While the Disney+ adult content platform may be a tad shy on original series and classics, it certainly makes up for it with a movie catalog so well supplied that you’d be hard put to find many in physical format nowadays.
Star, the adult content add-on brand launched by Disney+, is now here. And the feeling is somewhat akin to what we experienced when the all-powerful company made its debut in the streaming war less than a year ago. On the one hand, you realize that there’s actually less content than you would’ve expected, or at least, the folk at Disney go into battle with less material than the other giants like Netflix, but on the other hand there’s high-quality product here, some of which that up until now would have been difficult to track down, and that have been carefully rendered in terms of sound and image. That said, by far the most interesting aspect is that, as a whole, it has something of a 90’s revival feel to it, either because certain films have been recovered or thanks to the aesthetics of the series, with all roads leading to a resurgence in the style of the shows typical of that decade.
Therefore, the balance is clearly positive, with a handful of exceptions of course. The first of these is the weight of new series. So far, in terms of original productions they have only released three. “Helstrom”, a Marvel production about two brothers, sons of a serial killer, who dedicate their time to hunting demons, and the typical paradigm that sounds better when the argument is explained to you than when you actually see it. I’m not a gambling man, but this one has all the earmarks of a preventive cancellation. “Love, Victor” it is the television series inspired by and set in the same universe as “Love, Simon” and the novel it was based on. As was the case with its predecessor, the show focuses on the challenges faced by a high school student as he struggles with his sexual orientation in a home and social environment that automatically assumes he’s heterosexual. The most interesting aspect this time is the incorporation of a criticism against racism that wasn’t in the original, although it’s not enough to shake that feeling of a road already travelled in terms of the formula. And finally, “Big Sky”, and the most promising title to date heralds the return of producer and screenwriter David E. Kelley to his roots (that of the aforementioned 90’s, when he brought us his hallmark shows like “Picket Fences” and “Chicago Hope”) with the story of two Montana detectives in search of kidnappers who are targeting women. As for the rest of the series catalog, the most remarkable feature is that “Lost” has a home again and that the great “Buffy” and “Futurama” are finally available for streaming.
The more appetizing side to the brand is its wealth of cinema offer. As announced, Star incorporates films from the defunct Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures production companies that are even hard to find in physical format. These include titles such as “The Color of Money”, “High Fidelity”, “25th Hour”, “The Village”, “Unbreakable”, “Good Morning, Vietnam”, “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle”, “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” and “Green Card”. Not to mention an extensive repertoire of Fox productions, now owned by Disney, with titles including “The Omen” (along with the sequels and the forgettable “remake” by John Moore), “Master and Commander”, “There’s Something About Mary”, “Titanic”, “Sideways”, “Moulin Rouge”, “The Verdict”, “Speed”, “The Fly” or the “Die Hard” saga. Speaking of action, Star has also become home to Jerry Bruckheimer’s productions, starting with “The Rock” and “Con Air” and ending with Tony Scott’s “Crimson Tide” and “Déjà Vu”. So, that’s what they have in store for us at present, although this catalog will foreseeably be grown carefully but consistently, as was the case with Disney+ itself. The future looks bright, and even more so considering the massive catalog they have in hand and that when it comes to original productions, it’s clear they’ve no intention of leaving us wanting.