East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Digging through Prime Video

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Today I was feeling particularly lazy, and I decided to finally go through the Amazon Prime Video catalog. I have been a Prime subscriber since the word go, and I used it a lot to save on mailing expenses. But I’m buying mostly ebooks these days, and the few items I get through the mail maybe do not justify the continuing draining of about ten bucks a month from my bank account.
Ten bucks a month is 120 bucks a year – that’s a month of basic supplies or an electric bill.

So, the money Amazon Prime Video’s been getting need to be put to work – which means movies, TV series and music. Like, a lot of them.

And the first impact with the Prime video catalog was rather… uneven.

On the plus side there is an awful lot of stuff I missed when it was distributed in cinemas (or on standard TV channels), and a lot of what, being old and sort of settled in my way, I’d describe as DTV fare – the sort of movies that in the old days went to fill the shelves of Blockbuster and the sale bins in media stores.

This is quite all right – I am not a snob, when it comes to entertainment, and I’m willing to test anything if the premise is intriguing.
Russian YA Horror movie? Why not.
Recent Korean SF? Bring it on.
Weird post-apocalyptic indie movie produced on a shoestring? By all means.
Anime? Yes, anime, yes!

On the down side, a lot of the stuff is dubbed in Italian, and that’s a sore point as dubbing quality has gone down A LOT in the last two decades, and what was once a respected profession in Italian cinema – with actual honest-to-goodness actors dubbing foreign movies – now has become amateur night.
And do not even get me started on the quality of translations.
Some of these guys are not even trying anymore.

And finally there is the offer from our own home cinema – Italian movies, that apparently fall in four very specific categories

  • rom-coms about unhappy/disillusioned thirtysomething/fortysomething urban professionals eager to fuck someone younger
  • movies about the mafia
  • movies about Mussolini
  • movies featuring TV comedians trying desperately to be funny while offering a selection of half-baked stand-up routines while hanging for dear life to a pretense of a plot

Sure, there is certainly something good out there, I know there is, if for no other reason, because of statistics.
But the national offer looks bleak.

And yet, there’s an awful lot of stuff, so I’ll try and dig out a few fantasy/SF/adventure/thriller flicks, and report back.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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