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AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C01)
Question #621
A security officer wants a list of any potential vulnerabilities in Amazon EC2 security groups.
Which AWS service should the officer use?
A. Amazon GuardDuty
B. AWS Trusted Advisor
C. AWS CloudTrail
D. AWS Artifact
Answer: B
Question #622
A company has multiple departments. Each department uses its own AWS account.
Which AWS service or tool can the company use to combine the billing for all accounts into one bill?
A. Amazon Forecast
B. AWS Budgets
C. AWS Organizations
D. AWS Marketplace
Answer: C
Question #623
A cloud practitioner needs to obtain AWS compliance reports before migrating an environment to the AWS Cloud.
How can these reports be generated?
A. Contact the AWS Compliance team
B. obtain the reports from AWS Artifact
C. Open a case with AWS Support
D. Generate the reports with Amazon Macie
Answer: A
Question #624
A large company has a workload that requires hardware to remain on premises. The company wants to use the same management and control plane services
that it currently uses on AWS.
Which AWS service should the company use to meet these requirements?
A. AWS Device Farm
B. AWS Fargate
C. AWS Outposts
D. AWS Ground Station
Answer: C
Question #625
Which tasks require using AWS account root user credentials? (Choose two.)
A. Creating an Amazon EC2 key pair
B. Removing an IAM user from the administrators group
C. Changing the AWS Support plan
D. Creating an Amazon CloudFront key pair
E. Granting an IAM user full administrative access
Answer: CE
Question #626
Which of the following are advantages of using Amazon EC2 instances over traditional on-premises servers? (Choose two.)
A. Pay-as-you-go pricing
B. Automation
C. Self-maintenance of servers
D. Agility
E. Access to physical hosts
Answer: BD
Question #627
To avoid malicious compute activities, a user needs a quick way to determine if any Amazon EC2 instances have ports that allow unrestricted access.
Which AWS service will support this requirement?
A. VPC Flow Logs
C. AWS CloudTrail
D. AWS Trusted Advisor
Answer: D
Question #628
What are the market advantages of running workloads in the AWS Cloud? (Choose two.)
A. Less staff time is required to deploy new workloads.
B. Increased time to market for new application features.
C. Higher acquisition costs to support peak workloads.
D. Increased productivity for application development teams.
E. A decrease in the average server CPU utilization.
Answer: DE
Question #629
Which Amazon S3 storage class allows users to store data backups for long periods of time at the LOWEST cost?
A. S3 Standard-Infrequent Access (S3 Standard-IA)
B. S3 Standard
C. S3 Glacier
D. S3 One Zone-Infrequent Access (S3 One Zone-IA)
Answer: C
Question #630
Which of the following technologies provides a secure network connection from on-premises to AWS?
A. Virtual Private Network
B. AWS Snowball
C. Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC)
D. AWS Mobile Hub
Answer: C
Question #631
When comparing AWS Cloud with on-premises Total Cost of Ownership, which expenses must be considered? (Choose two.)
A. Physical storage hardware
B. Operating system administration
C. Network infrastructure of data center
D. Project management
E. Database schema development
Answer: AC
Question #632
A company uses Amazon EC2 infrastructure to host steady-state workloads and needs to achieve significant cost savings.
Which EC2 instance pricing model should the company select?
A. Reserved Instances
B. On-Demand Instances
C. Spot Instances
D. Dedicated Hosts
Answer: A
Question #633
Which guideline is a well-architected design principle for building cloud applications?
A. Keep static data closer to compute resources.
B. Provision resources for peak capacity.
C. Design for automated recovery from failure.
D. Use tightly coupled components.
Answer: B
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Amazon Practitioner exam contents - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/CLF-C01 Search results Amazon Practitioner exam contents - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/CLF-C01 https://killexams.com/exam_list/Amazon Amazon Prime Video streaming content to include ‘limited advertisements’

Subscribers to Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service will start seeing commercials in films and TV shows from early next year unless they pay an extra £2.99 for an ad-free experience.

The company said customers in the UK and Germany would begin to see “limited advertisements” in its streaming content after 5 February. Prime Video users in the US will start seeing adverts from 29 January.

Rivals Netflix and Disney have already introduced cheaper ad-supported streaming packages in an attempt to win over cost-conscious consumers worried about soaring household bills. However, Amazon’s tier with ads is not cheaper and customers will have to instead pay more to watch without.

The large streaming companies have adjusted their business models after the post-pandemic slowdown in subscriber growth, seeking to shift loss-making services to profitability by introducing ad tiers, raising prices and cutting spending on content.

In an email to Prime Video members, Amazon said the move would allow the company to “continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing investment over a long period of time”.

Amazon said it would not swamp viewers with messaging, saying that it would have “meaningfully fewer ads than ad-supported TV channels and other streaming TV providers”.

The company revealed earlier this year that it planned to follow its rivals and roll out advertising in countries including the UK, US, Germany and Canada.

Amazon’s Prime subscription, which includes access to its music and video streaming services and perks including free and fast delivery on packages, costs £8.99 a month in the UK. The company said it would not be changing the price of the service next year, unless customers opted to pay the extra for the ad-free option.

Netflix, which began to roll out its ad tier in late 2022, has said that it has about 15 million customers globally now signed up to it. The streaming company charges £4.99 a month for the basic tier, significantly less than its £10.99 standard ad-free package.

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Disney+ charges £4.99 a month for its service with ads, which launched in the UK in August, or £7.99 for its standard ad-free package.

Tue, 26 Dec 2023 23:38:00 -0600 Mark Sweney en text/html https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/dec/27/amazon-prime-video-streaming-content-to-include-limited-advertisements
The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Video Right Now

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As Netflix pours more of its resources into original content, Amazon Prime Video is picking up the slack, adding new movies for its subscribers each month. Its catalog has grown so impressive, in fact, that it’s a bit overwhelming — and at the same time, movies that are included with a Prime subscription regularly change status, becoming available only for rental or purchase. It’s a lot to sift through, so we’ve plucked out 100 of the absolute best movies included with a Prime subscription right now, to be updated as new information is made available.

Here are our lists of the best TV shows and movies on Netflix, and the best of both on Hulu and Disney+.

The writer and director A.V. Rockwell begins this wrenching character drama in New York City circa 1994, nicely recapturing the look and feel of Gotham indies of that era. But that’s not just window dressing. While ostensibly telling the story of a young woman trying to raise her son after a stint at Rikers Island, Rockwell adroitly incorporates relevant reminders of the city’s history into her characters and their ongoing struggle, reminding us that “quality of life” policing and the dirty business of gentrification are never purely policy issues. Yet it’s more than just a polemic; Teyana Taylor is shattering as the mother in question, Josiah Cross is charismatic and sympathetic as her son as an older teenager, and the revelations of the closing scenes are wrenching and powerful. (If you like atmospheric coming-of-age dramas, try “Eve’s Bayou.”)

The French artist Park Ji-Min makes an astonishing film debut in the leading role of this “startling and uneasy wonder” from the writer and director Davy Chou. She stars as Freddie, born in South Korea but adopted and raised in Paris, who (cue the title) returns to Seoul for reasons unclear. She claims she has no interest in tracking down her birth parents but does so anyway, setting into motion a chain of events that significantly change who she is and what she wants. Chou’s direction is blissfully confident — even when you’re not sure where he’s going, his command of mood and tone carry the picture through — and Park is a real find, an actor who is able to convey seemingly contradictory emotions simultaneously. (Admirers of this one may also enjoy the similarly emotional and thought-provoking “One Fine Morning.”)

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Jordan Peele followed up the massive critical and commercial success of “Get Out,” his Oscar-winning feature debut from 2017, with this similarly potent brew of horror, social commentary and bleak comedy. Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke star as upper-class parents whose family vacation is disrupted by the appearance of silent but terrifying visitors. Are they home invaders? Common criminals? Supernatural doppelgängers? Or something even more sinister? As with “Get Out” before it and “Nope” (also on Prime) after, Peele has as much fun building dread and atmosphere as he does delivering shock thrills, slyly threading in pop-culture shout-outs and obscure historical references to keep audiences equally puzzled and frightened. (For more spooky stuff, try “The Lighthouse” or “Bird With the Crystal Plumage.”)

This classic Western from the director Fred Zinnemann is best remembered for its innovative construction, in which a small-town marshal’s looming standoff with a revenge-seeking outlaw is dramatized in real time. The film was widely read as an allegory for the film industry blacklists of the era — the screenwriter Carl Foreman was deemed an “uncooperative witness” by the House Un-American Activities Committee. But “High Noon” also cleared an important path for the future of the Western, replacing the usual genre high jinks with thoughtful explorations of masculinity and violence; our critic called it “a rare and exciting achievement.” (If you like Westerns, try “Stagecoach,” “Breakheart Pass” or “One-Eyed Jacks.”)

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One of the greatest of all “gritty Gotham” movies — our critic called it “a movie that really catches the mood of New York and New Yorkers” — this darkly funny, white-knuckle thriller from the director Joseph Sargent concerns four armed men who take a subway car hostage, demanding a million-dollar ransom for the lives of the passengers. Robert Shaw is coolly ruthless as the leader of the gang while Walter Matthau is at his hangdog best as the cynical transit cop hot on their trail. (Matthau’s Oscar-winning turn in “The Fortune Cookie” is also on Prime.)

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Maggie Betts’s adaptation of Jonathan Harr’s 1999 New Yorker article feels like a throwback to the John Grisham thrillers of the era, and that’s intended as high praise; we just don’t get many of these mid-budget, middlebrow, crowd-pleasing courtroom dramas anymore. The sharp script tells the true story of a flashy personal injury lawyer (Jamie Foxx) who argues the hard-to-win case of the owner of a funeral home (Tommy Lee Jones) who is taking on a giant corporation for breaking an oral agreement. The tropes of the courtroom drama are well-deployed, yet thornily augmented by the sticky racial dynamics of its Deep South setting. Foxx dazzles — he always excels in this kind of showboat role — and Jones’s quiet dignity is an effective counterpoint. (For more courtroom drama, try “And Justice for All.”)

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Filmmakers never seem to tire of adapting Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma,” but they seem comparatively uninterested in her 1814 coming-of-age story, “Mansfield Park.” That’s one of the many reasons to check out this “smart, politically pointed screen adaptation” from the screenwriter and director Patricia Rozema, who remains faithful to the spirit of Austen’s novel while indulging in a handful of fascinating modifications. Frances O’Connor is dazzling in the leading role, and Jonny Lee Miller, Alessandro Nivola, Embeth Davidtz, James Purefoy, Hugh Bonneville and the playwright Harold Pinter lend able support. (Admirers should also check out the similarly spiky “Lady Macbeth” or the breezily enjoyable “Much Ado About Nothing.”)

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Early in the new documentary by Raoul Peck (“I Am Not Your Negro”), Gertrude Reels remembers her father’s deathbed wish: “Whatever you do, don’t let the white man have my land.” That land, a 65-acre spread (including acres of invaluable waterfront property) in Carteret County, North Carolina, has been at the center of a long, complex legal battle for decades. Not all gentrification happens in the cities, and Peck’s keenly observed “intimate portrait” follows this family through years of injustice and wrangling, capturing (and sharing) their indignation.

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Cate Blanchett is Lydia Tár, an acclaimed orchestral conductor, composer and instructor whose precariously balanced life and career begin to collapse around her in this “cruelly elegant, elegantly cruel” character study from the writer and director Todd Field (“In the Bedroom”). Blanchett was nominated for best actress at last year’s Oscars for her electrifying turn as a woman whose genius has long excused her considerable flaws; Nina Hoss is terrific as the longtime partner who can no longer look the other way. Field directs the story of Lydia’s fall from grace with chilly, riveting precision and welcome psychological nuance. (For more Oscar-nominated acting, try “The Dresser.”)

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Before he became the director of important, issues-minded films like “Vice” and “Don’t Look Up,” Adam McKay trafficked in pure, unapologetic silliness. And that silliness reached its apex with this explosively funny, frequently filthy comedy, re-teaming his “Talladega Nights” stars Will Ferrell (who co-wrote, with McKay) and John C. Reilly as adult man-children who still live with their parents (Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins) and are forced into a sibling relationship when their parents wed. What begins as suspicion and rivalry develops into absolute mayhem, with Ferrell and McKay at their most manic and Steenburgen and Jenkins finding endless variations on parental patience and embarrassment.

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The writer and director Sarah Polley, adapting the novel by Miriam Toews, tells the haunting tale of an insular religious community ripped apart by the actions of its predatory men. Those crimes are seen briefly, in flashback; the primary focus of Polley’s film is a long, difficult debate between several of the women in the community about what will happen next. Assembling a cast of first-rate actors (including Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Judith Ivey, Rooney Mara, Frances McDormand and Ben Whishaw), Polley turns what could have been a polemic into an urgent, thoughtful morality play.

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Humphrey Bogart won his only Oscar for his role as the gin-soaked roughneck at the helm of the titular vessel; this was also his only on-screen pairing with his fellow icon Katharine Hepburn. Most of what happens is predictable, from the outcome of the dangerous mission to the eventual attraction of the opposites at the story’s center, but the actors and John Huston’s direction keep the viewer engaged and entertained. Our critic praised the picture’s “rollicking fun and gentle humor.” (Fans of classic cinema will also enjoy “The Best Years of Our Lives” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”)

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You couldn’t throw a stone in a multiplex in the 1990s without hitting a big-screen adaptation of a boomer-era TV series, but Tom Cruise’s take on the ’60s spy show ended up with a bigger cultural footprint than its inspiration. The bigger-is-better ethos of the franchise resulted in movies that felt like movies, not just overblown TV episodes. That’s very much the case in this first installment, with the baroque genre stylist Brian De Palma imposing his trademark trick photography, Dutch angles and sure hand for suspenseful set pieces. (The fourth film in the series, “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” is also on Prime, as is the smash sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.”)

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The life that the “Wonder Woman” creator William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans) shared with two women — his wife (Rebecca Hall) and their lover (Bella Heathcote) — and their experimentation with polyamory and bondage helped inspire the popular comic book character, as well as some of her more controversial early imagery. Angela Robinson, the movie’s writer and director, draws clear parallels from their lives to the character’s, drawing frames from the comic book with the precision and wit of a good documentary and providing welcome context for the recent resurgence in her popularity. But “Wonder Women” is most remarkable for the nuance it gives to its central relationship, treating what could have been a giggly sexcapade with genuine complexity and sensitivity. In the end, this “sly and thoroughly charming Trojan horse of a movie” is not just another biopic; this is a lovely story about not only finding love, but understanding and accepting it, on its own terms.

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This thrillingly unpredictable rom-com/crime movie mash-up from the director Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”) begins as a boy-meets-girl movie with a slightly psychosexual edge, seeming to tell the story of how a wild girl (Melanie Griffith) and a straight guy (Jeff Daniels) meet in the middle. Then Ray (a sensational Ray Liotta) turns up and hijacks the entire movie, turning it into something much darker and more dangerous. Throughout, Demme keeps the focus on his colorful characters and sharp dialogue. (“Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “The Lost City” are somewhat more conventional but nevertheless entertaining action-comedy-romances.)

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One of the most hard-edge and thought-provoking pictures of the so-called Blaxploitation cycle, this New York action drama pairs Anthony Quinn and Yaphet Kotto as detectives investigating the blood-spilling robbery of a mob-controlled numbers bank in Harlem. The case is a dangerous intersection of organized crime interests, a conflict exacerbated by the contrasts between these two cops — Black and white, young and old, idealistic and corrupt — resulting in an explosive and decidedly un-Hollywood conclusion. (For more ’70s action, check out “Foxy Brown” and “Coffy.”)

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The gifted genre director Ti West writes and directs this giddy, gory cross between “Boogie Nights” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” in which a group of D.I.Y. filmmakers and exotic dancers trek out to the backwoods of the Lone Star State to make a low-budget porn movie. Little do they know that the older couple in the nearby farmhouse are a bit more spry — and murderous — than they might imagine. West’s script and direction are marvelously film-literate, filling the frame and soundtrack with sly in-jokes and references, and his cast is delightfully game; the “Wednesday” star Jenna Ortega is a sublime scream queen, Brittany Snow revels in the opportunity to send up her typical persona and Mia Goth is pitch-perfect as both the final girl and (under heavy makeup) another key player.

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Winner of the Oscar for best picture (and for best director for Kathryn Bigelow), this harrowing war drama concerns a team of specialists trained in on-the-ground bomb diffusion in Iraq — with a particular focus on Staff Sgt. William James (Jeremy Renner), who’s a bit of a loose cannon. Bigelow mines palpable, sweaty tension from this terrifying work, but she doesn’t settle for cheap thrills; the film is most intense when dealing with James’s internal conflicts and his psychological battles with his team. our critic called it “a viscerally exciting, adrenaline-soaked tour de force.” (Other best picture winners on Prime include “In the Heat of the Night” and “Forrest Gump.”)

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The chef Jiro Ono’s 10-seat sushi-only Tokyo eatery is recognized worldwide and is less a restaurant than a temple. According to those who know and work with him, it’s an extension of his personality; he’s meticulous, detail-oriented, doggedly dedicated to his craft. But has that perfectionism made him (or the people around him) happy? David Gelb’s mouthwatering documentary poses that question and further explores the chef’s philosophies of life and work, while also painstakingly capturing the careful preparation of Ono’s culinary gifts and lovingly lingering on the results.

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Denzel Washington is terrific — smolderingly sexy, offhandedly funny, endlessly engaging — as Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, a ’40s-era private detective, in this beautifully crafted adaptation of Walter Mosley’s novel, from the director Carl Franklin (“One False Move”). Yet even with that great performance at its center, Don Cheadle steals the show as “Mouse,” Rawlins’s troublemaking best friend; this was Cheadle’s breakthrough role, and he makes every scene crackle with energy and unpredictability. “Devil” was based on the first of 14 Rawlins novels (to date), and in a just world, we’d have seen Washington play him 13 more times. But at least we got this one. (For more period drama, stream “Cinderella Man” or “First Cow.”)

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Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney wrote, directed and edited this “soulful sci-fi oddity” — a true indie with a look, sound and feel all its own. Audley is also the deadpan leading man, a government auditor in a not too distant future, where citizens are taxed for the extravagancies of their dreams. It’s a digital process, so he meets a considerable challenge in the form of the batty Bella (Penny Fuller), whose dreams are still analog, leaving him with thousands of videotapes to watch and log. And that’s when things start getting really weird. Audley and Birney’s wild screenplay adroitly captures the touch-and-go intricacies of dream logic, the special effects are impressively D.I.Y. and the humor is deliriously cockeyed throughout.

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George Miller followed up his surprise smash “Mad Max,” a brutal thriller set in a world on the edge of collapse, with this postapocalyptic road movie, making a star of Mel Gibson and redefining action cinema. His white-knuckle, high-octane filmmaking remains virtuosic, and the world-building of the efficient screenplay proved remarkably effective (two more sequels followed); our critic deemed it “an extravagant film fantasy that looks like a sadomasochistic comic book come to life.” (For more blistering ’80s action, try “Conan the Barbarian.”)

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The writer and director Andrew Bujalski (“Funny Ha Ha,” “Computer Chess”) creates what looks, on its shiny surface, like a sunny workplace comedy along the lines of “Working …” or the Chotchkie’s scenes in “Office Space.” But he’s up to something much slyer, a smart examination of class and gender politics in one of their most pointed playgrounds: a Hooters-style sports bar and grill, where customers leer at scantily clad waitresses while the manager, Lisa (Regina Hall), tries to keep temperatures cool (and maintain her own sanity). It’s a “stealth charmer,” with a richly textured anchoring performance by Hall and a sparkling supporting turn by Haley Lu Richardson, a “White Lotus” favorite.

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The first film adaptation of the beloved 1981 children’s book, this family adventure stars Robin Williams as a child trapped for decades in a board game, Bonnie Hunt as a friend who barely made it out and Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce as the contemporary children who help him escape — and must then finish the game. Joe Johnston (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) directs with the proper mixture of childlike enthusiasm and wide-eyed terror, and the special effects (of wild animals and swarms of insects descending on suburban enclaves) remain startlingly convincing.

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Barry Jenkins followed up the triumph of his Oscar-winning “Moonlight” with this “anguished and mournful” adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel. It is, first and foremost, a love story, and the warmth and electricity Jenkins captures and conveys between stars KiKi Layne and Stephan James is overwhelming. But it’s also a love story between two Black Americans in 1960s Harlem, and the delicacy with which the filmmaker threads in the troubles of that time, and the injustice that ultimately tears his main characters apart, is heart-wrenching. Masterly performances abound — particularly from Regina King, who won an Oscar for her complex, layered portrayal of a mother on a mission. (Fans of character-driven indie fare should also check out “A Family Thing” and “Frank.”)

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“The exotico has lost, like always,” shrugs the announcer of the low-rent wrestling match, which doesn’t really bother Saúl (Gael García Bernal) all that much — he’s “the runt,” and he’s got problems of his own. One of the pleasures of Roger Ross Williams’s comedy-drama, which is loosely based on a true story, is how steeped it is in the lore of the lucha libre, the traditions and characters and lingo that supply this world its juice. Saúl, a cheerfully, unapologetically gay wrestler, devises a flamboyantly theatrical new character: an exotico, yes, “but he wins.” (Roberta Colindrez plays his trainer.) Williams deftly dramatizes how this persona, and his success with it, changes everything, and while he follows the standard sports-underdog playbook, the picture’s overwhelming exuberance and kindness set it apart. (Sports film fans will also enjoy “Air.”)

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This Sundance sensation is a heart-wrenching story of grief, pain, regret and struggle. The director and co-writer Jordana Spiro tells the story of Angel (Dominique Fishback), released from jail on the eve of her 18th birthday and torn between getting her life together and finishing the crime that put her there. Spiro adopts a no-nonsense approach, digging into the probationary process and the various ways in which the deck is already stacked against her protagonist. In an unforgettable performance, Fishback eschews showy moments for a lived-in authenticity.

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In investigating the death of a trainer at SeaWorld, the director Gabriela Cowperthwaite traces the sordid history of the capture of killer whales and their training to perform for audiences, creating a masterly juxtaposition of SeaWorld’s own commercials and promo videos with grisly tales of accidents, attacks and public relations spin. Paced like a thriller and written like a deft courtroom summation, it is intelligent, methodical and harrowing; our critic called it a “delicately lacerating documentary.” (Documentary fans should also seek out the scorching “The Tillman Story.”)

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A decade after winning the Oscar for her adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility,” Emma Thompson returned to the typewriter to pen the film version of a slightly less venerated literary property: the “Nurse Matilda” children’s novels, by the British author Christianna Brand. But it doesn’t feel like slumming; Thompson invests her screenplay with all the winking wit you would expect, and she absolutely goes for broke in her performance of the title role, a kind of warts-and-all Mary Poppins. The director Kirk Jones orchestrates the chaos with a sure hand; our critic praised its “twisted visual imagination.” (For more of Thompson, stream Dead Again” and Much Ado About Nothing.”)

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Robert De Niro won his second Academy Award for his fiercely physical and psychologically punishing performance in this searing adaptation of the autobiography of the middleweight champion Jake LaMotta. The stylish boxing sequences are visceral and overwhelming, shot and cut to approximate the disorientation and violence of the sport. But the most disturbing sequences are those of LaMotta in his home, terrorizing his wife (Cathy Moriarty, in an electrifying debut) and terrifying his brother and manager, Joey (Joe Pesci, also remarkable). It’s a relentlessly downbeat piece of work, but the force of De Niro’s performance and the energy of Martin Scorsese’s direction are hard to overstate, or to forget. At the time, our critic called it Scorsese’s “most ambitious film as well as his finest.”

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A coming-of-age story with a healthy dose of ’80s nostalgia, this breezy comedic drama deftly evokes its time and place while even more sharply conveying the timeless feelings of youthful aimlessness and romantic longing. Jesse Eisenberg is in top form as James, the young would-be intellectual who comes to value the job he thinks he’s too good for; Kristen Stewart is warm and wonderful as the young woman he falls for. They generate palpable chemistry (this was the first of their three onscreen pairings to date), while the supporting cast of comic M.V.P.s provides reliable laughs. (François Ozon’s “Summer of 85” is something of a French riff on similar themes.)

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The “Girls” creator and star Lena Dunham is about the last person you’d imagine to direct a film adaptation of a children’s book set in 13th-century England. (Perhaps that’s why she did it.) What she accomplishes is a minor miracle: a delightful film that inserts a modern comic sensibility into the past, without resorting to anachronism or satire. She gets a big assist from the star (and “Game of Thrones” alum) Bella Ramsey, who brings the title character to vivid, playful life, involving us in her tribulations and frustrations, as her oft-drunken father (Andrew Scott, the “hot priest” of “Fleabag”) desperately attempts to marry her off. Our critic called it a “winning,” “headstrong comedy.” (For more female-fronted comedy, check out “Earth Girls Are Easy” or “10 Things I Hate About You.”)

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Mildred and Richard Loving never saw themselves as heroes: As far as the Virginia couple were concerned, they were merely two regular people who wanted to spend their lives together. So the writer-director Jeff Nichols (“Mud”) makes “Loving” a personal tale, trusting that the politics will be apparent. The Australian actor Joel Edgerton and the Ethiopian-Irish actress Ruth Negga are wholly convincing as these rural Southerners, creating a relationship so unstaged and lived-in that the emotional stakes are as important as the historical ramifications. Manohla Dargis raved, “There are few movies that speak to the American moment as movingly — and with as much idealism.” (If you like historical dramas, try “Amistad.”)

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This Sundance sensation from the writer and director Craig Zobel tells a story so unbelievable, it had to be true: A man calls a fast-food restaurant, claiming to be a police officer, and instructs the manager to interrogate an employee on suspicion of theft. With the caller’s explicit instructions, the manager proceeds to humiliate and assault the young woman because that’s what a (supposed) person of authority said to do. Zobel crafts his film as both a morality play and a steadily tightening noose, its escalating discomfort complemented by the credible performances of Ann Dowd as the manager, Dreama Walker as the victim and Pat Healy as the caller. (Zobel’s follow-up, “Z for Zachariah,” is also on Prime.)

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The superhero movie as we know it began here, a Man of Steel origin story breathlessly advertised with the legendary tagline, “You’ll believe a man can fly.” And indeed we did, so convincing were the visual effects that gave Superman his powers. But what made “Superman” so great was the director Richard Donner’s attention to the human details, from the earnestness of the hero’s small-town Kansas youth to the sweetness of the Clark Kent/Lois Lane/Superman love triangle to the wily characterization of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor. But the key to it all is Christopher Reeve, who creates a compelling two-part characterization as Superman and his alter ego, and turns this potentially corny figure into one of the great screen heroes. Our critic called it “good, clean, simple-minded fun.” (The wonderful “Superman II” is also on Prime.)

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The classic gangster movie gets a snazzy musical makeover in this bouncy film adaptation of the Broadway hit, itself based on the colorful New York characters of Damon Runyon’s fiction. Joseph L. Mankiewicz (“All About Eve”) directs with energy and pizazz, coaxing cheerful, engaged performances out of Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons, Vivian Blaine and that most unlikely of crooners, Marlon Brando. Our critic called it “as tinny and tawny and terrific as any hot-cha musical film you’ll ever see.” (For more classic musical fun, stream “The Wiz,” “South Pacific” or “Oklahoma!”)

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We’re in a period of intensely personal documentaries — “Dick Johnson Is Dead,” “Circus of Books” and “Time” leap to mind — but few are as brutally, piercingly intimate as this debut feature from Sasha Joseph Neulinger. Drawing primarily from a vast archive of home videos from his childhood, Neulinger investigates his family’s cycle of sexual abuse like an outsider, reporting the story from that archive as well as interviews with family members and observers. But his proximity to the story is what ultimately renders “Rewind” so powerful, and the results seem as much an act of therapy and catharsis as nonfiction filmmaking.

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Clint Eastwood began as a star of a television western, made the transition to film with spaghetti westerns and starred in (and often directed) some of the most memorable westerns of the 1970s and ’80s. His farewell to the genre had to be special — and it was. This best picture Oscar winner is both an elegy to the form and a reckoning with it, as its characters (and its makers) wrestle with the implications of killing and dying. Eastwood’s brutal but lyrical direction nabbed him an Oscar for best director, while Gene Hackman picked up a best supporting actor statuette for his unforgettable turn as the casually sadistic villain, the standout in a cast that also includes Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris and Eastwood. (For more Western action, try “Breakheart Pass”; for more of Hackman in villain mode, stream “No Way Out.”)

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This heist thriller from the director Frank Oz is full of stock characters: the career criminal looking for one last big score; the cocky young hothead who wants to partner up; and the old-timer who puts it together. But when those characters are brought to life by Robert De Niro, Edward Norton and Marlon Brando, you’re willing to cut the movie some slack. The sheer joy of watching three generations of Method actors thrust and parry overpowers the archetypes’ familiarity, and the heist itself is taut, suspenseful and pleasantly twisty. (If you love heist movies, try one of the originals: Stanley Kubrick’s “The Killing.”)

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This vibrant and playful exploration of the life of Emily Dickinson comes from the fertile mind of the great British writer and director Terence Davies (“The Deep Blue Sea”), who so frequently and masterfully unearths raw desires and emotional truths. This time, he has the good fortune of partnering up with Cynthia Nixon; she adroitly dramatizes Dickinson’s journey, emphasizing the humor and happiness of her earlier years and how that joy gradually dissipated. (Her cheerful interactions with her sister, played with warmth by Jennifer Ehle, place the role closer to her “Sex and the City” breakthrough than you might expect.) This is filmmaking that is searing, smart and often sublime.

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John Cleese writes and stars in this uproariously funny satire of ugly Americans, British politeness and caper movies. Jamie Lee Curtis is Wanda, the femme fatale of a criminal crew who sets her sights on Cleese’s uptight barrister; Kevin Kline is her partner, who is very jealous and very stupid (but don’t call him that); Cleese’s fellow Monty Python alum Michael Palin is a criminal of a much meeker sort. The director Charles Crichton, who helmed many of England’s classic Ealing Studios comedies, orchestrates the insanity with verve. (For more wild comedy, stream “Bubba Ho-Tep.”)

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Dee Rees made her feature directorial debut with this heartfelt and thoughtful story about a Brooklyn teenager (the “incandescentAdepero Oduye) named Alike (pronounced ah-LEE-kay) and her delicate attempt to come out as a lesbian — fully aware of the resistance she will face from her controlling mother (Kim Wayans). Rees, who also penned the screenplay, tells this semi-autobiographical tale like a richly detailed short story, well-versed in the lives these characters live, the neighborhoods they inhabit and the lies they tell each other in order to coexist. But she also captures the seductiveness of the subcultures Alike begins to explore and the alternative they present: the choice to live one’s truth, with no apologies.

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Robert Altman adapted Raymond Chandler’s late-period Philip Marlowe novel as only he could: idiosyncratically, by updating the hard-boiled story’s setting to the feel-good California of the 1970s and casting one of the era’s most of-his-time actors, Elliott Gould, in the role made famous by Humphrey Bogart. Purists resisted, and some critics scratched their heads. But Gould is brilliant, Altman’s direction is brash and confident, and this “tough, funny, hugely entertaining movie” homes in on the character’s essential, outsider nature, while ingeniously rethinking the conventions of the genre. (Mystery fans will also love “No Way Out.”)

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Christopher Nolan made his first big splash with this, his second feature film, a stylish film noir riff that tells its familiar story in an exuberantly inventive way: In order to mirror the disorientation of its protagonist, Leonard (Guy Pearce), who has lost his ability to create new memories, Nolan tells the story by ordering its scenes in reverse chronology. As Leonard pursues an investigation of his wife’s murder, revelations fold back on themselves and betrayals become clear to the audience before they’re known to him. Yet even without that narrative flourish, “Memento” would be a scorching piece of work, loaded with sharp performances, moody cinematography and a noir-inspired sense of doom. (Nolan’s “Interstellar” is also on Prime.)

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Ava DuVernay directs this “bold and bracingly self-assured” dramatization of the events surrounding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 marches for voting rights in Selma, Ala. DuVernay is telling the story not of a man but of a movement; the picture bursts with the urgency of promises unkept. David Oyelowo is astonishing as King, capturing the unmistakable cadences but also the man — uncertain, jocular, determined. The stellar ensemble cast includes Dylan Baker, Carmen Ejogo, André Holland, Stephan James, Wendell Pierce, Tim Roth, Tessa Thompson, Lorraine Toussaint, Tom Wilkinson and Oprah Winfrey.

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The opening sequence of this South Korean action extravaganza is such a stunner — a breathless, ultraviolent eight-minute one-killer-takes-on-an-army set piece — that you wonder how the director Jung Byung-gil can possibly top it. Improbably, the hyperkinetic climax, a bone-cracking sequence on a speeding city bus, does just that. But “The Villainess” offers more than empty thrills. Though best explained to Western audiences as a gender-flipped “John Wick,” the narrative that plays out between those memorable bookends has a potent emotional core and a complex dual timeline structure, explaining exactly how the ruthless killing machine at the story’s center became who (and what) she is. (For more stylized action, try “The Crow.”)

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Kristen Wiig stars in and co-writes (with her frequent collaborator Annie Mumolo) this comedy smash from the director Paul Feig. Wiig is Annie, an aimless baker who is asked to serve as the maid of honor for her lifelong pal, Lillian (Maya Rudolph). This duty sets off an uproarious series of broad comic set pieces and thoughtful introspection; both the comedy and drama are played to the hilt by an ensemble that includes Rose Byrne, Jon Hamm, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Chris O’Dowd and an Oscar-nominated Melissa McCarthy. (For more female-fronted comedy, try “Pitch Perfect.”)

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Desiree Akhavan writes, directs and stars in this devastatingly funny, breathtakingly candid and unexpectedly sexy comedy-drama. She’s is a singular comic voice, and since she’s playing a variation on herself (a bisexual Brooklynite filmmaker and daughter of immigrants), the picture boasts an offhand candor and casual approach to ethnicity, class and identity that makes it distinctive even among the indie set. Our critic praised the picture’s “clever and unpredictable turns of phrase.” (For more candid, sexy comedy, try “Afternoon Delight.”)

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The writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson picked up nominations for best director, best original screenplay and best picture for this richly textured, quietly bittersweet and frequently funny story of growing up in the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s. The actor Cooper Hoffman is charismatic and charming as a young would-be entrepreneur; the musician Alana Haim, in a star-making performance of astonishing depth, is the perpetually out-of-reach object of his affections. It’s the kind of movie that sneaks up on you with its warmth and insight. Manohla Dargis called it “a shaggy, fitfully brilliant romp.” (“Armageddon Time” and “C’mon C’mon” are similarly nuanced coming-of-age stories.)

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The director Robert Altman teamed up with his frequent collaborator Elliott Gould, and paired him up with George Segal, for this “fascinating, vivid” snapshot of two lovable losers. Gould and Segal play a pair of Los Angeles gamblers, floating from card table to racetrack to casino, in constant search of that one big score. Such a payday presents itself at the end of their journey, but Altman is too unconventional a filmmaker to put much stock in that destination. He’s more interested in the journey, and his film is propelled by the rowdy hum of those rooms and the colorful personalities of the people who inhabit them. (“Husbands” and “Rancho Deluxe” work a similarly shaggy vibe.)

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Matthew McConaughey’s unexpected comeback from a no-man’s-land of forgettable rom-coms and dumbed-down star vehicles was just getting underway when he took on the title role of this brutal, twisted, brilliant adaptation of the play by the Pulitzer and Tony winner Tracy Letts. As a ruthless murderer for hire plunged into the disarray of a vile, trashy family, McConaughey miraculously twists his movie-star charisma and golden-boy looks into something cold, hard and frightening. The director William Friedkin (“The French Connection,” “The Exorcist”) squeezes the trailer-home setting like a vise, creating creeping dread and pitch-black humor from the bleakest of setups. (If you love crime movies, try “52 Pick-Up” or “Zola.”)

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The director Danny Boyle brought the cult novel by Irvine Welsh to the screen as a visceral experience, chasing the relentlessly energetic narrative like the drug addicts at its center chase a high. Ewan McGregor found a star-making role in the protagonist, Renton, a Scottish miscreant who insists he chooses the dangers of addiction over a life of suburban prescription; Robert Carlyle is the supporting standout as the scariest member of his crew. “It rocks to a throbbing beat,” our critic wrote, “and trains its jaundiced eye on some of the most lovable lowlifes ever to skulk across a screen.”

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Thu, 04 Jan 2024 12:13:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.nytimes.com/article/best-movies-amazon-prime.html
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Tue, 02 Jan 2024 09:59:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.consumeraffairs.com/online/amazon.html
Amazon in Talks to Invest in Diamond Sports

Updated Dec. 18, 2023 1:46 pm ET

Amazon is in talks to invest in the biggest regional-sports programmer, a move that would advance the e-commerce giant’s aggressive push into sports content as it takes on streaming rivals like Disney and Netflix.

Diamond Sports Group, which carries the games of more than 40 major sports teams across the country and filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, is actively negotiating with Amazon about a strategic investment and a multiyear streaming partnership, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Mon, 18 Dec 2023 04:47:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.wsj.com/business/media/amazon-in-talks-to-invest-in-diamond-sports-b07af4d9
TikTok staffers told not to flag Amazon accounts for questionable content

TikTok employees were reportedly told not to remove questionable posts made by Amazon due to its advertisement investments in the platform.

The China-owned social platform told content moderators not to touch over 60 Amazon-operated TikTok accounts due to its relationship with the online retail giant, according to internal messages obtained by the Guardian. A team leader sent a message through a chat group designed to disseminate policy updates clarifying the importance of Amazon as the platform's highest-paying advertiser. It also emphasized protecting that relationship.

“The message is saying do not moderate Amazon accounts, and then there is a list of Amazon accounts,” a staffer told the Guardian.

The chat group where this message was sent included dozens of moderators, team leaders, and site managers. It does not appear the message was revoked.


The message appears to have been sent after TikTok moderators made a "wrong decision" about Amazon's platforms. The listed accounts included Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, Twitch, and the audiobook service Audible.

“These allegations about TikTok’s policies are wrong or based on misunderstandings, while the Guardian has not given us enough information about their other claims to investigate," a TikTok spokesperson said. "Our community guidelines apply equally to all content on TikTok.”


It's unclear how much Amazon spends on TikTok's ads, although the team leaders told moderators that they are one of the biggest spenders on the platform. The Big Tech retailer spent more than $1.4 billion on digital advertising in the U.S. in 2022, according to the app data firm Sensor Tower.

TikTok's community guidelines do not state whether or not companies or individuals in a financial partnership with the platform are to be exempted. However, it affirms that all advertisers must comply with its terms of service and policies.

Mon, 18 Dec 2023 00:38:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/technology/tiktok-staffers-amazon-accounts-questionable-content
Amazon Prime Gaming offers in-game content for Gods Unchained Web3 game

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Immutable Games, a Web3 game developer, has teamed up with Amazon Prime Gaming to offer exclusive in-game content inside Immutable’s trading card game Gods Unchained.

That’s a big moment for Web3 games, which have been slow to reach the mass market because of a variety of challenges with the cryptocurrency market and the slow acceptance of blockchain games. The idea here is to introduce Gods Unchained to a whole new audience of players.

Prime Gaming members, upon linking their in-game accounts, will now enjoy monthly access to exclusive items within Gods Unchained, coinciding with the launch of the game’s Season 2, aptly named Far Horizons. Amazon has more than 200 million Prime Gaming members, and Amazon will now be exposing those members to the through featuring on its front page.

Sydney, Australia-based Immutable said “Far Horizons” introduces a slew of novel God Powers to revolutionize the game’s meta, along with visual enhancements and a substantial expansion set titled Tides of Fate. Players diving into this expansion will confront three new God Powers significantly impacting the gameplay dynamics.

Gods Unchained is a blockchain game from Immutable Games.

Daniel Paez, vice president and executive producer of Gods Unchained at Immutable Games, said in a statement “We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Amazon Prime Gaming. Season 2 offers a new chapter in the game’s ever-evolving story that will introduce sweeping changes to the meta and players’ strategies. This new experience will be accompanied by Tides of Fate, our first major card expansion set since Mortal Judgement over a year ago, offering gamers tons of new cards, God Powers, and fresh mechanics for them to play around with.”

The “Tides of Fate” set, comprising 142 collectible cards and nine in-game-only “chained” cards, introduces a fresh manasurge mechanic. This feature empowers cards in hand with bonus effects when players spend a certain amount of mana in a single turn, adding a burst of mechanical power in alignment with the expansion’s Atlantean/mecha theme.

Furthermore, “Tides of Fate” prompts players to select a faction — Dragons or Mechs — and actively contribute to their side’s success. The culmination of this factional conflict influences two legendary cards and a cosmetic card back, reflecting the colors of the victors in in-game skirmishes.

Gods Unchained is aiming for mainstream audiences.

“Our Content Creator Program is another opportunity for us to highlight and reward our most passionate community members – and we couldn’t be more excited to see how fans will bring to life their own vision of the Gods Unchained lore and strategy this season. We are continuing to generate massive momentum for GU as we continue to bring the game to mainstream TGC players worldwide,” said Paez. 

In the lore, these factions vie for crystals as energy sources in The Shimmering Atlant, a vast oceanic expanse reminiscent of Atlantis.

Additionally, Gods Unchained is boosting user-generated content through its Content Creator Program, offering rewards, early access, and increased visibility to community contributors. Content creators can receive $GODS tokens ranging from 300 to 6,000 per month, with additional bonuses linked to viewership milestones.

Paez reiterated, “Our Content Creator Program is another opportunity for us to highlight and reward our most passionate community members.”

The heavens are at war in Gods Unchained.

Looking ahead, Gods Unchained gears up for its imminent full mobile launch following a successful pre-alpha release for Android devices. The partnership with iLogos, a mobile solutions provider, aims to bring the game to both Android and iOS platforms later this year.

“Amazon is one of the partners that is friendly to the blockchain space,” said Daniel Paez, executive producer of Gods Unchained at Immutable Games. “The main thing for our players and for new players for the next six months is that they will be able to get rewards by linking to their Prime account.”

Every month, Gods Unchained will drop packs for the players, like special domain packs.

“The whole idea behind this was to reintroduce ourselves to the overall gaming market,” Paez said. “We’ve done a lot of work on Gods Unchained over the last 12 months. We have new features, systems, code rewrites, and the mobile build is chugging along beautifully.”

Gods Unchained has had hundreds of thousands of players playing its betas over the past four years. And it rode the highs and lows of the cryptocurrency markets. Numerous core players stuck around through that, even as they went through the crypto winter, Paez said.

About a year ago, the team decided to focus on engaging players more and having Amazon Prime Gaming rewards is one of the results for the PC game that is live at the moment on the ImmutableX blockchain.

“We’re kicking off to say it’s time to reintroduce ourselves,” Paez said. “We’ll have our mobile companion app out soon. We can sustainably build the game. And we don’t see the game reflecting the crypto cycles anymore.”

The game does not have cross-chain support at the moment, nor is it available yet on Immutable zkEVM. The goal at the moment is to get more Web2 players on board with the game, playing it as a free-to-play game. At some point, players will be able to create wallets and move to Web3 gameplay. The players can build out their decks and have a better experience.

“We’re pretty sure we can find players who connect deeply to collectible card game (CCG) games,” Paez said. “For us, Prime Gaming is actually testing the waters for Gods Unchained as a whole. We want to make sure that on its own, as a game, it can stand right on its own legs. It doesn’t have to rely purely on the crypto element. And we also want to test our ability to make a really strong core loop where a gamer comes in, builds a deck, plays a match, gets cards, trades the cards, changes the deck, and goes back into a match.”

The Tides of Fate is a physical expansion set, and it feels like it is kicking off a new season, Paez said.

“We have a lot more content coming for users to introduce new mechanics, such as the crafting of new cards,” he said. “This has been a long time coming because players have been waiting for this big refresh of the game.”

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.

Mon, 04 Dec 2023 17:00:00 -0600 Dean Takahashi en-US text/html https://venturebeat.com/games/amazon-prime-gaming-offers-in-game-content-for-gods-unchained-web3-game/
Contents First Released Popular Web Novels of Tappytoon as English E-Books on Amazon Kindle

Web Novels of Tappytoon

Web Novels of Tappytoon


On December 20, “The Broken Ring: This Marriage Will Fail Anyway” by ChaCha Kim and “I Tamed My Ex-Husband’s Mad Dog” by Jkyum were released on Amazon Kindle in the U.S.

On December 19, Contents First – a global leader in digital comics, announced that it would start publishing English e-book versions of these web novels popularized by its Tappytoon reading platform. Both web novels have gained popularity in the U.S. for romantic tensions, revenge, and drama in royal courts. English-language comic readers are also fans of these dramas.

In 2022, Tappytoon released The Broken Ring: This Marriage Will Fail Anyway in more than 200 countries, which made it the famous platform for top web novels. Moreover, the ongoing webtoon (comic) adaptation of this novel also gained a global following and became the number #1 title on Tappytoon with nearly 4 million views. In 2023, the same platform released I Tamed My Ex-husband’s Mad Dog.

Sun Bang, Co-Founder, and Chief Executive Officer of Contents First, said, “Tappytoon has successfully fueled the global passion for Korean web novels, igniting imaginations across continents. By releasing our award-winning titles as e-books, we will unlock a universe of stories for new readers. ” He further said, “ Our own story is also unfolding. We intend to amplify our impact by expanding e-book production, forge collaborations with local publishers to enhance the reach of Tappytoon’s popular intellectual properties, and solidify our presence in the thriving U.S. market.”

About Contents First and Tappytoon

Founded in 2013, Contents First operates Tappytoon, a digital-first webtoon and web novel platform. The company offers a great collection of Korean webtoon and web novels for e-book lovers. By collaborating with top-notch artists and partners, the company has extended content libraries on mediums such as film, OTT, online games, books, etc. In 2022, Tappytoon surpassed 7 million registered users of its website and mobile apps for webcomics and webnovels. Tappytoon releases an average of 2,500 episodes and 25 to 30 new titles every month.

The plan of Contents First is to expand its IP business and release various genres of web novels as e-books, starting with popular romance titles available on Tappytoon.

Navkiran Dhaliwal is a seasoned content writer with 10+ years of experience. When she's not writing, she can be found cooking up a storm or spending time with her dog, Rain.

Fri, 22 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 Navkiran Dhaliwal en-CA text/html https://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/contents-first-released-popular-web-novels-of-tappytoon-as-english-e-books-on-amazon-kindle

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