Tag Archives: Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime Can Get You In The Mood For The Oscars

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A few days ago I wrote a post about how Netflix can get you prepared for award season and more specifically the Oscars. Well now I’m going to do the same for those with a subscription to Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime has its differentces than Netflix, while it still offers free content, it also allows you to rent and purchase digital movies so there is an extensive library far beyond what Netflix offers you if you are willing to spend a few extra dollars. For the purposes of this post I will focus on what is free for Prime members.

The Big Sick

First and foremost is a movie that is ACTUALLY nominated this year and not one that just gets you in the mood for the awards like all the rest on this list are meant to do. The Big Sick is nominated for best original screenplay and is based on the true story of star Kumail Nanjiani and his now wife Emily Gordon and the unusual way that they fell in love and how he fell in love with her family and them with him before their true romance ever blossomed. Kumail comes from a traditional Pakistani family who is regularly trying to set him up to get married when he meets Emily a girl who is anything but what his family wants for him. After a break-up over this very subject, Emily mysteriously falls ill and into a coma. Kumail is called and finds himself caring for her and having to contact her family. When her family releases him of any responsibility he still continues to be around and show support. It’s an extremely well told and heartwarming story of such an unlikely romance and is definitely worth a view.

Moonstruck

Now on to the past winners that are available and worth a watch or re-watch if you have already seen them. Moonstruck was a career defining moment for Cher who had been acting here and there, but was still considered just a singer who wanted to act. Moonstruck proved that she in fact CAN act and rode Moonstruck all the way to a best actress win at the Academy Awards. While remembered for her outfit at the Oscars and the fact that she got the win, what is forgotten is that it won two other major awards that night for Olympia Dukakis and write John Patrick Shanley. It is a masterful romantic comedy that also features a young Nicolas Cage in one of his best movies. Funny and heartfelt it is a movie that has really stood the test of time.

Lawrence Of Arabia

Back when Hollywood was still making big sweeping epics, Lawrence of Arabia was no exception and is amongst the best of those large stories and wonderful scenery. With a widescreen that showcased the beauty of the film and its landscape. Winner of seven Academy Awards including best picture, it is also known for the fact that its star Peter O’Toole was once again not a winner for best actor, something that would follow him his whole career until he received and honorary Oscar that he reluctantly accepted. It is the true story of T.E. Lawrence who united warring Arab tribes in World War I. It is a great film and great watch…if you have three and a half hours to spare.

Room

Brie Larson gave a powerhouse performance as a young girl kidnapped and held captive for over 5 years where she has a child in captivity and is forced to raise him in a single room shack until they manage to escape. She and her son are then forced to learn to enter society, he for the first time outside the room and her trying to find some semblance of her life again. Brie Larson swept every award category she was nominated in that year and deservedly so and the film introduced the world to Jacob Tremblay who gives a marvelous performance of his own. Heart-wrenching and even different to watch at times, if you enjoy first rate acting then you will no doubt appreciate Room.

Monster

Charlize Theron proved that her acting ability goes beyond being just a pretty face when she went behind a lot of makeup to make sure her beauty wasn’t a distraction when she played the infamous female serial killer Aileen Wuornos. As a lesbian prostitute living on the streets when she is raped by a “John” she turns to killing him and robbing him and it soon becomes a habit and a way to keep money coming in. She is soon turned in by her young lover Selby played by Christina Ricci. This is once again a difficult movie to watch at times and is very gut-wrenching but leaves you conflicted on Wuornos’ guilt and even a bit sympathetic considering the life she led up until the point of capture.

Fences

Denzel Washington gives a commanding performance as Troy Maxson a blue-collar father who works hard provides for his family and gives himself the reward of liquor when he sees fit. A tough father who has a contentious relationship with his son to say the least. Unable to have any sympathy or compassion for how his son feels because of the life he had as a young man and the life he still has while working hard and taking care of his mentally disabled brother and never getting over the fact that his dream of being a professional baseball player never came to fruition. Without a doubt one Denzel’s best performances he took a controversial loss on Oscar night to Casey Affleck who many did not find worthy because of past allegations of sexual harassment. The movie did however give Viola Davis her first Oscar win in the best supporting actress category, an honor that had been long over due. Directed by Denzel based on the play it features a boat load of dialogue that is expertly delivered at every turn.

There are some more recommendations of many past award winning movies to get you in the mood for Oscar night.

Salinger Explores The Myth And The Man

photo 1I am a great lover of documentaries and can watch one on any subject under the sun and be enthralled with it. It is for this reason I find Netflix and Amazon Prime outstanding resources. The catalogue these two posses is vast and deep. Recently I’ve gone somewhat of a binge of documentary watching and I have come across some fascinating and moving ones. I plan to write about them all here in the near future so fear not.

The first I want to talk about is the most recent one I watched entitled simply, Salinger. It is possibly the most comprehensive look in to the famed and reclusive writer J.D. Salinger. I covers quite possibly Salinger’s entire life through the voice of friends and people he influenced. With pictures and footage never seen of the man and his struggle with himself as a writer. His painful secrets and determination to remain out of the public eye and let his work speak for itself you really get a sense of the man.

Always having the desire to be a writer and follow in the footsteps of his hero, Ernest Hemingway drove Salinger his whole. Published in several magazines and acclaim for his stories did not bring him the satisfaction one would think because of his desire to be published in the esteemed New Yorker magazine which had rejected his work for years. Salinger was finally accepted to The New Yorker in late 1941 with a short story about a young teenager named Holden Caufield, until Pearl Harbor struck and the story was deemed it didn’t fit the mood of the country at that time.

Salinger then spent years attempting to enter the army and fight during WWII and was eventually accepted and immediately sent to Utah beach for D-Day. The events he photo 3would witness during the war would change him forever and shape his crown jewel of work, The Catcher And The Rye, of which the first six chapters were in his back pack as he stormed the beaches that day.

Salinger would return home and continue his writing and the many love affairs with women that would be part of his life forever. He would marry and divorce a few times and have his young women in between but all of that would be over shadowed by his defining moment in 1951 when The Catcher In The Rye would be published. It would be his only novel and during the revolution of the 1960’s would take on a whole new meaning and life. The novel would identify with so many youths and change so many lives.

Salinger published his last short story in 1965 and would lead a quite almost reclusive life until his death in 2010. Fans would attempt to track him down and ask life questions they thought he knew the answers too. The few that did confront him would soon discover he wasn’t an answer man, as he would tell them, he was just a fiction writer.

photo 2Salinger never stopped writing, almost to the point of obsession. He also never stopped having his affairs and enjoying the company of young women.

The documentary is a fascinating look into the mind and life of a man that was just a brilliant name to me before and really made him more human and even tortured look at him. It was as inspiring as anything as well because it showed that everyone has something in them that can be brilliant and change the world. He wrote what he knew and discovered people knew that too but didn’t know how to express it. He expressed things for millions of fans and readers. His unpublished work is set to be released between 2015 and 2020 and various times.