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FILM by Shane “Man In Suit” Hnetka

The original actor to play Godzilla has sadly passed away at the age of 88. Haruo Nakajima suited up as the big, green city-flattening machine in 11 movies starting with 1954’s Godzilla. He also played King Kong in King Kong Escapes, and Mothra and Rodan for an outing each, as well as taking on bit parts in films like Seven Samurai and The Hidden Fortress. But it’s for his performances inside heavy, hard-to-move costumes that Nakajima will be remembered. It takes a special talent to give a rubber monster personality while stomping cardboard buildings under hot studio lights. Rest in peace, Haruo Nakajima.

Netflix Buys Millarworld

Mark Millar is a Scottish comic book writer who used to work at DC and Marvel, where he wrote the well-known stories “Old Man Logan” and “Civil War”. Like a lot of creators, he went on to publish comics through his own company, which he named Millarworld. You’ve probably heard of the movies Kick Ass and The Kingsman? Those were adapted from Millarworld comics.

Millar’s work is hit and miss these days. A lot of his books are transparent attempts to attract Hollywood deals. It’s not much fun reading comics that only matter as intellectual property assets, but I guess it works for him.

As for Netflix, it’s been dumping a lot of cash lately on content to entice new subscribers. That’s not a bad idea, but buying Millarworld seems like a stretch. Kick Ass and Kingsman aren’t even part of the deal! There are probably one or two good stories to adapt from Millar’s body of work — I like the gentle, folksy Superman analogue Huck — but I kind of feel like Netflix got bamboozled here. The stuff I read didn’t say how much money changed hands, but hopefully it wasn’t a lot.

Don’t Cross the Streams!

While Netflix busies itself buying mediocre comic companies, Disney has announced its packing up its movies and going home. Yes, the Mouse House is planning to start its own streaming service in 2019.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. has been looking into launching its own streaming service, which it would fill with original TV shows that were pitched to, and passed over by, the networks.

I imagine soon every studio will have its own streaming service. This means more competition for Netflix and Amazon. It also means things are going to be messier than when there was only cable TV.

People only have so much money to spend on leisure. Somebody’s going to lose.

Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd.