'STAR' is what Disney+ have coined their deep dive into the real competition of internet streaming. It's a service that's found itself berated as one with a distinct lack of content, but now they're striving to fix that with the biggest content release to a streaming service that I can remember.
There's 75 shows and over 270 movies coming on the 23rd of February, meaning hours and hours of content to feast upon with Disney+ and a revitalised streaming service that is now very much worth a £7.99 a month price.
But with all that content it can seem a little overwhelming trying to decide where to go first. So as a helping hand, here's 5 suggestions from what's being made available that every film & TV lover needs to see.
Being 5 extremely tense seasons long, Prison Break is easily the earliest memory I have of binging TV (that and 24, also available on STAR). Shows like this are the ones responsible for the rise of streaming with TV series that automatically jump to the next episode for you. Because Prison Break is just as intense and gripping as you can imagine.
In Prison Break we follow Michael Scofield, an engineer who gets himself into a prison he helped design to rescue his falsely accused brother from a death sentence. There's plenty of highly memorable characters to discover as well as a fair few unsavoury types that only want to stop Michael in his tracks. Being 5 seasons long, nothing ever quite goes to plan.
Yorgos Lanthimos' 2018 movie is an absolute must-see for movie lovers everywhere. Peep Show's Olivia Coleman won an Oscar for her role as Queen Anne of England, falling sick while her personal aide Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) oversees the country's political matters. But when Sarah's cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) enters the fray her powers of seduction slowly dismantle Sarah's relationship with the queen.
It's a particularly eccentric film with unusual fish-eye visuals, slow-mo court room duck races and excellent performances from every person onscreen. It probably should've won best picture in 2018, but just because it didn't takes nothing away from how excellent a movie it is.
Imagine the movie Cast Away but there's 6 TV seasons of it and it moves at a million miles an hour with gripping 'blink and you'll miss it' episodes. That's Lost. Being another classic TV show, Lost chronicles the aftermath of a plane crash when the survivors find themselves stranded on a mysterious island. After some very stressful opening episodes, the survivors are forced to work together. Then they realise they're not alone on the island and it all kicks off.
With a few big names in there like The Hobbit and Ant Man's Evangeline Lilly, it's got one of the most divisive finales in television history but still goes down as one of the most influential series ever made. It's a series worth discovering at some point along your STAR journey.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of the greatest films ever devised, directed by a highly celebrated modern filmmaker with nothing but sheer respect for cinema. Ralph Fiennes stars in the quirkiest role of his career as the concierge of the titular hotel, Monsieur Gustave, wrongly framed for the murder of his favourite guest (Tilda Swinton). In the process of proving his innocence he befriends Zero (Tony Revolori), a young lobby boy who wants to be as honourable a concierge as M. Gustave.
It's unbelievably easy watching, but affords its viewers a lot of complexity if they look for it. It's precise, charming and colourful in both design and tone but has an epic sense of scale. That's helped along by the cast, both huge in number and quality. Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Lea Seydoux, Jason Schwartzmann and many more feature here.
To talk about the qualities of The Grand Budapest Hotel would be a long read, so watch the movie and see for yourself. Better still, if you've already seen it then many of Wes Anderson's other movies like Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou will be on Disney+ too.
My final pick in the first things you need to watch when Disney's STAR drops is Moulin Rouge! starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman in, from my experience, a highly underrated Hollywood musical at this point.
It's a love story about an English writer, Christian, who travels to Paris in 1899 with hopes of joining the Bohemian revolution. But after visiting the city's biggest night club, Moulin Rouge, he falls in love with a famous courtesan, Satine.
Baz Luhrmann, creator of DiCaprio's Romeo + Juliet, directs this high octane musical that features well-known pop music from the likes of The Police and Elton John twisted into musical ballads. The first musical nominated for Best Picture in 10 years, Moulin Rouge! is a flamboyant extravagance that quickly shifts from comedy to tragedy in minutes. Packed with temptation, desire and operatic numbers, Moulin Rouge! is definitely a must-see if you haven't already.
But those are just 5 recommendations from a huge list of 325 different movies and shows being made available on Disney+ 23rd February. What will you be watching and what did you think of any of these? Were they Any Good? Make sure to let us know.