The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ ‘The Sure Thing’

Your “new” DVD and streaming releases are pretty dire this week, consisting as they do of the dull would-be Oscar contender Unbroken, the charmless Into the Woods, and the merciful conclusion of the Hobbit trilogy. But, as usual, the catalog titles save the day, with two vintage documentaries from Criterion, an off-brand sleeper by Robert Altman, a Rob Reiner sex comedy, and a forgotten but fascinating Wim Wenders odyssey. Plus, Netflix offers a chance to see how two films become one. … Read More

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Zoella’s Clockwork Novels: Fanfiction, Ghostwriters, and the Bizarre, Automated Future of Publishing

Another year, another novel churned out by the YouTube Megastar-Publishing Complex. This week, the Guardian announced that Zoe “Zoella” Sugg, Internet superstar and “author” of Girl Online, last year’s runaway hit and the fastest-selling debut novel of all time, will publish a sequel, the appropriately titled Girl Online 2. Only, as is well documented, Sugg didn’t write the novel, even though she said she did. The book’s jacket copy finds Zoella confiding to her fans: “My dream has been to write a book, and I can’t believe it’s come true.” But, as it turns out, the book was ghostwritten, factory produced by an underlaborer named Siobhan Curham, who wrote the book for a measly £7,000 to £8,000. … Read More

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Amazon to Test Delivering Packages By Remote-Controlled Airplanes (Drones)

Our global corporate overlords, Amazon, have been given the official, US-approved green light to begin testing drone-based delivery.… Read More

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The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Top Five,’ ‘Ever After’

It’s a bit of a dodgy week for home movie viewing, new release-wise at least; the calendar is dominated by the likes of that Penguins of Madagascar thing, the ill-advised Annie remake, and the unfortunate Exodus: White Gods and Kings. But there’s good news too, as this week sees the release of one of last year’s best comedies, the Blu-ray debuts of two all-time classics, and a hidden gem from Criterion. Plus, for you Netflixers, we offer a fave from ’98 rendered newly timely. … Read More

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The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Mockingjay,’ ‘Listen Up Philip’

Your film editor was out on assignment last week, so apologies if your home viewing needs went unmet, but never fear: this week, we’ve got good stuff for Netflix subscribers, Amazon Primers, and disc buyers alike. And, as usual, variety is the spice of life, so we’ve got one of last year’s biggest blockbusters, one of its most acclaimed art-house pictures, a celebrity documentary with bite, an ‘80s fave, and a slice of vintage French New Wave. … Read More

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The 6 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Whiplash,’ ‘Big Hero 6’

We usually use this space to recommend the week’s five best new releases streaming and on disc, but some weeks that’s just not enough — and this is one of those weeks. Making their debuts are two of last year’s most entertaining flicks, fresh off of big wins on Oscar night; one of 2014’s best documentaries (and a surprising exclusion from that category); and three terrific catalog titles with spiffy new Blu-ray upgrades. … Read More

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Amazon Orders Full Seasons of 5 Pilots, Plus a Second Season for ‘Mozart in the Jungle’

Amazon, the giant Internet warehouse/media company/library has announced that it will be taking five of its most recent pilots… Read More

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The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Birdman,’ ‘St. Vincent’

Oscar night is just around the corner, and there’s a decent chance that you’re spending this week finally getting around to seeing The Imitation Game or whatever. But if you’re all caught up on this year’s nominees (or, good for you, utterly indifferent to the whole shebang), good news: this week’s new disc and streaming releases include a couple of last year’s acclaimed but largely unrecognized pictures, a terrific under-the-radar thriller, and a new HD release of the last film by one of Japan’s cinematic masters. Oh, and one of the year’s most nominated titles is out there now as well, if you go for that sorta thing. … Read More

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Amazon’s ‘Bosch’ Is a Disappointing Collection of Detective Drama Clichés

All most viewers will need to know about Bosch is that it’s a TV show, in 2015, that begins with a white cop fatally shooting a Latino suspect — then asks us to take his side against the dirtbag lawyers, dirtbag reporters, and dirtbag “rat squad” cops allied against him. Detective Hieronymous Bosch (his real name! so quirky!) may be fictional; the suspect he shoots may be armed; and any similarities to Darren Wilson or Daniel Pantaleo may be purely coincidental. That doesn’t make it any easier to root for a protagonist who’s meant to be a throwback to the good ol’ days of an institution an entire mass movement is currently working to move forward, not back. At least this case makes it to trial! Not criminal, though; civil. … Read More

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How Amazon and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Created a Golden Age for Self-Published Romance Authors — and Why It May Already Be Over

“Romance never does go out of fashion. It’s radical.” – Bob Dylan, AARP Magazine

For Monica Murphy, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance writer living in the foothills of California’s Yosemite National Park, a typical day goes like this: she spends an hour online tending to her social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Then, when her three kids are off to school, she gets down to the serious business of writing sexy romance novels. … Read More

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