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    Zack Snyder unveils extended teaser for his Netflix sci-fi saga Rebel Moon / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 22 August - 22:06 · 2 minutes

The first part of director Zack Snyder's epic space opera Rebel Moon is coming to Netflix in December.

Years ago, director Zack Snyder had an idea for an epic Star Wars movie that he pitched to Lucasfilm. That project never panned out for a variety of reasons. But the idea continued to germinate until it became Rebel Moo n , a two-part film for Netflix that Snyder and the streaming giant hope will launch a new franchise. Snyder unveiled the first extended teaser at Gamescom in Germany.

Apart from Star Wars, Snyder has said that his influences include the films of Akira Kurosawa, especially The Seven Samurai and The Dirty Dozen . He has set his epic saga in a universe controlled by a ruthless and corrupt government of the Mother World (the Imperium) with an army led by one Regent Balisarius (Fra Fee), and the rebel moon of the title is called Veldt. Per the official premise:

When a peaceful colony on the edge of a galaxy finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force, Kora (Sofia Boutella), a mysterious stranger living among the villagers, becomes their best hope for survival. Tasked with finding trained fighters who will unite with her in making an impossible stand against the Mother World, Kora assembles a small band of warriors—outsiders, insurgents, peasants and orphans of war from different worlds who share a common need for redemption and revenge. As the shadow of an entire Realm bears down on the unlikeliest of moons, a battle over the fate of a galaxy is waged, and in the process, a new army of heroes is formed.

Kora knows something about the oppressive nature of the Imperium, since she used to be an Imperium leader, and now seeks redemption from her past. The band of allies that Kora assembles includes a former Imperium general named Titus (Djimon Hounsou); her farmer friend Gunnar (Michiel Huisman); Tarak (Staz Nair), a blacksmith who can bond with animals to rally them to a fight; a cyborg sword master named Nemesis (Doona Bae); a warrior named Darrian Bloodaxe (Ray Fisher) and his sister Devra (Cleopatra Coleman); a spider warrior named Harmada (Jena Malone); and Jimmy, the last of a race of mechanical knights from a fallen kingdom, voiced by Anthony Hopkins. Ed Skrein plays Admiral Atticus Noble, right hand to the tyrannical Regent, and Cary Elwes has also been cast in an as-yet-unnamed role.

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    Netflix will let you keep your rental DVDs forever after September 29 / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 22 August - 20:33 · 1 minute

A white-gloved waiter serving up a DVD on a silver platter.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

In the land before streaming, there was a time when getting a Netflix DVD in the mail felt magical. Those times have largely passed, and soon the service behind it will end, as we covered in April . But on Monday, Netflix announced that customers can keep any remaining DVDs they have after September 29 once the service shuts down. Additionally, subscribers can potentially get up to 10 discs for free as the service clears out its inventory.

These days, Netflix handles its DVD rental service through a subsidiary called . The DVD amnesty announcement came via's X account on Monday, relayed to us by The Verge .

In 1997, Netflix launched as a pay-per-rental service, but it transitioned to the now-famous subscription queue system in 1999, where customers make a list of DVDs they'd like to receive, and they would get shipped out in order as they became available. As we noted in April, this business model partially led to the collapse of video rental chains. While once popular, the world largely moved on to streaming video services, and in April of this year, Netflix announced that it would discontinue its DVD rental service permanently.

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    Netflix’s test of streaming games is small, but it’s poised to be a big deal / ArsTechnica · Monday, 14 August - 20:21

Netflix games shown on TVs, laptops, and conrols on a phone

Enlarge / Netflix's growing games division wants to be available as many places as possible, so now it's rolling out tests of TV and browser-based games (at least on Mac and PC). (credit: Netflix)

Having quietly released a phone-based TV game controller for iOS devices last week, Netflix has both made their ambition for streaming subscription gaming official—as well as expanding it to PCs and Macs through the web.

In a blog post today , Mike Verdu, vice president for games at Netflix, states that the streaming content company is rolling out " a limited beta test to a small number of members in Canada and the UK on select TVs starting today, and on PCs and Macs through on supported browsers in the next few weeks."

The first two games available on bigger-than-mobile screens are the visual novel-esque adventure game Oxenfree 2, from Netflix-owned Night School Studio, and Molehew's Mining Adventure, described as a "gem-mining arcade game."

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    With new Game Controller app, Netflix games move from mobile to the TV / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 8 August - 20:56

In the surest sign yet that Netflix plans to expand its gaming offerings, the company quietly released an iOS app called "Game Controller" that it says will allow subscribers to play games on their TVs.

Until now, Netflix has offered a curated selection of mobile games—mostly from established developers of premium mobile games who have found prior success on Apple's App Store. It has not, however, released any games that are playable on a living room TV.

That's technically still the case. When you open up the iPhone app, you're told to "choose a game on your TV and follow the directions to connect," but that process does not appear to be supported by any of Netflix's smart TV, game console, or streaming box apps yet. In fact, there's absolutely nothing you can do with the Game Controller app right now. "Netflix Games on TV are in beta. Some devices may not be supported at this time," a note at the bottom of the app says.

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    Netflix crackdown on account sharing hits US with $8 fee for each extra user / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 23 May - 21:35

Illustration of a house with a Netflix logo and several TV screens.

Enlarge (credit: Netflix)

Netflix is now telling US customers to stop sharing accounts with people outside their households or pay $7.99 a month for each extra member. "Your Netflix account is for you and the people you live with—your household," Netflix says in an email targeted at customers whose accounts are being used in multiple locations.

The email provides two options: transfer the extra person's profile to a new membership that they can pay for separately, or spend $7.99 a month extra to "share your Netflix account with someone who doesn't live with you."

"Starting today, we will be sending this email to members who are sharing Netflix outside their household in the United States," Netflix announced .

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    Review: Netflix’s exquisite The Sandman is the stuff dreams are made of / ArsTechnica · Monday, 29 August, 2022 - 15:35 · 1 minute

Neil Gaiman's classic "unfilmable" graphic novel series gets the adaptation he always wanted.

Enlarge / Neil Gaiman's classic "unfilmable" graphic novel series gets the adaptation he always wanted. (credit: Netflix)

Like many nerds of a certain age, I have long adored Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novel series; it was an enormous influence on my younger self. So I was thrilled to hear of Netflix's planned adaptation when it was announced in 2019 —but I also experienced some trepidation given the past misguided efforts to bring the story to the screen. That trepidation was unwarranted because The Sandman is a triumph. It's everything I had hoped to see in an adaption, and it has been well worth the wait.

(Warning: Some spoilers for the original graphic novels and the Netflix series below.)

The titular "sandman" is Dream , but he is also called Morpheus, among other names. He is one of seven entities known as the Endless. (The other Endless are Destiny, Destruction, Despair, Desire, Delirium, and Death.) Gaiman's 75-issue revival of the DC character is an odd mix of mythology, fantasy, horror, and history, rife with literary references and a fair bit of dark humor. There really is nothing quite like it, and the series proved to be hugely popular and enduring. One standalone story , "A Midsummer Night's Dream" ( The Sandman No. 19) even won the 1991 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction, the only time a comic has been so honored.

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    As it turns out, “Netflix Gaming” isn’t a streaming service / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 26 August, 2021 - 18:58 · 1 minute

One month after its vague announcement of a new gaming-centric strategy , Netflix has taken the wraps off of how exactly it will "publish" video games in the foreseeable future: as downloadable smartphone apps, available exclusively for paying video-streaming subscribers.

The news coincides with the company's public launch of Netflix Gaming on Thursday as part of the service's smartphone app... but only in Poland, and only on Android. The company's American Twitter translated Thursday's Polish announcement, which explains how it works and the two games launching as part of the service today: Stranger Things 3 , a 16-bit beat-'em-up that was previously available as a standalone Google Play purchase (and is still live on PC and consoles); and Stranger Things: 1984 , a brand-new, smartphone-exclusive game that seems to revolve around slow, puzzle-solving movement through pixellated TV-series environments. (Both games, coincidentally, were made by the same indie game studio, BonusXP , which is based in Texas, not Poland.)

To access this content, you'll need to log in to Netflix's Android app while using a Polish IP address, then open the region's new "N Gaming" tab. From there, pick either of those games, which will direct you to their Google Play download listings. Once downloaded, go back into the Netflix app and boot the game of your choice from there.

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    Our fave gentleman thief is back for revenge in trailer for Lupin part 2 / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 11 May, 2021 - 18:55 · 1 minute

Omar Sy is back as Assane Diop, a modern-day gentleman thief who models himself on the classic French fictional character Arsène Lupin, in part 2 of Lupin , coming to Netflix on June 11.

The Netflix French original series Lupin proved to be an unexpected hit when it debuted earlier this year, purportedly racking up views in 70 million households in its first month. And there's good news for those frustrated by part 1's cliffhanger ending: we'll soon find out what happens next, as Netflix just dropped a full trailer and release date for part 2 of the saga. Alas, the trailer is dubbed in English— quelle horreur !—which means we miss out on star Omar Sy's dulcet tones. (Dear Netflix: it's OK to have subtitled trailers for your foreign fare. In fact, it's far, far preferable to bad dubbing.)

(Some spoilers for part 1 below.)

As I've written previously , Arsène Lupin is the creation of Maurice Leblanc , who based the character partly on a French burglar/anarchist . Relentlessly pursued by a detective named Ganimard, Lupin is captured stealing a woman's jewels while on board a ship. Although he is imprisoned, he ultimately escapes before standing trial and goes on to pull off many other colorful heists.

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