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Hidden gems on Amazon Prime?

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maxwelldeux
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Re: Hidden gems on Amazon Prime?

#41

Post by maxwelldeux » April 6th, 2019, 5:18 pm

Last night, browsing around, saw Detour (1945) on Prime. 15 lists and counts for a challenge this month? Sign me up!

NOT worth it - the copy on prime is so terrible you can't tell what's a shadow and what's the film just not working. I think this is the first film I've ever turned off because the quality was so terrible.

This has been a public service announcement.

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#42

Post by PeacefulAnarchy » April 6th, 2019, 7:13 pm

maxwelldeux wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 5:18 pm
Last night, browsing around, saw Detour (1945) on Prime. 15 lists and counts for a challenge this month? Sign me up!

NOT worth it - the copy on prime is so terrible you can't tell what's a shadow and what's the film just not working. I think this is the first film I've ever turned off because the quality was so terrible.

This has been a public service announcement.
There's a new restoration, but some would say watching a washed out worn out public domain print is the correct way to watch it.

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#43

Post by maxwelldeux » April 6th, 2019, 7:43 pm

PeacefulAnarchy wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 7:13 pm
maxwelldeux wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 5:18 pm
Last night, browsing around, saw Detour (1945) on Prime. 15 lists and counts for a challenge this month? Sign me up!

NOT worth it - the copy on prime is so terrible you can't tell what's a shadow and what's the film just not working. I think this is the first film I've ever turned off because the quality was so terrible.

This has been a public service announcement.
There's a new restoration, but some would say watching a washed out worn out public domain print is the correct way to watch it.
I have a DVD on request at the library, which can't possibly be any worse, so I'll watch that instead. But that's a funny point...

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#44

Post by Ebbywebby » April 6th, 2019, 9:46 pm

Oh, Amazon definitely has some crappy versions of older movies. In fact, I started to stream "Louisiana Story" just last night and bailed out due to the image quality.

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#45

Post by Ebbywebby » April 6th, 2019, 9:54 pm

Some less known movies I've watched in recent weeks via Amazon Prime:

Long Weekend
Rendezvous in Paris
The Lady Without Camelias
The Leather Boys
Witchhammer
My Sweet Little Village
Solo Con Tu Pareja
X: The Unheard Music
The Vampire Bat
The Man They Could Not Hang
Curse of the Mushroom People
King of the Zombies

Especially liked Witchhammer and The Leather Boys.

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#46

Post by weirdboy » April 6th, 2019, 9:54 pm

Yes the copy of Louisiana Story on Amazon Prime might be the worst extant version online.


On thee other hand, I've found that a bunch of films from the TSPDT noir list are on Prime and have been watching several of them. All of the ones I've seen so far have had pretty good quality.

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#47

Post by cinewest » April 7th, 2019, 1:18 am

Have see a lot of the ones mentioned in this thread on Prime, but nobody has mentioned the Film Movement Series, which includes some amazing ones, and I have also seen a couple of gems among the Global Lens series, including the one I recommended for the 500<400 challenge.

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#48

Post by Minkin » April 7th, 2019, 6:03 am

maxwelldeux wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 5:18 pm
Last night, browsing around, saw Detour (1945) on Prime. 15 lists and counts for a challenge this month? Sign me up!

NOT worth it - the copy on prime is so terrible you can't tell what's a shadow and what's the film just not working. I think this is the first film I've ever turned off because the quality was so terrible.

This has been a public service announcement.
Criterion put out a Blu-ray, here's their restoration trailer:



Most PD films unfortunately suffer the fate of "you get what you pay for"

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#49

Post by Ebbywebby » April 7th, 2019, 8:56 pm

Last night: "Horrors of Malformed Men." Boy, that was a weird one. Dull first half, insane second half.

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#50

Post by Ebbywebby » May 31st, 2019, 5:20 pm

At this point, I have seriously depleted what interests me on Amazon Prime (not counting films that require an extra charge). I have about 90 movies left in my queue, but I could shrug off missing most of them.

My top-priority films (below) are "Seriously? Those?" And it seems like about 60% of the freshly added films are Indian potboilers that no non-Indian would ever want to see. Puzzling.

Olympia Part 1
Vincent & Theo (mini-series version)
Coup d'Etat
The Best Intentions
The Cat o' Nine Tails
Chi-Raq
Mickey One
Le Vent d'Est
Vladimir et Rosa
Disobedience
Youth Without Youth
Hearts of the World
Glastonbury Fayre
Adela Has Not Had Her Supper Yet
Mud
Portrait of a Lady
House of Games
Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Robin Hood [1922]
Streamers

Some films I streamed in recent weeks: Tromeo & Juliet, Stories We Tell, Romeo Is Bleeding, Agantuk, The War Zone, The Cry Baby Killer, The White Meadows and a Peter Gabriel concert.

I did discover that checking the "Customers Also Watched" tab for a queued movie is a fine way to find other candidates. Like, I never would have found Adele Has Not Had Her Supper Yet otherwise. I think I also found The Best Intentions that way.

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#51

Post by maxwelldeux » May 31st, 2019, 6:06 pm

The "Customers Also Watched" is pretty decent - also pretty funny, if you're watching deliberately bad films. Do you use a third-party search service?

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#52

Post by Ebbywebby » May 31st, 2019, 8:02 pm

Yeah, I look at instantwatcher.com regularly.

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#53

Post by maxwelldeux » May 31st, 2019, 8:13 pm

Ebbywebby wrote:
May 31st, 2019, 8:02 pm
Yeah, I look at instantwatcher.com regularly.
Hadn't heard of that, but that does most of what I filter. I've used Justwatch.com for similar things. My other one is trakt.tv - I store all my ratings there, so it's easy for me to filter out what I've seen. Also does countries, which is particularly helpful.

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#54

Post by cinewest » June 1st, 2019, 6:41 am

Just joined U.S. amazon prime at the end on 2018, and have streamed a bunch of good movies at no extra cost there:

Tangerines- a Georgian anti-war film (7.5-8)

First Reformed- Oscar nominee from 2018 with Ethan Hawke (7.5-8)

Dust in the Wind (Hou Hsiao Hsien) - (7.5) Coming into adulthood in a Taipei village

11 Flowers (Xiaoshuai Wang )- (7.5-8)- Coming into adolescence in China during the cultural revolution

Angels Wear White- crime drama centered around a runaway adolescent girl working in a seaside hotel (7.5-8)

The Terrorizers (Edward Yang)- A Taipei classic- 8.5-9

I Am Not Your Negro- a documentary about an unfinished book by James Baldwin- (7-7.5)

Western (Valeria Grisebach)- German builders making a dam in rural Bulgaria- 7

Summer, 1993 (Estiu)- An adolescent girl loses her mother and must adjust to life with her adoptive relatives in rural Catalonia (7,5-8)

You Were Never Really Here- Shades of Taxi Driver, and beautifully shot- 8

Zama- Colonial, rural Argentina seen through a surreal lens- 8

Meru- a doc about 3 climbers attempting the impossible- 7

Great Directors- a doc about several world class filmmakers- 7

A Brand New Life- autobiographical drama about a young orphan girl adjusting to being abandoned- (7-7.5)

Cold War- Love at the outset of soviet occupation of Poland- (7-7.5)

Liza, The Fox Fairy- Delightful Hungarian comedy- 7.5

Vazante- Rural Colonial Brazil, and as good as Zama in my book- 8

Let the Wind Carry Me- A doc about one of Asia's greatest working cinematographers: Mark Ping Bing Lee- (7-7.5)

The Guardians- French period piece set during WW1- 7

Three Brothers- A return home to rural Sicily to face the death of their mother (7-7.5)

Generation Wealth- a doc about the addiction to "wealth" and fame in America that the filmmaker also appears to have (7)

Only When I Dance - Doc about two young Brazilian dancers struggling to get out of the ghetto and make it in Classical dance- 7

Cartel Land- a very topical doc focusing on the issues at America's southern border (7)

Beautiful Boy- a father and son real life drama centered around the boy's drug addiction- 7.5

A Screaming Man- Life of an African family in Chad on the eve of revolution- 7-7.5
Last edited by cinewest on June 1st, 2019, 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#55

Post by Ebbywebby » June 1st, 2019, 7:53 am

Cool...I'll look up some of those. I have seen Tangerines, First Reformed, The Terrorizers, You Were Never Really Here, Cold War (my favorite of these) and Beautiful Boy. And Western is already in my queue.

I tried to watch Zama and really couldn't get into it.

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#56

Post by Ebbywebby » June 1st, 2019, 7:55 am

PS As far as hidden gems, check out "Larks on a String."

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#57

Post by cinewest » June 1st, 2019, 8:38 am

Ebbywebby wrote:
June 1st, 2019, 7:55 am
PS As far as hidden gems, check out "Larks on a String."
I have Larks on a String in my queue, thanks. Have seen a few others from you list above, and nominated White Meadows (I film I like a lot) for the 500 < 400 Challenge back when.

As for Cold War, I thought it could have been much better than it was (though I liked it) if it had developed various sections of the movie more (much of the story and character dynamics felt glossed over after the first 30 minutes). Some great elements and imagery, for sure, but this movie (which had an epic love story feel, Dr. Zhivago, The English Patient, etc) should have been longer.

I have been pushing Vazante on these boards ever since I saw it about 6 months ago, and as far as I can tell nobody else here has seen* it. It's a cross between social realism and being an art film, but more accessible than Zama, I believe, and has outstanding black and white cinematography. The story summarizes a quite a bit about the colonial period in rural Brazil, though it probably means a lot more to a Brazilian who is interested in and familiar with this time period, there.
Apart from that, it has some imagery as amazing as Cold War or Embrace of the Serpent does...

*Take that back. I just checked some lists on Icheckmovies, and it looks like both beavis and Lonewolf have seen it and liked it, though it only has a whopping 24 checks.

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#58

Post by Ebbywebby » June 6th, 2019, 3:58 am

It may be a little too well-known to be a "hidden gem," but I streamed The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith last weekend and enjoyed that plenty.

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#59

Post by cinewest » June 6th, 2019, 5:06 am

Ebbywebby wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 3:58 am
It may be a little too well-known to be a "hidden gem," but I streamed The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith last weekend and enjoyed that plenty.
That one was shockingly good the year it came out. Sounds like it held up pretty well

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#60

Post by Ebbywebby » June 6th, 2019, 5:16 am

I hadn't read much about it, so I was seriously jolted when it took a violent turn midway through.

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#61

Post by maxwelldeux » June 6th, 2019, 5:55 am

Ebbywebby wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 3:58 am
It may be a little too well-known to be a "hidden gem," but I streamed The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith last weekend and enjoyed that plenty.
Yeah - I had been eyeballing Prime to watch that this month.

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#62

Post by Ebbywebby » June 6th, 2019, 6:14 am

Question for anyone who has seen/will see Jimmie Blacksmith: IS LAUREN HUTTON REALLY IN THIS? I saw her name in the opening credits, but did not spot her during the film. Furthermore, I even went back after I finished, fast-forwarded through the film just to find her and STILL didn't see her. And it's strange because there aren't many women with speaking parts in the movie, and those that do speak are mostly a) very pale and b) unattractive. And Hutton was neither.

Another actress with the same name? I tried to Google but found little verification.

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#63

Post by maxwelldeux » June 6th, 2019, 6:43 am

Ebbywebby wrote:
June 6th, 2019, 6:14 am
Question for anyone who has seen/will see Jimmie Blacksmith: IS LAUREN HUTTON REALLY IN THIS? I saw her name in the opening credits, but did not spot her during the film. Furthermore, I even went back after I finished, fast-forwarded through the film just to find her and STILL didn't see her. And it's strange because there aren't many women with speaking parts in the movie, and those that do speak are mostly a) very pale and b) unattractive. And Hutton was neither.

Another actress with the same name? I tried to Google but found little verification.
Possible - It's her only unnamed role on IMDB, so (if it's her) my guess is some background person that you barely see and never hear so her name only got added to the credits because she got famous.

I'll try and keep an eye out for her.

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#64

Post by Ebbywebby » June 6th, 2019, 7:08 am

Yeah, I noticed that IMDb doesn't name her character. Curious.

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#65

Post by Ebbywebby » June 9th, 2019, 9:07 pm

Watched "Coup d'Etat" last night. Its politics were a little enigmatic to an outsider but, damn, the filmmaking. It's in the <400 checks poll, and I added it to my own list.

I also streamed "Black Roots," which recently became a check. Excellent doc about bigotry. Somewhat surprising it's on Amazon...definitely a hidden gem.

Oh, and a week or so ago, I saw "Glastonbury Fayre"...doc about a UK hippie music festival. The music was mostly second-rate (even the Traffic and Fairport Convention songs weren't so good by those bands' standards), so the audience footage was usually more interesting than the music. Nicolas Roeg was one of the cameramen....

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#66

Post by Onderhond » June 9th, 2019, 10:30 pm

Not globally available, but A.I. Rising (very generic title) was pretty damn cool. Oldskool scifi, very industrial, big themes, properly explored. My first real find on Prime.

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#67

Post by weirdboy » June 21st, 2019, 9:48 pm

I don't know what other countries where it's available, but Oldrich Lipsky's Lemonade Joe is on Prime in the U.S.

He's got another one on Prime too which I have not seen yet: Adéla jeste nevecerela AKA Adele's Dinner (1978)

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#68

Post by Ebbywebby » June 21st, 2019, 11:32 pm

I already have both "Lemonade Joe" (though I've seen it before) and the "Adele" film in my queue. I mentioned "Adela Has Not Had Her Supper Yet" in one of my previous posts.

By strange coincidence, last night's movie (via download, not Amazon) was "I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen." It was a little silly -- needed more sex and sci-fi, and less slapstick. I've seen several old Czech films in recent months. I also mentioned "Witchhammer" above, which is on Amazon and is really great! Especially considering that I never heard of it, before stumbling upon it.

PS There's an "Einstein" scene that basically involves a woman using a selfie stick to take a photo of her with a friend. The film was made in 1970. I'm trying to attach a screenshot, but I don't understand the secret of this process. I can't do it unless the photo is something like 15kb or less?
selfiecopy.jpg
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#69

Post by Ebbywebby » July 3rd, 2019, 11:09 pm

"Hale County, This Morning, This Evening" seems to be freshly offered...looking forward to seeing this. The last film I Amazon'ed was "Reflections of Evil," which is unique to say the least. Crazy, lo-fi personal project that's practically a one-man show. It's on the 366 Weird list. The first 45-ish minutes are excruciatingly tedious, but then it turns better. The final act is shot on location in the Universal Studios theme park, and the closing credits give the park a thank-you, adding that they have banned him for life from returning.

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#70

Post by Ebbywebby » July 7th, 2019, 3:29 am

Wow, Mike Leigh's "Peterloo" is on Amazon Prime now. I thought that was still coming to theaters in the future. Guess not!

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