The Alt-Movie Gambit


My being lately what Grandma called a “shut-in” has meant finding ways to relieve boredom at home as the promised healing takes place (first the heart surgery, then discovering sometime during that process that I had a dislocated shoulder, followed by a mysteriously damaged knee replacement, which is currently causing me no end of pain).

It’s been a grand time for napping – a phenomenon I had never seemed capable of before the heart surgery – and an opportunity to read the best books I could find. But variety is the seasoning of downtime, and so I’ve caught up on movies, too. I have enough channels to count twice on fingers and toes, but the pickings there are slim  and very repetitious.

Then came Amazon Prime. Prime Video, that is.

I don’t want to seem here a shill for Amazon, but I’d never realized all the ancillary benefits of the $100/year charge. One of them is free movies. Most are past their prime (yes, tongue is in cheek), but most weren’t ones I’d seen in theaters, so I filled up on those.

After I’d worked my way there through movies good and awful, I realized AP had documentaries, too. They recognize the best of those at the Academy Awards each year, you know. Historical documentaries vie for your attention, as do rockumentaries (about the bands of yesteryear, although these concentrate on drugs, sex and band conflicts more that the music).

And now I discover that YouTube also has movies. Most center on conspiracies and future space travel, but what the heck, they’re movies, right?


But how to watch: you don’t want to watch movies on your phone, unless you’re terminally geeky. And the iPad isn’t really satisfying. Me? I happened to have an Apple TV, so I’d crank that up, find a movie on my iPad, click the AirPlay icon, and watch movies via my big ol’ flat screen TV. You can access YouTube directly from Apple TV, but not APV – at least not yet. Bezos and Cook can’t seem to agree on terms for that to happen, but it’ll come to pass eventually.

You can see the effect of all this on TV shows already, and the movie biz is hurting. Maybe the alt-movie gambit will save movies. We’ll have to wait and see.


Visit my website here, where you’ll currently find some real bargains on our books. And there’s a gridleyfires Facebook page, too, if you can find it.


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