View Finder: Don’t worry about the Netflix tax, you’re getting more Sense8
While Amazon Prime is investing in Romanian buddy cop shows with celebrity overdubs.
We've known it was coming for a couple of years now, but the Netflix tax has finally arrived. Customers can expect to pay a few extra dollars each month to cover the cost of GST for the company, with the additional cost depending on which plan tier you're paying for. The new base level is $9.99 a month, the HD tier will cost $13.99 and the 4K premium level jumps to $17.99.
Needless to say, some people have reacted to the price jump in abject horror, shouting into the internet about their perceived sense of value. But the reality is that even with the price hike, Netflix continues to be incredibly good value.
A quick check of our Netflix Movies and Netflix TV show lists shows that as of today, there are a whopping 2631 movies and 1038 TV shows available to stream, ad-free. And that TV show number doesn't take into account the sheer number of shows with multiple seasons to watch.
While not every movie or TV show will suit your interest, there is a wide selection of kids content to keep the whole family entertained as well.
And let's not forget that Netflix is one of the few ways you can fully take advantage of your new 4K television's resolution, and the only Aussie streaming service capable of playing back Dolby Vision HDR content.
What I'm trying to say is that basically Netflix is worth a couple of extra bucks, so you shouldn't really complain.
Call your cluster
A few weeks back I used the entirety of this column to lament the sudden cancellation of the Wachowski's powerful Sense8 show. And I wasn't alone in my disappointment – the internet was full of petitions and hashtags to save the show.
Things looked dire, with Netflix's bosses making it clear that even though they loved the show too, it just wasn't being watched enough to justify the cost and so it wasn't coming back. Which was soul-crushing for fans, particularly given the cliffhanger at the end of the second season.
But overnight, there was some great news, as series creator Lana Wachowski confirmed that there would be a 2-hour special in 2018 to tie up the show's loose ends and provide closure for the cluster.
It's a great win for fans, who have been exceptionally vocal about the cancellation of the groundbreaking show. Whether the show continues beyond that special will depend on how many people watch it, but if the whole cluster signs in, who knows what's possible?
An epic Atmos-phere
One final bit of news from Netflix this week that should inspire you to drop a tonne of cash on new equipment - the streaming service now supports Dolby Atmos. For those that haven't experienced Atmos before, the audio codec adds verticality to surround sound, creating a wonderfully immersive experience. Combined with Dolby Vision HDR and a big enough screen, it easily rivals a cinema experience in the home.
The catch with the Netflix Atmos announcement is that the supported titles list is still pretty thin. Currently, only Netflix Original Okja and Blame! support the codec, with three more titles set to come in the coming months. Obviously that could change over time as Netflix unlocks the rights to Atmos soundtracks for third party movies and TV shows.
Romanian Cop Shows for Amazon
I rarely get to write about Amazon Prime Video in View Finder because their release schedule is lousy and new content is rare. But today the service confirmed the upcoming arrival of new half-hour live action series Comrade Detective.
What makes this announcement really interesting is that it's a 1980s Romanian cop show, presented in Romanian and dubbed in English. If you've got one raised eyebrow and you're feeling confused, the news that the English overdub will feature an all-star cast including Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Kim Basinger will probably push you to the point of head-scratching.
The show's description makes for interesting reading:
"In the thick of 1980's Cold War hysteria, the Romanian government created the country’s most popular and longest-running series, Comrade Detective, a sleek and gritty police show that not only entertained its citizens but also promoted Communist ideals and inspired a deep nationalism. The action-packed and blood-soaked first season finds Detectives Gregor Anghel (played by Piersic) and Iosif Baciu (played by Ulici) investigating the murder of fellow officer Nikita Ionesco and, in the process, unraveling a subversive plot to destroy their country that is fueled by — what else — but the greatest enemy: Capitalism.
Though the beloved show was sadly forgotten about after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it has been rediscovered and digitally remastered now with its main heroes voiced by Tatum and Gordon-Levitt. Comrade Detective is a true portal into a time and place and a powerful reminder of what art can be—and it is now ready to be seen by the modern world on a larger scale than ever before."
The show will arrive on 4 August in Australia, Canada the US, UK and New Zealand (but not Romania).
Trailer of the week: Death Note
Netflix has dropped the first trailer for Death Note, and it looks incredible. Plus it's one of the first films to support Dolby Atmos on the platform, so that will be epic..
It doesn't have a local streaming platform yet, but Marvel fans will be happy to see the first trailer for Inhumans, which is coming to ABC in the US in September
- Still looking for something to watch? Why not check out our full round-up of the shows launching in July?
Each week, View Finder rounds up the latest news in TV and movie streaming in Australia.