A cheerful, functional reference work that will appeal to film and television fans.

A GUIDE TO STREAMING GREAT FILMS

Kanbar (The Tragedy of Moses, 2016, etc.), a film-industry consultant, offers a short guide to the ever expanding world of online streaming.

Streaming platforms have transformed the way that people watch movies, causing theater attendance to dip, ticket prices to rise, and Hollywood to generally panic, according to the author. The upside? It’s never been easier to watch movies from the comfort of one’s own home. For cinephiles who want to take advantage of the new abundance but don’t know where to start, Kanbar offers this slim book on all things streaming. He begins with a comprehensive breakdown of the necessary hardware—televisions, sound bars, media streamers, routers, and modems—complete with rundowns of options in each category and recommendations of the best products. The author also introduces the various streaming—aka video on demand—formats. These include transactional (specifically, rental) VOD, such as iTunes, Fandango Now, or Redbox On Demand; subscription services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and HBO Now; and advertising-supported VOD, such as Crackle, Roku Channel, and, in part, Vudu. Kanbar makes special mention of services catering to specific genre tastes, providing lists of those that stream public-domain films, documentaries, classics, horror, noir, and Bollywood movies. There are helpful hints, including tech troubleshooting tips (“An Ethernet connector will often produce better results than a wireless connector”) and a glossary of streaming-specific terms: “HFR (high frame rate). Refers to a frame rate higher than the usual 24-frames-per-second rate, resulting in a smoother playback.” It’s all accompanied by numerous interstitial photographs from classic Hollywood movies. Kanbar’s guide is compact and practical, fitting a large amount of information into just over 100 pages. The prose often takes the form of lists or boilerplate descriptions, but it occasionally gets across the warmth of the author’s personality, as when he describes public-domain films: “Most were released prior to 1960 and some may even go back to the days before sound. But they are free, so what the heck!” There’s also a list of Kanbar’s personal streaming-series recommendations, including Netflix’s Ozark and HBO’s The Night Of. The book appears to be aimed at older readers, who may be just taking their first steps into the world of streaming, but there’s relevant information here for viewers at every experience level. In addition to explaining the basics of how streaming works, the author goes far beyond the obvious options of Netflix and Amazon Prime, alerting readers to boutique services, such as BritBox (which focuses on TV shows of the United Kingdom) or Uncle Earl’s Classic Television (for public-domain films). The book is specific to 2019, and some of the details regarding subscription rates and streaming technology will no doubt continue to change as time goes by; hopefully, the author will provide updated editions in the future. With so much available out there to watch, any bit of direction is welcome, and Kanbar is thankfully willing to be an enthusiastic tour guide.

A cheerful, functional reference work that will appeal to film and television fans.

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-578-41933-6

Page Count: 108

Publisher: ELBAR Associates, LLC

Review Posted Online: April 21, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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