Film by Shane “Unblocked But Still Streaming Mad” Hnetka

You’ve probably heard about Netflix border hoppers. They’re the folks who use proxy services to get around Netflix’s annoying regional blocking that prevents Canadian subscribers from watching shows like CSI. And why shouldn’t they? Netflix U.S. has about twice the content of Canadian Netflix, so unblocking sites are very attractive for paying customers tired of Netflix’s second-rate Canadian service. But after threats in January, since mid-April, Netflix has been attacking unblockers — and, well, blocking them. It sucks. People just want to pay for a service and watch what they want. Making viewers jump through hoops and subscribe to multiple services is dumb and annoying. I guess that’s capitalism.

Running Upstream

I happen to enjoy Turner Classic Movies, or TCM as acronym fans call it. I love old movies, and hey, there’s a channel that specializes in them? Cool. I also really love Criterion, the DVD/Blu-ray publisher that puts out some of the best movies with the best extras you can get. Well, there might be some good news for me.

Criterion has teamed up with TCM to launch their own streaming service called FilmStruck and it will have the Criterion Collection (along with their awesome extras), plus independent and international movies new and old. Criterion will also debut a Criterion Channel this fall. Best of all, none of this will interfere with the company’s commitment to releasing physical DVDs.

Then again, there’s no guarantee this service or the Netflix channel will come to Canada, and the way things are currently with Netflix, etc., we might not be so lucky.

Still, that’s what the unblocking sites are for.

No Teasers For You

Sounds like 20th Century Fox has pulled out of the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con. Over the last decade and a half or so, the world-famous annual convention has been more of a showcase for upcoming movies and TV shows than it has comic books, and attendance and interest has exploded as a result. But to paraphrase Spider-Man, with great popularity comes great problems: studios’ exclusive, sneak-peek footage is often getting recorded and leaked onto the interwebs. Understandably, studios don’t like the public getting its first look at a movie courtesy of a wobbly phone video. So yes, it’s bad when the footage leaks. It will be interesting to see if other studios follow Fox’s lead.

And here I thought any publicity was good publicity.

Shane Hnetka is a Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd.