This past week saw the launch of Paramount+, a brand spanking new streaming video service for the US market. But it's not quite new. Like HBO Max and Peacock that both launched last year, Paramount+ is a rebranding of and departure from legacy media's attempt to frankenstein Cable TV and streaming. Before HBO Max became HBO Max, it was HBO Go. Before Paramount+ launched last week, it was CBS All Access. With the launch of Paramount+ it looks like we're seeing the conclusion of legacy media's quick business model pivot to match the creature of their creation so they can survive. It's easy to forget that Netflix became successful as a streaming service largely because these very same companies licensed their best content to their now most fierce competitor. These very same companies created Hulu so they could make money from streaming video without making changes to their business models to embrace it.
What they are doing now with their complete commitment to streaming seems like an obvious move and something they should have done at least 4 years ago, but it’s incredibly difficult for large companies to move quickly. And these companies - I think I'll start calling them streaming service companies - aren't just large, they are owned by largest companies in the country (and world). These large conglomerates (AT&T, Comcast, Amazon, Apple, Disney, etc) all now have their hands directly in streaming video which just confirms that streaming is the current top shelf space for premium content, including movies. Paramount+ launched their service with debut of Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge on the Run. It was supposed to be a summer movie season release last year but it became a launch event vehicle for a new streaming service. It's another example of how the pandemic is pulling the future forward. And if it hasn't already been made clear, we're already living in the future.
Here are the best new movies available this week on streaming video.
Available Thursday, March 11 on Apple TV+
An Army medic suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder becomes a serial bank robber after an addiction to drugs puts him in debt.
*This movie is directed by the Russo brothers. It's the first thing they've directed since Avengers: Endgame...literally the most successful movie (by theatrical revenue) ever made.
Farewell Armor (2020)
Available Friday, March 12 on Hulu
Reunited after 17 years, an Angolan immigrant is joined in the U.S. by his wife and daughter. Now strangers sharing a one-bedroom apartment, they discover a shared love of dance that may help them overcome the distance between them.
Best new international films to watch this week on streaming video
Nuestras Madres (2019)
Available Friday, March 12 on HBO Max
Ernesto is a young anthropologist in Guatemala. One day, while hearing the account of an old woman, he thinks he has found a lead that might guide him to his father, a "guerrillero" who went missing during the war.
Other movies available this week
Honest Thief (2020)
Buddy Games (2019)
GI Joe: Retaliation (2013)
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