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General Musings, Perusing Prime

Perusing Prime



We have Negotiated Netflix and Investigated The I-Player (check it here), now in a continuation of the series, I have had a look at what is available on Amazon Prime Instant Video, plunging the depths, perusing prime…so you don’t have to.

Amazon Prime Instant Video, is like Netflix, but just not as good.  It provides a very similar service, but it is much more frustrating to navigate.  For example, Game of Thrones features heavily on all the landing pages but it is not part of the subscription, you have to pay extra to watch it.  They have a vast library of film and TV titles, but only around 50% are available to stream, the rest, you have to shell out for.  My 30 day trial ends on July first and I will be in no hurry to extend it.

Anyway, what did I watch, well, the whole reason I got it in the first place was to watch Constantine (NBC, 2014-15), to find out what I thought about that, the click here, as for the rest, well, here goes:

X8Sre1. Now You See Me (Dir, Louis Leterrier, 2013)

4 Magicians (Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco) are brought together by a mystery benefactor to put on some high-profile magic shows in Las Vegas as The Four Horsemen.  For their big finale, they say they are going to rob a French bank.  When the bank is actually robbed, an FBI Agent (Mark Ruffalo) is teamed with an Interpol agent to get to the bottom of what happened.

This is a fun to watch on the face of things, The 4 Horsemen Shows are great and the cast is brilliant.  The plot itself however is a mess and the ending is unforgivably muddled.  I can’t go into too much detail without spoiling things, but by the time the mysterious benefactor is revealed their motives, while noble just get a little bit confused.

As I mentioned , the cast are great,  The Horsemen make good heroes and are easy to like, Harrelson is great and Jesse Eisenberg departs from the usual whiny schtick he puts out and actually has me intrigued as to what he will be like as Lex Luthor and Dave Franco brings a twitchy brand of energy to the junior member of the team.  Some great support from Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine too.

I guess this is worth a watch and with a sequel in the works, they must have done something right, just be prepared to be frustrated by the ending.


220px-Hurricane-Season-poster2. Hurricane Season (Dir, Tim Story, 2010)

Focusing on the true story of John Ehret high School’s Basketball Team in New Orleans as they attempt to rebuild their lives and their season following the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Directed by Tim Story (Fantastic Four) and starring Forrest Whitaker as the inspirational coach, I held out a lot of hope for this.  I love inspirational sport films and with the added human interest factor of Hurricane Katrina and given the talent involved, I was expecting something pretty special.  What I got was a decent, albeit a bit of an average sport film.

Whitaker is fine, as always, but there is little time spent fleshing out the players and for a Basketball film, very little footage of actual Basketball, and as the film’s poster giving away the ending, I just found myself coasting to the inevitably inspiring conclusion, feeling a little but guilty that I didn’t care that much.

It was decent, but there are better and more inspiring sport films out there.


bosch-poster-amazon-studios3. Bosch (Amazon Studios, 2014-)

This is an Amazon Original TV series, based on US crime author Michael Connolly’s long running Harry Bosch series of books (18 and counting).  Starring the under rated Titus Welliver as Bosch, the series takes inspiration from 3 of Connolly’s novels and stretches them out over 10 episodes.

As he is facing a disciplinary hearing for an officer involved shooting, Bosch is dragged into a disturbing case, when the bones of a 12-year-old boy are discovered, as he delves into the boys past, he begins to see parallels with his own troubled childhood.  At the same time, a dangerous serial killer escapes from prison and forms a unnatrual obsession with Bosch.

I have read a few of the Bosch books and they are decent page turners, and I will admit the ‘Amazon Original Series’ tag did put me off a little, but I needn’t have worried, this is brilliant.  Titus Welliver captures Bosch’s gruff exterior perfectly, not only that, but he nails his sense of right above all else, including his own happiness, as his passion for his work gets in the way of his relationships.

He is ably supported by The Wire’s Jamie Hector and Lance Reddick and a brilliant turn from Jason Gedrick (remember Iron Eagle?) as the serial killer Raynard Waits.  Coming in at 10 episodes, the pace is perfect and the story doesn’t out stay its welcome.  The only down side is Annie Wersching as Bosch’s love interest, she is so instantly unlikable it is difficult to see why our hero bothers with her in the first place, let alone allow her to enter his life, Sarah Clarke (Nina Myers from 24) does much better as Bosch’s ex-wife.

Picked up for a second season, and with Sarah Clarke back in an expanded role, I am looking forward to Harry Bosch’s return with interest.  If you like your cop shows, then check this out.  A great watch.


Young_Justice_TV_series4. Young Justice (Cartoon Network, 2010-13)

Young Justice focuses on the sidekicks of The Justice League and the Teenage heroes of the DCU as they attempt to understand their powers and deal with the responsibilities of the abilities and the normal challenges of being a teenager.

Now, I watched this on Welshy’s recommendation and I was sceptical going in.  I was pleasantly surprised.  The action kicks off as Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash and Speedy are promised a tour of the Justice League headquarters.  Feeling unappreciated by their mentors, they go off on their own and discover Project Cadmus, a secret government facility, where they rescue Superboy (a clone of Superman).  With Miss Martian and Artemis added after the first few episodes, Young Justice is born.

It is actually a really good watch, a bit tweeny at times, but over all good.  The main Justice League are present in many episodes and the action coasts along nicely.  The season long story arc is interesting and I had some late nights, with the whole…just one more episode thing, the curse of binge watching.

I did however lose interest after season 1.  The second season jumps 5 years ahead and parachutes in about 20 new characters, it was cancelled shortly after the start of the second season, which it hardly surprising.  Taken as a 26 episode story, season 1 is worth a watch for all DC fans.


Broken_City_Poster5. Broken City (Dir, Allen Hughes, 2013)

Mark Wahlberg stars as Billy Taggart, former cop, turned private investigator who gets involved in a conspiracy when he is asked by the NYC mayor to investigate his wife’s infidelity.

Now, I am a huge Mark Wahlberg fan and he is second only to Nicolas Cage as my favourite actor.  Russell Crowe and Jeffery Wright in support, what could possibly go wrong…Lots, would be the answer.

It is just very dull.  Wahlberg makes a great lead, as always, an everyman who you get behind, but the plot is very weak and there isn’t really a lot for him to do.  Russell Crowe is utterly wasted in a bad wig as the corrupt mayor and Catherine Zeta Jones’ turn here underlines just how little quality roles are available for woman as an Oscar-winning actress is reduced to an obvious plot device.

It is not subtle, we can guess that Crowe is rotten early on, but the name of the guy running against him in the Mayoral race is called Valiant, just incase we didn’t figure it out.  With Crowe holding some dirt on Wahlberg in the films final show down, did we really need to see Mark have a bath before doing the right thing, this type of sledgehammer symbolism is just embarrassing.

A waste of everyone involved’s time and talent.


Well, if you have or are going to get Amazon Prime Instant Video, I hope this helps.  Thanks for reading folks x

About Snooty Usher Dave

Favourite Film : Ghostbusters (1984) Worst Film: Left Behind (2014) Guilty Pleasure: Pitch Perfect (2012) 40 year old family man from Hamilton, Scotland. I have settled in Gateshead with my wife and 2 beautiful daughters. Worked as a Cinema Manager (or glorified usher) for 14 years, now I run a chicken shop. Love Sport especially Football and Tennis. Love comic books, especially DC and particularly Superman. I own 58 Nicolas Cage films.

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