In which we bask in Vince Vaughn’s hugeness, witnessing S. Craig Zahler’s pitch-perfect ode to grindhouse cinema draw the best of extremes out of an actor who’s had a rough couple years crawling out from under the parody of himself. This is not Vince Vaughn playing Bradley Thomas, stolid brute willing to do whatever it takes to protect his family, it is the silhouette of Vince Vaughn, silent and bigger than everyone else in the room, a spectre of bruised flesh—so much flesh—descending circle by circle into Hades, his odyssey heralded by the likes of Don Johnson and Udo Kier (both seemingly born to be in this endlessly compelling, awfully fucked-up movie) and soundtracked by soul/RnB icons like the O’Jays and Butch Tavares. It confirms that Zahler—along with Bone Tomahawk—is on some Tarantino levels of modern genre filmmaking—which could honestly be a pejorative, were Brawl in Cell Block 99 less finely tuned, less patient and less breathlessly violent. By the time Bradley lurches into irrevocable action, foreshadowed by an opening scene in which he rips apart a car with his bare hands, which is exactly as that sounds, every life force he snuffs out with maximum barbarity also comes with pure satisfaction, the Id of anyone who’s into this kind of thing stroked to completion. —Dom Sinacola
For handmade-craft platform Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY), Amazon presented an existential threat. Etsy went public in April 2015 at $16: shares closed the first day at $30, up 88%. From there, the stock simply fell apart. By the time Amazon launched Amazon Handmade in October, ETSY traded below its IPO price; it would close 2015 just above $8. Investors wanted no part of a money-losing business facing Amazon’s unlimited resources.
In December 2016, the first Amazon Go store was opened to Amazon employees in Seattle. The 1,800 sq ft store uses a variety of sensors and automatically charges a shopper's Amazon account when they walk out of the store. It stocks ready-made meals and meal boxes; in addition to a full grocery store. The store was planned to open for the general public in early 2017 but it has not done so due to issues with the technology tracking over twenty people at one time. The store opened to the public on January 22, 2018.
Amazon also created "channels" to benefit certain causes. In 2004, Amazon allowed customers to donate $5 to $200 to the campaigns of 2004 US presidential hopefuls, providing links that raised $300,000 for the candidates. Amazon has periodically reactivated a Red Cross donation channel after crises such as Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean. By January 2005, nearly 200,000 people had donated over $15.7 million in the US.
Lean on Pete flows with such gentle beauty that it may be hard to grasp precisely what it’s about or where it’s going. But the power of writer-director Andrew Haigh’s sublime drama is that it can support myriad interpretations while remaining teasingly mysterious—like its main character, it’s always just a bit out of reach, constantly enticing us to look closer. Based on Willy Vlautin’s 2010 novel, the movie is a smashing introduction to Charlie Plummer, who was the kidnapped John Paul Getty III in last year’s All the Money in the World. Here, he plays Charley Thompson, a 15-year-old living with his drinking, backslapping dad (Travis Fimmel) in Portland. Charley has a sweet face and a soft-spoken manner—when he talks, the last few words evaporate into the air, as if he’s too shy to even be bold enough to enunciate—but early on, we get a sense that there’s a craftiness underneath that demeanor. The first indication is his willingness to lie about his age to Del (Steve Buscemi), a craggy horse owner who reluctantly takes him on as a caretaker for his elderly racehorse Lean on Pete. Charley doesn’t know a thing about horses, but he’s anxious to find something to do now that he’s in a new town with his father, their reasons for leaving Spokane unspecified but clearly dispiriting. Familiar narrative tropes emerge in Lean on Pete: the boy-and-his-dog drama, the coming-of-age story, the father-and-son character piece, the road movie. Haigh breezes past them all, seeking something more elliptical in this deceptively slim story. With the patience and minimalist command of a Kelly Reichardt, he doesn’t dictate where his film goes, seemingly letting Charley’s restlessness call the shots. The boy’s journey gathers force and poignancy as it moves forward, and the more we understand about Charley the more unknowable he becomes. Along the way, we meet other people and see other worlds—the life of young military veterans, the reality of homelessness, the grind of the low-rent racing circuit—but Haigh views it all with the same unassuming compassion we see in Charley’s quiet eyes. —Tim Grierson
Amazon Studios brings bold and innovative series and films from top tier and up-and-coming creators to customers in over 200 countries and territories. Original productions range from daring and timely subject matter such as Amy Sherman-Palladino’s award-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq; to the critically hailed The Grand Tour, Mozart in the Jungle and Man in the High Castle. In film, Amazon Studios produces and acquires original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution exclusively for Amazon Prime members. At the 2017 Academy Awards, Amazon Studios became the first streaming service to win Oscars for Manchester by the Sea (Best Screenplay, Kenneth Lonergan and Best Actor, Casey Affleck) and The Salesman (Best Foreign Film). Recent notable releases include the box office success The Big Sick, which is one of the top streaming films on Prime. Upcoming films in 2018 include Lauren Greenfield’s Generation Wealth, Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, Dan Fogelman’s Life Itself, Luca Guadagnio’s Suspiria and Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy.
Amazon’s launch of several apparel private labels over the last couple of years is one sign that it is serious about growing its share of the fashion market. Our survey found that a significant number of Amazon Fashion shoppers have already bought something from one of its still-new private-label ranges and that even more shoppers are interested in trying those ranges:
Amazon Prime membership in Germany, the United Kingdom, India, and the United States also provides Amazon Video, the instant streaming of selected movies and TV shows at no additional cost. In November 2011, it was announced that Prime members have access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows users to borrow certain popular Kindle e-books for free reading on Kindle hardware, up to one book a month, with no due date.