New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 11/24/15

Man in High Castle

Well the big release for the week is the Marvel/Netflix collaboration, Jessica Jones. This will make a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend binge along with the just released first season of The Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime.

Some Kind of Beautiful

Comedy: Naomi & Eli’s No Kiss List, Some Kind of Beautiful, The Brothers Solomon

Documentary: Wanted 18, Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World

Drama: People Places Things

Foreign: Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna

Jessica Jones

Television: Jessica Jones, River, The Insider, Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso, and new episodes of Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, Ultimate Spider-Man, and The Red Road

James Bond Week – Hulu

Hulu of course has nowhere near the depth or breadth of the movies available on Netflix. However someone in their programming and procurement office is pretty savvy.

Hulu

At the beginning of the month, just in time for Spectre, Hulu acquired the exclusive rights for a slew of Bond films. Connery is well-represented, with Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, and Diamonds are Forever – even the non-canon Never Say Never Again. Only his first, Dr. No, is not available. Goldfinger and From Russia With Love are justifiable classics. The others are worth watching just for Connery though Never Say Never Again is a very lazy remake of Thunderball.

From Russia With Love

All seven Bond entries from the Moore tongue-in-cheek era are here: The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, Moonraker, The Man with the Golden Gun, and Live and Let Die. Both Dalton’s The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill are available. Heck, they even have George Lazenby’s single outing as Bond, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. That one is worth watching for the absolutely radiant Diana Rigg.

The more recent Brosnan and Craig entries are not on Hulu but 16 movies of the franchise is 16 more than Netflix or Amazon Prime have.

Mockingjay Double

Unfortunately I will be missing the Mockingjay double feature but both Hulu and Amazon Prime have The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One streaming in time for the theatrical premiere of Mockingjay Part Two. Netflix has….umm…the not really a satire Starving Games so good luck with that.

Friday This ‘n’ That – FREE Monsters, Inc.

 

Inside Out

Please accept my apologies for the lack of posts this week. When I’m sick, I’m happy enough to plug away on the keyboard even in a fuzzy state. Unfortunately, my darling granddaughter has been sick all week so I have been taking car of her. She is very demanding and, when I haven’t been doing chores or taking care of things in general, I have been sitting on the couch with her watching Inside Out (Vudu), Monsters, Inc. (ditto), animated Batman (Amazon Prime), Octonauts (Netflix), The Simpsons (Hulu), and ugh play-doh toy videos on YouTube.

Contagion

Anyways, stay healthy folks and avoid this plague like it was the…well you get the idea. Speaking of Monsters, Inc., I got it FREE for connecting my Disney Movies Anywhere account to Amazon. You can too!

FREE Film Noir Class

Well I haven’t done a This ‘n’ That in quite some time. I’m preparing these posts a week ahead as my Florida daughter and granddaughter will be visiting this week and I did not want to fall behind.

TCM Noir

I received an email from TCM recently. As with most companies, most emails are just ignorable spam. This one caught my eye however. TCM in conjunction with Canvas Network is offering a FREE online course in Film Noir. I have included the link below and look forward to taking this course (my first online course or really any course in decades).

TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir

It will certainly help if you have TCM as they are showing 24 hours of Noir every Friday in June and July BUT they will be posting FREE links to Noir films in the public domain and there are a ton of those.

I’m looking forward to rewatching some of my favorites. I really haven’t watched any old noir in decades. I remember some of my favorites being D.O.A., Out of the Past, Double Indemnity, Touch of Evil, and This Gun for Hire.

I hope they’ll cover neo-noirs too like Chinatown, The Last Seduction, Body Heat, L.A. Confidential, and The Usual Suspects.

If you have Amazon Prime, a quick glance shows they have Detour, Pitfall, D.O.A., The Stranger, Dark Passage, and many others available. Netflix is more problematic as you have to search individually. They will let you search on film noir but the result leaves something to be desired.

 

Goodbye Target Ticket, We Hardly Knew Ye

Target Ticket

Bizarrely, Target entered the UV/video on demand realm excessively late. Vudu (backed by Wal-Mart) is clearly the 800-lb gorilla in the UV market. Unfortunately iTunes, which is rapidly becoming irrelevant, refuses to sign on with UV. Same with Amazon which, adding insult to injury, has discontinued their download ability for those who “own” titles through them.

Target’s service was pretty terrible from the start. It didn’t have an ability to sort through owned films if you owned more than a couple dozen. This made the interface a nightmare for heavy users. They tried a handful of very half-hearted promotions and, predicatably, have now abandoned their service.

This still leaves plenty of UV providers (Vudu, M Go, Flixster, CinemaNow). Best Buy’s CinemaNow has never been much of a competitor to Vudu. They suffer from many of the same problems that plagued Target Ticket. Naturally Target has chosen them to carry on the films people owned on Ticket.

CinemaNow

I followed Target’s instructions and migrated my movies to CinemaNow and linked up with UV. They were unable to transfer one of the films so they issued me a $24 credit with CinemaNow.

Thank you for choosing Target Ticket for your digital entertainment. We hope that you’ve enjoyed your movies and TV shows with us. Target has made the difficult decision to end the services offered on Target Ticket effective March 7, 2015. After that time, Target Ticket will no longer be accessible on any device applications, gaming consoles, tablets, smartphones or the web.
If you have purchased digital movies/TV shows from Target Ticket, we have partnered with CinemaNow and Disney Movies Anywhere, leading providers of premium digital entertainment, to ensure a smooth and easy transition. Both services are available at no cost to you.
Your eligible Target Ticket titles and credit are available to transfer to CinemaNow on March 7, 2015.
  • If you have purchased digital movies/TV shows from Target Ticket, you may access your eligible purchased movies/TV shows on CinemaNow. For any purchased content that is not available or eligible to be transferred to CinemaNow, you will receive credit in your CinemaNow account in the amount that was paid for that content when you transfer your account from Target Ticket to CinemaNow.
  • If you choose to register with CinemaNow, you must agree to have your library of purchased titles and existing account credit transferred from Target Ticket to CinemaNow in order to maintain access to your titles purchased through Target Ticket.
  • UltraViolet movies purchased through Target Ticket can also be accessed through several other digital movie services.
Your eligible Disney, Pixar, and Marvel Target Ticket titles will be available to transfer to Disney Movies Anywhere.
  • If you have purchased eligible Disney, Pixar, and/or Marvel movies from Target Ticket, you will be able to unlock your eligible content with Disney Movies Anywhere codes that will be sent to you directly via email next week.
For additional information, please view our Frequently Asked Questions.
Thank you,
The Target Ticket Team

 

Woohoo! HBO on Amazon Prime!

Amazon Prime

A long time ago, I said that if Amazon Prime wanted to distinguish itself, it would have to go big or go home. They have had some exclusives but most were just meh. Locking up Dora, SpongeBob, Team UmiZoomi, et al was a big feather in their cap. Netflix was still home for the adults.

A month or so ago, Amazon Prime announced a partnership with HBO. Today it went live. For once, the deal was actually MUCH better than announced. In point of fact, the content is simply amazing (albeit no Game of Thrones).

The Sopranos

* The Sopranos – The ENTIRE series!

Deadwood

* Deadwood – The ENTIRE series!

* The Wire – The ENTIRE series!

* OZ – The ENTIRE series!

* Seasons of True Blood, Treme, Carnivale, Big Love, Eastbound & Down, Six Feet Under, Flight of the Conchords, In Treatment, Extras, Generation Kill, Bored to Death, and Boardwalk Empire

* Full miniseries – Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Rome, John Adams, Mildred Pierce, Angels in America, and many more!

* Family Tree, Parade’s End, When the Levees Broke, You Don’t Know Jack, Hemingway & Gellhorn, Too Big to Fail, Little Britain USA, Twist of Faith, The Special Relationship, The Sunset Limited and still more!

* Comedy specials from Ellen DeGeneris, George Lopez, Lewis Black, Will Ferrell, Jim Jefferies, Bill Maher, Robert Klein, and Will Ferrell

I hope this deal lasts for a long time because I have sooooo much to watch.

HBO for FREE – Amazon Woohoo!

The Sopranos

Well only sort of FREE. Something called the HBO Collection is coming to Amazon Prime on May 21st. If you have Amazon Prime then you get it for FREE. If you don’t, then you can always sign up for a FREE month and spend that month watching classic HBO.

True Blood

Full details are not yet available but it appears as though it will be the full series of The Sopranos and at least the first seasons of True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood, and The Wire. I would expect Deadwood and The Wire to be the full runs as they have been off air for quite some time and are only three and five seasons respectively.

Deadwood

No word yet on other series like Rome, Treme, Oz, Six Feet Under, etc. nor miniseries like Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Mildred Pierce, and others.

Tom Selleck, Jesse Stone, & Our Anniversary

My wife and I celebrated our anniversary over the weekend so today I’m sharing some of our favorite comfort mysteries with you – the Jesse Stone series starring Tom Selleck. (In case you are wondering, after spending the day in Hot Springs, NC, I set up a private dining experience, the Chef’s Table at Mountain Magnolia Inn. It was expensive but my wife is definitely worth it.)

Tom Selleck is a star who has aged well. While he was fun in Magnum, P.I., he just seems to get better as he goes along. His recurring guest role on Friends was a highlight of that show. His movie career never took off, in spite of being originally cast as Indiana Jones.

In a role that seemed tailor-made for him, Selleck was cast in the television adaptation of Robert Parker’s Stone Cold about a down on his luck ex-police officer taking a job as a small town police chief. It was so successful that he has played the role in eight different movies. The first four movies are currently available on instant Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Please note that these movies are mysteries in name only. They are really tone poems and character pieces. Each is about an hour and a half and all are very similar.

Stone Cold

Jesse Stone: Stone Cold (2005) – Rated R

In quiet Paradise, Mass., police chief Jesse Stone jumps into action when a corpse washes ashore and multiple assailants rape a high school student.

Night Passage

Jesse Stone: Night Passage (2006) – Not Rated

After hard-drinking Jesse Stone is hired as police chief of idyllic Paradise, Mass., it doesn’t take long for him to uncover the town’s dark secrets.

Death in Paradise

Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise (2006) – Not Rated

As police chief Jesse Stone obsesses over solving the murder of a young girl found floating in a lake, he also works a deadly domestic violence case.”

Jesse Stone: Sea Change (2007) – Not Rated

Police chief Jesse Stone reopens an old rape case but is stonewalled as the town tries to keep the incident quiet to minimize the effect on tourism.”

If you have Amazon Prime, the fifth movie is also available for streaming:

Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (2009) – Not Rated

Jesse Stone is back! When his friend and fellow cop is shot during a visit to Boston, small town police chief Jesse Stone (Tom Selleck) risks his life and career to solve the crime while also investigating the disappearance of a missing child in this exciting fifth installment in the popular Jesse Stone movies based on the best-selling books by Robert B. Parker.”

R.I.P. Shirley Temple (1928-2014)

Shirley Temple

 

Shirley Temple passed away at the age of 85 on February 10th, 2014. She was the most famous child star of all time and was the reigning box office champ from 1935-8 beating out all the adult stars. She could sing, dance, and act. As if that weren’t enough, later in life she left Hollywood to become a U.S. Chief of Protocol, Delegate to the United Nations, and the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.

In spite of ruling the box office for many years, she only had 61 roles. Of those, fourteen were shorts, two were for television, six were short enough to be uncredited, and in one, her scenes were deleted. Thus it is perhaps not surprising that Netflix only has one of her titles available for streaming.

Miss Annie Rooney

Miss Annie Rooney (1942) – Not rated.

Poor inventor’s daughter Annie Rooney is head over heels for Marty White, the son of a millionaire rubber magnate. But joining Marty’s daunting social circle proves difficult until Annie’s father comes through with a promising new product.

This is one of those oddities where Amazon Prime has a much better selection. Amazon Prime users can watch Miss Annie Rooney. Little Princess, Dora’s Dunkin’ Donuts, War Babies, Managed Money, and Pardon My Pups as well as a Shirley Temple documentary.

Rest in Peace, Shirley Temple – you will be missed.

Valentine’s Day This ‘n’ That

House of Cards

 

* What a nice Valentine’s Day present from Netflix – season two of House of Cards. This series is awesome (though not quite on par with the British original) and Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright Penn are simply wonderful as a power couple.

Hulu

 

* Community is finally back. I caught the first two episodes of the new season on Hulu and they may have brought back the magic they lost last season.

Amazon Prime

 

* I forgot to mention that Amazon Prime has added season 4 of Justified to their instant offerings. We blitzed through all 13 episodes over the holidays and thoroughly enjoyed them.