While the Amazon Prime streaming service offers fewer new movies and TV shows than its competitor Netflix in March, Amazon is serving up some classics on the menu this month. However, the Netflix movie offerings are, frankly, a bit thin.
The highlight of the month for movie buffs, appearing on Amazon Prime on March 5, has to be the gripping 1976 classic Taxi Driver, starring Robert De Niro and directed by Martin Scorsese.
De Niro’s performance as an alienated Vietnam vet driving a taxi through the urban decay of 1970s New York City is one of the most memorable ever put on film — though amazingly, De Niro did not win the Academy Award for Best Actor.
De Niro lost out to Peter Finch whose “I’m Mad As Hell And I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore!’ turn in Network was admittedly compelling but did not approach De Niro’s acting work in its realism and complexity. However, Finch died two months before the Oscar ceremony, which may have tilted the voters in his favor.
To a younger generation who know Robert De Niro primarily for his comic turn as the tough-guy father-in-law Jack Byrnes in the Meet the Fockers films, the young De Niro’s intense portrayal of disturbed taxi driver Travis Bickle will prove a revelation.
On a lighter note, Amazon Prime also adds the second season of the bizarrely hilarious Comedy Central TV series Drunk History, in which various comedians get staggeringly intoxicated and attempt to explain important historical events. It’s a one-note concept, but somehow, it works.
Drunk History Season 2 hits Amazon Prime today, March 1.
While Netflix charges members a monthly fee of $8.99, adding up to about $108 per year (Netflix also offers a more limited $7.99 monthly plan) Amazon Prime charges a single annual fee of $99. Of course, the Amazon Prime membership also includes Amazon’s numerous other “Prime” features, including a music service and cloud photo storage.
Other notable Amazon Prime movie offerings in March include the Johnny Depp/Al Pacino gangster flick Donnie Brasco, the popular “faith-based” drama God’s Not Dead, and a documentary about the groundbreaking adult men’s magazine Hustler.
The full list of Amazon Prime March offerings follows:
Blue Lagoon: The Awakening
Comet Encounter (Season 1)
Drunk History (Season 2)
NOVA (Volumes 11 and 12)
The Nanny Diaries
Center Stage: Turn It Up
The Kill Team
Listen Up Philip
Back Issues: The Hustler Magazine Story
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn
Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club
Pulp: A Film About Life, Death, and Supermarkets
God’s Not Dead
The Zero Theorem
Frankie & Alice
In addition to its free-with-membership Prime offerings, Amazon also offers current movies and TV shows for a rental or purchase fee.
[Image: Columbia Pictures]