It’s not difficult to imagine a different cut of Anna Rose Holmer’s The Fits that hews closer to the arc of a traditional sports story. Hers has the makings of a familiar one, of a misfit who wants more than anything to compete—but unlike most stories of inspirational audacity, The Fits is as much about discomfort as the catharsis that comes with achievement. In it, Toni (Royalty Hightower) is an 11-year-old who has more experience with stereotypically male pursuits like lifting weights and punching speed bags than the usual interests of a pre-teen girl. She spends nearly all of her time at the Lincoln Recreation Center alongside her boxer brother, Jermaine (Da’Sean Minor), pushing her body to the limit. While she shows a remarkable aptitude for the ascetical devotion required for boxing, she still dreams about competing on the dance team, “The Lincoln Lionesses.” Framed with a rigid sense of space by cinematographer Paul Yee, and backed by the groaning score from veteran composers Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, The Fits is infused with such dread that one can’t help but imagine that characters’ muscles and bones could break or shatter at any moment. The film’s most explicit example of which may be Toni pulling off a temporary tattoo, but The Fits is firmly a story of metaphysical body horror, an allegory about our greatest fears of physical fragility shot brilliantly through a feminist lens. With that, the film manages to reinvent the sports story as something both brainy and physically pure. —Michael Snydel
Picking the perfect gift for someone can often feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If you're a last-minute shopper, it can get even more frustrating trying to figure out what to buy for that oh-so-picky person on your list. Luckily, there are insanely unique gifts on Amazon that let you deliver an amazingly thoughtful present without too much effort (and more importantly, make all the stress of in-store shopping disappear).
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Amazon released branded semiconductors to home equipment designers who are working on Internet-of-Things devices, WiFi routers and other smart home appliances. The chips come from Annapurna Labs, which Amazon purchased in 2015 for a rumored $350 million. On January 7, 2016, the company announced that its Alpine chipset was available for a wide range of applications.
The only issue, however, is that while it’s easy-peasy to load up on veggies, meats, and dairy during mealtimes, finding yourself starving at 4 p.m. without a suitable snack can be quite the downer. Fear not, keto crusader, because there’s more to life (or more to Amazon, at least) than tortilla chips and chocolate chip cookies. These nine keto snacks are only a couple of clicks away.
"I get asked about this water bottle all of the time. I use it at the office, at the gym, and at home. It helps keep me honest about how much water I'm drinking and it's helped me stay more hydrated because of the time marker. I also love the spout, the attached wrist strap, the closure on the bottle (this thing will not leak) and the opacity of the bottle. One of the best purchases I've made in a while." — Melanie Winer
The main draw online shoppers cite is two-day shipping. Though most retailers now offer this perk, people continue to associate it with Amazon, which all but willed this cultural change into existence. Bezos had originally appalled Wall Street when he announced what promised to be a money-losing proposition of unlimited two-day shipping to get people to pay into a yearly "membership."
From a WiFi-enabled smart outlet plug that allows you to turn things on and off in your house remotely via an app to a set of extra-long silicone oven mitts that will keep your hands, wrist, and forearms from getting burned during a kitchen mishap, the list of brilliant and practical items you can gift from Amazon is basically endless. In fact, part of what makes these kinds of presents so fun to receive is that they help make everyday tasks simpler and less annoying to do, and who doesn't want that?
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
“I think, effectively, you have a company that has conspired with about a billion consumers and technology to destroy brands,” argued Scott Galloway, a founder of business research firm now called Gartner L2 and a professor of marketing at New York University Stern School of Business, in a presentation last year. “Their attitude is that brands have, for a long time, earned an unearned price premium that screws consumers.”
Lowitz said that since Prime’s inception in 2005, Amazon has homed in on making the service “compelling” to customers, including with two-day shipping, streaming video service and promotions such as Prime Day. But as it reaches saturation, Amazon must rely on monetizing its existing Prime membership. That might include getting members to listen to their favorite podcasts on an Echo Dot, or a slew of other measures to bring Amazon services and products into daily life.
In March 2006, Amazon launched an online storage service called Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). An unlimited number of data objects, from 1 byte to 5 terabytes in size, can be stored in S3 and distributed via HTTP or BitTorrent. The service charges monthly fees for data stored and transferred. In 2006, Amazon introduced Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), a distributed queue messaging service, and product wikis (later folded into Amapedia) and discussion forums for certain products using guidelines that follow standard message board conventions.
For example, Amazon has offered a luxury skin care box stocked with perfume, exfoliating gel, moisturizer, and skin serum samples for $19.99. You get to try out everything included in the box and also receive a $19.99 credit towards luxury beauty products sold by Amazon. So, if you like something in the box, you can use your credit towards a full-size version of the product or other similar items in that category.
On the surface, the move into the private label business (in which goods are sold under the retailer’s name rather than that of an outside vendor) appears to be a deft move by Amazon. Analysts predict that nearly half of all online shopping in the United States will be conducted on Amazon’s platform in the next couple of years. That creates a massive opportunity for Amazon to more than double revenue from its in-house brands to $25 billion in the next four years, according to analysts at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. That’s the equivalent of all of Macy’s revenue last year.
On April 28, 2015, Amazon announced its launch of Amazon Business. Amazon Business is a service that provides registered business owners with a consolidated platform for buying products and supplies from Amazon. Business users have access to shipping benefits, discounts on eligible products, purchase analytics, and price comparisons from different sellers.
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.
Sports brands such as Nike, Under Armour and Adidas are among the most-bought brands bought on Amazon. These brands’ presence across both clothing and footwear likely supports their leading positions—and, as we discuss later, footwear is a very popular category on Amazon Fashion. Lower-cost casualwear also ranks highly, as do underwear brands such as Hanes and Fruit of the Loom, implying that Amazon is popular for basics.
"This teeny tiny waffle maker is small but mighty. For those rare instances when I'm craving a waffle or two, this very small appliance easily gets the job done and stays out of the way when it's stored. It's very easy to use and clean; just plug in and wait for the light, add your batter and close the iron. To clean, wait for the iron to cool down, then wipe with a damp cloth and you're done." — Melanie Winer
Students can also benefit from Amazon Prime. If you're a two- or four-year college student with a valid .edu email, you can get a free six-month trial of Amazon Prime Student, which gets you all of the benefits of Prime in addition to special student-specific deals and coupons. After your trial ends, Prime Student will cost you half the price of a regular Prime membership for up to four years or until you graduate, whichever comes first. You can also pay $6.49 per month with no obligation to continue your service.
Those risks led GWW stock to essentially stall out starting in 2013. And they came home to roost last year. Disappointing earnings — particularly, falling margins — seemed to signal that pressure from Amazon was a real problem. By September, GWW traded at its lowest levels in almost six years. Grainger seemed destined to be another dominant business undone by a nimbler online competitor.
In March 2014, Amazon announced an increase in the annual membership fee for Amazon Prime, from $79 to $99. Shortly after this change, Amazon announced Prime Music, a service in which members can get unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and access to curated playlists. In November 2014, Amazon added Prime Photos, which allows unlimited photo storage in the users' Amazon Drive (though only some raw photo files count as photos). Amazon also began offering free same-day delivery to Prime members in 14 United States metropolitan areas in May 2015.