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Harrisburg, North Carolina

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Harrisburg Area News

Amazon mulls taking on Netflix with free video streaming

Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have changed the way we consume our favorite shows, and the transition might not be finished yet.

The New York Post reports Amazon is set to launch a free, but ad supported, streaming video service.

This free service would come in addition to Amazon's Prime Instant Video, which is part of its $99 per year Prime subscription. The main difference here being the free would have ads and Prime Instant Video doesn't. 

This most recent report adds to one The Wall Street Journal posted in March, saying Amazon was considering a move like this. But a spokeswoman for Amazon said - at the time - they had no plans to offer a free streaming service.

Amazon responded to the latest report with a statement to multiple outlets including TechCrunch saying it has "not announced any plans to offer an ad-supported video streaming service."

 Which Engadget points out, "that doesn't mean that it won't, though, so let us translate that into non-PR-speak for you: 'No comment.'"

The service, if it truly is coming, would attack the current video streaming services from a new angle and could result in some new Prime subscribers for Amazon.

Netflix has long dominated the streaming market, making up about 90 Percent. Most all of the rest is controlled by Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime.

The new service would make Amazon's streaming service more like Hulu, which allows users to access some of its content free with ads.  However, Hulu also plays ads to paying subscribers.

Amazon has not officially disclosed its number of Prime subscribers, but an analyst from RBC Capital has estimated it may be as many as 50 million globally.

This video contains images from Getty Images.

Sun, 23 Nov 2014 12:26:39 -0500

Warner Bros. takes a gamble, splits 'The Stand' into 4 films

Right now Hollywood seems unwilling to take a risk on any big-budget project unless it wears a cape or was born out of the pages of a young adult novel, but Warner Bros. is breaking that mold. 

There has been buzz for a while now that the studio was looking to adapt Stephen King's post-apocalyptic novel "The Stand" into a feature film. But when writer and director Josh Boone handed over a script for the film and requested a budget of $87 million, he received a better reaction than he was hoping for. 

He told Kevin Smith on his Hollywood Babble-On podcast, "They came back and said, 'Would you do it as multiple films?' and I said, 'F*** yes!' I loved my script, and I was willing to drop it in an instant because you're able to do an even truer version that way. So I think we are going to do like four movies."

So Warner Bros. isn't just aiming to make this movie happen but turn it into a big-budget epic and possibly with an A-list cast. 

It's rumored Matthew McConaughey is being sought after for the villain in the film, but even if he does not end up being cast, IndieWire points out the studio's interest in McConaughey shows the caliber of actor the studio is looking at for the film.

It should be noted this isn't the first screen adaptation of what is arguably King's most celebrated novel. It was made into a miniseries in 1994, but that got a so-so response. 

However, King himself seems pretty happy with the script for the upcoming film and having Boone at the helm as well. He told MTV: "He's hugely ambitious and hugely energetic so we will see what happens."

But while outlets such as Deadline praise Warner Bros. for its "creative ambition" for bringing a fully fleshed-out version of King's novel to the silver-screen, a writer at ScreenCrush isn't convinced it needs to be a four-film series, saying, "I wonder how much of our current franchise culture had to do with WB's decision to split up the narrative into four films instead of a reasonable two."

It has become a trend in Hollywood to draw out proven money-makers into multiple films. It started with the last two "Harry Potter" movies and continues in franchises like the "The Hobbit" and "The Hunger Games." It's a strategy that is starting to seem less about adding value to a film and more about selling movie tickets. 

In the Hollywood Babble-On podcast, Boone said he hopes to begin filming the project as early next spring. 

This video includes images from Jonathan / CC BY NC ND 2.0 and Getty Images.

Sun, 23 Nov 2014 12:10:22 -0500

Buffalo braces for floods after record snowfall

Western New York just can't catch a break. After record snowfall buried some parts of Buffalo under more than 5 feet of snow, leading to an estimated 13 deaths in the region, the state is now bracing for a new threat — flooding.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on WNYT, "There's the potential for more building collapses ... and if the temperature goes up as quickly as they're forecasting, there's a potential for significant flooding."

Temperatures are predicted to sharply rise over the weekend, which means most of the snow still on the ground is going to rapidly turn into water. It's hard to predict exactly how much effect the melting snow will have on Buffalo, but flash floods and collapsing or leaking structures are very real threats. (Video via Time Warner Cable News)

The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for the region, and workers are scrambling to clear streets and rooftops ahead of the big melt — CBS notes more than 30 major roof collapses were reported overnight Friday, and that number is expected to rise as the snow grows warmer and heavier.

Cuomo outlined the state's response to the possibility of floods Saturday, deploying boats, water pumps, sandbags and troops from the National Guard to help prepare for flooding.

But as NBC notes, there are still too many factors to accurately predict how much flooding the region will receive. "Depending on what conditions happen to be in place Saturday afternoon through Tuesday, the heaviest-hit areas of upstate and western New York could get silently smacked with the equivalent of a flash-flood-generating 18-inch rainstorm rushing into swollen creeks and sewers — or they might not notice anything at all."

Sen. Chuck Schumer is petitioning the Federal Emergency Management Agency for aid, and said Saturday he expects the state to break the $27 million damage threshold which is required to start receiving federal aid money.

Temperatures in Buffalo hovered in the low 40s throughout the day Saturday; by Monday, forecasters say temps could climb as high as 60 degrees.

This video includes images of Getty Images. 

Sun, 23 Nov 2014 08:40:51 -0500

News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories

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