Everyone hoped streaming services would replace that expensive cable bill, but it’s getting complicated out there. Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Paramount+, Peacock, Hulu and countless others want a piece of your entertainment budget, and the bills can add up fast.
Clint Eastwood just made things even more complicated for his fans, licensing six of his best movies to a surprising streaming service: Fox Nation. The Fox News streaming service is known more as a destination for viewers who want more of that “fair and balanced” coverage than a place for movies, but it looks like each party here thinks the other one enhances its brand.
“Heartbreak Ridge” (1986) is the jewel in the package. Eastwood plays Gunny Tom Highway, a crusty old Marine who’s disappointed by declining standards in the Corps. He gets to take on a few Cubans on a mission that lets him teach the young guys how it’s actually done.
Fox Nation also is streaming four of the five Dirty Harry movies, including “Dirty Harry” (1971), “The Enforcer” (1976), “Sudden Impact” (1983) and “The Dead Pool” (1988). Unfortunately, viewers can’t enjoy a complete Harry Callahan marathon because the best movie in the series, “Magnum Force” (1973), isn’t part of the package.
The 1984 western “Pale Rider” also will be streaming. Eastwood directed himself in his first proper western since 1976’s “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” and it’s an underrated winner in his movie catalog.
The films will stream for the month of August, and Fox Nation has produced two documentary specials to air alongside the movies. Eastwood made all of these films for Warner Bros., but none of them currently is streaming on the Warner-owned service HBO Max.
Obviously, the suits at Fox want Eastwood’s fans to sample its other programming. In addition to on-demand streaming of Fox News programs, there are news shows created specifically for the service, a true-crime series with Nancy Grace, a cooking show with Paula Deen and all the “Duck Dynasty” reruns you can handle.
You can get your first month of Fox Nation for 99 cents, and it’s $5.99 a month if you want to keep it. There are discounted packages if you pay for a year or two years in advance.
The service will follow their August 2021 Clint Eastwood experience with a “Who Can Forget The ‘80s” month in January 2022. Eastwood will be back in “Any Which Way You Can” (1980). They’ll also stream military comedy classic “Private Benjamin” (1980), NASA drama “The Right Stuff” (1983), “The Outsiders” (1983) and the Sylvester Stallone/Kurt Russell action movie “Tango & Cash” (1989).
Will “Heartbreak Ridge” inspire a new audience for Fox Nation? Does this move mean that Dirty Harry fans will never get their fix from HBO Max? And just how many streaming services are too many? What exactly is the line between news and entertainment? All these questions will be answered in good time, and we’ll keep an eye for the outcome.