Aaliyah Estate Releases Statement After Former Label Teases Music Release 

The late Aaliyah was truly an icon in the 90’s. Her untimely death left a true void in the pop/R&B sphere but her talent has continued to live on for decades. However, a majority of the singer’s music is unavailable to stream on most platforms. Her albums One In A Million (1996) and Aaliyah (2001) have remained off all platforms since the dawn of their existence. 

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Aaliyah’s earlier singles and debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number (1994) are available. This week, fans on social media began to speculate that the remainder of her discography would finally be uploaded to streaming services after the account Blackground Records 2.0 shared a new website and hashtag: #AaliyahIsComing. 

The original Blackground Records was owned by the late singer’s uncle and former manager Barry Hankerson, who released the majority of Aaliyah’s music. Hankerson owns the majority of Aaliyah’s master recordings aside from her debut album, and he confirmed that he’s behind the label’s “2.0” revival which suggests he’s also behind the new hashtag. 

The Estate of Aaliya Haughton shared a statement this week, detailing the battles behind the scenes they’ve faced when it comes to releasing the icon’s music, including this recent attempt: “We’ve battled a lot behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorized projects targeted to tarnish the work.” 

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“Although we will continue to defend ourselves and her legacy lawfully and justly, we want to preempt the inevitable attacks on our character by all the individuals who have emerged from the shadows to leech off of Aaliyah’s life’s work.” 

“Ultimately, we desire closure and a modicum of peace so we can facilitate the growth of the Aaliyah Memorial Fund and other creative projects that embody Aaliyah’s true essence, which is to inspire strength and positivity for people of all creeds, races and cultures around the world,” the statement continued. 

The estate also released its own hashtag, #IStandWithAaliyah, which superstar Missy Elliott, who was also close with Aaliyah, retweeted. 

“While we share your sentiments and desire to have Aaliyah’s music released, we must acknowledge that these matters are not within our control and, unfortunately, take time.”

Man Listening to Music at Home

Paul McCartney Joins Call From Musicians To Change Music Streaming Payments

Over 150 musicians signed an open letter to change the 1988 Copyright Act which prevents many musicians from receiving proper payments for their work on streaming services.

Netflix on TV Screen

Netflix Reportedly Spends $450 Million On Two ‘Knives Out’ Sequels 

It’s been reported that Netflix purchased the rights of two “Knives Out” sequels in a deal worth $450 million. Back in February 2020 director Rian Johnson announced that he was officially developing a sequel to his beloved 2019 murder mystery which included an all star cast of Hollywood’s most likeable actors, such as Chris Evans and Jamie Lee Curtis. 

Now, it’s been announced that “Knives Out 2” and “Knives Out 3” will be developed for Netflix. The $450 million price tag on this deal marks the biggest film purchase in history, and doubles the platform’s previous record-holder for most expensive original film; “The Gray Man” cost Netflix around $200 million to create. 

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According to reports from Deadline, “the first picture will begin shooting in Greece on June 28th, and casting will begin immediately.”

The first “Knives Out” movie was released by Lionsgate in November 2019, and immediately became one of the biggest movies of the year, grossing $311 million worldwide. It’s rare for an original production to breakout in the box office in such a major way, but since it did it’s no surprise that a sequel, or two, would be in the works. 

“Knives Out” stars Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, a master detective who investigates the murder of a wealthy crime novelist. The film featured an ensemble cast, including Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette,, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, and the late Christopher Plummer. 

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In “Knives Out 2” and “Knives Out 3,” it’s expected that Craig’s Benoit Blanc will investigate new murder mysteries. The first film was nominated for three Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for Daniel Craig, and Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for Ana de Armas. Johnson himself was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 2020 Oscars. 

“I’ll tell you, the truth is I had such a great time working with Daniel Craig and I had so much fun doing this on every level, from writing it to making it,” Johnson said last year after the film initially premiered. 

“I’ve never really been interested in doing sequels, but this, the idea of doing more of these with Daniel as his character, is not sequels. It’s just what Agatha Christie did. It’s just coming up with a whole new mystery, a whole new location, all new cast, whole new mechanics of the appeal of a mystery and everything. It’d be a blast.”

Right now it’s unknown when we can expect the first sequel to hit Netflix, but some experts think it’ll be around early 2022.

Football Stadium Field

Super Bowl LV Most Streamed Game In NFL History

In general, this was the least-watched Super Bowl in recent history, but it was the most streamed game in NFL history, likely due to the multitude of platforms that now exist and offer live television for its users.

Sundance 2021

Must-See Films From Sundance 2021 That You Can Stream A Home

While the Sundance Film Festival may have looked a little different this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, filmmakers from all over were still able to show off their magnificent works and make it available to individuals at home who are riding out the rest of this pandemic. Here’s a list of some of the most talked-about films that premiered at Sundance 2021:

“The Blazing World” – Carlson Young has made her feature directing debut this year with the short “The Blazing World.” The film stars Young herself, along with cult film icon Udo Kier, Dermot Mulroney, Vinessa Shaw, and singer/songwriter/actress Soko. Young plays a woman haunted since childhood by the accidental drowning of her twin sister. When her self-destructive path leads her to an alternate dimension where her twin sister may still be alive, adventure ensues.

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“Bring Your Own Brigade” – Lucy Walker is no stranger to Sundance, and has actually premeried ten films at the event over the years. This year, she’s releasing a film about the causes of wildfires, and takes her film crew into dangerous disaster zones to talk to actual firefighters and residents of places like Paradise, California; which was completely destroyed by the 2019 wildfires in California. 

CODA” – Siân Heder’s newest coming-of-age story follows British actress Emilia Jones, who plays the child of two deaf parents who is torn between helping them manage their day-to-day tasks, and following her musical ambitions. 

“Eight for Silver” – British filmmaker Sean Ellis is back with his newest entry into the evolving “contemporary period horror canon.” This film is a modern werewolf tale that also paints a gothic portrait of a community coping with unexplainable horrors brought on by these mythical creatures. The film contains curses, magic, and other gothic elements that really transports the viewer to another time. 

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“Flee” – Director Jonal Poher Rasmissen’s new animated documentary follows the experiences of a gay refugee from the Middle East who attempt to rebuild his life in Denmark. According to reviewers who have seen the film, “Rasmussen blends a colorful, hyper-real style with personal recollections as its subject struggles to reconcile his troubling past with a stable present. The drama extends across decades, following its evolving character from a war-torn childhood through the many changes that follow.”

“How It Ends” – Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein are no stranger to Sundance, and this year they’re returning with a comedy film that is appropriately about the end of the world. The partners wrote, directed, and starred in the film alongside Olivia Wilde, Fred Armisen, Helen Hunt, Lamorne Morris, and Cailee Spaeny. The film is set in LA on the last day of earth, and follows  “one woman [who] goes on a journey through LA to make it to her last party before the world ends, running into an eclectic cast of characters along the way.”

“In The Earth” – Ben Wheatley, known for his film “Kill List,” is back with a film inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic. The movie follows actor Joel Fry who plays a park scout who joins a scientist on a walk in the woods on a terrible night. What exactly is in the woods that caused the two to fight for their lives? You’ll have to watch to find out…

Warner Bros Media

Warner Brothers To Release Entire 2021 Movie Line Up On HBO Max

After Warner Media releases the films for the first month on HBO Max, each one will then leave the streaming service and continue its scheduled theatrical release in the US and international territories; all films will be given a customary distribution schedule.

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.

Hulu on phone

Popular Movies Available To Stream On Hulu Right Now 

As the coronavirus pandemic continues on, many of us are running out of new television shows and movies to watch and stream. I personally feel like I’ve watched everything there is to watch on Netflix, luckily, with the new month Hulu has uploaded a multitude of new original movies, and classic fan favorites, to keep us all entertained while we continue to pass the time in lockdown. Here’s a list of just a few of the most talked-about and streamed movies on Hulu right now:

Palm Springs: This movie has been regarded as one of the best movies of 2020 so far and to be honest, the less you know about the plot, the better. To put it lightly for you, this romantic comedy starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti follows the pair as they navigate a potential new relationship while being stuck in the same place on the same day, indefinitely. 

Sorry To Bother You: This Hulu original starring Lakeith Stanfield is a psychological thriller not made for the faint of heart. Stanfield plays Cassius Green, a young black man who discovers he’s an amazing telemarketer when he uses his “white voice.” The film is regarded as being a satirical commentary on race, capitalism, art, and commerce. If you find yourself in the mood for a movie that’s going to make you think and reflect while also delivering some amazing one-liners, this one’s perfect. 

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Crawl: In this action-thriller starring Kaya Scodelario, athlete swimmer Haley has to rescue her estranged father during a Category 5 hurricane in Florida. She initially finds her dad unconscious in his flooded basement and soon realizes she’s not alone; as a group of aggressive alligators has taken to the streets and is hungry for blood. This movie follows the classic “fight for their lives” plot line, and is great for any action lover looking for something a little different.

Rocketman: If you were a fan of Bohemian Rhapsody, you’re definitely going to love this Elton John biopic starring Taron Egerton. This movie follows the earlier life of John and focuses on the heavier aspects of his life, such as his struggles with substance abuse and his family. At the same time, the movie brilliantly shows off the wonder that is Elton John and his iconic past performances. 

Escape From Alcatraz: This 1979 film has been trending on Hulu as of late as many individuals at home are wanting to relive what’s highly regarded as one of Clint Eastwood’s most iconic movies. This movie follows Frank Morris on his unprecedented journey to escape one of the most secure maximum security facilities in the US; especially in the 1970’s. 

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Parasite: Winner of Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards, Parasite has truly been one of the most popular films of the past year. Now, the film is available to stream on Hulu. This film analyzes class divisions through the experiences of a South Korean family who cons their way into working for a wealthier family. The movie has a ton of cultural commentary embedded throughout it, hence its extreme popularity among the Academy. 

West Side Story: This 1961 classic has just recently been added to Hulu. For those who don’t know, this musical is a more modern take on the Romeo and Juliet star-crossed lovers plot that tells the story of a turf war between rival teen gangs in Hell’s Kitchen. Caught in the middle of this war is two lovers from opposite sides of the city, this classic film is highly regarded as one of the best musicals for all ages. 

A Quiet Place: John Krasinski stars and directs this 2018 thriller that follows a family trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world run by blind monsters who use their powerful sense of hearing to hunt and kill anything moving. The movie was highly regarded, receiving a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and is projected to have its sequel released in the coming months. 

The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years: For documentary-lovers, this film follows the Beatles, one of the world’s most famous bands, in their earlier more formative years together. The film is meant to show the bands rise into fame and what elements of their group made them such an immediate success. The film is full of old, never-before-seen concert footage and interviews with the band that any music lover will enjoy.

Netflix on TV

Netflix Reveals Their Top 10 Most-Watched Original Movies

During the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are exploring different movies, TV shows, and other forms of entertainment to keep ourselves occupied and distracted from the daily stresses of living in quarantine. Netflix recently released data on their most watched original movies for 2020 so far, and considering a majority of 2020 has been spent indoors, it’s safe to say these movies should probably be next on your list to watch based on their popularity and positive reception from audiences. 

The ratings were listed based on views, and Netflix counted a “viewer” as any user who watched more than two minutes of the content in the films. 

10. The Perfect Date: With 48 million views, this movie starring teen heartthrob Noah Centineo follows his character, Brooks, as he seizes the opportunity to make some extra cash before going to college by posing as the boyfriend of edgy rich girl Celia, played by Laura Arano. The movie follows the two as they create a business plan and online app so that other individuals can “rent” Brooks as their fake boyfriend for an evening, but once business starts to pick up, the two quickly realize they may have been in over their heads. 

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9. The Platform: This film brought in 56 million views so far and takes place in a mysterious setting. A deep hole made into a prison with an unknown number of levels has two prisoners living in each level as a descending platform delivers them food everyday. The film follows them as they fight to survive and figure out exactly where they are and what they’re dealing with. 

8. The Wrong Missy: 59 million viewers watched as David Spade (Tim) invited the supposed “women of his dreams” to a work retreat in Hawaii, before quickly realizing that he accidentally invited someone from a nightmare blind date in his past. This film is perfect for any rom-com lover who’s in the mood for something light-hearted and funny. 

7. Triple Frontier: This star-studded film brought in 63 million views so far. Ben Afflack, Oscar Isaac, and more play special forces operatives who reunite to plan a heist in South America. The goal of the group is to take a step back from their careers as unsung heroes to instead embark on a dangerous mission for themselves, as opposed to their country. 

6. The Irishman: 64 million viewers have experienced this film starring Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, a truck driver in the 1950’s who finds himself getting involved with a man named Russell Bufalino and his Pennsylvania crime family. As the story continues and Sheeran climbs the ranks of power to become one of the top hitmen, he also goes to work for Jimmy Hoffa, a powerful man tied to organized crime in the city. 

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5. Murder Mystery: This movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler has brought in 73 million views. The two are married in the film and on a European vacation together when they end up being framed for the murder of an elderly billionare, prompting them to begin living a life on the run while trying to figure out who actually killed the man. 

4. 6 Underground: 83 million viewers experienced Ryan Reynolds playing one of six untraceable independent secret agents who faked their deaths in order to work together and live totally off the grid. The group of agents fight evil and have the goal of being the most anonymous heroes the world has ever seen. 

3. Spenser Confidential: Two Boston police officers are murdered in the beginning of this film, prompting ex-cop Spenser (Mark Wahlberg) to team up with his roommate Hawk (Winston Duke) to take down the criminals who committed the crime and protect the city from their evils. The movie has reached 85 million views. 

2. Bird Box: This wildly popular film starring Sandra Bullock has reached 89 million views since its initial release in 2018. The movie follows Bullock’s character (Malorie) as she navigates a scary world where an ominous unseen presence drives people to suicide. Malorie also must take care of two children along the way in a desperate attempt to find some sort of safety. 

1. Extraction: Topping off the list with nearly 100 million views is Extraction starring Chris Hemsworth. Hemsworth plays Tyler Rake, a fearless black market mercenary who embarks on a deadly journey to rescue the kidnapped son of an international crime lord. The movie has received amazing reviews since it’s initial release in April.

Popcorn and Remote by TV

Get The Best Seat In The House With These Online Theater Productions

With Broadway, movies, concerts, and other cultural establishments remaining indefinitely closed amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many are turning to digital forms of entertainment to get their fix. Thanks to the power of live-stream technology and a multitude of archived collections, fans have been able to watch all their favorite productions from home. Here’s some of the most popular things people are watching around the world right now. 

Hamilton: If you’re on social media of any kind you’re definitely already aware that Hamilton has been uploaded to Disney+. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s highly praised Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical about the country’s founding fathers was filmed over the course of three nights in New York back in 2016 with the original cast. Director Thomas Kail claims that they filmed and edited the show to give audiences at home the “best seat in the house.” 

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The National Theater At Home: The National Theater at Home Initiative has become widely popular all around the world. Popular theater productions are streamed for free online every Thursday at 7 pm and then remain uploaded on the site for seven days until the next show. Currently The Deep Blue Sea, written by Terence Rattingan, is set to be performed and uploaded to the site from July 9th-16th followed by Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus. 

549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War: The 2019 archived production of the play has recently been uploaded to YouTube where it will remain until July 31st. Jack Nurse and Robbie Gordon’s play follows four miners from East Lothian who volunteer for the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The play has been widely well received for its polished choreography during battle scenes, and raw singing talent of the actors. 

WeRNotVirus: In this special directed by Jennifer Tang and Anthony Lau, 10 short dramas unfold for the viewer, each depicting a different part of the current racism pandemic the world is battling simultaneously alongside Covid-19. The entire production is two hours in length and incorporates multiple mediums such as animation, poetry, music, and of course, singing and dancing. The special is currently available on YouTube.

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Tiny Dancers: The National Youth Theatre created this production using a multitude of young dancers. Created throughout the course of the pandemic, this production is described as a “funny and heartfelt look at how it feels to be together and apart.” The production will be available for free on YouTube from July 23rd-31st. The group will also be uploading a Q&A style video on July 23rd that will take viewers behind the scenes of the production. 

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men: This all-male theater company is known in the UK for touring and performing open-air Shakespeare productions. They were performing Macbeth when the pandemic began and have since postponed the rest of the tour indefinitely. However, they recently shared two past archived productions online. The Tempest, filmed in 2018, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, performed last year, are currently streaming to celebrate the companies 15 year anniversary. 

Scenes For Survival: The National Theatre of Scotland was one of the first cultural institutions in the world to announce a lockdown program for viewers at home. The company is continuously streaming and uploading their collection of short films which are meant to “offer audiences a sense of hope and joy” during such uncertain times. 

The Show Must Go Online: Finally, actor Robert Myles has set up a live-stream reading group that he’s advertising for professional and amateur actors to join. The group of actors perform Shakespeare’s complete plays in the order that they agreed they were likely written. The goal is to give actors old and new an opportunity to continue to practice their craft and have a sense of normalcy for a few hours while they do what they love.