July 20, 2017

Criterion Collection, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, HBO GO and Netflix

The Criterion Collection on Hulu Plus

For the film buff, there is no better resource than The Criterion Collection, a home video distribution company that features some of the best classic and contemporary films. If a movie makes it into this select group, it can be considered a masterwork. The Criterion web site is worth checking out for its top ten film lists from people in the industry, its movie posters for sale, its photo galleries and film essays along with the hundreds of movies profiled. You can buy DVDs from them, but the site will also tell you if Hulu Plus carries the movie you want to view, Criterion’s films having been brought on board by Hulu Plus to add class to their selection.

http://www.criterion.com/

Battle of the Streamers (Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and HBO GO)

To be honest, I have a love-hate relationship with Hulu Plus. Every commercial galls me when I think of my monthly $7.99 fee. And do they have to play every commercial repeatedly until you want to yell at the screen? To boot, they are now in cahoots with the cable companies. I tried to watch the FX TV series “Fargo” on Hulu Plus only to be informed that, after logging into my Hulu account,  I would also have to log into my cable account in order to see the current episode.

Despite my quibbles, I am keeping my membership because they carry many of my favorite current shows during the season they are broadcast. Hulu Plus also allows you access to 897 films from the aforementioned Criterion Collection commercial-free.

You can have your own film festivals with the 12 films by Francois Truffaut, 4 by Luis Bunuel, 25 by Akira Kurosawa or 28 from Ingmar Bergman. The movies are searchable by title, director, country or year. Have a film festival featuring movies from the year you were born. Invite your Danish neighbor over to see black and white movies from Denmark. Watch all ten of director Wes Anderson’s favorite movies.

Competitor Amazon Prime has been in the news recently for its price hike from $79 to $99. Your membership includes free two day shipping of any item that bears the Prime logo however, along with the unlimited viewing of Prime Video movies and tv shows plus one free audio book per month if you own a Kindle. (Sorry iPad users.) 

Even better news, Prime Video has added many tv series from HBO’s back catalogue such as “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,””Six Feet Under,” “Deadwood,” and the first three seasons of “True Blood.” HBO series and films such as “Band of Brothers,” “The Pacific,” “Generation Kill,” “John Adams,” and “Temple Grandin” are available, as well as many HBO comedy specials with names such as  Ellen Degeneres, George Lopez, Robert Klein, Will Ferrell and Lewis Black.

It’s worth noting that HBO retains many exclusive properties such as current shows like “Game of Thrones,” “True Detective,” “Silicon Valley” and “Veep.” “Sex in the City,” “Entourage” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” are older properties that will continue to be streamed only from the HBO GO site.

This new alliance between HBO and Amazon must be giving Netflix some pause. With that said, the second season of “Orange Is the New Black” premieres tomorrow (June 6) on Netflix, definitely the winner in original programming created by a streaming entity.  For now, I am one of many who are members of Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and Netflix with HBO GO tempting me as well. This dog fight for our business can only benefit viewers. Stay tuned.

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