Jonathan Reed

Jonathan Reed

15 posts on Screen Times since March 2019

Jonathan is the Contributing Editor at Screen Times, contributing reviews, news and much more. Jonathan is also the editor of smallbites.me Twitter: @aylwardreed Email: jonathan@screentimes.net

Twitter: @sigjudge
Jonathan Reed

Servant Season 2 Sets January Release Date on TV+

M. Night Shyamalan has announced (via Twitter) the season 2 premiere date for his Apple TV+ show ‘Servant’. In the post he thanked season 1 fans Stephen King and Guillermo del Toro before announcing that season 2 will premiere January 15th. That’s one week after season 2 of Dickenson arrives and almost exactly one year after the season 1 finale.

Season 1, starring Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Rupert Grint and Nell Tiger Free, is available to watch on Apple TV+.

Jonathan Reed

Apple TV+ Acquires Exclusive Rights to Velvet Underground Doc from Todd Haynes

Apple TV+ has gained the worldwide distribution rights to a new documentary film from director Todd Haynes, (Dark Waters, Carol, I'm Not There) focusing on 1960s avant-garde band The Velvet Underground.

Per Variety:

Haynes’ film aims to prove how how the group became a cultural touchstone representing a range of contradictions: timely yet timeless; literary yet realistic; rooted in high art and street culture. The film will feature a trove of never before seen performances, studio recordings, Warhol films, and other experimental art that underscores what founding member John Cale called the band’s creative ethos: “How to be elegant and how to be brutal.”

It will join a fast growing library of documentaries on Apple TV+. This includes music based titles ‘Beastie Boys Story’, and the upcoming ‘Bruce Springsteen’s Letter To You’, ‘Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special’ and ‘Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry’.

Jonathan Reed

Bruce Gets The Band Back Together in the New Trailer for Letter to You

Apple has posted a new trailer on the Apple TV YouTube channel for its upcoming documentary film 'Bruce Springsteen's Letter To You'.

Directed by Thom Zimny, the documentary will release on Apple TV+ to coincide with the new album from Bruce on October 23rd. It is the first album recorded live in the studio with The E Street Band since 'Born To Run' 35 years ago. Bruce also recently got turned into an emoji on Twitter to mark the occasion.

I can't wait.

From Apple:
“Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You” captures Bruce Springsteen recording his new album “Letter To You” live with the full E Street Band, and includes final take performances of 10 originals from the new record. The feature-length vérité documentary features full performances from the E Street Band, in-studio footage, never-before-seen archival material, and a deeper look into “Letter To You” from Springsteen himself. Written by Springsteen and directed by his frequent collaborator Thom Zimny, the film is a tribute to the E Street Band, to rock music itself, and to the role it has played in Springsteen's life.
Jonathan Reed

Apple Introduces iPhone 12 Pro: Here’s What Filmmakers and Photographers Need to Know

A little later than usual, Apple today introduced their yearly update to the iPhone line; the 12 series.
Last year saw the first ‘Pro’ line even though there wasn’t really much ‘Pro’ about them. This year, however, they’ve made up for it.
I’ll be doing a full article on this later in the week but here are some key points you need to know:

  • New LIDAR sensor. This allows for portrait shots - at night!
  • Speaking of which; night mode is now on all 4 (yes, even the front-facing) cameras.
  • LIDAR also means 6x faster autofocus in low light and improved and more accurate portrait mode
  • Telephoto camera on the Pro Max can zoom in closer than iPhone 11 Pro
  • Optical zoom is up to 2.5x for the Pro Max from 2x on the iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • 7 element wide lens - up from 6 - means cleaner, crisper photos and videos.
  • Smart HDR3 brings better AI created refinements, including better low light shots and reductions on skin smoothing.
  • Introduction of ProRAW. A feature that includes Apple’s computational adjustments while keeping the original RAW data in the shot for pro image editing.

Video

  • Much improved image stabilisation (this also applies to photos).
  • 4K Dolby Vision 60fps video recording with 60 times more colours captured. You can even do this with the front-facing camera!
  • You can also edit in Dolby Vision on the iPhone! Meaning you could shoot and edit a whole studio-quality movie on your iPhone!
  • New ability to take time-lapse shots in night mode.

These are the top-level features I’ve noticed. If I’ve missed any let me know on Twitter.

I’ll be back later in the week with a full article. In the meantime, check out Apple’s iPhone pages for more info including the new design and new ‘MagSafe’ feature.

Jonathan Reed

It’s Easy to be Charmed by Apple’s Lightweight, Tiny World

Tiny World, on Apple TV+, is charming but ultimately aimed at the wrong audience.

“He’s not the greatest dancer... but at least he’s... staying alive.”

That’s one of the actual lines Paul Rudd says in Tiny World, the new nature documentary/non-fiction story series from Apple TV+.

Here’s another one: “Where there’s a will and some nuts, there’s a way.”

So, unless you like cheesy Dad jokes, this may not line up with your expectation of this series as Apple’s contribution to the fine world of nature programming. An area which is dominated by the quite extraordinary work created by the BBC with Sir David Attenborough.

However, that is my main criticism of this show: expectations. Apple, wanting to get in on this increasingly popular genre, has pitched this along with their other main programming as something of an equal to Sir David’s work. It isn’t. This isn’t a criticism, though. It’s a lovely little show, but for a specific audience.

Tiny World is six episodes long at around 30 minutes each. Each episode focuses on a different area: Savannah, Jungle, Island, Outback, Woodland and Garden. They tend to follow one main creature’s journey through this part of the world, turning off slightly to briefly focus on another animal that our main character comes across.

That’s also the keyword here: brief. Covering 5/6 creatures per episode, it doesn’t have time to focus on the real details of each one. So it avoids explicitly (almost) any negative focus on death or real struggle. It also completely avoids any mention of environmental threat which Sir David’s shows are now increasingly focused on.

It’s almost as if it’s not aimed at people like myself. This is my point.

Tiny World is a wonderful show for kids to watch.

Tiny World is a wonderful show for kids to watch. Sitting down on their own, or even better, as a young family, this show is perfect for kids aged 2 upwards, to about 11. It doesn't show anything that’s really going to scare or upset them, but it really gives a great perspective on these critters with some lovely, small scale, low to the ground photography. It would have been a fantastic addition to the Kids section on Apple TV.

Paul Rudd is a reasonable narrator but ultimately a strange choice. I’ll happily admit to having a massive man-crush on the man, but this would have been better with someone a bit lighter or, here’s a crazy thought, a woman!

The show isn’t completely devoid of threat; at one point a poor ant get’s eaten by some sand-dwelling bug, but not before a valiant friend tries to save it. A garden bird gets pounced on by the hawk and eaten, but we only see the hawk land on the camera and then afterwards with some feathers in its mouth.

These are rare moments, though. The show is primarily focused on the heroic struggles and frequent victories of these tiny creatures. The photography is up close and personal with occasional flourishes like a shot dropping from the clouds, straight down into a termite mound or some great tracking shots of gliding birds. This means if you’ve got a big TV, you really see the detail in incredible 4K. My kittens were completely hypnotised throughout the whole of one episode!

So if you have young children, sit down with them to watch this show. They’ll be amazed by what they see and will likely pique their interest in the natural world. Then it’s time for Sir David to blow their minds.

Tiny Worlds complete season 1 is available to stream now on Apple TV+.