| Cult of Mac

Cha Cha Real Smooth might be the worst movie of the year [Apple TV+ review] ☆☆☆☆

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Cha Cha Real Smooth☆☆☆☆
Take a long second to get used to this face.
Photo: Apple TV+

Only moments ago Cooper Raiff was a niche figure, someone you could avoid with a little effort. But now, he is the filmgoing public’s problem, thanks to Cha Cha Real Smooth, which premieres Friday on Apple TV+.

Writer/director/actor Raiff’s excruciating 2020 feature debut, Shithouse, captured enough viewers and earned enough praise to garner him a second chance to waste our time with the equally galling and charmless Cha Cha Real Smooth.

Apple TV+ paid an absurd amount of money for this garbage film. Unfortunately, the big gamble on this “Sundance hit” landed the streaming service an indifferently directed trifle starring a weaselly narcissist.

Today in Apple history: iTunes ditches movie trailer downloads

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Apple's iTunes movie trailers go dark as streaming supplants downloads.
iTunes movie trailers go dark.
Photo: Tookapic/Pexels CC

May 24: Today in Apple history: iTunes ditches movie trailer downloads May 24, 2013: Apple begins phasing out the option for users to download movie trailers from its once enormously popular trailers.apple.com website.

The move signifies a major change taking place in the way customers consume digital content. Downloads will continue to decline as streaming services like YouTube and Netflix pick up steam.

Today in Apple history: Apple pays $15 million to promote Mission: Impossible

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Sadly, Apple's Mission: Impossible deal doesn't quite work out as planned.
Sadly it doesn't quite work out as planned.
Photo: Paramount

April 18: Today in Apple history: Apple pays $15 million for Mission: Impossible movie tie-in April 18, 1996: Apple unveils a massive $15 million promotional tie-in for the Mission: Impossible movie starring Tom Cruise.

Designed to promote the PowerBook, which Cruise uses in the spy flick, the marketing campaign comes at a particularly bad time. Attempting to climb back into the black after reporting its largest quarterly loss ever, Apple is in the middle of trying to perform its very own impossible mission. And that’s just the start of the problems.

Apple TV+ movies sizzle reel shows a network at less than peak performance

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Apple TV+s Luck
Luck, which features a dragon voiced by Jane Fonda, is just one of the star-studded films coming to Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple

Apple kicked off Tuesday’s Peek Performance event with a look at the upcoming Apple TV+ slate of movies — and it’s not a very pretty picture.

You can look forward to the kind of forgettable, star-studded stuff that Netflix has become so adept at providing a rapacious public, most of whom seem just as eager to forget these types of movies exist. While promising Martin Scorsese film Killers of the Flower Moon remains free of both a release date and a trailer, the Apple TV+ sizzle real showcased several upcoming movies that don’t inspire confidence.

The Sky Is Everywhere delivers a big dose of young adult emotions [Apple TV+ review]

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The Sky Is Everywhere review on Apple TV+: Lennie (played by Grace Kaufman) goes heavy on the grief in this young adult film.
Lennie (played by Grace Kaufman) goes heavy on the grief in this young adult film.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Sky Is Everywhere, the new Apple TV+ film based on the young adult novel by Jandy Nelson, is exactly what you’re picturing based on its title.

Director Josephine Decker steps away from the indie film world to embrace the things a big studio budget can afford (in this case A24 as well as Apple). And she makes sure that every cent is up there on the screen. Decker gives in too much to the sugar high of teen romance, but she and her very committed cast get an A for effort.

Swan Song is smart sci-fi done right [Apple TV+ review]

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Mahershala Ali in Swan Song
Mahershala Ali in Swan Song
Photo: Apple TV+

Just before the end of the year, Apple TV+ has one more prestige item to push. New sci-fi movie Swan Song stars multiple Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali and multiple Academy Award nominee Glenn Close.

Swan Song, which premieres Friday on Apple TV+, is a number of things: an inspirational disease drama, a sleek sci-fi parable, a clone movie, and the feature debut of an Academy Award-winning short film director, Benjamin Cleary.

Arriving so soon after Tom Hanks’ ho-hum Finch, viewers could be forgiven for preparing for the worst. Thankfully, there’s no need.

Today in Apple history: iTunes bags its first exclusive movie

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The producers of Purple Violets took a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
The producers of Purple Violets take a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
Photo: Wild Ocean Films

November 20: Today in Apple history: iTunes movie distribution begins with Purple Violets, the first film to launch on iTunes November 20, 2007: In a milestone for iTunes movie distribution, Purple Violets becomes the first feature film to launch exclusively on Apple’s platform.

A romantic comedy directed by Edward Burns, Purple Violets stars Selma Blair, Debra Messing and Patrick Wilson. With limited offers from Hollywood’s traditional players, the filmmakers pin their hopes on iTunes distribution as an alternative way to get their movie in front of viewers.

Apple TV+ will get at least 10-12 original movies per year

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It's the perfect time for Apple TV+ to makes its move with movies.
Apple's embracing original movies in a big way.
Photo: riviera 2005/Flickr CC

Apple TV+ is looking to ramp up its investment in original movies, and has hired a former WarnerMedia executive to help it, according to The Information.

The report cites “two people familiar with the situation” as saying that Apple wants to “beef up its original film production” to better compete in the streaming stakes.

Focusing on major movies could prime Apple TV+ for success [Opinion]

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It's the perfect time for Apple TV+ to makes its move with movies.
It's the perfect time for Apple TV+ to makes its move with movies.
Photo: riviera 2005/Flickr CC

The deal to bring legendary director Martin Scorsese’s future films to Apple TV+ sounds like a gift for movie fans who subscribe to the streaming service.

But signing Scorsese and other top filmmakers could turn out to be a shrewd and self-serving move that benefits Apple, too. Focusing on films crafted by the world’s top directors could differentiate the fledgling Apple TV+ from dominant rivals like Netflix. And it looks like Apple might be timing the market perfectly.