Archive for the ‘Amazon Prime’ Category

Amazon’s Homecoming—corporate clinics and creepy filmmaking make a fun thrill ride

November 5th, 2018

The second trailer for Amazon's Homecoming. Its 10-episode first season debuted this weekend.

Homecoming, Amazon Prime's new political techno-mystery series starring Julia Roberts, has a tough task: how do you translate an effective podcast into effective television? The story here started off as a successful fiction series from Gimlet Media, a podcasting entity started by This American Life alum Alex Blumberg. But even with a hit blueprint to work from, a lot of creative people currently struggle with this transition conundrum—Gimlet included. Its podcast StartUp became ABC's recently canceled, Zach Braff-led Alex, Inc., and The New York Times reported another Gimlet show (Crimetown) has partnered with FX for a potential adaptation.

With its basic story already available in audio form, the bottom line is Homecoming has to offer something more. Luckily, having Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail and his Anonymous Content team on board this go-round means the production itself—the score, the cinematography, the set design, even the decision to keep scripts at a half hour—can often hold viewer interest on its own. Add that to a fast-paced story and some hard-to-look-away-from performances, and Gimlet likely doesn't need to worry about its second TV endeavor ending in the same manner as its first.

Sights to see

Played on mute, Homecoming might appear mundane at first. The show is slow to reveal much plot, and initially everything seems innocuous. Soldiers come back from deployment and spend a few weeks at a facility that helps them reintegrate through therapy and sessions focused on life skills like job interviewing. But cues from composer Komeil S. Hosseini and needle-drops (i.e., the use of just a small portion of a song) from music supervisor Maggie Phillips indicate something a bit more nefarious may be in play. On the surface, phone calls or ho-hum office tasks take place on screen, but subterranean orchestral hits conjure up classic horror movies. Electro-passages that'd be at home on Mr. Robot also hint that some techno-thriller turns may be ahead.

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Posted in Amazon Prime, Gaming & Culture, Homecoming, mr. robot, Sam Esmail, streaming tv | Comments (0)

Amazon Prime members will get even deeper discounts at Whole Foods

August 25th, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Francisco Antunes)

Amazon has the official green light to go through with its acquisition of Whole Foods, and customers will soon feel the difference in their wallets. According to a press release from Amazon, the company is set to lower prices of Whole Foods items the same day that the merger closes: Monday, August 28.

“We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone,” Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, wrote in the release. “Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality.”

Customers shopping at Whole Foods locations on Monday will see new, lower prices on various “grocery staples,” including organic bananas, apples, salmon, organic large brown eggs, lean ground beef, avocados, and more. Amazon didn’t detail how low those new prices would be, but any change is likely welcomed by Whole Foods customers. The store has been cheekily called “Whole Paycheck,” due to how much money one can spend on a week’s worth of groceries there.

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Some say it’s the best car show ever: The Grand Tour hits Amazon Prime

November 18th, 2016

Enlarge (credit: Amazon Prime)

Warning: This piece contains minor spoilers for early episodes of The Grand Tour.

Ladies and gentlemen, our long wait is over. The first episode of The Grand Tour—the new motoring show from Messrs. Clarkson, Hammond, and May—arrived on Amazon Prime today (November 18). I’m here to tell you the truth: it. is. AMAZING.

As you will no doubt remember, the Top Gear trio left the BBC following Clarkson’s late night loss-of-temper with one of the show’s producers. The BBC drafted in a new cast for the long-running programme, led by Chris Evans and Matt Le Blanc, but the re-helmed Top Gear went down like a lead balloon with audiences and Chris Evans fell on his sword as a result. Meanwhile, buoyed with a budget that’s believed to top $5.5 million an episode, Clarkson et al. went to work on what may be seen as their magnum opus.

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Amazon Prime gives us a first look at The Grand Tour in a new trailer

October 7th, 2016

With just six weeks to go before its debut on Amazon Prime, we’ve gotten our first proper look at the new car-centric TV series The Grand Tour. Last night, a trailer featuring Messers Clarkson, May, and Hammond hit YouTube, giving us a preview of what to expect when the first episode arrives on November 18th.

The trio decamped to Amazon following Clarkson’s sacking by the BBC after the Top Gear star’s bad behavior became too much to excuse. But the Beeb’s loss is Amazon’s gain if the trailer is anything to go by. Or, as my colleague Lee Hutchinson put it, “Just like how Kirk, Spock, and McCoy were the main magic of Star Trek, the main magic of Top Gear was its three hosts.”

The show’s name should give you a clue to the format—it’s a series of around-the-world adventures in some very cool cars, with plenty of banter and ribaldry along the way.

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Posted in Amazon Prime, amazon prime video, Cars Technica, james may, jeremy clarkson, richard hammond, the grand tour | Comments (0)

Amazon backtracks after covering NYC subway car in Nazi symbols

November 24th, 2015

(credit: Katherine Lam)

Philip K. Dick’s 1962 novel The Man In The High Castle imagined a world in which the Axis nations of Germany and Japan won World War II—and won so decisively that they overtook the United States. To promote its TV series version of the book, Amazon Studios perhaps took that premise a little too literally by filling a New York City subway car with Nazi symbols on Monday.

By Tuesday, after photos and criticisms about the ad campaign had spread via social media, and New York mayor Bill De Blasio had called them “irresponsible and offensive,” the New York Metro Transit Authority had confirmed the ad campaign’s closure. A Variety report quoted MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz as saying, “Amazon has just decided to pull the ads.” Amazon did not immediately respond to questions from Ars about the report and the campaign’s closure.

As Twitter photos reveal, the ad campaign covered many subway benches on the MTA’s S line with giant, flag-styled designs; one of those combined an American flag, a Nazi Eagle, and an Iron cross, while the other retouched Japan’s war flag variant with American colors and stars. Next to these were window posters telling people to watch Man In The High Castle‘s entire first season on Amazon Video beginning November 20. (The full-train ads, which also coated those S trains’ exteriors, didn’t appear to mention that Amazon also sold the book version in both paper and Kindle editions.)

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Posted in amazon, Amazon Prime, amazon video, philip k. dick, the man in the high castle, The Multiverse | Comments (0)