This week we pay tribute to Disney’s Haunted Mansion and it’s 50th birthday celebration. We’ll talk about some bundling deals with Disney+ and the future of media as Disney see’s it before we talk about the Disney earnings reports. We’ll discuss how the incompetent CEO of Disney Bob Iger is quick to justify is grotesquely generous salary by claiming credit for Disney successes he’s had little involvement with but is equally quick to point the finger at others when success doesn’t come as expected. In entertainment news we’ll talk about yet another copyright case, a new show by some of our favorite British actors and the Boss puts on an impromptu show at a movie premier.
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into insights into entertainment, a podcast series, taking a deeper look into entertainment and media. Your hosts, Joseph and Michelle Whalen, a husband and wife, team of pop culture, phonetics are exploring all things from music and movies to television and fans.
go to insights in entertainment. This is episode 27 anniversaries, earnings and the boss. I’m your host, Joseph Whalen and my rating and a wonderful cohost, Michelle Wayland. Hi everyone. How are you doing today, Michelle? Tired. But okay, how are you? Busy Day, Huh? Busy Day running around from here and there. Well, we have a busy podcast for us as well. Of course, we do lots of stuff going on today. Uh, so we’re going to talk in our Disney detective. I’ve bounced some news surrounding the, uh, haunted mansion and its, uh, anniversary or birthday depending on how you want to, uh, label it. Then we’ll talk a little bit about Disney’s, uh, Disney plus bundling of their services now, which, you know, the fact that they’re coming up with new pricing already in the service hasn’t even launched yet. That’s a shocker. Then we have, uh, some information from Disney on what the future of Hollywood is and how they’re trying to set the pace for that. And from there, we’ll go into our entertainment news. We have some lady Gaga News where you have some Bruce Springsteen news and we have two of our favorite, uh, British, uh, actors, actresses teaming up for a new on Netflix show. And then we’ll finish up with our insightful picks of the week. Shall we get into it? Let’s do it.
go for Disney detective. So just the other day, my all time favorite attraction in Disney turned 50. And that would be the haunted mansion. Yes, it was. I was waiting for you to do some. Well ha ha ha. And I, you know, I didn’t have anything yet. You wait, hold on.
no, I didn’t even know. Wait, this one. Oh, there we go. There we go. I knew I had it.
So you know what, what’s, you know great about this ride is that it’s, it’s timeless in, in some respects. And, you know, some of the gags and effects are still, you know, 50 years later still awes people, you know, when they, when they go on the route and some of the effects that they used were a hundred or more years. They weren’t even knew, knew at the time. Um, but the article was, was interesting, um, because you know, if you’re not a big fan of the haunted mansion or no, it’s history. Um, the haunted mansion was actually a concept that Walt Disney himself had before the park even opened. When you look at original sketches and ideas, he always wanted to have some sort of haunted attraction and it Kinda went through different evolutions. Uh, the original one was supposed to be a walkthrough. Um, it was supposed to be the museum of the weird, so it had a very, uh, different take on it.
Um, and it was actually one of the rides that when the park first opened, they actually, you know, had, uh, um, a few years later they put a sign, they had the facade for the haunted mansion up. But it wasn’t until 1969 that it actually, it was actually in 1963 that the exterior had been constructed in, um, New Orleans square in Disneyland, but it wasn’t until 1969 that the ride actually open. So for the while to roundup all the whole thing and they had, you know, the sign saying that, you know, they were looking for people, you know, ghost to move in. But when you think about now, how, how much faster, you know, they build things, you know, like you know about something like, you know, Galaxy’s edge. We’ve known for a couple of years that it was going, but you know, over time it, you know, it didn’t take that long.
So there was all this antigen anticipate, anticipation, you know, for the ride and that still to this day, it holds up with any of the newer rides really. Um, and may have gone several of several updates to the right date. They’ve changed a couple of things and, and you know, modified and brought things in. And, and obviously as we know, and as we’ve talked about and a number of, uh, podcasts before, during the holidays for Disneyland, they modify it with, um, nightmare before Christmas characters and, and things like that. Um, so that’s, you know, a little change that they kind of do, but they, they put it back. Um, they recently just had in Disneyland, we had mentioned again a couple of podcasts ago, the haunted mansion party that was a, uh, uh, a separate ticket price, uh, for the four hour party. I had, uh, a handful of friends, Disney friends that went to it and saw pictures of it and it looked like it was really fun.
They had a ton of characters walking around for photo ops and, and things like that. And, you know, people went on the ride multiple times and, you know, they had little hidden things, you know, in the ride for you to, to notice and stuff. But you know, all in all, it was, you know, a cool event and, and just Kinda nice to to see that, you know, 50 years later, the ride, you know, still still stands as, as one of the top attractions, you know, and what we’re doing for the 50th anniversary of doing anything special, a lot of merchandise merchant, there’s a lot, a lot of special merchandise. And originally a lot of the merchandise you had to preorder before the event and now they’re making not only a lot of it, um, some of it was exclusive for just the party, but now they’re making a lot of it available, not only in California, but even in Florida and Walt Disney world.
You’ll be able to get some of the special 50th anniversary merchandise there, which I think is Kinda, you know, kind of Ebay. There’s, yes, there is always Ebay. Um, so yeah, uh, I know I did post a cool video, um, from, I believe it was the Disney park blogs on our Facebook page. Um, so if you haven’t gone to it or liked it, um, please do. And you can see the, the, it’s a cute little five minute, um, haunted mansion video about, you know, a little bit of the history that, you know, some of this article, you know, talks about as well. So very cool. Yeah. So happy birthday haunted mansion. So what else did we have? So as you had mentioned, Disney announces that, hey, we haven’t even started Disney plus yet, but we’re going to give you a package deal. Um, so earlier this week they had announced that the company was going to be doing a bundle of three of their streaming services.
It would be Disney plus Hulu and ESPN plus for the low low price of 1299 a month starting obviously November 12th when Disney pluses supposed to go live. Um, so the company had previously hinted about a bundle of all the three services, but it wasn’t until, uh, Mr Iger had made it official during the companies investors call the other day a 1299. The bundle, the bundle is cheaper or on par with competitive streaming services including and Amazon prime. Um, and it’s actually cheaper than HBO is Max, which is rumored to be a price of 16 or $17 a month. A Hulu is currently available for five 99 with ads and ESPN caught ESPN plus costs four 99 a month. Um, obviously for those that don’t know, ESPN is owned by Disney, um, and isn’t owned by Disney. Um, NBC, I didn’t think I was going to say Fox.
I was like, no, they own them now. Um, so, you know, is it something where, you know, it’s going to be worthwhile for everybody? Like for us, the sports, we, you know, we could care less about that. Well, and what does ESPN plus offer doesn’t actually offer live sports. And if it does, does it offer your local sports? Well, it’s gonna carry hundreds of a major league baseball, hockey, um, Grand Slam tennis, top rank, boxing, pgas sports, College Sports, international, rugby, cricket, the full library. You sold me on the rugby and the cricket, but do they have curling? That’s what we need. You give me Curlin network and I’ll get it. Um, so I guess, you know, the idea is more . So for also people that, that, you know, cut the cut the cord to here’s a chance to actually get, you know, some sports. So, uh, the bundle will include the standard ad supported tier of Hulu, not the more expensive no commercials plan or Hulu with live TV.
Well, I’m sure they’ll have a bundle coming out for more months. What they’re saying is that they’re thinking that there’s probably going to be some sort of upgrade that you can do to get the pricier Hulu subscription. Right. It’ll be similar to their, to their annual passes, I’m sure within a year that’ll be so confusing. You’ll need a phd to figure it out. If you want this one, it’s 12 bucks. If you want this one, it’s 15. If you want this, I’ll guarantee you they won’t all a card or they’ll package it just like the stuff now. So you won’t be able to say, all right, give me the high end Hulu, but don’t give me ESPN plus and cut the price. They’re not going to do that. Right, right. So, you know, really what was kind of the only thing that the article talked about, about what was unclear was, um, for example, it’s not available in Canada, but they want to bring it to international markets. So, you know, other than that, you know, it looks like they’re, they’re moving forward with, with that. And it should be, uh, interesting to see, you know, what kind of response they get for, for adding that together as a bundle and what the next bundle. So what did they originally announce? The Disney plus seven 99. All right, so
we’re up to 1299 with a bundle now. Right? So probably by launch maybe it’ll be 20 bucks the way that they’re going. I know, I know the problem is still the problem. The thing you have is you don’t know what their contents going to be or what the quality of the content going to. Right. And is it something where you kind of
wait a couple of months to see, you know what it is and you know, like we currently have Hulu right now. I know. I don’t watch anything on Hulu. I don’t know if there’s anything
Hulu is usually like the third string. If there’s nothing on Netflix and there’s nothing on Amazon, right? So like for us, because we’re already paying, I’m guessing five 99 a month for Hulu. Right. And if we’re going to pay the seven 99 for Disney, if and when we decided to do it, we might be one of these people that gets the bundle just to, you know, save a couple of bucks. That would annoy me. I know it was just the fact that I, I’m even contemplating subscribing the Disney plus is annoying me already. Like you’re already starting to get the, the bile start, the three buttons that I’m giving them money on a regular basis. Oh goodness. So, Hey, let’s move on to our next story and really a gallon and we see this the best for last year and this isn’t even the, the article that you really wanted to talk about, but I’m sure you’re gonna I’m gonna work it in. I know you totally are. So, obviously during this big,
um, you know, uh, the third quarter earnings meeting that they had, uh, on the sixth, basically Disney, you know, came and said that we had $170 million loss that basically came from the underpart underperforming Fox films division. That’s now part of them. Um, and it really wasn’t a surprise. Everybody kind of knew. Um, so, uh, the fundamentals of Disney are strong and certainly staying strong. Um, said the CEO of media, a media consultancy company, uh, Carmel Group, he says, I know, uh, too many people who wouldn’t argue that they’re getting stronger. However, with the quarterly report, one company effectively set an agenda for Hollywood’s future. Big movies belonged to theater, and a theatrical original is a prestigious, uh, play. Um, so everything else though really should be put on the streaming networks. So is anything gonna Change? Possibly. So I basically spoke and said that his company had a loss and it was a big one.
He says, however, it’s deemed from the acquisition of a movie studio that was in worse shape than he had hoped. And he wanted to make it clear that, um, that had nothing to do with the Disney agenda, which had already seen 8 billion in box office just this year. Um, he said, I’ll note that the performance of the Disney film studio continues to be incredibly strong. This quarters theatrical slate, which included a vendor’s end game, Aladdin toy story four, and the carry over success of Captain Marvel drove the hire worldwide. The attrical results compared to what was also an outstanding slate of films during the third quarter of last year, which was infinity wars, that incredible too. And Black Panther, while the only over-performing Fox title that he mentioned by name was, I’m sorry, the underperforming a film was the flop dark Phoenix. Others were, um, br, um, were stupor and breakthrough, which were, um, smaller films.
And then, um, then of course there’s a film that’s coming out that came out this weekend, the art of racing and the Moraine, which I guess they were hoping that’s a dog movie. Um, so they’re hoping that that kind of brings things up, but basically Fox just hasn’t really had much success in, in the movies. You know, recently, um, so he said that, you know, of course this won’t happen again on Disney’s watch. Fox is going in a new direction and we’re going to apply the same discipline and creative standards behind the success of Disney, Pixar or marvel and Lucas films. And if those movies are good enough, they’ll go to theatrical. Otherwise they’re going to Hulu and Disney block, which will just keep increasing prices on them. They keep putting theatrical releases on it. Right? Right. So, you know, they’re, they’re already looking at remaking some classic movies.
Um, and as far as I know, there isn’t a creative thought left in Disney, but it’s everybody though, it’s not just Disney. Um, so they’re looking to do a home alone series night at the museum, cheaper by the dozen and diary of a wimpy kid and basically remaking of course. So those are supposed to be coming to Disney plus in the years, um, that follow. So they have to though, because they literally have nothing else wrong on Disney ply. And I’m hoping though that they’re gonna get some creative, you know, juices flowing and actually, you know, come up with, with something, you know, on their own. And the rest of the article basically talked about, you know, what we were were just talking about with the the bundle package and you know, the price and being, you know, comparing it to Netflix and hoping to, you know, see on them. What I find this interesting about this is goes hand in hand
with the other article that I had read, which we’re not highlighting today because if we did, I probably would like have an aneurism and maybe that’s why I didn’t do it. But they come out with their earnings report, they talk about this laws and what does Uyghur do? He starts pointing the finger. It’s everybody else’s fault except his own. Um, so the other article itself talked about performance at the parks and how they took a loss in Disneyland. Well, they took a loss in Disneyland. He blamed it on, um, people were staying away from it because, because star wars opened, which was the exact opposite of what he had said prior to the opening, was that we’re going to have all this attendance, all these people are going to be here. We’re going to make millions of dollars. That’s what he told investors last year when prior to launch.
Right? Then he can play end pointing the finger at the local businesses, local hotels saying, oh, well they were expecting all these people show up. So they, they jacked up their price. Then he kinda off the cuff remark and we Kinda, uh, increased our prices too. So it’s like, you know, we’d go back to one of the stories with Abigail Disney commenting on the fact that this guy is making $156 million this year. And when she pointed out the absolutely ludicrous disparity between Bob Iger and the average park employee at Disney, Disney came out and said, oh, well, we’re this successful. We’re a multibillion cup dollar company because of all the things that bomb Uyghurs don’t. So, so all of our success is due to Obama Uyghur, but apparently none of the failures due to Bob buyers. So he’s only making the good decisions. The 170 million that they lost in films, he had nothing to do with that.
Right? Cause those were movies that were already made by the time we bought it. So we had nothing, because it’s worth noting that Iger was instrumental in the deal to acquire Fox. Right. Which is their loss leader right now. So it’s one of those things where you can’t play just one side of the coin. If you’re going to claim credit, you’ve got to claim credit for the failures too. And it should be reflected in his, in his compensation. And now you can’t make $160 million a year or whatever he’s making and, and have $170 million in losses. Right. You know, at that point in time, your $300 million in the hole because of this guy’s decisions. And I’m sure if they did a pay cut, he wouldn’t be hurting for it. No, not when you’re taking that home, man. Yeah. You know, you don’t need what? They don’t need a pay cup. What they do is they need to get rid of Uyghur and get somebody who knows what they’re doing. I’m sure there are plenty of people that, that agree with you with that and you know, so that his time is his com. So we’ll see. So that’s all we have for Disney detective.
That’s all because I didn’t want you to have an aneurysm run. My blood pressure’s already going off here. He needs to get the EKG monitor going on your watch. Let’s go. Let’s move on to entertainment news. Okay.
so, uh, this I thought was kind of interesting. Um, so lady Gaga is now accused being accused of copying shallow, um, her lawyer claims. Um, so it seems that the, her Oscar winning and grammy winning song shallow from a star is born. Um, there’s a lawsuit that might be filed against her, um, because songwriter Steve Rosen has accused her of copywriting, one of his compositions. Um, and he believes that there is a three note progression from his song from 2012 called almost. And he is saying that it’s, it’s similar obviously. Um, but three, no, three, just three notes. Did you use the same three notes? Cause you know, there’s only so many notes to begin with. Um, but however a source, uh, told us weekly that multiple music ologists actually reviewed the two songs and found that there were no material similarities. Um, the insider ads that the melodic combinations are there for just a second.
What does a musicologist, obviously somebody that studied he’s music, I’m guessing there were the drums, music colleges, maybe I’m just an uncultured swan. Well, we want so, uh, so anyway, they, they basically listened to the, you know, the combinations and said that, you know, something was, you know, that the, the melodic combination is common and B can be heard in tracks from centuries ago. Um, so lady Gaga obviously is outraged by these false claims and has decided that she’s not going to back down. So according to page six, uh, Gaga could actually face a lawsuit semming from the, um, alleged similarities to the melodies. Um, and obviously this kind of comes on the whole, you know, um, issue. Uh, the, I can’t think of the word, um, because we just had the Katy Perry story, right. Um, you know, and she actually lost the lawsuit. Um, and she’s paying out, you know, the 2.7, $8 million, um, as a result of that drop in the bucket for her. Yeah. So basically now they’re, you know, kind of putting together their case, you know, in case it does actually, you know, go to court, but it, you know, kind of makes you wonder, you know, who’s the next one that’s gonna you know, have something, you know, pop up and you know, and have a, you know,
you know what it makes me wonder what does it take the sue in this company, you know, there are company treats, the country, sorry. It’s like what company do we agree? Yeah, we’re not, we’re actually not a company, so that wouldn’t really make sense. Um, but like there are frivolous lawsuits constantly in this country. And to come out here and see someone who is successful, who, who has obviously millions of dollars behind them and basically to sue them under the guise of, you know, either it’s going to cost you millions of dollars to defend it or you’re just going to settling and pay me off to go away. And it’s like, why do we allow that in our legal system
and, and w and I’m hoping that if this does get before a judge and you have, you know, one of the musicologists or whatever, you know, play the two songs and be like, yeah, they’re different.
See and that’s the thing, like in the UK for instance, and you sue sown in the UK and you lose, you have to pay their court costs as a result of that. You have far fewer frivolous losses.
Yeah. Oh, I’m sure. Because nobody wants to have to pay out. You would think, you know, and I’m sure if that were the case here, probably so many, you know, like this would be something judge Judy should listen to. Like, that’s really, this should, this should be on like daytime TV court because it’s three notes. I can understand if it’s, you know, and, and even with the Katy Perry Song, you know, it was a riff I think is what it was. It wasn’t even, you know, the whole song. Okay. If it’s a part of a song, honestly, what are the chances, again, there are so many notes that you know, that are out there in the world to be able to
grounds for this type of thing is, are you confusing lady Gagaza work with the original work with three notes. What human being in the world is going to confuse someone. You couldn’t even give me those three notes and let’s, and you know, name that tune
right? And you would say, Oh, I’m going to say it’s this other song from 2012 not lady Gaga Song from last year. Exactly. Exactly. So this should be thrown out immediately. Yeah. So, so we’ll see. So all right, onto good news though, right? So this was actually kind of kind of cool. Um, so there’s this new movie out called blinded by the light. Um, and what was cool, I knew that they were doing this premiere locally in New Jersey cause it’s basically about, um, these kids who start listening to, um, Bruce Springsteen music and he gets inspired by it. Um, kind of a coming of age thing. So they were doing a premiere of the movie in Asbury Park. And as a surprise, Bruce Springsteen actually showed up to the premier, which he’s been known to do. Right, right. And what was cool was, um, I know that one of our local radio stations was actually giving away tickets and they were hiring a bus to actually drive people to the premiere since it was an Asbury Park, since it wasn’t, you know, that they had to, to go, uh, that far away.
Um, so the movie premiered at the paramount theater on Wednesday night in Asbury Park. And after, um, arriving with his wife, the film’s director and her family were there, the singer actually delivered a surprise performance after the screening. So the rocker performed four songs and was joined on stage by southside Johnny. And the Asbury dukes. Um, and together they played talk to me jukes. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I was reading it too quickly. You’ve New Yorkers, you don’t even start. Um, so they, they did a couple of songs together. Um, so the movie is actually based on a memoir by, um, I’m not even gonna try and say his name because I’ll all completely, uh, kill it where it was, uh, greetings from burry park and it premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival where it had merged as an audience and critics favorite. So the flick showcases the impact of Springsteen’s music on a South Asian Muslim teenager growing up in England in the 1980s and features Springsteen’s music from the seventies and eighties.
Um, we saw, uh, um, trailer for it when we went to the movies last weekend and it looks, it looks really cute. It, it Kinda reminds me of those 1980s kids, or not kids movies, but teen movies. Sarfraz Monzo. Thank you. I’ll just have you be the, the name pronouncer so I don’t, yeah, cause I’m quite the linguist that it’s true. Um, and blinded by the light actually will be in theaters on August 16th. Very cool. Very cool. If you’re a fan of Bruce Springsteen yeah. Which you know, you’re from the jersey, you have to be, you’re not allowed to stay in the state. If you live in Jersey. You can’t not be a fan of Frank Sinatra too. Right. Oh wait, I’m not, he’s not a fan that’s rather mad when it comes on the radio. Yeah. Anyway. Anyway, so our last, uh, little story, uh, that I found, which I thought was Kinda cool cause as you mentioned, two of our favorite British actors, a criminal is a new series that’s going to be coming to Netflix in September and it will be starring David Tennant and Holly Attwell.
Um, so the streaming service shared that the premiere date would be September 20th, and they basically just had a couple of screenshots, uh, from it. Nothing, nothing else really more about it. Um, one of the stills shows at well with pink hair while another features the actress speaking to police and another shows tenant’s speaking to someone off camera. Um, so it’s set entirely within the confines of a police interview suite and criminal, which will star David tenant at well and a bunch of others. W comes on, um, September 20th. Um, it’s actually going to consist of 12 episodes and each show, um, the show will actually take place in four different countries, Spain, France, Germany, and the UK with three episodes in each location. So basically it’ll be, you know, three episodes with one set of stars. Uh, so tenant at, well, um, we’ll be in the UK episode. Then there’s a couple of other people that are in the Germany episode, um, the Spain episode. Um, and then, so basically criminal is disguised or, sorry, not disguise. It’s described as a cat and mouse drama that explores the mental conflict between police and the suspecting in custody. Uh, it hails actually from the killing eve writers. Um, so it should be an interesting little, you know, quick moving, uh, drama.
You mean that we shouldn’t hold out hope anymore for a revival of it?
I don’t think so.
Well. Oh, we’ll have to check out the, uh, the show once you now are the episodes that are going to be from the other countries going to be in their native language?
I don’t think so. It didn’t, it didn’t say anything about
or is it everyone from every country just going to have a British accent, like everything else, they’ll probably have like a Spanish action or a German accent or, you know, that would be nice. Yeah. But you know, most most shows that are held, no countries, usually English accent. So the people from France will have you know, a home. Okay.
Yes. Let’s move onto her. Insightful picks dear.
so I turn it over to you, my dear.
Well, I thank you. So I’m pulling out an Oldie. Um, so, uh, so this was a show that I started watching, uh, it was originally on BBC America and right now I think you can actually still find it on demand on BBC America. So if you have the app, um, or, uh, you might even be able to, if your cable company a on demand, you might be able to find it there or it is actually on Amazon prime as well. And the show is orphan black and there are five seasons of it. Um, so it starts out with Sarah nom in production at this point. Yeah, it’s, it, it’s completed its, it finished two a two years ago. Yeah, two years ago now. Um, but it’s one that, it’s funny because when I started watching it, I was like kind of half watching it, you know, not really paying attention, um, you know, to it.
So it’s one that I actually might even go back and start watching from the beginning, knowing obviously how it, how it all ends. So it basically starts out with Sarah, who’s the, one of the main characters where she’s kind of this streetwise woman who always has a troubled past. Uh, she was an English orphan and bounced around from foster home to foster home. And finally being taken in by Mrs s, uh, who uprooted her and her foster brother Phoenix to North America. Um, and she made a, you know, bunch of bad decisions in her life and she’s trying to do right. And she has a daughter, a young daughter who’s, I think she’s like five at the time that the show starts. Um, Sarah happens to witness the suicide of Beth who is a woman that looks exactly like her and she decides to seal Beth’s identity, um, her boyfriend and money and basically start a new life for her and her daughter when she realizes that Sarah, that Beth’s life was kind of in turmoil.
And now that people realize, you know, think that she’s Beth, um, you know, that there were these conspiracy theorists who now she’s the new target. And that’s Kinda how the first season goes. And what you end up finding out is that not only was Beth looking like her, but she’s actually a clone and Sarah was a clone. And you find this whole dynamic of this science company who had a bunch of clones and really everybody kind of lives in, in the same kind of area, which is kind of interesting cause you think you’d run into each other, but how each different clone has a different personality and you know, then you find out that there’s a whole separate company that was doing their own clone. So you had the one company that was doing female clones and then you had the other that was doing male clones and it was basically like a power struggle, you know? But no spoilers.
So you know, the more that that Sara, you know, delves into this, she gets deeper and deeper into, you know, finding out that there’s always this other level, you know, it’s like you thought you knew everything and something else and you thought you knew something. You know. So I, I, you know, I, again, I started watching it the first couple of seasons and Kinda got into it and then it was like, all right. And then it was really probably by like the middle of the third, fourth season. And then obviously the final season that I was really, you know, into it and, and you know, wanted to see how they ended it. But now it’s one of those, I’d like to go back and watch it, you know, from the beginning and see, um, you know, all the different things. So if you’re into PSI Phi and conspiracy theories and you know, um, the, uh, the, the actress who, who plays Sarah phenomenal actress, and it’s amazing because she has all of these different characters that she plays and just the, the different personas that she brings, you know, to each one. So, you know, definitely a, a fantastic, uh, performance by her. All right, good pic. Thank you.
so my pick this week, another shocker here as a bit of a, a documentary. Is it a pop culture documentary though? This one is rise of the superheroes. okay. This is a story of how superheroes from Tim Burton’s prototype blockbuster, Batman, a blade x men spreading man, uh, up to iron man and Black Panther brought the life from the pages of comic books first took over Hollywood and then conquered the world through action films with larger than life characters. A rise of the superheroes analyzes how superhero movies once thought to be too campy and mainly for children have taken over Hollywood and produce smash hit after smash hit the documentary begins its investigation nearly 20 years before mainstream hits, such as the dark night or iron man with Tim Burton’s Batman. Uh, I remember actually reading the novel that before the movie even came out. Oh, okay. Kinda had an idea of what the move was going to be about.
Okay. Uh, so a featuring established stars, Michael Keaton, uh, Jack Nicholson and Kim Kim Basinger, uh, in the cast of Batman, the film proved that comic book movies were starting to find a foothold in mainstream culture, uh, as the film delves into the past, uh, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, while the show itself starts with Batman, it really centers around where we are today with comic books, superheroes in the movies where it’s not comic books anymore. Right. You know, your origin started in the 30s and forties, and you know, like to me the first superhero movie, the first credible superhero movie was 70 nines, Superman. Um, that was the, the quintessential, the magic was finally there. I used to be a huge fan of the old, uh, Superman serial shows with George Reeves and you know, it was campy and it was, you know, he acted it out, which was funny cause he acted as though it was like a serious drama.
Oh yeah. But you know, when you see the guy jumping off a trampoline out the window, you know, and you know he’s going to fall and he’s not gonna fly or you know, someone sits there and unloads a six shooter, Adam and he stands there and takes the bolts off the chest and then they throw a gun and he ducks, you know, it’s fun. That was the thing. You always heard stories about him and how he just, he was the persona of it. He was taking it seriously. It wasn’t just an acting job for him, but when, but when, you know, Christopher Reeve came out and played superman in the seventies and eighties. You believed it. I mean, in fact, in the, in the show, they show this one scene that’s a continuous uncut scene where superman flies in with Lois Lane, drops her on the deck, flies off, there’s a knock at the door, the camera pans as she walks through the room and opens the door and he’s there as Clark can still have no idea how they pulled that shot off without a cut.
Um, but that was what it was. I mean, when this guy flew, he looked like he was flying out. Yeah. The realism was there and as the movies, and that was before digital effects, everything was, he was on a wire. It was all practical effects that were done to make it look so real. And then, you know, when Tim Burton’s Batman hit, you know, that one really hit home. I mean, it’s hard to really look at Michael Keaton and think of him as an intimidating person like Batman. It really is. Even to this day, you know, it’s hard to see him as, as Batman, but what the show does is it takes you through this evolution all the way up through the new Batman movies than other vendor movies and everything. Um, and it’s a really cool look of the evolution of superhero movies. So rise of the superheroes is streaming now on Amazon prime video. Very cool. I’ll have to check that one out. Um, I think that was all we had for this week. I think it is. No afterthoughts, no afterthoughts today. Uh, we’ll be back next week with a new podcast. I did want to put a shout out there for our audio listeners. You can find the video versions of these on firstname.lastname@example.org
backslash insights into things podcast. Awesome. And Ah, I think we’re out of here. We are. Alright, bye. Bye.
- Insights Into Entertainment Episode 27 “Anniversaries, earnings and the Boss”
- My radiant and wonderful co-host Michelle Whalen
- Disney Detective
- The Haunted Mansion Turns 50 Today and It’s Still the Pinnacle of What a Disney Theme Park Ride Can Be
- You don’t have to look too far amidst the theme-park discussions online, in forums and on Disney Twitter (which you can scoff at, but it’s very real and often very acrimonious), to find a number of common phrases thrown around. One of the big ones is about the late Walt Disney: “Walt wouldn’t have done it this way” or “Walt would do it this way”. It’s an easy response to filter and process any theme-park news of the day.
- In the years after Walt Disney passed away, the feature-film division struggled, both in live-action and animation. But the theme parks largely thrived, with the first major addition that Walt hadn’t been directly involved in arriving in the dog days of the summer of 1969. In a lot of ways, The Haunted Mansion, celebrating its 50th anniversary today, is one of the more old-fashioned attractions in the Disney theme parks. But it felt revolutionary on Day One, and has influenced the parks more than you might expect.
- As was the case with many of the attractions at Disneyland that arrived in the late 1960s and 1970s, Walt Disney did have some say in the origins of The Haunted Mansion, if not the final product. As soon as he brought together a group of artists to make up the first Imagineers for the Walt Disney Company, Walt had the basic idea of a spookhouse attraction in mind. Theme parks and haunted houses go hand in hand, and the initial plans for The Haunted Mansion were publicized years before Disney’s passing. By 1963, the exterior for the eponymous mansion had been fully constructed in the place that would become New Orleans Square in Disneyland. If that wasn’t enough, plans for a haunted-house attraction were unveiled on the Wonderful World of Disney show by the man himself in 1965.
- The key difference, though, is that the version of the Haunted Mansion envisioned in the early 1960s isn’t the version we all know and love today. The six-year delay between the exterior of the attraction being built and the attraction opening can at least be explained partially by one of the last major projects of Disney’s life: the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York, which served as the founding place for Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the PeopleMover and It’s A Small World. The Haunted Mansion was never out of the minds of Disney or his Imagineers – it was simply a lower priority as the men and women at Walt Disney Imagineering built rides of the future.
- One of the centerpieces of the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland, the Haunted Mansion was originally envisioned by Disney and Imagineers like Ken Anderson as a walkthrough attraction. The vision also included a so-called “Museum of the Weird” that would have leaned even harder on the spooky side of things, being the equivalent of the Blue Bayou restaurant that overlooks the first stretch of Pirates of the Caribbean, the other New Orleans Square attraction. (Pirates celebrated its 50th anniversary in July of 2017.) The interactive illusions that were a foundation of this “Weird” version of the attraction morphed into something else when, over time, the walkthrough turned into a ride.
- That change largely occurred after Disney died in December of 1966. Though the company could be seen as adrift without its namesake (Walt’s brother Roy lived for five more years, alive to dedicate the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971, but he was never perceived as a creative wizard the way his brother was), the Imagineers didn’t lose their pace. Because a walkthrough attraction was going to hold fewer guests per hour, it was decided that the Haunted Mansion would utilize the OmniMover technology that could be found at the time in the Adventures Through Inner Space attraction in Tomorrowland. The OmniMover vehicles, thematically renamed as the “Doom Buggies”, enabled the attraction’s track to run continuously.
- Of course, leading up to the reveal of the attraction, there were intense debates among the Imagineers: should Disneyland really be opening a ride that would scare its audiences? Some of their animated films had the ability to terrify children, but the theme park, over its first decade, didn’t lean very hard on frightening people. Though the company’s first feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, had inspired a dark ride in Fantasyland, Snow White’s Scary Adventures has long been the source of controversy among families who find it to be too…well, scary, for their kids.
- The Haunted Mansion, in its completed form, serves as a happy medium between being an attraction that’s funnier instead of being scary, and an attraction that’s scarier than it is funny. Many of the attraction’s effects are both magically fascinating and deceptively practical. Guests enter the forbidding mansion (ironically inspired by a house in Baltimore, not a manse anywhere near New Orleans) and are invited by a disembodied voice, that of the Ghost Host, to enter a Stretching Room with portraits that have hidden, nastily funny depths. (One appears to feature a pretty young woman looking off into the distance, until we see that she’s actually walking a tightrope above a crocodile.)
- That Stretching Room (or, basically, a large elevator) descends downwards before you’re asked to walk down a hall to enter your Doom Buggy. From there, you’re presented with various spooky scenes, from graves with skeletons moving around inside to dancing ghosts (an effect achieved with well-placed mirrors and Audio-Animatronic figures) and more. The attraction, like many of the masterstrokes of Disney Imagineering in the 1960s and 1970s, thrived in spite of the fact that it wasn’t inspired by pre-existing material. The Haunted Mansion arguably thrived because it wasn’t based on something that already existed. What the attraction achieves at its finest is marrying a familiar enough idea – a haunted house in an amusement park – with technology that seems cutting-edge even if it’s just old-fashioned magic dressed up.
- Over the last 20 years, The Haunted Mansion (which can now be found in some capacity at five of Disney’s worldwide theme parks) has served as the foundation for both a forgettable and unpopular feature film, and as the foundation for a revised, IP-heavy attraction. The 2003 film The Haunted Mansion served as one of the latter-day Eddie Murphy family comedies. There are a few elements that work in the otherwise limp film, such as Terence Stamp as a ghostly butler with a nefarious and racist streak (because, as I’m sure you all remember, The Haunted Mansion hinges on an interracial romance, another of its unexpectedly intriguing aspects). But mostly, The Haunted Mansion is just another way for Eddie Murphy to mug his way through perhaps fittingly lifeless material.
- A couple of years earlier, Disney had begun utilizing another movie in The Haunted Mansion. (The 2003 comedy isn’t heavily represented in the attraction these days.) That would be the Tim Burton-produced stop-motion animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas. Though it wasn’t a massive hit upon its release in the fall of 1993, The Nightmare Before Christmas has gradually become one of the most popular Disney-adjacent films of the last quarter-century. (Fun fact: at the time, Disney chose to let Touchstone Pictures be the chief distributor, because it was perceived to be too scary for the Walt Disney Pictures banner to be placed in front of it.) Jack Skellington is almost as recognizable an icon in the holiday season as Tinker Bell or Mickey Mouse are, with his film serving as a colorful way to spruce up The Haunted Mansion for four months of the year.
- That version of the attraction is very impressive, but it’s still not the original. The Haunted Mansion has, of course, gone through a number of changes in the last 50 years; recently, one of the cult-favorite characters that never actually saw the light of day, The Hatbox Ghost, was finally installed near the graveyard scene of the ride. The Haunted Mansion is perhaps the best possible distillation of why the Disney theme parks are so special and beloved. If you want to get your pants scared off, go to the Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. Yes, the title of the attraction and its exterior implies terror, but The Haunted Mansion is a classic in every possible way, interested in refining an old-fashioned type of attraction instead of breaking new ground. It’s old magic, which is the best kind.
- Disney announces $12.99 bundle for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+
- Disney will offer a bundle package of its three streaming services — Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ — for $12.99 a month starting on November 12th.
- The company previously hinted at a bundle for all three services, but CEO Bob Iger made it official during the company’s investors call today. At $12.99, the bundle is cheaper than or on par with competitive streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. It’s also significantly cheaper than HBO Max’s rumored streaming price of $16 or $17 a month. Hulu is currently available for $5.99 a month (with ads), and ESPN+ costs $4.99 a month.
- ESPN+ is the Disney-owned sports streaming platform, which carries “hundreds of MLB, NHL and MLS games, Grand Slam tennis, Top Rank boxing, PGA Tour golf, college sports, international rugby, cricket, the full library of ESPN Films including 30 for 30, and more.” It’s also now the streaming destination for UFC fights, which Disney no doubt hopes can make up for the lack of SportsCenter and other banner shows from ESPN the cable network.
- The bundle will include the standard, ad-supported tier of Hulu — not the more expensive no-commercials plan or Hulu with Live TV. Presumably Disney will offer a way to upgrade to those pricier Hulu subscriptions.
- There are a few other questions that went unanswered on the earnings call. Disney+, for example, will eventually launch in international markets. It’s unclear if that will be the same for the bundle because of regional issues with content. Hulu, for example, is not available in Canada, but Disney wants to bring Hulu to international markets, too. The big question is ESPN+, again because of regional licensing issues. Iger told investors the company doesn’t have “anything to announce right now in terms of markets.”
- Most of the interest from investors, however, was still on Disney+. Iger spoke quite a bit about Disney+ during the investors call, referring to the service as “the most important product the company has launched in my tenure.”
- “The positive response to our direct-to-consumer strategy has been gratifying, and the integration of the businesses we acquired from 21st Century Fox only increases our confidence in our ability to leverage decades of iconic storytelling and the powerful creative engines across the entire company to deliver an extraordinary value proposition to consumers,” Iger said in a press release.
- Disney Declares Hollywood’s Future: Big Movies in Theaters, Everything Else Is Streaming
- When The Walt Disney Company announced its third-quarter earnings August 6 with a $170 million loss that came from underperforming Fox films, that wasn’t the big news. “The fundamentals of Disney are strong and certainly staying strong,” said Jimmy Schaeffler, CEO of media consultancy the Carmel Group. “I don’t know too many people who wouldn’t argue they aren’t getting stronger.”
- However, with that quarterly report, one company effectively set the agenda for Hollywood’s future: Big movies belong in theaters. A theatrical original is a prestige play. For everything else, there’s streaming — which will demand aggressive pricing and relentless marketing across all quadrants to reach the scale needed for success. Expect all cylinders firing by 2021. Any questions?
- Iger spoke plainly: His company had a loss, a real one. However, it stemmed from the acquisition of a movie studio that was in worse shape than he’d hoped — and, he wanted to make clear, that had nothing to do with the Disney agenda, which already has seen $8 billion in box office this year.
- “I’ll note that the performance of the Disney Film Studio continues to be incredibly strong,” he said on the earnings call. “This quarter’s theatrical slate, including “Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Toy Story 4,’ and the carryover success of ‘Captain Marvel,’ drove higher worldwide theatrical results compared to what was also an outstanding slate of films during the third quarter last year, which included ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ ‘Incredibles 2,’ and ‘Black Panther.’”
- While the only underperforming Fox title he mentioned by name was superhero flop “Dark Phoenix,” the others were “Stuber,” “Breakthrough,” and Fox Searchlight’s “Tolkien,” which Disney released in May. Those films, along with “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” a Fox title set for release Friday, seem quaint in the face of a 21st-century box-office environment that loves blockbusters almost exclusively.
- And, as Iger said, that won’t happen again on Disney’s watch: Fox was going in a “new direction … applying the same discipline and creative standards behind the success of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.” If those movies are good enough, they’ll go theatrical; others will be destined for Hulu and Disney+. Among the once-lucrative big-screen franchises headed for home-viewing development are “Home Alone,” “Night at the Museum,” “Cheaper by the Dozen” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”
- Meanwhile, the full-press marketing push for Disney+ starts this month, with members of D23 — the 10-year-old official fan club for The Walt Disney Company, which costs $100 a year — getting the first opportunity to buy the service, which will be pushed through all Disney touch points worldwide — parks, hotels, credit cards. (“I could go on and on,” said Iger.)
- Disney’s streaming plans could be a major disruption to Netflix, Schaeffler said, saying the company is “brilliant” to bundle three platforms: Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN+ for $13 — a dollar more than Netflix’s standard package.
- “It’s going to be able to access such a remarkable demographic,” he said, including kids, families, adults, and sports lovers. And while the price point may not make Disney a lot of money to start, it will allow them to count possibly hundreds of millions of subscribers worldwide, from whom the company can collect data to keep viewers hooked with relevant original programming — just like Netflix.
- Finally, there’s the indies — the market sector that lives and dies by contrarian visions. Fox Searchlight barely rated a mention on the call, with Iger saying only: “Fox Searchlight will continue to make the prestige films it’s known for while expanding its high-quality original storytelling into the DTC space.” That take, which suggests that only awards plays are assured theatrical runs, could be a greater culture shock for the specialty division than for its major-studio counterparts. It would put Searchlight acquisition offers toe-to-toe with streamers like Netflix and Amazon (which is also becoming much more selective about booking theatrical runs).
- That said, Searchlight plays an essential role in the Disney ecosystem. It’s key for servicing top talent like Taika Watiti, the filmmaker who put Disney in the unusual position of releasing a Hitler satire for awards consideration, “Jojo Rabbit” — but who’s also going to direct Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder,” just saw the renewal of FX series “What We Do in the Shadows,” and directed an episode of “The Mandalorian” for Disney+. He’s also directing another film for Searchlight, “Next Goal Wins,” based on Mike Brett and Steve Jamison’s 2014 soccer documentary; whether it’s a theatrical or streaming title remains to be seen.
- Entertainment News
- Lady Gaga Accused of Copying ‘Shallow,’ Her Lawyer Calls Claim ‘Shameful’
- Songwriter Steve Ronsen has accused Lady Gaga of copying one of his compositions in her Oscar and Grammy-winning song, “Shallow.”
- Ronsen believes a three-note progression in his 2012 song “Almost” was duplicated in the A Star Is Born hit. However, a source tells Us Weekly multiple musicologists reviewed the two songs and found no material similarities. The insider adds that the melodic combination is “common” and can be heard in tracks “from centuries ago.”
- “Lady Gaga is outraged by these false claims and will not back down in any way,” the insider tells Us.
- According to Page Six, Gaga, 33, could face a lawsuit stemming from the alleged similarities of the melodies.
- “In an effort to amicably resolve this matter months ago, my office provided Lady Gaga’s legal team, at their request, with an official report from a renowned and respected musicologist and professor who determined that there are significant tempo, melodic, rhythmic and harmonic similarities between the two ‘hooks’ of the songs at issue,” Ronsen’s attorney Mark D. Shirian said in a statement to Us on Thursday, August 8. “Lady Gaga’s team has yet to provide my office with an opposing musicologist report, which we have requested multiple times.”
- Gaga’s lawyer Orin Snyder denied the plagiarism accusations. “Mr. Ronsen and his lawyer are trying to make easy money off the back of a successful artist. It is shameful and wrong,” he told Us. “I applaud Lady Gaga for having the courage and integrity to stand up on behalf of successful artists who find themselves on the receiving end of such [claims]. Should Mr. Shirian proceed with this case, Lady Gaga will fight it vigorously and will prevail.”
- The actress and her cowriters, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt, won an Academy Award for best original song in February. Additionally, Gaga and costar Bradley Cooper, who performs the song with her in the film, took home the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
- Earlier this month, Katy Perry lost a similar lawsuit after a jury ruled that her 2013 track “Dark Horse” copied Flame’s 2008 Christian rap song “Joyful Noise.” The 34-year-old songstress and the other defendants on the case were ordered to pay $2.78 million as a result.
- Bruce Springsteen surprises fans with a mini set at Blinded by the Light premiere
- Fans were blinded by a surprise appearance from Bruce Springsteen himself at the premiere of Blinded by the Light, the movie inspired by his music, at Paramount Theater on Wednesday night in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
- After arriving with wife Patti Scialfa and the film’s director Gurinder Chanda and her family, the iconic singer delivered a surprise performance after the movie screened. The rocker performed four songs and was joined on stage by Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes. Together they played “Talk to Me,” Wilson Pickett’s “634-5789,” “Sherry Darling,” and Sam Cooke’s “We’re Having a Party.”
- Directed by Chadha, Blinded by the Light is based on the memoir by Sarfraz Manzoor, Greetings from Bury Park and premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it emerged as an audience and critics’ favorite. The flick showcases the impact of Springsteen’s music on a South Asian Muslim teenager (played by Viveik Kalra) growing up in England in the 1980s and features Springsteen’s music from the ‘70s and ’80s.
- Blinded by the Light is in theaters Aug. 16.
- ‘Criminal’: David Tennant, Hayley Atwell series to premiere Sept. 20 on Netflix
- Criminal, a new series starring David Tennant and Hayley Atwell, will premiere on Netflix in September.
- The streaming service shared a premiere date, Sept. 20, and first-look photos of Tennant and Atwell on Friday.
- One of the stills shows Atwell with pink hair, while another features the actress speaking to police. Another shows Tennant speaking to someone off-camera.
- “Set entirely within the confines of a police interview suite, Criminal (starring David Tennant, Hayley Atwell, &+) comes to Netflix 20 September,” the post reads.
- Criminal will consist of 12 episodes. The show takes place in four countries — France, Spain, Germany and the U.K. — with three episodes in each location. Tennant, Atwell and Nicholas Pinnock star in the U.K. episodes.
- The episodes in France will star Margot Bancilhon, Lauren Lucas and Stephane Jobert, the episodes in Germany will feature Eva Meckbach, Sylvester Groth and Florence Kasumba, and the episodes in Spain will star Jorge Bosch, Jose Angel Egido and Nuria Mencia.
- Criminal is described as a cat-and-mouse drama that explores the mental conflict between police and the suspect in custody. The show hails from Killing Eve writer George Kay and Jim Field Smith.
- Insightful Picks
- orphan black – 5 seasons on BBCA – can be found on Amazon Prime
- Sarah is a street-wise woman with a troubled past as an English orphan who bounced around foster homes before being taken in by Mrs. S, who uprooted her and her foster brother, Felix, to North America. She has made bad decisions in her life but always strives to do right by daughter Kira. When Sarah witnesses the suicide of Beth, a woman who looks like her, she decides to steal Beth’s identity — boyfriend and money included — in an attempt to begin a new life for herself and Kira, with whom Sarah hopes to reunite. But assuming Beth’s life — Sarah eventually learns that Beth was her clone — doesn’t go as smoothly as she anticipates because Beth was a cop caught in the middle of a deadly conspiracy, making Sarah the new target. Sarah must fight to stay alive while trying to escape from the complex web. As more threads appear, Sarah is pulled deeper, and Felix becomes her one true confidant.
- Rise of the Superheroes
- This is the story of how superheroes from Tim Burton’s prototype blockbuster Batman, Blade, X-Men, Spiderman to Iron Man and the Black Panther brought to life from the pages of comic books, first took over Hollywood and then conquered the world through action films with larger-than-life characters.
- “Rise Of The Superheroes” analyzes how superhero movies, once thought to be too campy and mainly for children, have taken over Hollywood and produced smash hit after smash hit.
- The documentary begins its investigation nearly 20 years before mainstream hits such as “The Dark Knight” or “Iron Man,” with Tim Burton’s “Batman.”
- Featuring established stars Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Kim Basinger in the cast, the film proved that comic book movies were starting to find a foothold in mainstream culture.
- As the film delves into the past decade of superhero flicks, it explores the factors that are making these movies the highest-grossing.
- While the 1990s relied on stand-alone epics based on books or historical events, audiences now enjoy the escapism and cutting-edge special effects that a modern superhero movie can provide.
- It also doesn’t hurt that the kids who grew up reading comics are now older and have more money to spend.
- Rise of the Superheroes now streaming on Amazon Prime Video