Hnetflix

Film | by Shane “Professor Popcorn” Hnetka

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the latest film spoiled by its advertising. The trailer is basically a free, condensed version of the movie. Watch it on YouTube and save yourself a few bucks — and a couple of hours. Happy to help!

Canada Shall Not Pass

An emerging trend seems to be theatre companies offering subscriptions to movies. You pay a monthly fee and you can go to as many as you want. It’s sort of like a streaming service, but you get to leave your home — hooray!

MoviePass started the ball rolling with a $10 monthly all-you-can-watch subscription, but it quickly ran into trouble. Three million people signed up — which should be fantastic, except MoviePass can’t afford it and is now hemorrhaging money (haven’t they heard of balancing books with overpriced popcorn?). The company needs to raise $1.2 billion to stay afloat.

AMC Theatres, meanwhile, charges $19.99 a month for its subscription service. And the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain has announced plans for a subscription service in the coming months.

Sadly, Canada doesn’t have anyone starting up similar subscriptions, although Cineplex now delivers their expensive popcorn to homes through Uber Eats — but only in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. The rest of us will just have to make our home popcorn the old-fashioned way — without spending $8 for a bag of high-calorie corn kernels.

Harlan Ellison Has Left The Planet

Brilliant but controversial writer Harlan Ellison passed away June 28 at the age of 84. Ellison influenced a generation of science fiction filmmakers and comic writers through both his work and his mentoring. He also wrote for TV — Ellison penned the revered, award-winning Star Trek episode “The City On The Edge Of Forever”, though he famously insisted it was butchered by rewrites.

Ellison’s novel A Boy and His Dog was made into an excellent cult film starring a young Don Johnson.

Ellison was difficult and opinionated. He frequently sued people and companies he considered to have wronged him. He sued The Terminator’s producers because he felt James Cameron had ripped off his Outer Limits story “Soldier”. The producers settled with Ellison, much to Cameron’s disgust, and Ellison’s name now appears in the movie’s credits. I don’t know if Cameron ripped off Ellison, but check out “Demon With A Glass Hand” — it’s a fantastic Outer Limits episode.

Ellison is also known for physically attacking his enemies, once breaking a producer’s pelvis. And in 2006 he grabbed writer Connie Willis’ breast on stage at the Hugo Awards in what he claimed was a joke. It wasn’t funny.

Ellison wasn’t always a good person but he did change science fiction for the better.

Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd. You can read his weekly column “Sunday Matinee” on our blog.