Sunday, May 5, 2013

Editorial: Why I use Netflix Streaming AND Amazon Prime...

Instant streaming services have seen a massive increase lately. From Hulu Plus to Redbox Instant, and everything in between, companies are fiercely competing for subscribers using exclusive deals and original content. Me? Well, I only use Netflix Streaming and Amazon Prime.

Netflix is still my go-to service for instant streaming. I'm very open-minded when it comes to films, and I'm willing to watch anything; it's not that I don't have standards, I simply like to give ever film a fair chance. Netflix gives me a very wide selection - from the latest Indies to the best foreign films, and even a few recent blockbusters. Sure, there are many duds and cruddy direct-to-DVD films - albeit, not every direct-to-DVD film is trash - in its massive catalogue, but there are also many gems. Those looking to get into South Korean films: I can't recommend Netflix enough. Netflix has films like the Vengeance trilogy, The Chaser, The Yellow Sea, War of the Arrows, A Moment to Remember, Doomsday Book, Rough Cut, Bleak Night, and a few films that have been widely released yet such as No Doubt, Yobi, The Five Tailed Fox, and Howling; I highly recommend all of these films, and, depending on your time, that may be more than a month's worth of streaming. On top of its excellent foreign selection, Netflix adds many indie films, including films from Magnet Releasing/Magnolia Pictures about a month after their Blu-ray/DVD release, or so I've observed. And, to make this mountain even taller, Netflix's original content, like House of Cards, so far, is amazing. If you love all types of films, regardless of their budgets or language, Netflix is a must-use service.

Amazon Prime, on the other hand, has a smaller, limited selection, likely due to being a new service. However, it does manage to hold many quality exclusives over Netflix, and share many of the same films. For example, Amazon Prime has many classic films available, including films like Poltergeist, Once Upon a Time in America, Hannibal, The Ghost and The Darkness, Escape from New York, and Chinatown, as well as a few South Korean exclusives such as Time, Enemy at the Dead End, and Head. Amazon also seems to be a part of the Magnet Releasing/Magnolia Picutres, as you can find films like V/H/S and [Rec] 3 available on the service. A pattern I recently noticed for some of Amazon Prime's exclusives, however, is: once they expire on Amazon Prime, they'll likely end up on Netflix Streaming, and vice-versa. These films - especially the old-school classics - and the pattern I've noticed (i.e. I forget to watch a film on Netflix before it expires, it'll likely end up on Amazon Prime afterwards) make Amazon Prime Instant Video and excellent service to fall back on; it perfectly compliments Netflix Streaming. The two-day shipping also helps.

Really, movie fans should be subscribed to at least one of the above services, unless you have an unstable internet - which is understandable. Both services offer a lot of value through their diverse selection. You may watch a few duds, but at least you didn't overpay for them. This is the perfect combination for streaming and a combination I don't plan on using for a very long time.

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