AMAZON PRIME vs NETFLIX! Fun MONSTER Movies on VOD this Weekend!
For this comparison I’ve left out vampire, zombie, werewolf and ghost/possession films, concentrating on the more niche sub-genre’s that make up horror movies.
AMAZON PRIME HAS:
EASE OF SEARCHING: Amazon wins. You can type in a generic term and Amazon will search for it. Netflix’s app by default just searches by title
RATINGS: Netflix previously did helpful star ratings, but since has replaced it with utterly useless percentage rankings. Netflix desperately needs to go back to star ratings and IMDB scores on films. Amazon is the clear winner here, offering usually pretty spot on ratings to help you locate your next obscure or recent find.
TRAILERS: Netflix except in a few cases, with mostly their produced content, does not offer trailers. And the few they do offer take multiple clicks to locate and play. I love watching trailers, they can save you a lot of time by, along with the rating, quickly helping you determine if a movie (or show) is worth your time. Another HUGE fail for Netflix, and big win for Amazon Prime.
A ‘VIEWERS ALSO WATCHED’ OPTION – Again it helps emulate the video store dynamic, by putting on your radar options and selections you otherwise would not have thought of. I spend probably 4 times longer on the Amazon app, because it offers this rabbit hole feature. One selection, leading to another, leading to another.
Add all the above, to Amazon Prime’s massive back catalog which dwarfs Netflix’s options, and you have the fun video store experience improved on and ramped up by a factor of ten. Amazon may be producing the superior new content, and branded shows, but as a central distributor of all things VOD, how it made its name initially, it Is falling way behind.
This week’s clear WINNER…. AMAZON.
DEATH NOTE – less horror than action-fantasy, prolific director Adam Wingard continues to prove himself one of the most innovative and exciting genre directors working; making this adaptation of the lauded manga and anime its own thing, that works beautifully for a feature film.
Great casting, great performances, and a compelling and exciting take on the DEATH NOTE source material, makes for a film that I personally like quite a lot. No it is not the manga, and no it is not the anime, if you want just that… that already exists, rewatch to your hearts content. What this is… is the concept of DEATH NOTE turned into something that works at a feature, rather than episodic, length. Job Done.
Also while I liked the anime, beyond a point I found it a bit long in the tooth, and all the characters while intriguing not exactly.. gripping. With the live action Wingard gets to flesh out the characters with really talented actors.
Nat Wolff’s Light Turner imbuing the relatively cold and calculating character of the anime, with a humanity and likability and relate-ability that makes you care. It is a fitting change to make, and it is a strength of Wingard’s recent films such as THE GUEST, to give us characters who, like most of us, are somewhere between sinner and saint. Shea Whigham is always compelling, and brings to the role of James Turner, Light’s Dad, a warmth and strength and conviction, and nearly palpable love for his son, that is lacking in the anime.
Lakeith Stanfield, the actor who plays the quirky, candy loving, ‘L’ for my money makes that character even more compelling and interesting than in the anime. It is an inspired bit of casting and his performance largely steals the show.
And speaking of genius casting, Dafoe’s voice as Ryuk… GENIUS.
All the pieces of performance,writing, direction ends up with a DEATH NOTE feature film that deserves to be on your keep list. It joins THE GUEST and YOU’RE NEXT as Adam Wingard’s best films so far.
Grade : Strongly Recommended. B+.
BIGFOOT MOVIES TO SEEK OUT:
WILLOW CREEK – Suffers from annoying boyfriend syndrome, a failing too common to too many of these films with women being talked into dangerous situations, and worse being talked into remaining in the dangerous situations by boyfriends completely oblivious or making inane excuses for them remaining rather than rushing them to safety.
WILLOW CREEK for the majority is this annoying dynamic. So worth a watch if you are a Bigfoot movie fan/completest, but this due to how stupid the characters are written is far from satisfying. Grade: C-/D.
EXISTS is Big Foot movie done probably as well as it can be done. While you do have the obligatory idiot, you also have more well rounded and intriguing characters, and some sustained and exciting Bigfoot action. And a great and exciting if harrowing ending. Well worth owning on Blu-ray. Grade: B+
THE WOODSMAN- Is a horror takeoff on SURVIVOR MAN, as are many of these ‘Something in the woods’ films. Sporting only 2 actors, and only a brief glimpse of the rock thrower. Worth a look, but relatively forgettable and an abrupt unsatisfying end. Always a bad sign when the poster is far more interesting than the actual movie. Grade: C-/D-.
STOMPING GROUND – is up there with IT EXISTS with being a solid entertaining look of friends sharing their bonding time with something else. A great ending. B+.
LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK- This is the one that started the BigFoot hype and with its documentary meets DELIVERANCE style, continues to have a compelling vibe. Grade: C-.
SOMETHING IN THE WOODS – low budget 2016 film is convincingly done and engrossing tale of a man trying to protect his family and farm from something… unrelenting. Very good film. Grade: B/B-.
THE SIGHTING – For those looking for a twist on the standard BigFoot lore, this film fits the bill. Quite liked it. B/B+.
BIGFOOT (1969) – Speaking of twists. This forgotten 1969 film features buxom beauties falling into the clutches of a Bigfoot who wants attention paid to something besides his foot, and the biker boyfriends who must save them. The type of outlandish, trippy film that only the waning days of the swinging 60s could provide. Grade: C/C+. Worth a Look and several shakes of the head.
CREATURE FROM BLACK LAKE (1976)
HUNTING GROUNDS (2017) – If you are sick of this off camera stuff most of these other films do, than this is the film for you. You will see the Bigfoot clearly and often, and doing things the other films would leave to your imagination. Where this one trips itself up is the human element. But unevenness aside, well worth a look. Grade: C/C+.
WILD MEN (2017) – Another Reality show goes hunting for BigFoot type movie. This one is quite good and fun. Grade: B.
-BIGFOOT THE LOST COAST TAPES rivals EXISTS as one of the best BIGFOOT movies. And it has one of the more unique and impressive endings. Strongly recommended. Grade: B+.
You can catch many of these films courtesy of AMAZON PRIME and/or HULU and the following are worthy of owning on DVD/Blu-Ray:
BIGFOOT MOVIES TO AVOID:
BLACK WATER SASQUATCH
BIGFOOT VS DB COOPER
1313 BIGFOOT ISLAND
BOGGY CREEK (2010)
HOLLER CREEK CANYON
BIGFOOT HORROR CAMP
BIGFOOT VS ZOMBIES
‘The Answer must be in the attempt.’
I had no desire to see this film, but finally watched, it is quite a lovely film. Covering one day, one chance encounter between two people. There is something very relateable and universal about meeting someone in passing, and bridging that gap between is there or isn’t there something there.
It’s a wonderful film about those fleeting glances we have all had, followed and acted upon, and leading to something by chance begun. Here that unlikely and awkward and magical and inept circumstance of burgeoning love is told against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful of cities, Vienna, immortalized by Carol Reed’s and Orson Welles’ THIRD MAN.
It’s a wonderful way to pass an hour and a half. Watching a film about the moments that live… because of the attempt.
“I believe if there’s any kind of God it wouldn’t be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between. If there’s any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something. I know, it’s almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt.” — Celine in BEFORE SUNRISE