The Streaming War is Coming to our homes- Grab your popcorn and Watch the Throne
After years of ridicule and exclusion from prestigious awards, the tides have turned and all the major studios now want to be just like Netflix, but better. I touched on this topic a year ago in my original Game of Streams article, so let’s see what’s happened since then.
Netflix have been sitting pretty on the Streaming Throne mostly uncontested for the last few years. The Major studios have observed from the sidelines, occasionally dipping their toes in to check the temperature and measure public opinion. But a combination of massive studio losses in 2020 (due to the Covid Pandemic) and a fantastic fiscal year for Netflix, everyone now wants a bigger slice of the Streaming cake
But with all these services vying for our attention, it’s impossible for any one of us to keep up with all the content available or the cost. So, the We Talk Film team are here to offer our opinions on which of the steaming service we believe are on top right now and what films we plan to watch next.
Asking a film addict to choose just one streaming service seems cruel, Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+ all have incredible content right now. And with lockdown putting my cinema membership on hold I’ve been redirecting that cash to EVEN MORE services to add to my arsenal (BFI Player for world classics, National Theatre At Home for my theatre fix.)
Cutting any seems impossible! But with their huge slate of new films from great film makers Netflix really seems like the one to beat in 2021 and the one service I watch more than any other. No one is pulling in directors like they have lately.
Next on my list: I’m Thinking of Ending Things. I struggled to find the time and the right frame of mind for something so cerebral when this came out in late 2020 but hey: new lockdown, new me. Come on Charlie Kaufman, show me what you got.
Dani gives the first point to Netflix
After Netflix’s big announcement of their massive 2021 film slate for subscribers and Disney Plus currently showing the first of their slate of Marvel TV series exclusives with Wandavision, it would be easy and perhaps justified to make a case that one of those two behemoths is the premier streaming offering but I’m going to make a case for Amazon Prime.
Despite being the most popular of the three Netflix seem to favour quantity over quality with their offerings and, although this will be somewhat rectified this year with the aforementioned string of Marvel Exclusives among others, Disney is severely lacking in original content right now.
As such I would argue that Amazon has a stronger and more varied selection of original and exclusive content from TV shows such as This is Us and The Boys to films like 21 Bridges and One Night in Miami.
Amazon Prime also has flexed their spending power in securing the exclusive rights for the Borat sequel on Prime for a reported $80m which shows their willingness to invest in top content for subscribers in future.
Best thing on Prime Now? The Boys – The adult take on the Superhero genre is 2 seasons deep, is absolutely brilliant and comes highly recommended. If you haven’t watched it already do so now!
What am I most looking forward to watching next on Prime? Coming 2 America – In another stunning example of obtaining premium content Amazon has secured the distribution rights to the sequel to the classic Eddie Murphy film which will be available exclusively on Prime.
Matt gives a point to Amazon Prime Video
It’s hard to deny that “Netflix” is the current leader in the streaming stakes at the moment. Whilst I do enjoy Amazon and Disney+, I must admit that I tend to gravitate a lot more towards Netflix as they seem to have new movies and shows being presented on their platform week-after-week.
I tend to approach the other streaming services to watch something in-particular whereas on Netflix, I will happily sit down and surf it, deciding what to watch next.
Speaking of what to watch next, I am looking forward to the Netflix film “Malcolm & Marie”, which stars the talents of Zendaya alongside John David Washington. I love the Black & white concept that the director ‘Sam Levinson’ has chosen, and I am a fan of both actors.
I have also heard much praise from critics regarding this movie and it has gotten me excited to see it. Make sure you check it out with me when it drops on 29th January 2021.
Kal-El gives Netflix another point
I’ve been disappointed with Netflix recent offerings (I’m looking at you ‘Outside the Wire’ review). Thats not to say they haven’t put out anything decent, it just seems to be a rush to quantity over quality. I’m still looking forward to Red Notice.
HBO Max is already a year old in the US and due to launch later this year in the UK. I believe if they had launched here at the right price point, they would have shot to the number one spot. While Disney still relies on the nostalgia of their ‘classics’ and the promise of shows to come, HBO Max already has a depth and variety of films and TV shows currently unmatched by any service.
Paramount are about to launch their own service (Paramount plus) which will feature things like The Mission Impossible series. At present not sounding particularly exciting. Apple have taken an interesting approach with their service. Whilst their tech is known as the most flashy and expensive, Apple TV plus not only has the least amount of content but is also the cheapest.
They have focused on more drama based personal stories rather than blockbuster attention grabbing films. I really enjoyed their recent release ‘Palmer‘ starring Justin Timberlake (review here) and their next release ‘Cherry‘ stars Tom Holland and is directed by the Russo Brothers (trailer here). They are definitely focusing on quality.
Having said all this, I must agree with Matt and give my vote to Amazon Prime Video. In the absence of cinema, they have provided a steady stream of not necessarily flashy but quality stories with top notch talent. I recently watched Promising Young Woman starring Carey Mulligan and it very quickly joined my list as one of my favourites so far this year (review here)
I also watched ‘Greenland‘ with Gerald Butler and ‘I Care a Lot‘ with Rosamund Pike (reviews coming shortly) both of which I found enjoyable and entertaining. I am looking forward to ‘Bliss‘ with Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek and of course, Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America 2. I believe Amazon Prime Video is currently the service to beat
Mysteree gives a point to Amazon Prime Video
So that leaves Amazon and Netflix tied with two points each. Can you break the tie or choose a different service all together? Comment below