Written by Ollie C.
It’s undeniable that the unfortunate outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus has had sweeping and saddening effects across all industries and sectors across the world since its inception in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
Being an entertainment news source and blog, we thought it would be interesting to discuss the socio-economic impacts that the outbreak has had, is having and will continue to have on the film and television industry.
It came as a surprise today that the worldwide release of the latest James Bond film, No Time To Die, will be postponed from April to 25th November due to worries surrounding the outbreak and health security. This has caused many to question whether other studios will issue announcements surrounding the rescheduling or postponement of their upcoming films. What effects will this have on the industry as a whole? Will small movie theatres survive a landscape of limited film releases? Let’s discuss.
Coronavirus in China
In January 2020, the Chinese government took it upon themselves to demand that Chinese film companies release their upcoming films online rather than in cinemas in response to the outbreak including ‘Enter The Fat Dragon’ and ‘Lost In Russia’.
Even the big global players in the industry have been affected, most notably Disney’s Mulan. The film that is set predominantly in China, was planned for release on 27th March but has now been delayed indefinitely according to Disney CEO Bob Iger. Only a week ago, Paramount Pictures announced that the seventh installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise, starring Tom Cruise, halted a planned three-week shoot in Venice due to virus fears in Italy.
China, being the second-largest film market after North America, has played a significant role in the strong performance of the likes of the recent $2 billion earning Avengers: Endgame and the ever-popular Fast & Furious franchise.
In terms of film festivals, of which there are many across the globe in the upcoming months, concerns have been raised surrounding the events as they often draw thousands of visitors from press and film. The Cannes Film Festival, on the French Riviera, is set to begin on 12th May, but spokespeople for the festival have said that the health and safety of the public will remain the priority.
But more locally, theatres in small towns and cities, especially those run independently could suffer drastically, as they see blockbuster films being pulled, and movie-goers choosing to stay at home. It remains to be seen the extent to which the virus will continue to spread, so it is worth noting that such concerns are currently hypothetical and only based on current box-office reports from the likes of China and Italy. The box office across Italy has seen a catastrophic 75% drop from that of February 2019.
The future remains unclear surrounding Covid-19, and its effects are of course incredibly detrimental to all parts of life. In the meantime, stay calm and safe.
Thank you for reading this special discussion from A Space Oddity editor, Oliver C.
Written by Ollie C.
The twelfth series of BBC's Doctor Who came to a dramatic and arguably controversial close last night, with 'The Timeless Children', and after ten weeks on our screens it's time to take a look back at the highs and lows of Jodie Whittaker's second series.
The Season That Changed Everything
Before Series Twelve premiered on New Years Day 2020, with Spyfall: Part One, claims that it was going to be a dramatic and consequential series were circulating around the internet and news publications. Chris Chibnall, show-runner from 2018 to present, claimed that it would be 'the season to change everything'- but was it?
It's safe to say that, for the most part, Series 12 stayed true to the tone of its preceding series that was a rather fun, happy romp with the occasional scare. But interweaved with these typical tones was a drastic change to Chibnall's risk free approach, bringing in huge reveals week after week. These included the return of the Master (portrayed by the wonderful Sacha Dhawan) along with Jo Martin's 'Ruth Doctor' - a mysterious past life of the Doctor we hadn't met before - and of course the grand finale in which the enigmatic Timeless Child was finally revealed.
This was a huge shift from what had come before, using the ten episode structure to give us a fantastic opening two-part shocker, a mid-season finale featuring a new Doctor and a bombastic conclusion featuring Gallifrey, the origins of the Time Lords, and of course more information about the Doctors elusive past. This certainly seems to be a structure that works for the series as we no longer have a dip halfway in the series where stories become stale and uninteresting.
The Thirteenth Doctor Arrives... Properly This Time
While Series Eleven of Doctor Who was by no means horrific, it equally wasn't particularly consequential, with Jodie Whittaker's 13th Doctor coming across as more of a watered down version of some of the more recent incarnations such as Tennant and Smith. But Series Twelve saw a much needed change, giving us a layered, vulnerable, determined and traumatised Doctor that we have rarely seen throughout any incarnation, let alone Whittaker herself.
Giving a stellar performance throughout the series, Whittaker's Doctor has finally cemented herself into the show, giving us an interpretation that is a stark contrast to what has come before. Standout moments include her powerful speech at the end of episode eight, 'The Haunting of Villa Diodati' and of course the two-part finale that saw her confront her past for good.
A Masterful Performance
Speaking of powerful performances, Sacha Dhawan, the latest incarnation of the Doctor's nemesis The Master, is truly outstanding in the role. Giving us a tortured, deranged yet nuanced portrayal, Dhawan's Master is truly a joy to watch, in particular giving superb performances in 'The Timeless Children' episode twelve, and of course the opening blockbuster in which his alter-ego of 'O' was revealed to the Doctor and friends.
Looking to The Future
As Series Twelve has now ended in dramatic fashion, with revelations surrounding the Doctor, the Timeless Child and Gallifrey, it's difficult to see where we could take the Doctor next. It's been revealed that the show will return over the festive period with the special 'Revolution of the Daleks'. It remains to be seen how the Doctor will escape her imprisonment, and how the three members of the TARDIS Team will return for what seems to be their final time. One thing we do know is that Chibnall is no longer holding back on putting his stamp on the show, and we look forward to seeing where the team take it next.
Written by Ollie C.
It has come as a great surprise today to hear that Bob Iger, Disney Chief Excecutive, has stepped down from his role. Having chaired the company since 2005, Iger has seen the company through a period of significant and exponential growth.
During his tenure, he oversaw the acquisitions of the likes of Marvel (which later became Marvel Studios), Star Wars' Lucasfilm, Pixar and most recently 21st Century Fox.
He piloted the company through perhaps its most prosperous time, as in the last ten years, 13 out of the top 20 highest-grossing films were Disney releases, and three of these titles entered the $2 Billion Dollar Club including the likes of Avengers: Endgame.
It has also been announced by Disney that Bob Chapek, formerly director of the company parks and products division, will take Iger's place as CEO in 2021. The future remains unclear as to whether the likes of Star Wars' Kathleen Kennedy will remain after her contract expires in the same year, but it will certainly be interesting to see how things progress.
It's certainly safe to say that Iger has put his stamp on the juggernaut that is Disney and he will be missed by many, being the one to bring in over 230,000 new employees since he started.
Written by Ollie C.
Regardless of whether you tuned in for the Super Bowl for the sports or not, it's likely you also witnessed the sneak peek that Disney issued for their upcoming Marvel Studios released onto their new streaming platform, Disney+. The three shows are 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier', 'WandaVision' and finally 'Loki', all of which we can expect to arrive between Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021. And it is safe to say that all three shows are certainly going to be a catalyst for a huge shake-up as Marvel Studios enters its fourth phase, post-Endgame. Let's take a look at what the 30 second snippet had to offer...
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
The first ten seconds of the TV Spot teaser is dedicated to the Anthony Mackie - Sebastian Stan double-act of 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier', in which we see Mackie's character pick up the mantle to become the new Captain America and his team-up with Bucky Barnes AKA The Winter Soldier. We also get a brief look at returning nemesis Helmut 'Baron' Zemo who appeared in Captain America: Civil War. With this being the very first teaser, we have very little to go on but we do expect to see a lot more in the coming months as the show begins to wrap shooting.
Arguably the most hotly anticipated show of the trio, WandaVision- featuring the title characters Wanda Maximoff and Vision- takes the Marvel Cinematic Universe in an unprecedented and unpredictable new direction as it attempts to take on the sitcom genre for the very first time. We see the pair don a variety of different sitcom-esque outfits inspired by the likes of I Love Lucy and The Brady Bunch. It's certainly going to be fascinating to see how the MCU pulls off this wildly different style to what they're used to, and it seems as if we won't be waiting too long to find out.
And finally, we have 'Loki'. Featuring the ever-wonderful Tom Hiddleston, this show much like TF&TWS, follows his mischevious and maniacal character post the events of Avengers: Endgame as he got transported into the alternate branch timeline after obtaining the Tesseract in 2012. While we don't get chance to see much as regards the plot, it definitely seems as if we could expect a return to the more villainous sides to his character, in replacement for his more anti-hero, mellowed attitude of his more recent appearances.
View the full TV Spot, below:
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Written by Ollie C.
In Short: Mendes presents the audience with a phenomenally moving, gripping and inspiring tale of two soldiers desperate to fight for their country, with superb direction and equally enthusiastic acting, this film is wholly deserving of its plethora of awards nominations and wins. 1917 may just be the best film of 2020 (and it's only been 10 days).
Amidst the Spring of 1917, we follow two young British soldiers, Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay) as they traverse across France on a mission to deliver a message to the 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, along with Colonel Mackenzie, calling off their planned attack on the German forces. If the mission isn't sucessful, the attack-involving Blake's own brother- will go ahead and cause them all to fall into the trap of the Germans.
Mendes' film perfectly captures the eerie silence of an empty battlefield, in conjunction with the ungodly horror of full-blown warfare in the trenches. Filmed across parts of Wiltshire and Scotland, Mendes stunningly recreates the World War One atmosphere and the scale of the war. And it goes without saying that this film truly is a feat of directing, with Mendes' delivering perhaps the most ambitious and visually striking one-shot films to date, as the camera virtually never pulls away from our two protagonists and the action surrounding them.
Speaking of whom, both Chapman and MacKay give stellar performances in their respective roles as young boys out of their comfort zone, trying to evade death in the most bleakest of environments, crossing unimaginable terrain and facing threats from all angles, with time being the ultimate enemy. Their chemistry on-screen is wonderful and you can truly see their friendship and comeradery shine through as they share the screen together.
Carrying this film is it's sensational soundtrack from Thomas Newman, a gorgeous orchestral score that elevates the film to higher heights than many of the dog-fighting fighterjets we see throughout the film. Some of the best tracks include 'Gehenna' and 'Sixteen Hundred Men'.
Overall, Mendes presents the audience with a phenomenally moving, gripping and inspiring tale of two soldiers desperate to fight for their country, with superb direction and equally enthusiastic acting, this film is wholly deserving of its plethora of awards nominations and wins. 1917 may just be the best film of 2020 (and it's only been 10 days).
'1917' is in UK theatres on 10th January 2020
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