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Film | by Shane “Aqualad” Hnetka

Howdy folks! It’s a new year but I’m still here to ramble on about whatever movie stuff I feel like rambling on about. Which, at the moment is this: go see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse before it leaves theatres. It’s an amazing visual treat. Do it!

Another Win for DC

Aquaman just crossed the billion dollar mark at the worldwide box office, making it the first film in DC’s movie universe to accomplish that. It also got reasonably good reviews, which only Wonder Woman had pulled in to date.

But does this mean the future of the DC cinematic universe isn’t completely hopeless? It’s hard to say.

This year Warner/DC will release Shazam. I’m not sure if it’s a standalone film or part of the cinematic universe. They’re also putting out Joker, which is a weird one. Joaquin Phoenix replaces Jared Leto as Joker in what is apparently an origin story, and Robert De Niro’s in it too for some reason. Todd Philips of The Hangover fame is writing and directing.

DC/Warner also has Wonder Woman 1984 coming up, but that isn’t getting released until 2020. And it sounds like DC has lost both Ben Affleck (Batman) and Henry Cavill (Superman), so they might have to reboot and recast if they want to continue the universe beyond 2020.

But for now there’s Aquaman, and it’s made a ton of money. Pretty surprising for one of DC’s lamest heroes.

Everyone Is Streaming

It’s going to be a very interesting year for movies and TV. It feels like all the major studios are committed to streaming their own products. Disney will have Disney+, which it’s investing heavily in. Warner Bros. is doing the same. Netflix and Amazon are making big pushes to stay on top. The Criterion Collection will launch its own service in the spring, and Apple is planning a streaming service too — also in the spring from the sounds of it.

And I’m sure that there’s more to come.

Meanwhile, the news out of this year’s Consumers Electronic Show isn’t good for physical media. There were only three new Blu-ray/4K players announced for the year, as everyone is focusing on the streaming industry. That doesn’t mean physical media formats are dead — it just means the big studios can’t be bothered with them anymore. Fortunately for people like me, there are still a ton of small companies willing to release movies and TV shows onto Blu-ray and DVDs. That said, things are going to be interesting in the next few years.

Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd. His column “Sunday Matinee” appears weekly on our blog.