Film | by Shane “Pining For The Fjords” Hnetka

Wow! Black Panther is now the domestic box office’s highest-grossing superhero movie of all time, surpassing The Avengers! It’s third on the list behind The Force Awakens and Avatar. Naturally, bitter people who hate success have been pointing their rotten little fingers, blaming Panther for several recent Hollywood flops. “It was too popular!”, they whine. “It stole all the business!”

These parade-rainers conveniently ignore the fact that the failed movies all sucked. Studio drones will look for any excuse for their crappy movies’ failure. It’s nothing new: last year they blamed Rotten Tomatoes for several high-profile flops. This year, it’s Black Panther for being “too popular” (oh hello there, racism!). These twerps need to quit whining and — and I say this all the time — just make better movies.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Netflix has acquired the entire Monty Python catalogue! This includes the TV series, live shows and, of course, all the movies. The company’s also considering producing work by the remaining members; I’m assuming they mean a Netflix original show or special of some sort. The Python deluge starts streaming April 15 with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python’s Life Of Brian and of course Monty Python’s Flying Circus, among other treats. It will be cool to be able to watch Python on Netflix.

Cannes Too! Cannes Not!

The Cannes Film Festival announced Netflix has been banned from the festival, starting this year. Cannes has a problem with Netflix not releasing movies theatrically and previously announced a rule that no movies that haven’t played in French theatres can be entered into competition. I guess despite spending millions on original films, Netflix movies are considered nothing more than glorified TV.

To be honest, while I’ve watched lots and lots of original Netflix stuff, I haven’t seen any of its original movies. I have watched a few Amazon Studios releases, but they’ve actually been in theatres for some time before streaming.

Anyway, several filmmakers — including Christopher Nolan and, more recently, Steven Spielberg — have condemned Netflix’s rejection of theatrical runs. “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie,” Spielberg said in an interview with ITV news. “You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar. I don’t believe films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theaters for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.”

Ouch. Incidentally, Spielberg’s first film was the TV movie Duel.

It was so good it graduated to a theatrical run.

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