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
Watching Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Les Diaboliques through the lens of the modern horror film, especially the slasher flick—replete with un-killable villain (check); ever-looming jump scares (check); and a “final girl” of sorts (check?)—one would not have to squint too hard to see a new genre coming into being. You could even make a case for Clouzot’s canonization in horror, but to take the film on only those terms would miss just how masterfully the iconic French director could wield tension. Nothing about Les Diaboliques dips into the scummy waters of cheap thrills: The tightly wound tale of two women, a fragile wife (Véra Clouzot) and severe mistress (Simone Signoret) to the same abusive man (Paul Meurisse), who conspire to kill him in order to both reel in the money rightfully owed the wife, and to rid the world of another asshole, Diaboliques may not end with a surprise outcome for those of us long inured to every modern thriller’s perfunctory twist, but it’s still a heart-squeezing two hours, a murder mystery executed flawlessly. That Clouzot preceded this film with The Wages of Fear and Le Corbeau seems as surprising as the film’s outcome: By the time he’d gotten to Les Diaboliques, the director’s grasp over pulpy crime stories and hard-nosed drama had become pretty much his brand. That the film ends with a warning to audiences to not give away the ending for others—perhaps Clouzot also helped invent the spoiler alert?—seems to make it clear that even the director knew he had something devilishly special on his hands. —Dom Sinacola
For instance, Prime members who download the Whole Foods app can save up to 10 percent on select Whole Foods purchases just by scanning their smartphone at a Whole Foods register. Prime members also get discounts on digital services like FreeTime Unlimited, which costs $2.99/month for Prime members or $4.99/month for non-members. Throughout the year, Prime members also get exclusive discounts on Amazon hardware, which the online retailer recently refreshed.
Beginning in October 2016, Prime members in the U.S. receive access to a rotating set of Kindle e-books through Prime Reading. Some magazines and travel guides are also available through the service. Prime Reading is unrelated to the Kindle Owners Lending Library, Kindle Unlimited, and Kindle First, all of which continue to be available.
Seems like for Prime membership, you should have access to more titles than are available. Often I get blurred/ pixelated video for several minutes, with great internet speed. For those reasons I often find myself using another service where I don’t have those issues. However, on iPad, I do like the ability to easily backup or move forward 10 secs at a time. Quickly click 3 times on the left side of the screen and it goes back 30 secs. 6 times, it jumps back a minute. Awesome feature. I also enjoy the commentary/trivia notes about the show during filming or background on the choices made... these include actors, continuity issues, places, etc. The notes are tied to the associated frames when you tap the screen while playing OR you can view the list of notes and click to jump to that section in the movie.
Be very careful when buying flash memory online. It's surprisingly easy to get a 2GB memory card, print fake logos and packaging, and mess with the metadata so your computer thinks it's actually 128GB. Then, these scammers sell them online for the price of the 128GB drive, or in this case, a disreputable supplier will supply them to Amazon in lieu of the real product. Then you end up with a bad card even though it's sold by Amazon.
Carnival of Souls is a film in the vein of Night of the Hunter: artistically ambitious, from a first-time director, but largely overlooked in its initial release until its rediscovery years later. Granted, it’s not the masterpiece of Night of the Hunter, but it’s a chilling, effective, impressive tale of ghouls, guilt and restless spirits. The story follows a woman (Candace Hilligoss) on the run from her past who is haunted by visions of a pale-faced man, beautifully shot (and played) by director Herk Harvey. As she seemingly begins to fade in and out of existence, the nature of her reality itself is questioned. Carnival of Souls is vintage psychological horror on a miniscule budget, and has since been cited as an influence in the fever dream visions of directors such as David Lynch. To me, it’s always felt something like a movie-length episode of The Twilight Zone, and I mean that in the most complimentary way I can. Rod Serling would no doubt have been a fan. —Jim Vorel
Investors should also know that the Amazon Prime-heavy subscription business surged 55% to reach $3.41 billion in Q2. Beyond shipping and delivery deals, users have access to Amazon Prime Video, which competes directly against Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) . The firm has reportedly committed to spend $5 billion a year on original and licensed content as the streaming war heats up.
Amazon squeezes small publishers. For instance, Amazon cut off Swindle sales for an independent book distributor in order to press for bigger discounts. (The article ends by promoting ebooks for another platform, the Shnook from Barnes and Noble. While that company is not as nasty to small publishers, its ebooks do violate your freedom in most of the same ways.)
In December 2015, Amazon stated that "tens of millions" of people were Amazon Prime members. Amazon Prime added 3 million members during the third week of December 2015. That month Amazon announced the creation of the Streaming Partners Program, a subscription service that provides Amazon Prime subscribers with additional streaming video services. Among the programming providers involved in the program are Showtime, Starz (with additional content from sister network Encore), Lifetime Movie Club (containing recent original movie titles from Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network), Smithsonian Earth, and Qello Concerts.
In a similar vein, Amazon recently started promoting its private-label brands on the pages of competing brands. The complaint some brands made here is that Amazon is getting that advertising space ‘for free.’ But ad space on a highly trafficked site like Amazon is never free. By allocating that space to promote one of its own products, Amazon is by default forfeiting ad dollars from advertisers. Given Amazon’s booming advertising business and how profitable this new division is, Amazon would not be giving up valuable ad space lightly.
Amazon also offers its own Elements line of products, only available to Prime members. The product line ranges from baby wipes to vitamins. The idea is that Amazon goes the extra mile of telling you exactly where the product came from. In the case of those wipes, I can tell you liquid inside is 97.9 percent pharmaceutical-grade purified water from the White Lick Creek Aquifer in Moorseville, Indiana.
Here, too, valuation is a concern. Any Amazon-proof stocks are going to be dearly valued. And for investors looking for value, LULU isn’t one of the best stocks to buy in retail. But a pullback has made valuation more palatable, and any concerns about the ‘athleisure’ trend fading appear assuaged. LULU is priced like a growth stock, but it very well may be poised to drive that kind of growth.
For Amazon, those word searches by consumers allow it to put its private-label products in front of the consumer and make sure they appear quickly. In addition, Amazon has the emails of the consumers who performed searches on its site and can email them directly or use pop-up ads on other websites to direct those consumers back to Amazon’s marketplace.
In-Car Delivery works with supported models of vehicles, including 2015 or newer vehicles from Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and Volvo that have an active connected car service plan like OnStar. You can set up the in-car option through the Amazon Key app. Amazon delivery agents will then drop off your packages in your car, though it must be parked at an accessible, ground-level location.
Promising review: "This cookbook is geared for children and young adults, but it will please readers, cooks, and Harry Potter fans of all ages. My kids (ages 14, 12, and 8) have finally found an activity they can all agree on: cooking and sampling savory Harry Potter recipes. This book covers every single recipe that appears in all seven of the Harry Potter books. Ever wonder what Pumpkin Juice tastes like? Or treacle tart? Well, you're about to find out!" —Aviva
A.: No. Amazon offers only certain TV shows and movies for unlimited streaming. For brand-new movies and recently broadcast episodes of TV shows, for example, you'll have to dish out money for each individual piece of media. Amazon marks its unlimited streaming shows and movies with a Prime graphic across the top of the box art; everything else is pay-as-you-go.
On that day, the residents of this downtown Washington building decided to tame the chaos. They voted that the lobby required a redesign. The boxes would get their own new package room, behind a password-activated door. This decision would reshape the building's first floor, but they bet it would raise the value of the property. At least the ungainly stacks would be safe in a separate room.
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So read this book with the understanding that Underhill is a pretty good anthropologically-trained note taker,whose observations have turned up several things of interest to the retailer, at the same time that he is a pathetically bad business consultant and would-be futurist, with a pathological need to self-promote and a very annoying prose style.
There need not be a documentary about the Syrian catastrophe to rally the world around its cause—just as, in Matthew Heineman’s previous film, Cartel Land, there was no need to vilify the world of Mexican cartels or the DEA or the paramilitaristic nationalists patrolling our Southern borders to confirm that murder and drug trafficking are bad. The threats are known and the stakes understood, at least conceptually. And yet, by offering dedicated, deeply intimate portraits of the people caught up in these crises, Heineman complicates them beyond all repair, placing himself in undoubtedly death-defying situations to offer a perspective whose only bias is instinctual. So it is with City of Ghosts, in which he follows members of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a group committed to using citizen-based journalism to expose the otherwise covered-up atrocities committed by ISIS and the Assad regime in Syria. In hiding, in Turkey and Germany and at an event for journalists in the U.S.—in exile—these men, who Heineman characterizes as a very young and even more reluctant resistance, tell of both the increasingly sophisticated multimedia methods of ISIS and their hopes for feeling safe enough to settle and start a family with equal trepidation about what they’ve conditioned themselves to never believe: That perhaps they’ll never be safe. Heineman could have easily bore witness to the atrocities himself, watching these men as they watch, over and over, videos of their loved ones executed by ISIS, a piquant punishment for their crimes of resistance. There is much to be said about the responsibility of seeing in our world today, after all. Instead, while City of Ghosts shares plenty of horrifying images, the director more often that not shields the audience from the graphic details, choosing to focus his up-close camera work on the faces of these men as they take on the responsibility of bearing witness, steeling themselves for a potential lifetime of horror in which everything they know and love will be taken from them. By the time Heineman joins these men as they receive the 2015 International Press Freedom Award for their work, the clapping, beaming journalists in the audience practically indict themselves, unable to see how these Syrian men want to be doing anything but what they feel they must, reinforcing the notion that what seems to count as international reportage anymore is the exact kind of lack of nuance that Heineman so beautifully, empathetically wants to call out. —Dom Sinacola
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Around 2009, Amazon quietly entered the private label business by offering a handful of items under a new brand called AmazonBasics. Early offerings were the kinds of unglamorous products that consumers typically bought at their local hardware store: power cords and cables for electronics and, in particular, batteries — with prices roughly 30 percent lower than that of national brands like Energizer and Duracell.
A.: Prime Now is an app for iOS and Android devices and a website that promises free delivery of select items within 2 hours. At the outset, the service is only available in select cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Phoenix, but the program adds new cities on a regular basis. Just this month, Amazon expanded its Prime Now delivery to include Annapolis, Cleveland, Louisville, North/Central New Jersey, and Pittsburgh as well as additional locations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
eBay lets you put items items you own up for auction to the highest bidder, which will attract many shoppers who are looking for used, unique, or hard-to-find items. However, the marketplace is also great for offering items at fixed prices. In fact, contrary to what you might think, 86% of eBay's Gross Merchandise Volume is from items sold at a fixed price and 80% of the items sold on the platform are new, not used.
My favorite way to make sense of what's great on Amazon is by getting recommendations from friends. As a result, I decided to ask my colleagues at Business Insider about the best things they bought on Amazon from under $25 — in the hopes of finding some new things to try without wasting time or money discovering them. Hopefully, they're as helpful to you as they were to me.
If Nicolas Winding Refn—anthropomorphic cologne bottle; asexual jaguar—is going to make a horror film, Nicolas Winding Refn will make a horror film about the things that scare Nicolas Winding Refn most: asymmetry, sex, fatherhood. In The Neon Demon, every character is either someone’s daughter or a deranged daddy figure, both thirsty for the kind of flesh only Los Angeles can provide, the roles of predator and prey in constant, unnerving flux. Part cannibal-slasher movie and part endlessly pretty car commercial, Refn’s film about a young model (Elle Fanning) making it in the fashion industry goes exactly where you think it’s going to go, even when it’s trying as hard as it can to be weird as fuck. But despite his best efforts, Refn sustains such an overarching, creeping atmosphere of despair—such a deeply ingrained sense of looming physical imperfection, of death—that it never really matters if The Neon Demon doesn’t add up to much of anything in the end. —Dom Sinacola
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But Amazon holds a unique position in the global marketplace. From its beginnings in 1994, Amazon’s platform was designed to democratize retail. Small vendors or manufacturers could sell outdoor grills, computer bags, and children’s toys alongside established brands. Now, with its expansion into private label, Amazon has shifted away from being an impartial, may-the-best-product-win distribution partner to being a direct competitor to those other vendors.
Prime’s approaching a saturation point may be inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that memberships should already be described as “flattening out,” said Charlie O’Shea, lead retail analyst for Moody’s. O’Shea noted that, hypothetically, it’s possible for a company to grow at 10 percent, then slip to 9 percent, and still be adding more members in absolute numbers.
A.: Yes. Just visit Amazon Prime's gifting page, add it to your cart and follow the instructions to find out how you can give a yearlong subscription to a friend or family member. In your cart, before you check out, just make sure that the box reading "This item is a gift" is checked off, and you can fill in the rest of the information when you pay.
One example is the entry zone at the front of the store - you'd think that's a prime location for signage, deals, brochures, etc. But when you're headed through the door into the store you see almost nothing and stop for almost nothing, and then (in America) you tend to drift to the right and then you're 'in' the store. If you put a store directory just inside the door, nobody uses it. Move it back a bit so you can find it once you're into the store and suddenly it's heavily utilized. He has hard observational data for all these, so they're compelling in addition to being fascinating.
In October 2016, Amazon Music released a music streaming service called "Amazon Music Unlimited." Unlike Prime Music with its somewhat limited catalog, this stand-alone music streaming service has "tens of millions" of songs and is intended to compete with music streaming leaders such as Spotify and Pandora Radio. It has a similar price structure, albeit with a $2/month discount for Amazon Prime members.