Wednesday, February 2, 2011

“Amazon to take on Netflix with a movie streaming service - Product Reviews” plus 1 more

“Amazon to take on Netflix with a movie streaming service - Product Reviews” plus 1 more


Amazon to take on Netflix with a movie streaming service - Product Reviews

Posted: 02 Feb 2011 02:36 AM PST

Netflix could be about to get some competition with the news that Amazon are set to offer a film streaming service to its customers.

According to an article on The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon is rumored to be working on a service which will be bundled with its Amazon Prime service. Amazon Prime offers customers who pay a yearly subscription of $79 unlimited free two-day shipping. The service can be tried out free for one month before paying the fee. Items can also be upgraded to one-day shipping for $3.99 per item.

This after Amazon recently bought European online movie rental business Lovefilm in a $318.6million deal. Lovefilm currently has 1.6 million customers across Europe who get the service by mail, and online with their PlayStation 3's, internet TV's, and PC.

Barton Crockett a Lazard Capital Markets analyst said Amazon "could become Netflix's first meaningful streaming competitor." It is not known when the service will be available, and Amazon could be still "working on its movie/TV content deals with all the majors," According to BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield.

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Movie Listings for Jan. 28-Feb. 3 - New York Times

Posted: 27 Jan 2011 03:29 PM PST

Movies

Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, showtimes and tickets: nytimes.com/movies.

★ 'Animal Kingdom' (R, 1:52) The relative absence of gun battles and car chases in this film, a powerfully acted Australian answer to "Goodfellas," helps it sustain a mood of deepening dread. It goes out of its way to deglamorize the criminal life and portray its family of crooks as warped psychotic thugs in a losing enterprise. (Stephen Holden)20110127

★ 'Another Year' (PG-13, 2:09) An autumnal gem from Mike Leigh, by turns sweet and abrasive, gentle and sad, about the unequal distribution of happiness in the modern world as experienced by an aging couple (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen) and some of their friends and relations. Lesley Manville, as the most floridly miserable of these, is shockingly good. (A. O. Scott)20110127

'Applause' (R, 1:25, in Danish) The talented Danish actress Paprika Steen stars as an alcoholic actress stumbling on the road to recovery in Martin Pieter Zandvliet's tedious drama. Seek out John Cassavetes's "Opening Night" instead. (Manohla Dargis)20110127

'Barney's Version' (R, 2:12) This well-meaning adaptation of Mordecai Richler's last novel, with a sly and energetic Paul Giamatti in the title role, is damaged by its reverence for the source material. A lusty, irreverent chronicle of sex, death, ambition and more sex is made tame and respectable. The excellent cast — Rosamund Pike and Dustin Hoffman in addition to Mr. Giamatti — cannot quite save it. (Scott)20110127

'Biutiful' (R, 2:28, in Spanish) Javier Bardem and Barcelona are both rough and authentic-seeming in Alejandro González Iñárritu's harsh and not quite convincing melodrama of mortality, sin and redemption. (Scott)20110127

★ 'Black Swan' (R, 1:50) A witchy brew of madness and cunning from Darren Aronofsky about a ballerina (a smashing, bruising Natalie Portman) who aches, with battered feet and an increasingly crowded head, to break out of the corps. (Dargis)20110127

'Blue Valentine' (R, 1:20) Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are Dean and Cindy, a young couple coming together and then — six years later but also, in the film's inventive chronology, at the same time — coming apart. The emotions are precise and heartbreaking, but Derek Cianfrance's story is bogged down in detail and thematic obviousness. (Scott)20110127

★ 'Carlos' (No rating, in 5:30 and 2:45 versions, in English, French, Spanish, Japanese, German, Arabic, Russian and Hungarian) An excited, exciting, epic dramatization about the international terrorism brand known as Carlos the Jackal (Édgar Ramírez) from the wildly talented French director Olivier Assayas. Try to catch the five-hour version. (Dargis)20110127

'Casino Jack' (R, 1:48) Kevin Spacey gives a sly and energetic performance as Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist who went from the heights of Washington influence to a federal prison, but the director, George Hickenlooper, confronting an embarrassment of sleazy riches, cannot quite figure out what tone to take, or what story to tell. (Scott)20110127

'The Chronicles of Narnia: the Voyage of the Dawn Treader' (PG, 1:55) The latest and third chapter in the big-screen adaptation of the C. S. Lewis series was handed over to the director Michael Apted, who saves it from sinking. The young actor Will Poulter is the standout here, along with a teary dragon. (Dargis)20110127

★ 'The Company Men' (R, 1:44) This sobering drama from John Wells explores the devastating impact of sudden downsizing on the lives of three corporate executives (Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper) who have lived by the treacherous adage, "You are what you do." (Holden)20110127

'Country Strong' (PG-13, 1:51) A miscast Gwyneth Paltrow, working a deep-fried twangy accent and a conspicuous cross necklace, plays an alcoholic country-western star struggling to get back in the limelight in a movie written and directed by Shana Feste. (Dargis)20110127

'Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries)' (No rating, 1:40, in Hindi and English) The first-time writer-director Kiran Rao (she's married to Aamir Khan, who plays a brooding artist here) wants to show Mumbai in all its hurly-burly complexity. Ms. Rao delivers a vivid, visual portrait of the city, though her storytelling skills lag behind. Prateik, in his first lead role, is so charismatic he gives the movie a lift. (Rachel Saltz)20110127

'The Dilemma' (PG-13, 1:44) Vince Vaughan and Kevin James are best buds, one of whom discovers that the other one's wife is cheating in this male weepie masquerading as a bromantic comedy and not quite succeeding on either score. The director, Ron Howard, does allow some room for real emotion, though, and Winona Ryder as the straying spouse is unflinching and tough, daring the audience to see things from her point of view. (Scott)20110127

★ 'Enter the Void' (No rating, 2:17, in French) This is your brain. This is your brain on a Gaspar Noé movie. (Dargis)20110127

★ 'Every Day' (R, 1:33) Very well-written and well-acted, the movie, starring Liev Schreiber and Helen Hunt, feels like a glorified television drama softened with comic and surreal trimmings and appended with a mildly upbeat ending. (Holden)20110127

★ 'The Fighter' (R, 1:55) Working in the familiar, convention-bound genre of the boxing picture, the director David O. Russell turns the true story of Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) into a prickly, brutal and often very funny investigation of class struggle, family turmoil and brotherly love. Mr. Wahlberg is solid, and the three major supporting performers — Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, as the monstrous movie mother of the year — are nothing short of superb. (Scott)20110127

★ 'Four Lions' (R, 1:41) This outrageously funny British film about a group of would-be jihadis captures an essential and often neglected truth about modern terrorists, namely that many of them are idiots. (Scott)20110127

'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest' (R, 2:28, in Swedish) Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) finally wipes the blood off her face in this, the final cinematic installment of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, which feels like the concluding chapter it is, with neatly tied loose ends and closing remarks. (Dargis)20110127

'The Green Hornet' (PG-13, 1:48) Seth Rogen's manic, obnoxious wisecracking and Michel Gondry's visual whimsy do very little to dispel a lingering sense of super-hero-action-movie fatigue. (Scott)20110127

★ 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1' (PG-13, 2:26) The wizard and his friends begin their final adventure, exiled from Hogwarts and wandering through a bleak and scary British landscape. The atmosphere is more sinister than ever, and the older British actors have stepped aside, leaving the picture in the capable young hands of Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint. (Scott)20110127

'The Housemaid' (No rating, 1:47, in Korean) In this remake of a legendary 1960 South Korean psychodrama, the director, Im Song-soo, considers sex, class and power, not least the power of his own cinematic sensibility to blend melodrama, camp and suspense. Jeon Do-yeon plays a naïve young woman who takes a job as a household servant for a wealthy family, and all kinds of kinky trouble ensues in ways that are diverting and sometimes absorbing, but never entirely satisfying. (Scott)20110127

★ 'I Love You Phillip Morris' (R, 1:38) Jim Carrey's manic portrayal of Steven Russell, a notorious real-life gay con man now serving a 144-year sentence in a Texas prison, hot-wires the nervy comedy that bills itself as "an improbable true story." (Holden)20110127

'The Illusionist' (PG, 1:30) Sylvain Chomet, working from a script by Jacques Tati, directs this melancholic, gracefully animated story about a magician who, in the late 1950s, keeps the show going and the magic alive with the help of an adoring teenage fan. (Dargis)20110127

★ 'Inside Job' (PG-13, 1:45) Charles Ferguson's anatomy of the 2008 financial disaster is meticulous, informative and infuriating. In a strong year for documentaries, this one is essential viewing. (Scott)20110127

★ 'The Kids Are All Right' (R, 1:45) American family life in all its imperfections, perfectly captured by the director Lisa Cholodenko and a flawless, peerless cast led by Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as a lesbian couple with two teenage children and a couple of decades worth of unspoken tensions and frustration. These pop to the surface when Mark Ruffalo shows up, playing the children's biological but heretofore invisible father. What follows is brilliantly funny without exaggeration, and heartbreaking without a hint of melodramatic manipulation. (Scott)20110127

'The King's Speech' (R, 1:58) A very fine Colin Firth plays the stutterer who would be king (as in George VI), and Geoffrey Rush plays his speech therapist in a buddy story directed by Tom Hooper and nearly stolen by a fantastic Guy Pearce as Edward VIII. (Dargis)20110127

'Lemmy' (No rating, 1:57) Ian Fraser Kilmister, known as Lemmy, the central piston behind the band Motörhead, is famous in hard rock and heavy metal circles as much for his hard living as his musical influence. This documentary (with an unprintable subtitle) paints a diverting if hagiographic portrait with an overabundance of testimonials from rock luminaries and too few complete song performances. And yet Lemmy, now 65 and diabetic with high blood pressure, remains refreshingly unrepentant and profligate, with a kind of cast-iron integrity. (Andy Webster)20110127

'Little Fockers' (PG-13, 1:37) A decade after the first Focker flick, Ben Stiller, as the beleaguered son-in-law of a former C.I.A. operative (Robert De Niro), no longer seems in a laughing mood. Given this shoddy movie, you can't blame him. (Dargis)20110127

'Love & Other Drugs' (R, 1:53) This romantic comedy-melodrama starts strong, with Jake Gyllenhaal playing a randy young salesman peddling pharmaceuticals in the heartland. He meets Anne Hathaway's mercurial artist, and they generate a fair amount of sexual heat. By the end, though, the movie, directed by Edward Zwick, settles into sentimental convention, using serious illness for easy and unconvincing pathos. (Scott)20110127

'No Strings Attached' (R, 1:50) Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher as two lusty young residents of Los Angeles pursuing a sexual relation with, as the title suggests, no further commitment. You can't help believe that this predictably mediocre romantic comedy, directed by Ivan Reitman, should have been better, given the intermittent sharpness of Elizabeth Meriwether's script and a deep supporting cast that includes Kevin Kline, Greta Gerwig, Olivia Thirlby and Mindy Kaling. (Scott)20110127

★ '127 Hours' (R, 1:35) The director Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire") has turned the true story of Aron Ralston, a mountain climber who was trapped in a canyon with his arm pinned against a boulder, into a wildly kinetic, funny and bracing film — at once visceral and slyly thought-provoking. James Franco, alone on screen for much of the movie, is in many ways the key to its success. (Scott)20110127

★ 'Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune' (No rating, 1:38) Outfitted with stirring performance footage of the '60s folk singer, who committed suicide at 35, Kenneth Bowser's respectful, nonmaudlin documentary portrait evokes a personal tragedy with historical ramifications. (Holden)20110127

'Plastic Planet' (No rating, 1:39, in English and German) Werner Boote's eccentric, globe-trotting exposé of the dangers posed by our dependence on synthetic materials sacrifices depth for breadth and lucidity for stunts. Sniffing and licking as he goes, Mr. Boote trots from an environmental dispute in Venice to a rubbish dump in India, raising alarms, then leaving them jangling. (Jeannette Catsoulis)20110127

'Rabbit Hole' (PG-13, 1:32) Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart play a couple grieving the death of their young son in this adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire's play, directed by John Cameron Mitchell. The film is powerful and well acted but also curiously abstract, its characters defined almost entirely in terms of their emotional states. (Scott)20110127

'Season of the Witch' (PG-13, 1:53) In this 14th-century road movie (replete with 21st-century cuss words), two deserters from the Crusades (Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman) agree to transport an accused witch to a remote abbey to stand trial. As they traverse a wolf-infested forest and a plot with more holes than a macramé plant holder, the director, Dominic Sena, conceals the magnificent Austrian Alps beneath a palette of sludge and fudge. Not even a pustular Christopher Lee can dispel the murk. (Catsoulis)20110127

★ 'The Social Network' (PG-13, 2:00) David Fincher, working from Aaron Sorkin's script, directs a fleet, weirdly funny, exhilarating, alarming, fictionalized look at the boot-up, log-on, plug-in generation and the man (Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg) behind the social-media phenomenon Facebook. Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake also star. (Dargis)20110127

★ 'Somewhere' (R, 1:37) In her fourth feature, Sofia Coppola steps inside the bubble of entitlement and ennui that cocoons modern celebrities and observes with great subtlety and compassion the relationship between a dissolute movie star (Stephen Dorff) and his young daughter (Elle Fanning). The film is slow and quiet — one extended, unassuming, taciturn take after another — but if you pay attention, it will show you everything. (Scott)20110127

★ 'Tangled' (PG, 1:32) This retelling of the Rapunzel tale, with the princess kidnapped by the meanest stepmother ever, is a sweet and lively marriage of Disney and Pixar animation styles, with boisterous action sequences, buoyant musical numbers and moments of arresting visual beauty. (Scott)20110127

★ 'The Time That Remains' (No rating, 1:49, in Arabic and Hebrew) Elia Suleiman's latest film is a historical epic in the guise of a family memoir — or maybe the reverse, or maybe both at once in the shape of a wry and poignant meditation on family, identity and the contradictions of Israeli Arab life in the decades since 1948. (Scott)20110127

'Tiny Furniture' (No rating, 1:38) The newcomer Lena Dunham plays a recent college graduate who moves back home in a digital movie that's part performance piece, part thought experiment, and which closes the distance between art and life. (Dargis)20110127

'The Tourist' (PG-13, 1:43) You know, you really could be watching "North by Northwest" or "To Catch a Thief" instead. (Dargis)20110127

'Tron: Legacy' (PG, 2:06) In this dull sequel, Jeff Bridges returns as the god who watches over a dreary computer world, this one filled with glassy black and thumping beats that suggest a rave packed with revelers waving glow sticks. (Dargis)20110127

★ 'True Grit' (PG-13, 1:50) The "one-eyed fat man," Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), is reunited with a memorably tougher Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) in Joel and Ethan Coen's exceptionally fine adaptation of the Charles Portis novel. (Dargis)20110127

'The Way Back' (PG-13, 2:13) Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Colin Farrell star in Peter Weir's sweeping, underinvolving drama about prisoners who escape from a Siberian gulag to struggle, meander and limp 4,000 miles across snow and sand to India. (Dargis)20110127

'Winter's Bone' (R, 1:40) Debra Granik's flinty Ozark noir follows a teenage girl's search for her missing father, an expert methamphetamine cooker who has fallen afoul of his own outlaw kin. Jennifer Lawrence's lead performance is flawless and helps to lift this film above at least some of the usual independent-movie assumptions about rural poverty in America. (Scott)20110127

★ 'The Woodmans' (No rating, 1:22) Family dynamics examined through the prism of art: C. Scott Willis's compelling documentary study of an artistic clan whose comfortable life was shattered by the 1981 suicide of the its youngest member, the photographer Francesca Woodman, asks profound questions to which there really are no answers. (Holden)20110127

'Yogi Bear' (PG, 1:20) The one thing that lives up to the Hanna-Barbera cartoons on which this mostly live-action film is based is Justin Timberlake's charming performance as the voice of Boo Boo. Otherwise it's a handsomely filmed but bland family comedy whose story — about saving Jellystone Park from being sold by a corrupt politician — and characterizations are so generic they wouldn't pass muster on Saturday morning television. (Mike Hale)20110127

Film Series

Cinéma des femmes: Perspectives on Women Filmmakers (Tuesday) A two-month series, with screenings each Tuesday, begins this week with two rarities: a five-minute short, "Sage-Femme de Première Classe" ("First-Class Midwife"), directed by the pioneering director Alice Guy Blaché in 1902, and Nicole Vedrès's "La Vie Commence Demain" ("Life Begins Tomorrow"), a 1949 semi-documentary in which several of France's cultural superstars — including Jean-Paul Sartre, Pablo Picasso and André Gide — discuss life in the Atomic Age. Screenings are at 12:30 and 4 p.m., with an additional 7 p.m. screening of the latter introduced by the documentary filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker. French Institute Alliance Française, Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, Manhattan , (212) 355-6100, fiaf.org. (Dave Kehr)20110127

Rediscovered Treasures (Friday through Sunday) The newly reopened and magnificently refurbished Museum of the Moving Image continues its inaugural series of recently restored films from the world's archives with a particularly rich weekend of screenings, beginning Friday evening at 7 p.m. with a new print of Jaromil Jire's 1970 classic of the Czech New Wave, "Valerie and Her Week of Wonders." Other highlights include Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in the western spoof "Way Out West," restored by the University of California, Los Angeles (Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 p.m.); Josef von Sternberg's first feature, the 1925 "Salvation Hunters" (Saturday, 7 p.m.); the silent Mexican film "The Ghost Train" (Sunday, 2 p.m.); and, from the Library of Congress, a new print of the James Cagney precode melodrama "The Mayor of Hell" (Sunday, 7 p.m.). But the major event here is the New York premiere of John Ford's long-lost 1927 feature "Upstream," a delightful and resonant comedy set in a theatrical boarding house that was discovered in the New Zealand Film Archives. Donald Sosin will lead a four-piece band to accompany Sunday's 5 p.m. screening, which has a $20 admission. Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Avenue at 36th Street, Astoria, Queens , (718) 777-6888, movingimage.us; free with museum admission, which is $10. (Kehr)20110127

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