Tag Archives: disney

Disney Ups Their Fox Bid to $71 Billion Throwing the Ball in to Comcast’s Court for a Counter Offer

The battle for 21st Century Fox continues as Disney has upped their offer for the company to $71.3 billion. The $38-a-share is $10 a share higher than Disney‘s previous and $3 above Comcast‘s bid. There’s also more flexibility and other enhancements than the Comcast offer.

Disney’s offer gives Fox shareholders the option to take their payment in cash or stock, up to a 50-50 level. The previous Disney offer was an all-stock deal. Comcast had made a cash offer. Disney will also take on $13.8 billion of Fox’s debt putting the total transaction about $85 billion.

There’s also a fight over Sky, a British pay-TV company, which Fox is attempting to acquire but Comcast came in with a higher big.

Comcast had offered $65 billion for Fox, as well as the Sky deal. The company has high debt which may make it difficult for them to counter the latest offer.

The deal covers a lot, but not all of Fox’s assets. Included are Fox’s movie and TV studios, television networks like FX, multichannel providers like Star India and Sky Plc, a 30% stake in Hulu, and properties like the X-Men and Fantastic Four.

AT&T and Time Warner are currently merging which is making deals such as this a higher priority. Experts expect numerous deals over the next few years as media consolidates even more.

Movie Review: Incredibles 2

14 years is a long time between films and I would wait that length again and again if it meant I continued to get more films based on the Incredibles. Incredibles 2 is the rare sequel that improves upon the first in every way. The topics broached, the animation, the action, the humor, the family dynamic, even the end credits, they all come together for an even stronger film.

The Incredibles to me is one the best superhero films out there. It takes familiar characters and situations and improves upon them all with a nice little twist on fandom. A not so veiled spin on the Fantastic Four, the Pixar film out marvel’s Marvel. The family dynamic, the situations, the powers, it’s all just so good. So, I was nervous going in to this sequel and walking out I immediately bought tickets to see it again.

The movie is beyond self-aware packing in so much with a lot to say. That’s what happens when you wait 14 years to talk I guess. While sequels tend to suffer when they go bigger, this is the rare case when bigger is better.

The film picks up from the end of the original and goes from there. It riffs on Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War while also taking on politicians, gender roles, media and technology, and more. There’s a lot to take in and it’s a film you can spend hours discussing after. What’s better is, like other Pixar films, you can go in and just enjoy it.

The opening of the film is where the first signs of improvement come in with animation that just looks better. The lighting, the action, it’s an opening statement that the film is taking advantage of what’s been learned between the two and has no problems using the latest technology.

What’s interesting though is that the politics of the film are up front and center. The basics of the story is that superheroes are still outlawed but there’s a plan to turn that legislation over and Elastigirl is put out there to show superheroes can do great things. Mr. Incredible isn’t digging that as much as he wants to get out there and be a hero too. Instead, he has to take care of the kids. And that leads to jealousy as his wife is supporting the family. The fragility of men, woman empowerment, gender roles, these are all very important aspects of the film and all of it is dealt with intelligently. The film some how seems to address both the women can kick-ass crowd in Elastigirl as well as white working class America in Mr. Incredible.

Our use of technology is also addressed in the villain Screenslaver who uses screens to enslave individuals. But, at times it’s technology that helps save the day too. It’s an interesting dynamic and there’s hours of thought to be decompressed and dissected.

There’s also an introduction to the superhero world as a whole. New characters are introduced and every one seems to riff on existing ones with a dose of humor about it all. Usually when we see so much introduced it falls flat but here every character has a use and a moment that makes their inclusion more than welcomed.

The film brings a massive amount of humor along with the action with that mostly focused on Jack-Jack who’s coming in to his powers. The moments are great and the character is a driver in many ways of the shaken up family dynamic. What should Mr. Incredible tell his wife? Can he handle being the main caregiver? Again, a lot to dissect.

The film is just… incredible. The music, the end credits, this is just a fantastic film and one that I want to watch again and again. We’ll hopefully get more and hopefully it’ll be sooner than 14 years but if whatever comes next is this good, I’m more than happy to wait.

Overall Rating: 10

A First Look at Disney’s New Rocketeer

In February Disney announced The Rocketeer, a new animated adventure for young kids debuting in 2019 and inspired by the popular comic book series by Dave Stevens.

The new animated series focuses on Kit, a young girl who receives a surprise package on her birthday revealing she’s next in line to become the Rocketeer, a legendary superhero who has the ability to fly with the help of a rocket-powered jet pack. Armed with her cool new gear and secret identity, Kit is ready to take flight and save the day with her gadget-minded best friend, Tesh, and airplane mechanic uncle, Ambrose, who join her on her epic adventures.

Now, we’ve got our first look at what we can expect from the animated series.

Comcast Bids $65 Billion for 21st Century Fox

While many are acting like it’s a done deal, Disney may not be reuniting the X-Men and Fantastic Four with the Avengers.

Comcast has formalized a $65 billion all-cash bid for most of 21st Century Fox. This is higher than Disney’s $52.4 billion deal revealed in December for the same assets.

This sets the stage for a bidding war that may be as entertaining as any summer blockbuster. Both companies want Fox to boost their influence in industries undergoing massive change.

Purchasing Fox would allow Comcast to deliver even more to consumers and create interesting bundles for their internet subscribers as an example. They already own NBC.

Comcast was in talks to buy Fox in 2017 but investors weren’t sure that such a deal would be approved by government regulation. After the recent court ruling giving the go ahead to the AT&T/Time Warner deal that is no longer a concern.

The deal now goes to Fox’s board who will need to determine which offer is better for the company. If they go with Comcast, Disney would have five days to counter.

Preview: Tangled #2 (of 3)

Tangled #2 (of 3)

Liz Marsham, Alessandro Ferrari (w) • Roberto Di Salvo, Rosa Lea Barbera, Various (a)

Rapunzel and Eugene try to modify the Royal Carriage, but what they end up with isn’t quite what they had in mind! Plus, the citizens of Corona start to walk around barefoot, like the princess they adore! That’s nice news for everyone… except the town cobbler!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Big Hero 6 The Series Gets a New Trailer

Hiro, Baymax and the Big Hero 6 team are back and ready to save San Fransokyo!

Big Hero 6 The Series premieres Saturday, June 9 at 9am on Disney Channel. The adventure continues for 14-year-old tech genius Hiro and his compassionate, cutting-edge robot Baymax. If dealing with the academic pressure of being the new kid at the prestigious San Fransokyo Institute of Technology weren’t enough, it’s off campus where things really get tricky. Hiro and Baymax, along with their friends Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Go Go and Fred, unite to form the legendary superhero team Big Hero 6, protecting their city from a colorful array of scientifically-enhanced villains intent on creating chaos and mayhem!

Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

We’ve all heard the rumors and know the reality that Solo: A Star Wars Story, the latest entry into the yearly Star Wars movie release schedule, was a full on production disaster. Directors were replaced. Rumors of actors unable to do the basics and in need of coaches. A script that was a mess. With all of that you’d expect what has wound up on screen to be an utter disaster. But, that’s the farthest thing from reality. Solo: A Star Wars Story is actually pretty fun.

Is it high art? No. Is it as good as the original trilogy? No. But, it’s a solid popcorn film that has enough new and enough winks and nods to make Star Wars fans and non-fans happy.

If you go into the film expecting what has come before, you’l be disappointed. Solo: A Star Wars Story is a departure from what has been released in many ways. While it is the second stand-alone film, Rogue One being the first, it’s also the first real stand alone film. Rogue One was a prequel to the original trilogy tying directly into it with its final scene and delivering a pretty key story to the adventure. Solo is something different. While the film obviously ties into everything that has happened, it also isn’t a vital tie-in. It’s a film set in the Star Wars universe as opposed to a film that’s a must watch fleshing out the story of the original trilogy.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is interesting in so many ways because of all of this. The film is the right direction for the franchise and while it stumbles at times, it’s entertaining. The story follows Solo as he joins the criminal underworld and we see key moments of his career. There’s his meeting of Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian but there’s also a lot that’s new. There’s also some interesting fleshing out of the Star Wars universe with hints and direct tie-ins that should make long time fans happy.

Solo is a gangster/crime/heist film set in the Star Wars universe. At its heart there’s little that’s new. A job is screwed up and the crew must make up for it with a bigger heist. That plot has been seen before. But, it hasn’t been seen in a Star Wars film. The heist plot has been seen in the animated spin-offs though and this film feels like it has more in common with Star Wars: Rebels, the latest animated television series, than anything else.

The film hits the right notes and at times things feel like a checklist when it comes to that. We get Chewie, Lando, and the Kessel run. None of it is surprising and it’s all fan service. But, it’s a fun ride with some great visuals and a presentation that feels unique.

The cast is all over in their ability. Alden Ehrenreich steps into the role Harrison Ford made as Han Solo and at times he channels Ford and at other times he’s about as far away in delivery as one can get. It’s not bad but it’s also not a star-making turn. Joonas Suotamo repeats as Chewbacca and the character feels appropriately younger and more physical. Woody Harrelson as Becket is the gang leader and he brings his curled smile that he delivers in so many roles. Emilia Clarke is the love interest who is good but something is missing that we get at the end of the film. Where her character goes is what we should have seen more of. Donald Glover steals the show as Lando Calrissian. He channels Billy Dee Williams at times sounding exactly like Williams. Glover’s performance emphasizes how off Ehrenreich’s Solo is at times. Glover is so good it makes every else look far behind (other than Suotamo). Thandie Newton‘s Val is underused and Paul Bettany‘s creepy Dryden Vos is a sleezy mob boss and great on screen. The film’s break out star is Phoebe Waller-Bridge‘s L3-37, the film’s robot compadre. L3-37’s belief in robot rights and being convinced of Lando’s crush is the thing of entertainment and delivers something special to a film which would be so much less without.

As I mentioned, the film visually is great and the characters and sets look fantastic. This is a grittier film in many ways showing the coldness of space and the Empire’s machine. This is a Star Wars universe I want to see more of. We can have stories set in the world that isn’t just an extension of the original trilogy’s story. We need spin-offs that can stand on their own.

The film isn’t perfect, far from it, but it is fun and entertaining. There’s some great sequences and it’s possible my lowered expectations due to the on-set drama may have had me expecting very little. While it may nit be as good as the original trilogy it’s definitely better than the prequels and well worth the price of admission. And, the film has me wanting to see what’s next.

Overall Rating: 7.0

Not So Fast Fox and Disney. Comcast to Swoop In With an Offer.

While geekdom continues to act like the deal between Fox and Disney is done, it’s far from over. A vote from shareholders as well as regulatory approval still needs to happen. But, before even that, Comcast is stepping in for a bid of their own.

After weeks of rumors, Comcast said today they are in “advance stages” of an all-cash offer for the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox. The Comcast offer would be at a “premium” conpared to the Disney offer though specifics haven’t been announced.

Comcast had previously made an offer to Fox that topped Disney last year but that was rejected by the 21st Century Fox’s board. The board felt the Disney deal had better synergy and they worried abou regulatory risks.

This is just one of the many battles and dramas playing out including AT&T’s fight with U.S. regulators over their deal to acquire Time Warner. Comcast has launched an offer for Sky which would top 21st Century Fox’s takeover of the U.K. satellite TV operator, and CBS and Viacom are fighting over a plan to merge the two.

The Comcast and Disney plans would be to take over FX Networks, National Geographic, 300 international channels, 22 regional sports networks, the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu, 50% share of Edemol Shine Group, the Star India satellite service, and Fox’s 39% interest in Euro satellite broadcaster Sky. Both Comcast and Disney already have a percent of Hulu. This acquisition would give whomever a majority of the control of that service.

The New Fox that emerged would include the Fox Broadcasting Company network and its TV station group, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and Fox Sports operations.

Preview: Walt Disney’s Treasury of Classic Tales, Vol. 3

Walt Disney’s Treasury of Classic Tales, Vol. 3

Frank Reilly (w) • Jesse Marsh (a) • Various (c)

After over 50 years, the complete newspaper strips are collected for the first time! This volume contains 101 Dalmations and other favorite Disney features. From the Disney vaults–fourteen more never-before reprinted Sunday comics adaptations of popular Disney animated and live-action features from the late 1950s and early 1960s… including Swiss Family Robinson, Kidnapped, The Parent Trap, Toby Tyler, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, In Search of the Castaways, and Babes in Toyland!

HC • FC • $49.99 • 220 pages • 12” x 8.5” • ISBN: 978-1-68405-189-2

Avengers: Infinity War’s Friday Nears $106 million Challenging Force Awakens’ Record Debut

Avengers: Infinity War is exceeding the studio spin (as expected) delivering an estimated $105.967 million Friday. That’s the second largest opening day and single day of all-time. Star Wars: Force Awakens holds both of those records. The film is looking like it could top $240 million challenging The Force Awakens’ $247.9 million opening weekend.

The film has received “A” CinemaScore from opening day audiences and a 93% from audience/84% Tomatoemeter from Rotten Tomatoes.

Overseas the film has grossed $178.5 million in three days.

All of that has pushed Disney over the $1 billion mark domestically in 117 which breaks the studio’s own record of 128 days set in 2016.

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