Coffee Talk #676: Streaming Services and Social Layers

I’ve been wishing for the confluence of streaming services and social layers for a long time. With new services like Scener and Netflix Party, it’s finally happening. Although it’s not quite what I was looking for, these services are a welcome addition to the streaming video experience.

Netflix Party, Scener, and You

Netflix Party and Scener are extensions that work on top of streaming video services. Both add video and text chat windows to video. Netflix Party works with Netflix (duh), while Scener works with a number of streaming video services. Scener also has the added distinction of being officially supported by HBO Go and HBO Now.

These services aim to offer an experience that’s akin to watching a movie or television show with friends, sans physical presence. This is especially welcomed during a global pandemic, when social distancing and stay-at-home practices are strongly encouraged. Video calls through Facetime, Zoom, etc. are great, but watching movies and TV with your nearest and dearest takes it to another level.

If you’ve ever dreamed of starring in your own version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 or you simply miss watching TV with your friends, Netflix Party and Scener are worth checking out.

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Coffee Talk #675: How Much Time Should Elapse Before it’s Okay to Reveal Spoilers?

Last week I caught a bunch of heat on N4G. This article on Final Fantasy VII Remake discussed a major event from the original FFVII. The kids accused me of being the “spoilers!” guy. Initially, I dismissed it as Internet people being Internet people. Then RPadholic G-Iceman asked an interesting question in the RPadTV Slack:

“What is the appropriate amount of time that should pass before you can blurt out spoilers?”

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Random Thoughts on Shazam

Shazam is a delightful movie that’s full of joy and wonder. It has a lighthearted tone that’s deftly balanced by weighty consequences. It’s also the best film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).

Unlike previous DCEU efforts, Shazam isn’t hampered by dull moments sandwiched by great scenes (Wonder Woman). It doesn’t suffer from action that’s distractingly frenzied and Patrick Wilson yelling as if he graduated from Vegeta’s School of Melodramatic Screaming (Aquaman). The other DCEU movies…the less said about them, the better.

Shazam is funny, exciting, and captivating. It does very little wrong and does so many things right. You should see it. Now in the grand RPadTV of binary lists, here are some random thoughts on the wonderful Shazam movie. [Spoilers are about to strike like lightning. Preterite mode engaged.]

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Your Avengers Endgame Theories

The latest trailer for Avengers Endgame (embedded below) has dropped and it looks amazing. The upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film will probably be the nerd movie of the year and, more than likely, the highest-earning film of all time. Forget about all the for a moment. Today I’d love to hear your theories on how Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will get out of the dire predicament Avengers: Infinity War left them in.

Before we delve into Avengers Endgame theories, let’s take a look at the trailer. Be sure to turn your spoiler shields on (please)!

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10 Thoughts on Avengers Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War is a brilliant movie…if you’ve been keeping up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) for the last decade. If you’re one of those nerds moviegoers then you’ll be enthralled by the film’s action, snappy dialogue, and complexity. If not then you’ll find it to be a strange and confusing mess. Since you’re reading this article then you probably fall into the former category. With your geekdom established, I humbly present you with 10 thoughts on Avengers Infinity War.

[If you don’t want spoilers then stop reading now.]

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Coffee Talk #674: Should Netflix Be More Social?

Did you ever wish that Netflix had more social features? It’s something that I think about often. In many ways, it seems like a great opportunity; adding a social layer to Netflix would give it stickiness, increase the amount of time people use the service, and help the company retain subscribers. In my head, social features on Netflix would be fun and useful for several reasons.

  • You could get recommendations based on what your friends are watching.
  • You could see when friends are done binge-watching new shows and see who you can have spoiler-free discussions with.
  • You could see what your friends are watching and make fun of anyone that watches Maid in Manhattan.

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Random Thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming is easily the cutest (damn you Baby Groot!) most innocent movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unless your heart is made out of coal, it’s hard not to be charmed by the film’s “Aw Shucks” attitude. The captivating innocence is created by a combination of an inexperienced hero that’s eager to please, an idyllic high-school setting, and a wonderfully wholesome actor. In many ways, Spider-Man: Homecoming is the MCU equivalent of Glee (as a Gleek, I consider this an excellent thing).

Show choir analogies aside, Spider-Man: Homecoming is flat-out good and loads of fun. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is objectively one of the best MCU movies. Many geek tastemakers consider it one of the best superhero movies ever made. While I absolutely agree with that opinion, I’ve rewatched Captain America: Civil War much, much more. Civil War isn’t as good as The Winter Soldier, but it’s way more fun. What impressed me about Spider-Man: Homecoming was that it’s a top-tier MCU movie that’s also highly rewatchable. Prior to seeing this movie, I considered Guardians of the Galaxy to have the best blend of quality and rewatchability, as far as MCU movies go. Well move over Star Lord, because Spidey just stole your throne.

Whether you’re a hardcore comics nerd or someone with a marginal interest in teenagers that have been bitten by radioactive spiders, I highly recommend Spider-Man: Homecoming. It’s a great superhero movie that will enchant you with its innocence.

Now it’s time for some random thoughts on the movie, using the RPadTV battle-tested binary system. (That’s your cue to use your web shooters to craft yourself an arachnid spoiler shield.)

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Random Thoughts on The Fate of the Furious

The Fate of the Furious is the latest chapter in the saga of Dominic Toretto and his vaunted family (#family). Starting with Fast Five, the franchise has transformed from a tale about street racers to a tale of international adventurers. While there’s a race early on in the movie, the rest is about fast cars, ridiculous action, massive collateral damage, vicious punches, and diatribes about family. Although there are some new characters and major changes to old ones, nothing about The Fate of the Furious feels fresh. It’s loads of fun if you’re looking for big, dumb action, but I doubt it will create any new fans.

Here are some random thoughts on The Fate of the Furious, presented in RPadTV binary style. If you don’t want to see any spoilers then it’s time to hit the NOS button and drive on outta here.

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Random Thoughts on Logan (Wolverine, X-Men)

Logan is easily one of the two best comic-book movies Fox has ever released. It would be difficult to argue with anyone that says it’s the best. For me, it’s not (more on that later), but that doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that Logan is a fantastic movie that serves as a bittersweet farewell to Hugh Jackman’s take on Wolverine. Before I go any further, activate your X-gene’s spoiler-blocking abilities, because it’s time for some random thoughts on Logan.

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Five Reasons Why March 2017 Will Be an Awesome Nerd Month

March is going to a be a glorious month for nerds and people with nerdish tendencies. There are so many wonderful things to look forward to — potentially fantastic movies, a new videogame console, and an all-new, all-different television series from Marvel. While I’m still adjusting to life in America after a month in Asia, these things will certainly make the transition easier. Let’s take a look at all the brilliant nerd stuff coming in March 2017.

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