Black Mirror: Bandersnatch- Netflix 12/28/2018 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 34 Old 12-27-2018, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch- Netflix 12/28/2018

Netflix on Thursday unveiled a trailer for Bandersnatch, a standalone Black Mirror movie that is set to be released this Friday, Dec. 28th...as previously reported, Bandersnatch is expected to function as an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure-style film...Bandersnatch reportedly hails from director David Slade, who helmed the Season 4 installment 'Metalhead' (a reference to the episode is included in the trailer at the 0:15 mark)…contrary to speculation, the release of Black Mirror Season 5 will not coincide with the premiere of Bandersnatch...a Netflix insider tells TVLine that the anthology series’ next batch of episodes will arrive at a later date...

https://tvline.com/2018/12/27/black-...netflix-video/

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post #2 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 08:05 AM
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Very exciting to see a new (to TV) format of stroy telling come to the mainstream! Can't wait to watch.
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post #3 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 08:19 AM
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So, I assume this is like a video game, in that you have to watch (play) it on a computer, phone, tablet, or other interactive device? And that it can branch out and go in different directions getting to a different ending? So you could conceivably watch (play) it multiple times, leading to different endings each time depending on the choices you make when you have those options?

If so, I wonder if I can connect a laptop to a TV via HDMI and get a larger picture, make the experience more immersive? How are you guys going to "consume" this work?
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post #4 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 09:01 AM
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I just started it, and it gives you a tutorial and test question which I successfully interacted with using my Roku remote. I can't imagine Netflix would have developed something like this if the vast majority of customers couldn't enjoy the full experience on a standard TV-connected Netflix streaming device.
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post #5 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zookster View Post
I just started it, and it gives you a tutorial and test question which I successfully interacted with using my Roku remote. I can't imagine Netflix would have developed something like this if the vast majority of customers couldn't enjoy the full experience on a standard TV-connected Netflix streaming device.
Oh! So if you have your TV connected to Netflix via a BD player with the Netflix ap, for example, you could use your BD player's remote to navigate the show's options? Okay then! How clever.
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post #6 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 09:07 AM
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User beware: early in the movie I had the option of choosing my breakfast cereal and I picked Sugar Puffs rather than Frosties. After regretting my choice I tried to go back but it doesn't let you. In fact the only navigation within the movie is a 10 second skip function.

Also note this really does play like a video game, as you're given a timer to make your choice and there is a noticeable delay before the scene continues after making your selection.
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post #7 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Zookster View Post
User beware: early in the movie I have the option of choosing my breakfast cereal and I picked Sugar Puffs rather than Frosties. After regretting my choice I tried to go back but it doesn't let you. Lol
Presumably then, you could "watch" this "movie" multiple times, leading to different scenes and even different endings each time depending on the choices you make? Or does it always lead to the same ending, just via different routes?
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post #8 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post
Presumably then, you could "watch" this "movie" multiple times, leading to different scenes and even different endings each time depending on the choices you make? Or does it always lead to the same ending, just via different routes?
I've heard there is about 5 total hours of content with multiple endings.
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post #9 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 09:37 AM
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Based on the 15 minutes or so I've seen so far, I don't know that the story or characters will be compelling enough for me to go through it more than once. We'll see. I rarely play video games like this more than once, unless of course cheevos/trophies are at stake.
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post #10 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 11:35 AM
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Here's a good article on Bandersnatch: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/net...g-next-n952611

I was actually surprised it only takes 40 to 90 minutes to complete. I thought this was two-hour movie regardless. Also, regarding device support, from the article:


Quote:
For "Bandersnatch," the app now has to pre-cache two possible paths -- something that older versions of the Netflix app aren't able to do.

That's why the movie isn't available on Netflix's app for some older smart TVs. The company is also excluding "Bandersnatch" from playback on Google's Chromecast and Apple TV for technical reasons, but Netflix vice president of product Todd Yellin didn't seem to be too worried about leaving anyone behind. "Almost every single Netflix household has a device that can play 'Bandersnatch,'" he said.
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post #11 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zookster View Post
User beware: early in the movie I had the option of choosing my breakfast cereal and I picked Sugar Puffs rather than Frosties. After regretting my choice I tried to go back but it doesn't let you. In fact the only navigation within the movie is a 10 second skip function.

Also note this really does play like a video game, as you're given a timer to make your choice and there is a noticeable delay before the scene continues after making your selection.
that's the way it should be...you shouldn't be able to go back and change things based on the outcome...you live with your consequences until another viewing/playthrough...sounds good to me

does the movie rely totally on the gimmick of 'choosing your own adventure' or does it stand alone as a great Black Mirror episode without all the gimmickry?
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post #12 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 02:26 PM
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does the movie rely totally on the gimmick of 'choosing your own adventure' or does it stand alone as a great Black Mirror episode without all the gimmickry?
That's another thing I'm curious about. If you don't want to make any decisions beyond what you're having for snacks while you watch, can you just watch it straight through like an ordinary movie? You'd think they'd give you that option, but maybe not.

We're planning on giving it an interactive go tonight! Sounds like fun.
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post #13 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 02:54 PM
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That's another thing I'm curious about. If you don't want to make any decisions beyond what you're having for snacks while you watch, can you just watch it straight through like an ordinary movie? You'd think they'd give you that option, but maybe not.

We're planning on giving it an interactive go tonight! Sounds like fun.
I didn't test it yet, but I suspect, based on how video games like this work, if the timer runs down before you make a choice, it gives you a default response. The problem is waiting for the timer to run down each time would definitely adversely affect the immersion factor. Though it might be interesting to see what the creator's "choices" were. I didn't see any way to watch this in a different "mode," with choices pre-made.
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post #14 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 03:11 PM
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does the movie rely totally on the gimmick of 'choosing your own adventure' or does it stand alone as a great Black Mirror episode without all the gimmickry?
Here's a review from the HOTP thread. Bianculli is pretty jazzed about it...

TV Review (Streaming)
New 'Black Mirror' Story Is an Interactive Triumph - Thanks Partly to You
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Dec. 28, 2018

Friday, Dec. 28, 2018 – I’ve just one of the more original and unpredictable dramas I’ve ever seen as a TV critic. It’s the brand new, one-off installment of Black Mirror on Netflix. And I didn’t – and couldn’t – watch it on my TV set…

The way I regularly watch Netflix, and all other television that broadcast, cable or streaming sites, is on my big-screen family room TV. But this morning, when I awoke at 3 a.m. ET to watch Bandersnatch, the cloaked-in-mystery installment of Black Mirror dropping at that hour on Netflix, a promo explained, teasingly, that I couldn’t watch it. Not on my TV, because it wasn’t quite smart enough.

Instead, I had to go sign in to Netflix on a device capable to allow me to interact with it – a smartphone, a laptop, anything with a touch pad or mouse or something. At 3 a.m., you can imagine how warmly I greeted that news. But I’m a professional TV critic, so okay, I’ll play along – but, I clearly remember thinking, this better be good. This better be worth it.

Boy, is it good. Boy, is it worth it…

Bandersnatch, written by Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker and directed by David Slade, has nothing to do with Through the Looking-Glass or Lewis Carroll’s “frumious Bandersnatch.” Nor does it have anything to do with George Orwell’s 1984, even though that’s the year in which this new Black Mirror story is set.

Instead, Bandersnatch is about a young computer hobbyist, in the early days of Commodore computers and the crudest of graphic interfaces and games, who sets out to adapt a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, named Bandersnatch, into an interactive computer game. The wannabe programmer, Stefan (played by Fionn Whitehead), teams with a burgeoning tech company to develop his game – with a deadline that gets to him, in ways that eventually lead him to his psychiatrist, past traumas and present issues with his father, and a reevaluation of his own perceptions of reality.

I really enjoyed the version of Bandersnatch I saw – but it won’t be the same one you see, because each viewing experience is unique. All along the way in this narrative, there are choices to be made, and you, not the protagonist, get to make them. They start off as innocuously as possible, but the stakes keep escalating. At first, it’s: Which cereal should Stefan eat? But before too long, the choice is, quite literally, a matter of life or death.

And when Stefan begins to suspect he’s being manipulated by someone or something from the future, Bandersnatch turns darker and deeper – implicating the viewer into the action, and its consequences, even more than a first-person-shooter perspective. And there’s a point, at least in my version of this roller-coaster of a narrative, where the plot gets very funny, and very, very creepy, all at the same time.

It also, it’s worth noting, connects perfectly with the central Black Mirror obsession with the less beneficial uses and side effects of modern technology.

In New York in the late Eighties, I saw an ambitious play named Tamara, staged at the Park Avenue Armory with actors moving from room to room, and floor to floor, performing the action in its period murder mystery. What made the play so fascinating was that each audience member was permitted to enter or exit any room when following an actor – so each person, by taking his or her own path, witnessed a different play than anyone else. At intermission, a buffet was served, allowing people to intermingle, compare notes, and plan which way to go for the second half. Bandersnatch felt something like that – and, when it was over, felt truly special.

Netflix dropped this Black Mirror special three days before the end of 2018. The only problem with that is that Bandersnatch, if presented even a few weeks earlier, might have made a lot of TV critics’ end-of-year Top 10 lists.

It certainly would have made mine.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...x?postId=17522
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post #15 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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According to Netflix, there are more than a trillion different unique “permutations” of the content — “given the number of choices, the unique number of variations (or permutations) are more than a trillion...Note this doesn’t mean there are actually a trillion unique paths or storylines, though...”Generally, each time through is a 90-minute story with five main endings...Throughout the episode, choices pop up at the bottom of the screen and viewers can pick which path to play using their remote control...According to one report, the film contains a total of five hours of potential play-able footage...

https://ew.com/tv/2018/12/28/black-m...natch-details/
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post #16 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 05:39 PM
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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch- Netflix 12/28/2018

I found this unique and interesting. In the end though the continuous choices and permutations were a bit exhausting. Still, it’s a pretty fascinating story in a story itself and on the whole it was enjoyable. It really was meta in a lot of ways, and I wonder how much of the general public would enjoy something like this, but I mostly did. Super creative for sure.
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post #17 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 07:58 PM
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FYI it doesn’t play on all devices. I just tried my mom’s old Roku stick and got a short video saying I can’t watch it, along with the trailer.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/28/...evices-support

If you don’t see the star flag in the upper right corner of the thumbnail, your device isn’t compatible and you can’t watch it (see attached screenshot).

Edit: Got an email from Netflix after I couldn’t play it pointing to this help page with more details: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/625...ELP&lnktrk=EMP
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post #18 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 08:25 PM
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In my first run through, I managed to get the short "fail" version in which you're given the option to go back to one of two previous points to make a different decision.
Spoiler!
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post #19 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 09:03 PM
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According to instantwatcher.com, this is "SUPERHD."

Is it really not in 4K? How is it that last season was in 4K, but not this?
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post #20 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 09:45 PM
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So after hitting five or six go back/"game over" points in the story, I've given up. I guess I'll never know
Spoiler!
, though I don't really care anymore and just wish I could go back and get 90 mibutes of my life back. Lol
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post #21 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 09:54 PM
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According to instantwatcher.com, this is "SUPERHD."

Is it really not in 4K? How is it that last season was in 4K, but not this?
Its in 4k, although parts of it might not be, the short little go back parts. I was hitting the "display" button on my TV and it shows the bitrate, resolution, and where I was in the video. Its over 5 hours long BTW.

Interesting that its in 21:9, 4x3 for some parts, windowboxed 16:9 for the "go fast" parts that its rehashing, and fullscreen 16x9 in at least one of the endings.
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post #22 of 34 Old 12-28-2018, 09:56 PM
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I spent about 2 hours messing about with this. Someone made a frickin flowchart for this thing, its complex. See the spoilered bit below if you want to see it, I believe I got to every ending but one. There are at least two endings where the credits start... but its not really over.

Spoiler!
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post #23 of 34 Old 12-29-2018, 05:18 AM
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We watched it. It was interesting that in some cases, your "bad" choice allowed you to quickly go back and make the "correct" one to keep the story going. Perhaps they all eventually get you to the same place. Don't know how many distinctive endings it had. Probably need to go back and make some different choices at key points to see what happens. As mentioned above, one time we thought we got to the end but we really didn't. The ending we got...

Spoiler!
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post #24 of 34 Old 12-29-2018, 10:14 AM
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.. As mentioned above, one time we thought we got to the end but we really didn't. The ending we got...

Spoiler!
My ending as well.
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post #25 of 34 Old 12-29-2018, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post
We watched it. It was interesting that in some cases, your "bad" choice allowed you to quickly go back and make the "correct" one to keep the story going. Perhaps they all eventually get you to the same place. Don't know how many distinctive endings it had. Probably need to go back and make some different choices at key points to see what happens. As mentioned above, one time we thought we got to the end but we really didn't. The ending we got...

Spoiler!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don S View Post
My ending as well.
That was one of the ones I saw as well, but with my multiple times looping back and making other choices, I'm not sure how I arrived there, and less sure how it came about or what it means. Of the three I saw, that was the only one that made no sense to me.

So was there a scene at the end of the credits? I missed that. Does it pull stuff together and provide any answers?
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post #26 of 34 Old 12-29-2018, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
Its in 4k, although parts of it might not be, the short little go back parts. I was hitting the "display" button on my TV and it shows the bitrate, resolution, and where I was in the video. Its over 5 hours long BTW.

Interesting that its in 21:9, 4x3 for some parts, windowboxed 16:9 for the "go fast" parts that its rehashing, and fullscreen 16x9 in at least one of the endings.
Was it? I didn't check the TV to see if it was coming through in 2160p...was absolutely not HDR/Dolby Vision on WebOS and that was sort of a letdown...no Atmos either.

Great experience though...here is the more detailed flowchart that I found on Reddit:
Spoiler!

Josh
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post #27 of 34 Old 12-29-2018, 01:33 PM
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It would be a bit hard to cache the 4K segments. I only saw HD.


It thought it was a hoot and enjoyed playing obtuse scenarios. But then I was programming games back in the 1980s as a second career (and almost 40 at the time). It's like a "sim", IOW really no game to win just different scenarios to play.


Fun to also see Asim Chaudhry from "People Just Do Nothing", playing the company boss.
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post #28 of 34 Old 12-29-2018, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lax01 View Post
Was it? I didn't check the TV to see if it was coming through in 2160p...was absolutely not HDR/Dolby Vision on WebOS and that was sort of a letdown...no Atmos either.

Great experience though...here is the more detailed flowchart that I found on Reddit:
Spoiler!
No, not HDR or DV on my A1E, but it showed 2160p 15Mbps at times.

And wow I'll have to open that flowchart on my desktop, too much for my tablet.
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post #29 of 34 Old 12-29-2018, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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It thought it was a hoot and enjoyed playing obtuse scenarios. But then I was programming games back in the 1980s as a second career (and almost 40 at the time). It's like a "sim", IOW really no game to win just different scenarios to play
that's what I'm going to do...just keep making odd or strange choices and see where the story takes me
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post #30 of 34 Old 12-29-2018, 07:50 PM
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I spent two hours going through a few different scenarios, and found the concept interesting - not just because of the interactive decision-making, but how well they shaped the story to pull the viewer into the experience, the elements of quasi 4th-wall breaking incorporated into the narrative, and the seamless nature of the branching (I only saw the buffering screen 3 times through all the decision points).

Not sure if I'll replay it - I've seen most (but not all) of the main endings, and there's a bunch of content I'm sure I've missed, seeing as there's 5+ hours of actual footage.
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