View Finder: Super Netflix IV

Posted: 6 July 2018 9:38 pm

Castlevania Season 2 whips up a double dose of animated bloodshed, Stan laps up a couple of Logies and Netflix is testing top-tier Ultra plans.

When the first season of Netflix's animated adaptation of the Castlevania series first hit the service around this time year, I was hooked after just one bite. The problem only was: it was a bloody small bite.

Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Red) and Adi Shankar (Bootleg Universe) crafted a tight four-episode season jam-packed with expertly placed nods and references to the series and a voice cast to die for with Richard Armitage and Graham McTavish giving weight to eternal rivals Trevor Belmont and Vlad Dracula Tepes, respectively. In just four episode, they managed to develop a roguish hero with Belmont, a sympathetic villain with Tepes and rounded out a small band of heroes by the end of episode 4 with Belmont, Sypha and Vlad's son Alucard joining at the last minute.

However, at only 23 to 25 minutes a hit and only four episodes released, season 1 ended up feeling more like an hour-long first-episode, dissected into four parts. A second serving of bloodletting and family drama couldn't come soon enough.

Now, nearly a year later we finally have a release date for Castlevania: Season 2: 26 October 2018. Right on time for a Halloween blood binge.

In even hotter news, the second season of Castlevania will be twice as long as the first and with more at stake this time around, meaning you'll have twice as much to burn through when it's released.

Ultra Netflix 3000

Speakin' of Netflix, by the time Castlevania returns we might actually have another premium Netflix to consider.

Word on the stream is, Netflix is testing a more expensive "Ultra" tier. in Europe.

Estimated to be roughly $4.50 AUD extra per month (based on US predictions), the Ultra plan gives access to Netflix's growing library of HDR content. The Premium plan already gives users access to 4K content but this new tier seems to lock off content that offers High Dynamic Resolution. Most of us pair the idea of HDR content with 4K content so it seems like a bit of a step backwards to split the Premium users down the middle.

We'll see how this pans out but unless Netflix has anything else to offer, the Ultra plan does not bode well.

Stan has itself a grand little logie romp

TV week's Logies; the summit for celebrities in Australia, the light at the end of the tunnel for talented actors, writers and directors. That coveted gold boy reserved for Australia's TV elite, like Denyer.

Prior to 2016, streaming services like Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime Video were excluded from the celebration, not even eligible for a shot at the title. It was just like when Netflix was snubbed at Cannes Film Festival. Maybe worse.

However, since then the big wigs at TV week have offered an olive branch to streaming services in Australia and allowed them to rub shoulders with the Upper East Siders of Australian TV, Gogglebox and Family Feud.

While Netflix and Amazon still don't have any Australian originals to enter, and Presto pulled its greatest trick yet with a disappearing act back in 2016, Stan has been in the running for a logie a few times over now.

In 2016, Stan scored three noms for No Activity, with Dan Wyllie and Tim Minchin up for Most Outstanding Supporting Actor and the show itself up for most Outstanding Comedy Program.

In 2017, the Aussie streaming provider scored another nom-nom courtesy of the magnificent Deborah Mailman's part in the Wolf Creek series. Mailman was also nominated for Best Actress that year for her work across Jack Irish, Offspring and Wolf Creek.

In 2018, Stan has loaded up on more logie noms than ever with its original series. Romper Stomper and even managed to nab two wins.

Stan's contemporary follow-up to Russel Crowe's 1992 movie Romper Stomper had more presence than any other streaming original before. Romper Stomper managed a win for Most Outstanding Miniseries or Telemovie and thanks to the talents of Jaqueline Mackenzie it also clocked up a Most Popular Actress logie. Supporting stars David Wenham and Lachy Hulme were also nominated for Most Outstanding Supporting Actor and Most Outstanding Actor, respectively.

Who knows, if Netflix's Tidelands scrubs up okay, maybe it too could be blessed to enter the annals of Australian cinematic brilliance. Right next to Alf Stewart.

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