratings on both IMBD and Rotten Tomatoes, this is a great new Horror/Thriller to add to your Halloween line up. Elizabeth Moss stars as Cecelia, whose abusive ex takes his own life, leaving her his fortune. After a series of events, Cecelia begins to suspect that he staged his own suicide, using his skills as a scientist to become invisible and terrorize her. After no-one believes her she takes matters into her own hands.

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Rebecca (2020)
Categorized as a Mystery/Thriller this film may be just the ticket for those who prefer a little less horror for their Halloween fright night. Due to be released on the 21st of October in some cinemas and on Netflix, you could stage a movie night at home. The film is based on Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 gothic novel, and the adaptation stars Lily James and Armie Hammer. The synopsis is as follows: ‘a young newlywed arrives at her husband’s imposing family estate on a windswept English coast and finds herself battling the shadow of his first wife, Rebecca, whose legacy lives on in the house long after her death.’

I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)
Jesse Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Colette, David Thewlis Star in this unique horror drama, directed by Charlie Kaufman. Initially released on Netflix in early September, this film has already received pretty good ratings, Rotten Tomatoes giving it 82% and Metacritic 78%. Based on Ian Reid’s novel, the plot follows the psyche of a young woman who is taken to meet her new boyfriends’ parents on a secluded farm. During her visit she begins to question everything she thought she knew about him and herself, in a twisting, and uncertain psychological journey.

Underwater (2020)
This 2020 science-fiction horror film directed by William the bank and starring Kristian Stewart, Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick and more. It’s narrates the story of a crew of oceanic researcher working for a deep-sea drilling company at the bottom of the Marina trench. Over 6 miles below the ocean surface a mysterious earthquake devastates their facility, water crashes through the walls of the drilling station. Led by the captain, the survivors only hope is to walk across the sea floor to reach the main part of the facility. Whilst doing so, however, they find they are under attack from mysterious and deadly creatures and struggle in a fight for their lives.

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The Rental (2020)
Dave Franco’s directorial debut stars Alison Brie and Dan Stevens in a suspenseful horror-thriller as a couple staying in a vacation home, for a celebratory weekend getaway. However, their seemingly perfect vacation spot slowly turns sinister as the couple becomes increasingly suspicious about their host, who they believe is spying on them.

If you would prefer to keep your horror film fright fest running through to the end of the year, there are a couple of highly recommended movies being released after Halloween. Run (2020) stars Sarah Paulson (of American Horror story fame) as a mother, whose home-schooled teenager suspects her smothering mother of hiding some dark secrets. Host (2020) which received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, may have flown under your radar so far this year, but it’s highly anticipated release is in December 2020. Directed by Rob Savage and starring Jemma Moore and Hayley Bishop, the film was initially due to release in July 2020 but has since been pushed due to the pandemic. The plot follows ‘six friends who accidentally invite the attention of a demonic presence during an online séance and begin noticing strange occurrences in their homes.’

Netflix on TV Screen

Texas Grand Jury Indicts Netflix For Controversial ‘Cuties’ Film 

A grand jury located in Tyler County, Texas has indicted Netflix on criminal charges that allege the streaming service is promoting “lewd visual material of a child” within their new film “Cuties.” The French film originally premiered at Sundance film festival earlier this year and was meant to be a commentary on the over-sexualization of children in the media and online with influencer culture, however, to a majority of viewers it felt as though the film is more so contributing to that problem, rather than speaking out against it. 

The director of the film, Maïmouna Doucoure, has defended the film multiple times, despite the multiple petitions and calls for Netflix to remove the film from the platforms. According to IMDB, “Cuties” follows an 11-year-old girl named Amy who joins a new group of dancers called the cuties. Amy eventually “grows aware of her burgeoning femininity – upsetting her mother and her values in the process.” 

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“I decided to make this film and sound an alarm and say we need to protect our children. It’s bold, it’s feminist, but it’s so important and necessary to create debate and try to find solutions, for me as an artist, for politicians and parents. It’s a real issue.”

Many individuals didn’t feel the same way as Doucoure, and viewed the film to be a hypersexualization of the young girls that are meant to be seen as empowered. In the official complaint filed, the grand jury claims Netflix knowingly promoted inappropriate visual material which  “depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age at the time the visual material was created, which appeals to the prurient interest in sex, and has no serious, literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”

Netflix has already defended the decision to keep the project on the platform, claiming that the film is a “powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up.” To which the public responded, can’t we have that discussion without further contributing to the problem by advertising a movie about 11-year-olds doing inappropriate dance moves. 

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It’s a major point of contention that has opened a much larger conversation regarding the sexualization of young people in TV and film. This past Tuesday, Netflix released another statement defending the film, stating that it’s a social commentary and they “stand by the film.”

Initially the movie sparked a backlash movement on Twitter with the hashtag #CancelNetflix, and for Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin, he knew right away that there was “probable cause to believe it [the movie] was criminal.” 

“The legislators of this state believe promoting certain lewd material of children has destructive consequences. A grand jury found probable cause for this felony, and my job is to uphold the laws of this State and see that justice is done.”

The Parents Television Council also recently called upon president Trump and the Department of Justice to interrogate Netflix about “Cuties” and the alleged “pattern of behavior” the platform has been exuding.